Thursday, 28 March 2013

The Memorable Shillong Trip, Part-1

Time seemed to have passed like a rocket, as we were already in our 8th semester. One night, we were simply enjoying our typical  and regular kind of hostel parties and suddenly someone said "Hey! Tunga. Next week is your birthday, so how you are going to treat us?"

Tunga was on a cracking mood that night and he said he would give a damn good party and even promised to treat our entire batch. But he had put forward a condition that he would give a party, only if we guys would have agreed to go to Shillong, for a weekend trip. Tunga was very much interested for the trip that moment and he said "Come on! It’s our final semester, let’s have some fun and make it memorable, as it could be our last trip, while we are in hostel.  I will bear all kind of fluid expenses"

Tunga’s proposal was quite tempting, but the problem was, after few pegs, many of us usually used to discuss similar kind of things and in the very next morning, no one actually used to bother much to discuss on the same topic again. But that time, it was little different, as the guys used to discuss about the Shillong trip for the next few days. Later, one late night, Tunga and some of our friends decided that we would go to Shillong the next morning and would start at 7 AM from hostel. After staying in hostel for almost 4 years, most of us usually used to ignore such decisions taken late night under the influence of the holy fluid.

Next early morning at 6 AM, Arpan knocked our door. As soon as we opened the door, I and Nair were little amused to see Arpan, well dressed along with his backpack. He looked pretty well prepared for the trip and he started to shout at us “WTF man! You guys are still sleeping? We have to move fast”

I and Nair were so delighted to see Arpan’s excitement, but we were under serious doubt whether it's really going to happen? Arpan waited in our room for almost an hour but no one else came, actually our room was just near the hostel main gate. Ultimately Arpan got frustrated and went back to his room and we also went to sleep. I had no idea how it happened but after another couple of hours, a huge gang was just outside our room and everyone was shouting "You idiots, get ready soon"

So, finally it actually happened and we were around 15-20 guys of our batch, ready to conquer Shillong. We left hostel at around 9 AM and we went near Paltan Bazar by our college bus. In order to go to Shillong from Guwahati, one can either go by bus or by cabs and they would usually start from Paltan Bazar, near Railway Station. Shillong is at a distance of 100 KM from Guwahati and it’s a breathtaking drive. Shillong is situated at an average altitude of 4,908 feet above sea level and is damn beautiful. The British used to call it as the Scotland of the East. 

It was peak summer that time and summer in Guwahati is capable enough to irritate anyone quite easily, not only with the temperature but also with the perspiration. As soon as we entered Meghalaya, Tunga brought all our stuffs and we already started to upload them on the spot. Meghalaya Govt is very generous in collecting tax on the heavenly fluids, as compared to other states. As our cab moved up the slope, gradually we felt some kind of relief in temperature and after one hour, as we reached Barapani (Umiam Lake), it was almost like heaven. The temperature dropped instantly and what a lovely sight it was.

Umiam Lake is located on the way to Shillong. It was created by damming the Umiam river in the early 1960s. After going little further,  we noticed the beautiful Pine trees all over the place, which are typical to that part of the region.

It's a 2 hours drive from the Guwahati-Meghalaya border to Shillong and one could practically feel the decrease in temperature after every 10 minutes, specially in peak summer.

Image courtesy: google images

The Memorable Shillong Trip, Part-2

Friday, 22 March 2013

Aman and Kishore

My good old friend Ratul, met Kishore through some common friends in Bangalore and I think, later they even shared the same house for few months, along with some other friends. Kishore was very shy kind of guy and usually used to talk on special occasions. He was still single that time and he was in that phase of life, when people are usually well prepared to literally screw up their life and ready to tie the knot. During those days our school friend Aman, was in town and she joined a software company as a technical writer. One day Ratul thought to meet Aman and he took Kishore along with him.

From that day onward  Kishore was a changed guy and he started to give little more time and attention to Ratul. Few times he even discussed about Aman and every time he talked about her, he had a lovingly praise for her. Being a high level expert in the concerned field, Ratul immediately realized that Kishore in fact, was a "Chupa Rustam", kind of hidden warrior. He was sure that Kishore had developed a soft corner for Aman. As Ratul knew both the parties quite well, he thought they might be a perfect match for each other or he might have smelled 2 "Bakras" :)

So, Ratul created few more opportunities, so that Kishore and Aman could meet each other. As expected, Ratul always used to praise Kishore when he's with Aman and used to praise Aman when he's with Kishore.  After a couple of months Kishore proposed Aman for marriage, but Aman wanted some more time to decide.  Kishore was much tensed that time and his anxiety simply climbed the ladder. Ratul was also little disturbed, as he seriously wanted that relationship to amplify. One night Ratul noticed that Kishore looked little different and he had an unusual kind of smile on his face. Kishore said to Ratul that Aman accepted his marriage proposal. Ratul felt very happy that moment and congratulated Kishore for his new relationship. Being a childhood friend, Ratul expected Aman to give him the good news, but she didn't call.

Ratul wanted to call her, but thought it would be better to wait for her call, instead. Two days passed and Ratul didn’t receive any call from Aman. Finally on 3rd day, Ratul received a call from her and before coming to the point, she simply chatted with him for a while. After a couple of minutes she started to talk about Kishore. 

Ratul immediately interrupted and said "Please don’t talk about Kishore"

Aman was little shocked and asked "Why? What happened?"

Ratul replied "He is the most shellfish guy I ever met"

Aman was silent for a while and didn’t know what to say. She simply said "But you only said that Kishore is a very nice guy"

Ratul said "Yeah, but I was wrong. He is actually an ass hole and a very mean kind of guy"

Aman asked "What happened? Please tell me in detail. Why you are saying such things about Kishore?"

Ratul said "Forget it, I just don't want to talk about him"

Aman was speechless and Ratul could hear her deep and nervous breath over the phone. Ratul realized that he had enough fun and the mobile phones came alive with Ratul’s blustering laughs. Aman also started to laugh and said to him that she was almost killed by his sense of humor.

Aman and Kishore are now enjoying their life, along with their beautiful four year old sweetheart, Tia. 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Fake Experience, Part-2

Fake Experience, Part-1

I knew one HR quite well, through a common friend and he worked for a reputed software company that time. One weekend, we were simply enjoying the evening and at some  point, someone started a similar kind of topic and he asked the HR guy, how they usually deal with guys who used to show fake experience? He said that they don't verify much, other than some telephonic verification. From telephonic verification I remember one incident, this time it’s about a different friend and he had to show some fake experience in order to get his first job. Come on… it’s not that terrible thing, it's just like showing fake medical bills or fake HRA. For the first time when my friend visited one agency which provided fake experience, he was quite surprised to see how they managed such tremendous things from a tiny room, with 2 desktop computers and two land-line phones. There was one smart and attractive lady out there, who looked like a receptionist, but she was also the HR for the outside world. On the first visit itself, my friend was very much impressed with that lady, as he noticed how smartly she handled the verification calls. 

Now, the HR person I was talking about, played a simple but quite effective trick, on candidates who had experience from some unknown and doubtful companies. Just before typing the offer letter, he usually used to call them and casually used to ask "Actually, everything is finalized and in fact, I can send you the offer letter right now. But the requirement is very urgent and we need someone who could join immediately, within a week. If you can join within a week, just give me a call, latest by tomorrow and I would send you the offer letter"

That was an extremely difficult, tricky and emotional kind of situation for all such guys, kind of "Dharam Sankaat". Even though few of the candidates, might have doubted the HR's trick, but eventually most of them broke down and used to call him to confirm that they could join in a week’s time. The HR guy was very sure that  it's almost impossible for a genuinely experienced candidate to get relieved in a week’s time and he usually used to reject such candidates.

After struggling for a few months, my friend got a job in a company and they outsourced him to a well known company, but in a different city. He joined that company and initially he was not very confident but within a few days, he managed it quite well. After a couple of years he switched his job and joined a different company. Days passed by and after about a year, one day a new guy joined their team. My friend was one of the senior team members that time and he introduced himself to the new guy and asked him about his experience. My friend was totally amused to hear that the guy had 2 years of experience from a company which not only sounded familiar to him, but in fact, the name knocked bang on his head. 

My friend asked "Is your company in Bangalore?"

The guy replied "Yes, in Bangalore"

My friend: "Is it in Koramangala?"

The guy: "Yes, it’s in Koramangala"

My friend "Is it near one abandoned park?"

The guy looked little nervous and replied "Yes, Sir"

My friend: "Is the lady out there …"

The guy interrupted in between. He was extremely nervous, but still managed a sweet smile on his face and said "Please sir, please don’t ask me all these questions"

My friend understood his feelings and in fact, he could easily relate to that guy. He didn’t bother him any further and simply said "work hard dude and you need to perform well out here"

Wednesday, 13 March 2013

Fake Experience, Part-1

Everyone is not fortunate enough to have a job in hand, before they pass out of college.  On-campus recruitment varies from college to college. There are many engineering colleges in India where the term "Campus Placement" is a kind of alien to the students, as well as for the faculty out there. Forget about such colleges, even many students from well known Engineering colleges also miss the campus recruitment drive and the situation gets little ugly during recession time. 

After passing out, many of the fresher’s usually would be little late, on their act of job hunt. Some of them would be confused about which career to choose? By the time they  ultimately decide to start their career in software field, the next fresher’s batch would almost be ready for the market. Some fortunate ones would manage to get a job within a few months, but many others would  simply have to keep on trying.  After few more months they realize that they are no longer fresher’s anymore and it could be quite difficult for them to get a job, as a fresher.

But no problem, the market is very huge and quite diverse.  There are some companies agencies which provide fake experience. They usually operate from a tiny office with 2-3 employees and they literally have all the “Jugaars” necessary formalities.  They have proper website and they provide their clients with  pay slip, employee ID card, relieving letter, experience certificate and even form 16, but I think one need to pay a little extra for that. 

Now, in order to show one or two years of fake experience is definitely not an easy job. One would have to work really hard and should prepare themselves day and night, for several months. To be honest, within a few months, they acquire much more knowledge than their friends, who already working in big MNC’s, doing their regular work in office and chilling out most of the time. After giving a few interviews as a lateral, the fake experience guys usually would be damn confident and in fact, they would usually be happy, as the selection procedure for laterals (1-2 years experience) is much easier than the fresher’s. Now, the HR have a tough job ahead, as they have to do some sort of background verification of the employees they recruit. For many companies, specially companies who outsource their employees, the HR doesn't bother much, as the candidate cleared all the technical rounds and The HR usually would have a good deal. I have few good friends, who went through such kind of phase.

I remember one incident, as narrated by my good friend. He had to show some fake experience that time and was getting hell lot of interview calls. He acquired an in depth knowledge in java language and even done few java certifications. He already started to clear few of the technical rounds, in most of the companies he went for interview. To be honest, he was just a step away from a challenging job in hand. One day he got a call from HR, of one of the top software company. The HR lady talked in general and asked him about his current project and about the organization, he worked for. Some company HR's usually treat such candidates with some kind of suspicion, as they are completely unaware of the company, the candidate works for.

I am simply putting some parts of the conversation between my friend and the HR lady.

HR:  "Tell me about your company? Do you have office only in India?"

My friend was little confused as said "Our head office is in US and we have a development center out here in Bangalore"

HR: "So, it’s an MNC?"

My friend said with full confidence "Yes, it’s an MNC"

HR:  "How many employees you have in India and in US?"

My friend replied "We have around 100 employees in India and in US, I think around 200 employees"

HR: "Aha! that’s great. I wouldn't take much of your time and would like to brief you about the job description. Are you at office now?"

Without much of thinking, my friend said "Yes, I am at office now".

My friend was actually at his house that time and as the HR was briefing him about the job description, all of a sudden my friend’s heart beats accelerated, when a fruit hawker passed nearby his house and he almost peeped through his open window and screamed "Aaapple Aaapple"

There was some kind of silence over the phone for a while. My friend realized his mistake and thought he shouldn't have told that he was at office that moment. After some time, the HR continued with her discussion and she tried to explain him about the interview procedure. Suddenly and almost like a nightmare, my friend’s pressure cooker started to whistle mercilessly. There was a pin drop silence over the phone and he instantly rushed to the kitchen and switched off the gas. My poor friend didn't have any words in his mouth, that moment and simply waited for her reply.

After a while she replied "OK then, I will send your CV to the technical panel and if it gets short listed,  I would get back to you" My friend thought "I don’t think she would ever get back to me"

Friday, 8 March 2013

One Visit To Sainik School

After our 12th grade exam and specially after the entrance examinations result was declared, I felt complete emptiness in the topmost part of my body. I couldn’t decide what to do next. Most of my friends were quite busy regarding their admission here and there and I felt totally left out. During that time, my childhood friend Raja Rana called me and asked me to accompany him, to visit his school in order to get his clearance certificate. Raja Rana was my classmate right from nursery and when we were in our 6th standard, he had to take admission in Sainik School, Goalpara. It's a boarding school under the ministry of Defence and is situated 20 km from Goalpara town. During that time the school campus was quite remote and isolated and the forest was not very far from there. My father didn’t argue much that time and gave me some money for the trip.

I had hell lot of fun the entire journey, right from the gate of our house.  To reach Goalpara, we first had to go to Jogighopa.  During those days there was no Naranarayana Setu, a 2.5 kilometers rail-cum-road bridge over the Brahmaputra River in Assam, that connects Jogighopa and Pancharatna towns. It was fun those days without the bridge, as people had the opportunity to travel in the ferries. It was my first ferry experience and on the way through the river, Raja Rana started to laugh, as out of excitement I behaved like a kid.

I constantly tried to touch the river water and sometimes even screamed "Wow! so nice".  Raja Rana was not very excited though, as he had already experienced countless number of such journeys.

But unfortunately, now a days there is Naranarayana Setu and it took away all the fun, as presently people can cross the river within a couple of minutes.

Once we got down from the ferry, we took a bus to Goalpara Town. Raja Rana wanted to visit his friend, Tapash Ghosh and I met Tapash for the first time that day. We spent a couple of hours in his house. Later we had to catch another bus which would take us to Sainik School. Most of the buses were mini bus and all of them were heavily overcrowded. Raja Rana told me that they never used to wait for a less crowded bus and in fact, they enjoyed to sit at the top of the bus or stand at the back. He said it 's little dangerous to sit at the top, as the road passed through a forest and any tree branch could have easily smashed their heads. So, they usually used  to stand at the back. Initially I was little scared, but I also wanted to experience the thrill. Even though there was not enough space at the back of the bus for two of us, but somehow we managed and within a few minutes we reached our destination. Once we got down from the bus, we had to walk quite a distance to reach the School.

It was vacation time and the entire campus was silent. We went to Raja Rana’s hostel and he was quite happy to meet some of his old schoolmates. During that time I met many guys and can’t recollect all the names, but how can I forget my dear friend Javed? Well both Tapash and Javed already got admission in Assam Engineering College, the same college which I took admission the next year. I was quite excited to see the hostel environment and was jealous of those guys, as they had all the fun for so many years. As it was vacation time, so the mess was closed and we had to walk almost a KM to have food in a small dhaba. It was already 3:30 PM and I was damn hungry. The only menu they had in the dhaba that day was, rice and smashed potato curry and I couldn’t eat properly. I noticed that all the other guys enjoyed the food  very graciously and even praised the dhaba guy that he made such a delicious curry. I also noticed the dhaba guy, as he repeatedly filled few of the plates with rice. 

One of the guys asked casually “why you guys are eating like a cow?”

The other guy replied with a smile “Hehe, we don’t want to come this far again in the night, so we are eating our dinner as well” 

I was little depressed that time, as I was very hungry but couldn’t eat properly and all the other guys simply enjoyed their meal. Those guys seemed to be tough, both mentally and physically.

In the night, the guys enjoyed a lot, as it was a great get together for them, after recently passing out of school. I was very tired, also I couldn’t relate much to their discussions and I was dead, quite early that night. Next day we had breakfast at the same dhaba and after breakfast we returned to the hostel. Later that day, Raja Rana told me that he would take another 4-5 days to get his clearance, as some of the professors were holidaying that time. Raja Rana requested me to stay with him and I was in a double mind. I could have stayed but thought not to stay there that longer. I had to give an excuse to him and said that I was running short of money. On that, Raja said to me that he would take care of that. So, I had to give him different excuses and packed my bag. He came with me to the main road where I had to catch the bus. The first bus that came, again a mini bus that time, stopped at the gate.

The bus conductor said to me “Hey! dude, you are from Sainik School, you can stand at the back or can sit at the top”  I really felt good and proud for a while. 

Later, after I joined Engineering college and after staying in hostel, I felt that I was almost close, to the level of those guys.

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

My Friend Mustaque, Part-3

My Friend Mustaque, Part-1

It was already dinner time and we were about to go to our hostel mess, in another 10 to 15 minutes. In the meanwhile we continued our typical, as well as idle kind of chitchats. It was pretty common for us to gather in any damn room before dinner, specially in rooms where we could smell some kind of gathering. Everyone would sit comfortably in the bed and used to discuss on any random topic, mostly meaningless topics though, while the cigarette switched hands very frequently.  That particular evening, we were discussing about Celine Dion, the lady vocalist of the famous Titanic song "My Heart Will Go On". All of a sudden Mustaque entered the room with a bang and he had no clue what we were discussing about, that moment. He might have heard few words of our conversation and he didn’t hesitate to participate in the discussion and said "Celina Jaitly to bohut m*** hai"     "Celina Jaitly is damn sexy"

One of my friend couldn't stop his laughter and another friend clarified Mustaque “Hehe dude! we were actually discussing about Celine Dion."

There was no doubt that Mustaque didn't listen him properly and to be honest he was not a good listener at all. Mustaque gave his view one more time and said "Sunny Deol ka to maat bolo"   "Don’t talk about Sunny Deol and his movies, he alone can take on 100 opponents and that too without any scratch on his body." The room jolted with our loud and collective laughter and again one of my friend tried to clarify him "Dude, we were discussing about Celine Dion, the Titanic Singer"

Mustaque started to laugh that moment and along with his trademark slang, he almost screamed "Oh! Ceelaane...”  

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