Saturday, 23 August 2008

WTF Institute of technology and the curse of Batch '09

Let me make it clear - this is not a post of disgust,frustration, dejection or anger related in any way to my latest run of poor luck. It's just about what went wrong where and definitely a discussion in more general terms, concerning my whole batch of 2009.

Yes, we are batch 2009, not batch 2005 - YOU FOOLS! A lady in the office also jumped yesterday morning when I said I belonged to the 2009 Batch. She nearly fainted. Before she could ask me what the future looked like and how I traveled back in time, I quickly added "That will obviously mean, I am expected to pass out in that year -2009. Ummm I joined in 05, maybe thats the year you want? " with a sheepish smile. The reason I was being so extremely careful with my temper and sharp tongue was that the lady had gone out her way to give me my 4th Semester Marks Card so that I could apply for my education loan on time and in the process, make sure I could pay off for my final year. Nice lady she was.

For some of you, who might be wondering what happened to my loan, well I did manage to do something about it, FINALLY. For the moment, its working, until and unless, the bank does notice something strange about it. Pray it wont.

Now whats this curse I was talking about? Ah yes! The batch is definitely cursed. Everyone would have expected it to be the other way around when the management seats came under CET jurisdiction. We got in dirt cheap compared to what it would have been otherwise. Anyway, as the old saying goes - Getting to the top is one thing, staying there is another. I realised the full meaning of that line in the past three years.

To begin with- The Uniform code: Now why the hell do we need it? Gimme one good reason. The way they spoke about the students dressing sense, one would half expect the girls to be showing up as item girls and the boys to be wearing bras over their heads. Trust me, to be going to degree college looking like Factory workers, is definitely more sick than showing up like nature intended us to initially.

The class was split into two sections: Well lets face it, all of us are not exactly brothers and sisters in love. I don't want to write all lies here w.r.t cunning diplomacy, just because my classmates read my blog. But, to be honest, it hurts. At the end of the day, its not the same.
A bunch of people had nothing to do, except meet and have a cup of tea every evening, so just decided to split the class into two! You know, drawing a line exactly down the middle is serious business. It takes experience,brains and lots of talent. Now they didn't have to worry about their mind being turned into the devils workshop. We have to be content with meeting the other half at the canteen table or the parking lot, until ofcourse, the watchman chases us away.

The PC elections: I never wrote about this did I? Most people like to say I am still burning at what happened, so I have decided to add a few lines in that regard. Actually I am not. I did what I did, out of respect to request from some friends. It was the right thing to do, or else it would have been sheer arrogance. What might hurt is the fact that some other friends thought (and probably still think) that I did it for personal reasons. While some others say, I was never good enough. Rubbing salt into the wounds is the fact that I can never prove that wrong. But, when I do look back, this is not a big issue to me at all. I admit, for 2 days after that, it was a big issue. I experienced first hand why its all called DIRTY POLITICS. Nobody is spared.
The Curse part is not all related to me. Its related to the beginning of the new set of rules administered over these processes. This will be made clear when you read on. The new set of rules, were because of the ISO9001 certificate.
If all the efforts that were spent in pursuing this certificate were on the other hand spent on something directly related to the benefit of the students. We would have made greater inroads to success. When that would happen, the certificate would have no other place to go, but us.
Now we have the certificate. SOMEBODY PLEASE TELL ME HOW IT #()^!#&% HELPED US??????????

This is a tale of two people from the same criminal branch. One was a mad man, but he did his job. The other was very sane, but he only assumed his job. No points for guessing which man arrived to the hot seat for Batch 2009. He runs away to a secluded corner to get drowned in a pool of smoke, out of tension, even if he hears so much as a mouse breaking the wind at the other end of the campus. Pappu Can't officiate Saala. I have witnessed his bravado with the HRs first hand.

The Policy:
JC has a 3 job policy I hear. I wonder if its called a No Job policy around here?
No, honestly, the policy is fine.Or maybe not.
I will present you with a scenario, you decide- when companies visit campuses, they expect the students to be keen and expect a lot of aspirants. You have given them full funda status - dream/open dream/nightmare...whatever!! They are also very excited. On the D day, a handful of students show up at the seminar hall. They are the only ones allowed to write. Oh boy!
Don't get me wrong...I am not speaking for myself, I can not even dream about dreaming of getting into a dream.Allow me to be the first to admit that(Before somebody jumps at the chance at being a Smart Alec). I am only elaborating on the curse.

The Dollar recession:
Batch affected - 2009. I don't think I have to say anything else?

The great Indian bias:
Don't even get me started on biased situtations. To cut a long story short, the officers are always so Mechanical, if you know what I mean. And so, it happens that the Mass companies are never invited first. Its the Mech Core companies who show up first. Good luck, explaining that logic( Though you never explain your actions).
There was a company, a cigarette company to be more specific (Ill try to keep things as anonymous as possible) visiting. They didn't want people who led mechanical lives. The officer in charge led a mechanical life. Rama Rama! He ensured that our PC did not make any progress with negotiations. This may take a personal turn, so I will end this story there. To keep this article as general as possible.

You might have something to add. Be my guest. But whatever anybody has to say, one cant agree more on the fact that, our batch is cursed.

What is more amazing is that, no matter what the policy, who the official, whatever the problems, students still came back from behind and got themselves the jobs they deserved.

Some birds are not meant to be caged, their feathers are too bright!

Thursday, 21 August 2008

HR at TM

The guy is busy on his notebook. He gestured me to sit down. I was wondering what kind of interesting questions he might put out of the hat. I was just working on which accent/voice/dialect to use on him, and what all ways I could totally throw a bedsheet (Make that carpet) over his head, blinding him enough to think I am worth recruiting.
It was a silent two minutes, silence broken only by his constant tap-tap on his keyboard. One of the PCs even brought in a cup of coffee and to my luck kept it RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME. I hadn't a shot of caffeine in about 10 hours. The smell of strong coffee seemed to be wafting ONLY into my nostrils...
Lo, and behold, I was a tiny man, standing on the rim of a giant coffee cup. Ah, a big ocean of coffee in front of me...all for me. Just lying there. I take a big spring like coil towards the ground and jump high up in the air , moving forwards, about to dive into that depth-less pool of warm, sweet coffee, I am inches away from touching the surface...

HR: AHEM! So give me your documents Mr...

(Whoa? I was back)

Me: Oh you are.
I was surprised at the way the interview began. Do they ask any conventional questions around here???

Another minute in silence, as I try not to think of Coffee or even look at it.

HR: Take a look at this document please!

Hands me a letter - "I will work anywhere in any shithole, under any designation as anything...blah blah blah"

I took a look at it and kept it on table.

HR: Whats your aggre?

Me: 60.3% Sir!

HR: Did you sign that?

Me: Oh you wanted me to? Sure!

I signed and handed it over to him. He threw it to his left on the table and..

HR: What did you say your aggre was?

Me: 60.3..SIR!

HR(Gesturing frantically): Come here!!!

I carefully cross the cables of the power adapter to which his laptop was hooked onto. He pointed at his screen, I bent and took a look at the number which said "59.96".

Me(Trying to look as if I didnt realise it): What is that sir?

That was my aggre! Yes. There are two waysof calculating aggre
1) Average of percentage obtained in each sem

2)Total marks obtained throughout BE/ Total maximum marks granted in BE
The second method is also known as "What the hell" Method.

The HR did not buy my look. He kept pointing at the number. I realised that - 'This is as far as you go"
I wanted to just go out of the room, accepting my fate. After all, I was not sure of what I wanted anyway. But the way he had gestured at me to come closer was irritating me. I didn't want to be labelled a cheat in his mind, whether he gave me a job or not.

I just my hand into my shirt and took out my placement ID card

Me: Sir, this is a pink card, its given only to those who are above 60% aggre. Around here and usually in all companies, aggre is calculated in a different way ( I explained method 1).

He thought for a while. Then he changed the formulas on his spreadsheet document (With a lot of help from me) to show the new aggregates. When he pressed enter, the site on the bottom most cell was a movie-to-my eyes!
The number 60.3% sat pretty snug in its little cell on that Excel Document.

HR: Go back to your seat.

I didn't want to go back to my seat anymore. I just wanted to go.

HR: This is not the right method to calculate the aggre.

Me: Ok sir.

HR: Fine, tell me what you wanna do in life.

My mouth ran like its life depended on it. But, thats usually the case,isnt't it?
You don't ask people like me to speak and expect to be lost in translation. Its not a talent, its a curse! Half the food I eat is digested to provide energy for my voice box.

After a good show.

HR: Good! You see we calculate aggre in this way, and we need 60% at the time of joining. I cant take you in sorry.

Me: ok. But, My aggre will be way past 60% in the end.

HR: Is it? How come?

Me: Its no secret you score loads in 8th semester. And I love 7th sem subjects.

HR: How will you manage then?

Next 5 minutes I spent trying to make him think I can really nail 7th and 8th semesters. When suddenly he realises he completely missed 6th sem.

HR: WAIT! What about 6th sem?

Me: Oh 6th sem is bad. Its bad. My aggre will go down.

I somehow didnt feel like I should lie.

HR:How have you fared?

Me: Not so good score. My aggre will go down after the 6th sem results.

HR: What about backs?

Now I didnt feel like I should be speaking so much of truth. I knew (Then) that I was sure to fail in 4 subjects, yet...

Me: No backs! No sire! Absolutely none!

HR: You have any backs now?

Me: Yeah. Its a subject called AMP

HR: Oh?????????????????

Me: Yep.

HR: Well, I can't let you in with a record like that. You have great marks in 10th. But look at your curve now. We cannot allow this.


I didn't want to press any further.

HR:How many interviews have you attended before this?

Me:This is my first interview :)

HR: What happened to the others?

Me: I was not shortlisted for TCS, I was shortlisted for Thoughtworks, but I didn't get past the second round.

HR: What about the other companies?

Me: I was not eligible

HR: How you were not eligible?

Me: I have a running backlog.


Me: Yeah!

HR: What happened at the second round at Thoughtworks?

Me: They wanted C++ Coders, I coded in C. My program's partial output was not helping either.

HR: How many C++ Coders are there in VTU?

Me: I can code in C++ sir.

HR: Then why didn't you?

Me: Cause I didn't know they were particular about C++. I just decided to do it in C.

HR: Well, you wanted to get in Thoughtworks?

Me: Its a good company.

HR: Yeah I know. It is a good company.

<- silence->

HR: Well, I don't have anything else to ask or say. Do you have any questions?

Me: No sir.

HR: Thank you. That will be all.

Tech interview at TM

The technical interview, for those concerned went on like this:

THR: Please sit down
(I sat down)



The fellow, went out and disappeared for 15 mins.

When he finally returned, he asked no common questions, he went straight to pointing out I am a loser..

THR: So Ice, Why are your marks so bad?

Me( A bit taken aback): Ummm, I didn't study?

THR: But yours marks are great in 10th. Quite good in PU and uptil 2nd sem. What happened after that?

Me(Now smiling): I didn't study....sir.

THR: Why?

Me: I don't have the best memory around here...and I was...

THR(Interrupts): No no, you don't need any memory to write exam, its all conceptual.

Me: No sir, I have really poor memory, as long as its got theory, I can't reproduce what I studied. I had difficulties in some particular subjects too, which obviously did great damage to my aggregates and...

THR(Interrupts..again): Which subject?

Me: Like, AMP...

THR: Whats AMP?

Me: Advanced Micro Processors

THR(Eyes wide open): That was tough for you?

Me: Yes sir, I couldn't remember anything for too long and...

THR(Eyes wider): AMP?

Me: Yeah?

THR(Eyes now so wide open that he reminded me of Ursula Andress): Whats there to study in AMP???????????? (Probably swearing in his mind, as it was now clear that this was his subject)
There is nothing to understand in AMP, that was tough for you????????

(I decided to name his Interrupt as the THR Interrupt, since we were talking about AMP anyway!)

Me: YES! Thats why I found it tough. There is nothing to understand. Everything to mug up....SIR! (With a sarcastic smile I think)

Well, we pretty much just argued for the next 5 minutes and the end, I decided to give up and we both agreed that I was a pathetic student. Hope you got the gist of the beginning.

As I was about to wonder whether he would ask me a single technical question...

(The following conversation is only for those who want to know in detail as to what went on during technical interview, you may skip this till the next set of red asterices cause there is nothing important in between)

THR: Can I ask you some questions on C?

Me: Sure sir, go ahead! (Finally)

THR: Write a program, to check for a palindrome.

I kept waiting for him to complete his question, when I realised, that , that was the question!Right-O!

I wrote a program using Stack.

THR: Write it without using any data structure.

Me: No data structure? Not even arrays?

THR: Oh! hehe, You can use arrays.

(He was probably playing- Not sure...point to be noted)

I wrote a different program with arrays.

THR: Now write one with improved efficiency.

I just modified it to scan only till the middle element.


(after 2 minutes of starting)

THR: Write a program to convert this string (And he wrote some string aabbakkdl sort of gibberrish ) into this ( And he wrote another, removing a wherever it had come twice consequitively)

Me: The program will be quite long

THR: Yeah, just explain your concept with some notations, Ill check.

I gave him an explaination that I thought was right.

THR(After scrutinizing my explaination): hmmm...ok. Write a program to remove all vowels from a string.

I had been asked this program before, and I had managed it quite easily after 2 tries, so this time I got it in the first shot.

THR:Write a program to find the second highest element in a set of elements.

Me: I sort the elements and...

THR(with the THR Interrupt): No sorting business. One scan.

For this I used two variables one for the highest element scanned so far (max1) and another for the next highest (max2). Piece of cake. This is an insane blog, not a geek blog, so I wont go in detail about a program that a high school student could crack.

He just argued about my program for a loooooooooooooooooooooong time about time complexity. Finally he accepted that I was right.

THR: Write a program to check for LCM.

Me(Straight away): I don't know.

(I had forgotten everything about LCM, I didnt want to look like a fool)

THR(Almost insulting): You don't know this simple program?

Me(Sheepish smile): Hehe, I forgot the formula...and...stuff...

THR(Now laughing): Formula? What Formula??? You answered all these and you don't know LCM?

I decided to smile silently.


THR: Your Technical is solid, but aggre...

(Sorry, I couldn't leave that out. This is a compliment I won't forget for a long time! )

THR: The H.R will throw you out for sure.

Me: If my technical is good, whats the problem...Sir? You can mention to him that I am good.
(Desperate times call for unexpected dialogues)

THR: How are you technically good?

This question kind of startled me, he was asking me to prove a statement he had made!

Me: Well, I am good at coding. I am sure you will agree, sir.

Statement1: I am good at coding.

statement2: My strength is coding

Statement1 will cause many people to feel their butts were blown up with Napalm. Only

Statement 2 is true. Yes I lied to the HR. I am not a good coder, my strength is coding.

THR: Ok! But after the training, we may put you anywhere, Networks , developer etc,...

(Now MY eyes were reminding him of people)

THR...You must not say "I want programming" and all

Me(Almost Jumping): Sure Sir. No problem. Definitely Sir. Ofcourse Sir...

He was getting up when

Me: I can give that LCM program a shot?

THR: No thanks, that will be all. You can leave.

Me: Thank you sir.

As I walk out, a million ghazillion people wanna know what went on inside, and this detailed conversation was obviously for them.

Monday, 18 August 2008

Hey! What about your placements?

It's finally time. I had been watching my seniors sweat it out. Work their butts out day in and day out to land themselves a tag called 'Employed'. Sometimes it you used to hurt to see some guys never make it through after all the efforts. I took enough care not to bring up the issue of placements when they were around. Of course, back then, I was sure I would pull this off clean (God knows why ). Then out of the blue...something happened.

What happened?

5th sem results happened!
All hell broke loose and life went topsy turvy. The only results I had been totally positive about. Well, I don't speak much about the past unless its something really pleasant or Insane, so why start now?

FastForward to beginning of 7th sem. The most asked question in the past two months, at an average of about 5 times a day is..

"Hey! What about your placements? " (Not to mention the smileys )

Well, most of the times its quite understandable that people out of touch tend to ask this wondering what they missed out on. But about 70% of these people are the ones I meet almost everyday. At the beginning I used to be all Happy Gilmore about it saying " The companies were unlucky ", but now, even though I am not exactly pissed or dejected, I use the most sensible reply-

"Well!! If I was placed, I would have told you about it right? And if I haven't doesn't that mean I am not placed? "

Having said that, I still don't mind the question. It only doesn't make any sense to me to ask a question you already know the answer to.

Anyway, A guy like me can't be kept jobless for too long, Insha Allah, you will hear from me very soon. [And if you don't - oh well, as I have always said, guess no company was lucky enough ;) ]

Thursday, 14 August 2008

At every window, every door, in every heart!

Not because anybody else is writing about this, not because its on everybody's minds and definitely not because of the date....

Only because I feel this in my heart!

60 years ago, so many men and women gave their lives, for what they thought will be a great nation. I don't know if its the greatest, with our politicians, corrupt organisations and the government employees...
..but I do know that it is one of the greatest , just because of the rest of the people who are sweating it out, for the country, with every sense of what our tricolours stand for...

I celebrated my Independence day by waking up late - as usual.
I did not hoist a flag today, nor did I witness someone else do it. I did not listen to the national anthem (yet). I did not speak or hear someone do so about India. But then, thats only because I don't need a date to do all this. Aug 15th or not, I am always patriotic. I listen to and sing the anthem on other days too. It's for the ones who don't, that Independence day exist. The only day most lay men will go on for minutes and minutes (not necessarily hours) about how great India is, only to go home and complain about what all the country has not done for him? (as the saying goes :) , which I will not quote here).

...because of every soldier, farmer and people who are Indian in every sense...I am Proud to be an Indian. If I could choose to be born in any country, as much as I am in awe of some other countries...there is no place like India.
Jai Hind!

Friday, 8 August 2008

Some things you don't know about me

Everybody gets questions about themselves that sometimes go unanswered either because you don't know the answer yourself or because its asked too many times...or they are just DAMN WEIRD! They come from all directions - personally, sms, email, scrap, phone calls et all. Here is an attempt to answer just a few of the ones that I get. Warning-This post sounds a bit self-centered though the intention is to write about me. (Members of my hate-club: better stay away for your own peace of mind.)
Call it an FAQ , but I guess it should be called FAWQ ( Use your imagination)....because of questions like...

Q)Who is your best friend?
Q)Where do you live?
Q)You have a GF? (Like you would care :P )
Q)Hi, Can I order two pizzaz and a diet coke?
Q)Why do you always crack jokes? (Because my skull is too hard to do the same)
Q)Is that a medula oblongata in your head?
Q)Where do you get your crazy ideas from?
Q)Who are you?

...and many other such questions.Here goes a list of facts...

*I wrote diary for 13 years without fail, every single day from 1995 to 2007 (Ok fine, I skipped a few days) , until finally when I did not find a diary good enough to write in, this year.
*I always wanted to learn to play drums.
*I used to sing in every school show (annual day,independence day,republic day...) until my voice broke.
*I also used to dance.(Lets not talk about that)
*Now if I sing, I may need to be hospitalized after the mob is through with me.
*I was detained in 9th standard(Lets not talk about that either)
*In 9th I also wanted to learn the guitar.
*All my life, I wished for a sister.
*Everytime I get to know a new person, I can't help thinking I discovered a new colour.
*I have always been crazy about computers and everything related, though my marks cards suggest otherwise. I wanted to enter B Sc in C Sc if I didn't make it to where I am.
*I was under pressure to become a doctor. I am proud I made my own decision.
*I completely realise that I am not a looker and I certainly do not need the cheeky one-liners, insults and indirect abuses made to imply the same. People who think and/or say the opposite are just sweet type.
*I am lazier than I seem.
*I wish to open a state-of-the-art animal shelter someday.
*I like everyone who shows a bit of good and a bit of evil.
*I believe-A person with bad habits but admits it with complete honesty is a person worth my trust.
*Nobody ever "betrayed" me nor broke my heart or any such sort of thing, no matter what my testimonials say.
*I believe- My career may get off to a shaky start, but the future is bright.
*I love comic books.
*I hate leaving any job incomplete. Not that I have completed everything I have started.
*I am not as emotional a person as my blogs say. In fact, I am supposed to be the most "stone hearted" around, which is also not true.
*I don't understand myself sometimes.
*You never find me standing alone for too long. If I am, you can safely assume I am feeling horrible.
*I have never won anything , any competition , that has really satisfied me completely. Something that made me feel that I really deserved it.
*I don't mind being called a loser.
*I Hate diplomatic people. Diplomats are the most cunning people you can come across, they are never worthy of any trust. I had to deal with one just a few hours before writing this post and the smoke hasn't stopped coming out of my ears.
*I have never on my own effort/decision ever stopped speaking to a person or broken all contacts with anybody before. I doubt there will be a first time, this time.
*I don't mind saying sorry even if its not my mistake.
*I have a really huge ego.
*Sometimes, I am really arrogant.
*I speak in atleast 5 different ways(accents/dialects) in Kannada and English each. In either case, I have forgotten which is my original. I don't like to speak about it.
*I know I have absolutely no talent that I can speak of.
*I understand that jokers have no place in the real world. And being funny is not a talent, besides there are people who rather give up their mojo than to admit that I am funny. Which I am not -happy?
*I do not like people who are not original.
*I prefer the internet to my cell.
*My stuff - notebook, cell, bag, cupboard all are very personal.
*In the next 5 yrs, I wouldn't mind turning into a flirt.
*I have been 5 different people in the past 9 years.
*I have been known to stay away from people and things that I love the most, just for the greater good.
*I am far from pure of heart.
*I like Animated movies.
*I don't mind being under-estimated. Mainly because, nobody can ever really do that!
*I sleep 2 hours of deep sleep a day.
*I lay on my bed for about 10 hours a day.
*Whats on this page today, maybe gone tomorrow.
*I was once called 24X7 online.
*That nickname is a fading memory.
*I deleted 17 people from my list this month alone and nobody noticed it.
*Swimming is my favourite recreational activity.
*I thank god for Coffee, Chocolate and Cricket.
*I believe - No dream is too big to be let go off.
*The Matrix is my favourite movie - because I had imagined something like that before.(I know its hard to believe.)
*I don't let too many people be my close friends. I still don't know why.
*I say 'Life is good' at least two times a day and never to sound/feel optimistic.
*I believe only 10% of the people who visit my blog will read this one completely.
*I write really lengthy blogs.

This will be updated when I discover new things about myself. Find this on the right side of this page all the time.