Tick Tock – Tick Tock – even though the sound is familiar, and tells me that time is flowing, the hands of the clock, when I look at them, seem stuck in their place perennially. Seems like cruel time is playing with my emotions.
As I look out of the window into the calmness of the night, my heart beat sounds to me like the hoof beats of a stallion as it races into a storm. Suddenly, yes suddenly it seems that I have reached a milestone in life.
Tomorrow, I look to rise, I look to achieve, I look to become – I face my Final Interview for my MBA Final Placements in a Big Company, yes!! A very big company. Something no one in the town which I come from, can even dream of thinking about as a career option.
Suddenly it dawns on me that I have completed a circle. A circle which started 24 months ago, when even my parents weren’t sure if I was fit to do an MBA.
“Bangla Medium theke paash korechish, M.Com kore chakri khonj” was my father’s contemptuous remark when I presented the idea of an MBA.
You have studied in your school with Bengali as your primary language of education; like most of your peers, just go and apply for a run-of-the-mill desk job!”> His typical, middle class mindset could not understand how someone from a small town with almost no English speaking prowess could nurture aspirations to be part of top notch multinational companies. I felt extremely downcast by this treatment of my dreams, but somehow did not give up hope.
My mother was a saintly figure in those days. Always like a pillar by my side, though not without her own inhibitions, “If you do not make the most of this, we would have lost a lot of money on your MBA, what we have saved for your sister’s wedding.” Even though encouragement was present, but so was the risk, and the pressure on me to perform, to succeed, to make the most of this opportunity was veryheavy. I persevered.
I remember requesting the Interview panel at BIBS Kolkata, during my selection interview, to allow me to present an extempore topic given to me in Bengali, and not in English as I found myself incapable of framing the right sentences to convey exactly what I meant. I remember getting a scornful look that made me realize the sheer height of the mountain I had chosen to climb. At the end of the interview as I rose to leave, not quite sure whether I would be admitted or not, I heard a gentle yet firm voice say, “You have determination, can you pull through for 2 years with this?”, Somehow the semi-encouraging question gave me a new lease of confidence, and I turned around and responded “Yes Sir, I do my best and proud you” (even though hopelessly wrong in grammar, as also spoken with heavily accented English, my answer seemed to impress the panelist).
The interview was over, but my problems were hardly at an end. The question of being able to financially be able to remit all the tuition fees of the institution was still there. My father was still skeptical about being able to come up with the total amount, and he made no secret of the fact that he was more than a little bit short. I spoke to the BIBS counselling team, and they were kind enough to offer assistance in this matter. They told me that they were associated with several financial institutions who would offer me a loan of the amount of tuition fees, to be paid back when I would be drawing a salary from the organization where I would be placed, post the completion of my course at BIBS.
Paperwork, quite a lot of it, followed. As did long queues to hand in the said paperwork, followed by even more paperwork, and rapid fire questions from more panels.
Finally, I was enrolled. And so began my journey.
My journey has led me here, to the eve of my first interview with a large multinational company. My preparation today has not been anything technical. Today, I have not visited the website of the company, or taken notice of any news-worthy mentions. Today, however, I have pressed my suit. Today I have readied a shirt and tie matching the suit. Today I have polished my shoes to a shine. Today I have had a haircut and shave, so that I look extremely presentable in my suave clothes tomorrow.
What I am going to say tomorrow in front of my panel is going to be markedly different from what I said to my interviewers when I was accepted to BIBS. I will not ask for permission to state my feelings in my mother tongue. I am confident in English.
The content of what I say, has been drilled into me with countless sessions with my very capable faculty at BIBS. The subject matter has been taught to me. I have been tested upon it to prove my worthiness.
I will be confident when I walk into the interview room tomorrow. I will know that what I speak has substance, molded in the proper form. I have BIBS to thank for this.
I look up from my musings suddenly, I realize its drizzling. It is past 10 pm and the lane outside my rented accommodation wears a deserted look only to be shaken up by a barking dog chasing the cat or someone returning from a late shift. A good night’s rest is extremely important before a big day like tomorrow.
I shall turn in now.