The stomach feels very strange. It seems as if all air within it was being slowly sucked out and a vacuum created within its walls. In fact it is not strange at all. It is a feeling I had experienced quite a few times in the 23 years of my life - before exams, before presentations, before proposing to a girl (only to get rejected….again), etc. This is that distinct feeling that one got when they knew that the few minutes from now, your life is going to change. You are worried whether the change is for the better or for worse.
I am walking up and down the corridor trying to control my nervousness. People around me are watching me walking, nay bounding all over the corridor and are asking me to slow down. Chill dude, thand le, tension mat le are some of the words said to calm me down or at least stop me from doing my Road Runner imitation. I want to stop but can’t. If I stop walking, the mind will stop working on propelling my legs to make me move faster and start to think about the next few minutes. Then it will think about the million ways the next minutes could get screwed up and the million ways in which life would get fucked up. These thoughts of screw ups and fuck ups would make it forget all the hours of preparations and hard work put in trying to make the next few minutes go well. This could not be allowed. I would rather have two cramped up and painful-like-hell legs (and I was getting there fast) than a mind full of negative what – ifs.
“You are next, Mhatre”. These words are uttered by the placement volunteer, a First Year junior. I look at him. He is actually elder to me by five years. An MBA being a course open to people of all ages leads to some interesting age related situations where people in their middle thirties are “junior” to guys like me just because guys like me decided to try their luck with the CAT as soon as they were eligible while the others decided to wait some time and get a little work experience. Anyways, I looked up at this guy (literally, the guy stood over six feet tall) and thanked him for the info. He had that sympathetic look on his face. This look was being flashed for the past three days and would continue to be flashed till next day. The amount of people it was flashed to had reduced from 125 on the first day known as “day zero” to around 95 on the next day known as, well “day zero” (do not ask now). Today on “day one”, it was being flashed to only around 70 odd people including me. I was hoping that the next few minutes would lead to it being flashed to one less person. This look was the look which came naturally to one when they saw a person waiting for an interview. I was next in line for giving an interview to ___ Bank, one of the “day one companies” i.e. a company which was scheduled and had come to recruit on this the “day one” of the “placements” of the 2005 batch of IIM Kozhikode.
My legs finally give up on me and I have no option but to sit down. The interviewers are taking their time while interviewing their chosen candidates. They have interviewed 3 people in the past two hours. I guess that I hve to wait for a minimum of thirty minutes more. I have nothing to do and I cannot let my mind think over the negative what ifs. So I sit and do a brief recap of the past two years I have spent here at the youngest of the IIMs (as of 2005).
To be contd….