23:30 Hours, March 17th 2009.“Aiyy...Aiyy... Aiyy”, was the cry which rang out every minute or so. “Spotted deer alarm call”, whispered my neighbor. Immediately after the cry of the deer, from high in the branches came the sound, “Har harrr harrrr, harr har harrrr”, again, incessant and echoing. The Langur Sentry, warning his entire tribe that the terminator is close by.
The Tiger was afoot!
Sleeping less than 50 meter away, under the brilliantly lit night, 3 days away form full moon, I could clearly imagine the striped form as he slunk slowly towards the water body, probably just to drink the cool water from the stream, his position now given away by the keen sense of hearing, smell and sight of the deer and the ever-alert Langur watchman.
There is a conference call with the on-site guys for yet another clarification session on the object that I am currently developing.
Speaking to the experienced guys always makes me swallow, especially now, when they are in the US of A, 1000s of miles away - geographically, and knowledge-wise!
But, Speaking to the customers, the clients, the higher-ups, dodging the questions which make you uncomfortable, giving ad-hoc solutions to on-the-go problems – All these are just a part of the game when one is in arguably the World's most influential Software company.
It was August 2007, and I was in my Final year of Engineering.A “big” Software company was scheduled to arrive in 2 days time for recruitment of fresh and extremely green, would be engineers. The college atmosphere was typical, filled with nervous energy of youngsters at the helm of adulthood.
It was Viky who came up with a plan and Chicha put his best foot forward.
“Be ready, we’re going to Maddur on bikes, from there, to Shivanasamudra, in Viky’s Bro-In-Law’s car”.
“Errr….. But am in college”.
“Yeah we know. Ask your mom to pack a few clothes. Ill get them on the way”
“Errrrr. But today a company is currently conducting its recruitment process and I am the student placement Co-ordinator and as a rule am supposed to be helping in the process”
“Aren't there supposed to be 2 of you Co-ordinators working together?”
“Yeaaaa, but a BIG company is coming the Day after and I desperately want to get into it. Consulting is a super field man! I think I better start preparing for the test..”
“Dude, you'll manage, just be ready in 20 minutes.”
“ Ok. Ill ask Sandesh to manage the recruitment process for today”
“Buy something to eat along the way. And yeah, 4 mineral watter bottles.......”
Thus, we went on another of our less planned, but successful nevertheless, outing.
Maddur is located on the Bangalore-Mysore Highway. It is an inevitable stop for all and sundry who travel on the smooth highway for one main reason – Maddur Vade.For the uninitiated, Maddure Vade is a flat cake made with flour and mixed with onion juice with a smattering of onion here and there, all this fried to make a delicious snack, especially eaten (cliché) hot, on an overcast evening.
Maddur is also a place where you can go first and then decide whether to take the left turn, the right turn or to proceed straight to see the various, and trust me, beautiful tourist spots. A few favourite ones include -
1. Winged visitors of Kokkre Bellur.
2. Playing in the river and looking for a ‘scientific explanation’ to the curse
3. The waterfalls of Shivanasamudra.
4. Heading towards Mysore, which itself counts as an architechtural wonder.
5. Going beyond Mysore, into the Wild, to the thick and pristine Jungles of
B.R.Hills, K.Gudi, Bandipur, Nagarahole...
Kenneth Anderson, in The Black Panther of Sivanipalli, says, “Forget the false values and ideas of what is called civilization, those imposed rules on the free and simple truths of life. Here in the jungle you will find truth, you will find peace, bliss and happiness; you will find life itself. There is no room, no time at all, for hypocrisy, for make-believe, for that which is artificial and false. You are face to face with the primitive, with that which is real, with that which is most wonderful which is - God.”
It’s when you are right inside a jungle, that the significance of those words hits you. But that’s another story.
Once we hit the road on our bikes, the going was smooth and we arrived at the squeaky clean house of Viky’s Sister and Brother-in-law, who, both of whom, incidentally, are dentists. Boy! I’m sure they used to ace their Oral exams in school!!
A quick plan-of-action and we headed to the Shivanasamudra a.k.a Bluff a.k.a Gaganachukki and the Barachukki falls.
If you’ve never been to this part of India, and if you do get a chance to do so, then do not miss this place! The sheer force of water makes you go weak in the knees and kids wet between them.
A shower in the rain, a tussle with Benzy the dog, and a ride back to Bangalore, all of 100 km and in continuous drizzle, ensured a postcard ending to the “little” outing.
Our own Big Apple!
I had an inkling of high temperature when the results of the written round for the recruiting company were announced. Being a placement co-ordinator, I stole a glance at the selected names and leaked a few before they could officially be out. And I let everyone know in no uncertain terms that I had ended up on the top of the list. You could’ve compared my strut to that of a Peacock in full plume!
“Find suitable rooms for interview” ,
“Right away, Sir”
“Arrange for coffee and lunch for interviewers (miss your own)”,
“Well, Sure, but Im flicking a few notepads for myself”
“Increase A.C. temperature”,
“and my own too, if you may, please?”
My fever had revealed itself in its full-blown form by then.However, thankfully, my interview was scheduled at the very beginning.
So the game ‘Who wants to be a Millionaire In a few decades’ time!’ begins…..
Q from Interviewer: “Hey! Aren you the co-ordinator guy?”
A : “Sniff…… Yeaah”
Q from Interviewer: “So! Tell me………….” and thus the interview commenced.
A :“…….. Thank you.” And thus the interview concluded.
What happened in the interview would be of interest only to someone who is writing a book titled, “Become A Software Engineer for no fault of yours”, and hence ill spare you the details.
I dragged myself, convinced people that I was not crying or dying, clutched my head in both hands and looked around to find the nearest bed, which incidentally was in the boys hostel.
Post evening and post delirium, and a dose of paracetamol (Thanks to Sunil….) later, it was results time.
Right at the end of the selected candidates list (the order of the names bearing no significance!!), was my name.
“Hey congrats to you too!”
“We’re together again! I don’t believe it!”
“Hey Dude! There is better stuff waitin for ya, Cheer man!”,
and lots of remarks later, the feeling Sunk in - ‘I am now a part of one of the biggest Brand Names in the World – Oracle Corporation’.
I slept badly that night. I expected the Tiger to cross the 5 feet wide elephant trench and come at my throat anytime in the night. The unending alarm calls of the denizens of the forest providing no respite. How could everyone around me sleep so soundly (And snore too!) while I tried to be motionless and adjusted my position to be inconspicuous at the same time?