Tenure : 8 months.
After sitting at home for about 4 – 5 months I got a call from NIIT by some Raja who asked me to come down to Royd Street regarding placement.
He told me of the 2 available options : HCL and Daewoo (car). I opted for HCL since it was an IT Industry….and moreover I had dreamt some 4-5 months ago that I am entering a big offce with HCL written in steel at the entrance.
I went for the interview – got selected – the one who interviewed me was a young fellow (even younger to me)- my Reporting Head (RH hereinafter).
He was a good human being – and he told me that he had already rejected some 22 girls because none had a proper English accent for Dragon Naturally Speaking – Speech recognition software. Thank God for small mercies – thanx’ to the education system here – people cannot speak proper English – because of which I got this job – or else I was going berserk at home – I utilized this time at home by making garments and jewellery & sweater for God’s idols which we have amply! – probably God’s grace.
In fact one day while I was semi asleep – I felt some tiny sized lady came and sat by my head and asked me what I wanted to know – I asked her – “When will my progress begin?” – I was semi asleep – I could feel the pull in my hair as she sat – she then said with a very shrill voice : 21st, Wednesday. I repeated after her – but she was gone – I woke up immediately – saw the calendar – it was August then – I looked for a 21st which fell on Wednesday. It happened to be 21st November! – I thought that maybe I will get some news on 21st November. Guess what – NIIT- Placement Cell had called up on 21st November !
So my job at HCL was predestined. HCL, from the worldly point of view was ACID for me – Tezaab !!- Hydrochloric Acid…but from the spiritual point of view – it was a great eye opener – it burnt down to ashes all my Illusions that I was clinging on to for the last so many years…7 years now in fact – The seven year itch !!…….my illusionary love came to an end – needed the HCL acid wash!!
I joined HCL as an MRE (Market Research Executive):
No appointment letter was given to me. My father who is a very methodical person asked me for the appointment letter. I asked them for the same. Then I found out that many of the Telemarketing Executives were from NIIT and had been working for the past 3-4 years with no appointment letter – and that they could be kicked anytime !!
This thing I had heard when I had just joined NIIT that there is a contract with big organizations that where NIIT places their students – they work there for a couple of months and then they are kicked out for some reason or the other but by that time NIIT has already washed its hands off you !!- ie. placed you ! and HCL being the Mother Concern of NIIT – it was a damn easy job. – While as a student I had laughed at it saying its not possible !!….well I should not have laughed – because it happened to me !!
I went to meet the Placement Executive – some Susmita Mallick (am very poor in remembering names) – and asked her to show me my Appointment letter – she showed me a letter head of HCL where barely 2 lines were scribbled – “we thank NIIT for providing us an MRE to launch our product.” – …well something to this effect – just 2 lines !! Mind you folks – I had already worked in HR dept. of The Park and knew how immensely lengthy these Appointment letters ought to be !
I was shocked and literally screamed at her – she screamed back at me – she said that NIIT had done me a favour by giving me this break as I was out of my SOL period !! – well folks I was not the sort to ring up everyday and find out about me (unlike Anil Kapoor in the film Eeshwar) – I used to ring up the Placement cell once in 3-4 months – little did I know that my SOL period is speedily getting over !
I left with a huff – on my way out I met my mentor – some Arindum Chatterjee…I don’t remember his name quite well – and screamed at him as well – I called her names – and he immediately retaliated saying : mind your language – Oh! Yeah !! I said – you all mind your deeds – you cheaters – and with a boiling blood I went back to Frontline – the HCL showroom – I was still trembling with anger – and I told my friends about what I had done.
Ranjita – who was an ex- NIIT as well and who had waited for a job for around 9 months said that I must go and apologize – and not to have such bad relations with such Organizations as they can ruin our lives !!
Well she convinced me – so I bought a “sorry” card and wrote it in the name of the Lady I fought with – I handed it over to Arindum – and we both smiled and kind of made up – well that was the last that I saw of NIIT – never went there – nor did they ever call me !
PS. NIIT Placement Executives were taught a common sentence – maybe during one of the meetings on ‘How to further dupe dumb candidates’ – and the sentence was : NIIT has not taken the responsibility to give you life long placement! – this one sentence was such a smash hit among the executives there that on the same day I heard 3 people repeating the same dialogue to me! ….I found it very amusing indeed…parrots all of them.
My job at Frontline :
Hardly any ! Well I used to reach office at my leisure – as no one was there to jot down the time – sometimes I even reached at 10 – 10:30 instead of reaching at 9:30 am – well folks! I knew I would be kicked out any day – so why should I be serious about this job huh?
There were MBAs from XLRI and IIT – well that’s what they claimed – and they explained me why I would not be given an appointment letter – as it gives me the authority to sue them in case I am not made permanent after 6 months or so – all MBAs are given a training first – How to make dumb & dull headed people from mushrooming S/W Institutes – duller and dumber !- and the art of making us dumbos work for them ! Probably that is the reason why I personally love the movie – Dumb & the Dumber and can identify totally with Jim Carrey !
My impression about MBAs crashed – Boom !!
After having spent around 8 months in Bangalore and viewing my brother’s lifestyle – a car and good flat at his disposal – I had developed a whole lot of respect for MBAs – esp. knowing that they study a lot and are updated with current affairs, market knowledge, share business knowledge – basically all knowledge – so since I like to interact with intelligent & knowledgeable people – I had this thing at some corner of my mind that if I fail to marry Somnath – out of social pressures – I’ll go for an MBA.
Oh! Well : God sent me here – the language they used – the abuses – the concepts they dealt with – the dirty jokes they shared – yuk! They reminded me of some ‘daily wage labor’ – who gets drunk and goes home to abuse his wife – kith and kin and then goes to sleep…the only difference being : they used English to abuse whereas the laborers used their local language – Bengali in case of Bengal !!
Most amazing thing was that the reporting head of these MBA fellows was someone who could not even speak a single sentence in English properly – and they had to appreciate and applause at whatever he had to say. Maybe there was frustration there – but then the ‘ganwaar’ senior used to make up for his uncouth and illiterate behavior & mannerisms by taking them (juniors) all to some dimly lit bar cum restaurant in some shady – dingy location at Park Street !I even heard that they went to strip tease dance pubs as well—Well I never knew that Kolkata was all that advanced…depraved basically !
These MBAs have to supply prostitutes to Dealers for a deal !
One day we had all gone to Ffort Radison for celebrating some big deal – or whatever.
I had worn a red lacy dress (not cheap lace pretty sober in fact). All the girls commented that I was looking pretty and I thanked them graciously! There was one fellow – (name withheld) – with whom I went for a stroll at around mid-night in fact – and we sat on top of a tank – when he suddenly said : what were you wearing today?
I said : a simple dress – why ? Too old to wear one or what (I was already 29 then).
He said: Why that kind of dress – you were looking like a sona-gachi (bengal’s famous red light) area female !
Myself : (shocked, but tried to contol): really – you often visit sona – gachi I believe.
He said : yes .
Myself : (more shocked) – What !? you go to such places !(almost yelled)
He said: Not for myself you dumbo ! for our dealers !
I said : Dealers? Why!?
He: for them to sign the contract / deal with us – why else !?
So you see folks – it’s a very common thing that happens here – the MBAs have not only to fix a whore for some pot-bellied , sex starved dealer, but also fix up a hotel room for them to do the needful away from the eyes of family etc !
I met Somnath – 9th March,1999 – at Bus Stop.
Life was going on – me reaching office – training on Dragon naturally speaking – selling – going to Corporate offices for a demo with Santanu or Jeetendra (another fella from a dealer’s shop) – going for IT Fairs in Grand Hotel etc. saw it all.
When suddenly I saw Somnath standing at the bus stop – where I used get up from. I was glad to see him – he asked for my office phone – I obviously gave him.
Went to my office and told my friends – they were not impressed – Madhusha, Chaitali and Ranjeeta – the teen deviyan (three angels) – they looked at me and my excited expressions – they were rather amazed – I had told them of him but they had guaranteed that nothing of this sort will ever happen to you – he will never come back to you and you better not go to him – its sheer foolishness !!
I looked at them – amazed – I said : but folks – I have literally let go of my prime youth for his love – 7 years have gone but still I remember him – have not gotten over him !
To this Madhusha said – rather confidently : of course Aparna – go and meet him – you have to meet him in order to get over him ! – because you have been kept away from him – you have not gotten over him – if you had met him often – you wouldn’t have come to this stage that you are today ! (so very true was her statement!)
I said : Please – I am confident that its true love – you guys will never understand – its love of the spiritual plain – what would you understand of that?
Chaitali said : you are currently on the physical plain dear – think on those terms first.
Ranjita said : Apu ! poverty is a curse – stay away from it – I have seen people getting crushed beyond repairs under the pressure of poverty – it’s a curse by Gods – as a punishment for people who might have led a wasteful life in their previous births…..stay away from it.
I frowned. I knew more than them. What about my dreams and visions – they do not know anything of that sort. I kept my foot down. I said I’ll meet him.
He came to meet me. I had put on weight. I had grown older – he even mentioned – you have grown old – he addressed me as a ‘buddhi’ (old lady) – I was perturbed – it was for him after all that I was waiting !- for him I had grown old – well he later made up by saying that he is just joking !We met at KC DAs – the Charted Buses usually leave from that point – so we sat at KC Das – had some snacks – for 10-15 minutes – then headed homewards in the charted bus – he sat very close to me – holding my hand – I didn’t quite like this proximity actually…remember Lord Ramakrishna never touched Sarada Maa !
My training at Delhi and the intimacy with my RH:
Suddenly there was a plan to go to Delhi for a training by a lady from US who had come down to personally train the executives on Dragon Naturally Speaking.
I left home – alone – for 4 days and went to Delhi. It happened in the 2 tier train compartment. RH (reporting head- name withheld) showed me some adult pics that he had stored in his lap top and mentioned – what if some boss ever sees what is being stored in the hard disc. We had a good laugh. I had never told him of Somnath – men will never understand.
He proposed : how about a kiss ?
Well folks ! I was already 29 then. My friends were all married and mothers of kids – and here I was – not even tasted this ‘kiss’ factor – so I counseled myself – saying – what harm can come my way by a mere kiss – so we kissed!
Now this made me feel guilty! – I had waited 7 years for Somnath – and he had come back in my life – why did I agree to this kind of physical intimacy with this fellow …whom I had met just a few months ago and who was even younger to me by some 4-5 years (maybe more don’t quite remember) ! Anyway – we came back to Kolkata – and my RH kind of showed interest in me- the long time commitment kinda thing – I told him of Somnath – the first thing that he mentioned was : ‘Then why did you let me kiss you?! – when you had a lover – how shameless of you! do re-evaluate your love for him – you do not love him to the extent that you think you do !’
Now that came to me as a rude shock really ! Such conniving liars that MBA guys usually are…. whose job is to lie day and night is teaching me ethics !! Well, well well…. – but he did sow the seeds of re-evaluating my relationship with Somu.
Back to Kolkata and meeting with Somnath :
One day it was drizzling and Somnath said that he had to purchase a wig for the idol of the Goddess in his temple (Mother kali’s idol). I went with him – I had to walk the dirty & wet streets of Dharamtala – I was hating it actually – I hate puddles – dislike walking on them actually – but he made me walk – I was speedily getting bored of his tastes – I was not being able to imagine life with him !
What will I discuss with him ?
What will be my life like?
If I do have a baby with him – how will I teach him – definitely not in some local Govt. Bengali medium school – what about school fees?
The child will be ugly to look at – he was dark and not good to look at – neither was I all that good looking that my genes would dominate his dark looks…..
Where will I live ?! – certainly not in his mud – hut ! – I was already 29 – drawing Rs.3000/- per month – could be kicked out anytime – once the product got launched – then what ?!