Archive for September, 2012

Engineers’ day it is, hence the post 😀
Most of my posts have been personal more or less. So here’s one more. This one is by far the closest one to my heart. I remember saying the same last year after my b’day. And I say it again… I could not be happier with the way things have been. After the happenings of yesterday and the day before, I had a lot to say and a few FB statuses could not justify that. Then I thought, what is the one thing I have, that most of the other students don’t. And the second answer in my mind was my blog (The first one being a few backs!)

Starting with the scene sometime back:
Placement session kicks off in college with 1-2 students getting the jobs of their dreams every day. I was mainly worried about three things.
a) My grade sheet wasn’t the ideal one that any company wants to see. PROBLEM!
b) None of my good/great/best friends were getting a job they wanted.
c) My grade sheet!! (Did I already mention that?)

Now this session is to go on for over six more months and it’s just a start, but still the desperation for getting into a good job could be clearly seen on most faces. When I had started engineering, unlike others, I had one simple aim: To get a job. No MBA, GATE or anything like that. The Part time RJ, Hacker and now a writer, all this came along the way and nothing was pre planned. But once the final year started and I got kicked out from the first placement test I gave, the fear of ‘not getting a good placement’ started gripping me!

When I talked to people close to me, these were the general replies.
“I am pretty sure you’ll make it once you get to the interviews”
“There’s a long way to go, keep trying”
“If you won’t, then who will!”
“Your dream company is yet to come!”

And of course the fourth one was my favorite reply. The company I was actually waiting for. Deloitte! Not that it offered a big package. But it was probably the best suited profile for my resume. I didn’t really sit in many companies when I got this message from Sahil, my friend and more of a partner in the placement season! Deloitte was coming to the campus in September. Soumya, my friend cum competition for Deloitte was supposed to handle the process.

No reason, Just felt like adding this! 😛
Courtesy: Sirona consultings

I was pretty sure (and nervous) about the first round of Deloitte. I sat for it with full zeal and just after the completion I came to know that I had also made it to the final round of another company “Oracle Financial Softwares”. Now the problem was, Deloitte screening results were to be announced after Oracle finals.

I decided to give up on oracle and sit for Deloitte. But then, talking to three people changed my mind. Kalpit, my senior and mentor, Gaurav, my cousin brother and again, mentor… and lastly, Soumya. All the three were of the opinion that what all I expect from Deloitte, I’ll get in Oracle as well and if everything goes well, I’ll have an even better future. (Now I think soumya just wanted me out of competition 😛 )

So, it was a tough decision to make. But I decided to sit for oracle and put an honest effort to get into it. And then, I gave my first ever technical interview. Unlike most others, my interview went on for over 40 minutes. The interviewer made sure I told him every freaking rule I knew about C and data structures! Plus a simple question “Does sun rise in the east for everyone?” took 15 minutes when I started proving how!

It went well and I was convinced I’ll make it to HR round. And within 10 minutes I was informed that I did. HR round started in an hour. And it took another 1 hour to be completed. The questions I was asked were not very different from any other interview. But the interviewer was. My CV was scanned line by line and he made sure he asked me every single thing about it. Some highlights were:

He: Such a brilliant performance in 10th and 12th, why so low in college?

Me: No excuse sir. I didn’t study.

He: Don’t you have any excuse?

Me: I could say I wrote a book, started a company, met an accident, co-ordinated a fest… All in last 1.5 years, but that doesn’t stop me from getting good grades… so… no!

<He smiled, and turned to page 2 of my resume.>

He: Book. Tell me more about it. And convince me that you won’t become a professional writer and leave us.

Me: If I could become a full time writer by writing one book, I would have. But that’s not the case, I’ll continue to write even after you hire me, but that won’t affect my performance in company.

<Then he looked at my second and third year projects and took 15 minutes in asking and understanding what they were about>

He: So I see that you are quite a creative person. Won’t you get bored if you have to code all the time?

Me: Sir that’s why I sat for oracle. I have heard and you said the same in PPT that your coders are given full freedom in their work and the creativity and innovation is respected. 

<After almost 35 minutes of all this, we came to the end>

He: It was great talking to you shubham. Any doubts?

<And then I asked my doubts, and it took another 25 minutes after that>

After the interview, they said I could go home, results will be declared the next day.

I came to the campus, formally clad, nervous and my heart skipping a beat every time someone asked about ‘oracle’!

At 1, the HR entered the conference hall. 25 candidates who had made it to the final HR round out of the 300 appeared were sitting there. Outside the room were almost 2-300 friends of all of us, waiting for the moment.

After 10 minutes of a talk, the HR manager told us that 11 students were selected out of the 25. Names were going to be announced and our heart beats grew faster and evidently louder. Soumya was standing right besides her not even smiling. I got a little worried. Name 1, name 2, name 3… till name 9… my name wasn’t there. I thought 10 names had been announced. So the next name was announced, which wasn’t me and I lost all the hope. With every name, there was a little clapping and one more smiling face in the room. I had no idea how will I face the 100 people standing outside for me. But then the HR manager said… “And the last name is…” and I looked up. Her next words were… “Shubham Choudhary” and before she could say anything, a loud hooting and even louder clapping covered the room. Not only mine but actually many smiles were there and many came forward to hug me.

That moment she said what I was waiting to hear for a long time. “Whoa! So much cheering! Are you famous or something?” And all I had was a smile. And to that, soumya replied, “Ma’am he is our local celeb. Wrote a book too” and she smiled and said “Alright then, you’ll manage the team of recruited people from this college!”

After a lot of handshakes, wishes and hugs, the door opened and all our friends rushed in to wish us.
Before that I had seen a few, after that I saw a few, but that day the people went crazy like no other time. I got the beating of a lifetime. And so many hugs. Every person who saw me had only one word… “Congratulations!”

I was happy. I celebrated like never before. Not because I had a job. Not because I got a response no one else did. But because I had proven myself in front of those who thought I couldn’t. A guy with below average results was standing with a handful of toppers in the same line. I was in bottom 10% if marks were taken into account. And I am in top 10% if time of placement is taken into account. And instead of any mass recruiter, I got to go on a premium profile in the 3rd largest IT company of the world.

Of course I was a little sad I heard this. “You made it to Deloitte finals”! Now a GD and PI were left which I couldn’t appear in. But who cared. And to add to that, I stood there in soumya’s place while the Deloitte results were being declared. And I am glad that two of my best friends, Khushboo and Soumya, made it to Deloitte.

Times will come and go. We’ll get better jobs, we’ll have greater incomes. Our lives would be different, our cities would be different. We’ll make new friends. From students, we’ll become professionals. But no one will ever be able to replace the mark this month has made in my mind. No one will ever be able to delete the space this time has occupied in my heart.

I couldn’t be more thankful to all those who called me right after they got the news. I thank everyone who wished me on Facebook. Shilpi di! Sahil, Vipul, Soumya, Shubham, Mitin, Sameer, Sunil, Pragya, Aayusha, Juhi, Mona, Ajeeta, Vineet, Apsara, Tarun, Aayush, Shailesh and everyone else who was there with me in this awesome moment. (On phone, in person!)

Please do not at all take this as an acknowledgement or anything like that. I am yet to get over this thing and this just came out. No matter what, I love all my friends.

Don’t you just love seeing such things! 😛

This line I should have said earlier, but I kinda felt like ending with this. For the first time I saw my father crying because of me. And I was happy! And it was the same day my blog crossed 25,000 Views and I got to see the final cover of my book (I’ll upload soon 😉 )

I have heard about déjà vu. Can’t say I have seen it yet. But sometimes there’s this thing which you hear all the time and don’t believe it until you see it. Kind of something that happened to me.

This post, again, is totally different (and quite long) from what you usually see on this blog. Instead of telling you about my observations, here’s a little of my experience. Lately I have traveled a lot, in the last 2 years specially. I like travelling. When it’s within your country, it helps you realize what you are. Makes you an outgoing person and boosts up your aspirations. Gets you closer to your country, your roots… or in my case, makes you fall in love with your country.

Here I am going to share my experiences from the 3 great journeys of my life. Starting from Delhi, then Mount Abu and ending up in the south, Mangalore. I was in first year of my college. Hadn’t really travelled much before except for a few places. Delhi is a place where many of my friends and relatives live. So I used my holidays for good and packed my bags to go there. That time, I didn’t have any expectation from the place apart from the fact that I did expect to see a lot of hot girls out there. 😉

It was December, a winter season in Delhi when you can’t see anything but fog in the morning. Driving a bike in that fog was one hell of an experience. We (I, my sister and her family), took our car to see India gate. This was basically the plan, which kept extending as we proceeded. Not only did I see a whole different side of the country with all the buildings like the parliament and the president’s house. I got to see all the things I had only studied once in my history book. The red fort, the Rajghat, the Qutub minar, the Iron pillar. Mesmerizing was the word when I saw the names of the soldiers carved on the India gate. For a moment the patriot inside me woke up. I felt like the proudest Indian alive.

A whole day travel was followed by a trip to Chandni chowk and Connaught place the next day. There I saw the real Delhi. Mostly filled with people from Punjab though, but there is a special feeling you get when you interact with a Delhite. I had a feeling somewhere in my mind that my hometown is a better place to be in… not that I was bias, but the security mishaps, other similar cases and the ‘safer earthquake zone’ were some points. After those 2-3 days, the feeling just vanished. Reason; I didn’t feel different. I was after all, in India! Nothing was different. The culture, the atmosphere and the people only made me feel happier to be an Indian.

All in all… Delhi:
People: Awesome
Tourist attractions: Mind blowing
‘India’ factor: 10/10.
As a metropolitan: I have been to 3, this was the best.

If you are acquainted with a metro, Delhi is awesome. And the malls are too good to shop. Also, don’t miss any of the food joints you see. The paranthe wali gali to be specific is one hell of an experience.

(Don’t try to take the ratings seriously, they are as random as any of my posts)

Part two of my travelogue is my journey to Mount Abu. This was in the summers of last year. A random plan with the best of my friends. Here’s a tip, do NOT think of visiting a place in Rajasthan in summers. Though we did the same… but I was with friends, we didn’t even realize it was hot. Mount Abu is a place of temples. Near Gujarat, it offers a great variety of people. Typical Rajasthanis with long moustaches and the typical Gujaratis with no moustaches 😛

It was a short trip, but we managed to see all the temples and big tourist attractions the place offers. If we start counting the places worth a visit, the list is endless. Starting from the brahmkumari temple and the Shiva temples, we reach the Dilwara temple which is by far the best experience of my life. Each and every stone, every design… so wonderfully carved. Every step has its own story and each pillar has something to say. The markets there are not costly like we generally see.

In the Durga temple which is on the mountains, you get to see the different ‘roops’ of goddess and from the top you can actually see the whole city. (Just like Nahargarh in Jaipur, Rajasthan). Gurushikhar is the next destination which actually makes you feel on the top. And I still remember our guide’s words when we reached there. “You’re on the highest point in Rajasthan.” Feels great!
The evening can’t be better spent when you’re at the “Sunset point” and then the night at the Nakki Lake. The water totally compliments the calm atmosphere.

Mount Abu isn’t really a place where many people live. It’s kinda separated from Abu. So you don’t get to interact a lot. But you do get a cultural vibe from everyone around. Spiritually this place is the most enriching out of the three. When compared to delhi, the place is absolutely opposite both in culture and people around. But still you find one thing common. The ‘india’ factor. The fact that it is still your country and people around are ‘your’ people. You are never alone in the place and whatever language you speak, food you eat and things you do; you will find similar people around.

All in all… Mount Abu:
People: Great
Tourist attractions: Top Drawer! Fantastic! Amazing!
‘India’ factor: 10+1/10.  (And extra 1 for the beautiful preaching the people at Dilwara gave me)
As a city: Infrastructure might not be great, but hats off to the engineers who designed the road plan!

You’ll find hotels and food joints all over the place. Food here is good. And if you’re visiting without a plan, no worries, people there are the best to help you in every way.

The latest trip I had, was earlier this year. We all went to Surathkal, Mangalore in Karnataka. It was probably the best of the travel experiences I’ve had for many reasons. It was in south, a territory unexplored for me. It was a 10 day long tour. It was for Spic Macay, an organization dedicated to make you realize the strength of indian culture.

The 2 day train journey was tiring. But once we reached and settled, we realized the upcoming days were going to be even more tiring. Unlike the previous trips, this one was much disciplined and also we got to interact with thousands of people from all over India. The first five days went in seeing the various performances from the classical artists from the state and outside. The last day was a heritage walk where we explored the city. Saw all the places for which it is known for. For our surprise, it rained heavily.

The only thing I couldn’t handle was food. So here’s this point. When you’re from north india and don’t have a taste developed for south indian foods, the same thing which is heavenly for the people there, will become hell for you. I literally craved for good food. But the time duration was long enough to make me develop the taste for the food. Unlike Delhi, Abu or any other place, you won’t find people speaking hindi there. Finding anything which is even remotely related to anything from north india is tough. But soon you see that this is the beauty of the place. Even when it is like a whole different part of the country, it’s the love, the affection and a spiritual commonness you see in the people which binds you with them.
The food we ate primarily consisted of “Ghasi”, “Ayyangayi”, “Rasam” and “Rasayanam”. And I must say, the rasayanam was good. 😀
And you can’t deny the fact that we all love Dosas!

All in all… Mangalore:
People: Nice (They speak English so sweetly! 😛 )
Tourist attractions: Very good!
‘India’ factor: 10/10.
As a City: For the first time visitors, you just need to visit the beeches once before you start the trip, and you’re gonna love the place.

Food, beeches, temples and some more beeches. That’s precisely Mangalore for you. It might not provide you the best ‘tour’ of india, but it does give you the ‘different vibe’ you wanted.


I have also been to places like Mumbai, Uttar Pradesh, M.P and almost every city of Rajasthan. One thing I found common in the aforementioned and the above places was that no matter how different the culture is, how different the food, travel or living habits of the people are; they are all the same loving bunch of people who have the same political and spiritual thoughts. Who will always welcome their guests with a great zeal, who will love the food they make and won’t mind adding a little extra spice anytime! Who will fly kites, the dates may be different. Who will always have interest in football and cricket. I salute the person who coined the term “Unity in Diversity” for India. For I don’t see a reason why we can’t be called that.

I’d like to end with one very good quote my friend harsh says. “If you are in any part of India and want to start a conversation with someone you don’t know, talk about Sachin Tendulkar.
I am proud to be an Indian, and lately, I am proud to be writing about it.  🙂

And yes,

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You can also like this page of Harsh Snehanshu, who is writing a book “Routes to Roots” on India.