It’s time again for my next post. This one is about my interview at ABB, Bangalore. Unmaiya sollanuma, “Thirumalai” padatthula Vivek thedi pona ABC private limited-a vida comedya pona interview experience. Anyway, fading other details, I’ll get straight down to business. But before that, I wish to inform you that I’ve already applied for an anticipatory bail, just in case Swetha or Ashwinya try to sue me. [Sorry girls…]
It’s a written test. Actually, it’s an online test. But technically, it’s not even online- it’s just a computer-based test. We were instructed to be presented at Reliance Web world [Gandhipuram] at 8 o clock [I think]. Since it’s 2 hours early for a Sunday routine, I just got up at 7.45 and we sacrificed the holy water-bath and reached the destination. Anga pona, surprise… PPT for 2 hours… Thookkam pochu, buuvaa pochu [maanam pogappovudhu]…
We went out to eat. As usual, Ananth ate half-an-idly and said, “Stomach Full” [It should be noted here that Ananth’s tummy is only a couple of mm3 in volume], Grub had a dosa and Nair and I had more than what Ananth could eat in a year [and still felt hungry]. Came back into the video conferencing room. The baldie, who started to speak about ABB was still talking. Then they played a video called “The boy and the bucket”. I just wished the boy kicked the bucket [on the face of the baldie, that is!!].
Question time- Students at all centres put forth question, some silly, some stupid and some, even more stupid… Venkatraman who was squishing his brain for a long time, came up with a question, which a guy of Manipal University asked out… [Question paper leak aayiducchu]. Before Venkatraman could think of another question to ask, came our turn. I covered his mouth. Ashok, a classmate of mine, famous for his punch-lines since school, said, “We don’t have any doubts. We are very clear, sir”. And then it went on…
Test time- I hoped I’ll get some good questions. Answer therinja ezhudhittu seekkirama kelambalam; theriyalenna seekkirama ezhudhittu kelambalam => Epdi paatthaalum enakku laabam dhan. Came the questions- What is the Fermi level of electrons in a semiconductor material? I was wondering “What is Fermi level in the first place?” Again Inkey-Pinkey-Ponkey … Completed the test in 28 minutes and came out. The only correct answer I know is RELUCTANCE MOTOR.
The interview was in Bangalore. And for that, a bunch of 11 morons from EEE and 2 students each from ECE and Mech were selected. We had to sacrifice our 2nd UT for that, and we decided to take our chances.
Chapter 1: The hasty departure
It was a Wednesday [just like Nasirudeen Shah’s “A Wednesday”]. We woke up, devoid of UT troubles. Sent off both the Ananths to write the test wishing “Vettriyudan thirumbi vaa magane…”. They, in turn, threatened to kill me, if I came back empty-handed [what they meant was a job. But I decided to buy them some 50 p candies on my way back]. Packed my bag with a hell lot of clothes, my interview outfit [which looks more like a clown’s] and my portfolio. At about 11, came the idea of hiring a CALL TAXI service.
[Here comes the kicker…]
Karthikeyan : Dey, Swetha Cabs-ku phone pannuda…
Shanmuganathan: Poda dey… Hello, City Call taxi? GCT-ku 2 taxi anuppa mudiyuma? 11.45-ku?? Ennadhu? Taxi illaya?? Yov phone-a veyya…
Karthikeyan : Dey, Swetha Cabs-ku phone pannuda…
Shanmuganathan: Summa ukkaarda… Hello Capital Call taxi? GCT-ku rendu… Ennadhu taxiye illaya? Appuram edhukkuda agency nadatthureenga??
Karthikeyan : Dey, Swetha Cabs-ku phone pannuda…
Shanmuganathan: Gammunu iruda… Hello? Kovai Call taxiya? Ennadhu 4 mani varaikkum full booked-a? Adeengo! @#!@$#%@%$^$%^&%&^(*^&*$%^$@!%~
[Shanmuganathan starts crying…]
Karthikeyan : Hello? Swetha Cabs? Aamanga, GCT-lerundhu pesarom. Oru 12 manikku 2 Omni vandi anuppa mudiyuma?? Railway station poganum… Aamanga… 4th year hostel… Ok saar… Thank you saar…
Naan dhaan sonnenla Swetha Cabs-ku phone panna solli… Onnu solren kettukko- Swetha eppavum kaivida maatta…
We all started off from our college. Taxi kelambumbodhu ellarum avanavan kula dheiyvatthukku oru kumbidu pottom. Apdiye Swethavukkum saetthu oru kumbidu… Anga sutthi, inga sutthi kadaiseela Railway station-ku vandhu serndhom.
Karthikeyan :Evlo aacchu?
Cab driver :150…
Karthikeyan :[Taking out the money] Enna na? Eppovum 100 dhan kudukkaradhu. Neenga enna 150 kekkareenga?
Cab driver :Luggage boss…
Karthikeyan :Sari pudinga…
[We move a little away from the cab, after taking all our belongings]
Cab driver :Enna kelambureenga?
Cab driver :150 oru taxikku… Mottham 300 rooba aachu…
Karthikeyan:[Dumeel!!!]Ennadhu 300 roobaaiya? Enna velaiyadreengala? Unga office-ku phone panren…
[Karthikeyan called the agency and bargained with them, while Shanmu, Venkat and I were ogling the girls who were passing by… After a couple of minutes, he returned with a long face…]
Karthikeyan :Evlovo try pannen konjam dhan koraicchan… 110 per cab…
Me :Machi, Swetha kai vida maatta-nu sonne, ok… Ivlo selavu veippa-nu sollave illa??? Kelambungada platform 3-kku…
I went to the ATM, fetched some money and came back. There he was- Venkatraman’s dad. Greeted him and went to platform 3. Anga orutthanaiyum kaanom… After arguing with them about Arabic numerals, I brought them to platform 3 which is where the train was supposed to land.
The train came after a long wait. With students galore, we started off to Bangalore… We started to revise Electric Machines in the train. But more importantly, Venkat and I accomplished the prime responsibility of day-time train travel à Munching everything that comes in our way… Tea? Vaangu… Vada? Vaangu… Coffee? Vaangu… Soup? Vaangu… Omelette? Enakku vendam, irundhalum vaangu!
Sari Bangalore-ku poi enga thangradhu? With the help of PSG guys, i hooked up [on mobile] with Sheena, who was in-charge of the organizing. We were directed to a hotel Chevron.
Chapter 2: Into the Den
Came Bangalore at about 8. The Majestic bus stand was not that majestic, but it’s fit to be called one. Everyone started to speak.
Me :Ini enga poganumnalum KamalRaj-a koottittu dhan da poganum…
Kishore :Enna venna pannunga, “Display” veccha bus-la mattum eradheenga. Minimum 20 rooba theettiduvaan…
Venkat :Inga engada toilet irukku?? Vayattha muttradhu!!!
Karthi :Enga anna-ku phone pannanum…
Shunt :Saar, indha bus Indian express poguma?
Me :Yenda, innum thooya thamizhla kelu… Nalla puriyum!!!
After a small hullabaloo, we got a bus that promised to take us to Indian Express stop. Also, we found that Kamal’s kannada was totally invalid in Bangalore.
Venkat :Yeh bus Indian Express jaayega, saab?
Anon :Hå ji… [We got into the bus. And so did the stranger]
Venkat :Indian Express aane par hamko batha dhoonga, saab…
We got out of the bus and walked towards Chevron [actually we didn’t know where it was]… At last, there it was. On seeing it, we all jerked!
Shunt :Dey! Immaamperiya hotel-a? Naan varala… Oru naalaikke 1000, 2000-nu moi
Kamal :Varaama enga thoonga pora? Road-liya?? Potthittu vaada…
We went into the hotel and confronted a Mr. Sachin, who offered to help us. He got all our names and let out that our interview was not the next day, but we had to wait a day more.
Venkat : Appo Vinayaka Chathurthi-ku veettukku poga mudiyadha??
Sachin : Ennku konjam tamil varum… Ungalki pooja mukyama, job mukyama?
Venkat : Right vidu…
We informed the matter to Ashwinya, had dinner [dinner here means DINNER- a grand one]. We were transported to a smaller hotel named AMSHI INN where we were supposed to wait for one more day. I called my uncle and informed of my arrival. We were all shuffled with PSG-ians and then allotted rooms. But as usual, we rearranged ourselves and took rooms- 5 in each room. I got to sleep with Subbuni [what I meant was “sleep alongside Subbuni”]. I got to tell you this when asleep, Subbuni occupies only 20 cm x 180 cm… So the rest of the 70 cm x 180 cm of the bed for me…
Karthik and Karthikeyan took out the books and started with machines again.
Venkat :Naalaikku leave dhane? Appo padicchukkalaam.
Me :[Vettaiyadu Vilaiyadu Kamal style] Thambi book-a moodra… *tha book-a moodra…
Karthik :Unakku venumna nee thoongu. Naanga padikkanum.
Venkat :Apdiyellam unna vida mudiyadhu. Ozhunga thoongu, illa enna madhiri TV paaru…
[The Karthi brothers chose the second option]
Barath :Naan Cartoon paakka porene!!! Hai Naruto…
Subuni :Aaramicchuttanda! Ivana thaalaattu paadi thoonga vaingada. Dey, ini cartoon-nu nee sonna unna konne potruven… Avanterundhu remote-a pudungungada…
[Mech machans devised a pledge meanwhile]
Bangalore is my country. All ABB-ians are my brothers and none, my sister. I love ABB and I am proud of its rich and pretty womenfolk. I shall always strive to be worthy of it. I shall give my managers, trainers and all ladies, kisses and treat everyone with courtesy. To my ABB and my Bangalore, I pledge my devotion. In my own well-being and prosperity alone, lies their happiness…
Pattikkaattaan mittaaikkadaiya paattha madhiri hotel toilet shower-oda vilaiyaadittu ellarum padutthu thoonginom.
Chapter 3: The Death blow
It was 7 in the morning and the students of other colleges have started departing. I woke up, to find everyone else asleep. I was brushing my teeth when the phone rang. Venkatraman answered it. Yes, sir… Yes, sir… Ok sir… Bye! He answered and went back to bed. I washed my mouth and went to ask him who it was. He replied in sleepy delirium that the interview was today. ALAS!!! Dey endhiringada!!! Innikku dhan interview-am. Everyone got up. The next possibility is that everyone would head straight to the bathroom. Before that could happen, I took my towel and soap, and plunged into the bathroom. Everyone else was waiting outside… Saavungada!
After a kaakkaa-kuliyal, I came out and everyone took their turns in washing their faces [and their asses]. We went down vacating the room. We went back to Chevron and had breakfast. Before we could enter the bus, it took off.
Me :Ashwinya-ku mattera sollitteengala??
Shunt : Oh… Modhalliye sollittom.
Raghu :Idhellam correcta panniduveengale??
We used the Nada-raja service and reached ABB interview premises- ABB HR Center, Khanija Bhavan [I would have been happier if it were Saravana Bhavan]. I was totally lost and Ashwinya guided me via phone [who said Nokia 1203 doesn’t have a GPS system??].
At the spot, we were made to walk 6 floors up to a barren terrace where we had to fill up some forms. Met Ashwinya’s dad, greeted him and went to the registration desk [CRIME SCENE to be more appropriate]. With some thought in my mind, I copied whatever Ashwinya wrote in her form- including the initials for the name! Barath rectified me.
Interview time… They called my name. I went to where they guided me. There was this room, where a 12 of us were waiting. ECE-ians had only about 10 minutes of interview.
My turn! I went into the interview room. The guy’s first words- “Tell me about yourself.” I started bluffing out the same stuff everyone would say [thinking in Sivaji style-“Etthana paer da idhe kelviya kaeppeenga?”]. Now here is something different. He started asking about my locality and the world-famous “Anchaneyar temple” of Nanganallur. Again I bluffed something out. One question I remember from the interview was- Where would the lightning arrestor be placed in a substation? When I said I didn’t know, he said, “Use your common sense, man!!”.
Anyways, we had tasteless interview, and a still more tasteless lunch. Then, the results of the first session of the interview were announced. Among other names, there was mine and then Barath’s… But it was only after that they told us that it was the list of students who ATTENDED the interview. And there came Ashwinya’s name. Finally, they announced the finalists- Me and Barath.
Ashwinya :Congrats ya…
Me :Sorry to see you go. I’m totally shocked and disappointed...
Ashwinya :Why? You should be happy illa?
Me :Ovvoru manushanukum ovvoru feeling… Try staying with Barath for a day. You’ll know.
Ashwinya :Ayyayyo! No thanks… I know what it feels like…J Anyway, congrats.
We did what we went there for- taking photographs. Ashwinya left the place… Venkatraman’s position was the worst. It was like “Waiting List” for him… Finally in the evening, we had 3 from GCT- Me, Barath and Karthik. We had a huge “villa”-like apartment to stay that night… We took tens of photographs with Red-Bull drinks n all… The other guys planned to go to Mysore the next day. I wished I had never been selected, so that I may also have joined them in their tour. I phoned my uncle and told him that I’d meet him the next day. We slept at half-past 12…
Chapter 4: The Idle Mind
One more day to the interview and we had nothing to do… We woke up at 8 in the morning, cleaned ourselves up [and washed our clothes. Since it was very damp there in Bangalore, I used the on-board hair-dryer to dry my clothes]. We went down for breakfast and hunted the city for Net-cafes. At last, we found one. We went in, surfed a little, had some tips from generous websites and went back to the hotel for [what else?] lunch… Throughout the afternoon, instead of preparing for the interview, we watched the TV show “Friends” which starred Jennifer Anniston [This, my friends, is the perfect example of what is called dicky kozhuppu]… In the evening, we went out- to buy a ticket for our Kovai-ward journey the next day… It was then that I found out that Karnataka is the only state in the nation to have a “Department of Co-operation”. After purchasing tickets, I bought a box of sweets to head towards my uncle’s house at Krishnarajapuram.
The bus that took me to the place took 1.5 hours just to cover a distance of about 15 kms. Conclusions drawn from the roads of Bengaluru-
- As soon as the back pair of wheels say ‘bye-bye’ to a speed-breaker, the front pair say ‘hello’ to another one.
- If you don’t meet speed-breakers such frequently, it can only mean that your vehicle is in a stand-still position in front of a signal which will show RED for the next half-an-hour.
- If both the above factors don’t deter you, you will throw up at least two times during your journey [depending on the distance].
- If none of the factors seem true, you’re either using a bicycle to travel, or worse, you’ve travelled so long that you’re out of Bangalore city limits.
Anyway, when I reached KR Puram, it started raining, and I took shelter under a small tree and ringed up my uncle [It should also be noted that, not even once in my 4-day stay @ Bangalore did my phone’s signal level dip. Call rate kammiya irukkara oorla, signal illa… Signal irukkara oorla, call rate jaasthi- Enna koduma saravanan?] My uncle came to the bus stop on a bike and being unable to recognize me, he gave me a set of directions to follow in order to reach him. Found him, at last…
Me :Mr. Manivannan??
Uncle :Achudhana nee?
Me :Aamam mama. Namaskaram.
Uncle :Yappa! 3½ adi oyaram irundhappo paatthadhu… Ippo 6 adi iruppiya? Enna Complan boy-a?
Me :Ungalakkooda dhan mudiyellam karuppa irundhappo paatthadhu. Ippo dye adicchu oru maasam aayirukkuma? Enna Godrej hair dye-a?
Uncle :Indha vaai irukkara varaikkum enga ponalum pozhacchuppeda nee…
Me :Adhellam irukkattum mama… Mazha peyyaradhu. Vandiya edungo!
I went to his place, had supper there and returned to my hotel at half-past 11. Barath and Karthick were in deep sleep. I called them through my throat. They didn’t open the door. I called them through my cell. They opened the door and let me in. They went back to sleep. I couldn’t. I just lay on my bed, wide awake.
Chapter 5: The Ungrand finale
Got up at 6 in the morning, got ready for the interview physically. At about 7, we went down for breakfast. Not realizing the dreadful situation that awaited us at the interview premises, Barath gobbled down chunks of food, and was planning to taste everything in the buffet. Karthick and I pulled him out of the restaurant and we went to the same place for the rounds to follow- a personal interview, a case presentation and a Group discussion. I did well in the personal interview- spun tales in front of the interviewer [Spinning stories seems to be my in-born talent]. And the presentation session, I was the first candidate. So I had to arrange the presentation equipment before I started mine. That made me a little nervous. I completed the 10-minute presentation in less than 5 minutes.
The most important part of the day was the GD. I’ve never seen a more disorganized GS in my life [My friends say the GD of MuSigma was far better]. When the person-in-charge was distributing the topic papers, every one was anxious. He was about to say “Sta…”, and immediately a guy started with “Hello gentlemen…”. That’s it… Everyone started to shout. There was not even a single instance when less than 4 persons were talking at the same time. Every time someone started to speak, he/she looked like a dog to me, barking loud until the next canine took hold of the conversation. In the 45-minute expanse, I spoke 4 times. I could see failure right in front of my eyes!
After everything was over, we came out, walked to Chevron, changed to Tees [Barath changed to a yellow Gujarathi kurtha, which the dogs of Bangalore seemed to like very much]. We went to the Cubbon Park and after all the observation [there was not even a single bench in the park that didn’t seat a couple] there we could infer only one thing- it’s not a place for 3 men [without their girlfriends]. We went to Vidhan Soudha and took a couple of pictures. We stayed there upto 7 and started off to Majestic. It was only then that I learnt that most people in Bangalore understand Tamil… 3 naal kashtappattadhu veenappocchu…
Anyways, we had a dosa at Majestic and caught a bus to Shanti Nagar [This time, I asked for directions in plain Tamil, and it worked!]. We got down at Shanti Nagar, took a piss, and went to the bus that was supposed to take us to Coimbatore. We had trouble finding the right bus and at last, got into the correct bus. It was then the bus driver had a word-fight with a bus driver next to him. One of them seemed to have broken the rear-view mirror of the bus of the other and the latter was threatening to break the bones of the former [and by the swear-words used by them, I can tell you that the infamously irreverent Madras-bashai was far more clean].
The bus started off at about 10.30 and it was bound to reach Kovai by 7, the next morning. As usual, Barath was laughing is stomach off with his own baby-jokes. Intolerable! The bus reached CBE and Barath said his dad would come and pick him up. I made the following conclusions on my way to GCT.
- Do NOT go to Bangalore for an interview, if the number of students is less than 20
- Do NOT go to Bangalore for an interview, if the process involves GDs with PSG-ians
- Do NOT go ANYWHERE for an interview, if Barath is gonna accompany you… [You are too young to be acting like a parent!]
This completes my edition of interview experiences, for I’ve got placed in Ashok Leyland now. ABB offered to bear our travel expenses for both the onward and offward journeys. With this belief, we bundled up our travel tickets and sent it to their HR Center after a week of our journey. But even after weeks of waiting, they did not care to reimburse the amount, or even reply to our request. So, Shanmuganathan and I went up to their site, and in the Contact Us forum, sent a message that reads:
Neenga ticket fund reimburse panrennu sonneenga. Adha nimbi enga ticket ellam badhrama anuppi vecchom. Neenga ticket amountayum kudukkala, replyum pannala. Idhukku mela neenga refund pannuveenga-ngara nambikkai illai. So, neenga ticket anuppcha courier kaasaiyavadhu anuppunga.
P.S: Courier charge- Rs. 30, Bank transaction amount- Rs. 25
Bank account number- We’ve already sent you that along with the tickets