It was around 11 in night, but the girls hostel was still buzzing with activities.
Tensions, worries and fear stricken faces were all around in the hostel.After all when you are in final year of engineering life ,all other activities take a backseat and there is only one priority left i.e. to get a job in your dream company.Next day was supposed to be the D-day for all the cream students of the batch.Each one was busy revising their notes,solving puzzles,reading editorials,company profile,preparing for GD,HR round etc.
But there was more rush in the room 403 or to say Manisha’s den.There was a huge crowd in the room, with girls dropping in to get tips ,solving puzzles, getting their doubts cleared , poor souls were getting consolation who were in tears due to tension ; at the same time Manisha was preparing herself for the next day.Oh… let me give a brief description about Manisha.
Manisha was a smalltown girl with big dreams in her eyes and fire in her belly.From the day one she had proved her mettle in whatever she did.
In studies she was among top 5 students in her branch,in sports she was a class and as far as i remember I didnot find a single girl who could ever defeat her in badminton in all these years.She headed the computer society of the college, and was busy most of the times organizing activities almost every week.She was a great dancer , wonderful orator ,hostel president and also led from the front whenever there was a strike in hostel against the quality of mess food(mess food is always messed up in all engineering college :P).She was the pride of the batch and envy of some.She commanded respect of faculty and friends.I would say she was a Lioness who feared none and was too caring for her friends.
So after the last girl left her room, she checked all her stationary and certificates ; and after saying a silent prayer she dozed off to sleep.
Next morning the college bus was headed towards the venue where students from 20 other colleges were coming for the placement.I had never seen such serious faces all throughout these 4 years.After reaching the venue the facial expression worsened seeing the swarm of people there.
All were busy making frantic calls to their friends , relatives & well wishers to get last minute tips and wishes.It had to be a very hectic day ahead with 7 rounds to clear to finally get the coveted “Offer Letter “.
Each one in crowd had the same dream,people were busy making strategies to clear those rounds .Ya off course cooperation is the best mantra which helps an engineer sail through even a wildest of storms, and all were all set to apply here too 🙂
Waiting desperately till afternoon, came our turn.In the test which followed for 90 minutes with 120 questions, each of us tried to score maximum, trying all the possible ways to do so.
With further wait of 2 hours , came the results and brought joy for few and tears for many.Some of us had left just after the test with no hopes with their performances and others after declaration of results to catch a movie with their sweethearts.Some had to be called back who had left earlier and got selected, to their own surprise.
There were many who couldn’t make through but still stayed there to provide moral support to their friends( Not to forget about the loving and caring boyfriends who were more of taxi drivers than friends who pledged to stay there till she comes out victorious )
With Group discussions starting soon ,all pulled up their socks and prepared to let loose in the verbal war that would follow.
Manisha was the star in her group and was selected for next round along with others.
Soon followed rounds of technical interview,essay writing, and aptitude test .
The list of finalists was shrinking and so were the hearts of people.
I saw my watch, both the needles of were trying to kiss each other.It was 11:55 pm and still HR interview was pending.
Some said its a just formal round since one had cleared almost all the toughest rounds in the day and this is merely a formality.For others it was negotiation round for their pay packages.Each had their own take of the story.
Tension and blood pressure were an all time high ,all were tired and sleepy ,some were hungry surviving on chocolates and chips,friends were consoling each other, some listening songs.But the only girl who remained unfazed was Manisha ; calm and cool, encouraging others with a smile on her face.She knew she was only a round away from making to the dream company of all computer science engineers.She was busy in her dreams about life in Bangalore and then in US.More than her we were sure that she will make our batch proud.She was undefeatable.
2:30 am : “Manisha Tomar !!!!!!! you are next, please come in the interview room.”
Soon all eyes turned towards her and all wished her luck as she moved inside the chamber of dreams.
In the interview that followed for about 45 minutes ,the HR manager had asked all the possible questions she could and was highly impressed by to see a dynamic person like Manisha.She said “You will be an asset to our organization, see you soon at our campus in June “.As she was about to close the file of Manisha , the HR saw the name of her father which read “Late Lt. AK Tomar”.
Suddenly her face turn pale and she said “Sorry Manisha , we cannot offer this job to you”
For a second Manisha coudn’t believe what she heard “Sorry mam can you repeat again”
“Manisha we cannot offer you this job.As per our HR policy we can’t offer this job to you”.
“But why mam? a while ago you were full of praise for me and said I fit for this job, and all of sudden this reply??” said Manisha trying to control tears which had reached the brink of the eyes.
“See this is an internal matter of the company that i can’t tell you , I am sorry to say but we cannot take you . You may leave now”
Despite her repeated attempts to convince the HR , Manisha had to move out.We were waiting eagerly for her to tell the good news but when she came out of the room crying unconsoleably we couldn’t believe what we saw. Running towards Ruchira(roomate and best friend) she broke further.
“What was my mistake if my father is no more”
“He died for this country damm it…..”
Thats all she could say , as she was sobbing profusely.
We all were stunned to hear what she said.Never had she mentioned about this aspect of her life.Not even once did she mention this to us.Only Ruchira knew and even she had no words to console her.Even her condition was like us, shocked & speechless.
Never in 4 years of college had i seen Manisha having a frown on her face , that day to see a braveheart like her in tears was beyond my imagination.
She would have never missed her father so much as she did that day .
“Oh god please justify this ” all I could say to myself.
P.S. : This is true story of my colleague, during my engineering days.The names have been changed to hide the identity of people.
Later she got placed in other top notch company and made her dream true.
But this incident is still etched in my memory and I still question such HR policies of companies.