Daf’s typical reaction to any kind of an emotional situation, sad or happy was, “Let’s grab a Smoke”. His GPA enabled him to sit for a very few companies while his classmates from IT were all getting placed. It was an axiom during placements that moral support groups (AKA friends) needed to be there at the placement department if a person reaches the interview. I reached just as he got out of his Nth interview for an IT firm. As I inquired about the interview, tears rolled down his eyes. A hug, a glass of water and a minute of silence broken by my suggestion of ‘Milds?’ While we were discussing the gruelling session over some classic, he eventually spoke, “I am a stud yaar, can’t believe I cried.” Placement brings out emotion. An hour later Daf’s mother got a call from her son about him being placed.
Having a six point something GPA in Mechanical and being a person who no longer wanted to pursue a technical job, I had the advantage of noticing people and their reactions. I remember when Deloitte announced their first round results; none of my IT flat-mates (Three of them) had made it. As you can imagine, the situation in the house was tense. It was the first time in the placement season that I was bogged down as well as we were discussing how we shall never get placed. I called up a friend of mine who had just given the HR interview for Samsung. He had told us that his Technical Interview did not go as planned and none of us had expected him to crack Samsung (Sorry ASW, but you know what I mean and that I agree you deserved it). He just informed us that he was coming home with a bottle of After Dark and Smirnoff Coffee. The mood in the house miraculously lifted, as if after a pep talk before a big game and soon all five of us (3 IT and 2 Mech.) were on the road waiting to congratulate him.
Mechanical is one branch that remains frustrated throughout the placement season. There is no denying that they are probably the best minds in the college. Even our faculty is very good. One would expect them to get placed the first. But, as you’d have it, Recession, IT Boom, Steel Prices and all such jargons made sure that they remained frustrated. I remember when Mechies were asked to sit for Schlumberger’s aptitude test. I did not give it to save me the shame of a technical interview in case I got selected. Not a single guy was short-listed from Mechanical (probably were called just so they can show Schlumberger in Mech. recruiting companies by the placement dept.). A frustrated friend of mine who was one of the few people in college who actually loved Mechanical, asked me to accompany him take out some steam at Big Boss. While he went to the washroom, there was already a queue. The person in front of him asked which Branch he was from. After he replied, the guy allowed him to skip the queue while stating, “Aap to pehle hi chale jao (You can please go first)”
I never had the chance, GPA or even calibre some would say, to hear my name given out in the placement department. I always found that part most intriguing. Going to a pub just if they had the song ‘Tu Mera Hero’ as your bestie got placed in ‘Hero Motors’, or sitting alone at Blues, a few tears rolling because you just told another friend that he got the highest package in Mechanical (Future’s First result had been declared), while you all are attending another placement party. Even the howling at eleven in the night as majority of your friends got placed (TCS result, I was a part of that one though). We had bought Monk from the window next to T-Spirits as everything else was closed.
You find all kinds of stories about placements. The guy who got visiting cards from all three department heads of TATA after he pointed out some mistake in their PPT, the guy who came stoned for the interview, the oomph! Factor during Deloitte placements or the girl who did not have to go through one of the coding rounds in Microsoft because her last code was so proficient. For the guy in the room, it always is the rollercoaster though. Some cry, some scream, some just sit numb. It all has a romance to it.