The Day The State Split Asunder-7
The Day The State Split Asunder-7
Monday morning arrived. Karthik woke up early stretching his limbs, rubbing his eyes, letting out an enormous sigh of relief as if he returned from a great battle. Remnants of awful nightmares of past interview experiences began flashing in his mind and a chill of apprehension ran down his spine, marked by anxious uneasiness, worried whether the same vinegary experience would weigh down heavily on him today. He looked at the world outside through the window. The sky today looked clearer than crystal after three days of heavy downpours.
God, How did you plan this day for me? I hope today it won't happen as it used to happen like before?
After taking the bath he dressed in neat formal clothing. Minutes later, he opened his laptop and began listening to the devotional songs which were his usual routine before going to the interview. The music flooded the entire room with good vibes. He picked up the resume and started going through it to ensure there are no errors. However, his eyes got fixed at one particular point, the marital status field in the personal details section.
For me, this field will remain single until I get a six-figure salary every month. He said to himself and racked the resume in his leather case file and placed it inside his backpack and walked into the hall.
On one face of the wall in the drawing-room, there is a portrait of Lord Shiva with a plastic garland hooked to it. He approached the photo, closed his eyes, folded his hands in a devotee style, and started praying aloud in a tone, just a few decibels below a scream.
'O Lord of the world, Shiva! Many say you listen to the prayers of your devotees and fulfil their desires. It is your responsibility to make sure I don't hit the half-century in my interviews. I have been praying to you since the day of my graduation. You gave the job to those who secured a lower percentage than me and you even gave the job to that guy who has backlogs. I didn't maintain even a single backlog in my entire student life. Why are you so impartial towards me? Today it's time for you to open your third eye and help me get out of this mess. I can't carry this burden anymore.'
As he opened his eyes after reciting the prayer, he saw his mother and father standing exactly beside him with an eerie frown on their faces.
'Have you gone mad? If Lord Shiva opens the third eye, the result would be apocalyptic,' said his mother.
'Is it!' said Karthik. 'I thought Lord Shiva grants boons to his devotees through his third eye. I will change it then.'
'This is the problem with you. You always overimagine. If you don't know, admit it, there's nothing wrong with it, and also in today's interview listen to the question properly before answering,' remarked his father.
'Don't worry. I will not rush,' He said, glancing at his wristwatch. 'I have to leave now.'
'Have breakfast first,' said his mother.
'Sorry, amma! I have no time. Bye!' He stepped out with his backpack.
As he reached the bus stop, he tried looking at the bus route timings on the information board. But he couldn't get anything as the board was completely filled with movie posters and there was one poster depicting an actress dressed in a pink T-shirt showing ample cleavage, and there is another poster depicting an intense lip-lock.
Next to the bus stop, there is a small crude shelter with a tarpaulin roof under which an insane man in his mid-sixties was pulling off the leaves from the saplings nearby. It touched his heart with compassion, looking at the pathetic condition of the homeless person.
If I get a job today, I will provide food and water to him tonight. Karthik thought.
The bus arrived with a loud horn and stopped exactly in front of the bus stop. The number of passengers standing on the bus surpassed the capacity of the bus. Young people, mostly college students, are standing precariously at the doorway in dangerous positions, making it difficult to board and deboard. He struggled to get inside but successfully forced himself inside and purchased a ticket to Hitech city.
Bus travel in the city has become a fun activity for him. There are always youngsters flagrantly sitting on the seats reserved for senior citizens, and young, sturdy fellows sitting on seats reserved for the handicapped. Then there are hefty men occupying seats reserved for women. Most times, the conductors yell at passengers if they cannot tender the exact change in return for a ticket.
Meandering through the wild Hyderabad traffic for about sixty minutes, the bus reached the Hitech city bus stop. He got down and with the help of Google maps he reached the venue thirty minutes before the scheduled reporting time.
The office building looked extravagant with its gigantic pyramidal structure embellished with glass windows. The security guard scanned his baggage which had nothing but a file. After completing the checks, the guard gave him a temporary identity card with Karthik's name handwritten on it.
Taking a deep breath, he walked into the building. The aroma of rose perfume and jasmine essence in the hallway welcomed him. At the centre of one of the walls, there is a poster with a quote - "Think you are and you are halfway there".
He then made his way upstairs, reached the second floor, and the office was straight in front of him. The office boy of the Avianca Zentik Solutions company escorted him to the waiting hall which had a sofa and two chairs along with a glass-fronted bookshelf.
Karthik sat in his seat comfortably. There's absolute dead silence inside as he was the only one present in the room. His eyes then fell upon the bookshelf. He stood up and firmly walked towards the shelf and one book title fascinated him. It is "The Alchemist".
'What a wonderful name!' he whispered to himself and scanned through all the books on the shelf and went back to his seat.
'Sir, madam is calling you,' said the office boy.
Karthik instantaneously sprang up from his seat just like a spring released after the compression. He unzipped his bag and picked a resume from his leather case file and entered the HR cabin.
'Take the seat,' she said, gazing at him, while her brows furrowed. She wore a dazzling red sari. Her face looked fair with wrinkles here and there.
'Your name?' she asked in a deep accent, powerful enough to startle a person.
'My name is Karthik.'
'So Mr. Karthik. How was your day so far?' This time she asked in a courteous tone.
'Give me your resume.'
He handed over his resume to her. HR started going through the resume and started the interview process.
'Mr. Karthik, thank you for being here, I am Priya, the recruitment manager of Avianca Zentik Solutions. Can you tell me something about yourself?'
Karthik pronounced the same old script which was soaked in his mind. The interview went on for forty-five minutes. She asked him questions regarding his strengths, weaknesses, aptitude, and reasoning questions. After forty-five minutes, she told him to wait in the hall.
He deliberately wended his way back to the waiting hall. At one point he was optimistic and at another point, he had a premonition of whether history would repeat again. Fifteen minutes later Priya walked into the room.
'Mr. Karthik, please come into my cabin,' Priya said.
Karthik followed her to the cabin, grabbed the chair, and comfortably placed himself on the seat in an attentive posture.
'Karthik!' said Priya. 'You have been shortlisted and your work location is going to be at our development centre in Bangalore. Since you are single, it shouldn't be a problem for you to move to Bangalore. Are you ready for it?'
'Yes, mam Absolutely!' he said in a cheering tone.
'Well, then you need to report to our Bangalore office by next Monday along with identity proofs and certificates.'
He collected the offer letter and began his journey back home. He has been awaiting for this moment for a long time and today he is over the moon. He wanted to jump, shout, and celebrate on the spot. Finally, today God has listened to his prayers.
I can now shut the mouths of my neighbours. And this time I can give a new answer to Narasimha uncle's question, "What's next?" I need to first celebrate this moment. I will better watch the afternoon show in a mall and then go home.