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This is a guest post by Rahul Gupta. The views expressed are solely of the writer.
"Rahul!!! Rahul!!!! Get up Man. Today is the first day of our Professional career and you dog still sleeping. Its 7:30 now. The Buses have already come and will leave by sharp 8 O' clock" said Sudip. Oh......damn. It's only 7:30 right!!!!!. " Yes but It's not college Rahul" Said Sudip. This is the first time i realized that those four percious golden years of my life are gone and this is pune where we have come to get up at 7:30 and reach to the bus by 8 and go to training centre by 9 sharp. " Hey...don't forget to wear formal dresses with a tie" said Sudip. What!!!! Formal dresses. But i don't have any. "Rahul, have you come for training or tracking?" said Sudip. Shit Man...but they should have told us beforehand. So that we could have come prepared. "By the way it was written in one of the documents of training Kit which was given to us One month back. But u are so busy with your stuff, u don't have time to go through the Kit at all" said Sudip. Ok, listen, you can use my formal shirt and trouser but only for today. Ok? Go and buy some formal dresses today evening. By the way do you know how to knot a tie?. "No..I don't know" said I. He said "Ok. give it to me i will make the knot. By the way you want single knot or double knot?". I said " Com' on sudip, when i don't have formal wears, how can you imagine that i will have a tie?". Sudip Said " What?? good....very good.....you don't have a tie too.Good you are such an ass hole.. see....its already 7:50. You can use my tie but only for today. Mind it"
So there we are. Only 5 mins late in reaching the TCS bus. The bus is around 90% full. Rest all buses are gone. Thank god. Finally we could manage to get the last bus. " We are late because of you fool" said Sudip. Cool Man!!! Why are you so serious!!! What will happen....Worst case we might have to bunk our first day in TCS. No big Deal..... Said I. Sudip said "This is not college Rahul". That is the second time i realized that we can't bunk in training even for a single day else that will cause a loss of one day's salary. " See... because of you all the bus is full. Only the last row is empty" said Sudip. Its Ok. yaar. Anyways i was always a back bencher in college. So who cares if the same thing continues in TCS also!!! So finally we reached at CMC campus Pune. For all TCS trainees the CMC conducts the training program. We all were shown the door to a seminar hall. Its cool man. Thank god the A/C is on. i finally found a corner seat so that i can rest myself against the wall while sitting or rather sleeping. There he is the ILP Co-ordinator at the dais. " Dear all Associates, Welcome to Tata Family. A very warm welcome to Tata Consultancy Services. I am the Co-ordinator of this ILP pune branch.You are going to spend the next 44 days here in pune. Here you will be taught the various stages of software engineering and apart from that soft skills, foreign lanugages, team work, ethics everything. i hope you have a pleasant stay in Pune" and the speech continued for the next 10-15 mins. Naturally i was not interested in learning a bit of speech. i just wanted to sleep as sudip woke me up early in the morning as 7:30 is early morning in my dictionary.At the end of the speech he came to the real point i.e. the breakfast is arranged outside the seminar hall and we are given 30 mins to have it and come back so that he can proceed with the joining formalities. We all came back and stuck to our seat. That awesome breakfast gave fuel to my sleeps. With the proceeding of the joining formalities my casual sleep proceeded to deep sleep.
" Rahul, Rahul...... Wake up Man!! How many hours more would you sleep?" said Sudip. " Ahhhh......i was in deep sleep. i saw my watch its 12:30 that means the morning breakfast fuelled my sleep for 2 hr 30 mins. by the way it was a nice breakfast and that to free of cost." Yes you finally woke up for another free lunch....you fatso" Sudip. By the way have you got the habit of waking people when they are deep asleep or does tcs pay you more salary for that? Ok tell me what happened till now?. " The Delivery Centre Head of Pune branch had come. She gave an awesome speech. You know TCS is the largest software compnay in ASIA!!!!" Sudip said. I thought thank god i was sleeeping by that time else i had to bear all the torture for 2 and half hours. " OK. Let's go for lunch and don't dare to sleep in the afternoon. The co-ordinatior said we will have to fill up some forms and we will be given ID cards. ok its lunch time, again lunch is free Yepeee.... Thank god the afternoon was not that boring. We saw some cool videos made by some TCS associates about the Working culture in TCS. And at the end of the day again Coffee. God i can't forget the food stuffs whatever might happen. By 7 O' clock in evening we all were into nyati tower where accomodation was being provided for the next 44 days. The first day in TCS is over and perhaps we earned 500 Indian Rupees by the end of the day. Now for dinner there are two options. Either you go to the nearby Siyaram restaurant or you can order for dabba. Sudip said " i will have dabba in home". But i was in no mood to eat those vegeterian dabba food on the first day of TCS and that to when there is a near by restaurant. Fortunately the person who sat beside me in the bus while coming to nyati towers had already had a deal with me for going together to the restaurant. i told Sudip " Sudip, you have your dinner here. i am going to the restaurant. From tomorrow i will join with you". Actually that tomorrow never came. The whole 44 days i ate dinner in Siyaram only.
Me and Ankit (the person who sat besides me in the bus) went to Siyaram exactly at 9:00 PM. We were hoping for a cool dinner but when we reached Siyaram the scene was totally different. Siyaram was totally full and a huge crowd waiting outside for their turn. .I asked " Ankit, Does Siyaram offers dinner Free like today's breakfast and lunch?". It was such a huge crowd that almost all the trainees have come here for dinner except Sudip. He is the only potential customer of the Dabbawala. We were totally frustrated whether we both will get a half pice of roti or not.But as they say " Always be optimistic. Whatever happens happens for good". Sunita and Monalisa were also waiting there for dinner. Sunita saw me and flagged her hand towards me. Cool. its good when a beautiful girl calls you to accompany her in such a huge crowd although she was from my college but who else knows. " Hi Sunita. Hi Monalisa. Meet Ankit. Both of you are also waiting for dinner". " Yes. since last half an hour. But you see Rahul such a huge crowd".
By that time my mind was somewhere else. yes !!! it was around Monalisa. She is really beautiful Man. and might be since i did not have a single affair in college. Forget about affairs, i hardly used to talk to girls except those who were in my Lab project group. "Come on!! Ask ask something Monalisa " was the voice coming somewhere from my brain. " So how was your day?" asked Monalisa. Yepee...Finally she spoke to me. i answered " Well, Struggled a lot". " Struggled!!!! today!! how?" asked Monalisa. Welled struggled to keep my eyes open but totally in vain. But Yes during afternoon i was bit of successful. " He...ehe hee." Both of them smiled. Monalisa is really cute when she smiles. I said " See the struggle is not complete yet. We need to succeed else we wont be able to get dinner today." Hahahaa.....hahaa.......laughed we all four. " Ok. now we are four. you all wait here. i am going inside and will ask manager to arrange a table for four." I said. Then i went inside. The manager was really busy in managing tables and all these people are bugging him like anything. I went to the manager." Manager!!! i need a table of four." Manager said " Sir, its really crowded and people are waiting. i am noting down your name and will tell u once your turn comes." I went close to the manager and said in his ear " Listen, you ask my name earlier and a good tip is waiting for you and i am waiting outside. don't forget". He replied " I will try sir." Then i came outside the restaurant. Sunita asked " What happened!! is any table available? what the manager said?". I said " Yes it will take only 5-10 mins". After 5 mins the Manager shouted " Rahul!! Table for four". Ok. Let's go. Our table is ready. By that time Monalisa was shocked. After we settled down on our table, Monalisa asked " How come the manager called for your name when people before us are still waiting?"." Because the Manager recognised the rising star of TCS" I replied. " Hmm.....Rising Star.....Who was sleeping the whole day and rose only in the evening" Said Monalisa. Haa..aahhahaa...........we all laughed. We had a nice dinner. The service was good, might be because of the tip which i had promised earlier. And after dinner i was deadly begging for the bed and this schedule continued for the next 44 days of my stay in pune.
From day two onwards we all were put into different groups and the list was posted on the wall entering the training room. First of all i checked whether me, Sudip, Sunita and monalisa are in one group or not. Sudip is in Group 4. Sunita is in group 5. I am in Group 10. and yes monalisa is also in Group 10. God is Great. i thought the future 44 days are going to be awesome with monalisa in my group. The Time table for group 10 was designed taking into consideration of my sleep. It's because all the morning sessions before lunch were on technical subjects and the afternoon sessions were on soft skills, foreign languages, games. So as usual i used to complete my sleep during morning sessions and fully active during afternoon sessions partly because of the mam who taught us German Language. Man. She is hot!!!!!! really hot!!!!!!.
After the sessions are over, we used to come back at 8 PM in the evening. But the bad thing was we were given loads of assignments which needs to be completed by tomorrow morning. But the good thing was the assignments were assigned to a group. In my group there were two south indian girls and one guy from aligarh muslim university. All of us were damn serious about the project except me. Now the good thing was we all had to meet somewhere in the night and complete the assignments. Friends don't take it otherwise. One southindian girl named Divya was the leader of our group. i used to call him PL(Project Leader) and i was the loser in that group. Divya never counted me while distributing the tasks but she was not angry though. I was the most happening guy in the group when the topic of discussion was anything apart from studies. Everyday Divya used to tell us to reach her flat by sharp 9:30 PM and everyday my answer was " Divya,U imagine, after a long day's work we come to room at 8PM. Then for relaxation and dinner only one and half hours. That's not fair. Let's schedule the meeting at 10:30". This used to be my punchline everyday during the training. and in reply she used to say the same thing i.e. " Com'on Rahul, We have a lot of things to do. Other groups are pretty much ahead of us. We need to work hard. So 9:30 means 9:30. Be punctual Rahul. OK?".
i thought she is the real project leader material. TCS needs associates like her not like me who completes half of his sleep during morning sessions. But even after repeated warnings of divya i used to be fast asleep by the time Divya calls. and the following scene used to happen everyday.After having dialled for 4-5 times i will pick up the phone saying " hey Divya, i am coming. There is a huge crowd at siyaram. completed my dinner, will be there in 10 mins". She said " Now don't tell lies Rahul, i had seen u come out of Siyaram at 8:45. I know u must be sleeping at room. Com'on come soon. We are already late.". "Ok, Ok coming Divya" i said. " So there you are Mr. Rahul. 30 mins late". I said " Sorry guys, won't happen again" . Divya said " Rahul, today you have to draw the Entity Relationship Diagram for the Customer Relationship branch of the bank". i said " Divya!! have you got something to eat?" .Divya replied "Rahul, By the way you are coming from Siyaram right?" ." No, i had been to Siyaram two long hours back." i said. Divya said " Ok i have got banana chips". I said" ya please please Divya...and see if some other kinds of chips are available!!!!!".
Now here she is with 3 different types of chips and with a giggle in her face. I know girls love me. Divya said " Now have chips and continue with your entity diagram". I happily ate around 70 percent of the chips by the time the other people hardly managed to have 3-4 chips. I said "Divya!!! Please give me the pillow. I will put it on my lap. it's very cold yaar. just give me no..!!". after taking the pillow i was again into my dreams. After 10 mins ...Divya shouted..........Milan!!! you are sleeping!!!!. Get up and give me the pillow. You are not going to work with the pillow. I said " No yaar, i am thinking. i am not sleeping. First let me think how effectively i can do the ER diagram, then i will draw. Ok. Now don't disturb me while i am thinking". after 3 and half hours ie around 1:30 AM Divya shouted again. Milan!! Milan!!! wake up. Are you done with ur ER diagram?. I said " Actually No...yes kind of actually thinking about the diagram". Divya said " You took pretty 3 and half hours and did not come up with a single diagram. Let me check your sheet. Whether you have written some thing or not. Yes it is there. The complete ER diagram is there. Why you were telling that you have not done. When i saw the sheet a pretty complex ER diagram has already been drawn on my sheet. Now there she is ...Divya.....smiling at me.
The other two memebers also laughed at me. I knew Divya has done this for me while i was fast asleep. I said " Thanks Divya. So nice of you. From tomorrow onwards i will actively participate in assignments ok!!!. Divya said " OK, Milan. Now go to your room and complete the rest of the sleep. I will explain you the Diagram tomorrow in the class". By the time i was about to leave her room, Divya said " Rahul!! Some more chips are still left in the plate. Would you like to have some mere?". I said "No but thanks Divya for the chips. please keep it safe for tomorrow". Divya giggled again. Good night and Sweet Dreams Divya. Same to you Milan. Bye bye.
The 44 days of Initial learning program just flew away like 44 mins or rather 44 seconds. Now we have reached to the end of the journey. The 44 days were just like the extension of our college life but the good thing was we were being paid for enjoying the holiday. That's why it is being said that the ILP program of TCS is a paid holiday.
13th December 7 O' clock in the morning. Sudip Said " Milan !!! get up man. Today is the last day of our training program. And you know, today is a very important day. Not that today is the last day rather today MATC will come and decide the fate of our future endeavour." I said " Good Morning Sudip. You know i did not sleep last night. Feeling kind of sad because i have made some very good friends here man and i really don't want to loose them". Sudip Said " Yes Man. Even i am sad. Not for everybody but for Sunita". I said " What? Sunita. Are you mad? When? ". Sudip said " I don't know. But i like her man. I don't know what love is. But i think i love her". I said " Cool Man!! Now here is our romeo. Boss you know, she was with us for the last 4 years in college (although in a different branch). And you are saying now you are in love. But then what is the problem?". Sudip Said " Today MATC will decide who will join which branch of TCS". I said " But then we four are opting for Hyderabad as our first option right!!!. Then what is the problem?". Sudip said "No man. Sunita is planning to go to banglore". I said "Who told you?". Sudip Said "Monalisa was telling me that Sunita might opt for banglore. Her sister is there in banglore". I said "She might opt for it right!!!! but not yet. Don't worry man. I will pursuade her. i know her. She will come with us. Now cheer up man". Sudip said " Thanks man. Just talk to her. and get up soon else we will be late on the last day too".
But bad habits don't go away soon. Still struggled much to reach the bus stop by 8:30 AM. Finally boarded the bus and fortunate enough to see that some front seats were vacant. while sitting in one of the front rows, someone from back called me Rahul!!! Rahul!!!". When i turned back, i saw its Divya. How can i forget her. For the last 44 days she was my saviour. She always used to do my assignment with a giggling smile on her face, served a variety of chips and the best part was she always used to tell me rather inspire me saying "Milan!!! I know you don't do assignments but you are special and talented. You will get success and always keep smiling and be happy. i think she was the only girl in that training program, who used to admire me a lot and helped me a lot. We had a very good friendship by then".
I said " Hi Divya. Good morning PL". Divya said " Stop it Rahul. Now no more. We have already delivered our final assignment yesterday. So no assignments...no pl. By the way where are you opting for? Hyderabad?". I said " Yes Hyderabad. That is the only place nearer to Orissa as there is no TCS office in Orissa. But anyways thanks for everything Divya. Starting from helping me out in assignements to the homemade chips to mentoring me and finding me special". Divya said " You are special Rahul. Your smile is special. Never ever be sad and if you are then remember its only a phone call which can make you happy and inspire. Ok?". I said " Yes, I will. Thanks again. By the way you must be opting for Chennai right!!!" Divya said "Yes. i am opting for Chennai. My hometown. And all the best for Hyderabad. I hope all four of you will get hyderabad. I mean sudip, monalisa and sunita are also opting for hyderabad right!!!" I said "Yes, sudip and monalisa are opting for hyderabad but not sure about sunita. i heard that she is opting for hyderabad. But my PL, i will miss you. Be in touch Ok?". Divya said "yes i will Rahul".
We reached training centre by 9:30. Immediately i went to Sunita's class and searched for her. By that time everybody from her class knew that sunita and i were from same college and if i have come to their class, then it must have been for sunita only. Suddenly renji waved his hand to me and directed me to sunita. Sunita said " Hi Rahul, good morning. So you must be happy that training is over and you don't have to do any more assignments right!!!". I said "Yes, after 44 days of hard work and dedication for training program, now i am tired". Sunita said " Yes i know. Divya had already told me, how much you work for assignments.