It was September 29th 2012, an ordinary day in the life of an ordinary individual who knew nothing apart from work. I was busy engrossed in my Test Case designing task. I was going through the review comments that I had received from my onshore technical architect regarding few of the test cases that I had written. He wanted a walk-through review meeting and he assured me to close all the comments and he even informed me that he would give me additional scenarios.
I rested my head on the desk and looked at my workstation. I stared at it wondering if lady luck would bring good fortunes in terms of good hikes and onsite opportunities. Every engineer craves for it! At the same time, Sheetal pinged me on Smart talk messenger, the one used in our office.
Sheetal – Dude, tomorrow there is a recruitment drive at JP Morgan.
Ravindu – What? Seriously?
Sheetal – Yes Ravin, I got to know from my friend who works there and they are looking for people with 3 plus years of experience.
Ravindu – Yes, we fit in well…Lets go for it.
Sheetal - :) Yo
Ravindu – Cafeteria in 2 minutes?
Sheetal – Okay... 2 minute starts now.
She locked her system and left for the cafeteria. I too locked my system and switched off my monitor screen. I silently walked towards the ODC gate so that no one gets hold of me. I rushed to the cafeteria and by the time I reached, I saw Sheetal gorging on the wada pavs.
I ordered lemonade and sat next to her.
“Dude, not done... you are 5 minutes late,” she said, some part of the food she was eating was stuffed inside her mouth.
“Listen, I will meet you tomorrow at Malad railway station sharp at 9 am.” I said.
I took a sip of the lemonade I was drinking and said, “Will they give us 30 % hike?”
Sheetal gave me an ugly look and said, “Ravin, it’s a big organization dude. Expect at least 50%.”
We spoke for few minutes about different testing related concepts and got back to our respective floors.
I stopped doing my test case writing work and quickly opened allinterviews.com and started searching for interview related questions.
“Difference between Regression testing and retesting?” I read the first question on that website.
I knew the answer. In fact I had been doing that since the day I joined the project. Regression testing is testing the additional modules other than the impacted modules of software so as to find any bugs that got introduced as a part of a defect fix! Yes, I knew it! I said to myself and moved on to the next set of questions. For 5 hours, I religiously googled for different testing interview questions. By the time I left for home, I had known most of the important interview questions.
The next morning was an important day for me. I was going to attend a job interview after 2 long years. It would be a great learning experience, I thought. I had set an early morning alarm at 5 am. I revised few concepts. By the time the clock struck 7, my confidence level had grown strong. I decided to perform my daily morning rituals of brushing, shaving and showering. Some say the first impression is the best impression. I had to look dapper and smart. I quickly gulped my breakfast that included an obligatory toast and coffee. Yes, I’m a coffee person!
I called Sheetal wanting to remind her of the job interview. It occurred to me that she was still sleeping. I realized that she was not taking the interview seriously. But even then I was already tired of advising her time and again. I anyhow wanted to grab the opportunity and get the job! All my attempts of calling her actually seemed futile. But anyhow I managed to inform her and she got ready too. As promised I met her at the Malad Railway station. Early morning almost all railway stations on the Western line are flooded with people. We both witnessed a sea of people and we had to struggle to reach the West side of the Malad Railway station. We hailed an auto rickshaw to reach the Mind space office of JP Morgan. On my way, I called my Boss Mr. Khurana to inform him that I was not well and hence I couldn't come to office.
“Ravindu, say something,” Sheetal said.
“I’m sorry I didn’t pick your call,” she added.
“It’s okay!” I said and looked at my CV. Sheetal was my best friend at office. Usually people don’t make best friends at their work place. But for me she was someone with whom I could share all my secrets. I couldn’t remain angry on her for a long time.
We reached the Mindspace office and filled in the form that was given to us by the receptionist. Sheetal gave me her friend Kanika’s Employee code that we were supposed to fill on the Referrer’s details. We waited for our turn and finally our call came. The interviewer arrived with his colleague to interview me.
He looked like a middle aged man of around 34 – 36 years old. He asked me about myself. I answered him everything. He asked me from requirement analysis to planning and from defects to execution. The interview went on for 45 minutes. The HR asked me to wait. My friend Sheetal’s interview went good too! We both sat next to each other. She was to my left. It seemed that we both had cleared our first round. We both looked at each other and we experienced our initial Eureka moment!
“I’m so happy, Divya…Very happy,” I heard a voice next to me. It was a girl, a candidate like me and Sheetal. I stood there speechless for a while after I saw her. She was excited and it was clearly evident from the conversations she was having with her friend. She sat next to me, towards the right and my nervousness grew more. She looked at me and smiled. My mouth refused to open up. I wanted to ask her about her interview and what all questions did they ask. It seemed my tongue was tied up.
She was too cute, I thought! I kept staring at her. From her discussions with her friend, I derived that she had cleared her 2nd round. How could god make such pretty women? She looks so cute, I said to myself.
She had a neatly braided hair, middle partitioned. Her thick brows made her look good. Her eyes, almond shaped, seraphic and magical hid the eternal universe. It was an Ocean of grace and one could plunge deep into it. A cute nose, pink lips adorned her face. An attractive mole sat in between her lips and her nose that defined her beauty. It was the most riveting part of her face. What was I doing there? Wasn’t I supposed to think about my interview? For once I completely forgot my interview. Sheetal was waiting for her next round. She wore a formal blue shirt and a trouser. Her elegance won my heart and I had already started to like her without talking a single word. She was neither a Queen nor a princess but yet looked like one! She was an ordinary looking girl like most girls. She wore no special make up – no mascara, no kohl’s. If my eyes were a camera, I would have captured every single moment and preserve it forever. But unfortunately, my eyes were just made of tissues and blood vessels.
I mustered enough courage to talk to her and by the time I opened my mouth my friend Sheetal interrupted.
“Hey, what did they ask you?” Sheetal asked the girl.
“Just general testing questions. Priority, Severity, Smoke testing, Sanity and so on,” she said and smiled at my friend.
I loved the way she smiled. I had never seen a woman smile like that before. No, not exaggerating!
My mouth was shut by my friend when she interrupted me and asked her that question. I too wanted to ask her the same. The HR had come to call me for the second round. I was confident that I would talk to her after my 2nd round gets over. My 2nd round was easy as compared to the first. But somehow my mind was strolling across the girl whom I saw for the first time. I wanted to talk to her again and befriend her. But by the time, I came out from the cabin, my eyes hunted for the girl! I scanned across the reception and the waiting room. She was gone! May be destiny didn’t want her to be my friend. But I had liked her too much.
That night I couldn’t sleep. Whenever I closed my eyes, she appeared in front of me. If her name was known to me, I would have found her on Facebook and LinkedIn. But unfortunately I didn’t know any details about her.
Who was she? Why did she attend the interview on the same day as I did? Why did the thousand butterflies flutter inside my stomach when she sat next to me. I never knew her but still I had hots for her. I had no reason to fall for a woman I had never met before but it was not love! It was instant attraction that grabbed my heart. I couldn’t stop thinking about her. Her face flashed in front of my eyes. Destiny had played a big game with me. Days passed and I got back to my business of testing applications. Eventually her memories faded away. I shared everything to Sheetal .She asked me how was it possible to like a girl without knowing her. I had no reasons, no answers! May be she was a passing cloud in my life who entered my life, poured showers of happiness and quickly dispersed!
Three months later….
“Sheetal, it’s the same girl whom we met at the JP Morgan interview.” I pestered Sheetal to look at the girl whom we met at the interview.
“I don’t remember her face, Ravin,” she replied.
“Go and talk to her …Please, please, for me...” I joined both my hands and pleaded her. My lost happiness came back once again.
The girl looked behind and I realized that it was not the same girl. She was someone different. The clouds of happiness receded away and disappointed haunted me once again.
I assured myself that someday I will meet her again, walk across the corridors and talk about the day when we met. Yes, I was very much sure about that! And that day I will let her know how much I liked her! I plan to be a good friend to a woman I never knew!
It’s said that ghosts of past do haunt us in future. But in my case it was not the ghost, it was an angel!
( To be continued soon...)