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I have read, heard, and saw many views and perceptions about life. Everyone has got a different perception about life, while you like some ideas, others you don’t. Understanding life is a big thing for me. Some people try to measure it by success, some by money you earned, some by happiness, and some never. I never thought so deep about life, and I may not even in future. All I do is to accept the life as it comes, and try to fulfil my little dreams through it. And, here is a page out of the book of my life that I would like to share with you guys.

My college life was not that colourful as I usually see in movies or perceive it by listening to my friends about the fun they had during their college days. I had my own colourful world filled with books, gaining knowledge, and study. Nothing attracted me as much as study during my college days. I rarely hang out with friends, party watch movies with them. I barely had any thought of doing so. I was happy in the little world I was living. I had no idea, how quick those four years of engineering passed by. Finally, I was the university topper. I was in cloud 9 when my friends, family and relatives wished for my achievement; and naturally this raised my hopes and expectations of getting placed in to a good MNC in the IT industry. However, life is full of uncertainty; sometimes even the simplest thing can be the toughest job in the world. Being a university topper, I was not able to get placed in to any company, while my friends with pass marks secured a place in some of the top IT companies. My whole struggle through the college days was to get settled in a good job so that I can fulfil my little dreams, to help mom and dad; to earn; to shop. Those were the tough times for me leading to frustration, but I had to accept as it is, and I knew it was not the end of road.

And the road led to me to few consultancies in Nagpur. It was not as tough as that I had faced in campus placements. Within 10 days I got a job in a small IT firm. Ruby on rails, the technology on which I was working was new to the market and it was interesting to learn. Though the pay was not good enough (10k), I joined it for no reason. But, as the days passed by I was not getting adjust to the company environment. Work overload, extra working hours, new technology; all these made me feel low. Adding to my woes, there was an agreement that I had to pay 50,000 if I leave the company before one year; and all my original documents were with the company. I worked there for a month, not knowing what exactly was happening with me. On one fine day, I got results from the Indian Army that I cracked the interview that was help in my college. Now I had to go for Services Selection Board (SSB), which is the Personality and Intelligence Interview spread over 5 days which scientifically analysis each candidate's potential and compatibility for commission into the Armed Forces of India to be held in Allahabad. Somehow, I managed to get my documents by talking to CEO of the company for attending my SSB, and my intention was never to return back to the company. I was preparing for SSB since my college days, and I was very confident that my preparation was not up to the mark as it was required, and was thinking that I might return back on the very first day of the test. I attended the SSB with one of my friend, and we were accompanied by my dad. On the last day of test, I was participating in a relay with obstacles, and unfortunately I met with an injury while jumping from one of the obstacles, though I completed it. To my surprise I cleared all the tests, but my friend couldn’t. Now, I had to attend for medical test after a week, which I did. As I said life is full of uncertainty; may be this fact had a lot of prominence in my life. At the end of medical tests, I was recommended SSB candidate with temporary rejection due to my injury. 

I came back to Nagpur, took rest for a while, and joined the same company again though I wasn’t interested. I worked for few days and one day I mailed them that I am no more interested in the job and stopped going to office. But, then I had to pay penalty of 50,000; somehow my father convinced them and we were out of the field without paying a penny. Though I was not having any job, there were no regrets as the company was not worth working for. Sometimes, it is our own people who hurt us a lot; I was facing it after leaving the job, as all my relatives and family friends questioning and made fun of my decisions. Later, I planned of going for M.Tech, but I had to drop my plan as it create financial burden on my family as I got a younger brother whose needs have to be fulfilled. Then, my search for the job continued. I used to drop my CV in the IT park boxes, contact friends regarding openings; in fact I tried every option that I could find.

Now, the uncertainty of my life took the form of ‘confusion’. Bundle of thoughts, idleness, depression; all these led me to the state of confusion. Don’t know what to do with my life, I decided to go to Pune for Gate coaching, and thought of searching the jobs parallelly. At the same time I had fear that, it was completely a new place; my first time being in PG, away from the family; how to search for the jobs. All these thoughts were taking rounds in my brain again and again. Taking these thoughts with me, I decided to go to Pune, and my train would depart in two hours. My mom prepared food for me, so that I can have it during the train journey. I then said to my dad, “Dad, I am not going”. He did not say anything as if he was aware that this was going to happen. But my Mom was angry at me and said ‘ye khana kaun kayega’. Again I planned to go to Hyderabad for the same purpose, but it too ended abruptly.

Now, the uncertainty of my life took the form of ‘luck’. In fact, I would say bundles of luck. One day I received a call from a company seeking for marketing guy. I informed the HR that I am a girl, and asked her if there were any vacancies in software field of the company. Initially she said she was not aware of any such jobs, but would get back to if any vacancy arises. After a few days I got a call from her asking to attend for an interview. I attended the interview and got placed. The company was big but my salary was same. Other beautiful thing that I found was a friend, Swathi, who was almost similar to me; university topper from poor college, frustrated with life and seeking a job in good company, who is now one of my best friends. We both were feeling low and bit frustrated as we worked hard to score good marks, we had talent, but still we were left behind other who enjoyed their days in college, scored less, with less talent, still able to secure a good job in MNCs with high salaries. So, we took it as a challenge and decided to do part-time work, so that at least our salaries are in line with those earning higher than us. So, we completely saved our salary which we used to get from the company and started earning extra by writing articles for one of Swathi’s friends. This extra income, we used for our personal expenses and saved the rest. We worked there for a while, and we were also looking for jobs in other companies. It’s been six months passing out of the college, and I had experienced many things and still looking for my dream job that would make me happy.

Now, the uncertainty resulted in ‘pay off’. My hard work paid off. I applied for Cognizant in my final year of engineering and now, I got a call from them asking to attend for the written test in Pune. Life is also filled with events of pain, which makes it hard to bear. My grandmother had a stroke and she was paralysed. For a while, I thought I will not attend the written test as I was happy with the job I got in Nagpur and was having good time with Swathi, and I need to be there to help my grandmother. But, my mom and Swathi insisted that I should attend the written test. I gave it, then got a call for interview; appeared for interview and cleared it. And, now I got my dream job, but I was waiting for my joining letter. As my friends suggested that I may get joining letter within 20 days and it would be better to resign ASAP. I informed my manager about my selection in cognizant. To my surprise, I was released within 15 days, though the notice period was 2 months.

Now, the uncertainty resulted in ‘patience’. It’s been 2 months I was waiting for the joining letter from cognizant; not knowing what to do, I contacted my previous company and asked for the same job. I even told them that I am ready to work for free, but they didn’t accept my request. As the time passed by I lost hopes on Cognizant, and started looking for jobs in Nagpur, but couldn’t get any. Now the uncertainty resulted in ‘moving on’. I had to do something. Being idle at home is of no good to me. So, I went back to article writing and started taking tuitions for the engineering guys in C, C++.

Now, the uncertainty resulted in ‘happiness’. After a long wait of three months, finally I received joining letter from Cognizant, and joining was on May 11th. My mom and dad came to leave me in Pune. I was not having any idea, where to stay, how much would be my monthly expenses, how much do I need to save. There were no such thoughts as of then; all that in my brain was just happiness. One of Swathi’s friends used to live in Karve Nagar in Pune, where usually job seekers stay. The locality was good and the cost of living was not that high. My office was in Hinjewadi, and I used to travel 25 Km up and down daily. Finally, I was in here, Pune with my dream job.

Now, the uncertainty resulted in ‘fulfilling my dreams’. I always felt that I should do something for my family. I need to support them though they are not really in need of. As the cost of living was low, my expenses were little and I was away from parties and living lavish. I made a target to save at least 15,000 every month from my hand-in salary of 20,000. I saved every month and made my first fixed deposit of 1 lakh for my father. I was very happy and continued to live in the same way. In the span of three years, I managed to make 4 fixed deposits. As I got promoted, my salary increased, so did my savings. I managed to save seven lacs in four years, took loan and bought a home. I led a very simple life in Pune; I never went to clubs or partied; but I did enjoy a lot in making out of the most from my surroundings. Having a ‘cutting chai’ with my friends, lively evenings in Karve Nagar, once in a while shopping, and so on; these were some of my happiest moments, when I look back. Through the time of my career in Cognizant and in Pune, I never had any regrets that I haven’t enjoyed like others. In fact I enjoyed whatever I did, and now I am very good at it. 

And, this is my story about my experiences after graduating. I didn’t plan anything that happened to me and what all happened to me made me what I am today. I just went with the flow and accepted life as it is and tried to fulfil my dreams through it. I planned to get a campus placement; it didn’t happen. I planned to get in to a good company in the beginning; it didn’t happen. I planned to go for M.Tech; it didn’t happen. I tried for jobs in Nagpur in the last; couldn’t get. Though life did not give me the events as I planned, I always accepted it as it is. Initially, I had no idea of saving money or buying a home; these developed as the life went on. So, life is full of uncertainty, and you never know where it leads to or when it will end. But, it always feels good when you look at your journey from the past, when you achieve ‘success’ defined by yourself and not the ‘success’ measured by others.

Shiva Sam
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