Thursday, February 16, 2012

A date with K

P.S (Pre-script): This is going to be long.

I've waited long to write this. Finally the moment of reckoning is here!

Had my date with K today.


10th: 91.4% (CBSE)
12th: 93.4% (CBSE)
Graduation: 84.54%
B.Tech(CSE), School of Information Technology, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi.
Work experience: NIL, in final year of B.Tech
CAT'11: 93.17 percentile
Category: General

Extra curricular
: Stand up comedy , Mimicry , quizzing, debating, blogging, author-to-be.

Interview Centre
: Hotel Vikram, Lajpat Nagar, New Delhi, 8 AM slot.

Essay topic
: The key to happiness is not in seeking further success, but in enjoying less.

Attempted it well. Began with my favourite quotation, which was surprisingly apt for the topic. Gave quite a few examples; MS Dhoni, who doesn't enjoy his successes too much; instances from The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari. Managed to write 4 pages, with at least one and a half laden with quotations. As is the case with them, not all of the quotations were relevant.
Concluded by writing a stanza from Rudyard Kipling's IF, 'if you can dream, and not make dreams your master...'.
Overall, it was decent. However, at places I digressed from the topic, dealing more with big dreams versus small dreams, than not-revelling too much in the success.

Personal Interview:
I was the fifth to be interviewed in Panel 1. There were 5 panels.
Had to get the documents verified before leaving for the interview. Was scolded by the guy doing it, as I showed him the 10th standard marksheet while he was asking for the 12th standard one (silly me).

The interview took place on the second floor.
There were two panelists. Both were in their early 40s (apparently). P1, seated to my left was a keen listener and reader. He spent more than half the time going through my personal data form and certificates. P2 was a Systems/IT guy.
V would denote me.

P1 came outside, called my name and took me in.
Somehow the word 'sirs' has never sounded correct to me, so I wished them separately.

P1 was staring blankly at me, while P2 skimmed through my profile.

P2: So, you're Vikas.
V: Yes sir.
P3: Which coaching Institiute, Tathagat?
V: No sir, not Tathagat.
P3: Then which one, CL or TIME?
V: Neither sir. It's Alchemist, run by IIT+IIM alumni.
P2 (suddenly seeming interested): Oh Alchemist. I see.
P1: We've had a lot of students from this University, of yours. What's the reason.
V: It's one of the best in Delhi (smirking)
P1: Okay, okay. So, what all Industrial projects have you done?
V: Told about the Nokia Stock Inventory Display project.
Asked me to explain what it does, I did.
Also told him about the other project that I did during the same period, a Java Chat Application. Quizzed me on that, asked me what I had learnt from it. I repeated the 'practical implementation of theoretical knowledge bla-bla..'
Then asked me about the other project, 'A Web Crawler'. Explained that it's a miniature search engine bla-bla.
Now comes the bad part

P2: So, if I want to restrict the crawler to perform only internal (on the same site) search, what can I do?
V: Sir I can scan every link, and ensure that the link due to be scanned next must originate or start with the name of the base site.
P2: No, no. This is not true. What if I am searching something on google, and then the result is found in gmail. Your software would not scan that because gmail doesn't start with ''.
V: Sir, gmail is a indirect route to '' (realised that it doesn't start with '' shit)
P2: See, even that doesn't start with google. How will do it now?
V: (Idea!) Sir, yes. You are right. I think I'll scan the entire URL. If it contains the substring 'google', then I'll parse..
Seemed satisfied, but not for long...
P2: Now if there is another phoney website, which has the keyword 'google' in it, your software would lead me to that website? How do I verify if the site is real or phoney?
V: Digital certification sir.
P2: I am a lay man, tell me in my language.
V: (think long and hard) Sorry, I do not know sir..

P2 points to P1, who suddenly wakes up after having gazed at my forms and certificates for almost an eternity...

P1: So, Vikas, tell me something about this novel that you're writing.
V: told.
P1 seemed interested.. asked if it was inspired from a real-life character, I said yes. Smiles all around.
P1: You say you can debate as well, so I want you to give a 1.5 minute speech on the topic 'India should command and not demand a UNSC permanent seat'

I was almost licking my lips! My domain finally...
Spoke for around 1 minute, fairly confidently, with examples and humour interlaced. While I did the taking, P1 was taking notes. (felt honoured, not for long though).

P1: You said China was made a member in 1945, because it was the most populous nation at that time?
He told me it wasn't the case, as Taiwan was the original member, and China became a member much later when it merged with Taiwan.
Plus, somewhere I had mentioned India as a major power in South-East Asia (silly me). He corrected me and asked the name of a few South-East Asian nations. Chagrined, I told the names, and apologised.

Then we had a healthy discussion on whether India's economic reforms since 1991 have had any effect on the society. I said that it had, but the going was slow. He asked for stats, and I said if not anything, then the literacy rate had gone up from 52% to 66% (Oxford School Atlas to the rescue). He rebutted by saying that education is no parameter. In India, people (specially engineers) are graduates, yet unemployed. I contested, saying that if there was one job available, and a person, having the same qualification as I have, gets it ahead of me, then it's my mistake.
Quoted Bill Gates (If you're born poor it isn't your fault, but if you die poor...) Seemed satisfied (phew..)

P2: So, what's famous about Indraprastha?
V: Sir... The Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University

'laughter all around'

P2: Something else?
V: Sir, ... Indraprastha Gas Limited, the sole provider of CNG in Delhi
more laughter
P2: Okay, tell me the history of Indraprastha.
V: Told about Kauravas and Pandavas, that Indraprastha used to be 'Khandav forest', it was given to the Pandavas while the Kauravas took Hastinapur. Talked about Arjun burning down the forest with his bow.
P2: What was the name of his bow?
V: Sir Gandiva (They laughed at the name. No wonder why)
P1: So, Vikas, where is your hometown?
V: Sir, Samastipur, Bihar.
P1: Name 4 North-eastern states and their capitals (Bihar se seedha north east )
V: Told all 7
P1: I'm done. Thank you.
P2: Same here. All the best!

Any other comments
: Cool and chilled out panelists, excellent arrangements.

So, ho gaya finally. I think it went along well. No direct question from academics, no current-affairs, no traditional 'why-MBA' type questions!


  1. are they verifying documents?
    means in my IIM-K form I filled percentage of all Six subjects by mistake....which is different from my original so wud it be a problem what other documents are they asking for.

    1. They did not tally the percentage in the data form from the marksheet. All they checked was if the photocopies were indeed the replica of the original ones, i.e. you had submitted the correct photocopies.

      But I do believe they would revaluate it while allotting marks based on profiles. It's better if you tell this to them at the time of the interview.
      Nothing serious. Cheers!