After I passed my graduation, my well-wishers thought I should be independent now. In the sense I should get a job, a government job of course. I had this attitude of vini, vidi, vici (or is it vini, vici vidi…or vidi, vini…anyway somewhat of the permutation combination, isn't it?)
So after scouring through scores of job advertisements, I zeroed on a job fit for me. Revenue Officer with RBI. Earlier, I gleefully rejected all those jobs that best suit the middle class pen-pusher bongs. I have seen my father, and I have hated him all my life for writing with those twin riffled pens (linc-made), red on one end and blue on the other. The idea that I had to handle it and make it my life partner was something alien to me, better suited for lesser mortals like my father and Co.
I didn’t go through the prospectus properly, only I noted that I had to appear for a preliminary written test (what nonsense), than main test (I know what stuffs would come there) and viva (huh, you didn’t see me talking, you brown-sahibs…did you?).
I was not very much serious about the exam as I was sure that IAS was waiting for me. I took it as a practice for the final showdown (IAS is not that tough…even hardworking donkeys can pass that. well as for me, I am a darn intelligent rare specimen of the homo-sapiens species. Yes, I am confident of that).
And there HE stooped to conquer. Asutosh college, kolkata…I had heard, a lot of less intelligent humans flock here with an aspiration to become WBCS officers (hah, only to serve under me…this institution serves as my servant’s training quarter. Good good, I took a close inspection.)
Hords of examinees had come to appear for the test. I couldn’t stop laughing looking at their face. How uncertain and tensed they looked. How lost they behaved in the ocean of competitors. Looking at me, anybody could have figured out I was the pink pearl of the ocean. Bright, illustrious, shiny. I smoked charminar (I used to smoke this brand as it used to fit to my character). It was a kind of high entertainment looking at people pounding at their books for last minute grub…ready to vomit once they get the fresh, free government pages. I always liked to shoot out rings in the air, I was enjoying it like never before.
We entered the examination hall. My fellow examinees donned various expressions on their face. Some were very serious, some behaved as if this was the end of world, some were biting nails, some were scratching their heads. Some had come with their fathers and elder brothers, may be uncles.
Than the invigilator entered, I was in the first bench. I stood up. The invigilator checked in the table for something, may be checked whether anybody was cheating. “Where is no. 100056UNI434…” he thundered. “Here sir.” I pointed out to the vacant seat besides me. the invigilator sat there.
“My last chance…yours?” he smiled an affectionate smile. “fa…fir…first…” I was almost speechless. I looked around and saw all the uncles were seated as cool and composed as Buddha, waiting for the truth of life to appear before them. All of them were struggling for nirvana…a government job.
As is the nature of the babus (alas, I have to join them…but then they didn’t see a tough administrator) the question paper appeared five minutes late than other class rooms. By that time the candidates had raised a raucous. One of the younger candidates, may be in his thirties, jumped and grabbed the blades of hundred year old screeching fan. You can count the blades of it when it was in its full speed. One…two…three…four…I counted.
The angry young man grabbed two of them. Somebody encouraged him “comeon gansha do it the same as you did last time. Make it an inverted lotus.”
The expert lotus maker was just beginning to bend the blades to give this life-less mechanical thingy an art form when the REAL invigilator entered with three guards (hadn’t been the guards, we would think he was also one of our own.)
Anyway the exam started peacefully. The first three pages there were ant-sized instructions. I struggled to read it. When I was through one page, the invigilator came and coaxed me, “what man you are wasting your time, you didn’t started yet…look what others are doing.” I looked, and saw people were competing with each other as for who could outdo each other into marking competition. People were ticking the questions as if the questions were leaked last night. I wasted no time to catch up with the competition. I opened the general knowledge section. The first question was “who was known as dessert fox?” answers were “1.rommel 2.himler 3. Vladimir putin 4.osama-bin-laden 5.none of the above.”
I slipped into the next section… general aptitude. The first question was “if x is y of z and if z was v of u, with u being wife of h than what is the relation between X and H” I didn’t see the answers, I blindly clicked on to “none of the above” option.
Again I escaped to the next section. Mathematics. First question, “X is a set of Y and Y is a subset of Z where Z is the intersection of V and C. what is Y related to Z and X?”. what else, “none of the above.”
Before the bell rang, I had answered all. Its not a hard work to tick all “none of the above”s.
I came out of the hall sheepishly, my flagship prestige balloon punctured. I saw Usman, my class friend. We studied class XII together. He is seven years senior than me. thought I got a company, he was looking grim.
“hey Usman, man, after how many days we met again,” he didn’t reply. He was sterner. Almost as if feeling disturbed by this uninvited pest.
“hey man, how was your exam,” I knew the answer. Got somebody to sympathise.
“fine,” came the surprise answer.
--so would you pass?
--insha allah sure.
--how many you answered?
--I left five, you?
I thought for a moment, than said the truth, “why all..”
--you are always a good boy.
--thanks, I know. But tell me how many were spot on.
--all I answered.
I was surprised, but didn’t let my emotions deceive me. “good…well I think, one or two of mine will be wrong, how come you are so sure?” I placed the question tactfully.
--they teach us the shortcuts in training academies.
--so why are you so sad.
“I am not sad, I am determined. I will pass this one, I have to pass the next one. I will crack it this time.” His fist clinched, his eyes burning, his veins bursting out.
Slowly I by-passed this jehadi and all those jehadis who were coming out from the hall.
That was the first and last time. I never filled up a form for government jobs. I started looking at father as a mighty Spartan. I started growing inferiority complex. Hence, started this blog.