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Interview can be fun sometimes…..!!

5.00 avg. rating (96% score) - 3 votes

Name: Ankush Bahuguna

“Aur kitne interviews dega beta, 8-9 toh de chuka…”, my mother whined as she served me breakfast.

“Bas ek aur jagah try kar raha hu mummy, stipend achi hai”, I told her. “Stipend achi hai? Chal fir yahin join karle”, mummy’s eyes lit up!

She stuffed a rolled chapati in my mouth as I pulled the ‘Satyam drycleaners S-1709’ label off my white shirt. After having rehearsed some confident sitting postures against a mirror, I set out to hunt for the perfect cologne for the interview, generating a hurricane in the room.

Does that one make me smell too old for my age? Isnt that one making me come across as a loud person? That one smells like something funny! Let’s try this one…

By the end of it, I smelled like a fridge full of rotten fruits. I wish I could help the people on the roads dying of suffocation as I passed by them, but I couldn’t afford to reach late!

I called up the boss on his personal mobile number to confirm the interview schedule. Tu Hi haqueeqat, khwab tu…. I hummed along with the caller tune.

“Hello?”, a fat grumpy voice interrupted the Emraan-Soha Ali Khan saga.

“Umm…hello, good afternoon sir, I am Ankush. I was supposed to appear for an interview at 3 today. I just called to confirm the schedule”, I said, in a tone so sugary that it made my lips stick to each other.

I could hear other voices in his background. After waiting for a few seconds for a reply, I inquired, “hello?”.

“Ya, hello? I’m sorry, I didn’t hear you. Who is this?”, he said, shattering my confidence, by a single blow.

Like the world’s smartest parrot, I repeated myself.

“Yes, you can come”, he said with a voice fading towards the end. Before I could sense it, he hung up. The dial tone sneered at me.

I reached early. After spending a while roaming about the dingy building, appreciating the dirt and cracks on the century old staircase walls, I turned my phone silent as I stood in front of the door which read ‘Abitare Architects and Consultants – Dream   Design   Create’.

I pushed open the door gently. “May I come in?”. A blank white wall stared at me, against which the reception table positioned itself, laden with filth and piles of ancient folders, dug out of Mohenjodaro by archaeologists a few days ago.

“Excuse me, may I come in”, I tried again, as if talking to an imaginary receptionist. Nobody heard me, it seemed. Embarrassing me in the most obvious way, two girls giggled sadistically, sitting on the right. The guy sitting on the left got up from his seat, exposing his computer screen which displayed his photograph being morphed with that of Katrina Kaif on Adobe Photoshop. He was the peon, proficient in using the software that I’d always failed at learning properly. “Baitho…”, he said, pointing to a set of two chairs so tattered that they could collapse even by a mouthful of air.

Once he had confirmed my interview with the boss, he guided me to their conference room, where the interrogation was to happen. I felt my skin grow three shades darker as I entered into the furnace. I was facing those girls through the glass now.

“Sir kab aayenge?” I asked the peon fifteen minutes later.

“Sir ji lunch kar rahe hain abhi…aap wait karo. Bas aane wale hain…”, he informed me, chomping on the chips that I saw being served to the clients a few minutes ago.

“Arre aap garmi mein kyu baithe ho, A/C on karlo…”, he suggested, having seen sweat dripping off my clothes, flooding the room.

I tried, but the A/C just wouldn’t switch on! And there I was, placed in a glass cabin with the sniggering spectators outside, failing miserably at switching on an air conditioner! One of the girls entered avoiding eye contact and put the plug into the socket. The A/C beeped and blew a breath of cool air.

I chivalrously thanked her as she rushed out, sealing her lips tight trying hard not to burst out. Hiding herself behind the workstation, she told her friend about the incident, whose amusement knew no bounds!

5 minutes later, sir entered. I stood up to greet him, only to see him talking on the phone, not even considering my presence, let alone the cologne. He had a big puckered face with a nose resembling a parrot’s beak, the only difference between the two being that his’ was pimpled, flabby and oily. His lips were too small to zip the opening of his mouth, bejeweled with dried white gooey saliva on the sides. There were at least two coats of grease on his Blackberry touch phone. His finger prints created shiny three dimensional optical illusions on the oily screen. He composed himself on the chair sagging with his weight by now, and started the interview at 3.45 p.m.

He mumbled something incoherent, to which I just smiled. A moment later, I realized that it was a question that he had asked. “Sorry sir, I didn’t get you”, I said. Tuning my ears to the best I could, I inferred that he wanted to know why I had applied there. I didn’t want to blurt out that their stipend was what I was actually drooling over. Fortunately, his phone rang before I could answer. Life calling, it said.

His speech was really hard to decipher, tougher than the periodic table of elements. With a bit of lip reading and expression analysis, I managed to do just fine without too many “pardon sir?” moments. A few more questions later, I had gotten adept in decoding the remarkable lisps in his fat voice. As I began to show him my portfolio, his wife entered hammering the wooden floor with her heels. She wore a black knee length dress, costing Rs. 4999, as the bright green Globus price tag that she forgot to remove, said. She buzzed something into his hairy ears and cat-walked back to her cabin. He was supposed to be somewhere, it seemed.

“This is my best work, sir. It’s a kindergarten project that I designed…”.  “okay, so I have seen your work.”, he interrupted me. “We only need you to know basic software like Autocad and Sketchup…”, he got straight to the point, flipping the portfolio shut. He diluted my gusto as an architect a couple more times.

The chair bounced back to its original shape as he got up. “Aap Monday se join kar sakte hain”, he said as he shook hands with me, transporting a gallon of oil and a million germs along with it. Swinging the door open, the fat man rushed out.

“Arrey A/C toh band kardo”, I heard the peon whine as I stepped out.

5.00 avg. rating (96% score) - 3 votes