Tag Archives: interview

27 Broken Footprints – Another discussion with the author

27 Broken Footprints is a narrative weaved around recent popular events dissecting and exploring pressing contemporary issues while raising a few questions – some old, some new – is vigilante form of justice an answer to today’s rapes in India? Where have all our heroes gone? Can a girl from IIT ever be a real woman? Can one really get over the hurt of their first failed love? The darkness of misery – can it lead one to kill? How much does one really pay for fame – acquired and lost? And is forgetting the only way to stay truly happy?

She got in touch with me recently, the writer of this book, asking me if I would like to discuss the book. This post is an excerpt from the conversation.
But before we get there, below is the cover of the book.
What all can you see there?
Do you see the woman, do you see her tears, do you see the seashore?
Do you see the legs, the four faces and the throned path? 


Me: The section Inside Dairy in 27 Broken Footprints starts with the chapter Are IIT girls afraid of dark circles? What prompted you to delve on the beauty quotient of IIT girls?
Preeti: It was in my third or fourth year that I wrote this piece. As far as my memory serves me, there were a couple of articles in leading dailies discussing the same topic,and those articles had words like – she’s the man, she males – yes, these were the words used to describe the girls from my college. These articles, discussions about these articles within my own circles and also the general perception regarding iit girls and beauty, prompted me to not just delve, but to write about….write about what I wrote about.

Me: It is a prevalent belief that beauty and intelligence are inversely related. Popular beliefs aside, was the chapter in Are IIT girls afraid of dark circles written on a defensive note?
Preeti: No. It is satire. Not defence. In fact, you cannot miss the mockery amongst the words.


Me: What is the section The Other Woman about?
Preeti: This is the first chapter that you will come across in 27 Broken Footprints. It is a love-hate-revenge story. The story moves very rapidly in future, past and the present.

I am going to quote directly from the book here –

As far as stories in this book, The Other Woman, I think makes for a difficult read. It’s about a girl in love and a girl out of love. It’s about her innocence, her faith, her love and her cold-blooded deeply-disturbing revenge.”

Here is another teaser from the book – 27 BROKEN FOOTPRINTS — LIKE ME, YOU ARE – OUR FICTIONAL REALITY

The book is available on Amazon for pre-order. Do book your copy today.

That Grilling Interview- Part 2

Me: Sir philosophy pursues questions rather than answers. The main source of philosophic questioning is the sense of wonder, a childlike  wonder just about everything. It starts with bewilderment, astonishment, amazement about the world, life, and ourselves. Philosophy teaches a number of skills that are valuable in a variety of professions. The hallmark of philosophy education is critical thinking and inductive reasoning. Additionally, philosophy demonstrates that problems often have multiple solutions, and teaches its students to approach problems from a number of different perspectives (“lateral thinking”). The key point to remember is that philosophy is not a collection of facts to be memorized – it is a methodological approach to thinking and problem solving, which is highly valued in a number of professions.

When I read philosophy, I find myself involved in a process of critical thinking which may develop into ‘out of the box’ thinking for me in a professional world. Most of the scientists from few past centuries have been lovers of philosophy.


P3: Good, convincing. You also mentioned that you write on philosophy?

Me: Yes Sir, though I have written very few such articles. One of them is also available on the Yahoo US website.

P2: Let me give you a case. Suppose you are the HR manager and an employee approaches you seeking a one week leave saying  that his mother is seriously ill. What would you do?

Me: I would first check with his colleagues if his mother is really ill. I would also check his social networking profile to see if he was planning for a vacation and just trying to fool me. If I am convinced, I would grant him the leave depending on his requirement in the office.

P2: What will you do if he is found guilty? Let’s say he has updated a Facebook status that he is about to go on a one-week trip to Goa. Won’t you lash out and make a symbol of him in front of other employees?

Me: It won’t be a good idea to lash out at him in front of others. Every employee has certain ego and a sensible manager won’t not try to hurt that. I will ask him what made him to tell me a lie. He is always free to ask for a leave in case he is in a holiday mood. It might be even possible for the whole company staff to take a break on some weekend and go on a trip together. He may very well be granted holidays if he is speaking the truth. There is no point in telling lies in a professional world, for when truth confronts you ultimately you are going to suffer.

P2: Nice approach, but how does it prevent other employees from not doing it in future?

Me: ( blank for 10 seconds, then started speaking). That is something that needs to be taken care of during the induction period itself.

P2: (nods) Hmmm…

P3: Tell me about your engineering subjects.

Me: Told him about 5-6 subjects. Then explained him about biomedical instrumentation.

P1: One last question, Bhubaneshwar is very close to your hometown, then why haven’t you applied for that campus? Why did you choose the Delhi campus?

Me: ( Seriously puzzled, couldn’t tell them on face that Bhubaneshwar campus sucks at infrastructure and its placements too… Delhi was a far better choice. Finally something clicked my mind and this is what I said). I don’t think so. In today’s world distance is a relative concept. People see distance as the time that it is going to take them to reach there. My uncle works with the UN in Sudan and takes a flight for his hometown, which lets him meet his parents within 4 hours, though Sudan is thousands of Kilometers away. My grandparents live just 500 Km away from my home, but it takes my dad an 8 hour train journey to meet his parents.

P1: Didn’t speak anything. ( Now it was his turn to go silent).

P2 and P3 are smiling.

P2: We are done. Thanks for your time.

Me: Thank you.



RESULT: I made it, but I am joining a different college since I am more interested in studying marketing.



That grilling interview-Part 1

I have attended nearly 10 interviews for admission into B-schools, in the last 2 months. The selection process for each oh them first required shortlisting done on the basis of an MBA entrance, in which I scored above 90 percentile and that was decent enough to fetch me interview calls for at least 10 schools. The interview call consists of  a Group discussion(GD)+Written essay+Personal Interview(PI).

This process was never going to be easy as one needs to have a good knowledge of current affairs to clear the GD, above average writing skills for the essay and most importantly, confident enough to clear the PI. Moreover, all of the institutes that I had applied to appear among the top 20 institutes in at least one ranking, so a tough selection procedure is followed by these.

One of these interviews will hold special importance to me. I was grilled on a lot of subjects and I had never expected so many unexpected questions in a single interview. I was grilled on almost everything I said, but I tried to remain calm and confident. I thought I shall share this experience with you all, and moreover, I can look at this post in future to assure myself that I have faced something so tough in the past.
The selection process that I am talking about is of IMI- Delhi. 1200 people had been shortlisted for the course that I had applied. Final selection would not exceed 60 which happens to be the total no. of available seats. This as going to be tough, highly competitive, but hat really bugged me was the fact that this institute had selected only 45 candidates last year, saying that they did not find anything special among rest of the people and they could not compromise with their quality just for the sake of filling 60 seats in total.

The selection process started with a written essay of 250-300 words (time limit 15 minutes). This was followed by a personality test in which we had to answer some general questions that would help the evaluators in determining some of our personality traits.

Next was the interview round. Students were divided into certain batches and each batch was assigned a panel which would interview them. I was the last person in my panel. It was 11 in the morning when I saw my name at the bottom of the PI list and I had already spent 5 hours at the interview venue. I went for documents verification, took a nap and then had my lunch. My watch read 1 P.M.

Now I had nothing to do, so I started interacting with other candidates. I talked to them about the questions that were being asked in the PI and tried to compile them at one place, but all in vain for no conclusion could be drawn from them. There was no specific pattern and it seemed what one answered for the first question lead to a series of more questions. We patiently tried to wait for our chance. I met a senior from my college who had a work-experience of 3 years. His stories only gave me more reasons to do MBA as a fresher. I tried to approach a hot chick there but she was already done with her PI and was in a hurry to leave the venue. My turn finally came up at 3:30 PM. Here starts the description of my PI in detail:

Three interviewers- P1(an HR faculty), P2 (Finace HOD), P3 (an industry expert). P3 was bald and all of them looked to be in their mid-forties. I enter the room expecting the first question to be ‘tell us about yourself!’

P1(smilingly): So you had to wait a lot, the last person. Are you annoyed?

Me: Yes sir, but thankfully, one person before me didn’t turn up and that saved my 45 minutes. Annoyed? Not at all, I just made some good friends outside. Moreover, you people have been interviewing us right from the morning, you have been busy all the time, it does not give the people like me who are just ‘waiting’ to be annoyed.

P1(no change of expression): Hmmmmmm…

P3: Tell me where are you from? What is famous about your place.

Me: My native is Jharkhand. My state is famous for Dhoni.

P3 starts laughing. P1 and P2 join him.

P3: Hahaha… not minerals, not forests, not about steel plants, but you say Dhoni.

Me: Sir that would have been my answer had you asked what’s good about my state! If you repeat your question then I will still give the same answer, because that’s how people from other stated recognize my state, that’s how my friends reacted hen I told them that I am from Jharkhand.

P3: Fine, I have already answered the good things. Tell me few bad things about your state.

Me: Poor literacy, poor infrastructure, most importantly, the political instability. There have been 8 different chief ministers of my state in the last 12 years and currently there is a President rule with no chief minister.

P3 looks convinced but doesn’t say anything.

P1: You have applied to the HR course. Tell me what interests you about HR?

Me: I love challenges. I believe that an HR professional handles the toughest job, since he has to handle people. The definition of management itself says getting things done with the help of people. This makes people the most important asset of any organization!

P1: You are a fresher. Tell me what you know about HR?

Me: (I had researched a lot on this. Told them everything that I knew).

P1: I agree with what you have said, but tell me how can you learn to manage people without having any work experience?

Me: I don’t have any work experience, but I have a ‘Life experience’. In the last 3-4 years I have desperately tried to learn ne things, failed a lot and yet never gave up. Now I have learnt most of those things. If you talk of learning then that’s the reason why I have applied to your college. I am sure I can match up with others or even outperform them with my dedication. I have made a few commitments in my life. I wake up early every morning, sweat myself in the gym, get outside my comfort zone by doing those extra Push-ups. The same discipline with which I do that one extra Push-up, the same discipline with which I push myself for trying a complex note on the guitar, that same discipline applies to all other aspects of my life.

P1: Hmmmmmmm…

Me(thinking, wtf! I just said such strong lines and all he has to say is Hmmm…!)

P2: We will give you an extempore topic now. Think for 1 min, stand and speak without stopping for 3-4 minutes). The topic is ‘ Is HR as a profession underrated’?

Me: Spoke for 3-4 minutes.

P3: What are the things that interest you?

Me: Fitness activities and playing guitar interest me a lot. I am also interested in reading and writing Philosophy.

P3: What’s the use of Philosophy? It’s just another genre, just like fiction!