My first scooty slipping experience

Slipping is a surreal experience. One moment you're in a normal motion, fully aware and assured, and the next moment, something makes you lose balance and you're leaning to left or right or front or back, trying to regain the balance but many a times you can't, and you fall. And all this time you know what was going on, but it all happens in a few seconds and before you can think about it, you're on your ass on the floor or ground.
I've always been watchful for banana peels on the road and water on the floor after I saw people slipping in movies, tv shows and heard of it in stories. Perhaps I'd slipped on the water on the floor in the bathroom or in the living room or in my bedroom or in someone else's bedroom, a few times in last 26 years. However, banana peels carelessly thrown on the road or floor hasn't got me yet, so that is my proud moment when it comes to slipping.
Today morning while driving to office, only few hundred meters away from my office, I saw this long trail of something that darkened the road, from a distance. I suspected it was water and I thought like always I'd smoothly drive over the trail, no chances of any harm done. But I saw this bike at a short distance and the rider picking it up from the road. I thought it was a one time incidence, but then I realized I was wrong when I found myself lose control of my scooty.
All of a sudden my scooty started shaking and going out of balance. I applied brakes hoping to stop it in time before it loses its center of gravity and make me fall. Next second, before I could put my left foot down and break  my fall, I fell and broke my record of zero accidents on the road. And this time it was a very juvenile kind of accident. I'm glad I wasn't hurt, at all, but the losing control and going out of balance scared me for a while.
This other guy came from behind and helped me lift my scooty. I thanked him and mounted my scooty while I glanced behind me and saw him mount his bike, ready to leave. While I drove away, at 20 kmph, I could feel myself still shaking with the experience. After riding few meters, I stopped carefully, looked back and saw another bike skid on that patch of water or oil or some liquid mixture. I wanted to ask what it was, but I was so late for office that I just drove away, again slowly and carefully.

Just Breathe, My CC#3 at Madhapur Toastmasters

Today I got the same feedback I've been getting all my life, i.e., improve eye-contact and avoid looking down. Its hard to sometimes recall the speech while looking at the audience in the eye but then its the audience a person speaks for, hence they deserve the attention.

As usual, I was nervous, and more so because this speech was something I really wanted to convey to the audience and not just a formality to finish my CC#3. So here goes my speech, titled "Just Breathe".

I was gasping for breath while my friends and I walked up the stairs, some 6 kms towards Tirupati. I took short pauses once in a while but eventually my friends decided to halt when they saw my face red with exhaustion. It was not my muscles that were paining, but my lungs which longed for more air due to the physical activity of upstairs walking. So one of my friends asked me to just sit and relax, he said, "Take deep breaths okay, just breathe". I felt like the critically wounded patient shown in the movies or TV shows, to whom the paramedics say, "just breathe, sir, just keep on breathing." I did feel better after few minutes of breathing in enough air.

Breathing is something we all do, involuntarily, but we usually don't realize it until we're gasping for what's most important for our survival, the air. Most of the people like me who have sedentary lifestyle or don't engage in much physical activities may get exhausted easily while doing physically challenging activities. This is because the capacity of our lungs to contain and process the air reduces with age. To keep the lungs healthy, one could either engage in sports or cardiovascular exercises which give lungs enough exercise, or, and this one’s for lazy bones like me, one could do some breathing exercises. Moreover, over the years, our manner of breathing gets worse as well and to reverse this to some extent, one must practice breathing the right way.

I’m sure we all have seen children playing around all day that sometimes their parents and other adults may wonder, where do these kids get this much energy from. That’s because kids breathe naturally, they breathe the right way, they do ‘deep breathing’ whereas adults like us do shallow breathing. The difference is simple. Kids use their whole upper body till the diaphragm to breathe in air while an average adult generally uses till the chest area to fill in air while breathing which restricts the amount of air the body can contain in one breath, which affects performance of the rest of the body. Lesser air, which means lesser oxygen with each breath, tires a person easily as compared to other people who do deep breathing.

Breathing exercises are like workout for lungs, without any sweat! The main focus of breathing exercises is to make a person utilize the whole upper body, especially the abdomen region while breathing, not just the chest area. Also, various exercises explore different kind of breathing techniques. Personally I practice Kapaal Bharati. The purpose of Kapaal Bharati is to empty the lungs and abdomen area by pushing out all the waste air so that more fresh air could be taken in. Breathing exercises are best practised during early morning hours so that fresh air is consumed in the process.

If you might have observed, when we are angry, fearful, or anxious, we over-breathe or frequency of breathing increases. In case of sadness, conflict or depression, we under-breathe or breathe less frequently. Some "hold their breath" in anticipation before a mystery is unraveled. Breathing rate changes automatically depending on one’s emotional state or mood. But breathing is a unique bodily function that can be both automatic without any deliberate effort and a self-directed and conscious activity. So, when we bring breathing under our direct and voluntary control, we can use it as a tool to control emotions.  We can easily observe the changes in our breathing when we consciously attempt to do so.

Similarly, it is extremely difficult to directly influence the activity of heart, kidney, stomach, intestines, and other organs which are involved in the experiencing of emotions.  Through breathing, we can influence the activity of these internal organs.

While the negative emotions cause over-breathing, under-breathing, and other irregular breathing activity, the positive emotions cause breathing to be deeper, easier, and effortless.  By the same functional relationship, when we restore our breathing to a deep, smooth, and rhythmical pattern, we can reduce the strength of negative emotions and acquire a peaceful and relaxing mental state.

Nature has equipped us with a "fight of flight" emergency response for surviving against the enemy or danger.  It has also provided us with a "calming" response, to restore peace and serenity, equally important for our survival.  You can trigger a calming response whenever you like by pressing the 'button," i.e. your breathing.  Take five or ten deep, smooth, rhythmical breathes.  With each out breath, say the word "calm" or "relax," silently in your head and there you are!  You have triggered a calming response.  It is simple and effective, most of the times.

Whenever you breathe directly through your nasal passages, the air that you breath in is made pure and once it gets through to your lungs and goes out your lips, it can then be optimized and leveraged in full. If you do this on a regular basis, you'll neutralize a lot of the more common issues while public speaking, like dry mouth, coughing and possibly a sore and painful throat. Make every attempt to acquire a great deal of fresh air as you possibly can and take in a few purifying breathes through your nose before you begin. Fill up your lungs and breathe out directly through your nose. Always remember and keep in mind that when you breathe in you are breathing in the good and when you breaths out you are breathing out the bad. This tends to be really simple and the payoff is immense!

I'd like to conclude by saying that we all must follow good breathing practices. If you're stressed, just breathe, if you're tired, just breathe, if you're dejected, just breathe, because correct breathing can heal and because breathing is life.

The Rat under the bed

"Did you see that rat!"
"Rat! Where? Where is it?"
"It went under your bed." I grinned about it as I bent to look below Atul's bed. Of one thing I could boast, the area under my bed was cleaner than Atul's.
"Bloody ass! Now it'll loiter around and dirty the place. Why do you keep the door open, damn it!"
"The bigger question is, why did it take refuge under your bed?"

Atul and I were room mates during first year of our college life. There had been minor incidents of rat infiltration in neighboring rooms which involved some efforts by the inmates to scare the thing away. This time it was in our room and we were not prepared to handle the situation.

While Atul sat on his bed, doing something on his laptop, it continuously occurred to me that a rat was sitting under him, and occasionally I looked under his bed for some movement of that rat that might give away his specific location. None.

"Did it leave already?"
Atul looked up from his laptop screen, shrugged as if pretending not to care, then got back to whatever he was doing. It then occurred to me, if the rodents could climb walls, this one under Atul's bed could climb up the wall behind him and stun him.

"Bhanu, my good neighbor, little help required."
"Anything for you buddy! Give me five minutes."
Did the rat just cross from below the study table towards my side of the room? I wondered as I sat on my bed waiting for Bhanukiran.
"Yeah buddy, tell me." Help had finally arrived.
"We have a rat situation."
"Where is the rat?"
"Under Atul's bed."
Bhanukiran started laughing boisterously. Atul gave him a no-nonsense look.
"The good news is that Atul is unperturbed." I further added with a grin.
"I can't seem to find a rat below this bed." Bhanukiran reported as he looked below the bed from the wall side of the bed.
"Neither can I." I said as I stared below from the other side. "No sign of the infiltrator."
"Looks like it left. Enjoy!" Bhanukiran said and walked out of our room.
"Maybe you scared it off Bhanu." I said which he safely ignored.

"We must use this to kill any rat that invades our privacy in future."
"What is this?"
"Its a rat poison. It probably works on humans also, so we must wash our hands after handling this."
"I won't take the dead body out after the rat dies in this room."
"The advertisement says that it eats the poison, then goes out and dies, so don't worry. Now, we need some eatable to wrap around this poison cake."

"What's the smell about." Atul and I just entered our room after lunch, two days later.
"Maybe we didn't leave the windows open so the room feels suffocating."
"It smells like something died in here."
"The door was locked, what would possibly have come in and suddenly died?"
Then it occurred to both of us.
"Where is the smell coming from?"
It was coming from under Atul's bed. Probably it was the same rat from last week only who had died. Upon further investigation it was discovered that the rat had entered Atul's travel bag which was open and contained some of his clothes. The rat had probably consumed the poison before taking shelter in his bag. We had unknowingly locked it in our room, so it couldn't go out to die, as the advertisement had claimed.

That evening Atul took his travel bag outside the hostel, threw it in a garbage dump, put some kerosene on it, and left a lighted matchstick into it, burning the dead rat and all his clothes in the bag.

My CC#2 speech at Madhapur Toastmasters

This was my second speech at Madhapur Toastmasters. I was nervous, yes but this speech was the most crucial one because first time success can be a fluke, but a second time success makes it permanent.

I’d like to start by briefly talking about the movie Groundhog Day. The protagonist in the Groundhog Day wakes up on the same day over and over again. He meets the same people, has similar conversations with them and visits the same places everyday, until he starts experimenting with his various options of living that one day differently.

Good morning, sir toastmaster, fellow toastmasters and dear guests,

Have you ever felt like living the same kind of life over and over again? Sometimes living the routine life may make us feel that life is moving in a circle, and nothing significant or substantial is happening. To break the monotonicity, a person may plan an outing once in a while, travel during vacations, maybe start a new hobby, revisit an old hobby or take up interesting projects to work on, thereby meeting new people as well. One seeks change from the routine and to experience something different probably because change can stimulate and refresh oneself.

Change is basically a transition from one state to another. The transition may be drastic, like an accident, or a planned one, like moving to a new place. The transition may lead to disastrous consequences, for example, changes in weather patterns leading to low agricultural productivity, or may be a blessing, like accepting a failure for once and turning it into your next victory! Changes as trivial as buying something or getting a new look can uplift your mood whereas the anticipation of change itself, for example, making a big career decision can keep a person anxious for days!

If you observe, there are many changes in our daily lives that follow a certain pattern. They can be either linear, for example, growth of a living being, or circular, for example, change in seasons, day changing to night and vice versa etc.

A change, especially a new one generally marks the beginning of something, hence that first instance most of the times becomes a memorable experience, like the first day at college, driving for the first time, or perhaps giving the ice-breaker speech at the toastmasters. These beginning steps, be it a good or bad experience, that may take life in a new direction remains in our mind for a very long time. Applying the same logic, a change may also mark the end of something, for example graduation, retirement or just the end of a phase in life.

They say, "If you don't change, you can become extinct". The good news is that we all do change, whether we want it or not, whether we realize it or not, the bad news is that the change can be hard if one doesn’t accept it and learn to embrace it. Survival of the fittest theory shows that the species to have survived were not those with superior genes but ones which could adapt to the changes. Dinosaurs became extinct but cockroaches still survive. We humans have come a long way through evolution, survived and now dominate other species only because of our superior intelligence that allow us to cope with changes, and make some changes around us as well. While other species in the presence of external changes like drastic climatic change, habitat or food scarcity may generally die out or they may simply migrate to a new place, we generally can cope with the unforeseen changes even by staying at the same place, and perhaps eventually thriving as well. Ironically, the intelligence that makes us capable of making changes around us and helps us cope with changes also makes us vulnerable to the effects of those changes at various levels, particularly the emotional level. The important thing to remember here is that change may make us feel vulnerable but that experience can teach us new ways of life.

Living a routine life can in fact be good. Working on a routine can make a person more efficient and outcomes more predictable. It makes simpler to deal with any day to day life problems and issues. But maybe it’s something in our mind that can’t stand this routine life and demands for a change once in a while.

Sometimes, we just don’t want anything to change in life because it feels so perfect. But that’s the thing about change, when its time, it happens. It enters into our lives and eventually becomes a part of it. We then try to rearrange our life, make changes in oneself, to get closer to the perfect life we dream to live. Thus, almost all self-planned changes are due to some imperfection, some dissatisfaction with some aspect of oneself or one’s life. It is when we feel satisfied, achieve that feeling of euphoria that we stop making changes in that aspect of life and savor it for as long as it lasts.

The process of change is a never ending loop. Change happens, and then we make that change a part of our life, or it just becomes a part of our life so that it doesn't seem like change anymore, then another change happens. Sometimes we have to create changes in one's life to keep things interesting, and sometimes we have to live the routine life to get things done. But no matter how the situation is, the 'change' is what makes memories, and eventually one settles down with the change and many aspects of life become like the Groundhog Day again!

Unfortunately I forgot the speech few times in between, hence forgot to speak the second last stanza. But overall the speech went fine.

Bhuda man (Old man)

I was breathing in the cool summer evening air and mildly panting as I saw my friends play around and under the swing, and the seeker among them trying to catch others by touching them once. I generally got tired before others did, so I took some time to recuperate and enjoyed the twilight. I stared towards the New Officer's Colony as the light slowly faded into darkness. Suddenly I heard what I thought was the end of their game but ignored it for the time being. My friend and next block neighbor patted me on my shoulder and spoke in my ear, "Do you know about Bhuda man?"
"Bhuda man!"
"Yeah, rumor has it that Bhuda man visits this children park just before it gets dark and puts all the kids he can find in his big bag and takes them with him."
"Yeah, right!" But I already had this image of an old energetic man with long untidy white hair and badly wrinkled face, long nose, long fingers with long nails and a bag where he stuffs any and every kid he finds.
My friend looked at me with a serious and concerned expression, then suddenly started running towards the colony, leaving a trail of his voice behind that said, "Hurry before the Bhuda man finds us."
'Damn' I told myself and ran after him.
'I wonder why I listen to him' I thought, panting heavily while on the road of the colony, as my friend walked into the block of his house. I turned back and looked at the children park, deserted and slowly being covered in darkness, but I couldn't see any Bhuda man. Perhaps for a second there I wished I could see the Bhuda man for once.
'Maybe I listen to him because he's taller than I am.' I concluded and with hasty pace walked back to my house.

My Ice-breaker speech at Madhapur Toastmasters

Last Saturday I delivered my ice-breaker speech at Madhapur Toastmasters, and it was an amazing experience. After a very long time I could complete delivering a speech. Moreover, I spoke for 6 minutes !! And except for a few seconds long pause, everything else went smooth. My eye-contact was poor and I should have been louder, as per the feedbacks I got, but the stage hardly shook this time. I delivered the following speech:

A bit about myself

I’d like to start by sharing a real life incidence that taught me that everything happens for a reason. My buddy and I were racing down the slope towards the Officer’s institute on our bicycles. My friend pedaled a little harder as we reached the gates and gained advantage. I put in some extra energy too but unfortunately, the chain of my bicycle came off. I was in a critical situation on a fast moving bicycle. I decided to jump off the bicycle and run with it to catch up. I jumped off but forgot to apply the brakes. The next moment I was profusely bleeding from my knees and had bruised elbows.
Earlier that day, while filling some form for me, my father had asked me for two identification marks on my body. I only had one, i.e., a mole at the back of my neck. But by the end of the day, I had successfully got two more identification marks, one on each knee.

Sir Toastmaster, fellow toastmasters and dear guests…

I am Abhishek Sainani, a student of IIIT-H pursuing MS by Research in computer science and engineering. My hometown is Pune, but I’m not a Marathi. I’m a Sindhi but I don’t know Sindhi. I get by using English and Hindi.

My father is an officer in the Indian Army; hence I was brought up in various different places in India. Over the years, I’ve developed a sense of belonging to the Army cantonment and my alma mater, the Army Public School as they were quite the same in every place I lived.

My mother is kindergarden teacher and pampers me a lot, she still does!

My younger sister is in 12th now and studying non-medical stream of science. She decided to follow my lead but like a good big brother I motivate her to study and understand things on her own rather than asking me only because I never understood any of the concepts properly, I just managed somehow. :D

Unknowingly I’ve always been following one rule in my life, to believe that future would be better than the present. I have had a great childhood, but also had fear of many things like deep water, heights, being on a speeding vehicle, ghosts, eating curd, syringes, strangers etc. When I observed that none of the grown ups had any of my fear, I assumed that as one grows, things get better. That’s why I didn’t worry about my fears and grew over most of them.

I never really liked “sainani” as my surname. It is so different, I used to think. I felt different and isolated. But people seemed to like the name ‘sainani’ and started calling me that and it became my identity! My respect for my surname took an exponential surge when I typed “abhishek sainani” in google and got few results corresponding to me. Since then I’ve been commenting on other’s blogs, writing blogs, reviews etc. online to increase the result in Google search for ‘abhishek sainani’. :D
I have three hobbies: sleeping, dreaming and reading.
I’d like to talk about dreaming. I used to day dream a lot in my childhood; imagine various desirable outcomes of an incident gone bad. One day I discovered that my thoughts during day time often became my sleeptime dreams at night. I told myself, woah! I think I might be having some kind of special ability and I started manipulating the content for my sleeptime dreams and succeeded in some cases. I always enjoy recalling my sleeptime dreams after waking up and for some time now, I’ve been keeping a sleeptime dreams journal as well and posting some of the interesting ones on my blog.

I’d like to share some interesting incidents that happened in my dreams. This one time I got angry at a ghost and punched him in the face. He got crushed to pinkish pulp. The ghost looked like the Vice-Principle of my school. This other time, I was almost killed in a fist-fight but I enjoyed it. And the wildest of all, I was captured by the terrorists and they interrogated me for information while I tried to convince them that I was a terrorist too.

I spend my leisure time either reading stories, watching movies and TV shows or talking to someone and listening to their story. I felt motivated to write a novel when I was in 6th class. I wrote two pages, describing a big, fast ship with lots of people going on a cruise, and then didn’t know what to do with those people in the ship. Lately though I’ve written one story each on two of my favorite topics: sleeping and dreaming. Perhaps at the back of my mind writing stories have always been my childhood dream, stories that capture the beautiful moments of life; stories about possible and impossible things that may happen in life.

As I have been penning down stories, I come to the conclusion of this story, which is just the beginning of a new phase in my life and I am sure I am out to gain here something because as I said, everything happens for a reason.

Thank you.

And then I walked back to my place, mildly shaken by the experience but it was every bit worth it !!

Essay/GD/PI @ IIM-L

This guest post is written by Amit Agarwal, IIIT-H alumnus, sharing his experience at IIM-L on 8th April.

Here I have tried to replicate the complete situation along with all the answers I gave to give a complete feel of what happened out there with me.

Essay Writing
Time: 15 minutes
Topic: Nudity in art is prerogative of the artist.

Wrote about different forms of art and took a diplomatic approach. Argued that artists generally bare themselves to create the masterpiece and so nudity is not bad as projected and is in fact the correct representation of what the artist is thinking. On the other side some use nudity in art just to gain popularity and such acts should be curbed. So to conclude it is prerogative of the artist but it should be monitored from rogue elements.

Group Discussion
Time: 20 min
Group Size: 12 people
Topic: Same as essay.

Talked about what was in the essay and gave a proper analysis of what I thought. GD went to fish market few times but was mostly repetitive. I made sure I presented my analysis fully when I talked and then moved back and listened. 2-3 people were not able to talk at all who were asked to summarize in the end. One was asked if he had anything new to add when he started summarizing which pissed off the professors. They stopped and asked him to give a new point but he continued summarizing.

Personal Interview

After GD, the professors said they will call in the same order as we were seated and I was the first one. We all were asked to wait outside and told that we will be called. I went out and had some water and put my tie in order again, cleared my throat and sat. After 5 minutes one of the professors came and called me. I entered the room.

Me: Good morning, sir (to the first professor P1)
Me: Good morning, sir (to the second professor P2)

They showed me a chair indicating to sit. I smiled, said thank you sir and sat down.

P2: give your profile.
Me: (Confused)... sir, I beg your pardon.
P2: (pointing to my file) your certificates.

I smilingly forwarded my certificates to him.

P1: So Amit, tell me something about yourself in about 1 minute.
Me: (Had prepared a lot…so started off) Sir, I was born and brought up in Barakar, west Bengal and did my schooling from the same place. I did my +2 from Delhi public school, Bokaro and then went to IIIT, Hyderabad for my engineering. During my academics I have been very consistent and have achieved silver medal in mathematics Olympiad and have appeared twice in deans list and once in merit list. After engineering I joined IBM and am working as the SPOC for memory controller unit and also lead the hiring team. During this tenure I have received technical excellence and execution excellence award which is given to top talents. Also I have been nominated for talent spark. Reg my…

P1:  (Stops me) Tell me about your family?
Me: Sir, I belong to a traditional Hindu joint family and was brought up by my uncle.
P1: what about your parents?
Me: Sir, my father passed away couple of months before my birth and my mother is a housewife..
P1: (taken aback) what happened.
Me: sir it was a car accident. (my voice breaking by this time)
P1: (gave a sigh and a sad expression and moved on) So Amit, you say you are good in mathematics.
Me: (trying to get back into the interview after a complex start, gave him a smile)
P1: Using numbers 1 – 9 and 0 form a equation which is equal to 1.
Me: (what the hell, I should know this but I don’t know..crap)  Sir, can I use repetition of digits.
P1: Do anything
Me: sir, (1-9)*0 + 0!
P1: How…
Me: first term is equal to 0 and second term is equal to 1.
P1: Are you sure 0! =1
Me: Yes sir ( I was getting confused but stuck to my opinion and cursed myself for not using 1 simply )
P1: Are you sure.
Me: Yes sir.
P1: I am not sure, I will check.
Me: (he will not remember to check…scored the point )
P1: I was looking for (1-9)^0 .
Me: (Oh crap, yeah that was the answer)
P2: (Deeply lost into my certificates and documents suddenly wakes up) …what is this. You have very poor marks, very very bad academics. What is this… just 88%, 84% … that is very bad.
Me: (Thanks to time faculty who gave us an answer for this..) Sir, I have been involved in extra-curricular activities as well. In IIIT was the founder of robotics club.. (both were sort of ignoring by this time… and I was left all alone with no-one listening to my poor soul)
P2: You said you were good in academics and consistent.
Me: yes sir, consistent.

P2 looks at my B.Tech marks which was 86.1 with ever increasing GPA year on year basis convinced him of consistency and he said okay and repeated that its still bad academics.

P1: What are the different areas of mathematics?
Me: (what crap) Sir, I did not get you. Sorry
P1: like algebra.
Me: Trigonometry, geometry.
P1: Geometry?
Me: (I realized I have messed up) No, sir. I don’t think
P1: Then what is it
Me: Sir, it’s a combination of trigonometry and algebra.
P1: What else?
Me: Sir, I am not sure.
P1: So you are from Barakar, What is famous in Barakar?
Me: Sir, Barakar River (wanted him to take the direction of Damodar river which I had studied after my IIM Indore interview)
P1: Anything else?
Me: Sir, it’s a very small town and that’s the most famous thing (still trying to get to the rivers)
P1: What about coal?
Me: (Shit… how can I forget that... I decided to play smart) Sir, coal is definitely there in the surrounding but not in Barakar specifically. Its there in Kumardhubi, Raniganj, Asansol.  (FYI. Barakar is sitting on coal in the same way as other places I mentioned but said confidently thinking he will surely not know Barakar)
P1: (looked suspiciously but did not cross-question)
P2: (Still listening as I maintained decent contact with both of them while answering)
P1: Why MBA?
Me: (Happy over a prepared question). Sir, I would like to nurture my skills and gain and understanding of….
P2: (Furious) Don’t give me such crap. All of you say that. It makes no sense. All you trained bastards.
Me: (Shit. What to say now. Just stay calm).
P1: Still, you should do M.Tech.  Why did you do B.Tech then?
Me: Sir, engineering has taught me how things work but I have been in leadership roles all through and I think I am ready to take the next step (thanks to Sukesh who said this sometime back) so I would like to go for management career.
P2: what is the full form of SEBI?
Me: (Forgot, so took a blind guess here) Stock exchange board of India

P2 starts laughing out loud…

P1: (as if he missed the joke of the century asked him) what happened?

P2 tells my answer... Stock exchange board of India

Me: Sorry, sir… its securities exchange (realized better to say no than guessing again) ... sir, I am not sure.
P2: Who is SEBI chairman?
Me: I am not sure, sir.
P2: Who controlled the market before SEBI
Me: (took a very dumb guess here) Sir, RBI
P2: (laughing on his knees by now) what is this!?
Me: Sorry sir, I don’t know.
P2: Okay. What does RBI do?
Me: (Thankfully I know this) Sir, RBI regulated the money in the market. (Praying, please don’t ask me details I don’t know)
P1: You read newspaper?
Me: yes sir.
P1: Which one?
Me: Times of India and Economic times.
P1: What was the headline in yesterday’s newspaper?
Me: (yippee, I needed this question) 72 CRPF jawans killed by Maoists.
P1: So who are these Maoists?
Me: (good question, I have prepared for it )  Sir, it is a group of people who rose against the upper class back in 1967 and were for a good cause but eventually it got politically motivated and is now a threat.
P1: threat to what?
Me: Threat to the administration and society and more so to themselves. They have been given guns without even knowing what they should do of it.
P1: So Barakar is a small town, why is that some places develop and some don’t?
Me: Sir, it is because of the government’s policy of exclusive growth instead of inclusive growth. Governments focus on some towns which develop and the ones which are ignored.
P2: (Now looking totally frustrated. It was morning and I am the first guy, I am like, what is wrong) what are you talking about? You are not answering what the professor is asking. You are just speaking randomly.
Me: (Boy, I am giving a decent answer please listen, why are you frustrated) I am sorry sir, Can you please repeat the question?
P1: What is the basic issue that some places develop and some don’t?
Me: (thinking of a different answer) Sir, education is not there.
P1: Leave education, what is the core issue?
Me: (thinking hard. What else to say.) Sir, it is the mindset of the people as well (yeah, I started my philosophy. I was like now he can’t beat me). People born poor think that they will remain poor all their life.
P1: (interrupts) So you say nobody wants to grow? That’s not true.
Me: Sir, I did not mean that, but people in backward region believe in miracles that someone will come and help them out of their miseries. Places where such miracles happen develop and where they don’t happen remain backward. (I was on my toes again and almost said... “In your face, now argue”)
P1: (Giving up and in a lazy tone) I am not sure if there are many people in Durgapur or Barakar and if those places will develop.
Me: (Boss, I cannot be provoked here... this is all bull shit you are talking and I can sense that)
P2: What is the foreign exchange reserve?
Me: $200 Million
P2: (laughs out loud and P1 as if sleeping and missing out on another joke asks him what happened)

P2 in a low voice tells him the question

P1: (Repeats the question) what is the foreign exchange reserve?
Me: I am sorry sir; it’s around $300 Billion
P1: Do you know the difference between Million and Billion?
Me: (very confidently) yes sir, its 3 zeros difference.
P1: okay.
P2: What is the foreign policy?
Me: (took it as economic policy) sir, pre 90’s
P2: Forget past, talk about now.
Me: (pretty exhausted this time) sir, its pretty open now. And government is inviting companies to invest in our economy.
P2: (gave a dull look and looks at P1 and returns my file)
P1: Okay, we are done.
Me: (to P1) Thank you, sir
Me: (to P2) Thank you, sir

Placed the chair properly back and moved out of the room.

RESULT: I was finally selected for IIM Lucknow. :D