01 June 2005, 2350 hrs.
FMS – D Day
We planned to leave at 5. It was 8:30 and we were still in Pune. And yeah, none of us knew the roads in Mumbai! Fortunately we reached the outskirts of Mumbai by 11 am, 3hrs before the exam. Joys of driving on the Mumbai Pune Expressway you see! But now we still had to find the centre. 2 hrs of driving in the crazy Mumbai heat and traffic and after a million wrong turns, my centre was nowhere in sight! And to help us out were some great specimens, rickshawallahs who only made gestures either by hand or their eyes (we almost thought talking was taxed in Mumbai), another started laughing at us when we told him where we had to go and he realised how far we were from our destination, felt like socking his face then and there, and how can I forget the dude whose directions were longer than the Ramayan.
Vikrant even suggested skipping the exam and chilling out in Bandra! His exact words were, “Shiv, anyways you not gonna get a call! Tell folks at home you did not make it.” Did anyone hear me call him my best friend? And suddenly out of nowhere we are bang in front of my centre! Thank God!
Also met Mihir Kanitkar, my classmate at Vincents (spent 12 years of my life here) by chance. His rickshaw crossed me while I was standing by the road. To meet someone like that in Bombay was truly amazing.
After four and a half hours of driving I was pooped. But still had an exam to take! Went to the classroom and started yawning. The guy sitting in front of me almost fainted when he heard my antics of the day! He was so tense. And I was so sleepy!
The paper started and I started enjoying it. Don’t know what got triggered but it did not feel like an examination. Just one of those papers which click with you I guess. In the heart of hearts I knew I had done well.
The rest of the day in Bombay was quite eventful to say the least. Our car got towed away twice for wrong parking within 2 hours, we never parked after tht, got stuck in an hour long traffic jam thanks to Saurabh driving on the wrong side of the road in a city like Mumbai, and to top it all we were on the way to Ahmedabad! We finally reached Pune at about midnight, swearing never to drive down again!
FMS – Stage II
So I finally made it to the final 400. But only 60 were going to be selected. 1 in 7! Now what? Is it even worth a shot I asked myself. Anyways I just badly needed a holiday from work and it had been 6 years that I had visited my relatives in Delhi. The call couldn’t have come at a better time. For me it was more of a vacation!
As luck would have it, I converted my SP Jain call just hours before leaving for Delhi! With a backup in hand, tension for me was something which existed only in the dictionary. The interview was one of the best I ever had, the only one which comes close is ISB, Hyderabad. The extempore and group discussion were satisfactory! On hindsight everything is always cool isn’t it!
Results were declared the next day itself. I was in.
(Why the hell would I be wasting so much time otherwise!! :))
The story about the FMS watchman telling me on the phone I am not in and me driving down to the Faculty in the middle of the night to cross check with the notice board, I shall save for some other time! I sure am going to meet that dude when I get there and probably treat him to a chai!!
Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine that I will be moving to Delhi! Dilli apun aarela hai! Tumhari Hindi sudhaarne ko ...