Thursday, November 26, 2009

being at the wrong side of the table!!

Hi guys… I am sure if you happen to be reading this post, you might have appeared for a viva at some point of your life or other. If you are from my college; well then you know what a horrifying experience can these turn out to be. Most of us lesser mortals have by now understood the Pranjal’s law of Viva. Now let me introduce you to pranjal’s law of Viva. This law is like the first law of thermodynamics (energy can neither be created nor be destroyed) - everybody knew this but then suddenly someone came and said this is a law, big deal!

But anyways you all also may be very much aware of the Pranjal’s law of Viva but I hereby claim the credit of forming this law which states that “It is immaterial whether you prepare or not, if you are a lesser mortal appearing for a viva, you are invariably going to get screwed.”

And for your reference, “lesser mortal” in this law is defined as any student appearing for a viva who is not a fanatic psychopath doomed to be immersed in sordid melancholy of text books all his life. But considering this definition, your general perception may be that no nine pointer can be lesser mortal. But here I’d beg to differ with this general perception. U need not be a “fanatic psychopath doomed to be immersed in sordid melancholy of text books all his life” to be a nine pointer, sheer brilliance may also suffice. The grade sheets of a couple of nine pointers of my batch, whom I’m proud to say I know closely, are the testimony of this fact (I could give you the names if you asked for ‘em).

Anyways mathematically,

If you are x such that  x Є A, you are screwed.

A is a set defined as, A= U-F

And U and F are sets defined further as,

U= universal set of all the students appearing in viva

F= set of fanatic psychopaths doomed to be immersed in sordid melancholy of text books all        their life.

So people next time you screw your viva, just recall the “Pranjal’s law of Viva”, you may find some solace in the despair.

Disclaimer: My work does not account for the breed of people we call toady or more popularly known as arse licker. The Pranjal’s law of viva may be applied to everyone else.


PS: This law has been drafted on the basis of experimental observations made during my last three years at the wrong side of the table. And as you would have concluded from the taste of this law, those observations haven’t been very merry. And the fact that the sadist butchers at the other side found bliss in our state added insult to injury!! But that was when I had not formed the law. Now that I have formed the law, I too resonate in the bliss of the sadist butchers!! Because as they say- “pain is inevitable but suffering is optional!!”

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Just a little thing mates

I’ve been itching to write this post since last 4-5 days but have not been able to owing to some unavoidable circumstances. Now that the euphoria has finally subsided, I can write peacefully. Now, now don’t go all ‘kahe ka euphoria kaise unavoidable circumastances’, i know how annoying it is when amateurs like me try to build suspense so I won’t hobble around and get directly to the topic!!
So the cause of this euphoria is that yours truly, yes yours truly Pranjal has got placed in Mahindra and Mahindra, FES!! Yeah I know I shouldn’t sound too much pleased with myself but I’m yet to discover another way of speaking this out :) … so bear with meJ.
So this post, I am going to tell you all about the whole selection procedure of Mahindra and Mahindra that they followed at my place- National Institute of Technology, Jamshedpur and that they almost certainly follow at all other engineering colleges.
So the whole procedure started on the morning of 27th july about 9:15 am, with a PPT-pre placement talk.
It was at this ppt, we had our first look at the team that had come to select us for Mahindra and Mahindra. The team had three men and two ladies. Two of the men – Mr. Pramod Lamba and Mr. Sudhir were probably of same age- somewhere in mid fifties and third gentleman Mr. Adarsh choudhary was a bit younger somewhere in mid fourties. But the ladies- miss Ruchi Rawat and miss Soumya Bajpai, seemed stunningly young… I mean could have easily mistaken them for my batch mates had I not been absolutely sure that I know every girl in my batch at least by face!!
So it was miss Ruchi who initiated the ppt informing us completely about the selection procedure. She told us that she would be recruiting for both Mahindra and Swaraj division. Then Mr. Pramod, a short portly man got up and guided us on various aspects of Mahindra and Mahindra through the course of a presentation. The presentation was quite interesting, but I remember one thing told to us in the presentation quite clearly… Mahindra and Mahindra holds a total of 42% share of Indian market in FES(farming equipment sector). That piece of statistics swept me off my feet!! Boy, it is an agriculture based economy we are talking about and you have a 42%market share in the FES!! Anyways we were told that we will first have a written, then a group discussion round and then finally personal interview.
So immediately after the PPT we were addressed to assemble at the hall 222 for our written test.
Written test
Previously I had appeared in two companies (Ashok Leyland and Telcon) and could not even clear the written, so I was particularly anxious about clearing the written. I had studied pretty much the same that I had studied for previous two companies… production technology and ic engines.
The paper had two sections-
Aptitude (25questions) and
Technical (50 questions).
The time duration of the test was 75 minutes and there was no negative marking and no sectional cut off. The aptitude was pretty easy… it had questions like “a drum has two holes- one can empty it in 6 minutes and the other can in 9 minutes so how much time will both take to empty it”. Such questions, I take, should be a piece of cake for any average engineering student. I felt Only four questions, based on coding, were difficult which I could not solve and hence I guess marked them [no negative marking!!].
Then the technical portion was very tough- I only knew some 12-14 questions out of the 50 completely… so I had to resort to guessing a large chunk of the paper… though most of the guess work was done a bit intelligently, a little bit of wild guess was also involved.
Anyways at about 12:30 the written was over and we were free… so I came back, had my lunch and was preparing to sleep around 2:00pm as Rahul Bhardwaj came and told me that I had cleared the written. I was one of the 37(out of nearly 80) people to have qualified the written. Then I was told that I had my Group Discussion round at 4:30. I started preparing for the GD, then had bath, dressed in the formals (I had to borrow hrishikesh’s tie because I had not bought one!!) and reached the training and placement cell of my college.
Group discussion
The GD started 20 minutes earlier than its scheduled time. Anyways as we entered I was feeling very nervous. All the members of the HR team were seated there in the GD room. As we entered Mr. Lamba directed us to sit… and we all sat according to the roll numbers assigned to us… and then mr. Lamba and company asked few general questions to help us feel at ease with the GD room environ and calm down the nerves and that certainly helped. Anyways we were provided the topic- Indo-US nuclear deal. I had read a lot on the deal but that was well 7-8 months ago… we were given 2 minutes to think and prepare and so we did. And after two minutes bell rang to indicate the start of discussion I was the first one to speak… I spake, spake did I for one continuous minute when someone interrupted me and the discussion went on. After seven minutes the discussion ended and we all left the room.
The GD had gone well but I couldn’t be certain because two or three people in my group had spoken well. Anyways I came back and waited for the result and was not made to for long; for the result came with an hour and I had been called for the interview. Out of a total of 37 who had been selected for the GD, 18 had been called for interview. We were told that 6 people would be interviewed on 27th night itself and remaining 12 the next i.e. 28th and I was among the latter group of people. So I had one full night to prepare for the interview and I tried my best to study… I studied a little bit of IC engine but couldn’t study much… tried to study a little bit of industrial management and failed. So finally resorted to calling nidhi, my cousin who has this amazing ability to sooth your nerves even if you have a raging storm of nerves inside you. I can’t remember after talking to nidhi but certainly couldn’t study but yeah I kept the IC engine book OPEN in front of me to feel as if I were studying. And finally I decided to sleep at 2 and turned off the lights but again I couldn’t sleep until it was 3:30 and even when I slept o slept badly… got up early at 7.

The interview
In morning I got up, had bath and got ready by 9 am and left for the TAP cell by 10 am. I had heard that the interviewers are mainly asking HR questions so I framed up some questions in mind and tried to answer myself but again, failed. I had taken a book of industrial management with me; I tried to study that and again gave up. I was nervous like anything… I was trying to calm myself, but couldn’t. I tried to ward off all those horrible thoughts coming in the mind and this time I succeeded. I thought just what my dad had told me “zyada se zyada kya hoga?? Nahi lenge… koi maar to denge nahi!! Fir try karna” and that helped… my dad is a genius I reflected. Then out came (from the interview room) Gaurav Prateek who was scheduled just before me and it was my turn.
The bell rang and in went Pranjal Srivastava. I asked if I could come in and was asked to enter and then sit down. Then Mr. Lamba asked me “srivastva jeee… pehle ye bataiye kaha se hain ap??” I told them I am from azamgarh, UP. The panel laughed a bit, and asked me if I knew what azamgarh is famous for. O told them it is famous for literary personalities and scholars like moulana shibli nomani, kaifi aazmi and rahul sankrityayan and then also told them that lately it has been in news for bomb blast accused and other terrorist activities to which Mr. Sudhir(one of the panel members) told me that it was only famous for that(terrorists)!!
Anyways interview carried on and I was asked why should they take me only seeing that they had 18 options available and I told them the usual I was enthusiastic, have the attitude of a sportsperson and blah blah… which may be a bit cliché but is true. I made sure that I followed each quality that I claimed to have, with an example which revealed that quality. This answer I had prepared beforehand, so I felt I did a good job answering it. Many such questions followed but there are two questions I remember distinctly.
First one was if I wanted to go for higher studies. Miss Ruchi asked me if I would go for M.Tech, MBA or anything else. This question I had tried a lot prepare but could not decide on a binary (yes/no) answer. So I told them what I felt honestly. I told them that I want to progress in the company… I would work hard and expect promotion but if after a certain stage I feel that I am unable to climb up the ladder and an MBA has become essential to reach my goal I would go for MBA, but if I am satisfied with my job and progress I would continue to work. Then Mr. Sudhir said “but your father is a PhD !!” I told them that my dad saw himself in a teaching career so he went to higher studies and he had an interest in research so he did a PhD and that I saw myself in industry so I would opt for industry to which they seemed to be satisfied and I got a “good”.
Then the second stand out question was a hypothetical situation. Mr Lamba asked “suppose you are working really hard and still you have not been promoted for two years. What will you do?” “tricky one” I thought and again decided to go by instincts. I told them the honest thing that I’d do. I told them “sir, I would go back to the basics, try and diagnose the problem and then rectify it.” But Mr.Lamba intervened “no no! according to you, you are working really good” I then thought a bit and said “sir, if I am not being promoted, there has to be reason for it. In such a case, I’ll start doubting my credentials as that particulars post holder. Then I’ll go to my seniors responsible for promotion and try to discuss with them the problems in my work and that how can I be more productive company and get promoted” and again this seemed to satisfy them… again I got a “good” from Mr. Sudhir and I knew I had nailed it J.
The whole interview had only single technical question asked by Mr. Adarsh Choudhary.
He asked me which subject was my favorite. I told him IC engine. Then he laughed and said “why does everyone say IC engine??” I told him “I think it’s because it is pretty easy.” Then he said “ask me a question on IC engine” and I obliged by asking “what is the difference b/w a spark ignition and compression ignition engine?” and then he said “now answer this.” Feeling elated I promptly answered this question because anyone who has studied only the introduction chapter in any book on IC engine would answer this even in sleep. Miss soumya then asked ki what would happen if a diesel engine was fed with petrol. On this question I told a whole lot of engineering- petrol has high auto ignition temp which won’t be achieved hence no combustion would take place. So the chemical energy of fuel won’t be converted to mechanical energy and hence no work would be done rendering the whole practice quite useless!!
Now in final moments of interview Miss Ruchi asked me if I had any problems in travelling. Again I trusted my instinct and gave her the honest answer that I had no problems in travelling for 7-8 years now, that is until I get married but after I’m married it won’t be possible for me to travel that frequently!! Then Mr. Lamba asked “nothing in pipeline for marriage?” and I laughed and replied that I didn’t have any girl friend so nothing was there in pipeline. Again Miss Ruchi asked me if I was open to working anywhere and again my response was affirmative.
Then I was told that I could go… and I came out of interview hall feeling that I had put up good show and stood a real good chance to get the job. But even then I was a little bit skeptical.
And then they decided to give us the results for our interview and again I was nervous like anything. But then they gave the result and it turned out that Pranjal Srivastava had got the job, and I went on an exploration to search the heavens for levels of clouds beyond the cloud nine!!
And finally on this cool august night as I sit on the roof of my hostel, completing this post, I have a job!!

PS: This post was written some 8 days back and I have got an opportunity to post it today only because of the internet problem there at our hostel!!

Thursday, May 21, 2009

till now

Sorry for being late…           

My end semester exams have been over ever since last Friday but somehow I did not get time to scribble in. ok time for updates… u might be thinking on the lines of “lucky bastard!! Exams over, must be havin fun”… well if you were thinking on those lines you couldn’t be more incorrect. This summer I have to do a vocational training as a part of my curriculum and that’s what I am doing these days. The fact that I am doing my VT here in Tata Steel, Tubes Division in jamshedpur means that I have to live here in Jamshedpur even during the summer vacations and it sucks big time!! Rub salt to the wound, I have to drive approx 16 km daily to reach tubes division, that too by 9:30 in morning.  Anyways but there are a few positives though… I am starting to have a feel of the industry and how the stuff is done here and also I get to peep in my future because I can almost visualize myself doing whatever the engineers are doing here in tubes division, in coming two years or so.

So this Monday I went to tubes division and I was told that I’d be doing my training under Mr. Santosh in ‘Precision tubes mills’. So I was taken to meet Santosh sir. When we reached his office, he was not there… most probably have been in the mill or some meeting. So we sat there in his office and waited for him to come. The office was a decent sized air conditioned room with various files neatly stacked in the racks. On walls are graphs regarding some aspects of production in previous years, altogether it was not at all how I expected the room of an engineer to be. We are such messy people… I expected it to untidy with files cluttered here and there but the scene was totally otherwise… he seemed quite an organized person. In my mind I was picturing a devilishly strict person who would torment us for the rest of our training.  Then in came he-Mr. Santosh with one of his colleagues, Mr. Kaushik Pathak and I was surprised to see that he was very pleasant personality. Then Mr. Santosh turned to us and after a formal introduction, began to chalk out the plan for our training and it turned out that he indeed is a very organized and focused person. Now as he was going on a leave from the very next day, he introduced us to Mr. S.K Lal who would take care of our training until he comes back(which is on 25th of this month). Mr. Lal is another very dedicated person.

 The one most important thing that I have learned in only three days of this training is that how to remain dedicated to your firm… each and single guy is so focused and dedicated to his job that it seems almost unbelievable. And then they are very helpful too… yesterday when we went there in the PT mill, we had some questions regarding 2” mill and 3” mill and asked Mr. Pathak and he promptly agreed to answer our queries. We sat in his office for some 45minutes and kept hurling questions at him regarding technical details of mills and he patiently kept answering them all. I was completely bowled over with his command on the each and every fine detail of the whole mill!!

Anyways that’s all for now… I’d put the whole process of making pipes from steel sheets on this blog some day when I am completely thorough with the process and I have time… its very long and tedious process u know! Anyways  ‘jai ram ji ki’

Friday, April 17, 2009

oh damn it!!

Have you ever been tortured by someone so much that you finally decided to document your feelings of loathe and repulsion about him in written form? Well, yours truly is just now going through the agonizing experience, and the cause is summer. Yeah you heard it right summer- the season. It is mid April and the summer is already here in Jamshedpur. It’s hot and it’s scorching hot. I hate it. Of the two extreme seasons- winter and summer, I hate summer most. The reason?? Well it is simple, during winter u can cope up with sweater, jacket and all but in summer… there is simply no escape… keep drinking lots of water, cold drinks, sherbet etc and nothing would work. It’s nearly midnight and I have just had bath, my third time today. Bathing is one of my desperate attempts to ward off heat and the better among the worse methods.

Given the water crisis the world is facing, I try to save water during winters by taking bath once in a week or more… but during summer; all that hard work goes in vain when I have to take bath 3-4 times daily. This season shouldn’t have been there in the calendar… God!! You should have researched on "what my children like" a bit more before bestowing them with this frivolous present of a season.

Some people like summer… they say it’s the best season, it brings mangoes. I say “damn you summer”, “damn you mangoes” and “damn you summer supporters”. I hate it… so what it brings mangoes… i wouldn’t trade my sleep for a superfluously sweet, yellow fruit. I can’t even sleep properly in this heat.

And to add insult to injury, my room is on the top floor of the hostel. So damn hot it is… it’s like I’ve lost my mind and have sat in a god damned oven. And the college doesn’t even allow us to have coolers in our room!!(as if my dad would have bought me one if college allowed!!).

This heat makes me wish I lived in the era of cavemen… at least I could walk around naked, I mean everybody would. That may be effective to counter the heat. That is the only stone that I have left unturned searching for relief from heat because u know… when you live in a hostel or any society in 2009 AD, you cannot just walk around naked flaunting your things.

I guess this much is enough… I feel my heart getting light… I have vented out my anger and frustration cropping up from not being able to sleep and you have read it all. I guess I should have a bath again and try to sleep.

Signing off… adios.


Monday, March 16, 2009

happy holi all(belated)

"KA HO BHAIYYA, PAN KHAIBA KA?" a panwallah asks me this as i come out of Varanasi cantt. railway station as if he was distributing pan not selling it, and i know that I have finally arrived Varanasi. 
for ur information... the exams have thankfully ended :) and ecstasy would be the right word to
describe my feeling. And that i have arrived varanasi- the oldest city on planet earth,raises this emotion to the power of two. So ask me "how are you feeling right now Pranjal??" and i'd reply"ECSTATIC^2!!" [yeah i know that joke sucked :d... i'm pathetic with them!!]. This  city varanasi is seriously wonderful... and it being so close to my hometown Azamgarh adds to the flavour. The people here are completely mast with their PAns in mouth... even autowallah will ask you " bhaiyya dlw, maduadih??", with that pan filled in mouth and if you are not accustomed to being talked to in this fashion, it is almost inevitable that u'll not uderstand that the  autowallah is even talkin!! by the time u recognise to ur utter disbelief that this pan in mouth gruntle was supposed to be the autowallah talking, he would have gone presuming that u don't want to go on the route of DLW/maduadih. But anyways i simply love this typical accent, dialect and mannerism.
People generally associate this Pan thing with varanasi only but this is common for the whole 
eastern Uttar Pradesh (if not whole eastern UP then at least the Awadh region of eastern UP...
including the districts of Varanasi, Jaunpur, Faizabad, Sultanpur, Allahabad, Azamgarh etc.) So whenerver some Panwallah uses this pick up line " ka ho bhaiyya, pan khaiba ka??" anywhere be it UP or (accidentally) outside UP, i can't help saying " theek ba marde laga da ek the meetha pan" (ok man... make one meetha pan). Another thing associated here with people in UP is that they are completely mast... they don't easily get tensed(well... exceptions do exist!!). And  icing on the cake is that this being the holi season everyone is in the typical holi mood. So i'm loving being here right now. Anyways let me enjoy this season and the hometown leisures and thanks for reading hopeless braying of Pranjal completely again.
hope to write soon... till then,
*mouth filled with pan* "JAI RAM JI KI"

PS: as i am home these days i don't have free 24*7 internet access which enjoy at college... these
posts will be uploaded a bit Late... that's why I've put date on top so that u can know the correct
date of post being written ;).

Friday, February 20, 2009

a sigh of relief

Oh God... finally!!! finally we- the mechanical engineers have something to cheer about. Today, when i woke up and took the newspaper lying there in front of door in my room, i saw some statistics on the front page and trust me freinds, the such was the effect of those statistics that it made me grin wide fron ear to ear ;). The article said that there are strong turnaround hopes for the key economic sectors viz; steel, cement, auto,food and beverage. 

The data provided says that after a dip in last quarter of 2008, steel is back on his growing trends with 4.2% growth in this quarter.The cement industry has seen a whopping 10% more growth in december 2008 than november. But the most the most growth has been recorded in automobile sector-my favourite sector from the perspective of a future mechanical engineering professional. The passenger vehicles gerw at an exponential 32% and also the commercial vehicles saw huge increase figures of 23%. The FMCGs (fast moving consumer goods) showed a growth of 26.4% in year on year figures for quarters ending on december 31, 2008. Even the rail freightshowed an increasing trend in december 2008 by climbing to 7% after declining to 2.3% in oct-nov 2008.
The power sector, everyone knows is never going to go under loss because of its perennial and perpetual demand. 
The figures are encouraging... at least they do provide hope to us mechanical engineering 3rd year students who are going to appear in campus interviews this year. I'm keeping my fingers crossed and banking on these figures that when I pass out from this great 
college, NIT-JAMSHEDPUR, I surely will have at least one job in my pocket(if not two or three).
God bless us all job aspirants!!