The "Practicals" session so called for me began in no time, when we - a group of thirteen people were directed towards a classroom. We all proceeded inside and the first thing I noticed, was the typical semi-circular arrangement of chairs around the desks (the way I used to visualize while reading GDs sessions in CSR). There was a lady (rather strict looking) seated behind the teacher's desk, just in front of those chairs, looking and observing each of us. We took our positions and I was sitting at the left most seat of the whole arrangement.
I was really having difficulty breathing that time, because of what I dunno. I had no idea what topic was going to be given to us and everyone except me as I thought was looking very confident to me... (It usually happens when u are panicking in such situations.) Anyways! I simply programmed my mind to stay cool, worst that could happen was that I'd not speak anything. Big deal! I can go back and continue my studies - there was nothing to lose!!
The feeling calmed me a bit. We all were waiting for the topic to be given and were looking at the lady with anticipation. She got up after some moments, went ahead to close the classroom door, took a chalk and started writing on the blackboard. I was ready with my pen and notebook (which was already kept on the desk!! ) to zot down whatever would strike me of the topic...anything related/unrelated, out of the blue..but something!! She finished writing the topic and turned back to look at us. I was a bit dumbstruck looking at the blackboard, for I could not believe what I was looking at.
The topic was - "Who is more powerful - Tom or Jerry?"
For a moment I thought, something is wrong - Are these Tom and Jerry some names of company or product which I am unaware of? My mind for a moment raced towards apache tomcat servers too, for I could not believe the fact that out of all big bang things happening around, we had been asked to discuss a cartoon series!!!!
The cartoon series which I'd researched, kept, watched some million times by now since god-knows-what time and still exists on my daily-laugh-sequence folder!! :)
It took me some time to take hold of the topic. I couldn't help smiling myself and then one guy among our group took the initiative. In typical CSR - GD way, he explained the topic and then started with his viewpoints. We were all impressed but the moment he said "I think Tom is powerful", I got the thing that this guy doesn't know anything about the particular series except for the famous name of "Tom and Jerry Cartoons". Anyways, we listened to him, but a few of our over-enthusiastic public interrupted him in between and then began a complete chaos of 1 minute, when every one was speaking , no one was listening and I was wondering - whether it was a GD or some fruit shop having sale!!!...I was looking at each one's face, not knowing whom to listen. This was completely opposite to my perception of a GD as I'd read since so long in CSR! I'd not spoken anything by now and if the trend continued then I'd be silently stepping outside the room...even when I knew the topic to its nerve cell!!
I waited for some more time and then out of my instinct, I got up, asked everyone to calm down, take deep breath and stop arguing like this, because that was taking us no where. I expected some sort of retaliation, but to my surprise everyone was listening to me and following me too. I guess I got over pleased by this because the next moment I did a BLUNDER!!.. I just suggested, that everyone should speak their points, we can note down what does not convince us, tell our points on those things in our turn and then at end one of us can summarize. Now what is the blunder in this?? The blunder is, I asked the person at the right-most to start, which meant that by the time me the (un)lucky thirteenth would get chance to speak, almost all the points would have been already discussed and spoken about.
I realized this the moment I happily sat down and started listening to the first person. People were coolly telling their points and facts to support the theory about "Jerry being powerful" and "Tom being powerful". I was left with my mind making webs to figure out some point, some minute point that I can speak about, after those 12 people!!!. The topic was very straight and simple and dint have much facts to go ahead in any hidden way!!!..And as expected everyone covered all the points, their relationships to the real world etc. that can be known to any "Tom and Jerry Cartoon" viewer..
I was still struggling with my thoughts when the twelfth number was speaking beside me and then the jackpot hit me!! I felt immediately so calm and peaceful and confident now that I am definitely going to clear this, no matter what.!!!
There came my turn and I simply suggested the fact about "Jerry being powerful, not just because he uses the maximum of his potential, but also because he uses his weaknesses to his strengths, his small size to his advantage, his light weight to his winning.It is all about planning the resources to their positive and only positive potentials." and then all blah blah blah on that I spoke that time!!
And after some more talks the GD ended. We got the result in another half an hour. Only three people among the thirteen of us got selected and no wonder I was among the three!! :-)
Next was a technical interview with a very cool guy who interviewed me. I was more confident and clear with my ideas and explanations this time. The whole process was finished by the end of the day! I was happy with my performance and we were supposed to get our results within next five days.
I got selected, left my MCA to proceed to Bangalore, signed a four years bond with Wipro Technologies and BITS Pilani. The next four years were spent at an edge of managing time, energy and balance with my MS studies as well as regular job as Project engineer. The deadlines, the exams, the classes, no free weekends, just one month of free Saturday and Sunday in 5 months.No holidays, no proper leaves, no proper money :D but a life truly enjoyed with all the stuffs and lessons learned in the span of those four years. So much was I and in fact everyone of us involved in the schedule that we actually felt an emptiness at the end of the course!! It is being around one year now since then!
My nostalgia ends here. My career, life and its dramatic turns really make me think - Life is really interesting!! And truly a fascinating journey!