I continue today what I had started a couple of days ago, when I had recounted my brush with pseudokind.
I walked into the room where the MICA interview panel sat awaiting my arrival, sharpening their knives, cutlasses and other instruments of torture. The panel was populated with three individuals, two male and one female.
Starting off with a bit of gas about myself, the panelists descended to asking me to convince them why I didn’t want to become a career journalist. Ten minutes on, when all of us realized that the conversation seemed to resemble a circle more than anything else, they moved on to ask me about one brand I admired.
I spoke eloquently on Hutch, and how Hutch’s advertisements and their services were so superior as to be a lifestyle product. After around two minutes of Hutchsell on my part, an interview panelist pounced on me and asked me out of the blue,
‘What’s the connection you have?’
I was taken aback, and could not lie at such short notice. I informed him that my connection was a Reliance connection. I had walked right into the most shark-infested zone in the Pacific. We descended into nitpicking about why I couldn’t convince my parents to give me a Hutch connection, and how on earth I was going to sell packaged human excreta to millions of people if I couldn’t sell a cell phone connection to my parents. After telling them that my parents represented a value-conscious segment of the market that Hutch did not target at all in the first place, and that I wasn’t aware of a cell phone being purchased for me in the first place (lie detectors would have gone bleep! at this point. ), I managed to extricate myself out of the hole I had so assiduously dug for myself.
Then, the panelists expressed concern about my sore voice, and asked me which peak on the Himalayas my thorax had gone to scale. After telling them about how my voice was the quintessential prodigal who listened not to the diktats of my mind, and, like a rebellious soul, went where it pleased whenever it felt like doing so, I told them that it would make a full return shortly (because most of it had already made a comeback).
Surprise number 2 hit me then.
‘Tell me why we should let you in?’
That was a question that demanded a lot of thought. I told them that I spoke well, clearly and persuasively, with a smile on my face – trying to look like some demagogue on the Patrice Lumumba line.
‘Clearly? Hah!’, exploded the short-haired lady on the panel (who reminded me strongly of the chatterati – y’know, the kind who gather around Delhi’s press club, drink in hand, and discuss arcane solutions to arcane problems like Guatemala’s capitalist oppressors and wax eloquent on how 10 people holding placards in front of Bush’s office could turn the world around)
‘Well, Ma’am, at least when my throat isn’t sore…’
After some more desultory chatter, I left the room with a grin on my face. I was concentrating so much on the grinning part that I left my bag in the room. As a result of this, I spent another extended period with Ms. Pseudo and her compatriots – a time exceedingly well spent ogling the espieglerie and ignoring the conversation - until the panel left the room (and I could sidle in)
As I walked out of IIM Bangalore, it was a confused self. I felt like the rubber rat that cats amuse themselves with, utterly decimated… On the other hand, even if I didn’t make it, I’d be spared two years of association with pseudodom, wouldn’t I? (But, I’d also miss two years of ogling at the same pseudodom, dammit!)