All the characters and events in this story are not real and do not bear resemblance to any person living or dead. Any such resemblance is purely coincidental
Chapter 1: The ball is in my court
‘May I come in?’ I asked before entering the room.
‘Yes, and please take your seat’, came the reply.
‘Let me walk you through the interview process we follow here. It’s going to last not more than 10 minutes. We are going to be the ones who will do the talking for the first 2 minutes. The next 8 minutes are all yours. Did I make myself understood?’ asked one of the interviewers while the other was silently observing me.
‘Yes, Sir’, I said even as I was analyzing what I had just heard.
‘You have decent academics and impressive live projects, so we won’t waste any of our precious time testing your technical competency’, he started.
‘You have mentioned creativity as one of your strengths and storytelling as one your hobbies.
He is going to ask me questions on storytelling! This is my area. I cannot screw this up. The ball is in my court. Bring it on.
‘But for the candidate we are looking for, being creative is not enough. He needs to be spontaneous as well’, he started’, he continued.
Where are they going with this?
‘Have you ever been in love?’ the other interviewer finally gave words to his thoughts.
I was taken aback by his question.
‘No’, I said sounding fable. ‘No, Sir’, I reiterated, clearing my throat.
Now, that sounded more confident.
‘Great. So tell me the story of your first love in the most interesting possible way. You have 8 minutes to impress us’; he said looking at his watch.
‘Sir, I said I do not have a love story’, I clarified.
‘And that’s exactly why I am asking you this question. This paper in my hand says you are creative. I need you to prove it’
‘You can start in 10 seconds’, he concluded.
I closed my eyes in introspection; 10 seconds later I started my narration.
Chapter 2: The story of my first love
Date: December 7th, 2007;
Location: St. Paul’s High School.
I was waiting outside our Headmaster’s room, and it was not a pleasant place to be in, especially for a student. But I was not alone.
‘So why are you here?’ I asked the girl who was seated beside me.
Her teary eyes met mine.
‘I was caught copying in the Math test’, she confessed.
Two minutes of awkward silence later she decided to talk.
‘And you?’ she returned my question, her eyes still wet with tears.
‘Pretty much the same. I was allegedly copying in the Math test’, I winked.
‘Then what! Only a fool would confess it. No offense meant huh!’ I said.
For no particular reason she did take offense and started crying even louder.
‘Ms. Krithika, why are you crying?’ Headmaster had asked.
‘It was a mistake; I will never do it again. Please forgive me’, she said.
Headmaster had made many futile attempts to put an end to her crying.
‘Okay, I am deducting 10 marks from your final paper as a punishment. You can leave now. Do not repeat this mistake’, he said.
No sooner had Krithika left the room, than the Headmaster turned his focus to me.
‘You Mister, I am deducting 10 marks from your paper as well’, he waited for my reaction.
Haha! Didn’t know I’d get out of this mess so easily! 10 marks is all it costs!
‘And 1 week of apprenticeship under the school Librarian. He is planning to dispose the old books and order some new books during this vacation. He could definitely use your helping hand. You need to report to him daily at 0900 hours for one week during the Christmas vacation’
‘What! But she didn’t get any apprenticeship!’ I blurted out, conveniently ignoring my manners.
‘Now, that’s the reaction I was expecting from you! Krithika had confessed her mistake and promised not to repeat it. You did neither’, he said.
So, I am not getting any brownie points for the display of confidence?
‘But sir..’, I started.
‘You can leave’, he conveniently concluded the discussion.
‘Never knew our school had such a big library’, I announced.
‘It is a state of the art library. We have academic reference books, encyclopedias, novels, comics, and magazines. You name a book and you’ll find it here’, the librarian informed. As he was describing the library I noticed that it was deserted.
‘This is going to be my worst Christmas vacation ever: alone, in a library’, I thought, not knowing that my life was about to change that very same day.
After working for a couple of hours I wondered if this was the most boring work on earth.
When I was half done with my work, I realized that the library was not completely deserted after all. There was a girl sitting in the corner of the room, surrounded by stacks of books.
Who in their right mind visits a library during vacation!
Suddenly, I realized that she could actually help me kill my boredom. It was then that I decided to venture into something I had never done before.
Anything to keep me away from boredom! Desperate times!
I walked up to her, and when I was close enough I noticed the girl’s ID card lay on an old book.
I could make out the words “Karenina” written on it.
Karenina! That was her name!
‘Excuse me!’ I said; thus initiating my first love story.
TO BE CONTINUED…
link to “The Interview – Part 2”: