Tuesday, August 05, 2008


(Here is a piece written by DD. Both DD and me are members of Team MD. For background information, MD in this post stands for ‘Mailer Daemon’. It is the students’ newspaper of ISM University. The setting is of us taking interviews for a new team.)

A year has passed since I pushed myself into Team MD. And I have managed to stick to it till today. My colleagues in the team are aware of two kinds of Team MD members: one, those who are dedicated to it and work hard till the end. They ‘eat, dream and think MD’ while working on an issue. The second category belongs to those who were not able to cope up with the pressure and left MD for its and their good. Guess I am a third kind- a category still needed to be researched. (Right now, my colleagues are working on our last issue, while I am typing this article.)

But this article is not about ‘how I fared for MD’. So let us forget this part and let me tell you what is going on in MD right now. Right now, we are interviewing candidates for selecting a new team for MD. How I had waited for this moment since the day I was selected. Back then, I imagined this day as one in which I would scrutinize, analyze and cross-question each candidate so as to bring out the true successors of our team. Now, I amuse myself by watching my colleagues do the same. Just on the second day of the interviews, I found myself hardly uttering a word. (Don’t dream of an HR like me!) ‘My colleagues, try to recall, I was there sitting right beside you.’ I watched, as some anxious, some nervous and some energetic faces took the chair before me while Ishant from one end and Shreya from the other, hovered like vultures, ready to peck at every slip of their tounge. Among the remaining enthusiasts were Sid, Divir, Sukanya, Sukhi, Vijit and Avinash, ready to chip in their part whenever they got a chance. ‘The dedicated and sincere team MD.’ Meanwhile, ‘the Bad Boy of the team‘(that’s me) was busy planning this article and was randomly generating numbers to fill up his analysis sheet. I decided to go back in time and put myself in the interviewee’s position to analyze how I would have fared in the same test.

Interviewer (MD): Would you like to introduce yourself?

Me: (Actually no. My name is a bit too long and you would forget it, the moment I leave this room. My branch will sound alien to you and my hobby-reading books- is of no practical use to you. Anything I mention thereafter about myself will generate further cross questions- causing myself to land in trouble. It is most unwise to introduce myself. But will have to say :) Yes.

MD: Introduce yourself.

Me: I would blabber out the usual intro and add nothing extra, lest I provoke further questions. All this, I would say in a loud tone, with an accent so that you get irritated and leave me quickly.

MD: What do you want your role to be in MD?

Me: (Let me think. If I choose editor it means sitting at my comp, reading other’s articles, sometimes writing by myself. OK, I will manage that, others will most probably help. Reporting will mean running here and there, speaking to admin etc etc. That is too much work. Easy decision.) I want to take up an editor’s job.

I now realize that back then my decision to choose editor actually got me selected. I escaped the PI round, something -I now feel, I would never have qualified.

MD: Where is the campus administration building and the maintenance department?

Me: (Campus Administration has to be within the campus. That is one thing I am sure of. But Murphy’s Law states that: ‘the greatest myth about administration is that, it exists.’ That makes CA a mythical place. What the hell!) I don’t know where the CA is.

Of course, I know where the maintenance department is. It is right behind the workshop. I went there once in the first year to get my window’s glass fixed. I had broken it, made it drop right from the first floor. The complaint got registered, nothing happened thereafter.

MD: What are your likes and dislikes about ISMU?

Me: (I must be cautious about this question- a tricky one. These guys love to point out shortcomings about ISMU, be it students or the admin. So to impress them, I must do the same. The part about ‘likes’ is just a pitfall, I must avoid. I am a clever guy.)

I dislike the students of ISMU. They make too much fuss about everything. There is a breed in ISM which wastes a year discussing ‘why shouldn’t we give certificates of merit to our rivals?’And prior to this, they would plan out a strategy for a month to ‘reach to a particular high status so that they can discuss the previously mentioned question.’ There is another species which goes on claiming for ‘more space.’ Then there is another which spends most of their time in challenging this claim. There is a group that has decided that its life’s ambition is to see all the infrastructural developments that ISM is ever capable of within their four or five years of stay in ISMU. Also ISM must have an increased area and the net speed must build up every year-all this they must witness while they are here. Finally there is MD which compiles all of this into six pages and hands it back to them.

What do I like about ISMU? I like the students of ISMU. There is a breed which is hell-bent on making a mark at ISMU. They would go up to any extent to fulfil their ambition, while they are here at ISMU. Be it promoting their departmental identity, helping the poor, or inspiring entrepreneurial skills, they are always out at the forefront. They are warriors. Remember the shout when the trophy of Muqabla was brought home. Remember Mechathlon, remember Sparx. Those were the times when ISM shone like never before. Ask yourself, don’t they deserve a little more than what they are getting? Maybe they asked for coaches, maybe they asked for a little more departmental and admin cooperation. Shouldn’t an effort be made to grant these? Remember: ‘A college is known by its students.’ And finally there is MD, which is composed of heroes selected from this breed. (When shall the groups mentioned previously get merged with this breed? But I guess, they are one and the same. ‘A mere flip changes the face of the coin.’)

MD: Improvements for MD?

Me: MD. When was the last time I read the complete paper? I remember noticing bar graphs in one of the issues. Then once, there was an article about status of girls in ISM - written by girls of course. You generally expect such stuff from them. ‘Good (status) generally leads to the expectation of Better (status).’ Once again, there was a full page of ‘Ruby Survey’. But that article was not for me. I have stopped staring at them since the time they started staring at me as if they were looking at an ‘ascetic kid.’ No wonders there. I hardly speak, while in a group. Other than these, I hardly recall any other article. Therefore you must increase the frequency of MD so that people like me at least remember a bunch of articles to speak about.

The final question was usually based on a situation, where one had to interview an admin member usually. I having chosen editorship would have escaped this question. So let me tell you, that my colleagues pretended to be part of the admin and conducted a mock interview. From their act, the following things about the admin were clear:

  • The admin is ready to come up with excuses at every mistake that is pointed out.
  • The admin/G.Sec is ready to take up any action if ‘approached through a proper channel.’
  • Everything is student’s fault. ‘No proper events are conducted because students don’t turn up.’(So no point conducting a better event.) ‘The sports complex need not be improved since the students won’t maintain it.’
  • The Yahoo HR will never accept the existence of ISMU at least in this life.
  • G.Sec will simply act as an interface between students and admin. He lacks the brains or guts to gather support and fight for a cause.
There were further inferences, but I don’t remember them right now.

There you go. I have spoken my heart out. I seldom do that. Judge for yourself whether I deserve to be in the MD team after giving such an interview. By the way do not mistake this for a BC article. Trivial BC is not my job. I am totally serious regarding all views expressed. Also if I am responsible for any hurt feelings upon reading this article. ‘Hate mails invited.’

(For more visit the MD website The site is under construction.)

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