Wednesday, June 21, 2006

City of Dreams - Episode Eins!

June 23rd 2003 - I-Flex Solutions Ltd.
It took me some time to find the place. Actually I almost entered another building along the way which looked like the perfect setup for a software firm. Another victim of preconceived notions… Interestingly, I still do not know what that building houses! As I waited, people began to turn up in groups of two or three. Soon there were about eight guys murmuring away. It was apparent they knew each other. I turned to see my friend and prospective roommate from college arrive. A familiar face at last. Finally, we decided to go inside. While the regulars just flashed their cards to enter, we had to wait till we were let in by the security guards. We waited at the reception on the comfortable sofa sets, looking at the new faces and wondering if the others felt the tinge of apprehension too.
Soon we were led up to what would be our camping grounds for the next three months; the training rooms. The first thing we noticed was that the temperature in these rooms was significantly lower than the rest of the building. Never figured out the reason for that, though it led to a lot of humorous discussions.
Once we were settled down our instructors organized an introductory session. It turned out that there were sixteen of us; four from COEP, four from IT-BHU and eight from IIT-KGP. It was a diverse mix of 16 engineers just out of college. We were made to sign an endless number of forms that made us unwittingly accept a lot of things that I fail to recall now.
Looking around I wondered whether I would get along with the lot. And I am pretty certain that similar thoughts were traversing the minds of some, if not all the others too. Over the next year I would be spending some of my greatest days with this group, or at least a part of it. But, being unable to foretell the future, I did not know that then.
The evening was spent in search of accommodation. After a few visits to ramshackle apartments being leased at exorbitant rates, I wondered whether the starting of this new life was to be in a dingy, odious apartment. A long bus journey back to the defense guest house followed by a hot meal was the culmination of day one.


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