Friday, November 12, 2010


A rebound in basketball is the act of successfully gaining possession of the basketball after a missed field goal or free throw. Rebounds in basketball are a routine part in the game, as all possessions change after a shot is successfully made.

Rebounds it seems are a routine part of life as well, especially mine. Not many people know and neither have I had the physical characteristics of one, but I used to play basketball in school and was in fact a decent player. I used to play at the position what can be loosely described as the 'Point Guard'. I used to play defense and was good at it, especially at checking and dribbling, I was fairly ok at layups too, but what I used to suck and still do is shooting. First of all I am short (for a basketball player that is, otherwise I'm above average height, at least for an Indian) so couldn't go over raised hands and blocks, plus my shooting accuracy was bad too. So I generally I used to make play happen and pass the ball, or occasionally shoot the ball hoping some of my team members will take the rebound. I never could, because of my playing position and my height. But I guess what I couldn't do on the field maybe life is doing to me off it.

To a layman a rebound (offensive rebound) is a failed attempt to score, it's when you throw the ball but it doesn't go in where you wanted it to be instead it bounces off the ring or the board of the basket but then someone of your team gets the ball and puts it where you wanted it to be in the first place, the basket or the goal.My life has seen a few rebounds too, especially two very recently. It was when I shot towards the goal, missed, and then got it in the rebound.

Excuse the dramatic portrayal which you are about to encounter and the pseudo intellectual gibberish you just did. But if this stuff happens to you in real life then Shakespearean dramas and Hindi TV soaps look bland compared to it.

First rebound was when I came back from my class; it was after my first 15 – 20 days in BIMTECH. After 98.8 percentile in CAT I was kind of overjoyed and almost with the feeling that now I am pretty much through with the MBA entrance and a good college is guaranteed. What I didn't realize that time there was a big hurdle in front of me, namely the GD-PI round, one hurdle too big it seems, of all the 9 colleges I was shortlisted for I could only clear one of them, namely BIMTECH. It seems like I missed quite a few shots. Now it wasn't too bad or too lowly for me or something but I'll be honest here, it wasn't what I was expecting either, after truly working hard for once in my life I thought I had deserved something slightly better. But what I got was what I got and with that thought I told myself to get the best out of the opportunity that I was given. BIMTECH didn't have a lot of things, but good people certainly was not one of them, I made friends quickly there, and I am still good friends with most of them. I started settling in, enjoying my first ever true hostel life and imagining my future there.

But it was the 17th day of June and I had come back after a full day of classes and was just Facebooking and checking my mails, when a mail from a certain Ravi Sharma came in which certainly changed the course of my immediate life in many ways. It had a pretty bland subject line 'Admission to PGDM Programme - 2008 – 2010' but what was inside was pretty exciting for me. I had got into IMI, though in probably the 3rd list but got in nonetheless. I showed it to my friend who was standing right there, where I was overjoyed his reaction was 'Abey matlab tu jaa raha hai', I nodded in approval and went out to call my parents. What had happened the earlier day was that they had said that Ravi Sharma from IMI had called and said you are offered admission in some course, the first list for IMI had come in so long back that I had totally forgot about it and had given up any hope on it. I had said it maybe for some other program of them, their main program's list, for which I was interested in had come out long back, and I wasn't really interested in all those. They had still asked me to call him once to confirm, I had also said yes just for the sake of it but wasn't planning to do it.

But then life has its own way of turning out and no matter what and how much you plan the journey there are some unexpected turns in the road that change your destination altogether. What if I had not gotten in IMI, what if I had taken finance as a major as I was planning to that time, there are a lot of what ifs that I can ask, but no one knows their answer. I was happy needless to mention, as I got into a good college, what my friends say about it now or what I feel about it from time to time is a different thing, but at that time I was happy, and content with the feeling that I got what I thought I deserved. That I had finally scored with the rebound.

It was another struggle after getting into IMI and as much as people don't think about it now but it was pretty chaotic back then, in the first trimester, juggling classes, case studies, assigned readings, reports, my sidey room in Katwaria Sarai, a certain Marketing Professor. I was almost going bonkers. The recession had hit full time and my seniors were facing the heat, scrambling for the thing they had taken for granted, the most important thing in any MBA student's life, PLACEMENTS! I had been asked in the IMI interview itself that how you think this current recession is going to affect you, I had very replied very smoothly that it's a minor slowdown, it'll blow over by the time I pass out, Guess it wasn't to be. A few Americans who I had never met, done anything to or thought about took loans on high interest rates on the simple hunch that housing prices will go up and changed the lives of many people far beyond their wildest imaginations. I was one of them. The college boasted of an average domestic package of 8.75 LPA and by even the most conservatives estimates was about to touch 11 in two years, i.e. when we would pass out. My seniors from Placecom had come and said that our senior batch was placed in just a day; we will be placed in half a day. And you … (he let out a chuckle) .. you would be placed in a matter of few hours. Of course that didn't happen, and what did happen is what as they say is history.

So as fate would have it, I passed out with a modest package of 5.5 LPA in an automobile manufacturing company and a disappointed dad who had lot of expectations from the B-School which ranked in the top 15th in India (I still believe it does). What he didn't know was how deep and bad this recession thing was, a word he had heard a lot in the media a few years back, before it got pushed to the backburner by the media who had got bored of it. Also he absolutely hated the mechanical engineering field and any company that had something to with it. So it was like a double serving of bad luck to him. I on the other hand was ok with it with a slight twinge in my heart again, the "I think I deserved something slightly better than this" one.

So I got into Mahindra Navistar with a sales profile and a Calcutta posting. Once again I made peace with what I got or fate as someone might call it and started settling in my job, making friends, and growing roots for the lack of a more dramatic word. But then as all big things, this had also started as a small thing and got bigger and bigger. It was one day when I was sitting in my office when I got something which I recall as a ping from Mayank Sharma saying "Brother zara apni CV forward kar do". And I did without asking many questions, the one I had prepared in IMI. He later told me that there were openings in Infosys and he would refer me. I didn't give much thought to it except once in a while when Mayank used to talk about it. One day he said he was changing my center from Calcutta to Delhi as it was taking too long to happen there and Delhi was just a flight away, I again said yes without thinking much. I did start thinking about it when I got a mail from Infosys people saying that I was short listed and I had to appear for an interview in Delhi on 18th September. I immediately booked my tickets and got serious about it when I realized that more than 10,000 Rs were at stake. I gave the interview, did 2 days of fun and came back praying that I get through. I finally got the offer on September 29th when I was sitting in conference room with my colleagues, they are actually more friends than colleagues, again with an e mail with a bland title 'Offer of Employment'. And another rebound.

I ask the same questions to myself now and then, what if I had stayed in this company, what if I was doing Sales only instead of IT consultancy. I have no answers; but what I do have is a much more satisfied father, a higher paying job and the belief that in life you can't plan everything, certain things come out of the blue and change the game.


  1. It was a great read. Hope you enjoy your time at Infosys.

  2. congratulations dude! IMI may or may not have given us high paying jobs...honestly, now i dont really care that much about its ranking as well.....but what it most certainly has given us is a lifetime of memories....hope to see u @Smriti!!! n yeah, well written as always!

  3. Thanks .... I don't care much about its ranking but I certainly would have liked people respecting or at least knowing the name of it ... Unfortunately wouldn't be able to make it for Smriti ...

  4. Bhai .. apni bhi kahani almost same to same. Even after scoring 99.11 in CAT, ek bhi call nahi aayi thi. Fir ek din aise hi ravi sharma ne call kiya aur hum aa gaye IMI me (badi ummedo ke sath).
    Fir join kiya ICICI sales me ... aur ab finally joining Infy on jan 27th .

  5. Congrats !! Aa jao Infy mae ... Jan 27th wala kyun join kar raha hai ? 24th Nov waala hee kar le saath mae hee ...

  6. Moral of the story: Infy is our grand daddy :P
    And of course, let the silly people try to shoot, while i get the rebound :)

  7. Ha ha ha ... Not exactly... Go for the shoot but don't despair if you don't get it in the first time , you might get the rebound


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