The moment I blurted those words, I regretted them. I had still not recovered completely from the state of anxiety. It took me a moment to realize that my answer was indeed correct. A smile was about to reappear on my pale face but it was perturbed by the still unconvinced expressions of the intrigued guy. The guy, sitting on the right of the intrigued guy, who had originally asked the question, reclined his head in the chair in amusement as if he had learned something new from my answer. I, on the other hand, was now feeling confident about my answer – it was the right answer. And I would prove it, if required.
The intrigued guy shaking his head sideways dismissed my answer. I insisted and tried to correct him. “I can check it on my phone”, I said. The interviewer’s expressions changed dramatically as my words sank into him. With stoic expressions, he thanked me for my time and wished me the best of luck. Against all odds, I was happy that I had aced this interview. But I didn’t want to take any chances.
Immediately after coming out of the room, I took my mobile out and keyed in the title of the book. The GPRS on my phone was loading the search page at a pace as slow as a bullock cart racing against a car. The moment the page fully appeared, I barged in the interview room. Another candidate was sitting at the place where I was, few minutes ago. Only he looked paler than me. “Sorry to bother you. I just wanted to show that the book I mentioned was written by the same author” I said, feeling proud. The intrigued guy reluctantly nodded in agreement while the other two guys were still laid back in their chairs. At last, I did it. I would get the admission this time.
Two weeks later, I got the letter from the college. Beaming with excitement, I teared it open to read the much awaited good news. But fate had kept other things in its store for me. My heart sank reading the contents of the letter. It was rather written in a standard format – perhaps meant for thousands of us who were unsuccessful – who did not make it. I was left in disbelief. Bewildered. Sad. Angry. It was not the result that I had accepted. I did my best and I thought it was enough. But apparently it wasn’t. I did not get admission in that college.
Six months later, I had applied for a university that I did not know about. The interview began in a usual manner with questions such as “Tell me about yourself.”, “Why this specialization?”, “Why this college?”. Everything was going fine until they reached the section of interests in my profile. One of the panelist got intrigued and remarked “hmm, reading!”
“So, tell me what books have you read recently?” asked the intrigued guy. I felt a sense of déjà vu.