Interviews and call letters….
……………………..haseena.

The search for the address…
The nervousness….
The anxiety..
At the venue…
The turnout of other candidates…
Filling up forms…
Sizing up the competition…
Each candidate going in with dread and anticipation…
Coming out with a sigh of relief…
Finally the leave taking with others.

The scene I witnessed brought back my moments of dread and glory…of interviews and call letters.

My first ever interview was in the same school I had studied uptil plus two and I was back after graduation to attend an interview under the same Headmaster and the same teachers who had taught me.It was a temporary filler to the next step.

The Headmaster smiled asked a few questions and I was in…with many ofy classmates for the same purpose .It was a kind of apprenticeship for the teaching profession.

Next one was a few years down the line,after having acquired a proper degree as well as professional training to appear for an interview at Pune.Since it was a central govt teacher’s job , candidates from all over the country had been called in all categories for all the subjects.

The turnout was huge, candidates with one parent bags and baggage camped at the venue. This being my first one I was totally blown with the scene. There was no chance I would get it…going by the dressing, many women candidates had draped saree for “The” teacher look whereas I had worn a dress that did not even have a dupatta, I looked more like a student than a teacher. I got through that day somehow with my dad at my side.I returned home with absolutely no expectations.

Imagine my thrill at receiving a call letter from The Director, Navodaya Vidyalaya Samiti. I remember receiving the white envelope with the JNV emblem from the post man at the door. I couldn’t believe my eyes and my mom proudly declared that day, ” Even men with great moustaches haven’t able to bag jobs, my daughter has done it”.

It was embarrassing for me at that point of time to hear her repeat this to all and sundry but now I realise her pride , sense of achievement and the realisation of a dream .

A long gap, mother of two, new place , new life,yearning to have a job once more. One fine day, I winded up my household never ending chores with single minded focus , draped in my best saree , visited a family friend’s dad who had a Junior college, to enquire about any job opportunity.

I took my young toddler along and had an hour long casual talk with “Uncle” at their home who later on was to become my employer. The talk was casual from my point of view, but throughout I was being gauged on various levels by experienced eyes, my talking style,my posture, my confidence, my knowledge of current issues and what not.

And since it was a casual visit I was my usual chatty self with no inhibitions at all, with one eye on my toddler who took the opportunity to explore every nook n corner of the place and me dragging her back to my lap. I returned home ,forgot all about it ,busy with homely duties.

One fine morning, when my home was bustling with outstation guests, right in the middle of my brushing teeth, a moment when the phone rings and no one is around to answer it, I rushed with the brush in my hand and foam in my mouth and I get to hear the magical words from a gentleman requesting me to visit the Takshashila Junior College to receive the call letter.

Oh my God in the midst of chaos, in the never ending duties of a homemaker since the past few years, a period during which I had almost lost my professional identity and was dangerously close to settling down into anonymity this was a wonderful ray of hope.

My next stop was beside my new home.I could see into the classrooms, the staff room,the students from across my drawing room and an urge to take on a new challenge nibbled at me.

I entered the gates of the college and into the Principal’s cabin introducing myself as the new neighbour. I was asked to give a demo, their only trepidation about offering a job was the condition about the college hours during which I had to be physically present in the campus and not at my home even during leisure hours.I accepted happily and was onboard.

After a couple of years, my vagabond heart yearned for newer pastures and one fine day I visited a far off newly established Engineering College at the outskirts of my town almost twleve kilometres from my home.

I instantly fell in love with the long cool drive on my two wheeler and the picturesque surroundings with hillocks and greenery among which the campus was nestled.

By this time I had acquired a name and stature in my profession in the small town, and the confidence that comes with experience.I walked into the Principal’s room with an air of a veteran and felt as if the job was waiting for me. It was indeed a pleasure to be a part of the founding team of the college from then on.

All good things come to an end.
At an age where my peers were well settled in cosy jobs here I was again stranded with the label of an unemployed status.

I had explored and done with jobs in all genres within the limits of my small town.Now I only wished for a job that would be tailor made to suit my lifestyle and quench my thirst for challenges.

One hot summer afternoon, when one does nothing much, I was rolling on the cool marble floor with a book in one hand on the verge of a nap or maybe in the middle of it. I get a call and I answer it in my lazy sleepy style .

The voice at the other end immediately wakes me up from my stupor and I pay attention to whether I was willing to join an Organisation at Hyderabad involved in teacher training programmes.After the call I was left wondering whether I was dreaming or was it a real call…it took me sometime to realise that a job had indeed fallen into my lap from the skies, having taken nil efforts.

There had not even been a pause and I had found myself answering in the affirmative and was on a bus to Hyderabad the next morning. By the end of the day I returned home with a new job, another call letter… raring to explore yet another unexplored area .

Every interview every call letter is a turning point in one’s life.Every job is a friend which leaves its imapct and the journey acquires an importance and a place of its own in the whole makeup of one’s life.

Another piece of puzzle falls into place as life moves on

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