The month of September crawled to an end and the students of Batch – 5 faced a daunting task ahead of them, from October onwards – to get placed in a reputed firm!! The students had still about 3 months left but there was a constant fear in all their minds. Big multinational firms were filing for bankruptcy across the world; multitudes of people were losing their jobs, layoffs became the order of the day. With a grim situation in every industry, what were the chances of getting placed, wondered the students of the batch.
The batch had pitched themselves in front of companies, in 6 metros across India. Presentations were made, brochures handed over. Most of the companies promised to come over to the campus during the placement season, but none did finally. Day 0 of placements kept changing to suit the needs of the companies but to no avail. Tempers were running high, the management promised to do the needful. Empty promises….the fate of 40 students was hanging in mid air!
On a daily basis the management came in for fierce criticism from the students.
“They shouldn’t waste our lives like this. If they can’t give us placements, they should have asked us not to join the college straightaway while we were going through out admission process. At that time it was all about flowery promises, and look at it now,” Rahul fumed.
Ayushman sensed that this was trouble. As the head of the college PLACOM student’s body, he could not let a rebellion situation to arise. Students were in favour of Rahul’s current statement but Ayushman took control. “See at this hour we should back the authorities and see that action is taken. I have myself been talking to the PGP chairperson and she has promised 100% placements.”
“We should also understand the market scenario, it’s just our sheer bad luck that we are graduating in these tough times,” ended Ayushman and soothed the atmosphere a bit, though in his inner mind he knew that if the situation does not improve sooner this frustration can lead to something big and disastrous.
Every computer in the lab had either Naukri.com or MonsterIndia.com page open, with students searching through the openings advertised in them. Mails with covering letters and resumes attached were being sent across. Numerous telephone calls were also being made to companies by the PLACOM members huddled in a small cabin right outside the PGP office. Excel sheet databases were open, with constant updates at the end of every call. Smiles on faces were replaced by frowns and scorns and most of the students were bordering on depression.
Ayushman had interned in a big multinational during his summer training and he was keeping his fingers crossed about it. He was also thinking of calling them and asking if he had any chance of joining them. The associate director of the company was impressed by the work put up by him and had asked him to call up during placements.
Ayushman though wanted something to happen without him asking for favors. He by now had sat for three interviews but nothing had come out. All the time the companies would select him only to inform later that recession has forced them to delay recruitments.
The ever chirpy girl’s hostel also saw a lot of gloom. A constant frown was plastered on all their faces. Skipped meals, sleepless nights, dark circles under the eyes, the girls were an absolute sight.
Even love didn’t seem to prosper in these tough times. Heated arguments over the phone, followed by break – ups, girls crying copiously, boys nursing their bruised ego…everything spelt doom!!
Ashima was no exception to this. Her relationship with Rajiv started having cracks. Rajiv had changed over the last one month. He was hardly there for her these days, days when she needed him the most. She sensed that Rajiv was moving away from her.
Rajiv was a “classic” personality. His charm lay in the exuberance of his spirits and positive energy. He was Ashima’s super closest friend, more like a watch dog. He had been her confession box, her critic, her “keep – your – head –screwed – right – in – place – missy” lecture giver, her punching bag…oh she could keep going on!! But he had moved on. She was alone…once again!!
As Ashima was brooding all by herself in the balcony, she saw a lone figure walking up the road. It was Ayushman. What was he doing all by himself? Where was Rahul?
She decided to call him.
“Hi. How come you are all by yourself?”
“I needed a break so I decided to take a walk! How do you know that? Are you following me?!?”
“Look up and you would know”, she said and cut the call.
Ayushman looked up and saw Ashima waving at him. He waved back and after a brief exchange, he continued with his walk.
At the spur of the moment, Ashima messaged him
“Can we meet for a cup of coffee at Barista?”
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- Love In The Times of Recession: The Last Day (missionsharingknowledge.wordpress.com)
- Love In The Times Of Recession: Chapter 1: Bull Whip Effect (missionsharingknowledge.wordpress.com)