Tag Archives: Ayushman

Love in the Times of Recession – Chapter 3 – Blink


The first week of October also saw a new batch of students entering the campus. They came in as a whiff of fresh air for the students of Batch 5, who were facing many a turmoil due to recession in the markets. Many new girls caught the eyes of the boys who were in their best behavior and clothes.

An informal ice-breaking session was conducted in the first weekend, to get to know the new batch. A fun filled two-and-a-half-hour session ensued where the entire batch of 48 students were asked to perform a few tasks. Towards the end of the session, Ashima walked up to the front of the class to make an announcement.

“Folks, it was a wonderful opportunity getting to know you all on a personal level. On behalf of the students of Batch 5, it gives me great opportunity to invite you all for the Fresher’s Party to be conducted in two weeks time. The theme for the party will be disclosed just a few days before.”

Ayushman joined Ashima “But before you people start rejoicing about the Fresher’s Party, let me break some bad news”

Groans were heard from all corners of the class.

“Its tradition in our college to conduct a business plan competition just a week before the fresher’s. We introduce you all to BLINK…an annual competition, where all of you will be tested on your presentation skills and innovative ideas.

Business plans are decision making tools. A good business plan can help to make a good business credible, understandable and attractive to someone who is unfamiliar with the idea. Preparing a business plan draws on a wide range of knowledge from many different business disciplines.”

Ashima chipped in “The entire class will be divided into 6 teams of 8 each. The common ground for all of you would be e – business, with respect to specific domains that will include Auction, e – learning,  Entertainment, Investment, Kids, Matrimony, Real Estate, Social Networking and Sports”

“The terms and conditions for the contest along with the list of groups will be mailed across to your group ID. Any clarifications, you people can always reach out to me,” concluded Ayushman.

At the end of it, Ayushman heaved a huge sigh of relief. It had been one hell of a ride to convince the class to adhere to the tradition at the campus. Because of the placement scenario, which was nowhere close to satisfying, most of the Batch 5 students were least interested in conducting the event. They wanted all their energies to be focused on the placements.

But Ayushman was different. He wanted the contest to happen and had his selfish reasons as well. Ayushman, by nature was hungry for fame.

He lobbied hard and managed to get them interested in the event. Ashima on the other hand worked hard in the girls’ hostel to make sure the fairer sex understand the importance of the contest being held. Finally there was a consensus on everything. From people sitting in the class to attend the contest, to the topics that were to be given to the juniors, everything was agreed upon.

A lot of ego-messaging was done to get the guys and the girls ready and Ayushman and his team made sure they leave no stone unturned to make the event one of the best ever held in the history of the college.

12th October 2011, the day of the BLINK dawned. The judges for the evening were Mr. Sainath, a former alumnus and a financial analyst, and Mr. Krishnan, a software engineer from Microsoft. Ayushman and Ashima were the unanimous choices for hosting the event.

This day was going to be the turning point in the life of Ayushman Bhatnagar.

Ashima was looking very pretty that day. Dressed in a white salwar kameez, she was dressed to kill. As he walked towards her, he saw her talking to Rahul. She was pretty, he thought. And when he finally joined them, she looked his way with a pair of hazy eyes that kept on coming.

“Hi,” she said as she offered her hand, “I m pretty nervous. I hope you aren’t. Hope we do a good job in there.”

But as he shook her hand and met those striking brown eyes, he knew before he’d taken his next breath that she was the one he could spend the rest of his life with. She seemed that good, that perfect…Ayushman was completely bowled over.

Ayushman and Ashima started the proceedings and each of the 6 teams proved their mettle, vying for the first place. The judges had a tough task in deciding the winners as every team tried outdoing the other.

After the event the judges spoke a few words of encouragement for both the batches. They said they understood the difficulty the seniors would have gone through coming up with the contest especially because the placement season was on and was impacted by the ongoing slowdown.

They saluted the resilience shown by the students of Batch 5 in these times of distress. Unfortunately not any of them knew that this show of strength was fading at a cancerous speed with every passing day.

All through this, Ayushman was absolutely quiet. He was so smitten by Ashima that he couldn’t peel his eyes off her.

“What is happening to me?” he wondered.

Later that night, Ayushman was very restless in his room. He just couldn’t take his mind away from Ashima. As much as he tried shutting her out of his mind, she kept flirting in absence.

He dished out his mobile from under the pillow and re-read the message she had sent him last week.

“Tomorrow, at 6 in the evening. I shall meet you in Barista,” he replied back.

This Book Is A Copyright of the author. Any Infringement or usage on any other website will invite legal action. 

The Photograph above has been taken from http://www.facebook.com/taylor.maries.photos. For more such pictures visit the wonderful page. 

Love In The Times Of Recession: Chapter 2: Tough Times Ahead


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?”

This Book Is A Copyright of the author. Any Infringement or usage on any other website will invite legal action. 

The Photograph above has been taken from http://www.facebook.com/taylor.maries.photos. For more such pictures visit the wonderful page. 

Love In The Times Of Recession: Chapter 1: Bull Whip Effect


The boys in the class had enough reasons to feel bored and sleepy; they did not need a lesson on the bull whip theory to add to their misery. Some killed their boredom through their i-pods; some did it through playing the oldest fashioned game of book cricket. While Ayushman kept Ashima’s falling hair at bay and tried understanding the concept itself.

Ashima rubbed her eyes every few minutes; she tried concentrating hard on what the professor was trying to explain. Every time she did that, the words on the white board appeared more alien to her.

Ayushman continued making his notes, the class continued to yawn and Ashima finished drawing the caricature of a bored classroom. The bell rang and BIM-B batch five room number 101 had a spring in their stride. Unanimously they seconded the professor’s teachings and rushed out for a desperate smoke break.

Ayushman stood in one corner, reflecting on the class and smoking his roll up. Rahul was standing next to him cribbing about the Bull whip effect; Ayushman though was lost in another world. He tried hard to forget the presence of Ashima sitting next to him in the class. He searched for answers within, why he did not mind the occasional fall of her hair on his shoulder, he wondered what had changed post the summer internship. He finished the roll up stubbed it on the ground and walked towards the bus. Rahul tagged along still cribbing about the class.

Ayushman stared at Rahul, told him that ‘He had used a similar theory last year at a college fest’. Rahul probed further, Ayushman rolled up another joint and patiently explained ‘You don’t have to learn such things, just think what happened when the professor taught you Bull-Whip effect, you didn’t get anything right. That was because the professor wasn’t quite clear of what he wanted to say, and that is what the Bull-Whip effect is all about’. Rahul shook his head in the affirmative but his blank expression spoke another story.

The ride to the hostel was more joyous for the band of boys than the blue lit classroom of management lessons. Some spoke about the latest crack codes to break into pornographic sites, others cribbed about the class, some frowned that the girl’s hostel was a far cry from theirs; others seconded their opinion by adding that the managing committee should have taken lessons from them before choosing the girls.

The one common link that binds this nation and its people together is the lack of electricity. The boys trudged the steps to reach their rooms. None cribbed though about the failed power. Ayushman picked up his guitar and went on the terrace, rolled up another joint and started playing it.

Rahul sat next to him, smoking a cigarette and sipping on chilled beer, when he questioned Ayushman, whether he had seen how beautiful Ashima looked today in the class.

Ayushman continued playing the guitar, as Rahul probed further ‘did you see that white thing hanging out of her closet’? Ayushman took a deep puff inside, circled the smoke in the air and answered ‘mate concentrate harder on your studies and you will experience many such whites all your life’.

Slowly the whole band of boys entered the terrace, and stood around Ayushman clapping with him as his music reached a crescendo.

Rajiv sat in a smoke filled room, working on his laptop trying to understand the dynamics of the project. His phone flashed Ashima’s number. He chose to ignore it. After ten attempts he picked up the phone and faced her wrath.

Ashima was upset that Rajiv was avoiding her; he on the other hand was grappling with the project as there was a presentation the following day. Ashima changed the topic to the happenings in the class, to which Rajiv showed least interest. After several attempts to draw his attention towards her talks she disconnected the phone.

Her phone buzzed, it had fallen on the floor, with the cover on one side and the body on the other. Ashima had slumped next to her cupboard and had tears rolling down her cheek. She remembered a similar day few years back, when Rajiv had walked into her life and had proved to be her guiding angel with a magic wand.

His young boyish charm and humour had her in splits; she continued crying as she reflected upon the past memories.

She remembered the long walks they used to take back home after the night shift. How safe she used to feel with him, in the unsafe capital. The first hug she got from him after his failed attempt at a self cooked dinner date. The phone kept ringing as the tears slowly started changing into a smile.

Ashima got up from the floor; re arranged her phone and tried calling Rajiv again. As the phone rang, she remembered how she lost her virginity to the man she loved the most in the whole world. She frowned at herself, for even thinking twice whether she had made the right choice. The phone kept ringing.

This Book Is A Copyright of the author. Any Infringement or usage on any other website will invite legal action. 

The Photograph above has been taken from http://www.facebook.com/taylor.maries.photos. For more such pictures visit the wonderful page. 

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