The candidate was a touch nervous. So were all the thirty other competitors. On second thought, those were the reason he was nervous in the first place. he couldn't stop fidgeting. Well, neither would you, if this was an interview for an admission to the top institutions in the country.
he walked in.
"hi. please have a seat." one of interviewers blurted out. He had a copy of the exam paper the candidate had given earlier that day. That surely helped. I mean the "have a seat" thing, not the "exam paper" thing. "It would have been even better, if he had said it looking at me", thought the candidate.
"So, what's your name?" another one said, this time, with a face that resembled a smile.
" Sir, I am XYZ".
The candidate had taken feedback from earlier students and he was relived that all them were being asked only technical questions. that was his only forte, if he had any.
" well, why have you applied to this branch?"
Oh hell! he had heard the phrase "to feel your insides churning". "my insides", he thought, " are caught in a vortex, more likely".
Telling the truth always helps, they say. Well , certainly not in this case. how could he tell them that he had applied there only because he had a lower score in the entrance exam ?
" Sir, this is a research oriented branch and I want to pursue my Ph.D. , so I chose to apply for this branch. "Hmpf! As if you cannot carry out research in other fields" said a little voice in his brain. These little voices have the most annoying habit of saying things, when you least expect them to. "The greatest battle lies.... within" says spiderman 3. How irritatingly true!
But the interviewers seemed to buy that one.
" so tell us", said one of them " Do you know any uses of lasers?" That's what the branch was all about, so this one was seen coming.
Now, most would tell the answer "eye surgery" in a flash, but then, most of them don't get selected, do they? The trick is not to be "most". Well, get on, think of something different!
" Laser guided bombs" He said, trying to look satisfied with his reply. A moment later, sense dawned upon him.
"What the hell! have you gone completely insane? what kind of an answer was that?"
"Well you said think of something different. So I did."
The battle within raged on..
"I see." said one of the interviewers. the "interviewee" ,if I may call him so, suspected the former was trying hard to suppress a smile.
"can you explain in more detail?"
"Well sir, the bomber plane guides the bomb as it falls by a laser beam, which increases its accuracy greatly."
"I see. So the laser destroys the target?"
"No sir, the bomb does."
slowly but steadily, the interview came near its conclusion
" OK. you may go now."
Just as he was about to leave,
" if we offer you an admission for Masters, would you pursue your Ph.D. here?"
The candidate turned around, almost dazed. He couldn't believe his ears.
All the interviewers were staring at him, smiling.
I smiled back , for the first time during the entire interview. I proceeded with the answer, which I need not state explicitly, do I?