By Ipshita Chatterjee, Batch of 2018
It is the weary month of July. I, a hapless third year student, am sitting in front of my laptop and staring blankly at the partially empty Word document on the screen. The title says ‘Resume’.Yes, the internship season is round the corner. Life’s all rosy, but for this wee little spot on the horizon of my (hopefully successful) season – this section called ‘Positions of Responsibility’ in my resume, is where I draw a complete blank. What positions are these anyway?
I remember, a long time ago, when I was just a fresher in these vast jungles of NSIT, a swarm of societies descended upon me. I remember wanting to be everything at once – a dancer, a musician, a poet, a quizzer, a coder, a debater. You name it, and I surely wanted to join that society. Or so I thought during the orientations.
By the time these recruitments began, I’d had a reality check of engineering physics and mathematics, attendance restrictions and my demeanor, which was, generously put, unremarkable. But in a bid to catch up with a few of my friends who were in a form-filling and auditioning frenzy, I too filled an odd form here and there. Nothing of consequence though.
Then came my second year and the plot thickened. Enter the three word taboo – ‘Positions of Responsibility’. PoRs, the wise men called it. Oh, I miss those days when the main motive behind joining societies was exploring, learning, following your passion and all those verses from the poetry book. Merits and demerits of certain PoRs were discussed gravely, under hushed tones. On the exterior, everyone had a plastered smile and a glowing halo over their heads. But inside, some people used sinister means to get into the good books of the almighty seniors. They say that sometimes this is the easiest route to the PoR heaven. But only time would tell.
For us ‘society-less’ people, second year was a period of reckoning. It suddenly dawned upon us that resume-building is actually a thing and there are people in your very batch who’ve kicked quite a lot of ass in their first year. But the competition was cut-throat and the fact that we felt like lesser mortals next to these stellar ‘society people’ chasing the ultimate glory since their first year, didn’t make things better. But we heaved a sigh and we tried. Some of us made it past the Rubicon, while others, like the wretched old me, made peace with my unremarkable existence.
Well sometimes, I thank my lucky stars that my resume is just three-fourths complete, that I didn’t (or couldn’t) join a society and that I simply partied during the fests. History is witness to the fact that the PoR quest has often been bloody and spiteful. Friends turn into foes, egos are pitted against one another, for something which apparently holds the fruit of tireless endeavors over the years, which is a claim to fame and a staircase to nirvana. A title that interviewers will lay their eyes on and fall in love with, at first sight. Do I want to forsake the wonderful ties I’ve forged, in exchange of that? I really don’t know. Do I even want to put in these countless hours of efforts into the welfare of a society or a fest, when I can simply work for myself instead? After all, employers dig the self-made.
Reflecting my commonplace existence, my resume too is extremely ordinary. I decide to add a dab of color to it. How does ‘President and Founder Member, The Phony Society of NSIT’ sound? This is a perfect illustrator of my contributions in the field of telecommunications, about which I will promptly read up an hour before the interview. Maybe I can be ‘Chief Guitar-Wielder, GuitarCon – The Annual Long-Haired Ladies’-Delight Too-Cool-For-You-Dudes Gala’’. After all, Bethany Mota very wisely said, ‘Be who you want to be’. * winks winks *
Two months later, when the interviewer finally asks me to “walk him through my resume” and when we come to the PoR section, I grin at him sheepishly and talk about my ‘super-duper-cool’ societies while the humble me is thinking ‘I’m too cool to have a PoR anyway’.