Towards Life!

Roll Number 14 (Part 1)

Chapter 1: Will I make it?

Not many know that I gave my first interview when I was four years old. However, it is painfully common knowledge that I flunked it! It began one humid afternoon, when I was face to face with the interview board from Hyderabad Public School, Begumpet. If people knew that the HPS (B) guys had supplied copious amounts of fruit juice at the interview and that I had relished and usurped as much juice as I could in the ten minute wait to the interview, I would have been spared from many a resentful glance! When I faced the interview board, however, things weren’t as relishing!

“How many chocolates are these?”

“Nutrine,” I said, staring at the chocolates as if I was seeing them for the first time in my life. I didn’t understand why some body would offer me chocolates to count them! I mean - Numbers are to Count and Chocolates are to Eat! Cumbers are to Nount and Ehocolates are to Cat!

“Can I eat one chocolate?” was all I could say! My parents would later tell me that my face was never more innocent than it was at that instant!

“Yeah, sure. Take all of them!” I guess the interview board understood my logic!

“What color is this?”

“It is color… color… color… I have one brother!”

“Okay, I think that will be all. Thank you, Pavan!”

“Hmm… can I have some fruit juice outside?”

I still don’t know why nobody answered that question!

Four years old. Didn’t clear a written test. Kicked out of an interview. Well…that was my resume, without the bullets… The resume of a four year old, who was trying his best to get into a decent school… with the minimum possible effort!

My parents had given up a lot of hope. I didn’t know if the amount left would be sufficient to deter them from sending me to Big Aunty, the big aunty who coached kids for the HPS – with a Big Stick! Big Aunty with the Big Stick. Aig Bunty with the Sig Btick. I don’t think I need to state it, but - It scared the shit out of me!

The HPS (R) guys didn’t supply any juice at the interview! I felt undernourished. I missed the juice and the other snacks. I had nothing to kill the wait for the interview and my mind was rumbling with “under the table”, “over the table”, “I have one brother”, “My father is a scientist”, fed unendingly by my parents.

Left Ear – Dad. “Under the table”, “Over the table”.

Right Ear – Mom. “I have one brother”, “My father is a scientist”.

It was finally time to go in, and the first thing I did was to clear my head of all the things fed to me since the past two weeks! The “under the…”, “Over the…”, “My father…”, “I have…” were all packed and bundled, and thrown out of the interview room, before I entered it!

The panel gave me a chocolate as soon as I entered. And Boy, was I happy! This was a panel that understood the world my way.

Numbers are to Count and Chocolates are to Eat!
Cumbers are to Nount and Ehocolates are to Cat!

“How many are these?” one of the panel members said, sprinkling some beans on to the table.

“One… Two… Three… Three on this side, and, One… Two… Three… Four… Five… Five on this side” It felt like Einstein-discussing-relativity!

“Very Good. But, How many total?”

“Total…total… Three on this side and Five on this side!”

“Yes, Three plus five is?”

I glanced left, then right, then into the face of every panel member. I didn’t understand these guys any more. In the four year world, three plus five is… three plus five is… three plus five! There is nothing more to it!

“Three plus Five,” I blurted out, confident that there could not be any other answer!

“Okay! How many brothers do you have?”

Hah! Different people had posed this question to me on different occasions, at different times. I could rattle the answer in my sleep… The only problem was, I was awake, and there was no fruit juice!

“I have no sisters!”

“Okay, but how many brothers?”

“I have no sisters. I have one cousin sister”

My father was staring at me in disbelief. I was stuck on a sister. Damn, I have always wanted one, but I guess an interview is not the place where one delves into such revelations!

“Okay, so you don’t have a sister”

“Yes,” I was munching a chocolate.

“What color is this?”

“It is a Blue Colored Triangle”


“Blue… colored triangle?”




Your answers dry up when someone asks the same question four times, in four different tones!

“Okay, Pavan. It was nice meeting you.”

“Thank You, sir,” said my father, relieved. And I think he really meant it.


A letter confirming my selection arrived two weeks after the interview. I was happy because I got the first roll number of my life. Roll Number 14. I didn’t know at that point that I would be “Roll number 14” all through my life!

My selection was a rage in those days. People were surprised, pleasantly, of course. People were angry, at their rejected kids, of course. More than anything, it gave hope to thousands of parents; every parent who looked at his kid and thought, “Now where did this one come from!”, now stopped and thought, "I think he stands a chance!" My parents debated on my selection endlessly. There was no problem with that. The problem is, the debate continues until today!

5 Responses to “Roll Number 14 (Part 1)”

  1. # Anonymous Shrini the genie

    abbe... senti kar diya re.. i was thinking of doing a LKG interview blog... bloody suit ... u got there ahead of me. great...  

  2. # Blogger DiDaSarcasticDude

    Shrini, after i remembered my school days, I realised, how simple life was back then!

    Next up, my ten years at a boys school, including things I havent told any one before! :)  

  3. # Anonymous Ro

    Felt nice reading this one G! You know why? I gave the HPS(B) interview in my first standard and failed it. :) Just as you put it, I remember my dad and mom making me revise all kinds of shapes/colours/numbers before going into the interview room...I dont remember what I said but obly they werent too impressed. I went to this lady (maaybe its the same Big Aunty you are talking about...Very sad I cant recall her name cuz I liked her a lot later in school too) for taking some lessons to get into school and made it in my second attempt 2 years later :D
    Maybe we shud start a I-failed-HPS(B)-interview club :P!
    Waiting for ur boys school experience ;)  

  4. # Blogger Karthik

    Completely off topic but by the way S-Ro mugged his ass off for 4 years to get into IIT (2 years of coaching to get into Rammaiah)

    Just since we were on the topic of failure thought I would slip it in.

    In a bad mood. :D


  5. # Blogger Golu

    yo main interview pehli baar crack maara tha :d yeah g i do remember them asking some shapes and stuff and end main chocolates diye they. I asked them if i cud take one for my sis apparently :))))))))  

Post a Comment