For those of you who haven't heard it word to word, this is the legendary line from the film Shawshank Redemption. I watched the flick a few years ago and life changed. It epitomizes the significance of hope when and where there isn't the remotest possibility of finding it.
"Fear can hold you prisoner, Hope can set you free!" Thus advocates the theme of this incredible movie. However, on the morning of 16th February 2005, fear had enveloped me in implausible proportions and hope was the last thing on my mind although I needed it the most. Fear, that I would not realize my dream of being a part of a super-perfect organization, fear, that I had chosen the wrong destination, fear that I had my focus misdirected and muddled in a deluge of confusion, fear of this, that and what not! Contrary to the initial success at Wipro which should have boosted my confidence and given me a thrust to move forward as many people would ordinarily have, I was riddled with doubts, apprehension and bewilderment.
I hoped to be a part of that perfect system that I always dreamed about, about that system where no flaw ever creeped in, a fool-proof yet realistic organization which was around the corner. With thoughts being processed at a million instructions per nano-second I was on the move trying to locate a very non-descript address in Essex Farms where at 10:00 am my interview was scheduled to happen with the Human Resource personnel of Convergys India Services, yet another BPO which has quite a prominent reputation in Bangalore, the ITES Capital of India.
Saurav Banerjee is a name I would not forget for a long time to come. After a good start, introduction rounds past, with ample focus on what the organization was looking for and how I would fit in the 'larger picture', it was increasingly becoming clear that I was 'onboard', so, when Saurav asked what I thought was the outcome of the interview about three fourths of an hour later, I was stern in my answer; "If I am not selected, I think this whole exercise was a massive waste of time." I could not help laughing out loud along with Saurav at my own comment. Immediately afterwards Saurav uttered "Welcome aboard" to which I responded with a curt but genuine Thanks. I respect Saurav for his clairty of thought and his display of absolute professionalism and when I walked out of the temperature controlled office into Delhi's scorching and unwelcoming open to summon a means of transport back home, I pondered on whether I made a commitment, on whether I would be happy to respect that commitment to myself, the organization and Saurav. While Convergys seemed a good opening to chart the start of a career, I told myself that I would need more time to think and decide on the next course of action. Having reached home later that evening, I dutifully filed the offer letter I received from Convergys, which I hold to this day and certainly many more to come. My own face stared back at me and our eyes met and remained transfixed for a short while which seemed like a long time. I had to decide and decide fast. But, something stopped me from pronouncing my assurance. And then I realized that deep within, I wanted more, the greed to better on the best, the hunger to venture deeper and farther, the craving for excess. In total darkness minutes before descending into a bottomless slumber, I knew I had a long way forward. Robert Frost and his famed creation crossed my mind.
Too weary to jog the lines hidden deep in memory, I attempted to vaguely recollect the last line. "And miles to go before I sleep................................................"
Hope, and the ensuing quest for a superior avenue, coupled with even a mild vein of optimism that the task at hand can be realized, is actually a very powerful sensation. One that truly drives a person insane.