Update: I have been selected at ACJ.... Will be leaving for Chennai real soon. :) :) :) Thanks for all the wishes and congratulating messages :) :)
I wasnt planning on blogging about anything related to the Journalism College entrances and other such details. But I had such a freaky tiring time on this one-day trip to Chennai recently, I had no other option but to share it all with you guys:
Having cleared the Asian College of Journalism's(ACJ) entrance test which was held on 24th May 2009, I was invited for the panel interview scheduled on 11th June 2009 at Chennai. After all the excitement after Snehal's visit, I was in a fix on how to prepare for a panel interview, coz I had never faced such a situation in my life. I was unsure of what they might ask.
I found out to my surprise that another blogger buddy, Trinna Prasad, had her interview on the same day as me. I searched for her on Facebook and sent her a note suggesting we meet up at the venue. Sruthi Radhakrishnan, whom I met at the Manorama School of Communication's entrance test at Chennai, had her interview at ACJ one day before me. Her status updates on Facebook, had me in splits and also kept me wondering about bizzare facts. The General Knowledge bits in the ACJ paper were really tough, and we wondered if we would be subject to more such GK incompetence humiliation.
Every imaginable preparation done, and bag packed, I was all set to take the 6.30 am flight from the Shamshabad Airport to Chennai. Anyone who has any idea about how things work in Hyderabad, will know that the airport is a good hours drive. Make that One and a half at peak hours. That meant I had to take the bus at 4.30 am to be at the airport by 5.30am, one hour before the flight time. I set the alarm for 3.30 am, spoke to Snehal before retiring for the night.
I dont remember the alarm going off but I do remember waking up, startled, at 5.09 am. I was almost in tears and ran downstairs to wake up my mother, and tried to find out ways to get to the airport in an hours time. I just changed my clothes, brushed my teeth and called up Air India to ask for the next available flight. I was informed that their next flight is at 4 in the evening. Distraught, I immediately called up Snehal and screamed: "Baby, please come online... I missed my flight...search other available options". His calm and composed demeanor even after just being rudely woken up, is something I lack :P We managed to find a Spicejet flight which left at 9.50 AM and reached Chennai at 11 AM.
I decided to tidy up and leave for the Airport at 6.30 AM, not wanting to take any more risks. I collected my boarding pass, and just waited for the flight to take off. Snehal keeping me company over the phone, of course, and calming my nerves. Then it was announced that the flight was delayed and would leave by 10.30 AM. Time to hit the panic button once again.
I messaged Sruthi, who lived in Chennai, and asked her how far the venue was from the Airport. She informed me it was a good hours drive. Damn....more cause of worry, since I had to report at 1 PM. I just kept praying that it doesnt get delayed any further and boarded the flight which took off at 10.35 AM. Reached Chennai at 11.40 AM, darted off towards the pre-paid taxi stand and blurted out "Wallajah Road".... The man at the counter had no clue and kept calling it "Balaji Road". I called up Sruthi once again so that she could spell it out to him. I took the cab and probably roamed a quarter of Chennai, getting lost and finally finding this place at about 1.10 PM. I was relieved that the interviews hadn't gotten underway yet.
All those present were made to sit in a room and I got to experience what Sruthi had messaged me a day earlier: "I feel like I'm waiting at the dentist's". I had good company, in the form of faces I recognised from the Hyderabad entrance. Met Trinna and she is this amazing, cherubic young girl. And just waited for my turn. Every time the door opened and the person last interviewed came in, people kept hounding them for the kind of questions that were asked. I got a fair idea of how things might go for me, and I decided to just speak my mind, no matter what was asked.
Then my name was announced at around 3.10 AM. Although hungry and tired earlier, I had forgotten that all I had that day was Cold Coffee, and confidently walked into the room labelled "Panel B". No sooner had I entered, I was greeted by the sight of 7 intimidatingly smiling faculty members of the college.
They were very nice. It was pretty casual and I am still trying to gauge what they were trying to asses by asking me about movies and sports. I was confident, spoke without any fear and just said whatever came to my mind. I dont really know if that would help me gain a seat at this prestigious college, but I tried. I took the 6.20 PM Air India flight back home and reached around 9 PM after the 1.5 hour long bus trip.
The results would be out tomorrow i.e 16th June 2009, and I dont know if I make the grade. I am not too bothered as of now, I have my options open at Manorama. But getting into ACJ would be nice, given its reputation amond Journalism colleges. So wish me luck :)
Phew this was a long post I believe. Just wanted to post it on the eve of the results. Have fun guys. Cheers :)