The Curious Case of Ms Rejected


Have you been confused about what you want to do in life, but you knew one thing, whatever you did you will excel at it. Until of course, you went to this high profile college where every freaking society has rejected you in their interviews. Welcome to my college life. For the past two years, 9/10 times I have been shown the door and my interviews have been dreadful.

At the end of my first year, I applied for becoming the project head of the NGO I volunteered for. Every student has to compulsorily opt for National Service Scheme (NSS), National Cadet Corps (NCC) and National Sports Organization (NSO) in college. I chose NSS where I was supposed to complete 40 hours of teaching poor kids in an NGO. After completing the hours, every volunteer has a choice to apply for Project Head’s position who supervises the volunteers the next year.

In my interview, I was asked one simple question, “Tell us something about your Agenda for the next year.”

I explained every point I had in mind for the next year among which I said that I would divide the subjects between volunteers so that, X teaches Maths for the entire year and not Science on the first visit, Hindi on the next and so on. You see, my intent behind this was simple not everybody can efficiently teach every subject plus the trouble is that all the subjects were in Hindi, even Maths. The current Project Head smiled and told me, “Everything looks promising on paper but the fact is the whole idea of this NGO is teaching whatever subject you are given.”

A little confused, I smiled and asked, “Isn’t the whole idea to educate the children and doing it properly because these children do not have any other alternative?”

“No”, replied the Project Head.

“There goes the most lucrative point on my agenda”, I thought. And since then on, I was disheartened while answering every other question. If I wanted to have classes for strengthening fundamental concepts, they said that there was no time. Trust me, I know how important those classes were for the kids because I have taught squares and square roots to children who couldn’t multiply.

When I proposed the classes to be held on Saturday, they said Saturday is for dance classes.

“Then how about the first two weeks of the tenure?”, I asked.

“That is at the discretion of the NGO staff and probably they wouldn’t allow.”, replied the Project Head.

Right then it struck me that I am not becoming the Project Head.  However a very intriguing quality of the human brain is that  it never ceases to hope. Howsoever bleak the chance maybe, you always want to hope. So did I, for a month, until the handing over ceremony happened.

The next year, I applied for the NSS core team which is the backbone of NSS in my college. Here are some excepts,

“Have you applied for any other society?”

“Um, yes, Women’s Development Cell”

“What if you were to choose between NSS and WDC, which one is closer to your heart?”

I am thinking, should I be honest or should I say what they want to hear. Idiot, you should say NSS.

“NSS, of course.”

“What if WDC and NSS had events on the same day?”

“I would not volunteer for WDC’s event and attend NSS’ event.”

“But that happens a lot during the year, that way you might miss out on more than half of WDC’s events. So will you be comfortable, being a member of a society and not working for it?”

God, I should have never told them about WDC.

“Ah, what I mean is NSS will be my priority.”

“Oh, but…” the other coordinator insisted to not pursue this any further and ask about something else.

“So, Palak how many NGOs are a part of NSS?”

“The number, you mean,” I stare at the ceiling and say, “18.”

“No, there are (see, I still don’t remember the number). Okay tell us about their categorization.”

“That’s easy, they are divided as, the ones for educating poor kids, old age homes and taking care of animal welfare, Naz it is, I think.”

“No, that’s Friendicoes.” All of them smiled at my ignorance and showed me the way out.

Next, I applied for becoming the editor of the Environmental Society where  again I was rejected. Primarily, because I wasn’t a member of the Society and secondarily because I had naively said something really stupid which led to a set of cross-questions when I felt completely stuck. The fourth one is more disheartening because my form itself was rejected and I never reached to the stage of interview. The fifth one was the WDC interview, which apparently is my most decent interview till date because the cause is something that every cell in my body roots for. But still they rejected me and there I was, feeling bereaved of spirit.

I have friends who tell me that I will be selected in an interview when it will truly matter, per se, in a placement interview. A close confidant assured me that I can’t let rejections stop me. If they did not select me, then it was truly their loss.

But honestly, I think when you feel dejected or daunted or incapable, every word of assurance sounds hollow. The thought echoes in my mind that if I can’t clear a small society interview, how will I clear an employment interview?

Over the time, I have tried to recognize my deficiencies and work up on them but sadly the count of rejections has reached eight and there is another one in pipeline. I smile, as much as I wouldn’t smile in an entire day of college because I don’t want to appear as cold. I am confident, because they would obviously want a person who is sure of what she is doing. And finally I even do some background research now because of my previous folly. Yet, here I am, the name being struck off from the paper because the other girl was more impressive.

Remember what I said earlier about humans and ceaseless hope, that holds true for me as well. Because I am still hopeful and I still am applying. Haven’t you heard all the great minds face serious rejection in their formative years? So if I am cut out to be a great mind, then I can’t help it, right.

P.S. On a final note, I just want all my previous and future Reject(ors) to know that I have watched enough of Dexter and Revenge to break even with you.