Rehan sat at the chair, looking at the two frightful gentlemen before him ready to scrape away his whole life. He handed them over a folder with his credentials and the interview began.
Only a week earlier, they had had their first exams of the semester and what a nightmare had it been. He would always have the extra pressure to first go through the entire syllabus in a day and then explain the important points to all his peers who would come to him in the evening wishing that he leaks the entire paper to them in a few hours. But Rehan didn’t mind it. In fact, being the peppy guy he was, he would always try to help them as much as he could. He was such a fantastico person in everyone’s eyes, nothing like those morons who would not tell you a single thing, probably in fear that you may end up scoring higher than them.
Somehow, they passed along and there was another challenge ahead of him. A prominent company was coming on-campus to recruit students for summer-training. There was also a navigation of the word around that out of all students that it selected for the training, it gave a Pre-placement offer to almost all of them. Rehan thus, began his preparation for the day, working hard day and night, going through all the proabables they could ask him.
Four days before the recruitment day, as he was going through his notes sitting in the canteen, Rhea came to him. She told him that she had been very weak in ‘Antenna theory’ and asked if he could help her out with it someday. Rehan instantly agreed to it but told her that he needed to brush up his basics before teaching her. It had been some time now that they had studied it and amongst exams and the recruitment drive, he had forgotten much of it. Still, he agreed to help her the next day.
As he returned from college that day, he got a call from one of his seniors whom he had been trying to contact for some days. He had been working for the same company and made his way through the same procedure. As such, Rehan wanted to know some inside secrets from him. The senior told him about a bunch of important topics, most of them he knew little to nothing about. He told him they were almost a sure shot thing and to study them by all his heart. True to his grit, he began to study those topics, forgetting everything else.
The next day, Rhea met him again in the canteen and he told her he could only help after the recruitment drive was over. She seemed to understand and as he apologized for it, she told him it was nothing and to concentrate on his work. She wished him good luck and went away.
Three days later, the process began in the morning with a group-discussion. Rehan outlasted all other candidates with his careful handling of facts and sentiments and was pretty pumped up for the PI round. As he stood outside the cabin, waiting impatiently for his turn to come, he made crude calculations in his mind- “If I perform even average in the PI then after adding the marks of the group discussion, I would surely end up in the list”, “How much weightage would they be giving to each part” and stuff like that.
After four solid and long hours, he was there. The first things they asked him were to give an introduction of himself, his fields of interest and why he thinks he would be suitable for the applied position- all basic stuff. High on confidence, Rehan gave some good answers and was even successful in defending himself when some of them tried to get back on him on a few points. Then came the technical part. And the first question the guy asked him was on ‘Antenna Theory’. He felt a wave of shock slap his face as he mumbled out some gibberish as an answer. The guy knew he had got him where he wanted and kept on coming with the same questions, even in more intricate detail. With every question he asked, Rehan would think in his head how he remembered studying the topic once but nothing else of it.
Soon the interviews were over and at night, the results were announced. Rehan didn’t make it. That night, as he tried to sleep, his mind was flooded with regret. He felt that a small neglect had had such an impact on his career. Everytime he tried to close his eyes and every time he did, the face of Rhea popped up asking “Will you teach me ‘Antenna theory’ ?”, “Please teach me Antenna theory”.
He gave up the thought of sleeping, knowing he wouldn’t be able to and opened his book to study. He went to the index and opened the selected pages. The topic read in bold font ‘Antenna theory’ as he wondered to himself– “If only..”