“I don’t know where I am going wrong, man,” he exclaimed dejectedly, forcefully hitting End on his cellphone and throwing it carelessly on the sofa. “I can’t believe I am not being able to nail a single interview. I have been to, what, like six already in the last month, and it’s the same story every time… They say they were really impressed with my written etst, so they call me back for an interview… and after two days, it’s always We are sorry, we wouldn’t be able to accommodate you..,” he mimicked not very impressively. “Where am I going wrong?”
Though it was a rhetorical question, that has never stopped sisters from dolign out some unsolicited advice.
“Umm, did you try shaving and getting a haircut before an interview?”
“What??” exclaimed Sanjay disgustedly. “That is your solution??”
“Yeah, I mean, appearances are important, you know…”
“Sonia,” Sanjay spoke through gritted teeth. “I was a topper throughout school. I was a topper in college. I have a degree from one of the best colleges in the country. Country. My skills are unmatched. I…
He stopped speaking as he noticed Sonia mouthing the exact words that were coming out of his mouth. Had he really said them so often?
As Sanjay stared crestfallen, Sonia hurried to damage control. “Listen Sanju, you are the best, we all know it. But you know what, these companies nowadays are all into maintaining an impressive front. They want their employees to look presentable.”
“I am not preentable?” Sanjay looked even more crestfallen.
“Oh, you are a handsome man, except for your, you know, that stubble and that long wiry hair. Listen, What could it hurt? Just give it a shot. Don’t you have an interview lined up for Monday?”
“Fine,” Sanjay agreed, without looking much convinced, but resembling a man who would try anything.
It was a smart and suave Sanjay who walked into the interview room the next Monday. His cheeks had a tinge of green from the fresh shave, he smelled minty fresh from the aftershave Sonia had bought him and which was lying unused till that day, his hair was neatly cropped, and he wore a crisp grey shirt Sonia picked for him.
Was it his imagination, or was the receptionist here a little more friendly than receptionists normally are? He even thought some of the other interviewees waiting at the reception eyeing him now and then. He felt confident. He felt this could be it. After all, he had already aced the written test.
The next day, Sanjay threw his phone carelessly on the sofa, raised his fists to the sky and screamed “Yessss!”
“What, what, what?” Sonia and his mother came running from the kitchen.
“I got the job!” Sanjay exclaimed, doing a mini jig.
“See, see, see, was I right or was I right?” Sonia asked wisely.
“Oh please, as if it was because of your stupid clean-shaven face and ironed shirt…”
“You ungrateful little….”