The final year winded smoothly, with fewer subjects, project work and lots of time advicing juniors. In April 2006, my college days got over. I was spending the last big vacation in my native place, when I received a call from the HR of Cognizant asking me to join the next day. I packed my bags and reached Chennai the same day night.
When I told Sri and Soms over phone that I got a call from HR, they too got eager and called up HR. To our surprise, they were also allowed to come the same day. On that Friday morning, clad in complete formals, there we were in TCO office, where destiny had brought us. The office seemed like a palace. We were not even allowed inside and had to wait at the security gate. We felt proud then seeing the tight security in office. Anyone wearing a company tag commanded respect from us. We were taken to the Academy block and given loads of papers to be autographed by us. Who knows what it was, the HR person told us to turn to each page and place a sign in the specified places. Once done, we were asked to come to Tidel Park for orientation on Monday. We also has a medical examination that very day. The gals (figures in our slang) were good, but most of them where my college. So we didn’t care much about them. We knew we will get to see more people in the office than these girls. (One point to be noted here is that all three of us had no girl friends, the sad part of the story, but we manage to give the feeling that we didn’t want a girl friend).
In Tidel, it was just a full day of lecture, getting introduced to the ‘Exceeding customer expectation’ band wagon of Cognizant. One session that interested us was when they had all the lights out and asked each guy to take a seat next to a gal. But as fate would have it, again, I got to sit next to my class mate and when I turned to see who else was next to her, it was Soms. Cursing badly, we made it past the session and was back. We had no residence here in Chennai, so we got the Pallavaram office accomodation. We were a happy lot though many complained about the food and water.
Getting into the Siruseri Academy and seeing the facilities, we felt we were truly in the dream destination. The automatic coffee vending machine, the small pool at the academy with seats around it, the lighting, the feel inside an air-conditioned office, the boot polisher were all new to us. We felt we were on top of the world. Training was a honeymoon period. Fun, food, girls, mock tests, mock projects. It was as if we were being paid for attending college. We were not sure on what to do with the two point salary we got then. We wore the tag everywhere in the evening. When in formals and shoes, the textile shops which once would not serve us, showed interest in allowing us to window shop. With money came everything. But all joy should come to an end and so the training ended and we as lucky for Soms and Sri to be on the same project. But I was alone in a new project. I had to move to Navallur and they were in TCO. By now, we had our residences in the IT Hub, Thiruvanmiyur. Those were wonderful days.