Thursday, 22 October 2015

How was my training period as Programmer Analyst Trainee at Cognizant!

Location: A hotel in Manali
Date: 28 June, 2015 12:35 am

*over the phone*

Sister: "Hey when you guys gonna be back from your heavenly Kashmir trip?"

Me: "We will take the train by tomorrow morning and reach Kolkata by 30th evening, probably."

Sister: "That's great! By the way, did you get call from Cognizant?"

Me: "I don't think they will summon me before the Durga Puja."

Sister: "Wait, let me check your mail."

*puts phone on hold and she checks my mailbox*

Sister: "WTF! You have got a mail! You have got a mail from CTS!! Woah! You have got Kolkata! Wait a second, hell noooo! You will have to join them by 30th morning!!!"

Me: "Are you kidding me!!!!"

I had multiple reactions after I disconnected the call, and cross checked my mail box:
a) I will have to book flights tickets right now to reach Kolkata on 30th morning.
b) Maybe I can drop, by showing some cause. Oh wait! If I don't get Kolkata again?

Woke up my parents, made my sister to fill out 17 forms over phone, booked flight tickets from Delhi to Kolkata, slept by 4 am in awe. Finally, on 30th morning I was there at Bantala Cognizant campus with a moderate volume of unknown faces!

Journey started at the Unitech building from the next day. Day 3 and 4 exams on C and SQL were disaster! Well, didn't expect much, since I lost my touch after the 3rd year of my graduation. Frankly, at the end of the first week, I didn't learn anything other than how the coffee machine at the cafeteria works! It was a bit tough to adjust initially, because I had to leave out working on my Youtube channel to join Cognizant.

From the B1 building, Cognizant Unitech.
People from ECE-EEE-etc definitely had massive doubts regarding how to clear these exams. Trust me, the topper from my batch was from ECE, and he didn't even know that SQL existed in this world before joining CTS. I repeat, he topped the SQL exam. Moral: Hard work can take you anywhere.
There were definitely some Chatur Ramalingam-s in our class, who loved mugging things up. They passed. Some Baba Ranchoddas-es, who definitely passed.
And then, there were also the backbenchers. They too passed, using the methods which they used to pass the college exams. And you aren't dumb enough to understand which METHODS am I pointing to! LOL. Moral: You are definitely gonna clear the exams within the 3 attempts. Keep calm!

I was tagged into Customized Java, Business Unit: Retail. For Java or DotNet, one has to clear C, SQL, Java or C#, Summitive exams. Finally, there's a project (MFRP) which you can do well, if you have basic knowledge in Servlets, JSP, and Database. Oops.. almost missed out. Also, there's a 3 hour class of Behavioural Training every week, which might put you into coma! Just kidding. But I will remember the behavioural trainer because every week he pulled me out of my comfort zone, threw on me some random questions, and no matter what I answer, he would reply at the end in his fake accent: "Baba, tumse na ho paega!" Phew. Those were some terrible days at the office.

Had there been an award for the most nuisance batch in the graduation day, definitely, KOL15CJ001 (our class) would have won it by miles. It would be difficult to name any sport that we didn't play inside the class. Dumb-charades, Counter Strike and Catch-the-ball, turned out to be our daily activity! Sshh. Can't go into details! Mentor manager will definitely kill me after reading this! How can I forget those birthday bashes! Add to that, regular treats from fellow classmates! Dear Freshers, this is the period which you are gonna enjoy the most! Cognizant is definitely fun, excluding the traffic jams on way to office! 

Our training got over on September 29th, and it's pretty fun being benched. We have been touring Kolkata day in and out! 

Teacher's Day!
They call us GOANS of CTS; coz we provide free entertainment!
Princep Ghat!
Eco Park!
Eco Park Returns!
Nicco Park!
And, guys, trust me, Kolkata looks totally different during the Durga Pujas! Check out some shots.

Panchami evening!
Shovabazar Rajbari
I like this pic!
Maa Durga
Kolkata's Big Ben
Message to those who are still waiting for DOJ: Have patience, the best days are yet to come!

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

EAST BENGAL ULTRAS: Evolution of the Ultras movement in India

It was a lazy weekend in the winter of 2013, as far as I can relate. A harsh ringtone buzzed, call from an unknown number. TrueCaller didn't exist by then, so you won't know who called, unless you receive it. I took up the call.

Me: "Who's this?"

Caller: "Hey I'm Abhik. This is about East Bengal Ultras. We need to bring the Ultras culture in India. Can I count you in?"

I started taking interest on the Western Ultras since my second year of college, and had a fair enough idea of how difficult it is to bring such a changed environment to the City of Joy.

Caller: "Trust me..we can!"

Even though I thought this guy is bluffing, somewhere inside I felt like trying out atleast once.

Me: "Yeah, I'm in."

That call, hopefully, will make history.

We met up during the East Bengal vs Bengaluru FC match on December. Argued with the police, their fans, and defeated Bengaluru by 2-0. We cheered our lungs out.

Ultras in Bangalore
But we were destined to take it to the next level. So started searching for the similar minded people. At the end of first year, we got 3 more members. Well, disappointing result, but we 5 members had been the core.

In the second year of Ultras, 2015, things started to materialize! Uttiya got in a bunch of pals who were regular to the ground. We started expanding. People started noticing us during the Calcutta League. Our loud vocal support along with drums, made us the odd one out. We started jotting down the chants, and delivered. Flares to smoke-bomb, banners to huge flags, synchronized drum beats, we had it all. Smoke-bombs used in Kolkata Derby was phenomenal!

Biggest ultras community Ultras World shared this on their FB page
Practising chants at Arghya da's terrace
Before East Bengal's Bangladesh tourney, we, around 15 to 20 guys, arrived at the Howrah Stadium, where the club was practising and made an environment which was hard to believe even to the officials. Key player Do Dong Hyun joined us at the end of the practice, and it was a sheer joy to see him shake a leg with us!
According to one of our fellow writers, Hindol: "Their (Ultras) sudden arrival, their spontaneous chants, their continuous drumbeats took the players by surprise. At the time when pomp and glamour of a circus-named-Indian-Super-League hogged the limelight, these flag-wavers, these roof-raisers, these drum-beaters, these storm-troopers stood by their club whom they love dearest."

The high point was, off-course, getting the recognition on Bengali news channel 24 Ghanta

So, you must be getting this thing in your head: WHO ARE THE ULTRAS?

I will make this thing simple for you. The ultras are essentially a group of fans of the national team or football clubs that offer loud, and often times, manic support at matches. They sing, they chant, they dance. They set off flares and fireworks and unfurl massive banners or flags in support of their team. As long as the team is playing, they do not stop and will continue making themselves heard. 90 minutes of football means 90 minutes of non-stop activity from the stands. To be an Ultra you need to breathe, live and eat football. Ultras is a culture or a movement, and definitely not a fan-club. 

The huge flag!
We are waiting impatiently for the I-League to commence, because, it will be the time when we bring the roof down! Call 7059788724 or 7890765747 to join the ultras! Till then check this out, how we inspired the players before the team went for the Sheikh Kamal International Club Cup.