Wednesday, January 20, 2021

My walk into APF

My walk into APF

Harry forwarded the mail saying to check out the program offered by Azim Premji Foundation. Interested in learning, life skills, I bought the idea of experiential learning. I gave out the form and applied filling out the basic information.

I was not anxious about getting in it as I had no clue what was it all about. Experiential learning would be of any type. I was ready to learn through experience rather than sitting in a room.

After a month, I received  a mail for being shortlisted for the exam. I had to appear for an exam. Exam had basics of English, Math, General Knowledge and essay writing. Too basic to sit and study and too tricky to be complacent. I brushed up my basic math skills and attended the exam. I was given a topic on Kerala floods. Sharing out my opinion, I also gave out few views on the floods. I thought I did a decent job.

I walked out of exam and checked out their timeline of interview process, if selected.

It ranged from November to February for every process.  If shortlisted through written test, we had to write SOP. If gone through SOP process, phone interview and even if phone interview is checked through, In person interview.

After all the process, they’d select if they feel we’re worthy to be in their fellowship.

Seemed lengthy process but also attracted me for its detailed process. They’re not in a hurry to select any other people. They want to scrutiny and find whom they wanted.

 I retired on the day and carried on with my life.  3 weeks passed, I received a call from Piyush from Azim Premji Foundation.

We had a lengthy conversation on my interest in joining the foundation. I was clear in my responses. I wanted to learn. I was ready to live in remote places. I was up to give up all the urban privileges.

I never hated my job. My choice of taking up another learning or domain was not because I was hating my job. I loved my job. I also wanted to check out the other lives.

Done with 21 years. I studied enough to earn money. I was earning a money. Landed up in the office learning management and the dynamics of the world. Is it all? Or is there anything beyond giving a meaning to our life by our reality or finding new meanings by changing the reality.

With all the reflecting thoughts, I wanted a change.  I shared these thoughts, ideas with Piyush. He was patient enough to listen out to my views. He wished my luck and ended the conversation. 

Well, I had to be myself. I did not want to sound who I am not. I had no clue of education. I wanted to learn. That itself was my own reason to join the fellowship. The fellowship was vague. I had no clue what it was all about, but I knew I was there for a great learning.

Comes December 18th, I was called up for an interview. I reached Bangalore, before I realise what was happening. I walked across the corporate Wipro buildings and landed up in a beautiful space decorated amidst the trees.

The architecture was vibrant. It was breathable and everything about the building was aesthetic.

Deprived of sleep, early morning flight, I took a leisure walks over the buildings.

We were invited for the lunch. The lunch was provided. We were asked to settle in before the interview starts.

10 of us were called in for a presentation. Mandya Leader gave out the presentation on what do they really work on. Gave out the information that was present on the website. Too general to enquire about, too new to ask the enquiries from.

As the interviews got started, we were called out to visit the room.

While I was at the desk waiting for my turn, those silent moments are what it all mattered. The inner anxiety was all true to experience. No issues in experiencing but letting it over ride my emotions or confidence was critical. I was anxious of the whole interview process but, didn’t think of how I’d perform. Clueless of what would happen, I didn’t imagine more than what I need to be at that point of time.  

I was welcomed by Aanchal. I was given an introduction. As the conversation went on, I was asked to present my topic.  Frankly, I wasn’t socially conscious on third world topics.  I could empathise with learning, relations and those micro problems that we generally face. I talked on reclaiming conversation. I talked on how technology is letting us be at our worst with our friends. How is it deeply ruining our lives by making us crippled to make friendships and apathy towards others.

I do not know If I could call it social topic but according to me, anything that’s with us and other people involved it’s a social problem.

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