bhOndOO is back from the nightmare — the meeting with his advisor. Prof Krishnamurthy has asked him many questions which went unanswered. bhOndOO has been asked to read the paper again and come back. bhOndOO is very disappointed — more than getting a refusal from a girl to whom bhOndOO’s parents asked for marriage.
bhOndOO types: pine -i and sees two new emails: one from Dr Ajay and another from a junior at BTech. bhOndOO gets very happy to read Dr Ajay’s mail, since he receives appreciation for doing a good work with the new CSA website. bhOndOO’s name is also added to the credits page of the website. He opens the other mail and comes to know that the junior has got admission into CSA and wishes to talk to him regarding the PhD programme and the faculty members. bhOndOO is not in a mood to entertain any visitors right now, but replies yes.
In the afternoon, his junior comes to IISc and they both go to T-board.
“What would you have?”, bhOndOO getting courteous.
“Let me see the menu. Okay, one noodles, …”.
bhOndOO starts counting (it is the sign of a courteous person. No, no! Not counting, but rather counting in mind and smiling), eleven….
“one badam milk, …”.
… plus twenty…
“… and … ummm…”.
… one punch?…
“ya… this cake packet. How much does this cost?”.
“Sixteen rupees.”, the shopkeeper replies.
… total forty seven… Juniors are dogs! He must be earning one lakh per month!
After collecting the valuables, the junior realizes and asks, “Aren’t you taking anything?”.
bhOndOO looks at him, feels like slapping his face and running away with the food items, but brings a courteous smile on his face and gives a crisp reply, “I had heavy lunch.”.
bhOndOO puts forth a 50-rupee note towards the shopkeeper, and the junior says, “Shall I pay?”.
bhOndOO looks at him, remembers his disappointment with the advisor, understands that this is the deciding time of his life, and says, “Okay, as you wish.”, putting back his note into the pocket.
The junior is stumped with a googly. He tries to collect all food items into his left hand and goes for his wallet using the right. He manages to drop the noodles and the badam milk can.
A smile appears on bhOndOO’s face. He quickly comes back to (imitates) the sane state and shows concern. The junior lifts the can, cleans it with his hand and feels embarrassed to see people in the queue watching him. He gives a 50-rupee note to the shopkeeper and takes back the change. As they hurriedly leave the counter, they hear the shopkeeper shouting on somebody to clean the floor.
“So what do you want to know?”.
“I just want to know which professors work in Compilers…”.
bhOndOO realizes that his professor is the only one who works in Compilers and is about to suggest, when the junior continues, “Actually, my company, Synopsys, is very keen on sponsoring some project in IISc and they are ready to give a sponsorship of upto 10 lakh…”.
“Rupees or dollars?”, bhOndOO is carefully listening.
“Hmmm. I see.”, bhOndOO’s thoughtful reply. The thought process involves the morning discussion with Prof Krishnamurthy and then the appreciation mail from Dr Ajay.
“There is one Prof Krishnamurthy who works in Compilers. But you know that most of the areas in the field are already saturated. Very less and not very interesting research is going on in Compilers. I would rather suggest you work in some Embedded Systems related area. Not only it is in demand, but will also be of interest to Synopsys.”.
“That is true… but I was wondering…”.
“See, what you want at the end of your PhD is to grow higher in your company or to apply to some other company to get a better job. Correct?”.
“Correct!”, the junior cannot deny this.
“Then what is the point in having a PhD at the end of which you will not receive any value-add?”, such statements are made when bhOndOO wants to, but cannot, be logical.
“And moreover, the faculty member who works in Embedded Systems, Dr Ajay, is a very nice prof. He reads and discusses papers with his students. He has a good lab and very good students. Your PhD will be fun. His students typically finish PhD in four years. And moreover, he has worked in Synopsys before.”.
“Of course. I strongly suggest you talk to him.”.
The junior is thoughtful for a moment and looks down. bhOndOO is looking at him and having a wicked smile. Then he brings himself back to the courteous mode and says, “If you want, I can arrange for a meeting with him.”.
“Oh! Is that possible?”.
“Of course. Any time during the weekday.”.
“bhOndOO, I think I need to think more on this. I may also have to talk to my manager.”.
“Sure.”, bhOndOO is overjoyed, “You take some time to decide and just let me know by email.”.
“Sure. Thanks a lot, bhOndOO. It is really very useful to have seniors like you.”.
bhOndOO smiles, “You are welcome.”.