Many novels (5.someone etc) must have made you think that life of an engineering student is tough. But do you have any idea about the hectic schedules and tough examinations that a Chartered Accountancy student faces? Practical training starts right after you clear the first level. And a semi-scared semi-confused
kid enters the corporate world, abstaining himself of all the funky outfits and decently clads himself in formals
– a loose full-sleeved shirt, formal pants & shiny black
shoes. No skin-clinging denims, no T-shirts, no cool hairstyles. Girls have an option though- Salwar-kameez or formal pants teamed up with a 3/4th sleeved shirt. And no wonder these so-called formal Salwar-kameez turned
designer day-by-day: Bandhani sleeves, cap sleeves, bat sleeves, sleeveless, trendy churidaars, Bandhej fabrics, chikan work, patialas, semi-patialas, Afghani patterns, umbrella patterns, frock patterns, Kashmiri patterns, oval-back patterns, semi-backless , semi-western kurtis…….Hats off to girls! Where there is a will, there is a way!
But Alas! Boys can’t imitate those patterns or innovate or experiment anything with the loose shirts and pants! Just imagine a guy in a Bandhani sleeved-shirt which is semi-backless and a Patiala instead of pants – a live Laughter Club!
Upon joining office, the novice has to face a
ragging-cum-introduction sequence and has to dance to the seniors’ tunes. The seniors had made me sing the Zandu baam ad lyrics!
Then the innocent kid faces office politics where some of the
seniors bully him. They treat him as their subservient. Some interns butter the bosses and take away all the creamy bank audits and tax audits. He faces groupism, racism, casteism- all sorts of isms, in fact. He becomes an expert in vouching and ticking. He develops gumption.
I still remember my audit to an insurance company. The accountant there used to pronounce voucher as “Bhowcher”. And this experienced accountant didn’t really need any solid reason to pick a quarrel with the relatively
inexperienced interns. Then about another audit at Industry-House. Getting our queries solved there was a task tougher than climbing the Mount Everest. Their accountant aired droplets of saliva every now and then and we wished we had wipers on our faces. Their supplementary accountant too had a problem of bad breath. Whenever we offered him mint or
Centrefresh before getting our queries solved, he declined on the pretext of his Saavan Somvaar or Navratra vrats/fasts. So we were left with no option than to bear the torment. We’d also encountered a ludicrous accountant named Susheel .This snob used to stare badly
at our female colleagues. His mother should have named him Ashleel instead of Susheel!
Once we had gone to S.Kumars to conduct a stock audit. All the interns had been grouped into teams and allotted their own share of work in different sections of the building. My team consisted of 4 articles and was headed by our senior Deepak Sir. Just then the landline rang
and a mason working nearby picked it up. ” Aap mein se Audidhar kaun hai? AM.Mehta & Co. se phone hai…”, he had asked innocently. Deepak Sir obediently attended the call. We all laughed heartily for the next 20 minutes. Innocent guy! He must have heard names like Murlidhar, Gajjodhar, Sridhar..So even on the phone call, he mistook “AUDITOR” as Audidhar! From that day onwards, Deepak Sir became the “Audidhar” of our office.
The auditors are pampered with refreshments directly proportional to the number of queries they find out. More the number of queries, costlier and tastier are the refreshments. We’d order all- Chinese, South-Indian, Mexican or a simple Kachori . “Nothing comes for free”- Karan Mahajan Sir used to rightly say while teaching Cost Of Capital. I had to undergo 1.5 years of expensive acne-cure treatment, thanks to these unhealthy and untimely free meals.
Once every week, all the interns would gather at an Adda, a place completely out of the reach of the bosses. Gossips, treats, bullying, ragging- all such events were cordially held there.
Once it so happened that all the interns proudly bunked the office for a Friday Premier matinee show of the movie Salaam-E-Ishq. After bearing 3 hrs of intense boredom, we finally came out of the multiplex PVR and felt like parrots liberated from a cage after years. A hoarse voice came from behind-“How was the movie?”
Oh my….our boss! He had come with his entire family to watch the movie. Pleasant surprise! What happened then? – Well, what else! We were intimidated on the spot ; immediately dragged to the office ; given threats of FORM 109 (transfer form) and were made to work till 9 pm. Mitsu too was caught once while they were watching Karz.( this remake of old blockbuster Karz should be renamed as Curse! Pathetic movie! )
Nakhrali Dhaani and Chowki Dhaani – mujhe nahi jaani, nahi jaani! These places are one of the best freaking-spots in Indore, no doubt. But can you repeat the last sentence after having visited them over 50 times? Office parties, CPA’s parties, social group’s parties, ACE’s parties- Venue : Nakhrali Dhaani / Chowki Dhaani.
Outstation audits are the best part of one’s practical training experience. Not only do you get to learn a lot, you also get to enjoy a lot!! My first outstation audit was an ABC audit of the Lokmat Group, Maharashtra’s leading Newspaper group at Aurangabad. It’s just like yesterday when I’d boarded the RAJ Travels bus with 3 seniors. One of my seniors, Prachit Agrawal, always gets nausea in bus journeys. So as he cropped his head out of the window to
vomit, the conductor came shouting: “ Mundi bahar mat nikaalo!” The cute guest-house, the lush greenery surrounding the Lokmat premises, the restaurants..aah..my taste-buds still remember the Falooda ice-cream of Ladhli restaurant. We would order soup,
then a royal meal succeeded by an extravagant
dessert. After finishing our work by 8.30 or 9 pm, we would hangout at the nearby mall Spencer Plaza. Even after being strictly instructed to get ready by 8 in the morning, none of us ever woke before 9.30! We had visited
Biwi-Ka-maqbara(replica of Taj Mahal), Daulatabad fort , Ajanta and Ellora- all at the expense of the Lokmat Group.
All four of us used to chat overnight and once we had returned to our guest-house walking in the rain
after dinner. We fought, we teased, we laughed, we cried- but most importantly, we learnt to adjust. My best audit ever!
We don’t have semester systems. After clearing the first level, we straight-away get a gap of 2 yrs to face the next level.( 1.5 yrs are wasted in merry-making and in the last 6 months the studious ones study). Semester-system is better though. You keep in touch with studies that way!
Hectic schedules take their toll on health. Classes early morning, then office, then classes after office…then home-works… assignments…scanners, modules.
You think it’s easy!
The P.C.C exams are tough- 2 groups, 6 subjects and papers on consecutive days without gaps.( Lucky juniors-they now get gaps!) 6 subjects sirf kehne ko. Each subject has sub-subjects and overall we have 14 subjects- 1)Advanced Accounting
Final exam has 8 subjects kehne ko. Won’t bore you enumerating the sub-subjects here.
A few months before the exam, the articles would desperately seek a dummy ( i.e. Farziwada – you don’t have to actually go to office and get the practical training certificate effortlessly). I couldn’t find a dummy and ended up attending the office till Feb 2011 while I had my Finals in May 2011. Result :I flunked in the Final exam and hadn’t Mitsu supported me, I would have been completely shattered. A great test for true love, isn’t it? Wanna test whether your love (won’t say gf/bf. Both Mitsu and I hate these humiliating titles. You love someone to the depth of your heart just to be called a boyfriend! The special-one should be addressed as your Love or your Life and not a gf/bf) loves you genuinely? Flunk once and see to it whether he/she still loves you! The exams are designed tougher to fulfill this objective!
We were a group of 5- Mitsu, me, Gopu from Banswada, Bimla from Jhumri-tallaya and Jignesh Bhai from Bhuj. We had named our group ‘the BANG’
. We were the coolest and the trendiest people at CPA (Shayad!).
Gopu was suffering from loveria (rather crusheria). He had a big crush on Cutie, the prettiest damsel of CPA until she scoffed at him in public 2 yrs ago.
“Excuse me, I think we’ve met each other before. But I can’t able to recollect exactly when and where!” -Gopu had tried to initiate a conversation with Cutie.
“Oh, even I can’t able to recollect. But we surely didn’t meet at any English Grammar tuitions!” , she said sarcastically. Gopu’s face turned redder than a tomato
or a chilli. Poor Angrezi is a big turn-off for girls.
Jignesh bhai Patel was a cricket freak. The walls of his room were flooded with posters of Sachin, Ganguly, Viraat, Bhajji, Mathew Hayden, Brad Hodge, Simon, Shoaib Malik etc etc etc etc. But mind you, being a cricket-maniac doesn’t necessarily mean that you play well too. We often teased him saying- “Arre, Jignes bhai, India won’t lose a single match if you played”, and added after a brief pause ,“if you played for the opponent’s team!”
CPA has its own funny breed of students. One Akhtaar Singh would give a hard blow on your shoulders from behind and ask in his typical Malwa accent : Kya ho ria hai bhio? In Madhya Pradesh, words are slightly altered to sound cuter. Bhayya becomes bhiya, aunti=anti, haa=hau , love=lau , risk=riks , ask=aks , nahi=ni , kar raha= kar ria, 1 lady= 1 ladies….etc..etc. These modifications add a dash of sweetness to the language. The poha-jalebi lovers of Indore are emotionally attached to their Malwi accent.
Rajni had just converted from Hindi medium and was not very clear with her vocabulary. Once due to a sweet fragrance coming from girls’ studyroom-cum-washroom, we all were suffocating our respective noses with
perfumed handkerchiefs. Rajni had instantly asked– Where is this Smile (instead of SMELL) coming from? There was one studious Shuchita – a complete bookworm. We wondered if she made the super-scanners of Shuchita Prakashan! A girl named Maggi had noodle-shaped curly hair with coarse texture.
People often asked us, “ From where are you doing CA? Nahata college?” Now who would take the pain to explain to them that there is just one ICAI throughout India which conducts CA exams and that C.P.A is a coaching institute & not a college. I would just nod and say yes.
I had got 39 in taxation in CA Final Exam so
Mitsu made me work harder. She had cleared with a respectable score and was undergoing General Management and Communication Skills (GMCS) training at the far-flung Chapter-office of ICAI. The IT-training at chapter-office too had cost heavily on the students’ petrol bills.
She still had 4 months to join as a Finance-Manager in a Company based at Mumbai.
Group-studies are a better
alternative- especially when fetters of hatred shackle you in loneliness. Jignesh bhai and I used to study together in CPA’s basement under Mitsu’s guidance. And once every 45 mins, we had a fruit-break…yo..you heard it right- a fruit-break.
People have tea-breaks, nap-breaks, snacks-breaks, stroll-breaks, TV-breaks… but we had fruit-breaks. Thanks to our dietician Mitali Mittal who brought with her delicious red apples, fresh oranges, grapes, chikoos, bananas, amlas, strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers & a pointed knife.
If a fruit-break failed to rejuvenate us, clown Mitali Mittal would mimic our InfoTech teacher, Kavi Jain Sir (Mom Tutorials). She can also cough exactly the same way as Cougharia Sir, taxation faculty at Credential Classes. He deserves kudos for the way he turned a subject as dry and boring as taxation into an interesting one. While studying Set Off And Carry Forward Of Losses, I had wished there be some provision that prohibits carrying forward of feelings of hatred beyond 8 years!
Still remember Cougharia Sir’s funny mnemonic-JADA SP. The only problem was his ZZZZ-mania.He pronounced JJJJ as ZZZZZZZ. Mitsu often entertained us singing songs on his behalf :
“Zab se tere naina mere naino se laage re” instead of “ Jab se tere..”
“Zaane tu, zaane tu yaa zaane naa, maane tu maane tu ya …”
“Zab kisi ki taraf dil Zhukne lage, baat aakar Zuba par rukne lage..”
“ Zab-zab teri surat dekhu…”
“ Zee karda bhai zee karda, tenu Zhappiya paawa Zee karda”
“Bas Mitali, bas…”-
everyone would yell in unison but she wouldn’t stop until the
glasses of a few spectacles and windows cracked.
Her sense of humour is too good, though some people do call her a PJ-Queen. (They are jealous!) “Lucky would be the guy who’ll marry me. I won’t say that I’ll bring stars for him from the sky. But I promise that the only tears that would ever fill his eyes would be tears of happiness. I will make him laugh and laugh and laugh and won’t let any sorrow ever enter our cute world”, Mitali used to egotize. The girl was indeed doing her best to expel my sorrows.
I was shocked when she told me that she had cut her eyelashes with a pair of scissors when she was 6 yrs old. Bachpan se hi shaitaan hai! Her mother then had alarmed her saying that her eyelashes would never grow at all. While her grandma was of the opinion that the eyelashes would grow at a tremendous rate and she would have to get them trimmed periodically. Poor Mitsu! Who would dare to marry a girl devoid of eyelashes or a girl whose eyelashes were 4 feet
long? This thought used to petrify her for years until her eyelashes turned to normal- nay, far more attractive than the normal.
The food at hostels and mess is
a complete mess. And therefore the hostelites longed for good food. Mitsu and her hostel-friends often dressed up elegantly and attended marriage-receptions of strangers at Shanti-Mandapam, Shagun Garden,etc etc.They call this- Phatte ki shaadi : a treat at an alti bhalti Shaadi. Begaani shaadi mein Abdullah diwana! Abdullah…Aw…Varshaan.. stop haunting me!
Once I accidentally met Mitsu at the wedding of Mr. Daga’s son. Mr. Daga was a professor too at Holkar College. Yeh madam ice-cream ke stall pe bhidi hui thi ! Next day she told me about this Phatte ki Shaadi concept.
They would see the banner outside and after being satisfied that the bride’s and the groom’s families were vegetarian, the vegetarian girls entered the battlefield to devour yummies, with little fear of being caught. Girls are very good at deciphering castes by surnames : they know Bhandari means a Jain ; Dave means a Brahmin ; Goyal means an Agrawal ; Mundra means a Maheshwari ; Rai means a Kshatriya…and such surnames and castes meant a green signal to go ahead and gulp the vegetarian delicacies. But surnames like Bhatia, Khatri, Khan, Mirchandani meant a red signal. Did I tell you that I have left non-veg for Mitali’s love?
A Bengali has left non-veg for an Agrawal ! For a very cute Agrawal, I must say!
Due to her improper eating habits, Mitsu got pimples time and again. The possessive girl then felt insecure and kept on asking me whether I would leave her if she started looking ugly. I used to convince her this way: “ Even pimples look cute on you Mitsu. And I do not love you for your external beauty but for your pure soul.” These words were not meant for buttering ;they came straight from my heart. “The pretty girl whom you marry today will also grow old and turn wrinkled one day. Beauty fades away but love doesn’t.” Wow.. I’ve just developed a quote myself. Well done Niket!
Mitsu worked upon my dressing-sense
& turned me into a cool dude. Frankly speaking, my choice is pathetic. Mitsu is an exception though. I get baffled when the shopkeeper shows me 40 shirts of 20 patterns in 8 colours and 10 sizes
& then asks- “Sir, which one?” Every shirt looks funky in the showroom lights. How do I decide? Once, maa couldn’t accompany me for shopping & I proudly bought a bright magenta shirt all by myself. I became the laughing stock
of the streets of Indore. Even our gardener Ram Bharose
refused to take it saying- “Saab, meri bhi kuch izzat hai!”
Well, during our entire internship/articleship period we saw more break-ups than link-ups or patch-ups around us. But break-ups are good. Atleast the couples realize that they aren’t made for each other before getting married and hence each can head for a new start. Each break-up means one less divorce.
Do you watch DIL MIL GAYE-? It’s a soap on Star-one revolving around the love-stories that develop during the period of internship of doctors. Girls in Mitsu’s hostel are crazy for this soap and crazier for the stud Armaan. Though the TRPs have gone down since Shilpa Anand left.
If anyone was to make such a soap on the internship of CA students, the title would unanimously be – DIL JAL GAYE !
Leaving office at 3.30 ; doing Matthagiri (a slang used by the bosses to mean laziness & insincerity) ; movies at office hours ; crushes on colleagues ; signing the attendance register and then completely bunking the office ; amazing (=amusing) coaching institutes; queer batch-mates – where else will you find these on earth ! Only in our CA!