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I arrived in the city of Hyderabad, for the first time in my life, on 3rd of September, 2014. It was a Wednesday night. The time was 11 o’clock. In about one hour, I was at Nishith’s place. I was suppose to stay a whole month at his place, do the 1 month internship at FDR, Hyderabad and appear for the interview at FTII, Pune in between. That was the whole plan I hatched for getting out of Brajrajnagar.

Ashok Barpanda’s home, Brajrajnagar (April 25-September 2):
Days were slow, or at least I felt that way. I used to think a lot, on stuffs, that should not bother a 23 year old, fresh graduate. I used to read a lot, mostly fiction. I used to be in a melancholic state all the time, wondering myself in different professions. I had minimal contact with reality; often not speaking any word for, as long as, 14 waking hours. Parents would counsel me, sometimes tease me for failing to work as a corporate servant. But, they would take care of me. Mother especially, trying her best to keep me fed all the time. hahaha…I miss that the most.

Nishith Tripathy’s home, Hyderabad (September 4-Presently):
Days are running, no, flying here. FDR is an interesting workplace. I enjoy doing research work. I enjoy the work environment. There are no soft jokes, no inspirational speeches, no corporate hungama. I am productive when I’m at work. Everyone is so driven, focused all the time. Dr. JP and Karthik sir are few of the most intellectual people I’ve ever come into contact with.

Nishith is a ‘cool’ guy in respect to every definition of the word. The kind of relationship I share with him is quite akin to what I share with Partha at Bengaluru. The major difference being Nishith, unlike Partha don’t aspire to study MBA. On career decisions, Nishith and my ambitions match to a great deal. I usually divulge my secret, philosophical thoughts on humanity and existential issues, which he refute jestingly.

Problems & Solutions:
Well, I feel good to be engaged somewhere I like. FDR will pay me Rs. 7000 on the first week of October. It’s a period of struggle in my life. I was awaiting this phase since a long time. Financially speaking, I am not independent, but I see it as a brief stage of transition.
I’m still the good, old, funny guy with principles. I’ve matured since my last job. I keep my professional-life integrity maintained. On the personal side, I make people laugh, do silly things and ponder a lot, on stuffs, that any 23 year old, fresh graduate should not!

Anticipation of Future:
Next week, at this time, I’ll be in Pune. FTII has called me for interview. It’ll be a great adventure. I know I’m not prepared, I don’t have any portfolio. I will just be my honest self – tell ’em that I love movies, and I wish to turn my hobby into my profession. Other than that, I don’t think I’ve anything else to compete with published authors and experienced film strugglers.

Frankly speaking, I’m not very hopeful for FTII. However, if selected, my life will change forever. If not, I’ve a good back-up plan. FDR, NGOs, Masters in Public Policy, IAS, Think-Tanks…Life will be nice, peaceful and dignified. I’ve left the career outcomes of my life to the unknowing force that acts upon all of us conscious beings. Rest, as they say, will be history.