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Saturday, April 21, 2012

UNCUT! (Priya Poddar shraes the unabridged version of her interview at The United World College, Pune)

The interview comprised of a whole day at United World Colleges, so that they would know us better. The campus was gorgeously beautiful ;  it was like a paradise. About 30% of the current students were Indian, the rest came from various parts of the world. 

We started off with a few games and activities. They divided us into various groups. Then we were taken for a  tour by the students. Most of the work was handled by the students, in fact all, apart from the formal interview. We played some real nice activity-games, I would definitely like to share them with you in school. : D

After that, we were taken indoors, fabulous classrooms there were! We had been asked to bring an object of 'personal significance' for ourselves, to deliver a 5 minute presentation in front of the current students and alumni. They also had to throw at us some questions when they felt like. 

So, I took my Bharatnatyam trinklets, which I have been using for the past 5 years, that's about the time I have been learning the dance. I told them how it was important for me to learn the dance in all its discipline, to not take it as a hobby class, , told them how I had mingled so much with the culture, customs, history of South India, so much so, that sometimes I wished I was born a Tamil. : D Then, they asked me dance a little for them, so i did. I believe they were impressed. : )

Then, it was the formal interview, where i believe I messed up, actually. There were three teachers, one Indian, the other two foreigners, one of them a woman. After the greetings, they asked me to describe Delhi, where I came from. So, I, practically a passionate lover of this city, praised it a lot, saying that it was like a mini India. 

 At then end, i concluded by saying that if one has lived in delhi, it is difficult to think of living somewhere else. The they were surprised, they asked me if I was selected, wouldI be able to put up in pune? So, I said that it would be a different way in which I'd be living here, which would be more like a hostel in Pune, where I would have things at my dispense, though in delhi, I am sort of catering to my own needs. I guess they were satisfied. 

Then, they asked to tell me about my current school, I praised it a lot too, because I am a fan of G. D. Goenka, where I have practically come out from an opaque bubble i was living in. Then they posed the same question again, why  I wanted to leave it.

I said it was about exposure, which would be much more in UWC. I don't remember then, but in between they asked me what I wake up to everyday. I said it was about a job, that I've been given, by God, and that I have to fulfill it. 

At the basic level, it is 'living life', but for different people, living is different, for someone, it might be writing, for the other singing. I said that i believed that there was a  vast, unlimited world of knowledge out there, and extracting that part, from wherever I can, really interested me. They asked me why, I said I had no reason for it, it just made me feel happy, just like thinking about helping people, doing that for Pakistanis someday, feeding dogs, etc. 

Then, i don't know how, but the talks shifted to dogs, and as I said I loved dogs, one of them said, "that would be good, if you get selected, it would really help the huge lot of dogs we have here" I was like "Yeah, I would love to feed them day and night".

Then he said "Priya, here you'd be staying for 8 months of the year, the other 4 months you'll be spending at your home, as a part of the vacations, etc. Don't you think it would be a kind of betrayal from your side, when you''re away for a quarter and they don't have anyone to feed them?" "I would make sure make the arrangements for their food, somehow"?
 "What if you can't find anything?
 Would you be willing to stay back?"
 " I will, if I can't find anything"
 "What! You're not going to bother about your parents?"
 "See,I do love them, but I am not so attached to them, I realize their importance, they've given me everything I have, made me everything I am, but, if i have to stay away from them, I can do that." 
"You're saying you love your dog much more than your mother. I am gonna call up your mother and tell her that you said this."

 "Sir, the fact is, she won't be surprised, she knows too very well" 

And then, somehow they started talking about my dead dog, and I broke down! I have never been embarrassed about anything as much as that. It screwed up all my interview. And then they passed a joke, brought things back to normal. then they asked me a questin, "Priya, what if after a few weeks, you realize that you havent been selected, what would have been your flaw, you think?"
 "I think my carelessness would be it, I mean it's like, sometimes rather than preparing for a test, I would be interested in reading a book"

 "You think  you've learned a lesson from it?"
 "Sir, it's like, about people's perceptions.
 For my mother, teacher, it would be a waste of time, I guess, but it is a blessing for me to have another day witha novel!" 
"If you have to choose between a project work at campus, where You have to help people and a very lucrative book, what would you choose?" I was tongue tied, I said both were equally interesting for me, which was actually the truth. But they did not seem to believe me. They asked "If I gave you a piece of food, there's your dying mother and a dying dog, who would you feed it to?" I did not answer it. : )

They asked me if i wanted to ask something, i made a fool of myself by asking "what exactly is the relationship between students and teachers here?", when I had wanted too ask, what exactly is this place where I only see the students doing all the work, and teachers nowehere!

That's when i ended it. Then, it was meals,a lot of dancing, a lot of chatting with seniors, alumni, etc, hot chocolate. : ) Then, I slept, and the next day, we had a discussion over China-tibet issue. We also had an aptitude test, pretty easy one. 

That's how it was. I wrote so much, I am sleepy. : )

Just pray for me , now that I have had a sight of the tinsel town, i don't want to lose it. : )


  1. When exactly did you apply for UWC? Was it in the summer vacation time in India? like after the 10th board exams? I finished my Board Exams in March and am now waiting for my results. Is it possible for me to apply for UWC as in the site it is given that the deadline for application was September 2017 ?

    PS: I am an Indian