A full circle of life…

Not so great story of another run off the mill software engineer

IIT JEE Results, June

Life took a vicious
turn for a boy of 18, his dreams shattered to smithereens. 2 years of working
hard yields no result as he leaves the city of Jamshedpur; his
head hung down in pain and embarrassment, ahead on a path of
mediocrity to a not so prestigious college at a distant land far south. He has
vivid memory of the ominous date to this day.

Present day:

My MBA journey began
in October 2012. Those days, life pretty much was a constant struggle between
who I was and who I wanted to be.

I had finished 3
months of training at TCS, Hyderabad and had been deployed to Delhi location after
the training. I knew I was one of the many faces who dwindle in the hobnob of
software engineers ,at a place where life is a straight 8am to 9pm slog in the
office, arduous metro rides, wrangles of a cacophonous metro city and
shared flat of four others with bare necessities. My first tete-a-tete with cat
was in 2012. I had casually given CAT without any preparation just because  one of my good friends needed company and did not want to give CAT alone. I
cared about it as much as it cared about me and results were a fare revelation
of this mutual feeling.

VA: 89.X

QA: 88.XX

OA: 90.XX

Delhi is place where
every expatriate software noob is somehow preparing for something be it IES,
IAS, GATE or CAT. My roommates were no different with each of them having
picked one of the above goose to cook. So stuck without much moolah to spend
out on entertainment and studious room-mates who diligently prepared
for competitive exams, I had no other option but to stick my derriere and pick
one of the above exams for myself and hence began my MBA journey. A scholarship
test at TIME gave me a rebate of 25% and I enrolled in weekend preparatory
program at TIME Satya Niketan Centre,
Delhi. Somehow after drudgery of a week in the office, those days spent at TIME center was a
welcome respite for me(Ah the pretty DU girls ! if only
someone could tell them that they were too damn beautiful to be studying so
) . Something that started merely as an avocation now started
enthralling me. Time passed in a jiffy as I juggled office, classes, AIMCATs
and class tests. I had become serious overtime and had started pipe dreaming
about my life at one of those hallowed MBA colleges. AIMCAT results bolstered
by belief as figures of 98%iles and 99%iles started pouring in. Life was good
and fast those days. Months slipped like grains of sand and I could hear the
CAT prowl not too far. I revered XAT more than CAT as it would lead to the
gateway of heaven I had grown around, the XLRI Jamshedpur. I also appeared for SNAP, IIFT and TISS.

A day before the CAT
day, I lay on my bed looking at the ceiling fan going in circles as my mind
went pretty much around in the same fashion. Sleep eluded me and reminisced
my JEE days all over again. I hoped the IIT debacle won’t show up again as I
had trained my arsenal with all the ferocity. Next morning I took CAT.

While exiting the
examination hall something told me I had not done well. The feeling of
trepidation ran shivers through my body. But what’s done is done and with IIFT
in the following week I could not afford to muse after it. IIFT, SNAP, XAT and
TISS followed and the bullet train stopped with IIFT results. As usual they
made the first show. Results?

48.75 Marks , GK cut-off
missed by 0.16

SNAP results were
next to make next entry 98.89, but with academic %ile component added, it
rounded up to around 97.xx

Finally CAT result
day arrived, a day that would change many lives forever, but with 98.xx in Quant and 76.xx in VA, my life
certainly was not in that pool. I failed to understand that what had happened. Ok,
It was not good, but a 76 in VA?? The aftermath had me crying, laughing,
billowing cigarettes like a chimney, and remaining detached from the world for
days to come. Needless to say XAT went down the drain as I managed a meanly
92.xx. The XLRI dream went for a
toss. My calls in 2013 comprised SCMHRD
and TISS, both of which I could not

The bubble of fantasy
burst once again and it swallowed me in a state of pandemonium and crisis. The
pain was inexplicable. So much so that I felt nothing but numbness. I went
ahead, the minion that I was, thinking this is what this life had in store for
me. Not greatness, not respect but utter disgrace.

Now I started
working seriously at office, my only avenue out of the misery. Any thought of
MBA was jettisoned out of my system but the sense of failure was not. I went
about normal life, occasionally stealing a look or two at my past year quant and
VA exercise books in disdain. One fine Sunday evening without much work at hand
I sat to reflect upon the time I spent last year. By the time this long evening
faded away, I thought of writing CAT and XAT again but without any afterthought
of making it to any MBA college. This would just be to vent my frustration and
get a final closure. How long could I bare the hatred these competitive exams
had inculcated in me against my own intellectual faculties? This year CAT and
XAT and a few other exams  were the beginning and the ends of it. I did not aspire to do MBA after all.

I used to take
fleeting glances at my TIME course material books, last year’s AIMCATS and
pagalguy VA and Quant threads for an hour every week from about a month
before the CAT exams. I told myself that I gave two hoots to these silly ‘one
day and we would make or break you
‘ exams. I took CAT and XAT , SNAP ,IIFT et al with
utter nonchalance this year. The results strangely had a different story to
tell this time.

CAT 2014: QA: 99.xx, VA: 98.xx, OA: 99.46

Calls: IIM K, S, New IIMs

I had had my sweet
vengeance this day. The retribution was met, if not swiftly.

Others :

SNAP 2014 : 99.66 ,  calls : SIBM 

IIFT : 47.XX , percentile : 99.XX

To my elation , XAT Bird serenaded a
similar song.

XAT 2014: 98.96


I eventually sat or
the interviews this year,as it was an involuntary and obvious course of action , still without any afterthought about conversions of
any sorts.

The interview
results, to my surprise, landed my forbidden fruit in my lap.

Final Results:

Converts: IIM S, New IIMs., SIBM , IIFT -K

Initially WListed
and eventually converted IIM K, XL HR, IIFT -D

Rejects: XL BM

And this is where my
story draws curtain as I end this 1200 word strong rigmarole sitting happily in
new boys’ hostel, XLRI, Jamshedpur.

Jamshedpur, my city that I left
was back in 2007 with nothing in my hands and without a face to show, welcomes
me with wide arms. It has been some 8 years but I can still see fading
footprints those walked away  from the steel city as I trace them back to
this very place. This is how much it took for my life to go a full circle.

I can’t thank God enough for this…. :’)

Tamso Ma jyotirgamaya