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  • A full circle of life…

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

    IIT JEE Results, June
    2008

    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
    hometown,
    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
    hard
    ) . 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
    convert.

    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

    Calls: XLRI BM, XLRI HRM

    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

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