Five years in the making… Part 3 of 3

Part C

Came to Mumbai with a lot of hopes. Started staying in my maternal uncle’s place. Started working the very next day. I used to stay in Malad and my office was in Lower Parel. It took me around 45-50 minutes travel by locals during core office hours to reach my office. That was actually the toughest part of the job and punctuality was everything there. If you missed one train u are bound to be late which would cost you a half day’s pay (assuming the same for simplicity purpose otherwise there were some relaxations) and any mumbaikar can testify that it is tougher to get into the mumbai local during office hours than it is to find a job in mumbai! Space just enough to place a foot on the train – thats what I used look forward to on a daily basis. Many a times that also used to be unavailable. However with time I learnt the tricks of the trade. I began enjoying the ride with one leg inside the train and one outside with one hand carrying a novel and ears glued to the earphones ?

Another part that I loved about the locals is that u are free to express urself when u r in them…. u cn cry, u cn laugh….. no one cares. At one point my life was so screwed up (due to personal reasons) I used to find solace in the chaos coz no one noticed…. thats the best thing about Mumbai ppl dont stop u from being urself there and thts i think i blossomed and matured as a person there ?

Job wise I was quite happy, I was thinking quants and getting paid for it… what else can a math fanatic want! My colleagues were also awesome and made some frenz for life there who stood by me no matter what. I thank Mumbai for @Sere, I thank Mumbai for Pradeep, I thank Mumbai for Priya and I thank Mumbai for Swapna. Guys I am still alive coz u guys, u guys saw me thru the tufest phase of my life when everyone had lost faith in me.

While in Mumbai I became a part of Mumbai Mavericks Dream Team where I met @Omkarp , @retry , @Zzeke  , @PatrickDsouza sir, @ashishpai2001  and the most bindaas person ever @rishi1415  amongst others. All those awesome times I spent with these guys cannot be described on a public forum (Rishi sir I will pay u back in kind soon ? ) . Then there were my college buddies Ravi and Aki who helped me sort out my shit each and every time I felt weak. There was a time when my parents had lost faith in me coz of my career choices (I had earlier landed a job at Samsung, a 6 lpa job, and rejected the same for TF) and I ended up crying on the road justifying myself to my parents. Their concerns were very valid when they said that my frenz were earning double the money I was and where was I in life….. Nowhere. Its difficult to make others understand ur passion coz u r the only one who can actually feel it burning inside. There were times when my frenz held me close when I used to have breakdowns in front of them due to multiple reasons. When I see it in the hindsight I actually was heading nowhere (I was 25 with a 30k pm job and an average profile and I had chucked MDI, IIT B) and on top of that everyone else was lecturing my parents about how i was directionless in life not knowing what to do and how to do it! It was hard on them, very hard on them to see their onli son be that way and salute my parents for persevering with me and believing in me ? Another person who always stood by me was my cousin brother Ujjwal tho he too tried to convince me to let go. 

I held on to my passion and moved forward. I learnt that if you truly love what you are doing everything else in its way becomes noise and u just have to find ur way thru it. I m happy i did that as i can see myself in the mirror daily and feel proud about myself ?

Lets come bk on track now ?

Mocks version 2012

3rd season and I was up for it. Multiple CAT attempts and around 150 mocks taken date hadnt lessened my enthusiasm for mocks. This tym I went all guns blazing and tuk up 3 mock series – TIME, CL and IMS. Apart from minor hiccups I managed pretty well in them again acing many of them ?

Heres an account of how they went:

Season 2012

CAT 2012 …. 2 sections with 70 minutes demarcated for each of them. I had a seating position which college goers would die for – Back bench last seat. But there was a catch – there was a wooden door which had a classrum on the otherside and unfortunately there were classes going on on the other side and voices were loud and clear. All this happened during the quants section attempt. I complained and complained and the reply i got was “College hai, classes toh hogi hi”. I even threatened them of complaining to the authorities after which the noise did lessen but by then my Quants section was compromised. VALR went off fine but I din have a gud feeling about the QADI section though I had adequate number of attempts.

On the results day my feeling was validated:

CAT 201296.4x%ile Section 1:91.21 Section 2:97.30

XAT 2013 was bad as DM got screwed up pretty bad and I ended up with lowest percentile ever in any section in DM.

Had an IIFT call and some hope thru CMAT ( Rank 60ish).

Surprisingly gt a SPJIMR call along with an IIFT call and later on started prepping for JB as well. 

However SPJIMR dinged me after I reached the 2nd round. IIFT result I never checked myself, a friend later told me i had converted something but I chose to ignore it (not sure of the veracity) and DTE chose not to conduct the GDPI. 

Season 2012 ended as a lull but I had a fight left in me. 

However I knew i had to get out of Mumbai even if it meant going away from my frenz and family again. The negativity simply started to get the better of me though my frenz always tried to cheer me up, I remained immune. Even my managers at TF were very cooperative and believed in me throughout. But I knew I needed to get away and do something more relevant to what I wanted to do in the future. The job search started. I chose Business Development/Social Media marketing/content writing as my domain and targeted digital media start upsGave around a dozen interviews and was rejected in most of them due to lack of knowledge. Finally after 2 months of trying and not losing hope paid off and I converted 2 companies:

a) with an attractive Gift Guru profile (somewt related to biz dev and sales and mrkting)

b) ambitionME with a all around profile which included work in all the domains I had shortlisted (had 4 rounds of rigorous interviews and somehow Prashi managed to convince herself that I was capable enough). 

I chose the 2nd one and off I went to Delhi to join ambitionme. My frnz in Mumbai gave me an awesome farewell and I couldnt stop the tears as my train left for Delhi ?

I joined ambitionme (Amme) in October, the month of CAT. My colleagues at Amme (Prashi and Varsha both IIM C grads) were really supportive at all times and encouraged me reeli hard to do well in CAT. I thank them from the bottom of my heart for that. Biz Dev was a new experience n i loved every bit of it!

Here’s a short gist of the same:

I also authored articles for them, designed infographics and events, managed corporate BD. Those 7 months I worked for them was an awesome learning experience which completely changed my outlook towards life ?

While in Delhi I found an awesome friend in Jai and we enjoyed our numerous trips to CP, Amritsar and Dharamsala ?

Mocks version 2013

Mocking again went off well this season as well with AIR 1 in 2 mocks. Most of the mocks were taken in Mumbai itself.

Here is a small gist of the same:

Season 2013

My CAT experience in Delhi was the best in terms of facilities offered. Calm and quiet though the test was a tumultuous 2 hr 20 minutes. I started off quite well but there were a couple of wring questions and an undoable DI set. This restricted me to 21 attempts which was pretty decent given the fact that the paper was on the tougher side. I was happy that I was able to keep my calm and attempt an optimum amount. In case of VALR my strategy of attempting LR backfired as LR was super tough. Could only manage 9 attempts (7 LR + 2 VA) in the first 40 minutes of the second section. However, all the hardwork and mocking helped me attempt 14 more in the last 30 minutes. However there were quite a few 50-50 type attempts and I knew I needed a fair share of luck to make it thru VALR. 

XAT didn’t go well again and again due to DM where I again touched a new low in DM ?

The results day came by and VALR had somehow clicked. Had a decent percentile. I cried like a child that day with my mom on the phone. Yes I had done it again and I had proved that CAT 2011, XAT 2012 were not flukes. 

The scores were as follows:

CAT 2013 : 99.46%ile (QADI: 99.51%ile, VALR: 95.71%ile)

Calls: IIM K,S, FMS, New IIMs, IIT B.

First up was IIM S which went off quite well inspite of lack of preps. IIM K was the best one of the season and I was quite sure of a convert. New IIM’s were thru the IIM K interview only and IIT B was a disaster as they quizzed on West Bengal and HR. I knew FMS was my best shot and I prepared well for the same. The extempore & and the interview went off well and I was hopeful for a convert. 

The results were a shocker to say the least. Couldn’t convert K (I still wonder what went wrong), FMS I missed by a paltry mark (Scored 10/15 in the extempore + PI which was decent but as there was a 85% weightage to CAT score lost out due to the same) and was waitlisted at WL-94. The funny thing was that I managed to convert all the New IIMs thru the IIM K process score but IIM K didn’t even offer me a WL number. IIM S gave me my first and best convert of the season. IIT B gave me a huge waitlist number which I converted later on.

Converts: IIM S, All new IIMs, IIT B.

As I wanted to tke up Sales and Marketing and already had 29 months of work ex I decided to take up IIM S after much contemplation.

However, the pain of never having got the ABC calls lived on. There was a never ending sense of emptiness. That’s when I decided that I will have one final go at CAT while pursuing my MBA. 

Joined IIM Shillong and enjoyed the rigour of MBA life. There is always something or the other happening and the culture is awesome. Managed a decent SGPA in the first trimester apart from winning a few competitions (sports and cultural, intra and inter college). Took CAT without much preps ( a few mocks here and there in chaotic conditions) on the 1st day 1st slot!

Attempted all 50 in QADI (May have forgotten to “save and submit” in case of 1 question) in around 85 minutes and 35 VALR in the rest of the time.

On 27th December I experienced the ultimate bliss:

CAT 2014: 99.71%ile (QADI: 99.97%ile, VALR: 95.10%ile)

4 years of hardwork flashed by in those 2 minutes after I saw the result. I couldn’t speak much as my mom hugged me and said “Beta you are great, u persevered, maan gaye tujhe“. Congratulatory messages started coming in and all of sudden everyone was proud of me. However those golden words by mom is biggest achievement  till date. This moment of my life was pure unadulterated happiness : smiley:

The calls started coming by and finally got calls from A and C. I don’t what will happen next but I had my redemption, my sweet sweet revenge and whatever happens next no one can take this from me ?

After two 99+ in CAT, one 99+ in XAT I finally have a percentile I can be proud of. That happiness on the face of my mother when she talks about my percentile, my calls is just wow. She deserves it much more than me for bearing all the pain over the years ?

My journey with CAT is finally over & I am happy to have ended it on my own terms. That void will never be there now, I have filled it finally ?

Thank you Pagalguy for all the support over the years in terms of preps, motivation and people. Wouldn’t have gone beyond the 2nd attempt had it not been for the people I met thru Pagalguy. The saying “Hardwork never goes unrewarded forever” stands and my faith in it stands stronger than ever. I would like to thank all the people I have mentioned in the posts prior to this one and in this one. Apart from them @writetotanveer sir, @koyal1990 , @Squib  ,@arunavaray  , @subhakimi , @tamal220187  , @nits2811   , @Abhilash09  , @anishnambisan   , @sachinjha   , @anandmadhav , @saniyamakhijani , @Estallar12 , @YouMadFellow , @ankitcool , @aksaur , @abhi_sur , @visionIIM-ACL , @Love_CAT & the whole DT 12 and 13 also deserve a mention for believing in me. 

Some lessons learnt in life:

Never underestimate the power of Passion, it is more powerful than anything else in the world. Pursue it with all you have and in the end it will reward you in ways you can’t even imagine.

Persevere, persevere and persevere and you will get your due!

Your journey is meant to be only yours. Others may accompany you for sometime but you have to cover your own ground. Never stop because someone else moved away.

Helping others is ultimately helping yourself.

Believers thanks for believing, Doubters thanks for doubting

P.S: Will update if anything significant happens next

[Note: This is a post on the user’s CAT journey that has been captured in his own words. We have not edited it in any way when publishing it as an article. Cover image is from]