As I pen this down I cannot describe the feelings, emotions, and adrenaline running down my veins..(Tread with caution .This post is gigantic and might bore you off …read only when u have enough time..)
Here is how and why it started…Recap..
Always was a top ranker in school since childhood. Had scored 93% in Xth.But somehow lost track in class 12 and could not make it to even a NIT.Secured a mediocre rank is state engg entrance exam and could only make it to a private engg college.
This debacle was too much for not only me but for my entire family and relatives.Even friends were shocked. I went into a depression for the 2 months post results. Did not meet anyone or take up calls. For mom this was an even bigger failure having always stressed the importance of getting into IIT/NIT. Few of friends who went to IIT and NIT started displaying their t shirt logos during vacations..And I severed all childhood contacts. Period.
Went to college but for the first 6 months did not make even a single friend. (Had realised that having too many friends was one major reason why I was here today). Was not that interested in Electronics and lost more hope when I learnt that the only way I could make it big was thorugh GATE or CAT. Neways did not decide upon anything yet. Meanwhile my cousin was also staying in kol and we became very good friends and I started enjoying the life of freedom in kolkata. Left studies completely and even forgot that I was still a student.
1st year over. Below average GPA’s made me realise during the summer break that this way I will land up nowhere. Took some time and then decided I would go for CAT. But i was very low in confidence at that time having screwed all entrance exams. Heard about the exam being very competetive and getting into one of the top 5 colleges namely A,B,C,XL,FMS takes a lot of determination…
CAT 2011..(The immature year..)
Nevertheless I started my journey but had no directions. I started off with Norman Lewis and build my vocabulary very rigorously. This initial phase was very interesting and I enjoyed a lot. Joined TIME classroom in june 2010.Went to classes very enthusiastically. But as I soon could realise, it wasnt helping me that much. One year passed, I was in final year.When I went to write my fisrt mock I had no clue of many questions.I got to know about pagalguy from a friend in the month of Oct 2011. Browsed through Quant thread and I was aghast with my level of knowledge. (Except for Pnc and and algebra)I could hardly solve anything. I knew then, that CAT 2011 would become just a formality now.Went to the exam hall half heartedly. My roommate took the seat beside me. I somehow got overexcited with Quant having been able to solve first 5-6 question in quick time and breezed through the paper. Va was tough that year. Attempts: QA26 VA24. I was thinking even though I was out of practice and had not rechecked any question I was sure to get 20 correct atleast.I was very happy untill the day of the results. Jan 11th. QA 65 VA 83 OA 75.xx The result screen brought back those very memories of entrance exams and I for the first time did not show any emotions. I sat with a placid face.I could nto make head and tail out of anything… Did I get 20 incorrect in quant out of 26 was what I was thinking.My roommate called up and said he got 91.xx overall and he was kinda happy as we had gone without preparation..But the result that turned me around was of one of my collegemates. He had suffered a similar trauma like me, unable to get into a top engg college. He secured 98.6 in his first attempt and converted NITIE finally. I checked the results of some of the Pagalguy stalwarts and found that many had scored surprisingly very low in one of the sections.
CAT 2012…The year of slogging ..
I knew that I had my task cut out, if I were to even continue with my dream of getting into a reputed B-school. Neways, this was one of the turning points in my preparation. I started solving quant like hell form that very day. PaGalguY Quant thread became my home. Started solving questions from there and within 2 motnhs I was a certified Pagal(only with the help of quant thread, not bakar). Meanwhile I made some very good friends in pagalguy, and preparation went on with full pace. I and my roommate started solving mocks of previous years. We somewhat abandoned the outer world and concentrated only on preparation.Then came the mock season. Enrolled for CL and TIME basic.1st proc I was in toppers list with 95%ile and to be honest that was my 1st ever serious mock and I was happy. Then the wrong move.. I over pressurised myself. Set daunting targets without working out strategies. Thought I need to get 50+ in quant having practised so much in quant thread.Took the mocks as if they were real CAT and as a result Scores started dipping from 2nd mock onwards. I was getting extremely frustrated. On seeing a familiar question I was pushing myself too hard to get that question correct within 30 sec. As a result I ended up with mediocre scores in 80’s
Meanwhile I got placed into 2 IT companies.. Accenture and TCS. Chose TCS even though it would put a Aam Admi stamp as I thought of long term gains in choosing a company with relatively less stricter rules.Went to hyderabad just 1 month prior to cat. New place, new environment, etc took a toll on my prep. 3 days prior to cat I wrote PM 10. Scored 108.
Went to the exam hall a little tensed as I knew that I was much better prepared than last time. Memories of Quant thread gave me confidence. But QA was very tough and VA was okayish. Attempted 20 and 24 resp. Did not write XAT or IIFT as I knew preparing amidst all the new brouhaha in a new city wont be possible.(A big mistake..I later realised…). Results came…And once again I was devastated.. QA 91, VA 89 OA 91.5. I was beginning to feel I would never be able to crack any entrance exam. Its better if I switch job and take refuge in PSU bank etc.
CAT 2013 … The year when all the dots joined….
Post results till march/april I was completely clueless as to how I would shape my career. Images of living a genteel life were fast vanishing…and then came the big turnaround…
I became very good friends with the girl who sat beside me in office. She is a telugu and 2 years senior to me. But unlike others in the office something was very different in her. I loved talking to her. And she reciprocated the same. She was pretty reserved in the office with her other colleagues but she enjoyed my company very much.
I narrated my dream to her and all about taking CAT that year.(as I had decided that this is going to be my last attempt at the feline)..She somehow empathized with my dreams completely..She took up my dream as her own and treated me like a 5 year old kid, promising me gifts after every mock. I started studying from mid may…revising old mocks etc..But something inside was bugging both me and her…It had been only 2 months we had met… But it seemed like we knew each other for more than 5 years…One day she was telling me about her the then ongoing marriage proposals and I instantly said can u wait for 2 more years for me..? She was surprised but very happy with fact that finally I had come up with the thing..And her answer….YES.. 😃
Both were happy but we knew instantly that our families wont accept.
Reason 1. Girl elder.
Reason 2 Girl telegu brahmin , boy bengali.
If anyhting I knew I had to get into a top college, as that would be my only saviour. I would then proudly be able to stand up to face the world.
With this I went into my 1st mock… Excited, but I did not pressurise myself. I knew a lot had been happening in life lately and it was diffcult to get things going right from day 1. I planned that whatever I knew I would attempt, rest I would simply skip and check at the last even if that meant I was skipping questions from my favourite areas. Result:99.36%ile.Both of us were ecstatic. She promised me that she would take me to a new place or restaurant after every mock.
I enrolled for TIME and IMS as well. Wrote the 1st Ims mock again a 99 plus %ile.1st Time mock and Iwas the city topper in VA..Everything was going in a way I couldnt have imagined better. Mid august, and my scores averaged to about 97.5… I nominated myself for UDT and surprisingly was selected as the Captain… I was very sceptical in the beginning to be a member of such a coveted family leave aside being the captain.. But my gf always reposed faith in me..She always said that she believed I can do it at a time when even my parents had lost much hope after my continued failure since class12…
If ever I was wee bit sad after a mock, her presence and words comforted me and I started focussing on startegies.Ther were weekends when she had made many plans of us hanging out after my mock but only to find out that I was in no mood to talk about anyhting else having experienced a bad mock. But she never pegged me or got frstrated herself. She sat down beside me and constantly encouraged to concentrate for the next mock.
I struck a perfect strategy in Va becuase of which my scores consistently crossed 60 in every mock i took. She cooked and brought food for me to my flat,and drove me to every mock center (as distant as 20 km from wehre I stay.)so that I could save time for my studies…..I applied for XAT and IIFT as well and booked CAT on 1st nov…The day before CAT I was completely chilled and relaxed. We were roaming the streets of Hyd like free birds at 12 am in the night.
Then came the moment.. She dropped me at the center and wished me good luck….While I was waiting for my exam to start looking at the computer screen, I was cursing the bloody exam. (To ease my nerves… )’So what if I am not able to beat the hell out of u.. My life would not end..I have a lovely girl and I would be happy…’
Neways.. Started the paper. Qa was tough as was already the rumours…Neways I proceeded with a cool mind. Went through all the questions… Few were very tough and I did not even waste a second on them.. Rest I rechecked.. Attempted 22.
When I switched to VA.. i felt very confident as I had the backing of consistent 60+ scores in the last 2 months prior to cat. Rc’s were tough. Still attmepted 9/10. One Lr set was easy. Second set I left 1q. When I came to the 3rd set I could not solve it due to contradictory clues.Rechecked it thrice only to find out that it wasworng. I wasnt nervous .. but only cursed and abused the paper setter…(i was expecting a wrong question having experienced the same the previous year…).. Neways… did not even bother to attmept the grammar and phrasal verbs. Proceeded with PJ, PC’s and FIB’s. Attmepted 22.. I knew I had attempted decent numbers in both.. Only worry was accuracy. I had a long history of screwing up exams with poor accuracy. In the mocks leading upto cat, my accuracy had dropped in QA. So, in effect I wanst that hopefull ….or rather I did not want to pin any hopes, having suffered the pain of failure many times by now.. I was so hopeless that I did not apply to FMS..:(
Next came IIFT .. I screwed it up due to one wrong strategy and calculated my score…a measly 43.xx. Suddenly, I started feeling nervous again about the future.. This time it was not only about me alone.. it was about both of us..I started feeling tense as to how I wouls stand up and face my parents leave aside her. Time was running out and we knew that we had to tell our parents soon as it was getting difficult for her to ignore all the marriage proposals she was getting. I was thinking if it isnt this year, I will not get another year.. Besides i had run out of steam, after so many failures.. one more and it would permanently hamper out future..With all this in mind I started preparing seriously for Xat. Solved mocks of IMS. Compared scores with other DT and UDT members. Devised a strategy.. This was going to be my first well prepared XAT( having skipped it the previous year)
Alas.! The paper was extemely tough. All 3 sections were tough. I was scoring somewhere in the mid 40’s in the mocks.. Here I was 10 min remaining, attempted 17 in VA, 6-7 in DM, 9-11 in QA..
I knew XAT was gone, even if I consider that the paper would be very tough.. I was sure DM would play the spoil sport. I was very sad that day.. Cat was as always very unpredicatble, coupled with my accuracy issues..IIFT screwed.. And now XAT…Did not care to check the solutions…
Slowly results time arrived.. I was feeling very hopeless the night before 14th JAN.. I was telling my gf, dont expect anyhting… i am feeling bad for u.. despite so much effort and sacrifice by u, I will not be able to give u perfect gift..She insisted, ‘dekhna tumhara achha hi hoga… I am sure’… But still I had no hope.. We knew results would be out by 9 am..I asked her to check mine as I considered myself cursed..:P She entered the details..The screen flashed…My eyes went straight to the Overall perentile section.. ……………………………………..99.43…………………………………………:)
I shouted at a voice which would make even the dead curse me from their graves…I checked the individual scores.. QA 99.21, VA 97.1 OA 99.43… The next moment I started crying loudly… Called up my mom, and for the first 3 mintues only cried and cried and cried…She started crying as well…Dad later told me the way she started crying, he thought that something must have happened to my grandmother..:P .Posted in FB the result screenshot … The thing which I wanted to do so badly for such a long time…..
But soon the enjoyment was cut short becuase of the IIM’s and their criteria. Did not get a call from A,B,C,L,I. Only calls IIMK, S, SPJAIN,MDI, NITIE, IIT B. Somehow, I was dejected at not having a single call among the top 4 IIM’s. That feeling made me regret about XAT all the more… If only i had attempted a little more in DM..
Jan 31st came.. My gf called me up while I was at office and told me that I had got 97.21 with QA 88.69, VA 92.5 and DM….94.5.. 😃 :o.. I instantly felt she was my lucky charm…..I got the Coveted XLRI Hrm call. I knew. Now I have 2 colleges to fight for and I would give my everything in this last lap…Joined CL pdp programme.. Was mentored well…
Interview season started…
SPJAIN was a reject in the first round.. I became very nervous.. After all the excitement, expectations has soured from every corner… Evryone already had been saying ‘tum to IIM jaoge..’ and Here I am with only XL and IIM K to fight for.. XL interview was in Bangalore, and somehow I wanted to take my lucky charm with me… I knew deep inside that if she is with me then I would definitely succeed..
As I hadhoped for, XL interview went exceedinlgy well… I could manipulate the interview towards my preapred areas and answered everything …Did well in the GD too…
Post XL interview, I did not study much and just went to every interview a confident stance..
Attended IIM K interview and did well in the gd but with a average PI I was not that hopeful.
I decided, If I convert a biggie, I would immediately tell my parents about my relationship. And I even planned to take her to my home.
April 7th 2014 7: 20 PM..
I heard that XL Results have been declared. I immediately called up my gf and asked her to take me home where she would be checking the results. I could have checked it in my mobile almost 1 hour back.But i did not. On my way back to home my heart started beating at the pace of usain bolt. She checked the result and said…….
XL HRM waitlist No 6.
The shout returned. The ecstacy returned. But this time it was relief… It was mission accomplished..Childhood dream to study in a reputed institute finally came alive.. When I look back and reflect it still feels that may be I am in some sort fo dream… It was like answering all those critics with a bang… i cannot describe better of what it was….
One after the other results came..
Nitie, MDI both convert..But then came the next biggie.
IIM K. @ibanez asked me my credentials over phone checked the results.
IIM Kozhikode converted.And I made up my mind..XL would remain close to my heart and I would never forget 7th april 2014 for the happiness it gave me, but it was going to be God’s own campus.
In short If I have to write a message for all fellow aspirants who are struggling just like I did from 2008 to 2013.. I would say, ‘Hard work never goes unrewarded forever and never ever give up in life..’ . I never lost the belief in myself that I deserve the best, during my entire journey.
As for me I still have a long way to go far as career and relationship goes… Have a lot of struggles ahead of me..But today as I write this down, I am feeling very confident of the road ahead of me..I will work hard and I dont fear to compete with the best of the best.
P:S would write a separate post for strategies in interview prep…
IIM KOZHIKODE PGP (2014-16)