Tuesday, January 15, 2013

"Belling" the CAT Exam…

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(This blog post is written by final year Civil Engineering student of VIT University and my student Mr. Kunal Kishan, narrating his preparation for CAT Exam and his experiences on the day of exam. This was written as a note by him in his Facebook Page and I thought it was written well; with his permission I am publishing it here)
Floodgates from the skies had opened and it seemed as if rain gods had decided that this was the last time earth would receive a rainfall and were intent on blessing us as much as they could.. It was  9.03 am , 22nd of October ..and I was running for my dear life..

It all started on 31st July , on the dinner table
Me : I’ll write the CAT..
Sumit (aka Masoom aka LKD ): Are you nuts?? No preparation..
Me : I just want to know where I stand.. it’ll fun..
Masoom(in all masoomiyat) : Duh!! Give a mock test.. Give us a treat worth 1600 bucks.. that’ll surely be fun..

Well, let’s not make it over-dramatic… I was running, true, but I was in no immediate mortal peril, so that’s that!!!  Now , as I waddled through knee deep water on the busiest road in Poonamallee ( a stone’s throw from Chennai , if the Great Khali threw that stone) , I could not resist admiring the talent of  the CIVIL ENGINEERS who somehow had managed to construct a highway that can be converted to a swimming pool within 15 minutes of rain… I ran with all the strength I could muster , my back pack swaying and hitting me on my back with each step as my hotel loomed into sight .. Nearly there... I panted even in my thoughts... My hair (damn those straight hairs, hair salon visit a must) got into my eyes and poked with more excruciating effect than that random irritating guy who keeps poking us on FB.. I turned just in time to see and avoid a bus whose driver definitely thought that sounding the horn was so old school and it was better to knock the dumb guy off the road... 

To better explain the reason of my ordeal, I would have to revisit the details of what transpired in the last 2 hours of this marathon effort of mine…
As many intelligent people among you must have guessed and that too guessed correctly… I did put my plan of writing the CAT to work… The other spectrum of this fact remains that during my preparation, starting right from the process of filling the form, I remained as confused as a child in a topless bar.. we’ll get to this later… I promise..

For now, let me begin at the events that began at 7:20 am that very fateful day…  Me and Sam set out towards the centre from our hotel… As the time to reach was 8:30 (although the exam starts at 10), we had our breakfast and set out early… As it happened, in our haste to reach early I somehow managed to forget my College ID card inside the hotel room.. Luckily, as we stepped out of the hotel, I remembered that I was not carrying it… 

Me : Shit!!! I left my ID card…
Sam (who thought that I left my ID at college ) :Any other document??
Me : Only this Passbook.. which is worthless without the ID.. Arghhh
Sam tried to comfort me and said, “Don’t worry.. That won’t matter..” 

Now, you and I both know that’s utter bullshit… Sam knew it too… It does matter… But it worked… And I thought, “What the hell , why go back to the room for the ID” . Let’s go… Big mistake… 

The inevitable happened… As the gate to the centre opened… Sam was the first person to enter and yours truly had to face the ignominy of being the first to be kicked out… It sucked… 

And to those who are wondering... Yes I did plead… I did beg... And that too desperately… But all I ever got in response was a monotonic “we’ll have to talk to the supervisor”… Even Pakistani Cricketers know more English than that… It was not until 8:47 am that I decided that if I hurry, go back to my hotel, hurry some more, take my identity card and hurry even more, I should make it back in time... Finally the gatekeeper uttered more words… “9:45 is the deadline… Don’t bother coming back after that”. I thanked him and started running back shouting all the obscenities I could in my mind… 

Of all things going wrong, the overpriced hotel room ,  the horrible breakfast , the miscommunication about ID, the arduous journey , the kicking out , and fully clothed shower .. Some good finally happened as I reached to my hotel room well within time (a stray dog standing in front of the door took 2 and half of my precious minutes)... I took the ID card, stuffed my bag with extra pair of clothes and rushed back hopeful of reaching back in time… 

Half a dozen crossing vehicles decided that being drenched in rain was not enough and sprayed as much mud on me as they could with much gusto… It felt like being a one-legged person in a bum kicking competition... everyone takes a free hit at you...  How could my ordeal have ended there... No sir... This time around there were no buses or autos available to take me back… Damn this rain... 2  bike lifts ,3 mini heart attacks and a lot of running later I reached back at 9:43.. just in time.. Wished for no more surprises and entered…The last person to enter…

How we wish that our wishes come true.. but… they seldom do.. I looked for a washroom to change into dry clothes.. none found.. Ergo had to change behind the green hospital ward type curtains kept for checking of girls... (No girl was present.. It was me and only me there)... The dumb gatekeepers didn’t even let me carry my handkerchief inside... I was wet and the freaking AC was on… The water retaining structure to my patience almost broke and I almost yelled.. WHY ME??  .

Sam saw me across the hall gave me a thumbs up and I sat down quietly… 
Saw a pretty girl next to my seat , said to myself, there goes my chances of writing the CAT seriously.. Just kidding , this bit never happened.. Thankfully :D 

P.S. – I compared my preparation for the CAT with the predicament of the kid (the one in a topless bar.. remember.. yes, I knew, you certainly would)
* I had a full cumulative total of 8 hours of preparation ahead of me
* Had to go for a job interview the evening of CAT
* Before all this , asked Sam that morning.. How many questions are asked and how many minutes are given to solve??..
P.P.S – 85 percentile… after all this.. not bad.. eh!! :D :D
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