It’s not A RAT, But A CAT Race!

They told me it’s just a matter of how you bell that CAT (ps:-Am comparing the Common Admission Test with the actual cat as both are mysterious & cruel:/), but the same people happened to entirely miss the fact that its more about how you chase that cruel cat huffing and puffing and when you are just about to grab it, sometimes it can bite you hard. Ooucch! Now that hurts!

I am not writing this piece to either demotivate or demoralise you instead it’s an account of a late CAT aspirant reincarnated to take on the challenges in an elite B-school known as IIM.

So, quite right to say that I have belled, chased and been bitten by that world famous cat. It’s about the challenges and hardships that no one can guide you through. Mind you no one, not even those so called counsellors. I started my CAT preparations after my awestruck discovery of my love for the execution rather than the participation. The moment you start preparing for the big event, watchful eyes follow you from dawn to dusk. Even when you take that so blissful nap in between books, assignments, test series and notes your own eyes betray you shouting sheer ignorance towards your studies. You target A/B/C and thus your life becomes a routine of eating, studying, more eating, more studying and finally you lay dead out of exhaustion.

Now, a serious advice, when you listen to the toppers talking about their study hours, please do not listen. I repeat Do Not Listen! Instead listen to your teachers who put you in so much pressure that it feels like you will burst anytime or makes you cringe with embarrassment discussing your performance on that new CAT pattern in front of under grads when you are already sweating some more because of your Hitler manager, listen to your friends who believe that you are no less than Chetan Bhagat, to some of those counsellors who put a big question mark on your love story if at all you have any and finally to your bank statements seeing the conspicuous dent in your bank balance. Fine! You felt everyone’s pain and in turn sometimes CAT gives you an unbearable pain when you see your friend’s 99.99 percentile flooding the Facebook following 1k likes and 500 comments and you just smile and say let’s see. Not even taking every damn test series from different coaching institutes could save you.

After all the embarrassments, you finally get the much awaited calls from few IIMs. You are all set with PI booklets where you have written half of the things you don’t even remember doing, your brain becomes stuffed in an overdose of general knowledge and current affairs. You just don’t even want to leave the meaning of your name, surname, parent’s name, college festival name, and college logo, what brands of clothes you are wearing, how you came by and the list is endless. You are nervous when you are seated inside the waiting hall but confident about yourself and the very next moment you are cursing yourself and then googling the first, next, next and next different topics you hear from your fellow companions secretly. You envy those who are laughing and chatting like they are here for the offer letter. Despite the last minutes of anxiousness, you go inside the interview hall smiling but, your smile fades when they ask you that gk question you missed reading and then the trauma sets in. The interviewers laugh at you like you are a clown performing a show and you leave the room with little dignity.

But, all is well that ends well! That just becomes your life, a reality when you see that much coveted offer letter from your dream B-school. After all, pampering the CAT no matter how cruel it may have been was not so bad an experience.

Madhuri Gautam

I believe in saying-"I like being a woman even in a Man's world... After all men cant wear dresses...but we can wear pants..!”