The shrill sound of the alarm pierced his warm dreams like a hot knife through butter, jerking him rudely awake. He felt around for his mobile phone wildly, and when he found it, bought himself five more precious morning minutes of not knowing his way around the Philips curve. But there was no escaping it. The day had caught up with him and was waiting for him outside his door with a whip and a Macroeconomics class. He slowly opened his eyes and glanced out of his window. The spring sun smiled wildly at him, “Good morning, handsome. The world says Hi.”
“No, please”, he whispered. In his dreams, he’d been buying 2 hours for every remaining day of his two years at the institute. With his soul.
Competitive advantage. Over and above the 359 other students.
The deal hadn’t been completed. He cursed under his breath.
The phone rang again. This time, it was his mother. “Good morning beta”, she said brightly.
“Hi mom”, he murmured, “Can’t talk, got class.” He jumped out of bed, and rushed out. His next door room occupier joined him in his washroom run. “Quiz, bro. First hand info from Section A. They had Banerjee at the 9 am slot.” Next-door-neighbour-boy smiled like the devil himself. “You want the questions?”
“Nah, I want food”, he replied.
In five minutes, he was at the canteen, stuffing a piece of burnt-like-sin toast down his choked gullet. He’d found no time to drink water. “Hey! Sheesh, don’t you ever wake up on time?” Hot-girl-from-Section-A was at his elbow, trying to pour herself some coffee, “You look like death!” “I am, ain’t I? It’s 10.57”, he tried to smile at her and realized he’d forgotten to brush his teeth. Some months ago, he had been one of the most charming young men in his circle, he recalled. In another world.
In two seconds, he was rushing to class. The day had started. And he had just erased himself again. You could never be a premier b-school student otherwise.

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(Priyadarshini Goswami is a student of XLRI Jamshedpur and a blogger, former Journalist and lover of Neil Gaiman.)

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