Sunday, August 20, 2006

Behind Enemy Lines

Sim CAT 1, I was told that it’s an experience. I reached at the venue bang an hour before the reporting time & realized that I should have just taken the slow train instead. I walked up a few minutes from my venue to Mani’s Lunch Home & had some coffee.

Now the thought process begins. What is this exam going to be like? I know it’s difficult, but how bad would it be? How much of a score is a good score for Sim CAT 1? I said to myself,” A simulation is just meant to make you acquainted with the reality of where you stand in the crowd.”

Amongst these thoughts I walked back to the venue which had a huge crowd at its gate by now. So I glanced at everyone’s eager faces. Some of them were memorizing formulae, some smiling about how they are going to get screwed!! Some of them even trying to console their friends about how good this is going to be & ending up having that constipated look on their face, they know its not going to be easy. Me as usual, standing on the side walk looking at these faces. Personally I feel the look on my face symbolized only one thought, “The hand that holds the bamboo up your ass has the ability to shake it vigorously”. So I was just sporting the CAUTIOUS look, which has a perfect blend of sweat on my forehead along with some eye brow movement which no one can deduce even with extreme mathematical equations.
This was the first time, first ever time, I was face to face with the Enemy. Considering many of those are good friends of mine, by enemy I mean, pure competition. This was my first ever step into enemy territory. Till now I have been living in a Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), but now, the phase was on “KILL”.

I was all geared up, pencils, eraser, a sharpener & even my id card. The weapons of mass destruction, I thought. But I didn’t realize what was about to happen in the next 2 & half hours.

It was going to change my way of looking at me for the rest of my life. It was the best possible way to humiliate myself in front of half the CATizens across India with my pathetic little score summing up the lower layers of the percentile.

After the exam I came out with a smile, the smile that I, for the first time felt embarrassed about. There was no purpose having a smile at that moment. It was all over. It was all done. I couldn’t manage to end up with a 2 digit score. By my standards that’s a fucking shame. Although I realized that this was no time to show my real feelings on my face, deep down I knew how sorry I was supposed to be.

On the bright side, I never thought there was a bright side. With my constant cynicism these days, I had long forgotten the bright side of things. I decided to work on a strategy. In Richard Dawkins’ terms, an evolutionary stable strategy. Out of the DMZ, into the battle field, I had to prove I can atleast get a 2 digit score. I knew then, I seriously need to change the way I study, revamp the whole process & redo every concept. Every single page I read in the past 3 months hadn’t worked at all. I was falling back somewhere, I saw my flaws looking at me point blank. I decided to work.

I thought the only thing that can cheer me up at the moment was to asses my test performance, although I am supposed to ideally spend 8 hours understanding the Sim CAT 1 according to IMS & its solution n evaluating myself on its basis, I decided to get started right away, as long as it may take. There were holes in my logic even bigger than potholes on Gupte road.

What better time than this, can say….

“The fault dear Brutus, lies not in our stars, but in ourselves”

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