Monday, November 17, 2008


The 3rd Sunday of November always had been a very important day for me for the last few years. It was the day when I made my ritualistic annual attempt to crack the Common Admission Test, or CAT. It felt different this year. CAT had been like a festival for me, something that I looked forward to. I was getting nostalgic. I was missing it, the slight tension, the feeling of anticipation, the dreams of getting into the IIMs, of fulfilling something which I'd set out to do one arbit day in April 2005. There's something about this exam, which makes it much more than a mere aptitude test. Maybe it's because the stakes are so high, maybe because of what it can do to you and your career, and failure so easy and a mere false step away. CAT, more than anything else, made me realize how much water had flown under the bridge. A year ago, life was so different. Back then, I used to wonder where I'd be a year later, which city, which b-school, or whether I'd be still doing some job, trying to fight again, giving it yet another shot. A regular 9 to 6.30 job, evenings with my girlfriend, weekends spent giving mocks and wandering around in the city or on the Tekdi, planning for sunrises yet to arrive, for years still unseen, for events never to occur. An uneventful but peaceful life. It's ironic, When everything is calm and peaceful, you want action and excitement, when there's action and excitement, you want a peaceful life. When there's safety, you want excitement and thrill and freedom, when you have all those, you crave for the former. Why do we plan so much into the future? Why do we think about events 2, 3, 4 years down the line, when everything can change so quickly and dramatically within days? Life today was not something I'd imagined a year ago. Some of my dreams have turned into reality, so have some of my nightmares. Do things always come in packages? Life today is not bad at all, by any stretch of imagination, but is it what I want?

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