The day after the cat exam was a silent post-mortem. The exam never really matched our expectations and was unusually easy for
a guy who was cooling his heels till the previous day,celebrating the end of
the engg sem exams( 6 in 6 days) What made it even worse
was we were allowed to retain the test booklet. This meant that you still
felt the urge to open it, getting the occasional bouts of "did i mark the
wrong answer" feeling.
Sites flashed details of cut-offs and answer. Grr..I dont get this,What
sadistic pleasure do they get by doing all this?? I could sense eager iim-
aspirants all over the country gobbling up each n every detail from a certain
website( whose name when translated to hindi quite literally means 'mad'
guy).The number of attempts made by each guy was just demoralising, to say the
Add to this the "cat is belled" headlines on every news-channel(right
from D-day), one of which had a reporter interviewing a hapless chap just
after the 2 n half hour grilling. He sounded a little a little too optimistic
(after claiming to have attempted 31). My mother sounded more upbeat about the
cat exam analysis( Read:catalysis) than me.This feeling was easily manifested
in the way she was surfing through news channels for more n more "cat news",
REMOTE CONTROL in hand(rarest of phenomena after Halley's comet).
Things eased out later. Thanks to various damage-control initiatives like
spending as much time with friends,away from home; switching to "everyday"
soaps on tv and not venturing anywhere near news channels and "cat"sites.
Then the day came when the three of us (jaj, pam, me) chalked out a plan to
watch the latest bond flick in town, 2 days after D-day. Since we were coming
from three different places,we chose a theatre which was the
nearest to the three of us. A movie in a theatre in mumbai after almost 5 months (in
wilderness) was the biggest relief on could hope for!!jaj and pam were there waiting for me with the
tickets. jaj looked different with his glasses on ,while pam..er..he looked
just the same(its his nose, i tell u!!). We had about 15 minutes before the
movie actually started. A conversation kicked off as we sipped on some cola(a
costly proposition at 45 bucks.Daylight robbery! You always have to make a face
that its all soo reasonably priced. Consumerism Murdabad!)
"Sheesh man.. screwed totally!!!" pat came pam's lament accompanied by a shake of the head!
I wondered what he was talking about. Infact, my initial thought was that he
was crying over the cola being overpriced. But when was the last time he
ever cried over food or drink. Something else was bothering him.
"What's it man?" jaj enquired.
"Man..I got screwed in the english section,I smashed quants and DI.I attempted
only 15 in english and I referred to the answer keys online. I am getting only
Oh!! So it wasn't about the cola after all! it was about CAT! And
what a place to start a cat analysis(catalysis)session. From the
corner of my eye, i could sense a college couple already relishing our cat-
talk and they were finding it quite amusing.)
Me:( sounding genuinely concerned)" Pam, how much are you geting using the
time answer keys?"
pam:(sulks)"ONLY 143 yaar!! 28 in english, 47 in DI, 68 in
sheesh..I m so screwed!
(ONLY 143!! someone please tell this guy you dont repeat your cent-percent board-exam performance everywhere, max you get a 100% percantile, thats it!!!)
The college couple sitting at the table now looked really interested and
they watched every movement of pam as if he were a 9'0 clock sitcom show on
Me: "Oh, only 143!! Sha..i m really sad for you! anyways, its ok, luck next
time. I am sure you'll do well.
jaj:(Performing his job of a sooth-sayer to perfection)" Hey champ, you
smashed quants and DI and you have a great gpa. So, who knows, you may get
calls from 3 IIM's, if not all 6."
pam:"Are you kidding? No chance! English turned out to be my nemesis, when I
expected it to be my main scoring area. And i got the test paper code 444
which had 2 wrong questions. both of them quants! God, (a slight laugh, more of a "why-is-it-always-me" chuckle) Everything went against me!
Damn pam!!He was at his loudest best now! The couple could burst with laughter any second now, at the sight of 3 geeks discussing answer keys
in a goddamn movie theatre.
jaj: "There wont be any re-test or scrapping of wrong Questions (much to the dismay of pam, pam's face fell). By the way,wat was the answer for the 2nd question in the quants section. The surds question.
Me:(fed up of all the talk now and acting completely uninterested) I think it was 2 or 3rd , not sure.
The 15 min ended and we were inside the dark theatre. the new
james bond did his bit of hero-giri, leaping and diving across multi-storeyed
buildings as if they were concrete srpingboards.I sat between jaj and pam still
sipping my cola.Then came the
pam: "Nice movie, huh? different from the previous ones naa?
Me: ya, it is
jaj chipped in with his fundaas on the bond aston-martin, the bond martini, the bond gun, the bond suit and many other bond accesories.
pam:"Hey any of u guys giving the XAT exam?I wanted to fill in the details
online.?(It was quite clear by now, number 143 would give him many sleepless
Me: What?? You mean,you you want to write XAT too
pam: Arre ,obviously yaar!! this is my last chance to prove myself.(chuckles)!
(last chance?? Grrr...people cant do away with the cat hangover, can they?)
Anwyays, the meet ended on a good note, as we had a snack in a nearby reastaurant near sion circle.
pam(after the snack): hey guys, please check your score using the answer keys and tell me?
jaj: (A very familiar picture of horror on his face) "F*** you, pam!!!You crazy or what??
I want it to be a suspense. I dont want to get depressed so early. I prefer to wait"
For the next few days, my orkut scrapbook attracted an avalanche of "did you bell the cat or not?" scraps.
All this prompted me to fled the city and run off to a place (100 km away from mumbai), totally cut off from the rest of the world and returned only after all the hullabaloo had died down.