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Ambition + Confusion = Realization

Ambition + Confusion = Realization

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Ambition + Confusion = Realization

Länge:
247 Seiten
3 Stunden
Freigegeben:
Apr 25, 2018
ISBN:
9789387649606
Format:
Buch

Beschreibung

Suresh suffers from a very serious disease, a desire to be successful. So, he sets about taking the GRE test and gets selected in TCS during campus placements. However, an innocuous 'special class' wreaks havoc on his decision making. Suresh decides to pursue MBA and starts preparing for India's toughest PG entrance exam, CAT. Does he crack CAT or crack himself? Why does he want to do MBA in the first place? Is he happy about it or does he regret it? Even the ghostly Avatar, which travels with Suresh from education to employment, is fed up with his vacillating aspirations. By the end of it all he probably rediscovers himself, only to say “if you are successful you party, else you philosophize"

Freigegeben:
Apr 25, 2018
ISBN:
9789387649606
Format:
Buch

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Buchvorschau

Ambition + Confusion = Realization - Sriram A

AGAIN

Chapter 1

AVATAR SCORES 1530

For the first time, it had changed into something apart from being a cricketer. I wish I had realised then I was not on the right path. But hey, with a cracked mind made worse by high ambition, how could have I?

Date – 28th Feb, Year – 2005. The year in which one of the greatest Ashes cricket series was played.

I, simply named Suresh, was quickly scanning the meanings of about 3500 English words, a few of which I hoped would appear in the GRE test I was about to take in a few hours. One of those words was ‘gay’; which, according to the book, meant happiness. Well…those were the times.

Being a B.Tech student, my plan was to pursue Masters in US. Why – because it was Masters in US, and logically I had to take the GRE test to be eligible. However, had I known I would finally pursue some other degree in some other country, I would have spent the examination fee of 6000 rupees on a shirt from John Players and a Titan watch.

Since I was no Nostradamus, I savagely turned the pages of Barron’s text book and mugged up as many words as my brain could store. At the last count, I had memorised 3219 words present in the book hoping to remember them till at least 4 pm; the time when the test was scheduled to get over.

I left my home at 11 am and reached the prometric test centre an hour later. I logged onto the system at 1 pm. After 3 hours, I came out of the centre wearing a dazed expression. I felt like crying and cheering at the same time. I had expected myself to score at least 1500 out of 1600 marks, but the exam had not gone as planned.

Apart from the initial section on essay writing, the test consisted of two more sections – Maths and Verbal. The essays are not considered for the total score, so I started with the essays with the elation of an examination topper.

Maths was next and being good at it, I breezed through the section. I was confident and relaxed when I moved to the last section, ‘Verbal’. The first 10 out of total 30 questions went very smoothly and the idea of notching up a dream score took seed in my mind. But questions 11 to 15, which were based on a paragraph, the kind I did not want to encounter at any cost, squashed the seed.

I was bemused and understood neither what the paragraph meant nor the questions that followed. I ticked the answers knowing at the back of my mind I was not selecting the right options. To my agony, the pattern continued till the last question. Finally, when I reached the end of the test and clicked the ‘Display score’ option on the page, a score of 1390 appeared on the screen.

I returned home and revealed the score to my parents who seemed to be pleased, though I wasn’t sure if I was pleased. One of my close friends dropped by to enquire about my result and as soon as he left, I locked myself up in my room thinking about my performance; when, from the corner of my eyes, I saw it – I saw the ghost.

To give you a background, like everyone else, I have a lot of desires. Some of these run deep into my heart such as getting a first rank, having a big house, studying in one of the IIMs, marrying Aishwarya Rai, the list goes on. However, when I am alone and whenever one of my deep desires is stroked due to some external stimuli like people or television, I strongly feel like possessing that desire. I crave for it more than anything else in the world. During such instances, something peculiar happens – a silvery white ghost appears before my eyes.

This ghost looks exactly like me but possesses everything I strongly desire. If I strongly want to own a Bentley, the ghostly Suresh already owns one. If I decide to be a great scientist, ghostly Suresh turns into a noble prize winner. And the best part, this ghostly Suresh talks to me.

Being the owner of the ghost, I have given it a name. I have christened it Avatar, my ‘Avatar’.

While Avatar witnessed many of my desires since childhood, once it took the form of a cricketer, I never saw it transform again. Not that I didn’t yearn for other things, but being a cricketer was my foremost choice.

Before the GRE test, the Avatar appeared a lot of times as the master cricketer saving the day for team India, especially in crucial matches such as the World Cup semi-final match against Sri Lanka in the year 1996, when Avatar scored a brilliant 141 runs for India leading to a landslide win (In truth, India had lost the match). Again, in the year 2004, when India only managed to draw the Sydney Test against Australia, my Avatar appeared holding the ‘Man of the Match’ award as it had taken 7 wickets in the final session to win the match for India.

The Avatar continued to appear as a superb cricketer, especially in those matches that India lost in reality, but won in my world. I was very happy to see myself scoring runs and taking wickets.

But then, on that night, when I looked at my Avatar leaning against the table, I was totally surprised. It looked nowhere like a cricketer. It did not wear any gloves or carry a bat, but was wearing a blue jeans and a blue shirt, the dress I wore to the exam, and looked exactly like me except that it held a sheet of paper.

Hi boss, said Avatar.

Hey, what happened to you? I asked.

You should know. I am your deepest desire. Why am I wearing this stupid dress and holding a GRE report card of 1530 instead of a bat or a ball? He asked.

Oh…1530….oh. I realised why Avatar had turned into Suresh who had scored a brilliant 1530 in GRE.

What ooohhh? The Avatar mocked me.

1530. I said shaking my head.

Yeah, 1530. But why?

Man! I so wanted a score of 1500. I prepared well and even expected it. But…

How much did I get, I mean, you got?

1390.

Oh...ok. But why is it that I am not Suresh who has scored a wonderful century or taken 10 wickets. I represent your deepest desire that has always been to be a cricketer.

"Well… even I am surprised that you have changed. It has never happened before. Guess, right now I just want to be someone with a score of 1530 in GRE than being a cricketer.

Hmmmm…but why 1530 boss? Why not say…1450?

Ahhh, a guy from my training class got that score. So I wanted it as well. Everyone, including the faculty, was totally impressed by him.

Look boss, I prefer being a cricketer. It feels so great when the whole country appreciates you, not just your batch mates.

Yeah, but being a cricketer is out of question for me. Whereas getting a GRE score of 1530 is something I could have achieved, I reasoned. "And what do you mean by you prefer. You are just a reflection of my wishes, so it is I who should prefer. You just follow my feelings and be happy…okay…" I said firmly.

Okay boss. Okay. Whatever you say… But don’t think I am just a figment of your imagination. I represent something more than that.

What… Before I could complete my sentence, mom knocked at my door.

Hey Suresh, dinner is ready, come out of your room.

I jerked my head towards the door and then back to the table where Avatar had been sitting. As always, the distraction had made Avatar vanish into thin air.

***

Though I was not proud of my score, I had to inform people of my score, whether I liked it or not. I would have shouted over roof tops had I scored 1530, but with 1390, I was not very keen on sharing the result. But I hardly had a choice. Rohit, my childhood friend, had come over as soon as I returned from the test.

Congratulations dude, I heard from your parents that you scored 1390. That’s a good score. He joined us for dinner.

Thanks, I said.

Being 2 inches taller and 20 pounds fatter and at least 2 shades darker than me, Rohit and I had grown up in the same locality playing what we called ‘apartment cricket’, the toughest form of cricket ever seen, in which there were more ways of getting out than scoring runs.

Whenever I wrote any important exam, Rohit always dropped by to know how I had performed.

So how are you feeling? He asked me after dinner.

Okay… I said

Tell me about the exam. What sort of questions did you encounter? Rohit was curious as he was also a B.Tech student and a GRE aspirant.

Well… I started: The essays went well. I should get a minimum of 4 out of 6. The next section was Quants. It was easy. Only basic maths questions were asked. Although I could have finished it in half of the allotted 45 minutes, I wanted to make sure I got each answer right and hence, took more time. In fact, I just finished 2 minutes before the allotted time got over.

Hmm…maybe you were being extra cautious. One of my classmates said that he finished the Quants section in 20 minutes, he replied.

Oh. Anyway, I scored full marks in it. I was happy my cautious approach had paid off.

Rohit nodded. So the next section was Verbal…

Obviously.

How did that go? He asked

Uff…That section sapped my energy. I said shaking my head.

Sapped? What does that mean?

It means to weaken or to drain. I used it as a verb. Some of its synonyms are enfeeble, deplete, enervate, exhaust... I blurted out immediately.

Woh woh!! Stop it right there dude. Rohit cut me short. Sorry I asked. Don’t use your GRE talent on me. Just tell me what happened in the verbal section?

Okay. I said and relived my agony. You know that the verbal section consists of 2-3 sets of comprehension passage questions. Usually, only one of them is lengthy. If you are lucky, you might not even face one. For me, questions 1 to 10 were easy. I think I got everything right. Sadly, as soon as I thought I could relax, a lengthy paragraph appeared. The next 5 questions were based on the paragraph and to add to my woes, the paragraph was based on ‘feminism’, exactly the kind of topic I was hoping to avoid.

Oh...I can imagine your situation. Don’t know how such topics are related to our subjects in Electronics and Mechatronics. Anyway, what happened next? Rohit empathised with me.

"What else can happen? I read the paragraph. I did not understand anything. Read it again. Same result. Then I had a peek at the questions hoping for a light to appear in my head. But let alone light, not even a spark appeared. Everything went blank and in that moment of daze, I decided to use the most efficient way of overcoming such desperate situations".

And what in the world might that be? Rohit was surprised to know I had a secret weapon.

3 3 3 3 3. My favourite number for an answer, I said with a wry smile. I marked option 3 for all the questions pertaining to that dreaded passage.

Haha. Smart boy.

After answering those questions, I don’t remember how I fared in the remaining 15 questions. In fact, I don’t remember a single question after that. I finished the exam and a score of 1390 appeared on the screen. I said feeling a bit disappointed.

Now Suresh. I don’t know why you are disappointed. Yeah, I understand you were aiming for a higher score, but 1390 is a very good score. My classmates did not even cross 1250. With 1390, you will definitely get a seat in a good university. So be happy and celebrate. Rohit cheered me up.

***

As introduced earlier, I am an engineering student. There were sixty odd students in the ECE class, but only four of us flocked together : Ramesh, Ashish, Praveen and I. Why the four of us gelled so well, God only knew.

As per the ‘inform’ agenda, I had the moral obligation to call up these three persons and inform them of my score. So after Rohit left, I called up Ramesh, who was really happy for me. Soon after, I dialled Ashish’s number but cut it immediately. Same happened with Praveen’s number. Somehow, I wasn’t too proud to share my ‘neither-here-nor-there’ score and decided to disclose the news only when we met in person.

The next morning, I headed towards the Electronics block, third floor, classroom 2, Chaitanya Bharathi Institute of Technology that housed 3rd year ECE students. I entered the class confidently not because I was of average height, brownish complexion and physically fit (little knowing that my waist size would increase pretty soon) but because I belonged to that class.

On entering the room, I found Ashish already seated in his favourite place, in the row next to the girls.

Hey Suresh, what happened in your GRE exam? I was waiting for your call but it never came. He asked as soon as he saw me.

I got 1390. I simply replied.

By virtue of being taller and fairer, Ashish felt that he was the most handsome guy among us. Naturally, and for the right reasons, we did not agree with him and regularly punctured his unflinching ego. But what we agreed on was his knack of coming up with witty and funny comments. We had even decided that if we were ever to make a movie, he would be the dialogue writer and of course, I would be the hero.

Oh great!! Why didn’t you inform me earlier? Anyway, congratulations. He shook my hand.

I just smiled but felt relieved on hearing his words. There were a few others in the class who enquired about my score. I so wished I could say 1530, but I couldn’t lie. However, as a consolation, I added an extra 20 marks to the 1390.

A few moments after 1410 became my pseudo score, Ramesh and Praveen entered the class.

Congrats, Suresh! Ramesh told me that you scored 1390. Good bro. Praveen said.

Thanks. I replied. Making sure no one else had heard him, I let them both know of my intentions of jacking up my score.

Praveen was the darker and the most diligent worker among us. Even he had a knack for making comments, only they were irritating and made us want to beat him up rather than laugh. So, in that movie of ours, we had decided on making him a silly villain who made annoying remarks.

Why didn’t you call me? Ramesh mentioned you called him last night. Praveen added after my revelation.

Yes, I had called up Ramesh. Thinking about him, Ramesh was something different. Though he was shorter than all of us, he was the tallest when it came to self belief. He would bend his head slightly and strut around the campus with arms swinging wildly as if he owned the entire place. He had self belief even if he didn’t know what to do with it. So we had been unable to decide a role for him in our movie. We had brainstormed his character only a few days ago.

Maybe a psycho, who kills people through his outrageous comments. I had suggested.

Ashish said: No, probably a comedian who becomes a hero and again becomes a comedian.

Hero!!.. Ramesh had shouted.

Forget it dude. If we want to make a flop movie then you will definitely be the hero. I had replied.

Unable to come up with any concrete role we had decided to put his role on hold.

Yeah. I called up Ramesh and wanted to call you and Ashish as well. But I could not as I got busy with my family. I decided to inform you guys in person when we met today, I rep(lied).

In the meantime, many girls and boys entered the classroom and our discussion digressed from studies and darted towards gossip as we saw a girl and a boy enter the classroom together.

I heard those two are going out. Ramesh remarked immediately.

Is it? How come he chose to go out with her? I posed the all important question.

Even I have that doubt. That’s why they say ‘Love is blind’. Ashish tried to justify the situation.

Yeah. You should see the Mechanical batch. Love is blinder in that class. Praveen added.

Ya. Hey guys, speaking of going out, do you know our Ashish is hitting on Anjum. Ramesh broached our favourite topic of pulling each other’s legs.

Mine and Praveen’s face lit up instantly and we began teasing Ashish in unison.

Praveen patted Ashish’s back and said, Excellent dude.

I congratulated Ashish. You did not tell me…. I feigned disappointment, much to his annoyance.

During labs, they keep talking to each other. They have even joined the same institute and the same batch for GATE coaching. Ramesh elaborated.

And even their names begin with the same letter. Praveen conjectured.

There is nothing going on guys. We are just in the same lab group and everyone joins ACE institute for GATE. Ashish denied his alleged affair. We knew he was speaking the truth but golden opportunities of teasing friends are not to be missed.

Ashish weds Anjum. It sounds good, doesn’t it Ashish? I smiled.

Get lost guys, said Ashish irritably.

We enjoyed pulling each others’ legs and even hands, but since he was on the receiving end, Ashish wisely changed the topic of the conversation.

Hey Praveen, I heard that GATE results will be out in a couple of weeks.

Praveen was hell bent on pursuing Masters in one of the IITs. He had thereby written GATE, the entrance test for IITs. Even though not interested in joining any of the IITs, Ramesh and Ashish had given him company for the test.

"Yes. I think they will be announced on March 14th. I

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