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Expert Suggestions on Preparation for Computer Based CAT-09

"Summer of 2004"

- by Anuj Arora *

Yes it is official, it is final, it is completely true and I can't believe it. I'm missing my life in IIM-A, am enjoying my summer internship and the good part is that it is not primarily because of academic reasons. The first and the foremost reason is Bangalore's climate which is one of the best for April-may duration and the crowd over here. Although I didn't taste the ever-flowing "happy water" in the pubs (Mama said, "Booze & smoking is injurious to your health!"), so I, being a good son, am following the instructions religiously . The other thing that I've enjoyed is the part of internship when I felt like that I'm doing research for Shyam Benegal's "Bharat Ek Khoj". I'd to cover cities ranging from Ludhiana to Cochin for my data collection and it was an awesome experience. I can surely say that the experience of travelling in Delhi's BlueLine buses and Bombay's Local train is completely unique. The people who have had this experience would agree with me - I could compare the crowd at peak timings at Dadar station to that of a crowd scene from "Lord of the Rings". The people just keep coming and coming and you are completely lost.

I'm thinking of dropping my course for Learning Negotiation, because the auto-rickshaw drivers across India have given me very rich experience. The auto-rickshaw drivers have a very wide range of similarities in there talent. For example, the Chennai auto-drivers have a divine power of making you go bankrupt in one single ride, in Bangalore, they make you feel as if you are part of a NASCAR race, and in Delhi, it is mind blowing. These guys can drive while sleeping (happened with me twice while going from Greater Kailash to Connought Place, luckily I managed to spot, although with great difficulty, that the driver was sleeping while driving. It reminded me of my lecturers where same kind of hard work is required. I'm also thinking of dropping course of Business German and ask for either "Tam" or "Kannad" or "Telgu", etc. etc., because even now I can't differentiate between them.

The best part of internship with a marketing project is that you get to stay in good hotels with fundoo service and air-conditioning. But that was also a good learning experience. When you see the waiter coming with a broad smile as if a model for Colgate-Palmolive and walking in slow motion, Man, you know it. You have to shell out money as tip if you don't want a cockroach in your meals next time. For all the people who haven't lived in a hostel till now, enjoy your home-cooked food to the best. I may be sounding like your granny but trust me on this. You will miss it.

The life during travelling is good; every place has its own special experiences. Ludiana's Lassi was fundoo as was pav-bhaji in Bombay. I cleared a big backlog of books to read, read about seven books and enjoyed it a lot. I used this time to do a critical analysis of dressing of girls in Delhi and Bombay. I sincerely thank my friends in these places who took their time from important work and gave me equally important feedback of bird-watching in these cities . I won't get into details of that, will cause unnecessary hoopla. Other fun part was the Fachha Party organized where we 2s interacted with our fachhas/fachhis. The expression on their face, the worry, the apprehension reminded us of our own days and now made realize that it feels good to be a TUCHHA .

One more thing that I've realized for the first time - IIMs, especially A, are so famous, thanks to the entire media blitz in last few months. All this has given so much free publicity and Brand Equity to the IIM name, the Brand recall has taken a huge leap. During my internship in the company, my visits to the firms for survey, the question that followed me like a shadow was, "What happened to your fees in IIMA?" Ufff... I'm tired of explaining the whole funda again and again and feel like as if I'm PRing for the institute. Whenever I meet new people, I end up being a story-teller about last one year and now I've all the facts on my tips. Got to make friends in a lot of other B-schools, and yes, I did enjoy the respect given to Brand IIM-A.

But I also felt that there is a very wrong perception about the students who are from IIM-A. For example, one of my classmates got this comment from a fellow intern, "Hey you look normal, we all thought you would be a weird looking geek." My friend is still bemused, he can't figure out if that was a complement or not. Once I was walking on Bangalore's famous MG road wearing my institute's T-shirt, one guy came up to me and asked, "Are you really from IIM-A?" as if the T-shirt was not enough to convince him.

The lifestyle of past one year has created problems as well, for example the life has to be changed to work according to the regular office hours which creates problems, travelling in train and seeing that people are going to sleep at just 10:00 pm.

One thing that I've realized after my Ist year is that the variety of students that study in IIMs is far greater than any other B-school. For example we have a DIG Police in our junior batch and also another guy 44-year-old coming for FPM program.

Now I'm back in campus, have started attending classes for 2nd year, there is already few exchange-students over here. It is so much fun listening to their response when we tell the stories of first year. One Chinese student from Shanghai, after getting to know the number of subjects in Ist year, just said, "This is inhuman, you should complain." We just laughed our heart out after hearing all these responses.

But all this living in closed walls and getting out on parole does have serious implications on your social life . After 1 year of life in skewed sex-ratio of around 1:9, life seems tough. When you go out in real world, it takes time to get used to the concept of having equivalent number of girls around you. By the time you start enjoying this reality, it is time to go back to the cells in dorms .

Anyway, if you like my articles, then you must read the blogs by my classmate. He is mallu, he is fat & he is hilarious. Search for "sidin & blog" on google & you will get the link. BTW he likes to call himself "Fat chick magnet", don't go by the name just read them.

And one last thing for all the people who mail me, please be specific in your queries. Asking general fundaas won't help because that you can gather from anywhere. By the way, I've lost count of the mails I've got from the readers of these articles, so just keep them coming. The purpose is to answer your queries and help you realize your dreams.

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