Examination, a dreaded word, as a kid it is a word which can strike fear into your heart. Firstly, I never knew why I was studying half of the subjects and many of them were theoretical, so it wasn’t fun at all. In my case somehow, few days before the exams would start, I was always unwell. In my tenth standard prior to the Board Exams, I was unwell for a month. Even the doctors were not sure what I had, I was given medications for almost everything in the world I think, from Malaria, Typhoid, paratyphoid and what not. I don’t even remember if I gave all my prelim exams. With the grace of god, I got well and gave my exams.
Like I mentioned, being unwell before an exam was like a trend for me. If Data Science was a fad then someone could have probably leveraged all my data created a forecast (of me being unwell) for me which could help me for future exams 😊. Fast forward, four years since my 10th standard episode, I am in the 4th Semester of my engineering college. Probably one of the toughest semesters I had, especially from an examination perspective. Can you guess why? If you are thinking I was unwell, the answer is partially correct, as this time I was unwell during my exams and not before it. We had six subjects, and no way in the world could I miss any. If I did, I would have probably had to repeat the year.
Exams were around noon time and my Aunt who is a doctor used to drive me to college in her car (A Fiat Premier Padmini). My college was 10 Km one way, and each exam was around 2-3 hours. My Aunt after dropping me at college, used to wait for my exams to get over, post which she used to take me home. We had six subjects, spread over a span of 8 – 10 days. One of the subjects was “Logic Circuits”, in daily life, elevators use Logic Circuits which help them go up and down properly.
This was probably one of the toughest papers in the past few years, not just for me but for the entire class. It was the second last paper, and I clearly remember sitting on the first bench (you might be thinking noooo, first bench in an exam 😊) of the sixth-floor classroom. I do not know how I gave the paper, but I left the paper twenty minutes before the scheduled closure. The other students were looking at me probably thinking how can he leave such a tough paper 20 mins before 😊, but little did they know that one my mind had gone blank, I just couldn’t think, and two I was feeling nausea. Do not worry, I will not give out any details of what happened once I left the classroom 😊. The last paper was C programming and till then from a health perspective I was feeling better and I did not have any problems like the previous paper.
After you give an exam, the only thing you fear is the Results 😊, and in my case I feared my result for “Logic Circuits”. I used to literally pray “Bhagwaan Pass kar dena” (“God, please pass me”). I got 48 out of 100 in Logic Circuits (40 was passing) and overall, in Semester IV around 65% which was considered a decent percentage in Engineering at that time.
But my fortune with being unwell does not stop here, and if you have read my Book “Healthcare Decoded – Begin Your Health IT Journey”, you would know what I am talking about. Post completion of my engineering I got placed in an IT Firm. I wanted to pursue my MBA along with my Job, and in order to do so I had to give an entrance exam. It was December of 2005, I gave the entrance in Mumbai, and after that I had to fly to USA for a business trip. After the entrance you have a customary interview, I did not have a Group Discussion since it was pursing Part Time MBA (3 years evening classes). I was happy about that, as I did not enjoy unnecessarily shouting at the top of my voice. The interview was scheduled in sometime February 2006, and I was sure I would be back well before my interview date. But as you have seen in the past (and as it was meant to be), I got “Chicken Pox” in USA at the age of 26, and that too in Feb 2006 when I had to return to India. I was speaking with my grandfather and I told him, “I am not changing my flight date I want to come back to India”. I did not want to miss out on the opportunity of doing my MBA. My grandfather advised me against doing so as “Chicken Pox” is contagious. He explained, even if I got on the plane successfully in US, there was every possibility I will held in France as I had a changeover there. So as fate had installed for me, I had to stay in the US for an additional 7 – 8 days. My Interview was scheduled for probably around 16th or 17th Feb 2006 or so and I was going to reach on 18th Feb. My sister went and spoke to the college authorities and luckily the interviews were scheduled till 19th Feb and the college would allow me to attend the same.
I reached India on 18th Feb 2006, after having gotten a clearance from the doctor to travel. I reached the exam center on 19th Feb 2006, luckily, I had company since my cousin sister was also trying for an MBA in the same institute. The other trend, I have seen in my life, even though I reach for an interview in the morning, my number comes only in the end 😊. I reached college probably at noon or so, but my number came at 7:00 PM and I was the last person to give the interview. The interview was the fun part, I had done some research after having discussed the same with my seniors. Unlike a Full-Time MBA, in Part-Time MBA, one has to convince the college authorities you will be able to attend college regularly since the college is in the evenings. Luckily, I was able to convince them and I did do my MBA along with my Job.
Fortunately, during my MBA exams, I did not face any health issues probably because I was more conscious, and above all, I enjoyed my MBA more than anything. Imagine leaving office on time at 5:30 PM, going back to college life and the icing on top, avoid all the traffic while going back home 😊.
As one grows, one understands that school and college exams, are nothing compared to the exams, life makes you go through. I leave you with one of my favorite dialogues from Rocky Balboa “It ain’t about how hard you hit. It’s about how hard you can get hit and keep moving forward; how much you can take and keep moving forward. That’s how winning is done!”