My CC 8 (8 project in the competent communicator manual) was delivered using the same script as that for project 7, but with different objectives. Therefore I haven’t posted that one here. Below is project 9 from the CC manual, with a time limit of 8-10 minutes.
A couple of days back, I was relaxing at my place after a hard day at work. On the reclining chair, with my legs on the tea-table, a cup of coffee in hand and a packet of chips on the side, I switched on the TV. And this is what was on…
Dear Friends, A very good evening to you all!! The comic violence between the massive loser Tom and small smart Jerry, displaying the age-old feline murine enmity in a different light, had me laughing when my cell phone rang. Tring Tring of the phone made me turn off the TV and sit straight to avoid spilling my coffee, but the flashing ID on the phone was what got me bolt upright!
Papa! Hi. Yeah I am great! How are you? Yes the results are out. Yes, I did well. No I did not get a call yet. No I think I shall be able to manage. Sorry papa. Yes, I will keep an eye for any other announcement. Yes I had my dinner. No, I am not having any fried food. Okay papa, bye, have a great day. Phew!!!
My mind went back to the tiring body, a result of slogging (I mean working) for almost 10 hours on a job I didn’t like and studying for an exam I had absolutely no interest in. I asked myself, what am I doing? The conversation that I had just had was something which every graduate has with his/ her parents every now and then! Career and Job! And if the graduate happens to be an Engineer – CAT – the common admission test – to secure a seat in a management institute becomes an inherent part of this parent – ward conversation. Like one of the 2.5 Lakh students all over the country, I too had written (rather typed) CAT this year, irrespective of the fact that I have no intention what so ever of spending two years of my precious life studying management. This statement, by no means, should be held against my respect for the Institutes which make graduates across the country kneel down in front of them as in front of altars. I, in fact, have very high regards for these institutes, where for 1500 seats; two and a half Lakh students compete at successive levels, making them more selective than the Ivy League Universities. What I do mean, is that, I have different plans about what to do with my life!
I was again, yet again, yet yet again, regretting my decision of subsiding to peer pressure and the mad rat race of success. Think about it once – What was the point of securing 98.5 percentile in this prestigious test if all I got after the result were sympathy calls! I knew I was never gonna like it and I knew I was not gonna do what I like if I continue pretending to like what I do! What was it which made this CAT so important for me and for many others? The analytical part of the engineering mind started drawing analogies between the popularity of this CAT and TOM. And that’s when this thought came to my mind. This CAT is popular because it defies the old custom. As per old stories, cat chases rats, but here the CAT is being chased by thousands and lakhs of rats year after year, me being one of them. It is just another rat race of the modern times, with the difference that here we are running after CAT. For the past 38 years, this aptitude test has been around. The trouble is we do not have enough seats to accommodate all of those who have an aptitude. If you are not amongst the top 1% of the other rats, you are not adept enough. And hence, it becomes imperative that you fight, you run harder and faster. No matter if your knees buckle under pressure, no matter if the mind clutters by mugging all the formulae and tips and techniques you come across, forgetting the basics of why and how, no matter if all you do in the final year of your graduation is to take run ups for this extra fast marathon, it is imperative that you run harder and faster. Why; because it is prestigious. The winners of this race get to participate in another, to get a high paying job. And then another, to get hikes. And then to get promoted, and the cycle continues.
Why is this exam so overrated? Or first thing first, is it overrated?
2003 – CAT paper leaked, US planned of a war on Iraq.
2006 – CAT duration increased to 2 and a half hour from 2. It was also the trial year of Saddam Hussain.
2009 – CAT went online, how did I know, well this time, I was writing it too!!
This exam is so overrated because it is supposed to be the gateway to the best jobs in the market. “The trouble with the rat race is that even if you win, you’re still a rat”. This exam is so overrated because it lets you prove this quote right. It lets you remain a rat – an honor for the present generation, which thrives on running, aimlessly and blindly towards a goal we are yet to know!
Do we need to continue buckling under the pressure of this CAT? Do we need to keep writing it again and again and again in hopes of fatter pay cheques? No dear friends, now is the time – to think, to understand and to take action. Paul Ulasien, the author of The Corporate Rat Race: The Rats Are Winning said, “No matter what you do in the rat race, success is not guaranteed, but if you do nothing failure is.” What it meant to me was that to avert that failure we find the race we would love to run, start doing what we love and start loving what we do! Let us stop running in this mad rat race. I want you all to stand up and pledge – ‘I will do what I love, I will love what I do’…