Marching to the CLAT Centre

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This article has been submitted by Ushashi Datta for the CLATGyan Blog Post Writing Competition. If you think it’s a good read, ‘Like’ the article on Facebook (the button is at the bottom of this piece) or post a comment using the ‘Comments’ section below. 

The day dawned bright and shiny like a new penny. The entire household was in a hustle bustle and just like the birth of William and Kate’s baby that was heralded to the world, my D-Day was announced. It was time to march to the battlefield. With all my ammunitions safely tucked into my stationary box, I gave one last salute to God, and taking vijaya-bhava blessings from my parents, I set off to face the enemy! Err..the paper, I mean.

The examination centre being in Navi Mumbai, which is quite far off from where I live, but also quite close to various holiday spots like Lonavala, Goa etc..etc, we had to set off early. On the way, I announced to my mother that if today didn’t work out at least travelling so far wouldn’t be a waste. We’d travel a little further after that and launch ourselves into happy holiday mood! To which she gave me a disapproving look. I decided to shut up and revise some general knowledge.

We had left home at around 11.00 AM in the morning and reached two hours after that. After rubbing my palms in anticipation and doing impressive breathing exercises (that’d even put Baba Ramdev to shame), I leapt down from my car.

FAT CLAT Books. 3 words that I thought were apt to describe my immediate surroundings. More or less everybody had them and everyone had their noses buried into them, like they smelt of fine samosas and kachori, with pudine ki chutney. Needless to say I took one look at my thin gk notebook and felt like sinking into the ground. Some spectacled aspirants (especially the ones with the FAT CLAT Books) sized me up by giving me judgy looks as I passed them by. I didn’t feel like I was a book short of them, I felt like I was parading around wearing a flashy leotard on my head.

Nonetheless, I went in and checked for my seating arrangement and got into the queue with others. 10 minutes into the queue, ‘be calm and composed’ was quickly turning into ‘becoming qualm and decomposed’.

I was under the feeling that we had been asked to report two hours prior to the exam (which was at 3.00pm) for demo sake, but turned out we were just standing out in the sweltering sun getting sukhaofied like chath pe pappads. After a while the gates did open and we were asked to form our respective queues according to our lab numbers. In the great student hustle and my rush to escape Sun-ji, I forgot to do just what was asked so although I knew my Lab alphabet, I didn’t know the number.

So I ended up spending 10 minutes huffing puffing down the stairs trying to locate my lab and somehow in some corner of my brain Sun-nyji’s dhai kilo ki garmi was tolerable. I couldn’t even ring up my parents to ask them to look up my lab number because I had left all my belongings but my stationery with them. Thankfully I found my friend who was carrying his cell-phone with him. I rung up my parents from his cell-phone and found out my lab number. After that I wished him luck and proceeded towards my lab.

It was 2.00 pm when I finally settled into the lab. I was quite happily twirling around in my office desk chair, much to the annoyance of the lab assistant {what? I was bored} when the invigilator shoo-ed us off to the loos.

After getting locked in the loo and also getting unlocked, miraculously escaping a pigeon shitting on me and getting slightly soaked by a leaking tap, I managed to return back to my lab. Half an hour to go for the exam, I said a silent prayer and summed up on whatever I had studied so far.

Finally when the exam started I couldn’t help but sigh with relief. When I quickly glanced at the question paper I felt a twinge of uneasiness seeing the questions. But I decided against panicking and proceeded to attempt the paper. I am sure none of us need another recollection of what happened during the paper. But at one point into the paper after Save and Exit to a handful of questions all that I really wanted to do was Exit. I couldn’t hear the people around me clicking much, because I’m pretty sure barring those exceptionally few people most of us were facing the same plight.

The only time I felt like singing Joy to the World was when I saw the GK section, because those were the only questions that seemed more or less familiar. How I spent 2 hours in a confined lab room with a suffocating paper in front of me and a ticking time-bomb of a timer, only I will ever know.

The paper was unexpected and everybody was appalled, when we were finally done with it. We couldn’t believe that such thing could have happened to us. Nonetheless it was over.  Well if it is really OVER or not, we shall only know on the 20th.

-Ushashi Datta

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