Know this: Asad is one of the cleverer people I know. If he wants something done, he ‘makhan maro’es you, telling you about how you’re brilliant and how the world doesn’t produce too many people like you. And you bathe yourself in the metaphorical makhan, feeling good about yourself and doing his work. He pulled that one on me this morning. Well, here I am.
Everyone knows what is going to happen. In a few days, thousands of you will troop to the nearest National Law University/Random sidey centre. You’ll frantically go through exam strategies in your head while counting the number of pencils you have with you. Then you’ll look at random fellow-aspirants, sub-consciously evaluating their chances of cracking the exam. You will assign the gawky, specky kid a place in your mental top tier college; you will assume that pretty girl with nice shoes is an ignoramus and will not crack it. A tired old man will finally hand you a paper. And then, the bell will ring. And it will all begin.
For two hours, you’ll colour in a bunch of circles based on your guesses, educated or otherwise; each one to be made in an allotted 36 seconds, give or take. At some point, you’ll wonder if that not-too-satisfactory guess will decide the fate of your next five years. But you’ll know that you cannot wait, 36 seconds per guess, remember? And after two hundred such guesses, it’ll all be over.
You’ll ‘discuss’ your guesses with friends and acquaintances, worrying about how every answer confirmed wrong reflects somehow on many others that would have gone so. This worry will infect your mind for an entire month before the results are announced. You’ll attempt to convince yourself that you are free of all work, despite being only too aware of the big anxiety in your head. You’ll roam around the city. You’ll watch a movie. You will scour this very website for articles that will placate and cheer you. In the meanwhile, 14-odd institutions shall eagerly await your scores, convinced that your ability to colour correctly directly corresponds with your brilliance.
On result day, you will continually refresh the irresponsive page meant to inform you of your performance until you finally meet elation or disappointment. Someone will bitch about reservation quotas, someone will lament the one mark that kept them from making NLS/NALSAR/NUJS. And hence the great charade shall play out, determining your competence and deciding your future.
Yes, all of this will happen. It will happen to everyone. You’ll just have to hold on. You’ll just have to stick in there. That is simply the bane of every competitive exam. Everyone on my side of the exam has gone through all of this. The stress, the anxiety, the lack of surety – the complete package. I remember worrying about the results for an entire week preceding the actual day that they were announced. I remember preparing myself for the worst. I remember convincing myself that I’ll have to drop a year, simply to feel better should that happen. I remember fidgeting anxiously for a whole day, victim to the organisers’ lack of planning which ensured that we couldn’t access our results.
But hey, life gave me lemonade and I ended up at NALSAR. Maybe you will too?
NALSAR – Batch of 2016.