Monday, June 22, 2009

CAT – A National Pastime

As a person grows (in age), his desires, craze and hobbies change. Running in the field, playing chain-chain, playing 'pakda pakdi' – basically any simple game which is physically demanding - would attract a primary school student. As he grows up, he take up games like cricket, basket ball and TT. When he enters the college, his hobby becomes grabbing the best girl around. And this continues until he reaches the pre-final year where he takes up a new pastime called CAT. Similar sequence holds for females – from dolls to singing/dancing to boys to CAT. The pastime for most graduates in their mid twenties is CAT.

CAT is interesting. But reasons why people want to take CAT are much more interesting. Bapi wants to take CAT because his mother's kitty party friend's son Bappa is taking it. Sanjay is taking it because his cousin is an MBA and supposedly minting money. Sarvanan is taking CAT because he doesn't know how to play (and hence is not interested in) cricket. Priyanka is taking CAT because her boyfriend is taking it, while Amit wants to take CAT because he doesn't have a girl friend!

Yeah, that is correct. A lot of people are taking CAT because they have nothing else to do. Taking CAT obliges you to be at CITE or any other such place. Haven't heard of CITE? CITE stands for Career Launcher, IMS, T.I.M.E., Erudite. Now, CITE give a great competition to CCDs, Baristas, Aqua Javas and the likes.

People who have 'partners' - hang out at/outside CITE, go to CITE together, come back together, “discuss” the solution of x-3 = 0 together and attend classes together. Not only this, they can go to each others house and study together. This is a really innovative way to get parents' approval. Imagine that your girl friend comes to your place and you go to hers frequently – and that you both are able to impress each others parents! Wouldn't that be great? Isn't it a more realistic and toned down version of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge? For people who are single (and who hate paying hefty stag cover charges) can find that someone special in the class. Now, as mentioned in Dil To Pagal Hai, that someone somewhere is made for you - if they (CATers) don't find anyone that rings a bell in their hearts in a batch, then they can shift batches until they find someone. In case they don't find anyone in any batch, they look out for the staff. They are also good.

Does any of the coffee shops offer these facilities? CITE may be more expensive than the coffee shops but they don't have the 'cool' factor that is associated with the CITE. C'mon, isn't it cool for the mom to tell her friend that her child cannot make it to the french poodle's birthday bash because she has to go to CITE? Can she say the same thing if her daughter is going to CCD or Barista?

As per Miss Lucy – 'adat agar waqt pe na badali jaye toh zaroorat banjati hai' [If you don't know who miss Lucy is you should revisit DDLJ]. This translates to – if habits are not change in time, then they become necessities. So, after going through the rigorous 1.5 yrs course, at CITE a lot of students get 'used to' it. Now, after getting astronomical ranks, they decide that they should give it another shot and enroll for CITE again! They may change from X to Y where X and Y are elements of CITE and X!= Y. They try and try. Year after year. Changing from X to Y. This goes on till he/she gets married. The marriage, however, could be with either one of the 'friends' found in one of the iterations at CITE or, in worst case , a family found one.

Mahatma Gandhi said that the process or journey is more important than the end results. Looks like a lot of people have taken this really seriously. They seems to be enjoying the process of “preparation” of CAT. CAT seems to have become the national pastime you indulge in after your college and before your marriage.

Disclaimer: There is a section of students who know what to do in life and how MBA can help them to achieve that goal. To those, CITE can be really helpful in getting them crack the CAT and hence get an MBA and reach their goal. The above is for those who don't fall in that section.


Natraj June 22, 2009 at 9:52 AM  

Good one dude!! U fall into which category?? :-P

Krishna June 22, 2009 at 10:12 AM  


Couldn't agree with you more...Most of the people don't know the answer of "Why MBA"?Still they will take CAT,MAT,XAT,SNAP,FMS etc etc .
The Reason being
1.Salary Hype
2.Going in the direction of the tide..(Every one is taking Cat so why shouldn't I).

Also,ppl will have something to answer this:- "What are you doing apart from College/Work"?.

June-November:-- Yar MBA exams ki preparation le raha hu...

November-February:- (ARee abhi haar sunday busy rehta hu..Cat,IIFT,JMET,SNAP,NMIMS,CET,XAT,FMS)de raha hu.

March- April :- Interview ka prep

April -May :- Yaar results ka wait kar raha hu,

This cycle goes on and on until you finally get married or you are lucky enough to get into good B school.

Lavanya June 22, 2009 at 2:57 PM  

nice and witty! :) I love this phrase " National pastime " - its so true! :D

Lavanya June 22, 2009 at 3:01 PM  

err,btw : you meant *shift*, dint you? ;) :D
"if they (CATers) don't find anyone that rings a bell in their hearts in a batch, then they can !!shit!! batches until they find someone. In case they don't find anyone in any batch, they look out for the staff. They are also good."

Prashant Mehta June 22, 2009 at 3:04 PM  


Thanks for pointing that out! Changed it to "shift" (which i meant)

However, "shit" may have been more appropriate :-P

abhi June 22, 2009 at 4:49 PM  

Nice post !!
Another reason for CAT being so popular is marital prospects. Its sounds cool when a prospective groom is projected as a CAT aspirant in the shaadi market (jeevansaathi, shaadi, bharatmatrimony..etc). Gives the false impression that a would-be-CEO-of-a-MNC is up for grabs just before he is going to make it big.

Btw why dont talk a bit about the self-proclaimed-elite group who, along with having high opinion about themselves, think they dont need CITE guidance and year on year are not able to make the cut, mostly blaming it to the office workload.

Soumen June 22, 2009 at 5:47 PM  

Dear Prashant,

Another nice blog came out of ur pocket and I must say u have the talent to make things noticeable which seems to be unnoticeable to others. Keep the spirit up.

Coming to the entry, I found that U have contradicted urself once in the blog. Once u say when the hobby of grabbing boyfriend/ girlfriend goes over then ppl opt for the preparation of CAT. But in ur later quote, u contradicted urself by describing the CITE to be a alternative of CCD/Barista. I guess whatever u quoted later is more meaningfull in the context and it ll be better if u slightly modify the phrase "And this continues until he reaches the pre-final year where he takes up a new pastime called CAT". Actually the search for the best boy/girl never ends in life, though u get one or not.

Regarding Mahatma Gandhi's quote about "process or journey" can be cited back to at-least 5000 years when Bhagvan Sri Krishna told "Karmane Vadhikarante Ma Faleshu Kadachana". From next time while reading ur blog, I would expect that the references will come from the ORIGINATOR not the ASSESSOR.

May it be irrelavant, but I can't help myself without giving one more example of National Pastime - JEE (Joint Entrance Examination) in WB. There we used to call it as "JATIYA UTSAB".

Prashant Mehta June 22, 2009 at 5:53 PM  

@ Soumen

I think you are confusing between hobby and goal/aim. The aim in initial college days is to grab the best girl/boy (whichever applicable - both in some cases)- The hobby then changes to CAT. The aim however remains the same. And as you said, it will remain the same. It has been the same from Adam and Eve days. Though, poor Adam (or Eve)didn't have any choice :-P

Soumen June 22, 2009 at 6:00 PM  

Dear Prashant,

I may be wrong in understanding ur view; but u should be clear while writing. I agree hobby and goal/aim doesn't co-inside always (Coinsides only when the passion for hobby becomes so bold, that it is converted to goal/aim. Do u need any example?). But in that case, u shouldn't mention "When he enters the college, his hobby becomes grabbing the best girl around"; as this becomes conflicting to ur own comments. :-))...what's about my other comments? Do u agree with me about those?

viswanath June 22, 2009 at 8:07 PM  

Hope I am not the Inspiration for this :)

angel from heaven June 26, 2009 at 12:57 AM  

A serious topic but projected with good humour!!
Came across your blog in orkut hence the visit.

Aritra June 27, 2009 at 11:20 PM  

Well written Prashant... once again... sorry for the late comment... :)

However, "if they (CATers) don't find anyone that rings a bell in their hearts in a batch, then they can shift batches until they find someone. In case they don't find anyone in any batch, they look out for the staff. They are also good." is a bit too much... :P

U also have missed one case - when out of a couple going to CITE, one cracks the CAT and gets into some B-school, whats the situation and possible fates of the other one? especially if the successful partner is a female...

alpesh July 6, 2009 at 12:55 AM  

Hey buddy nice one!!
i guess if u have got this ideas 2 yrs back then surely u would have got ur some one special:-)

ur post has given some kinda hope to many singles who actually have not thought of CAT, to opt for it.. :-)

it's like a teleshopping ad..

all singles

"mein apni life se bohot hi frustrate ho gaya(or gayi) tha/thi kyu ki mere pas koi GF(for girls.. BF) nahi thi/tha,mujhe bohot hi akela pan mehsus ho raha tha,meine umeed chod di thi ke achanak mujhe prashant ka post mila aur meri zindagi badal gayi..." agar aap ko apni zindagi badalni hai to der kis batki..login to and subscribe for prashant's post's.. :-)

rahul s July 6, 2009 at 10:06 PM  

wow///hehe wonderful..first time i m reading ure blog..very nice.
n if they din find a rite one durin their past time in CITE,they can find one after getting to the bschool na.. i kno one my fried who soon as he joined,strted searchin for one.. :-p.
n 'look out for staffs' is also a very good option....those receptionists are really gorgeous.. :-p. some kinda marketin strategy by CITEs, i guess. heh.

anupam July 10, 2009 at 2:27 AM  

Apart from giving tough competition to CCD, Barista etc, CITE is giving tough competition to, etc. If the aspirant cracks CAT(roughly 1%) then the CITEr has a good price tag in marriage market and the others follow the steps mentioned by prashant.

On a serious note because a country like India which is service oriented country, there is a craze to become manager/boss.

Biswajit Biswas July 15, 2009 at 7:22 PM  

Bravo, I must say a well written blog which potreys roughly 90% of the college goers, who do not have a clearity about their aims and aspirations.

Come up with such kind of thing, as everybody knows it but nobody notices it and accepts it.

Handa June 20, 2011 at 9:52 AM  

Nice. Loved it.

Sridhar Iyer July 24, 2011 at 9:37 AM  

That's a new perspective of CAT.... wonderfully presented... Loved the caption "National Pastime"

Anonymous November 2, 2011 at 1:06 PM  

I have never taken CAT or intend to do so, but the hype surrounding CAT (IITJEE and SRK movies as well) making me feel that am I not experiancing something in life? Am I missing something?

Sriram S June 24, 2012 at 6:56 PM  

Good one mehtaji.....liked it...witty and a lil thought provoking for those group who go about their lives randomly

Khyati July 19, 2012 at 11:05 PM  

Couldn't agree more. CAT has become sort of an IQ proof (which is so not true). It does not measure practical intelligence which is so highly needed in real life.

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