Past couple of weeks I have been tormented by the thoughts about the decisions i know I must make, decisions that will decide my future quite bindingly, decisions I know i'll have to make sooner or later. Those of you who are still virginal in this aspect, though I doubt there may be any, and those who believe any one of the above options to be better, I assure you all that when it comes down to it, none's the easier or fairer of the two. Alas! Sometimes it seems unfair or downright cruel for such decisions to be forced upon us. Our only consolation remains in the fact that it is ourselves we affect and ourselves we stand for.

For the benefit of those who are feeling nausiated, dizzy or simply lost, let me provide a bit of a background. I'm a student and a fairly good one in that. I do have my darker side but then who does'nt. Now the scenario is that I'm a third(last but one) year college student who, as I have mentioned earlier, is quite in a dilemma. Well to ensure better placement in the recruitment drive, our college organises a Pre-Placement Training (PPT) programme. Sounds nice, does'nt it? But lets have a brush-up with the reality. This PPT programme basically throws 70 odd students in a room under a faculty for a duration of two hours after a gruelling college of 6 hours. Surely gossips start flying high and low in the classroom. Now its not as bad as it sounds. You see, the college had conducted a diagnostic test to sort us all as per our supposed proficiency or the lack of it. Even though the evaluation method is seriously doubted by students, I happened to be placed in Group 1, not disclosed to be the best or worst by the college, and so no assumptions made. Fortunately though, the conduct in the class is quite good and I have no complaints in that department. What really bothers me is the fact that we are supposed to pay Rs.6,500 for the programme even though we already pay Rs.3,000 per annum towards placement!

Well, back to me then. For me the gameplan was quite well chalked out by my parents. My priority is to be aiming for a good B-school with the back-up plan of a job offer in my pocket! Smooth is'nt it? Quite confidently, I had informed our Head of Department that I would not be participating in the PPT. I had decided, not without thought, that I would put all the resources I have at my disposal towards achieving the dream my parents have made me dream. It took me days of mental preparation to collect all my enthusiasm and chalk out a decent plan of study for the same. After all, I felt quite confident that I could bell the CAT! Well in this case quite literally as the Common Admission Test or the CAT is the exam to get into the premium B-schools in India. For the past week I had ran in and out of CAT coaching centres more than there were days to do so. I had even decided to shell out a sum of about Rs.14,000 towards the end. After all, its CAT I am talking about and I didn't want to leave any stone unturned.

However, as in any good story, there indeed was a catch! It seems good sense to the college authorities to allow only those students for the recruitment drive who pay for the PPT. Needless to say, the news was a jaw-shattering one. So after all the days of running and deciding and thinking and spending, I was essentially at the same point where I was when I started. Remember in novels, when things happen too fast, characters start counting numbers-evens, odds, primes, squares, anything for that matter. If nothing else then just to feel that they do have a grip on something in their lives. You can say now I know why they do so. Anyways it seems I have just three options before me. Well actually have a lot of them but lets just stick to reality here.

One being to go ahead as planned, get into a B-school, and if it comes to the worst, try to make the best out of off-campus recruitment drives. A very bold plan any Gryffindor would be proud of. No complications involved, total focus on the target
and very little chance of failure. The downside being I really don't know how long this bubble of enthusiasm, confidence and motivation will last. Knowing me, I would say nearly a month and that's all, but who knows, maybe CAT preps may be different.
This strategy also has a value added benefit that I would'nt have to spend sleepless nights and restless days, which is what happens usually when the recruitment time comes. The second being to forget it all, go through PPT, and try to scratch a respectable score with test series and crash courses. Nice plan with the least botheration involved. In fact, I get literally everything at my doorsteps. But really don't know how far these PPT classes are going to take me towards a good CAT score. The third and the most unlikely choice being to juggle my time between this end and that. Now I know most people, both seniors and peers, are opting for this option but this really is the last resort for me. For one, I'll be busy like a bull from dawn to dusk and even after. For another, even if I take the pressure, I'll be too tired to do anything but sleep. And personal experiences suggest, nay, shout out loud that under these circumstances I'll have my feet on two different boats and my stamina will fade away really fast. Now that's a situation I totally want to avoid!

UPDATE:  Alas! As happens most frequetly with mere humans, 'cruel world' and its circumstances forced me to take the option I dreaded the most.

Comments wanted and welcome!