Life taught me many things, but the most important lesson for me is about LUCK.

“You never know what WORSE LUCK your BAD LUCK has saved you from.”
-Cormac McCarthy

This is something I never believed even though I had heard it. I always cribbed about things that I couldn’t get, rather than being thankful for things that I got. I had a very bad habit of putting everything I missed out, upon LUCK until my views changed one fine day.

Let me rewind it for you a little bit:

  • Missed IIT-JEE by 1 mark.
  • Missed board exams merit list by 2 marks.
  • Missed placement in a dream company by a margin of 1 candidate. (30 candidates appeared, I was in last three. 2 out of those 3 were selected except me, and both others were IITians.)
  • Scored 96 %ile in CAT 2012, when the target was 99 %ile to reach IIMs. All dreams shattered.

9th Jan, 2013 I was at a friend’s home to check my CAT results. I had put in everything within my ability to crack this one and get the luck on my side. I had studied for 4-5 hours a day for 3 months and day and night for another 3 months to bell the CAT. CAT result was put up on the website at 12:00 so I logged in but due to the traffic, site couldn’t be loaded.
At 4:00 AM finally after 4 hours of awaiting, the result showed up on the screen and I had a 96%ile. I faked that the result was decent. My friend and his parents comforted me telling that the result was better than many. But this result meant nothing to me. For next one month, people kept congratulating me for scoring 96%ile in CAT but for me, it was just another instance of Hard LUCK.

Even after this, I tried for my dream company and got rejected after reaching in last 3 (other 2 were selected).

I started living in isolation, kept things to myself, when college ended, applied to Naukri(dot)com and got a mathematics teaching job. I went to Bangalore to teach Mathematics in villages and small-towns of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu and got busy with my life. I made new friends, visited new places and 5 months later, got a job switch to teach Mathematics and Quant to CAT students.

I enjoyed spending time with students and helping them with queries in maths. I taught and mentored roughly 9000+ students in these three years. I had taught in more than 19 cities, 25+ engineering colleges and 4 different states. I completely forgot about my aspiration of CAT examination and got promoted and became star performer of the year for excellent feedback and student satisfaction.

It was 2015, about 3 years since I took CAT exam in 2012 and on one fine day, I decided to take CAT one more time. (I had 2.5 months time to prepare)

I was teaching Quant so that was not an area of concern, I started concentrating on Verbal, DI and AR parts of CAT. After 12-13 hours of office-work, I studied for 2-3 hours per day and 10-12 hours on Sundays. I took a 9 day leave for Diwali and studied 15-17 hours per day on those days in isolation to remember those old CAT days. Deja vu. Took some mocks and stopped studying 3-4 days before CAT.

8th Jan 2016: CAT 2015 result day

I opened the result and these were my scores:
QA-99.96 %ile,
DI-99.68 %ile,
VA-92 %ile,
with a total of 212 marks and 99.86 %ile overall.

Even after this CAT result, I didn’t secure call from IIM A/B/I/S due to other academic records so my hopes were on my best call, IIM-C. I prepared for it well, faced that interview somehow , before results the anxiety started kicking back.

I was in Delhi on 15th April 2016, going somewhere in Delhi metro when I got a whatsapp text that IIM-C results have been published.

I entered the credentials and this result was on the screen.

I jumped out of my seat, shouted “Yessssssssssssss” so loud that everyone started looking at me, I hugged my friend, called my parents and friends and thanked almighty to getting me selected for IIM-Calcutta.

Here I am, sitting and typing this 19 days after my result of IIM-Calcutta and having secured admits in one of the best B-schools of this country, here are my 2 cents for everyone:

“The harder you work, the Luckier you get.”

Like many, I believed that I was a victim of BAD LUCK. A friend of mine told me a philosophy that you can get everything else, except what you target the most and I used to believe him. Had I got placed in my dream company, I would have settled with that life and never tried for this again. Today I am in a better situation than what that company could have taken me to…So failing there helped me in some way.

It took me years to understand that my 100% was also not good enough in CAT 2012. I had created an excuse for myself- Luck, that I failed due to BAD LUCK.

But now, I have stopped blaming LUCK for anything because in the end, it all boils down to one thing- How Badly do you Want it. My results were simply the outcomes of my efforts, in 2012 as well as 2015.

So guys, do your best and leave it upon the LUCK for the rest. Who knows, when you might get LUCKY 🙂

– Shreyansh Dangi

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