Monday, January 31, 2011

Reaching my mukaam - Part 1

So, I am back in full form to write about my experiences of the Yatra and my decision to forgo a business school education over a fellowship at a non-for-profit.

When I headed for Yatra, my application status was – Waitlisted from Tuck, Dinged from Ross and Kellogg, awaiting result from Rochester and accepted at Teach for India! Yatra started on Christmas eve and was due to finished on 12th Jan. Honestly, I never made a round 2 strategy after getting a waitlist from Tuck on 17th Dec (I was still recovering from the bad interview I gave) and the Yatra dates were not in favor of me to design a strategy as well. I knew it will be hard for me to revamp my essays during Yatra as getting a continuous internet connection and a power plug along with the hectic schedule of Yatra was next to impossible. I will be lying if I say that I didn’t want to apply in Round 2. In my mind, I wanted to apply to at least two more schools but my heart was out of sync. They both weren’t unanimous and finally my heart won! I didn’t even take my laptop on the Yatra!

The obvious question you guys might have is – why I gave up before Round 2? After all, all you guys out there are working so hard to get an admit with several retakes of GMAT, dealing with dings and waitlists, improving your profile, visiting schools and getting financially sunk. Even if I consider myself, one can easily see that I skipped 2010 admission cycle after scoring 730 in GMAT in July 2009 planned and executed strategies for the entire application process but after having applied to just four schools, I eventually decided to give up on my efforts! So was I quitting? Was I confused? What was up with me? These are the same questions I had about myself. The answers though had not yet come.

What happens when you are going on a difficult train journey with 400 unknown people, your phone dies, you do not have access to your email, you give up luxury of your home and most importantly you leave your aspirations and loved ones behind? Answer is simple – your head gets cleared up! You may figure out what you really want from your family, from your partner and from yourself. This may happen even if you go to an ashram for four days! That happened with me in 20 days! I recall from the past an incident when people have started doubting on Sachin Tendulkar’s game. For a complete series (I don’t remember exactly how many days), he didn’t talk to his family and friends. He got back into form after continuous practice and made a great comeback. At that point of time, I doubted how not talking to family must have helped him. But today I clearly see it does. The only difference is that he was wise enough to do it deliberately and with me, it happened by an accident.

So what exactly got cleared up? For starters, when my head and heart weren’t unanimous about Round 2 applications, it clearly means one was not listening to another. I secretly was more excited about admit from Teach for India than admit from University of Rochester. During the yatra, I didn’t feel a pang for Tuck waitlist. I never even pondered on for a strategy for trying to convert it! Why I was behaving that way? The journey became more exciting with the dilemmas I was facing. I continue to write this in next post! Till then CIAO!


  1. Firstly, I would like to share with your other followers that I was on the yatra too and it was a wonderful experience and am grateful to meet you there and getting inspired from you.
    Secondly, I want to mention that the decisions you've made are really brave and give me a sense of reassurance that there are still people like you in India :)

  2. Your thought process is very clear and believable. I truly admire your grit and spirit!
    Keep up the good work Mukaam and please write more :))

  3. Thanks Lav for such nice words.

    Hi Pranjali, really like your blog. I am trying to be more regular with my blog! Don't know how much I will be able to pen down.

  4. I hope your are regular! love reading your blog...hope you continue posting about your TFI experiences too!

    And i second Lav!

  5. Proud of your decision Saloni....