Topper Me

A week ago

As I completed the ‘verbal-ability’ section of the paper, I looked around to see how much time was left and once again cursed myself for not wearing a wrist watch. The girl just sitting besides me was really engrossed into her paper; I didn’t dare asking her about the time. Thanks to the hand with a ‘Fast-Track’ wrist watch, a few rows ahead of me, I found out that only 20 minutes remained of the test. I yanked my head down into the paper, and turned to the ‘quantitative-aptitude’ section, which I’d completely skipped right in the beginning. Now, I had to do some 40 questions in the next 20 minutes of this ‘paper-based’ Mock MAT so I tried to pore myself into it.

Why is it that when you try to concentrate on one single thing, the mind starts wandering and pondering into everything irrelevant? At this moment, when I was supposed to be calculating ‘permutations and combinations of six people sitting around a circular table,’ my mind jerked off to think about the hair of one of the girls sitting a few chairs away from me, and then onto the dismal performance of the Indian Cricket Team in the test match against Sri Lanka, and then again onto some YouTube video I saw. I shook it all off, and skimmed through the paper to look for the relatively easier questions to solve first. After I’d solve three or four of the sums, the invigilator announced that only 10 minutes were left. The harder I tried to concentrate on the paper the more my mind made me search for some random beauty feature of some random girl from within the room, and every time I had to remind myself that I was sitting in a test. The next 10 minutes I forgot all about everything and calculated everything ranging from profit margin percentages to solution concentrations to quadratic equations, without even knowing whether I was correct or not.

The invigilator announced the end of the examination and for the first time in the last 10 minutes I rouse from my paper, somewhat satisfied. I had managed to solve some 18-20 questions and felt that it would serve the purpose, given my mismanagement of time in a (Mock) management aptitude test.

As I got out, the usual post-test questions came flying towards me and everyone else. “How was it?” “How many did you attempt?” Answering few, and ignoring some I got away from the scene. On a whole, I thought, the test went well.


After completing my morning round of studies, I checked my phone to see whether someone had called. I had 9 missed calls from Jatin, my friend, and a text message, which read, “Vry urgnt call me.” I called Jatin and he picked it up in two rings, and yelled: “Yaar! Where were you? I called you so many times.”

“I was just, studying. Why?” I asked.

Arrey! They posted the results on the website, for the Mock MAT, today, and you’ve topped the test.”

This time, I yelled: “What?”

“Yes! Go check the list.” He replied.

“This can’t be! Wait, you stay on the line, I’m checking it right now.” I said, really amazed. ‘It’s not that I am a bad student, but I can’t be a topper,’ I thought to myself.

I logged into the institute’s website and scrolled to the section of the results and clicked on the button that said ‘Toppers List’. Not that, I was getting excited or something, rather I was a bit confused. The page loaded in a couple of seconds and I saw that my name was really on top of the list. I could only stare for the next seconds, then, I read the names that followed mine, looked at the screen for a few more seconds and then screamed in the phone: “Abey, Gandu! Can’t you bloody see the list is in alphabetical order, and not in the order of scores.” The idiot got so excited seeing my name on the top of that list that he didn’t even bothered what else was there.

Kya?!?! Really” He asked after thinking about it.

“Yes. And my name with these two A’s followed by a B is invincible to be replaced from the top.” I said.

“So…. you haven’t topped the test?” He asked again, disappointedly.

“No. My score here, mentioned, is 325, and the sixth name below mine has a score of 371 mentioned in front of it. So, clearly I’m not the topper.” I explained.

“OK! I thought…. Anyways, congrats, that’s not a bad score.”

“Yeah! Works for me. Theek hai, I’ll talk to you later.” I said, concluding our conversation.

I scanned through the whole list and found that, there were many others who had scored more than I did, and rather my score was just above the median score. But this didn’t disappoint me, because I was not expecting anything more than this.

As I closed the browser window, a grin surfaced on my face which, within seconds, turned into a huge laugh. Yes it was Jatin’s idiocy that was making me laugh, and so was my own name. I could only thank my parents for giving me a name that starts with two A’s that made me ‘top’ the ‘toppers list’.


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