Story of Atri (Business Executive)

Atri was an average student in his school and college. After finishing his studies, he got into a well-paid corporate job, making power-point presentations and excel sheets. In no time he was performing like a robot, doing all the work and hardly getting any credit. He could not say no to his seniors as he was afraid of losing out at the time of appraisal, the only hope of a corporate employee. As more time passed and the situation did not seem to improve, appraisal after appraisal, he realised it was not what he wanted to do all his life. After some research and looking around, Atri figured out what he wanted to do with his life. And for that, he needed to clear the UPSC exam. So, he started preparing alongside his job. His first attempt resulted in a disaster and he stood nowhere near the passing marks. Atri was used to failing and not getting things in the first attempt, so that was not a big blow on his already low confidence levels. “However, with my job, I knew I would not clear the exam even after ten attempts... not that they give those many, you know, but still…” he says.

Thereon, started his second life. Atri left his well-paid but humiliating job amicably, “Just to leave the doors open, you know…”, to put in all he had and ensure he did not need to return. He started preparing for UPSC full time by joining the best coaching centre he could find and buying all the gold-standard books that they say. However, his second attempt again resulted in failure.

Before thinking of giving up and joining back the door he had left open, Atri analysed what went wrong. He had that inkling of getting back to the job, but then the pictures of how he had spent his time there came right up. He found that he had studied hard, learned a lot but lacked practice. Had he put his learning and knowledge to test beforehand, he could’ve done much better.

“Well, I knew what to do then. I picked up all the test papers I could, all past years question papers, question banks, and joined a couple of test series – you name it, I did it. My last attempt was all practice and revision. I found the areas where I was weak and tried to do better on the ones I was good at. Without so much practice, I don’t think I would’ve made it even at my third attempt,” Currently a District Magistrate, Atri recalls his days of preparation.