Wish i never passed 12th....
Author: Yencee

Chapter 4
Counselling and Cut-off

Engineering was what my parents wanted me to do. I did not have a dream or an ambition of my own so I thought I should follow my parents dream and become an Engineer.

Engineering was really a crowded stream these days. Back in the 90s there was not much Engineering Colleges around Chennai. But now, the outskirts of the city play host to around 400 odd Engineering colleges. When politicians have lot of money and don’t know how to spend it, what do they do??? They build an Engineering college. When a land lord cannot sell his large area of ground, what do they do?? They build an Engineering college. You have no idea how much money they earn per year by running an Engineering college. They earn enough money to build a new college each year. This is their success Mantra: “I started with one department in my college and after 7 years I have 7 different departments”.

 So there was never a worry of getting into an Engineering college, but there was always a worry of getting into a GOOD Engineering college. If you have lot of marks, there’s this procedure called “Counselling” that would promise you a seat into a GOOD Engineering college. OR if you have a lot of Money, again you can promise yourself a seat in the Engineering College by paying lakhs of rupees to the management.

If you have BOTH money and marks, well….you’re really lucky.

But people have a really bad time choosing between colleges as there are hundreds of colleges spread out outside the city.

Some colleges do not prefer advertisements as the college’s reputation speaks for itself.
Some colleges desperately need to advertise themselves to tell the city students about their existence.

So yeah, my mom wanted me to become an Engineer. You know, that’s where the ‘real money’ is. Besides, these colleges have this “Campus Interview”, where the companies actually recruit students right out of their college. So yeah…as a parent…a safe bet would be to make your son or daughter study Engineering. Usually parents were like, “Get an Engineering degree and do whatever you want”, presuming that if their son or daughter would fail in pursuing their dream career, their Engineering would save them. They were not really wrong in thinking that way.

I was supposed to apply to the “Anna University” if I wanted a seat in one of the 400 colleges. All the Engineering Colleges in Tamil Nadu, except a few colleges which are termed as “Deemed Universities”, come under the Anna University. This university decides the college in which you end up. The “Deemed Universities” are run by people who have a lot of money and want to earn more, the “Deemed Universities” usually cost you a lot, so people prefer to join in a college which is affiliated with the Anna University.

Now let me tell you what Counselling is all about, based on your 12th marks, the calculate a cut off. Cut off is the aggregate of your Math, Physics and Chemistry marks (Math marks taken out of 100 and Physics and Chemistry marks taken out of 50)

My mom was busy calculating my Cut-off.

“158” she said.
”What?” I asked, while messaging my friends. The result was over. Leave me alone.
”Your cut off” She said. “Just 158”.

“JUST 158???” I shouted “Maa!! That’s almost 80%. Do you know how hard Science group is??”
”Shut up” she slammed back. “Do you know how many people score 90%??? What is Gaurav’s cut-off”

“179” I hung my head down. He had messaged me his cut off. His English and Computer Science marks brought down his total. His Science and Math was good.

There you go, I had no reason to be happy afterall. My English and Computer Science mark never mattered. That’s so not fair, then why did I have to write those exams.

“We’ll wait for counseling” Mom said while I regretted not concentrating on my Science subjects.

“Sure” I said “We’ll wait for counseling.”

And so we waited……


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