What happens when your illusion of a perfect life comes crashing down at an unexpected turn of life? Is folding down your only option? Mandar Vartak is about to learn this life lesson the hard way. He has had a picture-perfect life: a loving family, good grades, a great girlfriend and an overall protected happy life. Up until now, that is.
Now, however, he seems to be waking up to a sheer nightmare. He has been jerked awake to reality, by the unravelling of a relationship that he previously thought to be straight out of a Mills & Boon production. To add to the misery of a complicated relationship, he is realising that his career might just not shape up the way he planned. The existential crisis seems to be never-ending with the gap between his dreams and reality only growing wider. And it has Mandar paralysed into stillness. Will he find his way forward?
“All That for a B-School” is Mandar Vartak’s journey to get into a good B-School. I was expecting it to be a cliché romance-breakup story. But nothing could have prepared me for the roller-coaster ride that it was. The book was exactly what its title represents. It is about all the ups and downs of an Indian middle-class student’s life, who just wants to get into a good college and settle with a good job.
The story is no fiction. It is the reality of thousands of students appearing for competitive exams every year. The fears and apprehensions faced by someone sitting at home and preparing for one of the most competitive exams are presented really well. Add to the fears the struggles of maintaining a long-distance relationship and dealing with family problems.
While reading this story, I almost felt like my discussions with my best friend has been written in a book. The book had everything that I had talked about with my friend in the last year—the struggles of most of the competitive exams of India, difficulty in studying, issues faced during online exams, family issues, and long-distance relationship struggles.
I noticed some inconsistencies in capitalisation and the UK and US style of writing. The end seemed to be a little dragged-out and could have been made more crisp.
A person faces all the struggles to get into a good college, but then what? Is it the end? Good college and then a good job? Is that the end of all the struggles of someone’s life? No. And the ending of the book justifies it.
The book is an eye-opener and a message to all the students. Despite the fact that the exams are tough and obviously very important, it is not everything. So, do not get disappointed with initial failures and rejections. There is much more to look forward to in your life. The happiness that you are looking for in terms of getting your dream college or dream job, is a myth. Happiness is not a destination, it is a part of the journey.
Just like Elbert Hubbard said, “Don’t take life too seriously. You’ll never get out of it alive.”
I highly recommend this book to all those going through a similar phase of life. Seeing your own story as a spectator will definitely give you some perspective towards life.