CA Diaries – One Last Attempt

Long post alert! I’ll be dividing this post into parts due to its lengthy nature.

Also, to understand some of it, you will need knowledge about CA course and the marking system. Hope you get a vague idea here:

  • There are 2 groups in CA final. One group comprises of 4 papers of 100 marks each.
  • You need to get 40 marks or more for every paper and 200 (50%) aggregate in each group to clear a group (Or 400 aggregate to clear both).
  • If you get 60 marks for a paper, you get an exemption from writing it for the next 3 attempts.
  • If you fail in one paper, you have to write the entire group again (unless you have scored a 60 for a paper which alone will be exempted.)

Part 1

I am a CA student. Judge me all you want. This is my 7th attempt at my CA finals. Yes! I have failed and I got up every single time. I am writing this for all those CA students who have failed multiple times and haven’t given up and as a result face similar situations as below. Maybe, at the end of my lengthy post, I could help someone feel better. Maybe!

I completed my article-ship in 2014 Feb. I gave my CA Final first attempt in Nov 2013. The pass percentage was 3% then. I remember I had prepared well for my first group and wrote my second group unprepared, due to lack of time. When the results were out, I had similar marks for both the groups. Same marks for the group I studied well and for the group I didn’t study at all. I lost all hopes.

The next two attempts I gave were with no confidence at all. The first attempt had weakened me. The distance, between my first attempt’s 1st group results and 200 pass marks, was vast. Thinking of the distance I had to cover, drained all hopes out of me. I wrote the exams later on, but with neither hope nor confidence. I kept telling myself, ‘No matter how hard I study, I will fail. I will never make it to 200.’

The thing about hitting rock bottom is that the only way is up. Unless, you decide to stay there. For a while, I did not know the way up. I stayed there.

All my friends had jobs, they had travelled places for job purposes and otherwise. Some had married, some had kids. Their facebook timelines were in motion. It was a blur of happy and happening people, while I had come to a standstill. Not that I wasn’t happy for anyone, but the feeling of ‘being left behind’ nagged me. For the past 4-5 years when people asked me what I was doing, the answer always had been ‘CA’. I had even begun to get snide remarks like, ‘You have been saying the same thing for so long’ or ‘Will you ever clear in this lifetime?’

People kept reminding me how old I was and that I had to get a job; that I had to get married. ‘Job or no job, get married!’ they told me.

Others kept asking me how many times I was about to write my exams. They kept asking me what my next plan was; as though I HAD to do something else. Writing exams, again and again, was absurd. There had to be a ‘next’ according to them.

rel status CA fbmemes
Pic courtesy:

‘Get a job!’

‘Get a job!

‘Get a job!’

‘Maybe I should.’


I decided to go for work. I went for an interview in a multinational firm. To say that one worked there, was the highest honor. I needed a break, I needed to save some money. I needed the job. And I got it. The day of our orientation was the day of our results. I was devoid of hopes as usual. But when the marks were out, it read 193. I had pass marks in all my papers but didn’t have the aggregate of 200. I had missed by 7 marks. I was happy. I was so close. Another attempt will help me clear my first group. That is how it has always been. And then I remembered.

It was my first day at work and I had signed a contract.

I tried studying amidst my hectic work schedule. But I couldn’t. I know people who would study even after grinding 10-12 hours of work. I wasn’t made that way. I reached home by 9 pm and it was all I could do to keep my eyes open, have some food and flop onto my bed, only to be woken up next day for work. My workplace was employee-friendly. Yet, I couldn’t enjoy it. Physically, I worked. But mentally, I kept wondering how I’ll study. I was anxious. I had come so close to 200. But now, time was running low. My contract period would end just before the exams and the time would be too less to prepare. I was getting a panic attack. I wanted out. Every day was a torture for me. I regretted going for work. I felt suffocated, scared and anxious. I suspected that maybe CA wasn’t meant for me, which was why even after getting so close, I had new hurdles to face. After much thought, I quit my job.

I am a very slow learner. I need to work out problems umpteen number of times to really understand it implies. Similarly, I have to read, re-read and connect theory to get the holistic idea. It takes a lot of time for me. But once I understand, I understand it very well. Learning fast only messed up things for me.

It was too late! By the time I quit my job, I didn’t have enough time to prepare well. I didn’t clear during that attempt either. I got lower marks than my previous attempt. Now, I was truly devastated. But I had

By the time I quit my job, I didn’t have enough time to prepare well. I didn’t clear during that attempt either. I got lower marks than my previous attempt. Now, I was truly devastated. But I had learned my lesson. From the job episode, I realised that I would suffer if I took up a job and continued studying at the same time. I decided to give one last attempt, after which, if I didn’t clear, I’ll quit CA and go for a job.

(To be continued…)

PS – If you liked this, you can read more CA related posts from below or from ‘CA’ under the ‘Categories’ heading on the right side of this blog 🙂

Just Before I Quit

100 Happy Days – Day 80

Happiness is a Ray of Hope – Clearing a group of CA Finals after many attempts.

There were no display of emotions.

No laughter or pirouettes

No screams or exclamation of joy.

A friend asked me, ‘Aren’t you updating this on Facebook?’

‘My happiness is also someone else’s sorrow’, I said

‘I have experienced both

and I resolved not to update this on Facebook’

I sat for a couple of hours

staring at the screen before me.

Unsure of whether I should

Be rejoicing or doubting myself.

For at that moment when I decided to quit,

Time pressed something into my hands.

A Result that ended with the word ‘PASS’.

You really cannot call this a poem. This is just my feelings written in a pattern. Just a write up. This blog is my second home, a friend, a diary or you could call it a place where I keep a part of my soul. This day had to go in here. For, I had made all preparations to quit CA after writing the Finals for the fifth time when I was told that I cleared first group.


The journey isn’t over. But, for the first time in a couple of years I feel as though I might be able to crack this. The ray of hope is what I needed. 🙂

Now, the next half of the battle BEGINS!

Image courtesy: Here

Little Things and Unexpected Opportunities

“Look at the two of you! Yikes!!! Can you at least be a bit presentable?”, my aunt chided my brother, Vinay and my cousin, Rohit.

“This is the new fashion, Aunty!”, Vinay said. I was laughing away amused listening to the conversations. It was always like this. Whenever any of us got scolded, others sat watching the show happily! That day, it was my turn.

“These days, even if you walk out of the house naked, you’ll end up saying it is fashion.”

“Amma, we are not running naked. it’s No shave November. And we just decided not to shave for a while. That is it. Just relax!”, Rohit spoke up lazily.

“Who knows about the future? You’re capable of doing anything. Look at her. She wears an anklet on one leg and says it is fashion.”, she said pointing at me.

“When you’re scolding them, why pick on me? Do one thing at a time.” I sulked, got up and walked away as my brothers smirked at me.

They had taken up the No shave November challenge and as usual, they were sporting ridiculously bushy beard, with the tips of their mustache pointed upwards. I am not for or against them sporting a beard. But the elders had quite a lot to say on the topic. They kept pouring out their wisdom and my brothers kept letting the wisdom flow into a ear & out through the other. Yeah! Yeah! They are my brothers. 😉 😛

Rohit was full on into modelling in Bangalore. He had come down to Kochi for a project as well as for the annual trip to Sabarmila temple. His looks changed overnight, or sometimes on a weekly or monthly basis depending on his projects. And so, he had become immune to such comments.

“I love what I do. And no matter what they say, they can’t stop me from doing my work.”, he always said.

Vinay, was a Chartered Accountant. He had joined a mediocre audit firm. One of the partners of the firm had asked Varun why he wasn’t clean shaven. Varun informed him that he would be going to Sabarimala and requested him to be excused until the Vrath got over.

Vinay was the kind of person who almost always was well dressed. Now and then, he did get a bit carefree but when someone pointed out anything, he tried to make things perfect. But whenever Rohit joined him, Vinay just transformed from that good guy to… how do I put it? Himself? That is what I have felt. Vinay was like Rohit, but cared too much about what others had to say. His attitude wasn’t “Oh what would others say?”. It was “They are elders, they care for me and so I have to listen to them.”

I always told him that he was better off when he was himself. But some people cannot change so fast you see. It was one such instance that gave him the jackpot.

That day he was in a hurry. We were seated at the table for breakfast. He told about some new client that their firm might get and that he had some papers to prepare for the same. Knowing about CA firms, I got curious.
“If we could impress them, we might get their work.”, he said as he poured some chutney.

“Is that the Vietnam based company you were talking about?”

“Yes. Their turnover is close too 400 crores. If we get the client, they would be the biggest one.”

“Wow! Will you be going for the meeting?”

“I’m not sure! Mohan Sir asked me to join him. But on Friday, he said the same thing to John. So it might be him. Now let me run.”, he got up from the dining table and washed his hands.

He ran to his room, picked his bag and dashed out.

“Amma, I’m leaving!”

The moment he was out of the door it hit me. I ran after him and as I reached the door, he came running back,

“I forgot my keys!” and WHAM! Aaaargh!

“Why on earth are you running?”, he asked.

“Your beard. Go shave!”

“I’m going to the temple next week. I can’t.”

“Vinay, what if you’re going to the meeting?”

“I’m not. And even if I am, it wouldn’t make a difference. Mohan Sir will do all the talking.”

Listen to me. Since sir has asked you to be prepared, do that. If you don’t go, it is alright. But what if you have to? You must be presentable. You can’t risk anything. For them, you are not Vinay – the pilgrim. You are your firm. They will rate your firm through your looks.”

Those words did the job. He looked at me unsure, looked at the watch and then, rushed inside, shaved, since his shirt got wet, changed it and left.

***2 Hours later***

“Little sis, you are awesome! And I am scared. I need more advice.”

My phone rang and I had answered it. Vinay was all excited and paranoid. Apparently, Mohan Sir had another unavoidable engagement. They decided to send John. But due to his unkempt looks, unshaven face and improper dressing, the partners were hesitant to send them. Vinay not only had to go, but also had to present their part in the meeting. I encouraged him and asked him to do his best. Needless to say, my Big B nailed it! 😀

Not only that, for all the important meetings henceforth, they sent him. Not only did he bring jackpots to the firm but soon he also became a partner there. His well groomed look ensured that he struck gold on an opportunity given to him. And of course! The presence of a thoughtful and sweet sister like me 🙂

This post is a part of #WillYouShave activity at BlogAdda in association with Gillette. I tag Sajith, Parul, Sarita, Sunita, Aashish, Maniparna and Reema to take up teh #WillYouShave activity. Happy writing guys! 🙂

Articleship diaries

Two weeks back, on a tuesday evening I bid farewell to my articleship firm. 3 years & 49 days was indeed a roller-coaster ride there. For the last 6 months I was disturbed by the thought that I would soon leave the firm. My allegiance lie not with the work as all my colleagues would know, but it lies with the people & the atmosphere there. 😛 I kept wondering what I would tell them on my last day. Each time I thought of it, I made mental notes as to what I’ll tell them as I left.
For the last one year, I kept telling them on a lighter note, ‘On my send off, you all have to prepare a dance, song, drama & a special crying item where you all will cry asking me not to leave’. 😛 The day arrived. I tried to complete my work & by the time it was evening, my head began to ache.
At the usual send off time, friends who had gone for out audits came to office. The send-off foodies were ready & before I knew, I was asked to cut the cake, It had suddenly begun, someone smeared icing on my face, I was asked to sing, I sang & I was invited to ‘The Hot seat.’
The hot seat is where all the outgoing articles were made to sit & badgered with questions. That was the time when they were given the undivided attention of all the articles there. That was when I had to speak. I sat there and the questions began. As I sat there, approx 25 pairs of eyes looked back at me. That was when the reality hit me. I hadn’t accepted the fact that I was leaving. I kept cracking jokes about leaving, trying to convince me that I’d leave soon. But I had not come to terms with the reality.
Amidst all those questions, San asked me, ‘Can you say what you like in each one of us?’ I had nothing to say. I liked each & everyone there for certain reasons. But at that point of time I had gone blank. My brains had shut down. My mental notes had vanished. All that I thought I would say during the last few months, I had completely forgotten.
Soa  asked me ‘Rate these activities in the order of your preference – Singing, writing, dancing, drawing’. A simple question that I couldn’t answer. I gave a vague reply & escaped. They asked me if I had anything to tell them. I said nothing I wanted to. But that night I decided I’ll tell them all that I intended to say sometime soon. So here it is:


Let me answer your questions:
1. To say what I like in each of you, I’ll have to write it separately. So I think that could wait. I don’t intend to stop writing about my articleship in near future. Because I have so many memories in there. I’ll write them all.
2. In my order of preference – Writing, dancing, drawing & singing are on the same level.
3. I do have somethings to tell you all & here it goes

I have been friends with most of you. We have witnessed some of the best days as well as the worst times together. Many of you have seen me at my best & my worst. Sometimes you changed, sometimes I changed. Sometimes we fought like it was the end of our friendship but soon we resolved it. Sometimes I hated you, sometimes you hated me but at the end, the ice melted. Sometimes I never got what i expected, sometimes I never gave you what you expected. The day I left, I had no permanent enemies, I had no complains but one, some of them who I expected would come for my send off, didn’t turn up. It hurt me so much. Anyway, to all those with whom I shared smiles, tears & audits, to all those who intend to stay or leave with time, to all those who crossed my path there, Thank you for the bunch of memories. 🙂

During the last 3 years many changes happened in many of our lives. Some were revealed, some kept secret. Clashes happened, groups were formed, mistakes were made & we blamed each other, but at the end of the year, somehow we all bonded together again. Our strength & happiness revolved around just one element – Unity. Whatever may happen, make sure you don’t ruin the unity. Make sure there are no groups formed. School groups, institute groups, room groups, audit groups should all disintegrate & merge into one office team. Groups create barriers. They brew secrets. People who aren’t a part of your group feel uncomfortable to come amidst you. It is my humble request to all, if you’re a part of a group, loosen the bond & let everyone join your group. Let the entire crew row the boat in one direction.

I believe during the last few years, I did apologise each time I hurt someone. Sometimes I didn’t apologise but told you the reason why I didn’t. I honestly didn’t feel I was wrong. But now, a note to those whom I hurt, I never knew that I did & who either hold grudges still or who have forgotten & forgiven, whatever the mistake was, I’m sorry. It must have been unintentional.

Another note to those at whose cost I cracked jokes. Damn! You guys were hilarious! How could I stop myself from sharing something that was so funny. I really can’t apologise to you because I intend to retell those jokes everytime I see you. Thank you for making us laugh. Specially Layana, Jennifer, Tojo, Amal, Afsal etc. You people made those tea times lively.

A special note to BB & the whatsapp team at office! Thanks for making me famous through that edited pic ;). I was overwhelmed to see most of my recent contacts having that yellow profile pic. Now I believe half the world population (Binu sir’s whatsapp contacts constituting 90%) 😛 knows me, a handful thought something awful had happened to me, a few thought I were a celebrity & I thought you guys were awesome! I felt loved & pampered. It really brought tears to my eyes. I wasn’t ‘Reddy’ for any of those 😉

Thanks for all the wonderful times. I had fun practising dance, music, skit, mad ads, badminton, organising trips, programmes & parties. I enjoyed playing pranks and being subject to your pranks. Never stop fighting over ‘audit with food claims’, fighting over office laptops, fighting over chairs, making evening plans for chaats, ice creams & kulukkis, plans for movies, trips & tours, lunch meetings during out-audits, fighting over food, forcing to give treats, joining in gossips, making up stories, finding second meanings in almost everything & playing pranks. Let the spirit burn. Love you guys!! 😉 😛

PS – I wasn’t kidding when I requested that we meet twice a year. I don’t know how many of you took it seriously. I’m waiting to find out by 18th Feb 2015. 🙂

The end of another phase

Have you ever felt that happy things end very soon? Having thoroughly enjoyed my College life for 3 wonderful years let me tell you this. This was not what I had expected when I walked into the immaculately furnished CA firm. It had a pleasant & a workable atmosphere. ‘A typical office. Now I have to behave lika a professional.’ These were the thoughts I had then. It was only later that I understood who wrong I had been.

I was introduced to a bunch of articled assistants/staff whose names I couldn’t remember at all & I feared I’d never learn them all in the next 3 years. For the next 6 months approx, the work allotted to me was such that, I hadn’t spoken to more than two-thirds of the people there. I always had out-audits & so I knew only the ones who had come with me. I thought, ‘This is the end of all fun & frolic. Life has taken a damned serious turn. Wish these 3 years would get over soon.’

With time, things changed. The office that concentrated only on work, began participating in programmes. The year which was marked by Individual tax season, Company tax season, MCA season, KVAT season etc, now was marked by footbal tournament, cricket tournament, Indoor games, Encore, Ekah, Onam, Christmas etc with birthday & send off treats in between. Every month, we had a reason to celebrate. We won, we celebrated. We lost, we grieved, we celebrated.

We were a crazy lot. Each day began by planning pranks. We had our own bunch of scapegoats. We had our own team of pranksters. We had our own language. No one understood what we spoke, not even us. But the message was conveyed. Working in an audit firm, we never fought for out audits that gave good exposure. We fought for out audits near which we had good restaurants. Our serious fights were solved within a day or two. But we held grudges against those who stole our chocolates. We fought like minions 😀 when it came to food.

We never had any groups formed in an office of about 40 articles. All of us formed one group irrespective of place or gender.  Ofcourse, there were some loose ends here & there who hardly blended in. But ultimately at some point or the other, we were all one single unit. It always amazed me as to how there were no groups formed. But all the same I was happy. We did have silly fights & misunderstandings, but no permanent grudges held. After a while, everything would be forgotten. Our Sirs doubted our friendship many times. They were annoyed by the noise & lack of professionalism. New rule came up that girls should occupy one half of the office & boys, the other half. What they didn’t notice was all of us were simply behaving in the same manner with everyone. There were no pretences. You just had to put any two of us together at work & we simply gelled in.

World’s best specimens were in our office. We have named them too. English motta, chullikambu, aarogya keralam, kuruttu panni, kaduku, Abhaas R Singh Khan, Kindi, Kokkapuzhu, Achaar manager & many more. All were cartoon characters in a single story. 😀


Now, after 3 years, when just 2 days are remaining for my send off, I realise that I really don’t want to leave. It’s not because of the work or the atmosphere. It Is because of the friends I have got there. During the last week, many of my friends asked me, when I would be leaving. Beaming, I said the date. Some of them asked, ‘You are very happy to leave right?’. That is how it looks from the outside, but after my exams got over, my only prayer was that these 3 months should go slowly. I really did not want to leave.

Once I leave, few of them in my office would miss me for a while & soon get back to their routine, enjoying the company, pretending to do work, and being the naughty pranksters they always were. But I would be stuck somewhere with a bunch of memories, willing those days to come back.  Many places in Cochin would remind me of our times together. I know I will be miserable for a long while. And then after few years, our contacts would dwindle down & god knows who all will be in touch with me & who all I will be in touch with.

At this point of time, I wish we had a pensieve, we could draw out are memories using a wand and watch them whenever we wanted. To those who didn’t understand what I wrote now, please ask a Harry Potter fan what it is. I badly wish the pensieve was real. One thing is sure though, this would be another phase of my life I would hold close to my heart. Not only did I thoroughly enjoy, I am leaving with my hands full of gifts – Of friendship & Love.  A post wouldn’t suffice to describe these 3 years. A book could be written – A really amusing one. 🙂

EKAH 2012 – A Glimpse

ImageEKAH 2012 – The all Kerala cultural fest conducted & hosted by the Cochin branch of SICASA. After four succesful years of conducting the Encore – district level fest of CA students in Cochin – this was the giant leap taken by the branch this year. I was told that this is the first ever state level fest conducted under ICAI all over India. If that is true, this was a remarkable step taken. I was flustered in the beginning when I heard of such an event that was about to take place. I had started to become disinterested in such fests & chaos (Maybe the ‘articleship/ CA effect’) & so apparently I didn’t bother about this when the talk came up at office.

Some of them had even joined the organising group of SICASA (Southern India Chartered Accountants Students’ Association) from our office and were into action trying to bring the EKAH alive. While giving suggestions & ideas I found myself being pulled by friends (as well as a part of me gradually getting attracted on my own) into the heart of the programme. There wasn’t anything much that I did except getting a couple of advertisers which wasn’t difficult. But there was a tremendous amount of effort taken by the core group of Sicasa who developed EKAH from the form of an ‘idea’ to the day Aug 5th when it happened in real. They deserve all the applause.

Another highlight about it was that it was on friendship day & I bet it would have been a memorable day for many who were present there.

There were participants from nine districts all over Kerala. Though the audiences were very less during the morning session, which put us off pretty much, we anticipated that there will be more for the afternoon session. And after lunch, lo and behold! The hall was filled with spectators dancing and cheering their hearts out.

The morning session commenced with the inaugral dance & vocals performed by the hosting branch-Ernakulam. The first competition was Ragam (Group song). There were commentable performances from various districts & predictably Trichur district won first.

This was followed by Layam (clip dubbing.)
Clip dubbing is where a muted clip is played for the participants. And they are given some time within which they have to prepare with dubbing it. In this case, random clips from movies of different languages were played. I must say few of them were hilarious.

The street play & the short film making that followed were conducted together at different venues. The Thiranottam (short film making) were quite good. The topic was given around a week earlier- ‘My first Love’. For a beginning it was a good work indeed.

However Bhaavam (the street play) was an icing on the cake. I was looking forward to seeing it mainly because of the topic – How true is today’s media. Anyone who saw the performance by the Ernakulam Branch wouldn’t say I’m prejudiced when I say this. They did complete justice to the topic. It was a play on how Seeta was abducted by Ravana & how Ravana bought the media. The next news broadcast said that Seeta wasn’t abducted but was safe with Rama & that the latter was hiding her and spreading fake stories to defame Ravana. The play ended with a demonstration of how politicians & corruption came in the way of media & citizens. A simple yet different topic, well thought of, well written (the script was unbeatable), well rendered, played & expressed (each and every member did justice to the script). And though there were flaws, they were either undetectable or minute. They didn’t matter for what the whole play conveyed. And predictably they won the first.

After a lunch break, it was Hasyam (the Spoof) that followed. Where different television shows were enacted.

The last & the much awaited programme was Naatyam (dance) and by the time it began, the hall was teeming with spectators. Each of the teams depicted varieties of dance forms & as they danced to the tunes, the audiences’ tapping feet, clapping hands & unending cheers added to the gaiety. The last performance was by the Trichur group & they need a special mention for the charm and the perfection with which they danced a classical form. I was standing right next to the stage & I could see the expressions on each and every face just too clearly. In a while I got lost in their dance, absorbed into it and I believe that is what a performer needs – to involve the audience. I don’t know about how it looked from the audience side but from where I stood, it looked like they performed magic.

And so the competitions came to an end & it was time for the results. One by one as the results were announced, there were uproars of cheers for their respective teams. The day came to an end with the announcement of the day’s winner & the ever rolling trophy was bagged by the Ernakulam Branch.

While the competitions, effort, prizes & the spirit remained in one side, it was a new development from the side of CA students. A revelation to those who think that CA students are nerds and good only for calculations & accounting. And a day for us to vent out the madness in us.

Soon Ekah will be the most awaited day among the CA students.

PS: There are many details I haven’t mentioned here either because I forgot about them or coz I’m ignorant about them. And there are many important names I haven’t mentioned here since I’m not sure of them. If any of the details given above are wrong, I apologize. Corrections are welcome.