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CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Total Gadha - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 12:38 AM
  cat 2009 cat 2010, tips and strategiesOn 15th November, 2008, you will have a sleepless night. You will twist and turn in your bed, shut your eyes tight, and try to fall into slumber, trying not to think about what the next day is going to bring. You will tell yourself to relax and that whatever is going to happen will make no difference to your life. You may have some fits of fear or bad dreams. You may try some alcohol or marijuana to calm yourself. And, for the first time in your slovenly life, you would try to go to bed early because you are taking CAT the next day. Needless to say, 15th November, 2008 would be one hell of a restless night.

And Surprise! For the first time in your slothful existence, you find yourself awake at 6:00 am on 16th November! Yes you, who swore that 10:00 am was early morning. And suddenly the panic hits you, oh damn! Today is the CAT. The real thing. You look at your watch again. 6: 30 am. You have to report at your test center by 9:45 am so you have lots of time. You go freshen up, take your breakfast, try to read newspapers full of articles giving you CAT-cracking tips, check your pencils, sharpeners, lucky underwear, CAT-admit card, and- in the end- get out of the house because you are tired of waiting. You don’t want to be caught up in a traffic jam, hit by a dog, or caught in a Mexican shootout and get delayed for your CAT so you leave early. Maybe you will have your parents coming along with you and find that your mom’s cheerful smiles are panicking you more and more. Your test center is far away from your house and you ask a lot for the directions before you finally get to the school. Why do they always keep the CAT center to the other end of the city?

And suddenly you are there. You look at your watch- 8:50. You have reached an hour early, and, looking at the crowd milling around the gate, so has everyone else. You push through the crowd holding your admit card and check your classroom with the help of your roll number. To ensure that you have not made any mistake you check your roll number and classroom again. Some of your acquaintances who have been taking the mocks in the same school with you are standing at a distance and you join them for a casual talk. While you walk up to them, you notice a few students mugging up wordlist or formula from their notebook. A marketing guy from some coaching institute is pushing leaflets into students’ hands trying to make use of this opportunity with cheap marketing. You join the group of your ‘so called friends’ who are discussing about the paper. The discussion invariable turns to percentiles and the more they discuss percentiles, the more you realize ki tumhari ‘watt lagi hui hai.’ But you still keep on discussing. More and more people keep coming and suddenly the whole street in front of the gate is jam packed. People start jostling each other to reach the school gate. School authorities scream at the top of their voice to make themselves heard. And now it hits you. Shit. So many people take CAT! Mera admission kaise hoga? sad

And mercifully, after a seemingly long time, the gates are opened and the students start streaming in. Although you have not done it in a long time, you touch your parents’ feet to get their blessings, turn around, and then enter deep into the jungle. Once inside the school, your first task is to locate the washroom because you cannot hold yourself. The school seems to be out of electricity and feels dark and gloomy everywhere. Once inside the bathroom, you try to steady yourself, relax, and say all the usual gibberish about “it doesn’t matter” to yourself. You make your way to your classroom. The classroom is dark and gloomy and it sinks your spirits further. The desks are small and you wonder how you will accommodate your bulky frame inside into it. You switch off your cell and keep in on the Teacher’s desk. The roll numbers are stuck onto the desk so you find your desk easily. You collapse in your chair with relief as your legs are paining from standing outside for so long. You discover that both your chair and your desk are rickety and that it would be hard to keep your desk steady while trying to write on it. You spend minutes trying to insert a thick roll of paper under one of the legs. Sigh… why does it happen to you only?

If you think this is happening to you only, you are wrong. It is happening to everyone. On that D-day every student is going through this panic attack. You are not alone. Sab ki haalat patli hai evil

There are a few things you should remember over here:

  • Check your center a day before CAT. On the D-day, you would not be worried about finding your center and wouldn’t have to leave early. Don’t reach too early; reach 15 minutes before the scheduled time.
  • Don’t spend time discussing with other CAT takers outside your center.
  • Locate the washroom and drinking water facility in the school before the start of your exam.
  • Keep a bar of chocolate with you in the exam. It helps you relax.
  • Above all, remember this article. DON’T PANIC. smile

How do you keep away panic besides eating away that tasty chocolate of yours?

While Googling on the net for keywords such as “choking under pressure,” “handling pressure,” etc. I came across many medical and psychology articles which describe the cause and symptoms of choking- performance decrements under pressure circumstances. In short, while taking CAT if you feel that your mind has become foggy or numb, you cannot remember formula, or that you have a sudden slump in your enthusiasm, you are experiencing phenomenon of choking. To explain choking under pressure, the following theory in psychology have been put across.

The theory says that when you pay excessive attention to skills that have become automatic your performance will go down. This theory best explains the difference between performance of an expert golfer and a novice golfer during a very high stake tournament. Although both may possess the same skills, an expert golfer does not pay attention to his shots or movement of his limbs. He has done it so many times that he plays instinctively and by habit. A novice golfer, on the other hand, evaluates his every shot, pays excessive attention to his stance, and so on… Invariably, the performance of a novice golfer goes down. It can be seen that

  • High self-conscious participants are more likely to choke than their low self-conscious counterparts.
  • This tendency is particularly evident for the private self-consciousness sub-scale (where attention is directed inwards, to private thoughts and feelings, as opposed to public selfconsciousness, where attention is directed to the self as the object of others’ awareness).
  • In terms of trait anxiety, only somatic trait anxiety (measuring physical feelings, eg jitteriness) was a significant predictor of choking.

So what can you do to avoid choking during your CAT paper? Simply this:

  • Flow. Don’t stop for anything. Flow.
  • Avoid paying attention to your performance or your skills or your accuracy. Most of you have taken many mock CATs and you already know the process. Don’t pay attention to what you are doing.
  • Flow. Flow, flow, flow.
  • Don’t check and recheck your answers. Stop thinking whether you are doing it right or wrong.
  • Flow. Don’t think. Flow.
  • Do not evaluate how you are doing so far. Do not calculate how many attempts you have made or how many marks you have captured.
  • Be an expert. Just flow.
  • Do not think about past, or future, or what will happen or what will not happen.
  • Flowwww.

Also, most of you would need to acknowledge that you are feeling the pressure of the exam. If any time during the exam you feel that you are choking, stop for a minute, do some deep breathing, and relax. Tell yourself that you have done this before and that you can do it. Slowly, the panic waves will pass and you will become normal. The best way to handle pressure is to acknowledge it first and then deal with it.

And here is some gyaan from a last year’s article:

  • Equal time to all the sections: Trust me, I have tried all the variations such as deducting some time from my strongest section and giving it to my weakest section. It does not work. Before CAT 2005, I had taken 48 full length tests (not even counting the sectional tests) and experimented with every tactic that came into my mind. I realized that most strategies come because of the fear inside you. Keeping it simple helps. Give equal time to all the sections.
  • Strongest, Stronger, Strong: Attempt the section in that order. When I started test-taking, I used to keep Quant (strongest) first, DI (strong) next and Verbal in the end. Because my DI was weak, I figured that I would take more time in the section. As my reading speed was good I figured that I could make up for the extra time taken in DI with less time spent in Verbal. Although I used to clear cutoffs in all the three section, I was always fearful before every paper and was unable to pile up a huge score as my Verbal section was the highest scoring section. Then I let myself loose. Starting with Quant always put me in a good mood. This is the biggest reason for starting with your strongest section- getting few questions correct under your belt in the first 5- 10 minutes puts you in a good mood and overcomes your fear. From quant, I started solving the verbal section. As a result, by the time I reached the DI section I used to be in such a high that I could crack a lot of question. Every paper became a piece of cake.
  • Always reach the end of every section: This is THE most important test-taking strategy that I followed. If I had covered 1/3rd of the section in half the time, I made sure that I cover the rest 2/3rd in the other half. None of you can predict where the sitters are lying in the paper. To cover the whole section, you will have to rush through the problems and thereby you will only pick up problems which you can tell at first glance that you can solve. This is the crux of test-taking. You will be identifying most of he sitters. So make it a strict rule with every section- cover he whole section, end to end.
  • Two-markers first, one marker next: For more than two years, I have been developing content for MBA aspirants. I can tell you that there is not a single content developer on this earth who can gauge difficulty index of a question exactly. A question might be difficult for you but simple for him. Similarly, a question might rate higher on his difficulty table but you might solve it in ten seconds. Truth is, there is no exact division that question belongs to a two-marker or a one-marker category. So go for two-markers first. You might find some easy questions there and get bigger payoffs for the same input of time.

That’s all folks. Good luck and God bless you all with success.


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Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by GAURAV JAIN - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 01:22 AM
  Thanks a ton...!!.
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by himanshu mishra - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 05:06 AM
  you are always amazing with amazing stuffs.I think ,these are very common mistakes commited by number of students.
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by varun bansal - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 06:37 AM


In the mid of the article I thought you r writing my biography.. evil

I will give my Best Shot Possible....

I will not repeat the mistake I did last year when I succumed to pressure ( I marked all my answers in my English upside down )

Thanks a ton for such a wonderful moral boosting article.

CAT will be TAMED on 16th November


Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Abhinav Agrawal - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 07:42 AM
  Chhaa gai sirji!!! Ultimate write up!! cool

These realistic write ups make what it is.. Simply great!!

Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by rahul g - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 07:46 AM
  Thanks a lot TG for this wonderful article!
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Saumya Kumar - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 08:30 AM
  TG amazing article...... Thanks a ton

Wanted a help from you. I took the DI quiz but it doesnt give us the answer once we submit the test. request you do something about this.
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by sadasiva bhaskar - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 08:59 AM
  big grin man for the first time in this week i felt relaxed....You article was helpful....especially that sab ki haalat ppatli hai..
Thanks yaar... Hope i wud be able 2 put up a great performance and kill the cat.... cool
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by ashish khr - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 09:06 AM
  thank you very much  sir...
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by ATOM ANT - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 10:13 AM
  Cool article Sir

Will read it again on D-day to ease off pressure...

Suitable topic for the post.. smile

Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Chandrarekha Gunji - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 10:56 AM
  Thanks a lot for a timely post TG!!! smile
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by naga chaitanya kosanam - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 11:20 AM

True mentor for a cat aspirant is the one who not only teaches WAT TO DO IN CAT ... but also teaches WAT NOT TO DO IN IT. That is wat you are... LONG LIVE TG.....!!

Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by vinod kumar - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 11:58 AM

thnks TG... this article wil surely bring about BIG change and for the BETTER.

Lets welcome it ....

Lets Welcome CAT...

Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Ram Sharma - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 11:59 AM
  Amazing article TG....
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Ram Sharma - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 11:59 AM
  Keep up the good work....
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by abhay agrawal - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 12:41 PM

This is my first reply to any of the article on this site but i want to give u a lot of thanx 4 such a nice work on ur each n every article. i've learnt many things from this site. From many days i was searching ur site 4 an article about the D-day because i want to know what are ur thoughts. A nice article again.

i'm not nervous about the CAT, i really excited abt it bcoz i'm waiting 4 it since one year. And i always say that if THAT IS THE CAT THAN I'VE BECOME A BULLDOG.

Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Abhi S - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 12:56 PM
  as always - "U r Great!!"

Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Krushang Shah - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 01:40 PM



For last two i was running through TG for this article.. b'coz i was sure that you will come up with such a splendid article!!! and i was eagerly waiting for this only!!!

ab jab sab ki halat patli hai to kya darna...!!!

Citation from 300.. "This is where we fight!!! This is where they die!!!"evil

Thanks a ton TG!!!

Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Dagny Taggart - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 02:01 PM
  Ahem! Ahem!! evil
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by vikky agrawal - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 02:02 PM
  sir , i m really glad 2 see this article
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by shalini jain - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 02:07 PM
  Thanks a zillion TG for this amazing article!!!
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Vishal Gupta - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 02:26 PM

I could easily imagine the things happening with me...

TG Sir u are the Best..


Thanks for the wishes and encouragement...

Hope it Helps smile

Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Aman Kamboj - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 03:36 PM
  Wow!! Hats off to you!! Great portrayal of whole situation and pressure.
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by arun kumar - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 04:07 PM
  thanks a ton sir , couldnt have come at a better time....
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Ankit Dudhwewala - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 05:51 PM
  2 good. dis being my first post on t.g.
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Jyoti Nath - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 07:10 PM

Hi TG,

Thanks ..... I couldn't find a better word to show my gratitude for all the guidance U have provided me throughout the year and even today.

U have been an awesome GURU for me and I believe for most of us here.

Thanks Again ....


Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Manika Tandon - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 08:00 PM

n the chase begins










thnx a ton... i feel lik 'A EVERYONE' nw smile

Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by vignesh t - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 08:11 PM
  As usual u showed that u r a virtuoso in psychological field too.Every premise in the para are golden.U r enlightening the students heart knowing how they would feel on the D-day.Thanks for the article tg.
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Varun Dosi - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 09:15 PM
  thnks TG for this useful article !!!!
truly  a morale booster !!!
I am indebted to you for my CAT preparation !!
THANKS 1ce again TG

Tussi Great ho
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by sub zero - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 10:30 PM
  Sir,immaterial of me landing into the IIMs,after watching the video you had pasted in the forum for motivation,i begin to doubt if i'd be competent enough in an environ replete with intellectual 'gods'.Can you throw more light on this issue as its been a bother for quite some time now..
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Total Gadha - Thursday, 13 November 2008, 10:58 PM
  Hi Sub zero,

Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right.  - Henry Ford

Total Gadha
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Complete Gadha - Friday, 14 November 2008, 01:34 AM
  Hello TG Sir,

Thanks a lot for such a wonderfull motivating article...!!!

i know this is not where i post my query but as this problem is being faced by many students so i thought i would post it here so that u provide us the solution for the same.

The files "1000 critical reasoning q's  " "1000 problem solving q's" "1000 sentence correction"  under DOWNLOAD IT NOW! FORUM are not available.
Most of the students who are trying to download these now are not finding it there. Please do provide the solution for this problem.
If u can pls send these files to my email id

Thanks in advance. Keep up the good work.
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Software Engineer - Friday, 14 November 2008, 04:15 AM
  Mast Chhe! smile
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Dhruv Loshali - Friday, 14 November 2008, 08:46 AM
  @ Total Gadha

The first part could have been omitted/better structured so as to NOT make us realize that the D day is actually upon us.

Thanks anyway,
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by ravi mandal - Friday, 14 November 2008, 09:39 AM
  thanks TG for your valuable advice.
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by neha t - Friday, 14 November 2008, 10:43 AM
  Was badly waiting for a final article from you regarding the D-Day. And here it goes, as usual fabulous and just the right content which we were looking for from you. Thanks for your wishes. smile
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Soumya De - Friday, 14 November 2008, 11:11 AM


Simply fabulous


Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Mrinal Malhotra - Friday, 14 November 2008, 11:24 AM
  Thanks a ton for this realistic article on D-Day.. (& also for all the other wonderful articles on this forum)

Although being a non-TGite i found this forum a gr8 help during my CAT preparation specially the QUANT Lessons

Kudos to TG,Dagny & all others who have contributed & shared their knowledge on this forum..

Its been almost a week for me waiting for D-Day and i would like to share a quote from the movie "RAGING BULL" --

That the thing ain't the ring,(its not "CAT" that's difficult)
it's the play.(its how u play it)
So give me a... stage
Where this bull he can rage....

Best of luck to everybody

And Cheers !!!!  to the Totalgadha team
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Vibhuti Khurana - Friday, 14 November 2008, 11:24 AM
  thanks a lot for such an excellent article whr else cld i find an article which acquainted me to all the fears i cld have .... n so all the jitters are gone .... excellent article ... TG sir ..u rock as always !!!
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Satyam Sharma - Friday, 14 November 2008, 11:40 AM


thanks a ton....fantabulous

TG rocks..... 

Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by sub zero - Friday, 14 November 2008, 12:06 PM
  classic quote,without a doubt,after a little thinking....but again,put me into more clouded thoughts anyone who is able to crack cat and the GD too smart and confident a person????
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by ankita jain - Friday, 14 November 2008, 12:07 PM

Good one

Its like exactly word to word applies to me smile


is that u???
by Manika Tandon - Friday, 14 November 2008, 01:16 PM
all d best for d ppr!!!
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by ritika garg - Friday, 14 November 2008, 01:20 PM
  well as so many have said already, it did seem like my biography, but dint know was the same for all....feels good, much better now.......thanks a million..............
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Prateek Agarwal - Friday, 14 November 2008, 02:35 PM
  Thanks a lott TG sir...for all ur efforts through out the yr....
n this article is working like a stress buster .. i have already read it a couple of times and who know how many more times b4 the D day.....
just trying to relax....
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by lord aragon - Friday, 14 November 2008, 03:18 PM

Trying to be cool on surface... but storms inside

Trying to behave as it's just another test...dieing thinking about it

Longing it to come asap...petrified by the thought of it having approached

The more it screws you...the more you fall in love with its beauty

This is Madness... NO this is "CAT" ---(300)

Lets be Spartans...


Thanks Sir. No words can describe what you have taught.





Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by shashank tandon - Friday, 14 November 2008, 03:52 PM

This is my many repetitons of "final assessment paper",

the point is i was not upto the mark on D this article seems to

make me realize the fault of  own deevaluation on the final day.

But now as i got elixir from u..i hope that i may succeed from evils of my own created fear.

Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Software Engineer - Friday, 14 November 2008, 05:55 PM
  Jitni bar ye article padhta hu utni bar reply kar ne ko man karta hai.
Increasing the number of posts - Mast Chhe! smile

- SE
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Total Gadha - Friday, 14 November 2008, 10:39 PM
  Thank you chhe! smile
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Shishir Gupta - Friday, 14 November 2008, 11:36 PM
  Hey TG & Dagny

Thanks a lot for the good wishes & last minute tips smile

I have been following TG for the last two years & I would make sure that I come back for the third year only as a mentor ;)

P.S. : The content on the site is so amazing that I could complete almost whole of my revision through the Quant & Verbal lessons section. Thanks!!

All the very Best!!
May the Best Man(or Woman) win!! Ahmen!!

Best Regards!!
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by ankur kathuria - Saturday, 15 November 2008, 12:31 AM
  thks a ton TG.. cya on 16 eve..all pumped up..thx again..
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by dr naina singh - Saturday, 15 November 2008, 01:03 AM
well thanks dagny and t.g for your support i have been on this site for last 5 or 6 both rock man and doing awesome job thanks for this wonderful post and my wishes to all my fellow tgites and all the other cat aspirants may god help you to fulfill your dreams. i dont know why i am wrighting this but in the run for money people dont loose humanity we are humans not animals.
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by vijay baweja - Saturday, 15 November 2008, 05:40 AM

Hi TG sir,U simply rock.

Pretty cool topic,the best piece of advice anybody can have at this moment!!!

So after reading your topic i am saying to myself

"I wont b nervous"


"I wont b nervous"



"I wont b nervous"


"I wont b nervous"


"I wont b nervous"

........................................ahhh m nervous already smile smile smile

Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Leonidas S - Saturday, 15 November 2008, 03:39 PM

Hi Tg,

Finally the day has come!!!!.Thank you for the pep talk.Will be giving our best shot.

Best of luck to all my fellow gadhas.




Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Dagny Taggart - Saturday, 15 November 2008, 05:49 PM
  Good Luck To All. Do Well! smile
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by robin dhanwani - Saturday, 15 November 2008, 07:29 PM
  Cool....i came across many articles as this day was approaching..all were more or less the same saying sth like don't be tense,reach in time etc but will have to say THERE is NO ONE LIKE TG...just reading it eases u up!!Thanks a lot...
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by vikram singh - Monday, 17 November 2008, 02:14 PM
  I wish I would have read this article before going for exam...but in most cases tips don't help....... though the Sleepless night and waking up early in morning is very true.......I had to take the Natural Sleeping Pill to sleep...yeah that pill..... just few hours before the CAT !!!....and it was the real relaxant.

please post the probable answers....

My scores :

QA: 52(13R, 0 W)
DI:  41(11R, 3W)
VA: 39(12R,9W) per TIME Key at 11 PM 16th Nov 08.
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by sowm k - Monday, 24 November 2008, 08:17 PM

the article simply rocks...i was just thinking of apllying to BIMTECH and IFMR...accrording to time my scores and expected percentiles are:

QA-2(30%ile), DI-43(98%ile), VA-24(73%ile)-overall 82-85%ile

i was wondering what chances i have at getting gd calls for these institutes...thanks a lot

Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Jayesh Parmar - Wednesday, 26 November 2008, 11:43 PM
  Hi Total Gadha

I am in real mess. I tried to send you a mail in but looks its blocked.

I cant post my query in the public forum. it's too personalised for me to discuss.

Can you help to out. How can i reach you.

Waiting for your reply.
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Total Gadha - Friday, 12 December 2008, 08:03 AM
  Hi Jayesh and everyone else,

Reach me at

Total Gadha
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by jyotsna mukherjee - Saturday, 20 December 2008, 07:55 PM
  no doubt a gr8 i jst want 2 know 1 thng...i m an below avg studnt,putting in 2hrs of study 5 days a week...starting 4rm 15th dec 4 cat' i have any chance of gettin into the iims...shd i increase my study hrs..evrybdy s sure tht i wont get thr...waiting 4 ur reply..
Re: CAT 2008- scared? who, me?
by Total Gadha - Sunday, 21 December 2008, 04:49 PM
  Hi Jyotsana,

Here is the answer to your question:

Total Gadha