Thursday, April 16, 2009

"Topper" The illusive story

It was end of my of class eight, the end of my professional cricket "my love, my best friend, my reason to be happy and it was my world". It was year 1999, Papa asked me to leave my cricket club,"for that season I was captain of the in the district level tournament and was the opening Batsman, to focus on studies to take safe path for my future, its a very painful story I will share later. I accepted Papa's decision, I don't have the balls to oppose him and to go against his wish, and concentrated on studies. Till class eight I was an average student of the class and use to secure enough marks to not be on the bad side of the class. Because of my height, I was only 4 ft 8 inches after finishing class ten ( my friend use to call me "bauna", midget , thank to god I have a good height now 5"9', I always secured a place in the first bench with all intelligent minds of the class. So it was much easier to get notes before the exam from my toppers friend, generous people they never denied me a favour. But from class nine the ball rolled quickly in my kitty, in very few months I was in the league of those idols of mine, thanks to my Mamaji ( taught me maths and physics, he himself is an mathematics genius who haven't done justice to his talent) and my other teachers. At the end of class nine I gave all of them a good competition, specially in maths to be honest I was better than them. But till class ten I never thought to beat them in marks tally but now I wanted to get that illusive figure 75% marks in the board exam ( in sate board specially for Hindi medium guys its a bench mark percentage to get in west Bengal) and I really studied hours to get that. My friends, teachers family member were sure that I will reach that figure easily. I too was very confident to get that. By nature I was a very superstitious person as every cricketer is , I was no exception, in some movie if I am not wrong it was from KKHH I learnt that if one make a wish keeping your eyes close and putting the detached eyebrow hair on the back of your palm the wish will always come true, I did that quite a number of time asking god to help me get that magical figure. Foolish me. By the way it was mid of July the result of class ten was published, it was my first encounter with net, it was their on the net. One of my close friend Sujit, he was a very very hard working guy and he too was on of the expected student to get that magic figure ( he literally studied for 18 hours a day for the last 4 months of the board exam, god I haven't seen any body studying for that long), came running to my home shouting my name nikki nikki( my pet name), that time I was offering pujas to god for that day for the god result). Hearing his voice I thought he has hit the bulls eye( previous night we both sat together in the night for hours and made plans how we are going to celebrate the magical figure), the moment I came out my house the words came from his mouth " mera star marks nahi aaya" , I stand in disbelief, it was like I had lost ground under my feet, but that guy was at his relaxed best, he was composed as ever no sign of grief, no disbelief ( Because of this nature of his I had given him the name "Gandhi"). Getting my composure back I dressed up quickly and ran as fast as I can to know my result. I am a very impatient guy and wait in the queue outside the only cafe in the town was no panacea for my anxiety. The roll number was entered in the required tab and the owner struck the "enter" button, slow speed of the explorer was killing me, my moment came and here it was my result, my moment dream, by grace of God I was no different to my friend I too missed the magical figure by 17 marks. But I was not strong as my friend, I broke up at that very moment, my I was full of salty water some how I mange to stop my tears to flow out of eyes in the cafe to avoid embarrassment of crying in public. I came out of the cafe and Papa was waiting for me, the moment he asked me about the result I gave up was crying like a baby, I was in his arms, crying and crying. All my well wisher from family to friend, teachers no one could believe that I didn't reached that figure. Because my family's political reach I came to know where actually I missed and the reason was more shocking It was not my fault but it was somebody Else's fault. Some how that episode ended. It was almost three months gap between the board exams and the result day. A week after the exam I had started my studies for the class twelve, bloody engineering entrance exam and the mad competition, I had no time to enjoy the vacation. It was a high profile batch for the so called aspiring engineering student, bloody hell, started by Mamaji. Being the best in maths in the school, till then I had won the crown of best mathematician in the school...heheh..:-), by default I was the part of that batch. Mama has told all of us that he is going to finish the maths course of class 11 and twelve before our board result of class ten will be out. All of us agreed to him and went on with the target, It was like solving maths problem for almost 9 to ten hours a day even more hours at particular days. Every one was gung ho to at thought of being way ahead of the other student in three months. But after 2 weeks the maths warriors gave up to the speed of the teaching, I should say this that our teacher was more excited to reach the target than the student himself. He thought everyone was as good as he his but reality was way far from his imagination, he was way ahead of the time in our part of the society. Sadly I was not allowed to be the part of the crowd, my interest in the subject and teacher being my uncle I worked with the same enthusiasm for the next three months and at the end of those three months I had completed 80% of my course, I remaining 20% was not done because of the other boys in the class. So I was the lone survivor of number battle. As adage goes it is very lonely at top, It was same with me. After the board result when my toppers friend started to enroll for the maths tuition classes to my uncle's class, I was giving them tips on how to solve the maths problem, and I was invigilating them in the test conducted at the tuition. The story was not much different for the other subject as well, though everyone had started for physics and chemistry together, I was performing better than the others and I was the darling of all my teachers by then. Blame it to my ability or my gritty attitude to compete with the best, I was standing at the top with no one to compete with me. It made me complacent and I created an utopia of mine own. It was my world, the world of a genius who was best in the business and in that world no one can come close to me.
In other tuition classes, except maths, I was following books which were not for my state board course but more related to those engineering exams. But because of the rigid methodology adopted by the teachers for many years, they denied me to answer those out of syllabus question. Slowly and slowly those hypocrite, so called teachers, denied me the fun of the subject and it was not only those teachers but my disdain attitude, being the best by far, towards the batch cost me a lot. Blame it to the lack of completion or my attitude, I almost lost the desire to compete. I was leveraging the success in my own world, created by me, it was like a kingdom where I was the king and the world was full of praise to me. In no time the class 11 exams knock the door and then I realised that except maths, I haven't prepared any other subject well enough, and I remember night before the physics exam I was literally scared, I was dying, as thought of doing bad in the exam. It was not the bad marks that I was going to score but reaction of the people who had high expectation of me, more than that I was watching my kingdom crashing down. That night was my tryst with reality and that night changed my world once and for all. And I made a promised to myself to get back to my best and to never let down who had expectation to me specially my family, after that night I was more honest and much better person. Thanks to to the blessing and my I hard work I was again at my very best, but this time complacency has no place in my attitude. Hey, this time the magical figure was not 75% but it was bit higher now it was 80% for the class twelve in the state boards. This time I was not only well read to get that figure but everybody told from my teachers to my friends boasted the idea of me going to be the topper. Believe me, I knew it this time it is me going to be the topper and not only that every one believed that I will do very good in the state engineering exam. That year the results of all the engineering exam were out before my board result and I had already got the Electronics in NIT jamshedpur (though I was not a deserving candidate for that seat and I told my parents that i don't want to get admission this year I will prepare for all those all India exam for one year and then I will took admission but I my parent didn't show consensus to this decision of mine and I am paying the price for agreeing to my parents decision that year. The next four years at the college went in regret, and every second spent in the college I felt the blow of that guilt and believe me I tried to my best to not get any advantage of being in the college. I always kept my self away from all the college activity except the final three semester even that time I didn't took the college advantage but with few of my friends I tried to give back to the college and wanted to contribute to the legacy of college.), but I haven't done well enough in my state engineering exam than expected. But still I was waiting for my class twelve board result, believe me, I am not exaggerating, I studied like animal, for the last three four months before the exam I use to have a sleep of only 3 to 4 hours. So this time again it was board result day, but by this time I was more of a atheist(not completely) not driven by supposition(had one or two). As usual Papa forced me to offer Puja and he even took me to get the blessing of Kali ma at the famous Kalimandir of the Kalighat( as I was leaving for Jamshedpur after too days), I too offered my Puja with utmost respect to the goddess, human is very selfish animal he will betray to his own principle for mere lure of success. Apprehensively, I was back to my home town. My soul was in doldrums, he wanted to rejoice for my success but the fear of bad luck kept him to the reality. The moment I stepped into the house I saw the faces of my cousin brother and my few close friend. Their faces told me the story, they were all turned pale, they know i badly I was waiting for that result and how much effort I had put in. This time I was not even close to the marks I was expecting, this shocking result had struck me hard but the by then enough had happened to me and not even one drop of tear flown out of eyes. That day selfish human in me has lost to the atheist in me for ever. Next day at school results were distributed to the toppers of the school and all the eyes of my teachers, friends and family gave me a sympathetic look. So that was the end of the Ankesh who was a good student and I have decided to punish my self.
Hey this sad story had an happy ending, my dream to be a topper came true in the college. I passed out from the college being a topper but from the last of my branch, sadly I managed to get only once to be a topper SGPA wise. Any ways I finished my technical education as Topper...hehehe..
Cheers Buddy... :-)

2 comments:

AmitASH said...

Chalo..Thanks to this comprehensive post of yours I got know more of you. I never knew you used to be once such a studious guy, ..I'm finding it really tough to imagine you studying 9-10 hours a day :-P
In my school days when i used to get less marks which was quite often I always used to say this at home " Please do not judge me by the marks I got in the examination but by the effort I put up for the examination"( This was printed on the back side of my diary & I had found a good use of it );-)and they used to say in frustration .."Great..you are above these mundane matters like numbers..no..?
And I'll proudly reply -YES

One more thing that everybody should know is a college or a school is a place where pebbles are polished and diamonds dimmed. :-P

Tarun Goel said...

OHHH!! Such a big story and I was not able to figure out throughout the post whether it was a success story or a memoir :D
But it was too good to see that you worked very hard to achieve whatever you wanted, you achieved that or not is another matter. What Amit has said as an excuse/fun is actually a deep thing, if you are true then you will be satisfied at least :)