Mukund Ram addressing the school

It was yet another Monday morning. We students had already been burdened with a never-ending (two month long) wait for the results. But, finally the wait was to end as CBSE announced that on 28th May, the 12th std results would be out at 11 AM.

I was just back home from a morning game of shuttle when I heard my phone ringing. It was around 9.30AM. The caller was one of my friends who informed me that the results were indeed out. Only a few minutes back, one of my other friends had called up home and my parents were already aware that the results were out. They were anxiously waiting for the computer to switch on.

As I typed my roll number, my heart missed a beat just like it would when Ramalakshmi ma’am distributed papers in the class. None at home had any idea as to how much I’d score as I never had the habit of analysing a question paper after the exam. Once the exam was over, it was over for good. For some unperceivable reason, chemistry was always tough, for me.

My computer displayed my result and everyone at home stared at the screen in disbelief! I heard my sister mumble “Is this real?” No one had a clue I would score 98% though all of us were expecting a ‘good score’. I was ecstatic and was jumping with joy. I was literally ‘awe-struck’.

I had scored a 99 each in Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry and Computer Science; and a 94 in English. Within 15 minutes, I got to know that I topped the school, which was by itself a great surprise for me. But it wasn’t until around 3.30 in the evening that I came to know that I topped the state (with a few others, of course).

Later that day, I gave my first ever TV interview. It was indeed a very proud moment for my parents and teachers to see me on TV. Newspaper reporters called me up to have a small chat. I relived the proud moments when I saw the news clippings in different newspapers. Those couple of days will always remain among the best in my lifetime.

Exactly 12 months ago, I was enjoying the last few days of my 11th class holiday, with a very crucial year ahead. I hadn’t used much of the vacation studying the part of the syllabus which was taught in the first few weeks of April before the vacation. After all, I was confident that I had a full year of studies in front of me.

Until the revision exams, one routine continued – around 3 hours of study a day. Every morning, I woke up around 6AM and studied for an hour. Additionally, in the evening I would try to squeeze in 1 to 2 more hours of study. Quite obviously, during revisions, the number of hours of preparation increased.

It is also very important to keep yourself physically active lest it should hamper your grasping capability. Also, it is important to have hobbies and recreations to revamp your attentiveness. I never missed my keyboard classes or shuttle sessions with friends until the exams.

At the end of the long year, there’s one lesson I learnt. It is smart work that paves the way for success; not mere hard work. Also, one has to devise one’s own strategy to work. It is not possible for someone to be taught to study. Studying must be a habit.

At the end of my tenth standard, my dad jokingly told me once that he would get me a car should I score a national rank in 12th std and should my photo be published in the newspapers. A joke back then has turned into reality. So “pa, where’s the car?”

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