By Rithika Krishna:
CBSE Toppers, you’ve outshone your next door neighbours or maybe your childhood friends. Your hard work and consistent commitment paid off in the end. Congrats! You will be a role model for many students who will appear for their boards the next year. You must be very proud and have the right to celebrate today. You can finally flaunt your marks before those who said you couldn’t do it. But I am not here to talk on their behalf. I am the average student’s voice instead.
There is no need for the average Indian student to sit with dashed hopes because you did no better than ‘Sharma Ji’s son’. Remember, you are more than just a number. You are more than just a mark sheet. I bet you’ve done things you can be proud of timelessly which has nothing to do with those two digits on your answer sheets. How can you decide a person’s character or personality with board results?
I will tell you about real achievements. Selfless achievements. It is your creativity. It is your generosity to help someone in need. It is the smile you flash unconditionally to a stranger. It’s all the beautiful things you’re going to do with the rest of your life. The classroom is perhaps a remarkable place which witnesses the birth of many geniuses. But who gave the CBSE and the classrooms the right to set such standards that decide who is a ‘genius’? With such a doomed educational, I have seen many students whose wings were cut before they even learnt to fly.
When I reflect upon my greatest achievements, marks don’t figure in that list. I recall the first short story I wrote when I was 12. My first speech in the school assembly, with my nerves in a knot I somehow found the courage to do my best. And even how well my friends and I planned a farewell party for our seniors. The list would be incomplete without mentioning how I amazed my mother was with the strength I showed as my father was wheeled into the operation theatre three years ago. Some of you are not half as proud as I am of these tiny accomplishments. It’s not that I don’t judge people, I do. But unlike you, marks are not my prerogative to gauge genius.