His physics teacher always hated him. Although he liked maths and physics but always lacked motivation. All he was interested in was cartoons, WWE and food. He would open his books before exams and somehow clear them. He did not realize that his lack of interest in studying was actually because of lack of inspirational teaching.
His physics teacher loved toppers of the class. She always said, “You all will go to institutes like IIT, IIM, AIIMS etc.” And if any of those toppers didn’t score full marks, she would say, “How will you get to IIT or AIIMS this way?”
He was in his STD 9 and hardly knew anything about IITs. All he knew was that IITs are India’s top engineering colleges. Among all IITs, he was only aware of IIT Kharagpur and IIT Madras. Khargapur because he would visit Kolkata during Durga Puja and Madras because he had once visited snake park near IIT campus in Madras.
One day his physics teacher was again talking with toppers in class and he asked his teacher, “Ma’am how does a student get admission into IIT?” This was an innocent question asked out of curiosity.
His teacher did not seem to be happy with such a question from a mediocre student, she gave him a disgusted look and said, “What’s it to you? You are the worst student and you will never get into an IIT. Just shut your mouth and try to study.”
That response was enough to hurt a STD 9 student. He cried all day. It was not because he felt bad about what she said, but because of the way she said it. Her biased treatment continued till he passed 10th with 68/100 marks in physics.
The best thing he did was that he told everything about this incident to his parents. His parents sat with him and urged him to forget everything that happened with him in school and start afresh. They also expressed confidence in him and said that he can be successful like those toppers in his school. This discussion was great motivation for him and he was decided to give it a new start.
He finished STD 12 with 92/100 in physics.
His sister was studying in the same school he studied and had the same physics teacher. The teacher was aware that her brother had also been her student but she never cared to ask his sister about what he was doing. His sister passed STD 10 and he visited the school to pick her up on farewell day. It was a day when he could also meet few of his old friends. The event was over and as they were leaving the school, they stumbled upon the same physics teacher.
On seeing the teacher, he greeted her.
She asked in return – “Oh! Shefali’s brother! How are you?”
He replied that he was good and in return asked about her well being.
The teacher replied that she was good too but also added that his sister is a brilliant student and will sure make it to an IIT, IIM or AIIMS.
He said, “Oh yes maám. She wants to become a doctor like our dad. She’ll definitely be a very good doctor.”
The teacher said, “Yes of course” and then asked him about what he is doing now.
He replied that he was studying engineering and in return the teacher asked him where he is doing engineering from.
Before he could say anything, his sister said, “Maám, he studies in IIT Kharagpur”
STUNNED. That’s exactly what the physics teacher was.
The student in this story is Niladri Sarkar who studied at IIT Kharagpur and then at IIT Madras. He is currently a research scholar at IIT Madras. The story was first told by him on My-Study-Cart Blog.
Niladri still says that – studying in an IIT is not an achievement. It’s just an opportunity.
Every student is not a topper but that does not mean that a non-topper is not going to be successful. Studying in reputed institutes like IITs, IIMs and AIIIMs etc is a matter of pride but there is life outside these institutes. Undue pressure on student can kill their confidence and their actual talent. It is time for the society to understand it. Niladri’s case is represents the case of thousands of those suffering from the same pain.
Post Script: This article is under our editorial scrutiny and are we are currently re-verifying the facts on this story.