Varun Pandit: IIT Kanpur – B.S. Economics
(Oil India Super 30 – Guwahati, 2010-2011)
I was born on February 4, 1993 in a small town in Bihar named Lalganj. Just after few months of my birth I was brought back to Yingkiong, a small
sub-urban town in the terrain of Himalayas in Arunachal Pradesh. This was the place where my Father, Mr Vishwanath Pandit was working in a semi-government fair price distribution society. My entire family including my elder brother, Arun Pandit and sister, Seema Pandit were eagerly waiting for my arrival. I inherited the spirit and understanding of valuing life and happiness from my mother – a house wife. I pursued my primary education in a small government school in Yingkiong. None of my family members ever pressurised me to give my best at studies. Albeit I remained an average student during those days of my childhood, yet, deep inside me, like many children, there remained always a peculiar curiosity of knowing everything.
As a child I never let my curiosity die thereby always escalated my knowledge, creativity and wisdom. This helped me in accumulating sound knowledge and understanding about social mannerisms and etiquette. In my understanding, I owe these elements of my life to the Indian culture and tradition.
At later stage, during my mid years of tertiary education, my life developed a curiosity for science and mathematics. I would read study material available for higher class students. This led to the inception of my academic career. Having hardly any expectations from the society, all of my basic needs were fulfilled by my family. I would receive books from my friends, seniors at schools and acquaintances.
While students of my age would have fun during their vacations, I utilised my vacation time to solve science and mathematics books.
I can’t repay my debt of gratitude to my teachers like Mr CB Jha and Mr MM Jha who helped me understand the value of knowledge and have a never ending seeking spirit. Through their specialised subjects mathematics and science respectively, they played a critical role in my life.
By the time I reached by higher sec-ondary education, my elder brother had become my source of inspiration, as he always grabbed the top position in his class in studies. Following his footprints, I too brought drastic change in my studies by achieving a good score in my matricula-tion. My parents also witnessed the change and they must have felt the assurance of my bright future. Fulfilling the expecta-tions of my teachers and parents, I started rising in studies.
Yingkiong was a teachers-deficit place, therefore, on the persuasion of my siblings, my parents sent me to Kendriya Vidyalaya, Pasighat for further studies. Life here was in complete contrast to what I was used to in Yingkiong. From a rural landscape to an urban atmosphere, the environment here made me understand education from a different perspective. The essence of education here would lie in competition and you are judged by your educational competency. Staying with my brother-in-law and my sister at Pasighat, provided me the best environment and resources which further helped me to bring the best potential of my life. But to date, my biggest moral and financial strength is my brother. My stay at Pasighat coincided with my brother starting his professional career and as always, he started supporting me financially.
On the other hand, though the focus of education system here was competition, I was fortunate enough to have been surrounded by peers who valued education above scores. Hence, we all assimilated knowledge from fields like general knowledge, science, humanities. We started feeling for ‘what’ we do rather than ‘why’ we do. Transformation started happening in my life and with the passage of time here, I gradually emerged as a big time competitor for the toppers in my class. I would go for things doing them on my own rather than seeking anyone’s support. As society is a mix of all kinds of people, observing my growing efforts in my studies, many people with golden hearts came in to my support at various fronts. Some of those notable people include Mr Kundu, my teachers including Mr M Mardi, Mr Pratap Charan, Mr J Mohan, Mr T Singh, Mr Nabis et al. Life unfolded various veiled aspects for me during my 2 year stay at Pasighat and I encountered many harsh realities which life offers. I appeared for multiple entrance exams. Fortunately, I turned out to be one of the toppers and was supposed to get some of the good engineering and medical seats. But, completely unaware of what future holds for me, this period of life brought a series of events which completely changed my understanding about how I used to view life.
The counseling process of various en-trance exams accompanied some unfortunate moments with it and due to some personal challenges, I have had to drop out of National Institute of Technology (NIT) and some other reputed institutes. Following this, I had to opt for state entrance counseling. Life has various ups and downs and is not always a smooth sailing ride. Closely encountering and observing these events, life taught me the significance of grappling with things from all fronts. I could finally secure a seat for me in a newly established college and a branch that may not be apt to fulfill my aspirations.
Harsh criticism poured in from all fronts, as people considered my choices as wrong ones. But inside me was growing a parallel plan for which I was fighting amidst this whole scenario. As my family had sacrificed many things, putting a lot of stake on me, I didn’t want to be a burden on them further. They lived marginally to have my every wish fulfilled, so I decided not to opt for any coaching. Yet due to my past track record, I was still a topic of discussion amongst my contemporaries, friends and their families.
I had lost all hope when a friend’s mother mentioned about Super-30 Guwahati. This turned out as a blessing in disguise, as I was self-shattered. I thought to myself that this might be my last chance again to prove my mettle and I could not lose this opportunity. My elder brother gave me complete liberty as to take my own decisions. With an assertive approach towards life, I finally decided on learning at OIL India Super-30 Guwahati. Entering the premises and having understood the curriculum inside, I geared up to launch myself into an intense battle towards JEE preparation.
Training at OIL India Super-30 taught me the spirit to bounce back in life and how to retain the lost way of living. Living life for the thirst of knowledge and education had turned out to be insignificant in this competitive world, but here I was in a different environment. Institutions like Centre for Social Responsibility and Leadership (CSRL) still exist. My fresh interactions with personalities like Abhyanand Sir, Shahi Sir and KM Sir proved that such people still exist for whom value based education is more important than the otherwise con-temporary way of education. At Super-30, I met many such people who believed in existence of solutions, who long for solutions and provide solutions to others. The environment here forged my life into a fine sword. The exceptional way of teaching at Super 30 helped me crack IIT and here I am today pursuing education at IIT Kan-pur. Life here is a different phase which helps me to think from various angles. Everyday throws a new challenge at me to cope up with studies and other aspects, but I am undefeated and will go on. For the future IIT aspirants I will say, “To pursue or cherish a dream, one must believe in himself/herself irrespective of the existing challenges. For those who are aspiring to learn and to excel, life is not only about surviving worst possibilities but believing in yourself that best can be achieved by your attitude. The world has enough goodness to keep your dreams alive.”
I extend my deepest gratitude to OIL India-Super 30, Abhayanand Sir, Shahi Sir for providing me the platform to bounce back, for supporting me, guiding and training me for the battle called life. I also want to thank all my family members whose unconditional support made things possible for me and friends and their parents who didn’t give up on me during the rough patches of my life.