Even though the Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) refrained from declaring the list of toppers this year owing to Covid-19 pandemic, Pune boy Aadit Shailesh Litake could have emerged as one of the national toppers this year with his score of 99.6 per cent in the Class X board exams. The boy with a straight 100 on 100 in three subjects and missing by 1 mark in two others should have been out celebrating with his friends, but instead, due to the lockdown, he was forced to accept their congratulatory messages through video and voice calls.
“My grandparents live two buildings away, but I can’t celebrate with them. It’s so sad under this lockdown. I still can’t believe the results and can’t thank my parents and school enough for their support,” said the student of Sanskriti School, Bhukum.
A badminton player, a pianist, and German language enthusiast, Litake, who wants to follow in the footsteps of his parents and become an engineer, said it was a healthy mix of studies and co-curricular that allowed him to focus on his goal.
Like him, Aditi Bedarkar, co-topper of Army Public School, Pune, with a 98 per cent score also believes in looking beyond books and is happy that the results are “over with” to focus elsewhere.
“I was very anxious but after my result, I feel exhilarated and it feels like a weight is off my chest. My initial plans for post boards vacation were to join theatre classes, but the lockdown taught me to adapt as everything went online. I participated in an online Model United Nations session, opened a poetry account and also researched sign language during this time,” said Bedarkar, as she was headed into a Zoom call to celebrate with her batchmates.
After scoring 98.8 per cent, Shreya Mehta of DAV Public School said she feels optimistic and wishes to explore Biotechnology and Engineering in the future. “I am very happy with my result and it is close to what I had expected. However, I wanted to go back to my karate classes or sign up for learning an instrument as well as a trip to my native place Surat during the vacation. Nonetheless, the coaching classes began a couple of weeks into the vacations, which has kept me occupied,” she said.
Second in her school but an impressive 99 per cent scorer, Pranjal Deshmukh of Sanskriti School, has won an all-India singing competition organised by the CBSE. “I am pursuing the Science stream and am also taking classes for JEE entrance. I did not do much in the vacation as we initially had planned to take a trip but since that cannot be taken now, I took time to relax as there is much more to study further,” she said.
Arush Mathur of Delhi Public School, who scored 98.8 per cent, said that Maths and Physics always intrigued him and he plans to pursue the subjects in higher classes. “I am very pleased with my result. The papers were pretty average apart from Social Studies, which was very open ended. I have joined classes to prepare for IIT entrance,” he said.