Saturday, July 29, 2006

National Talent: Winning Against the Odds

According to various education publications, the National Talent Search Examination (NTSE) is one of the most prestigious academic competitions in India. Every year, 1000 National Talent Scholars are selected among a pool of over 10 million 10th graders. Anuj took part in state and national level competitions and cleared a final round of interviews to become one of these scholars.

The remarkable part of this story was not that he found himself among the 0.01% of students nationwide to win this honor but the condition in which he won it. During a scheduled break in the all day examination that comprised the national level competition, Anuj accidentally fell and badly hurt his writing hand while hanging out with friends. His hand quickly ballooned up but instead of heeding the advice of many to go immediately to a doctor, Anuj dealt with the pain to finish the remaining three hours of testing. He somehow found a way to concentrate on the multitude of mental puzzles and scholastic problems and devised an impromptu way to write despite the significant swelling. When asked how he felt after emerging from the test, he answered in his typical understated fashion saying it was no big deal.

When Anuj won the competition and received his prize money he did something very different than most other winners. Instead of spending it on a well-deserved gift for himself after the grueling competition, he tried to give it to his parents whom he credited with supporting him throughout the process.

Dressed up for his final round interview in the NTSE competition. Winter 1992.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't know that this sort of talent competition existed in India. But, of course, I'm not surprised that Anuj was selected among the many. He was always an all-star, no matter what he did. Winning against the odds was just his style. Thanks for sharing another example of his extraordinary life.

7:34 PM  

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