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The situation that we’re in today, the resources, the facilities and the environment- things aren’t really flattering for any BITian on this date, but one thing’s for sure, those who made the most out of it, those who believed that adversities indeed bore sweet fruits, are the ones who stand apart in the long run. They are the ones who contribute much more to the society than just their existence.
Following is a glimpse into Avishek Avi’s life, who had been a BIT student from 2003 till 2007 in the branch of IT. Avishek stood exceptionally victorious in the UPSC examinations, 2017 with a stupendous All India Rank of 156– making us very proud. He proved it yet again that there’s nothing that hard work can’t gift. With the correct proportion of dedication and toil, one can move mountains.
Aman: Hello sir! To begin with, how would you analyse your performance in the UPSC examinations after securing such a great rank ?
Abhishek Sir: When I introspect, I consider that a wasted day nearly did cost me one mark. And I slid by 10 ranks.
Hence, don’t waste even a day in the preparation of this exam. Rejuvenate for a day or two and then resume preparation.
This is how I quantify my loss of marks. If you aspire this way, you do yourself a lot of good.
There is a cut-throat competition out there. Keep up to the challenges. I backed my faith system with hard work. Hard work was my source of faith. Everybody has their own definition of a faith system.
Aman: How can we be consistent for a longer period of time ?
Abhishek Sir: Look, consistency is a challenge. Concentration is a myth, as our brain works too quick to be tamed. At least I am of this opinion. However, we must keep aspiring for levels of consistency.
There are methods to it, but it’s difficult to explain all that by just typing. (Laughs)
Aman: What is your idea of spirituality? How has it influenced your mindset, if at all?
Abhishek Sir: Though I don’t have a lot of perceptions regarding it, but according to me, spirituality is that power by which you have no fear of loss and no concern of the result. The key to all the remaining things is continuous dedicated hard work and great faith in your conscience.
Also, for me, music helps me connect to myself. If that is spirituality, be it so.
Aman: Your idea is really influencing.
Abhishek Sir: (smiles) I will indeed be more than satisfied if I can inspire you people.
Aman: Doesn’t it bother you that being a BITian you need to compete with IITians and many other students hailing from different Tier 1 Institutes? How did you make it possible for youself?
Abhishek Sir: I am well ahead of many IITians (laughs).
It’s nothing like that. This perception is being created by the education system and the society around. Never fall in this trap. You are a particular individual and it does not matter whether you are an IITian or a BITian. All of us have been gifted with the same physiology and capacity to view the world. Never ever fall in this trap.
Aman: Can you mention some bigger mistakes that you made during your preparation?
Abhishek Sir: It is you & only you who stands between you and your success. Yes, complacency was one of the pit holes I fell into in my attempt during 2014, which was my first proper attempt. I performed badly in the interview, thereby missing the final call and learned a huge lesson.
Aman : You and your words are indeed enlightening.
Sir, if you hadn’t been selected, would you be of the opinion that you had wasted a lot of your time ?
Abhishek Sir: Not at all. I never distressed myself.
Abhishek Sir: I just enjoyed studying and working towards my goal.
What will happen if you do not succeed? Nothing. You will just not qualify an exam. But the learning of these 3 years are enough to transform you completely . I have become extremely optimistic in my life in these 3 years of preparation. Frankly speaking, I was never like this. It has highly changed my personality.
Aman: Sir, how and where do we have to take risk and not bother about the result ? How can we develop these qualities in ourselves ?
Abhishek Sir: Taking risks never scared me. I had rejected XLRI before. That was the first risk I took. There is a gain in positivity, you see the things around. And I wanted to pay off at all costs. Second change was determination along with faith, belief system, and appetite to take risk. These are the biggest changes. Therefore, I started to feel that no matter what happens, wherever I’ll go, I shall do well.
Once I was feeling lost and I drew something. I had rather painted because I realised I have a lot of achievements in my life and there wasn’t any need to feel low. It was a tree with lots of fruits. This is how I expressed. So there is quite a lot of inner introspection that I got to do during the journey . I hope I am making sense.
Aman: Definitely sir. Thank you for sharing such subtle information.
Abhishek sir: I really want to share my experiences with you all. About perception, my mantra was to just enjoy the process of studying and learning, and increase in my wish list in learning.
This was how I saw it, and today my positive results do not satisfy me as much as the knowledge that I have acquired over these years. If there’s focus on learning within stipulated time, success will surely come at the end. For example, in order to learn to swim, swimming is the only way. Just jump. Jump without the fear of getting drowned. When you will see the depths of knowledge that you can dive in, you will never want to come out of it.
Aman : Sir, can you summarize your entire experience gain during preparation in one or two lines?
Abhishek Sir: It is an addictive process.
Aman: What was your preparation strategy?
Abhishek sir: Hard work, dedication and self confidence are the key factors. Don’t choose an easy path. Focus on learning. At last you will have your result in your hand. Many a times during preparation there will be state of low or high motivation but don’t give up.
Karm karte chale jao phal ki chinta mat karo.
Aman: What was your optional subject and how to choose one’s optional subject?
Abhishek sir: Optional subject was geography. Selection of optional subject depends upon your interest and guidance. Always prefer your interest. Now a days thorough study is very very important.
Aman: What type of big changes do you feel in your personality and thought process, sir?
Abhishek Sir: First thing is that perception of this examination varies from person to person. It is subjective. The biggest change has been, I no longer fear failure. It has enthused me to move ahead, because I started to believe in myself. My faith system strengthened. You are a particular individual and it does not matter whether you are an IITian or a BITian.
Aman: Sir, how did you set your learning parameters ?
Abhishek Sir: Your graph of intensity must be linearly increasing curve with positive slope in the cycle of examination, or an exponential curve, or at least a constant slope curve. It must never dip. If it dips, you have to raise it again within a short time. Remain humble viz-a-viz clearing in the exam. Be a student of knowledge because you can never be a master of knowledge. The day you feel you have enough knowledge, you become the most ignorant on this planet.
Keep pushing yourself, keep yourself from being ignorant.
Be a student of knowledge because you can never be a master of knowledge.
Aman : If you want to bag the 1st rank or get a higher score, then what shall you do?
Abhishek Sir: See there are ten people on my marks. I missed top 100 by 8 or 9 marks.
But I would say enjoy your studies and don’t think too much about results.
Enjoy the journey.
Enjoy the process. Results will be there. I did that on two occasions.
Karm karo fal ki chinta mat karo. Maine yehi kiya teen saal.
I never want to get out from my study mode.
Aman: From where do you get so much energy for this mindset and how?
Abhishek Sir: From within. I protest from within when I find myself ignorant of anything related to knowledge, be it history, geography or polity. The journey has been great. This has been the crux of my preparation for the last three years.
Aman: Thank you sir for sharing such valuable experiences. We’re honoured.
Abhishek Sir: Thank you buddy. Enjoy studying. It is great fun to learn economy, polity, geography and such other treasures of knowledge. And along with it, discover yourself in the process.
Abhishek Avi (IT)
UPSC – 156 AIR.
This interview was conducted by Aman Shah,ECE , 2k15 via text messages.