A success scripted with gratitude
Mohammad Ismat, topper of the CBSE Class 12 exams this year, is an inspiring example of how every disadvantage in life can be turned into an advantage if one is grateful for the little things in life and has a positive attitude. He talks to Proyashi Baruaeducation Updated: Jun 13, 2012 11:22 IST
I hail from a village called Lilong, which is 16 kilometers south of Imphal. I am the only son of my parents and have six sisters — all older. I lost my mother when I was only a year-and-a-half old. However, I never felt a void in terms of maternal affection during my childhood years — even now — as I have always been surrounded with the love and attention of my sisters and the ladies in my neighbourhood. So, in retrospect, today I feel that I have not one but several mothers.
My father, a primary teacher in the education department of the government of Manipur has always been a man of humble means. But this did not deter him from educating all his seven children. I have learnt many lessons from my father but perhaps the biggest lesson has been that God wants us to appreciate the life which he has bestowed upon each of us and understand that in all the challenges that he presents to us we have innumerable opportunities to find a greater purpose of life. My father has a very strong spiritual side to him and is highly intelligible on discourses concerning Islam. I owe my understanding of religion and spirituality to him.
I started my elementary education in an English medium village school. Studies have been my favourite pastime and I enjoyed learning new things. I have always felt that education is a fascinating encyclopedia that helps one explore a whole new and interesting world. By the time I was in class three I had started drawing inspiration from my elder sisters and brothers-in-law who were starting to establish their professional credentials in different fields. Seeing my enthusiasm for academics, which was unusual for my age, I was enrolled into Sainik School (a boarding school) where I studied for some years. Later, I decided to leave Sainik School and enroll in Zenith Academy as I wanted to live with my father who had become very lonely after all my sisters left for their marital homes. Also I realised he was ageing and falling ill very frequently.
My recent success would not have been possible without the guidance and help that I got from S Manaoton Singh, founder secretary of Zenith Academy and S Premila Devi, principal of Zenith Academy. Be it relaxation on fees, help and guidance in procuring study reference material or just plain mentoring for boosting my confidence levels I owe it all to them. All the teachers of Zenith Academy were always available round the clock to clear my academic doubts.
I want to pursue my graduation in physics honours at St Stephen’s College. After doing my master’s and PhD I want to become an IAS officer and serve the country. I have always felt that in our country we need decision makers who have a sound knowledge of both science and administration. It is only then that the knowledge of science can be appropriately used to resolve so many of our existing problems pertaining to basic amenities and infrastructure. It is my belief that physics has tremendous potential for our country. Our villages are in acute need of innovative scientific installations that can significantly improve the quality of civic life and it is my dream to achieve this imperative in the years to come. But yes I will continue to study and research on physics throughout my life. I have always been fascinated by the real life stories of scientists and have managed to build a small library of books recounting the stories, discoveries and academic sojourns of Indian and foreign scientists. This little library of mine also has scientific journals and magazines. And in putting this together I have to thank my teachers, brother-in laws and friends who have generously gifted books and given financial aid.