Emerging as the Delhi-NCR toppers in this year’s Indian School Certificate (ISC) examinations, Bhavya Kulshreshtha and Shivali Malhotra, both from the humanities stream in the Shri Ram School Aravali, Gurgaon, have broken all stereotypes.
Bhavya and Shivali do not belong to the science stream, devote enough time to their respective hobbies and do not spend the entire year locked up in a room with their books- all features traditionally perceived as essentials to score the highest.
“We realized that the perception of science offering more options is no more valid. Humanities, now offer a whole lot of opportunities and we had various choices to consider,” claimed Shivali. Bhavya shares a similar view, having taken up science and leaving it midway to pursue humanities, which appealed more to her.
Both the students have been consistent performers, according to their teachers and principal. However, they have also been pursuing their extra-curricular activities with similar zeal.
“We devoted more time to our hobbies in the first half of the year and then focused on studies in the latter half. Initially we participated in various extra-curricular events and inter-school competitions,” said Bhavya (18).
Both Bhavya and Shivali are star singers of the school. While Shivali has her own band, Bhavya has been inclined towards arts and photography.
According to their parents, they never focused on a single strategy.
“These kids learnt driving and insisted on getting a voter id card made as soon as they turned 18. They know when to focus on studies and when to party. We never had such insight as they do,” said Dr. Monica Malhotra, Shivali’s mother.
Besides having studied in the same school and topped the region with the same percentage (98.75), Bhavya and Shivali share much more.
Both the girls took up humanities only after considering science as their first option and both are applying for higher studies abroad.
On the other hand, scoring well seems to be a genetic factor as both the girls’ parents had been toppers in their respective schools and colleges.
The teaching staff could not have asked for better results. “I could not believe these girls scored 98.75 percent in humanities. Their efforts were evident from the very start,” said Sudha Sahay, principal, the Shri Ram School Aravali.
Talking about their preparation for the examinations, the duo suggest that studying for just two hours but with complete attention is more productive than sitting for hours every day without focusing.
Embracing their feat, both the girls gave credit to their parents for never pressuring them for intensive study and thanked their teachers for making their classes interactive and analytical.