After 21 years, this Maharashtra topper advises people not to stress about education. Dr Pushkar Shikarkhane, a cardiologist, had stood third in the state in 1984 with 92.5 per cent. “I was so focussed on topping that I lost out on a lot in life. I missed out on arts, culture theatre and other beautiful things that life has to offer,” he said.
But Shikarkhane will never forget the day he topped. He still smiles when he speaks about it.
“My picture was on the page one of all papers the next day For the rest of . the month I was a celebrity with sever , al felicitations and invitations to functions,” said the Balmohan Vidyamandir student. “Being a topper can boost your confidence but you have to ensure that it doesn’t make you arrogant.” After his Class 10, Shikarkhane joined the league of toppers at DG Ru parel College. Since he always wanted to be a doctor, he did not join the IIT although he got through. He did his MBBS and post graduation at GS Medical College in Parel.
But at 37, Shikarkhane has changed his way of life. “I always topped even in the medical college, but now I want to enjoy life,” he said. For the last five years, he has taken out time from his busy schedule to study music. He has even produced a Marathi feature film called Phoenix.
“I have realised there is a lot more to life. I now follow my dreams,” he added. Shikarkhane is very clear about this objective. He has three daughters, who study in the same school as he had, and he makes it a point not to pressure them. He tries to involve them in several extracurricular activities.