The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Student with 788 sets sights on space

Burdwan, June 15: This was a day unlike any other in the life of Soumyajit De.

Like lakhs of other Madhyamik candidates, he woke up tense from a half-sleep night and headed for the cyber café in the neighbourhood. The Burdwan boy scored 788 out of 800.

The West Bengal Board of Secondary Education announced at a press conference later in the morning that 788 was the highest marks in this year’s tests.

“I have no words to express my feelings. It’s really a thing of joy,” said Soumyajit, striving to come to terms with the new reality.

A student of Burdwan Town School, he is originally from Kirshnagar, where his father late Ramakrishna De was a college teacher. After completing his primary education there, Soumyajit had to go to Purulia, where his father was transferred. Later, the family shifted to Burdwan. He had been a student of Town School from Class V. He lost his father in 1999.

Though equally over-the-top about Shah Rukh Khan-starrer Devdas and the possibilities in space engineering, Soumyajit wants to pursue a career in science. “I would like to do higher studies in science, especially space engineering,” he said.

A cricket buff and Sourav Ganguly fan, Soumyajit today expressed gratefulness towards his teachers in school and “my beloved mom”.

“My mother really worked hard and since I lost my father, she has given all kinds of support to me.

“I used to prepare my papers thoroughly consulting textbooks and notes. I also took tuitions in English and the science subjects from two teachers on a regular basis,” said Soumyajit, smiling more than probably he had ever.

The headmaster of his school, Durgapada Chattopadhay, was understandably happy. “Soumyajit had performed extremely well in the selection tests and we were all expecting him to be among the top-ranking students in Madhyamik,” said Chattopadhay.

The mood was upbeat at his house since morning. People, most known and many strangers, poured in to congratulate him through the day.

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