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Lineage in literature, ambition in science for BF Block Board ranker

Great-granddaughter of Manik Bandyopadhyay has her focus set on physics, says will read books authored by one of the great authors of modern Bengali literature later

Sudeshna Banerjee | Published 16.09.22, 12:43 PM
Meghamala Bandyopadhyay seated in front of her piano at home

Meghamala Bandyopadhyay seated in front of her piano at home

As the joint third-ranked student nationally in the Indian Council of Secondary Education’s Class X examinations with 99.4 per cent marks, Meghamala Bandyopadhyay was eligible to attend the chief minister’s felicitation programme for Board toppers on September 5. But she gave it a miss. “I had school,” she responds, simply.

There had been no major celebration in the Bandyopadhyay household in BF Block even after the results were out as classes had started at full tilt. Meghamala is studying science at the same school.

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Difficult times

When the lockdown was declared in March 2020, Meghamala had just appeared for her Class VIII examinations. “It was very difficult initially to focus for hours of continuous online classes,” she says. But things fell into a rhythm eventually. For the next couple of years, on the days she had school, from 8.30am to 2pm, she would study for four hours in the evening. On holidays, she would study for seven hours.

Staying home all day to study was also a tedious experience for a single child. But she had her violin and piano for company, other than story books. “I used to take violin lessons in FD Block ever since I was in Class IV. The piano I have learnt to play on my own,” says the fan of the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart .

Meghamala Bandyopadhyay being felicitated by the BF Block residents’ association.

Meghamala Bandyopadhyay being felicitated by the BF Block residents’ association.

Debasmita Bhattacharya

New format

It was very helpful to get to sit for the pre-Board examination offline, she points out. With the Board exam divided into two halves, another first was the multiple choice question (MCQ) format that they had to tackle in the first semester that took place in November.

Contrary to common perception, she says the MCQ format requires more in-depth study. Her first semester marks came to around 99.04 per cent. “I did not expect to do even

better in the second semester,” she admits, smiling.

She feels her batch was luckier than their immediate predecessors. “They faced so much uncertainty, with multiple postponements, and finally they did not even get to take the Boards!”

Looking back, she feels the pandemic period has taught her a lesson. “It has made me stronger. Even if something similar happens in the future, though I hope it will not, I will be prepared to face it.”

Literary descent

Now her focus is a career in physics. “It is my favourite subject, along with mathematics,” she says. No literary ambitions, therefore, for the girl who happens to be the great-granddaughter of Manik Bandyopadhyay, one of the great authors of modern Bengali literature. The books she recently finished reading are Donna Tartt’s Pulitzer Prize-winning The Goldfinch and Nadia Hashimi’s Sparks like Stars. “I will read his (Manik Bandyopadhyay) work when I grow up,” says the 16-year-old who has Bengali as second language in school.

Write to us at saltlake@abp.in

Mark sheet

English     97

Mathematics     100

Science     100

History-geography     100

Computer science     100

Total                 99.4%

Last updated on 16.09.22, 12:43 PM
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