Days before his accountancy examination, Harsh’s life came crashing down. The Beliaghata teenager learnt that his father did not survive a massive cardiac arrest while travelling to Chennai in a train. It took some time for his father’s body to be brought back to Kolkata from Chennai. On the day of cremation, he had his ISC accountancy examination. Harsh went to the crematorium first. By noon, he completed the rituals and reached his school for the accountancy papers by 1:30pm.
“My father always wanted me to pursue my dreams of being a chartered accountant. Now that he is no more, I have a bigger responsibility to make that dream come true. His inspiration has kept me going,” Harsh said. He got an 85.2% score, which, according to him, ‘could have been more’. But he is happy with the outcome. Harsh now wants to enrol in a Kolkata college and follow his CA dreams.
Harsh’s schoolmate at The Heritage School, Pranay, too, faced a similar ordeal. Pranay had just completed his economic paper in ISC and stepped out from the examination centre when he got a call. He was told that his father was no more. His father stayed in Dhanbad. Pranay’s uncle reached his school, picked him up and they drove to Dhanbad. The day was February 17. In three days, Pranay had his next examination.
In Dhanbad, Pranay completed his father’s last rites. He returned to Kolkata and appeared for his examination on February 20. On Friday, Pranay learnt that he got a 95% in the best-of-four subjects. Pranay, for now, wants to bring his mother to Kolkata, get himself enrolled in the commerce course in St Xavier’s College. He wants to pursue his college education in the morning and in the evening, he wants to help his family by providing online tuitions. “My parents have always worked hard so that I and my elder brother — who is now studying chartered accountancy in Kolkata — can pursue our dreams. I had to overcome the shock and appear for my exams. The family was the source of strength,” he said. Pranay stays in Kakurgachhi with his elder brother.
The Heritage School principal Seema Sapru said, “There courage and grit has been exemplary and will inspire others. Both Harsh and Pranay had faced personal tragedies and appeared for the examinations. In one case, I had along with the school counsellor spoken to one of them to explain that it was their father’s dream to see them succeed. And it is what they will always want from them. Now it was their responsibility to pursue it. That they did with a lot of determination.”
Sanradhya Bhowmik, a Rammohan Mission student, had won against Covid last month. On Friday, he also cleared his ISC examinations with 90% marks. The teenager had battled the dreaded virus in June. He was possibly infected after a close family member tested Covid positive. Samaradhya, however, never lost hope. He was in home isolation and stuck to the Covid protocol on doctors advise. He has since recovered and learnt this morning about his score. “It feels fantastic. I had hoped to get a better score but given the circumstances, I am happy with it. It has been a very anxious wait for us. However, after today, we can look ahead with a lot of hope,” he said.