Updated on: Tuesday, November 02, 2021, 04:35 PM IST

Media glare, unending phone calls, two days of quick stardom for exam toppers


Toppers of various entrance exams are nothing short of pop idols these days at least for the day of the results and say, a week thereafter. Media chases them, the coaching centres which they studied from hound them, they are badgered with unending phone calls, and their snapshots are high on billboards and other street kiosks.

The spate of events that follows a result day is archetypal be it any entrance exam in India – be it JEE, CAT, NEET, UPSC and all others. The minute some coaching centre is able to match the scores with one of their candidates, all hell breaks loose. Within hours a social media hurricane takes over and when social media is at its worse best, traditional media can never lag too far behind.

FPJ spoke to a few coaching centre people who were in charge of keeping tabs of the toppers and also to some toppers who spoke on the above issue off the record. A coaching centre assistant teacher who was asked to tag along with one of his centre’s toppers recently said that the week the results flashed was a nightmare.

“I had to guard the topper and filter all the calls coming in for her. I had to travel with her to different centres of the coaching institute because there was media waiting to speak to her. It was not the most pleasant experience because I had to be on my feet all the time and I was her first point of contact”. A similar sentiment was echoed by a fairly senior person from another coaching centre who said while the media glare is fine trying to keep pace with what all the topper really belts out from his mouth was a task.

Yet another topper’s mother said her child was caught between two coaching centres – both of who wanted to take credit for her success. “We were pulled between the two because coaching centres are rivals and want to project success under their belt to get future students. In that bargain, my daughter had to sometimes speak highly of one coaching centre and other times of the other coaching centre.”

Another coaching centre said that these days toppers have begun to use media attention to their own advantage and do not wait for training institutes to take the initiative. “For instance, we had organized press conferences for our toppers but they refused to take our calls and did not want to come to the meet, they said that media is anyway meeting them individually so why attend a press meet".

For toppers, all the adulation means something similar. One said that being a topper has its highs and the instant love shown from the industry and family and friends is something that will be cherished and remembered forever. For toppers, while the media glare and all the attention are lovely to digest after sometime it gets to be a bore. One said that he was tired of saying the same thing to every media person while another said that she “loved it while it lasted but even then, I knew I will be sought after for a few days and then forgotten.”

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Published on: Tuesday, November 02, 2021, 04:35 PM IST