SACHIN UNHALEKAR profiles Yogita, who despite medical problems and poverty, went on to score 92.98% in her board exams.
With an aching head, body burning up, and skin flared out with chickenpox, Yogita Sandbhor bent over her science
paper during the Standard X exams this year. The disease was worsening. She came home from the paper with a high fever. Her parents were frantic.
They wondered if she would be able to finish the exams… if she would lose the year.
Their Yogita had been a bright child. She had excellent comprehension. She remembered what was taught in class. She needed no coaching classes. And she disdained the ubiquitous alt145 guidesalt39, those compendia of predigested answers that her peers regurgitated on their answer sheets.
Her comprehension and good memory had helped her ace her exams with minimum revision. So far, so good, and now, here she was breaking out in a fever. The pox be damned. She had her parents take her to a doctor, and pumping herself with medication, she gave the remaining four papers. Even the optional questions were answered.
The results were declared. She had scored 92.98%. This is the highest score by a student of a BMC- run school this year. One could expect her to be elated, smug even. Shes unruffled.
‘Understand the syllabus and youalt39re bound to score well,’she says evenly.
She is already looking ahead to Standard XII, Science stream.
Yogita wants to be an architect.
Shes even had her father find her an architect friend whom she pumped for information on good colleges.
From her earliest years, Yogita Sandbhor has understood how to play the educational system.
There are two kinds of children ( and therefore adults), the alt145 good fellowsalt39and the alt145 rebelsalt39. Yogita has always belonged to the first category. She loves going to school, she absorbs the teachers words during lectures, and has always done her homework on the same day, even happily. All through the ten years of school, she revised at home what was taught earlier in the day. As a result she has never slogged in the fortnight before an exam. ‘I understood the fundamentals, so I never had to learn it by rote,’she says.
No wonder, then, Yogita fought off her fever. She was probably steering on auto- pilot. Yogita has kept in step with her teachers, especially her Standard X English teacher Bharati Nehane. ‘She taught us the meanings of the difficult words,’Yogita says. It paid off. In the Board exams, Yogita scored 94 out of 100 in English. She is a first- generation English whiz.
She does not conform to the stereotype of the marks- obsessed swot. In the Standard X year she found time to indulge her great passion, television, and romped with her three siblings regularly.
This was much to the irritation of their landlord, who lives in the room below theirs.
So, Yogita is a good obedient front- bencher, and a good student. Weirdly, though, her future choice of architecture stems from her extracurricular abilities. She loves drawing and mathematics is one of her hobbies. ‘Thats why I chose architecture,’she says. ‘I had thought I would go for management, because of my understanding nature. But architecture involves both my passions, drawing and maths.’What drives her so? ‘I donalt39t want to become a big person. I just want to keep my parents in comfort,’Yogita says matter- offactly.
Father Devidas Sandbhor drops letters for a courier company. Mother Rekha works too — as a supervisor with a mall. The Sandbhors live in a rental flat. After Standard XII, Yogita will work to finance her college education.
Celebrate her Standard X success? Not now, not now.