Having tasted dizzy success in the last 24 hours, Mridul Agarwal, All India JEE Advanced topper is sweetly sane and actually generously modest about his exemplary. Even after speaking to family, friends, well wishes, media non-stop since the morning of October 16, this topper was bubbling with excitement.
Mridul was kind enough to give us some time.
So how are you treating all the media glare and attention since yesterday?
It’s been great. I love the feeling of talking to so many people. Last night I was speaking to the media even at midnight. It was a different experience, never expected it to be like this
Was it all study for the last few years?
In fact, no. I studied es but I had a proper social life too. Even on the day of the exams, after I gave the paper, I used to go out with friends and family. I have never really missed a social outing because I was studying. I studied hard when I had to but I knew to keep a balance I had to also enjoy my life. I have attended all social events. I give credit to ALLEN for guiding me and getting me there.
Did you expect to bag the topmost rank and who do you owe this achievement to?
Well, actually no, I knew I would be among the top rangers but topmost came as a good and pleasant surprise. I owe most of it to the immense blessing I receive from everyone, especially my family. I have to give credit to blessing.
C’mon, you are being modest?
No, See, when people work hard, they are among the top rangers but to get the topmost rank is more than only hard work and that is why I give credit to the blessings. A lot of people study hard and I did too but I cannot ignore the good wishes and blessings of so many people who made me the overall topper.
Who is your hero?
Definitely my parents. They both have made sure that I do exactly what I want and how I want, there was never pressure to overachieve or work so hard that I would break down. They allowed me to lead my life and study as and when and how I wanted. That made my job easier because I had the freedom to make my own study rules and for that my parents will always be my heroes.
So, what now? Coding, coding, coding…
I hope to get into IIT Bombay. From there I will see what my work and performance gets me. I always wanted to go to IIT Bombay and hopefully, that dream will realise now. Yes, I love coding and will be a coder but there is so much to learn and innovate and understand as a student of IIT.
What about going abroad, will you be part of the brain drain?
I will definitely go abroad but for sure I will come back after my study. I want to study in universities abroad and see what works for them there. I want to know where we stand on the global stage. I am not going to stay abroad, will return.
Entrepreneurship on your mind
Definitely, but no thoughts on it right now. I have a lot to learn and be part of. There is so much out there that needs to be studied and I want to explore what all is there. After 10 or 15 years, I will definitely become an entrepreneur but my journey henceforth will be to analyse and make the best of what is there and make it even better.
You speak exemplary English?
For that, I will give credit to my school St Xavier’s School in Jaipur where I studied throughout. My foundation came from there and it was reinforced there itself. I did not go to a dummy school, I studied in St Xavier’s all throughout.
Did the pandemic work against you?
In the beginning, I thought so but later I turned it into my strength. Because of the pandemic, I saved a lot of time and money on travelling and put in that time for my studies. Yes, sometimes I felt it was too much screen time over too many gadgets but I was able to make a balance. The 9th and 10th standards gave me a strong foundation.
Did Jaipur make a difference to your study goals, one does not see Jaipur as an academic city?
For sure, unlike Kota which is too focused on results, Jaipur is a cool city and allowed students to study as well as relax. It helped being in Jaipur because it gave me ab environment to study as well as take my time off when I needed.
Do you have a girlfriend?
Haha, no. At least not now, maybe when I join college.