Subba Rao says that they have always spent as much as they could on Mohan’s and his sister’s education, never even saving for the future.

They sold samosas to educate their son he did them proud with 64th rank in IIT-JEEFile Photo
news Education Monday, June 12, 2017 - 19:28

Outside a faded blue room in one of the narrow lanes of KPHB colony, the smell of freshly fried samosas pervades the air. Today, the small workshop and kitchen wears a festive mood as the family sets to work preparing 300 samosas instead of the usual quota of 200.

“My son has secured 64th rank in this year’s Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) Advanced and has topped JEE mains. People are coming home every now and then to congratulate him. So, we are making extra samosas,” says V Subba Rao, who runs the workshop, his eyes aglow with pride.

V Mohan Abhyas, his son, has secured the 64th rank in the JEE Advanced exams with 310 out of 366 marks. In the JEE Mains results announced in April, he bagged the all-India sixth rank and the top rank in south India.

What’s more, Mohan also topped the Andhra Pradesh Engineering, Agriculture and Medical Common Entrance Test (AP EAMCET) this year and secured the fifth rank in the Telangana State EAMCET.

“I was expecting to get a rank within 40. So initially I was disappointed, but my parents are very happy with my score. So now even I am satisfied,” Mohan tells TNM.

With his parents’ happiness finally infecting him too, Mohan says, he is ready to celebrate the success too.

“We did not celebrate on Sunday. Today we are planning to go out for dinner and celebrate,” he says.

For Subba Rao, Mohan’s success is the fulfilment of a long-held dream – to give his children the kind of education he never received.

“I am a 10th pass, not that educated. But I wanted my children to become successful. We hardly save anything. Whatever we earn, it goes for my son’s and daughter’s education. I am so proud of my son, that he is doing what I couldn’t,” he says.

Subba Rao and his wife Naga Suryakala have been making a living by selling samosas for the past 13 years, ever since they shifted from West Godavari in Andhra to Hyderabad in search of jobs.

“Till 10th standard, Mohan used to help us in the business. He would come back from school, and help me out in preparing the filling for samosas. We would ask him to go play or study but he would not listen,” says Suryakala.

To this, Mohan counters, “My parents have been working day and night to afford a good education for me and my younger sister. It is my duty to help them in every way possible.”

Mohan credits his family for all his academic successes. “My parents have always supported me –financial issues never came between me and my education. I always knew that they would not compromise on my education,” says Mohan.

To prepare for the JEE exams, says Mohan, he studied at least 10 hours a day for two years.

“For the past two years, I stopped playing cricket. Though I am not too good at the game, it is my favourite hobby. I used to play every day for six hours. But, in the past two years I hardly touched my cricket bat. When tired of studies, I would watch a movie rather than play, so that I did not waste too much time,” says Mohan.

Though Subba Rao and Suryakala never forced him to be a topper, it was Mohan who wanted to make his parents proud.

“I did not get very great marks in my 10th board. I was disappointed, but my parents were happy with the marks. I felt guilty that they were doing so much for our education. So, I started working extra hard,” says Mohan.

Mohan also credits his teachers, who he says were always ready to help him whenever he found himself stuck. Mohan would often stay back for long hours at the Narayana Junior College in Kukatpally, and his teachers were always ready to work with him too.

“His teachers also worked hard on him. They built up the confidence in him that he can get a good rank,” says Subba.

Inspired by Mohan’s example, his sister, studying in Class 9 has also begun her preparations for the JEE exams. “My daughter Nischayi wants to become an IAS officer and she has also started her preparations for IIT,” says Subba.

Looking to the future, Mohan says that he will join IIT-Mumbai, and has his heart set on research.

“I have not decided the branch yet. But I surely want to become a scientist. I want to create new things and learn something new every day,” he says.

The 16-year-old says that he has always admired former President APJ Abdul Kalam for his intellect and his social work, and hopes to follow in his footsteps.

He adds that he’s fully conscious of the long journey still ahead of him. “This is just the first step, and there will be more difficulties. I am going to work even harder so that I can take over responsibility for my family,” declares Mohan.


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