Very simple and down to earth, 16-year old Janhavi Thaly, a standard XI student of Purushottam Walawalkar College,Mapusa, put me at ease right away.
Knowing I was to meet the SSC topper of the state, I was a little apprehensive. I wasn’t sure what to expect but Janhavi has absolutely no airs and was a delight to meet. At the SSC exams this year, she scored a whopping 95.83%, which put her right on top and she says, “Topping the list was one of the greatest and best moments of my life.” An ex-student of Saraswat Vidyalaya, Mapusa, she says she owes her success to her excellent teachers and of course, the hard work she put in. “I had worked hard and was expecting around 93%, and was happy to see that I had done better than expected,” she says smiling.
Janhavi has been academically inclined right from the beginning and recalls, “My mother used to be a medical rep when I was about two years old and the prescription pads she used to get home, I used for my writing and general scribbling. This was an indication for my parents that I had potential and ever since they have encouraged me with my studies.” She also got a trophy for standing second in standard I and this too added to her belief that she was destined to do well. Of course she did her bit and studied long and hard and the results are proof that focus, dedication, hard and sacrifice are the only requirements for success.
Janhavi is one of those rare individuals we come across who loves studying. She followed a strict schedule while in standard X which included a 5-hour study period, right from the beginning. A crash course in math and science during the summer vacations was all that she required and hence did not opt for any extra tuition during the year. She says, “My teachers were very good and I did not feel the need for tuition.” She continues, “I also used to solve the SSC tutorials that come regularly in the Navhind Times and that helped too.”
Janhavi’s success was predicted by her late uncle, Jyoti Panvelkar, who she says, always believed in her and whom she misses a lot.
She has won many prizes throughout her school years and has twice been awarded scholarships at the Science Talent Search Exams. Participating in various competitive exams throughout has also to some extent helped Janhavi in her success.
Academics is not the only field that interests her. She is also very fond of painting and dancing and participating in various elocution competitions. “Painting is my passion and has been since I was in class I. Playing with colours was something that kept me occupied for hours together and I would experiment with different colour combinations. In fact I wanted to take up painting as a career but my teachers recommended I take science as they felt I could do more in this field.” Janhavi loves painting sceneries and people and as with her studies when she paints, she puts her heart and soul into it. It is no wonder then, that she has won many prizes in the field. Her most cherished prize however, is the one she received by the Department of Posts, India, which had organised a ‘Design a stamp Competition,’ and the topic was ‘Magic of Night’. She admits that with her busy schedule at present she hardly gets time for painting but makes up for it during the vacations when she tries to spend most of her time painting on canvas.
“I have always loved dancing and when I was in standard I, I gave my first stage performance,” says Janhavi with a grin. Her teacher Kamlesh Borkar started little Janhavi with Bollywood numbers and finally moved to Bharatnatyam. “It is a great feeling when people watch you on the stage and appreciate you,” she confides. She has also participated in dance competitions organised by the Art and Culture Department of Goa and of course won prizes there as well.
“All the success I have achieved is due to the love and support of my family,” says Janhavi. She admits she is very close to her parents, Mr Jitendra and Ms Mala and also to her many cousins. “More than cousins we are friends and love watching movies and going for picnics as well,” says Janhavi, with a huge smile.
As with everything she does, Janhavi has her future all planned out and aspires to become an engineer, with an eye on a seat at BITS, Pilani.