Bluepencil.News caught up with this year’s JEE Advanced topper Kavya Chopra after a week of her being under relentless flashlights and media glare and found out that she is just another normal teenager, only highly intelligent and extremely grounded. Her one line answers said more than a 100-word paragraph.
How has the week been for you, given the attention all round?
It has mellowed down now but earlier it was something else, so many calls. The calls have died down.
So, you miss the calls?
No, I actually don’t miss them.
How is application process going on, guess it does not make a different that you are a topper ?
Well, the applications have to go through JOSAA and we have to fill our preferences and the colleges we want to join and it is after a week or two one knows the outcome.
Are you aware that in some other streams like MBA for one, just being a topper may not get you the institute you want?
Yes, I know that, for the MBA, institutes are looking at more rounded applications, the overall performance also counts.
What have you chosen?
First preference in IIT Delhi, Computer Science, then IIT Bombay Computer Science and then third preference in a Dual Degree from IIT Delhi.
Is there a path you have chalked post your engineering?
I have to still explore options and know more about what all is there. MBA is on my mind but there is also CS, it is too early to take a decision now.
Since you are in Delhi and your first choice of IIT Delhi works, will you be a day student or stay in the hostel?
I would definitely stay in the hostel – if you want to experience college life as it is supposed to be felt, it is always good to stay in a hostel.
And what about going abroad, is that something you have thought of? Do you agree about the brain drain?
I have thought of but am not too excited about going abroad. I think a lot of people go abroad to experience the lifestyle more than anything else. It is a different experience to be staying and studying abroad.
How did the pandemic affect you? Did it work against your prep time?
Our parents restricted our outings so that transmission fears were kept in control. There was no obsessive usage of sanitisers or anything of that sort. In fact, I would say I was lucky that Covid did not affect my family and me because I have seen cases where the whole family contracted Covid and it was not a pleasant situation to be in. I felt sad that families have gone through so much.
What about the pandemic and prep and now?
Yes, teacher-student interaction was limited but prep did not fall in the gaps. Online instruction made up for that part. No, I would not say that the pandemic affected my prep. As for now, the exams were late, we are not sure when the academic year will start, let see how the JoSAA process goes ahead.
You’ve mentioned everywhere that your parents are your role models? Is there anyone who was equally joyous about you bagging the top slot?
My maternal grandmother, she was ecstatic. As soon as she heard about my results, she has been planning celebrations for us. She lives a few minutes away and am glad I get to spend time with her whenever I want, I am extremely close to her.
You speak excellent English, and you are very articulate too, not a widely prevalent trait in teens these days.
Thankyou, I owe it all to my school DPS Vasant Kunj in Delhi. It laid my foundation.
So what’s your pastime like, do you read?
Yes, I love Agatha Christie. I have read most of her books. My favourites are The Murder of Roger Ackroyd and And Then There was None. I love mystery novels.
Why didn’t you think of becoming a writer then?
I do creative writing and write poems and notes but for my friends and family, not for the public at large.
Where else do you spend your time?
I love music and I enjoy baking. I bake a lot and I enjoy making the Tier Cake – I make them well.
Now that you are a topper and all that jazz, no regrets am sure?
Of course, I do. I could have got better marks.