I made candles to support my family, says 16th ranker in HSLCE 2022

Birkarnelzelzit Thiyam
Echoes of the success stories are all around in times like today. And to be sure here is Somraj Athokpam.
“Hello Somraj Athokpam, nice to meet you. Are your parents happy with your success?” I congratulated. “Yes, they are. They have always been so proud of me-just kidding, I am not sure.
Before pushing on, I would like to take their names here. I am the second son of Athokpam Sunil Singh and Salam Sundari Devi and also the younger brother of Athokpam Satyajit Singh. Summing up, they are happy,” he said slowly.
“I heard you make candles, is it as a hobby or?” I went deeper this time. “No Sir, it’s not a hobby of mine. During the pandemic, our family was more heavily rooted in debt and it breaks my heart to just sit and see them face it alone. So, at first I joined a small scale candle manufacturing hub in my locality, worked there since the start of the pandemic and helped my parents in fighting the monetary crisis. Then, after a while I started my own business with candle making,” he went a bit teary after saying so.  
“Does that not disturb your studies?” I asked. “No Sir, not at all. As a human we all have different levels of daily wars that we can’t cross over without fighting it. I take it that way. Instead of disturbing or distracting me, it even made me stronger - making me understand more about financial discipline. And most importantly, it helped me in starting to appreciate everything that my family gave me, those that I have been taking for granted,” he smiled.
“Wait! If you are with all these, do you even have time to go for extra tuition or coaching classes?” I asked. “It’s not because I didn’t have time but I would prefer self study over the rest. So, school classes were enough for me,” he gave a short and crisp reply.
“Then, do you support the trend of tuition culture which has been growing in our State like a wildfire ?” I threw it at him. “I mean, I would go with the concept of duality. Everything has two sides and I am no one to say which outshines over what.
So, I would stick with my fist answer, i.e. I prefer self-study more. Saying so, it’s not like I have never been for tuition or an extra class. As I am a student of EMMANUEL ENGLISH ACADEMY, I stayed in boarding school and we had extra classes which helped me a lot,” he explained.
“What’s your aim and what is that one message for your younger brothers and sisters?” I queried.
“I would love to be the greatest dermatologist and for the message I have nothing but this - life is a series of ups and downs, and while going through all these, we have to find our own balance and keep ourselves grounded. We have to stop procrastinating things and also we have to keep our visions clear by being positive most of the time,” he blew me away with his final answer.
Someone who stood 16th  in High School Leaving Certificate Examination, someone who makes candle to support the family, someone who didn’t go for coaching classes as much as the rest, someone who is so positive about life, someone who wasn’t born with a golden spoon in his mouth, this does make me feel like we are just days away from witnessing the birth of a great leader.