This article was first published in Mayoor Magazine March-April 2013.
One question that I’ve been asked again and again upon my appointment as the College Captain Designate is ‘How does one become the Head Boy?’ To answer this, I have only one thing to say. You cannot consciously work to get a top post. Let me clarify this point by drawing parallels. Did Dr Manmohan Singh ‘work’ in a certain direction to become the PM? Did Mr Pranab Mukherjee ‘work’ all his life in a certain direction to become the President? Certainly not. It is only aspiration that all of us carry with us; aspiration to become better, aspiration to reach sky high. I believe that one who does not aspire does not progress. So all I have to say is, yes, I did aspire to become the College Captain during my eight years at Mayo College, but I did not (rather I could not) work to become one. Had there been set guidelines to become a Head Boy, everyone would have followed them, right?
Let me also clarify another pertinent issue. The College Captain is not necessarily the best boy of the School. No leader is. As far as my batch is concerned, there are people better than me in nearly every possible faculty. So once again, don’t work towards becoming the Captain, rather, work towards becoming genuine, trustworthy and able. Stay ready to face challenges from the front. These are the qualities that will make you a great leader. During my first few months as the Head Boy, I have faced situations wherein I have been suddenly told to address the School, or meet visitors, or handle indiscipline cases, or motivate new boys. You may not call them challenges, but let me tell you, when you carry the tag of the College Captain, these become challenges. Expectations reach a crescendo. Stay perfect or be called an undeserving choice. As a College Captain, you are not a cynosure of all eyes, rather you are an easy target for anyone and everyone.
How do I feel to be the College Captain? I feel much more answerable to the School, I feel much more responsible towards the School, I feel much more attached to the School. College Captainship is not a privilege, it is a challenge and a big one at that. So, to all those who still have the question ‘How does one become the Head Boy?’ in mind, here is the answer. You become the Head Boy when you are found capable of handling the expectations and desires of eight hundred students, sixteen hundred parents, one hundred teachers, several thousand old boys, and lastly, yourself. Are you in for the challenge?
The scanned copy of the article is here: