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An Open Letter to the First Bench Toppers by a Last Bencher

This is actually a Tech blog but today, I am writing an off topic article but as they say, Its my blog and my rules. Ah, don’t consider it as my ego or attitude but I really feel like writing this article today and I’ll surely do that no matter who is stopping me. I am writing this in all of my sense with some little pissed off mood (that’s when I’m at my best) but whatever I am writing, its all true to my knowledge.

Before I proceed, let me clearly accept that I am a back bencher since my school, I still am and I still will be if given a chance and I also accept that, I’ve never been a topper in academics. BUT, that doesn’t mean that I’m writing this just for the sake of taking any grudges out of those who’re successful in their academics. So, keep this in mind before reacting or making any comment.

I don’t really know how to write an open letter actually, but let me give my best shot at it if I can. The reason why I’m writing this article is because I had a Facebook chat with someone and it looked like below. The reason why some text are hidden its because it is in my regional language and not in English. :

topper facebook chat


Dear toppers,

A simple hello from me, a last bencher. All of my life, I will regret not being one of you guys and only I know how difficult it is to be a back bencher no matter how cool we are and this and that and sometimes I really feel jealous of you guys for the very same reason but that doesn’t mean you’re superior.

I know how you show us your ego when we come to you for any academic help and just feel so happy inside for being a topper and start talking nonsense and ignoring us. I know, I’ve gone through this situation many a times but I’ve never complained yet.

It’s not that I do not have topper friends but they don’t show attitude like you first benchers do. All you know is how to keep staring at the white board and your books and top the class with good grades. Come out and have a real battle of life with us and you will be nowhere, I bet. I pity those teachers who even encourage them to get “just” more grades and kill their creativity. Shame on yourself for being a teacher.

I am finding no words right now because the words said above has hurt me so much so I would just like you to know what a last bench students or a dropouts can do. How they’ve changed the world.


A back bencher, Rahul Banker.

Actually, we live in a culture where people seek for the “permission”. Permission to do what they love to. Permission to let their ideas and vision have place in the world. They wait for someone to manage them and their dreams instead of taking responsibility for their own lives. They complain instead of solve and wait for a list of tasks they can check off and say “done”.

Education isn’t bad. But too many people use it as an excuse. I have a list of many people who chose to be different. They didn’t wait for the permissions, they went out and made their own fortune.

I TYPED (not really) these words on a computer designed by DELL founded by a college dropout . The program I used to write it was created by Microsoft, started by the college dropouts Bill Gates and Paul Allen and as soon as it is published, I will share it with my friends via Twitter, co-founded by the college dropouts Jack Dorsey and Evan Williams and Biz Stone, and Facebook — invented, among others, by the college dropouts Mark Zuckerberg and Dustin Moskovitz, and nurtured by the degreeless Sean Parker.

Well, the above lines were those I read somewhere and had it saved in my notes but I found them pretty attractive and inspiring that degrees ain’t everything in life. If you need more, read below.

I didn’t complete my University : Bill Gates
I Stitched Shoes in childhood :Abraham Lincoln
I was the one who served in Hotels : OBEROI
I was Conductor : Rajnikanth
I worked at Petrol Pump : Ambani
I Failed in class 10th : Sachin Tendulkar
I was a Drop out n Keyboard Player : A R Rahman
I Slept on a Bench & borrowed Rs. 20 everyday from friend to travel to filmcity : Shahrukh khan
I used to serve Tea to support my Football Training : Lionel Messi

My recent inspiration Gautam Adani who is a dropout from my college itself and there is of course Larry Page of Google – another Stanford doctoral program dropout.

Bill Gates, Carl Icahn, David Geffen, Gautam Adani, Jack C Taylor, John D Rockefeller, Ralph Lauren, Sheldon Adelson, Steve Jobs, Ted Turner, Michael Dell are the few names I can recall who were not one of those first bench toppers and instead, they were dropouts. Do you know what the total worth is of these 11 people? $805 Billion as per Sept. 2011 records. Does that make you feel “awwww”? 😀

I can recall a very nice quote from the karate kid which I personally like that goes like : “People will knock you down, its your choice if to get back up”. I am not saying that toppers can’t achieve what dropouts does. Look at Warren Buffet, a Masters in Economics and is definitely a billionaire but why he is a billionaire? Because he convinced himself to take a risk for the dreams he wanted to pursue rather than joining any other economic or financial firm.

So what does this say about the utility college education? Perhaps nothing – college is a reasonable way for most people to launch their careers. On the other hand, these examples prove that for the truly intelligent, motivated, and brave, there may be better ways to spend several youthful years than sitting in a classroom.

I don’t want to have any verbal battle with a topper but I just want to put what I really feel when we feel like we’re not one of them but today I want to tell you that you’re not one of us either. Watch your words because now I know how words can kill!

This is ME, Rahul Banker just giving out a message to all those narrow minded people who think college education with good grades is necessary to be successful in life. Please don’t kill the creativity your child has or you have. To the teachers, please understand that not all students are same and don’t try expect from each of your students to get good grades, some are just not interested. Recently I had a very bad experience with my own teachers and now I openly say, I don’t like either of them and I really do hate my college for trying to kill my passion and creativity.

I am not saying that being a back bencher or a dropout is an easy thing! You don’t know what phase we go through and what difficulties we face in our success stories but we somehow gather all the power to fight against all the odds and at the end, here goes what a great man said :

“Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. While some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.”

Be strong enough to fight against the world. All the best and if you’re a topper, please never say to your mate that he is ruining his/her life. Life has a cruel/intelligent way of changing things in a flash. cheers.


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  • I would just add to the letter :

    "Last Benchers Never Look Back….they only move forward with there passion"

  • Rahul, I agree with the frustration here. However, I'd say not all but a very few of the first benchers are egoistic. Its us who are "conscious" of the situation imagines the things. For example, one of the newbie cricketer told Harsha Bogle once about Sachin "Does he even know what it feels like to go to bed when you are not even sure whether you will be in the team tomorrow or not?" Sachin ofcourse might not even have a single clue about what this guy is feeling like when he is talking to them.

    There are two kind of entrepreneurs. The bill gates like entrepreneurs who found what they want to do in life and thats why, their study was coming into their way. Thats why they left.

    The second ones are like us. Who has no choice but to succeed. Really, think over this. When you are out of college, there is no job waiting for you. IF you wish to prosper in life, you will have to find out a way.. start business, do job, if no opportunity is there, create one.. Do whatever, but you HAVE to do this.

    First benchers on the other hand falls in the sweet trap. A job is waiting for them that offers even more than they expect. Throughout their career, they get lucrative increments and perks – which will never let them take the courageous step of saying good bye to the job and embark the journey of entrepreneurship where hardship awaits you on the very first day.

    I, in my life came across many of my classmate toppers who are not even close to where I am today but I'd say, most of them were humble and self centered. Yep, it is kind of satisfactory to acknowledge that in life's exam, I did well then them.

    Entrepreneurship – was not a choice but the only option for me. That's why I fared well.


    • ah, that was a wonderful comment to read and yes, made me think the other way which I might have missed this time. You're right. . we're not born, we're forced to become an enterprenuer (you see, I can't even spell it :P)

      Agree on your first point. As I even have mentioned, not all of my topper friends are egoistic but I unlike only those who show their ego.

      and as you said, we have no choice other than creating an opportunity but that does not make us weak but a strong person and on the other hand, we are way better than toppers in this case because we know how to deal with each and every difficulty whereas they know just how to achieve targets for others.

      To be honest, no matter what. . . WE ROCK THE WORLD :)

      • Life rewards the courageous and the bold. And that's what happens.

        Its not about being weak. Thousands of back benchers doing lots of struggles in life and not all of them are entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs were given two choices by life – accept the defeat or stare into it's eye and go forth giving your best.

        Entrepreneur does that. And that's why they succeed.

        But remember, the entrepreneurs like us had that added "advantage" (of no lucrative job waiting for us) that the first benchers didn't have when we dropped out of college.

        • Fortune favors the brave as it is said! One line out of all these I would say : "no matter what, we enjoy life than anyone else" :) Jobs, to hell with it. I never wanted one and I will never need one and I can be sure of that because of my ability, passion and courage to fight against all of the odds! It all depends on how positive you take anything as :)

      • And, though positive, take the attitude of this post in reply to those "egoistic first benchers". Don't you think we are doing the same mistake right now?

        • no, I would not say we're acting like an egoistic people. As I said in the post, we never complained but now we at least stand a chance to put our words in front of the large follower base we have which toppers doesn't because they don't learn how to make friends whereas the only thing we learn is to how to make friends and relationship rather than making grades 😉 Its not a mistake, no I'm NOT making any mistake by writing this and if the toppers feel jealous of this article, I would say to hell with them. . Life gives chance to everyone and this is my chance!

  • One funny thing I heard on a gujarati "Dayro" few months back.

    There are three kind of students..

    1) Toppers – Who become engineers

    2) Average students – Who becomes contractors and builders etc.

    3) Failed students – becomes Goonda and Politicians.

    Then, the reverse happens.

    1) Engineers work for 2) Builders who work under 3) Politicians


    True na?

  • A front bencher 😛 but with u on every word u said :)

  • Very Nice post…

  • Hehehe. An awesome post as usual. You should ignore those front benchers by saying that you're still just a kid. Go out and learn the truth of the life. I have been through the same situation and I know how teachers discourages us.

  • TRUE words!!! I'm going share this post with my all friends and Also, with 1st Benchers of my class. 😀

  • I was First Bencher, because its easy to sleep in front bench with eyes open 😛

  • Awesome … Cheers for all backbenchers..

  • You know what Rahul, I was gonna put something similar up for my friends, but was waiting until I was earning what they can never even imagine after holding their degrees.

    You spoke my mind bro….

    • We all are similar in different ways, my friend :) We have a whole world waiting to get us distract from our target and we have a long battle to fight against those who think we're useless :)

  • it sounds good :-) 😉

  • BTW I didn't drop out…I just didn't go to a college….I know and I will pursue my dream of building a successful business, a huge brand and a passive income model…..Even though it seems foolish to my friends and relatives (my parents are in support of me), it's been going good for now and I guess I'll be earning more than why my iitian friends will in an year or two (as passive income)…:D

    To your success man,


    • then you and me share a very similar journey 😀 even I'm not a dropout but just don't go to college and each and every guys up there at the college think I'm just nothing :( but I'm already showing them what I'm made up of :)

      • yeah, I know the frowning look people give when they hear about it, We'll show em, that a degree isn't important…its just the skill and the will to become successful that matters… 😀

        BTW I was one of the students who got good grades, not a first bencher bt was lucky when it came to academics… 😛

        Loved the look on d faces of the first benchers while I scored more than em and at the same time being one of the craziest kids in the class….haha…

        • yes. . even I sometimes scored more in the subjects I loved like computers and English language and nowadays I do take proud on teaching those toppers the computer languages and I'm happy that they pass and top when I teach them something 😀 at least I'm giving them a chance to think I'm useless 😉

  • Awesome Journey Brother.

    I would love to walk on your way.

    Thanks For sharing it. 😀

  • well said dude! and I complete agree with what @Bhavesh sir said. Truly, different people have different thought process.

    But, most of them are damn worried about a stupid "job" and I have seen that fear of not getting a job on many faces. I didn't clear the test but I was surprised to see that those who cleared the test were not even confident enough to appear for interview.

    That's where they fail. They lack confidence, they start crying when they score less, they cry when they fail.

    • job, yes I am worried but for the other job i.e Steve jobs 😛 ok, sorry for the bad joke 😀

      and we know how much confidence we have as we recently managed to rock at the international conference called WordCamp m/

      cheers dude. . there should be no one pointing us and say you suck. . we will surely show them what we're made up of!

  • I am also back bencher in student life but right now in professional life @ above toppers :)

  • Nyc post Rahul..

    true wat u said .. one needs to determine his/her goal nd needs to work in the same direction..bottom line is to stay happy in watever u do nd njoy ur life ..

  • Rahul, even I've faced few things like this at my college and finally before I passed out and now more than 90% of my Professors accepted the fact and few of them requested me to teach them as well and I still remember one of my lecturer who shown his attitude towards me had called me the other day for my Final Year Project which was completely different from others (Social Networking Site) and Of course I haven't gave it for him though, having this thing deeply rooted in mind, but I felt little proud! and the passion with aggression always have its own way, rather than following the other goats.

    We need to build our own path, make way for others else no one will recognize us. And Finally even I need to answer to somebody as well, but definitely will answer them with some amazing things shortly :)

    And Wish u all the best for your Future Buddy…. keep Rocking!

    P.S. I'm neither a back bencher nor front 😉 I used to be a bench migrator :)

    • Best brains of the nation can be found in the last benches of our class room” – A.P.J.Adbul Kalam

      We simply rock no matter what people say, dude! Always keep the spirit high and keep holding the ground :) cheers

  • but a man becomes back bencher due to his own decision….. due to choosing something he doesn't interested…

    10th fail tendulkar……. he is not a scientist, i dont think it is compulsory to study to play cricket… i doubt he would have been so successful if he was thrown out of team many times….

  • Dear Rahul,

    Even after being a topper throughout my academic life, i completely agree with u. though all toppers should not be stereotyped in the same arrogant category. I have seen my competitors saying me, "why u have your lunch with backbenchers? one day u too would become one of them." and that was the ouch thing to me. i never categorized or made frns based on academic performances or excellence.

    all i can and want to say to those arrogant toppers is that, the real meaning of education is in being humble. a tree full of fruits is always bent down to give the comfort reach and juicy taste of its fruits to others. Value increases by giving. knowledge increases by sharing. and there is a huge difference between being intelligent and wise. choice is all urs :) thanks for sharing such a revolutionary thought.

    • I've stated that in some of the first lines of this post itself that this post is not for "all' the toppers. . I have many friends who top but they are from our back bench community 😀 Well and thank you for the words and I'm happy to know that you were not one of those egoistic people because usually girls are front benchers always and hate people sitting at the back bench 😀 haha

  • So, Frustration finally busted out to become a blog post. Well, Till now, I have seen such criticism through your tweets only :)

    May be your experience with those oversmart chaps resulted into this post of which I always prefer to stay out.

    My experience says First benchers aren't Toppers (90% cases) instead they are just fools who don't have life out of classroom.

    Personally, I am a Last Bencher, Late Comer, Last minute submitter and would like to share your post with those who are still stuck in Percentage and Marks and Attendance.

    Thumbs up to you Rahul!

    • well Rohit, you maybe right when you say 90% of the first benchers are not toppers but being at the first bench give them a kind of a "status" which later leads to give them a stupid ego which they use against us, so called "Last Bencher, Late Comer, Last minute submitter" and in my case, I'm not even a last minute submitter 😀

      With this post, I just wanted to show them that you're not the only one who have the attitude. . its just that we don't show it enough otherwise our attitude can outcome their! We've suffered a lot inside classes. . outside, its our world and no one can even touch us in that matter! :)

  • Woah Rahul ! Nice article , I am a school student and I am preparing for IIT but I share the same opinions as you. Even I am a backbencher at my school ! But I believe not all Toppers are egoistic , and not all backbenchers dare to dream.! I have not been to a college yet so I am just writing what i know from my experience in 11th class ,But believe me what you wrote even applies to the 11thees and 12thees !And I have suffered the same Ego from students and Attitude from teachers many times . Just yesterday my Chemistry Teacher scolded me , and I still can't figure out why she scolded me ! I always dreamt of becoming Steve Jobs or Bill Gates and still am doing so . DARE TO DREAM !

  • even I am a back bencher, my internal sources pushes me to support you..

  • It had always been a hobby for me to read your personal articles, no matter on what topic they target, but the things i get to learn from these articles are just amazing. You really inspire me.

    Me is a different guy from the ones you've compared, An Average student, I have all the backbenchers as my good friends no matter what but when it comes to firstbenchers, yes *ONLY SOME* are the type of egoistic, but it's my great fortune to have never met such people, all my topper-mates are very helpful. Yeah i have met some of those in my tutions and my middle finger raises for 'em.

    God has given all of us a small brain which can do wonders if we USE it. I know somehow i'll find it out that where i have to use it to gain the best for me better than those toppers. Thanks for sharing this great article.

  • Rahul,I appreciate all your points & truth behind it, one more & important thing is that most of SUCCESSFUL peoples carried out lots of pain & problems in their past life, their situation force them to do something to survive from it,& from that "entrepreneurship" come into a days every graduate peoples are looking to do something ,which was already implemented by someone, No creativity just 'Silly work'.Yesterday I chat with one of my Canadian friend she asked my education ,I simply told that "I am an engineer graduate person",the reply I got from her was very embarrassing she told me "Why most of the indians r doing graduation in Engineering faculty ,their are lots of other ways are their like painting ,arts etc.,still your country is a developing country" I also humbled & realize the strong need of Entrepreneurship in india,investing your idea & knowledge for your society is very crucial factor rather than your Academics or Degree :) . From my point of view "PROBLEM is the KEY for Success" is very true for those peoples who try to fix it in more intelligent way.Our academics focus on the existing things rather than reality.Mostly our system support the peoples who are academically strong they never bother about their creativity & practice ability :)

  • Been a back bencher since ever, never excelled in academics, haven't ever read a story book in my whole life. Just managed to pass most of the times in my exams, but still, there are thousands of people listening to me every-day. I am proud. :)

  • hye,….

    i think back bencher are gud managers… & i m back bencher frm my nursery to ENGINEERING…. & still …

  • Hey

    i was never a front bench-er but never last.., however why this fuss about font or back. what you achieve in your life is mixed education you got from your academic institutions as well as from your surroundings. Most matters is what you grasped from whatever you get.

    that makes a difference and thats what makes a person– A PERSON.

  • The best ever from you….. sorry but i found this amazing, the best ever on skotgat, thecpblog, and else…..

    I totally agree with you on this, you dont need degrees to prove your attitude, your skills, your worth… They are not the benchmarks.. at the end of the day what matters is satisfaction that you are doing something what you rally love to, want to, need to,

    What's the point in getting a MBA degree from a very famous college and selling insurance and soaps…???

    You work should be your pride… you should have a respect and love for your work only n only then you can do it in the best possible way and also enjoy it alongwith…..

    Well, i too need to prove myself abhi…. i found your article close to my heart…. thanks Rahul….

  • Hi,

    Nice blog and a really cool article. One thing I pointed your attention to, the middle benchers! Ha ha! I was a middle bencher in my school. By the time, I would reach school, the last benches were taken and I never ever studied hard enough to have the courage to sit on the front bench and raise my hand to every question my teachers would ask! So I had only option of sitting on the middle benches.

    I scraped through. Never really been a topper neither faced the ''shame'' of flunking!

    See, the middle benchers are the worst of the lot. They don't top and they don't fail. With the last benchers, the parents lose hope of their topping, the front benchers would take all the cake.

    Sigh! We struggle. I got a job, earn salary and manage my family. (God has been kind and the ''management'' of the family is generous).

    That's the jist of a middle bencher's life. Scrapping through. It's all about managing the situation! Lol!

  • this letter was like somebody reading my mind and thought.. the similar situations dat i faced… when i first intended to publish my paper some made fun of me cos m not a " gud student" ( dont know wat it has got 2 do wid thin king crazy and creative….den wen i made dis working model which got appreciated everywhere .. most of my teachers were discouraging… but u c my life is so rocking ….. i think i have this stamina 2 work alone for my passions and make it work :) … thanx rahul for dis wonderful post

  • Generally, I don't read long paragraphs. But when I saw that somebody tried to bring you down, I read it wholly.
    I'm a back bencher since 4th standard and till now(class 10th), I am a back bencher. I believe studies kill the creativity and powers. I was so good at drawing when I was a child. Now, I can't even draw biology diagrams. I'm a follower of Steve Jobs.

    This post of your's gave me a lot of courage and will power. 😀
    God bless you :)

  • me aiso a back bancher n proud to be

  • We r cheaters
    we don’t cheat humanity…

    We hate study
    but we love technology…

    We flirt with flirters
    we love lovers…

    World cannot change us
    we can change the world…

    We don’t have books in hand
    we have revolutionary ideas in mind..
    we r the rarest common race on earth..
    meet us