By : Swarnim Mishra
By : Nitin Singh
Every aspirant reads the success stories on this page and dreams to earn the chance of writing his/her story one day. So today I feel immensely proud to share with you all my journey from being a defence aspirant to fulfilling my dream of becoming an officer.
People have their reasons for joining the armed forces, mine was that I wanted my life to make a difference!! It was only the passion of giving back that I was able to achieve my goals, as they say,
A little background – I am a commerce student having completed my graduation from Shaheed Bhagat Singh College in 2014 and my journey started right in the last semester of my graduation and I started giving AFCAT and CDS and managed to clear them after 2 long years in 2016.
- 1 DEHRADUN ON 4TH JAN 2016 – SCREEN OUT
- 14 SSB ALLAHABAD ON 6TH AUG 2016 – CONFERENCE OUT
- 1 AFSB DEHRADUN ON 1ST JAN 2017 – CONFERENCE OUT
- 4 AFSB VARANASI ON 6TH AUG 2017 – CONFERENCE OUT
- 19 SSB ALLAHABAD ON 1ST DEC 2017 – RECOMMENDED!
So it was finally my 5th attempt and each SSB being a learning process for me this SSB was different from every other. I always made a detailed evaluation after every attempt and try to improve my shortcomings with each attempt. I believe SSB is the best things to self-evaluate as you get to learn about yourself a lot during the process no matter what the result is. You grow through it every time you give it.
Now comes my attempt and the best and the most unexpected (explained laterJ) experience of my life
25th NOV 2017
Left from Delhi with a brother from another mother whom I met in my previous Allahabad SSB, this was the LAST attempt of both of us and we set out with a relaxed mind-set and decided to face the situations as they come.
26th NOV 2017
We both reached Allahabad railway station in the morning and saw many candidates already sitting at the MCO. I happen to meet a friend who later got recommended with me. We reached the section centre, settled our luggage and got 60 as my chest number while he was given 59 and was given 19 SSB Board.
27th NOV 2017
We all were anxious about the picture but it went all okay, I made a simple story around it depicting the characters I’ve seen and at last 37 of us were screened in including both of my friends and the new chest number was 33.
28TH NOV 2017
It was the psychology day, my favourite one as I have practiced for it like crazy in the last few years. The first test was TAT and I completed all 12 stories and I made all simple stories taking into account all the characters I saw and wrote it in 3 parts( introduction, main body and conclusion ), completed 60 WATs and 47 SRTs and completed SD well within time which I had prepared beforehand.
Note- In psychology do not think about writing a positive story as there is no such thing as positive or negative, just write a story around the characters that you see first taking into account the background and just write a normal and practical story around it using the details that you saw.
29th NOV 2017
It is the GTO day 1, we were a group of 9 people and my brother was with me in my group and we had our GD at first and my participation was average in both the GDs, put forth my points and listened to others more and provided counters wherever necessary.
Note- it is important to listen to others as you’ll get many points from their references and can build up your content as they say and then provide useful points.
The next was GPE, in this our group was more of a fish market with everyone shooting out their points and trying to convince one another. I was able to give logical points and was able to convince them and they agreed to use my points. We nominated one person to narrate the final story and after it the GTO asked if we had any other better ideas so I gave one and that was it, GPE was over.
Next task was PGT, we were given a series of 4 obstacles one after another, I was mostly in front giving ideas and also willingly traded places with anyone who wanted to come in front to apply his idea. We were able to complete 3 out of the 4 obstacles and were stuck on 4th. Then the GTO told that time was over and the task was complete.
Now it was the turn of HGT, we were divided in two group of 4 and 5 and we were given an obstacle to cross with the help of helping materials and we did it in time, I gave the initial ideas and one other candidate gave the last idea to cross and we did it well within time and the task was over.
It was the time for the most exciting task of the SSB that is GROUP OBSTACLE RACE or SNAKE RACE. Our group was together once again and we had to compete with one other group and tackle a series of obstacles. Being a sportsman I was in the front in the initial obstacles and was also helping other candidates clear the obstacles and from the mid to the end, I was at the very last first helping all the candidates clear the obstacles and then clearing it myself and my brother was also helping me in this.
Note – In a group, everyone is equal and shares equal responsibility so help everyone clear the obstacles and never be selfish to clear the obstacles and then forgetting about your teammates.
THE FIRST DAY WAS OVER!
I had my interview on the same day which I’ll elaborate in the later part.
30TH NOV 2017
It was the day 2 of GTO and we were all excited to go through the tasks.
The first one was LECTURETTE, this is the most unpredictable task as no one knows the topics on which you’ll be speaking on. In my card there was 4 topics out of which I had no idea about 2 topics which were NATO and one other, I wasn’t confident about the 3rd topic which was coalition government so I chose the most easy topic which was “MY FAVOURITE SPORTS”, I spoke on badminton, I gave a good 3 minute speech elaborating about the history, items used and their dimensions, dimensions of the court, tournaments and their winners, current news regarding it, and ended it on why it is my favourite sport..
The next was INDIVIDUAL OBSTACLE in which we have to complete a circuit of 10 obstacles and do as many as possible in 3 minutes. I did 14 obstacles in 3 minutes BUT HERE COMES THE BLUNDER, I FORGOT TO DO BARREL JUMP NOT ONCE BUT TWICE IN A ROW, I JUST PASSED BY THE SIDE OF IT AND NEVER SAW IT!! I was in shock when I realised my mistake and I was a bit demoralise that even after giving my best I did such silly mistake. But my friends continuously cheered me on and kept me motivated.
Now came the most awaited task and that was the COMMAND TASK in which we are made the commander and we are given a task and according to that we can call our subordinates to help us. I was to stand inside a circular ring and was given a big rod, a small rod, and a plank o move out of the ring. There were 3 ways to leave the ring and the GTO made me use all the 3 one after another. ANOTHER BLUNDER I MADE IN THIS, as there was no rule that you have to make the way from where you are standing so I was making the was from the other obstacle in front ofmey and was trying to stuck the plank and extend it towards me. I was instantly pointed out by the GTO and was told to make the way from where I am standing. I completed the task from all the 3 ways and this task was also over.
Now came the last task of the GTO series which was FINAL GROUP TASK. Our full group was together and was given a very difficult and complicated with one time movable drum and bounded areas with lots of red coloured structures, we were given 30 minutes to clear it. I gave good ideas and my group also cooperated very well and we completed it within 10 minutes.
THE GTO SERIES WAS OVER!
The GTO series is the most enjoyable series of tasks as they are dynamic in nature and full of josh and physical activities.
My interview was taken by the President of 19 board and it was a short 35 minutes interview which included mostly the questions from the PIQ only and some basic GK questions of which I managed to answer wrongly 1 very simple question of converting speed fro kmph to m/s. Instead of 5/18 i said 5/8, again a blunder. By this time I was very sure that my selection has taken a dip into deep water.
Two of the questions were consistent in all m interviews and they were:
IO – why did you not score well in 10th class?( as I only scored 59.8%)
Me – First of all sir, my marks are according to the understanding of my subjects at that point of time and I am completely satisfied with my marks which I got. Secondly marks are not everything if life, my father has always given priority to overall personality development rather than just studies and studies and securing 90+%.
IO – why are you not working anywhere since you’ve graduated? ( I did not work anywhere since I’ve graduated from my college because I wanted the armed forces to be my first and only career in life. I played a huge gamble by doing this but I knew from the starting that it I worth every sacrifice )
Me – (I gave the same explanation to the IO sir) and also added that working in an environment in which you know that you won’t fit in and even after adapting into it you won’t be as productive and not working at your full capacity it would be only a waste of time as well as efforts.
The interview was also over and now it was time for the results!
1ST DEC 2017 – THE DAY THAT CHANGED MY LIFE!
It was the conference day and we were all dressed up to our best and were eagerly waiting for our turn. We were called in one by one and the moment the previous candidate came out I started counting the seconds, I was made to wait for 5 minutes before the assessors called me in and I was first asked the basic questions like, what did you do in these days, how was the experience, and then came the bombardment of questions which I was not able to answer in the interview and one additional question:-
IO – What are polar satellites, how do they function and how many revolutions they make in a day.
Now being a commerce student I was surprised by this so I was just able to give answer of the first part only and said sorry sir I don’t know the other part.
IO– Okay Nitin, now I want you to rate the tests that you’ve been through.
Me – Sir I enjoyed through all the tests, each test was unique in its own way but according to my performance I would rate GTO number 1, INTERVIEWW number 2 and PSYCHOLOGY number 3.
IO – Why, what blunder did you do in it?
Me – Sir first of all no one knows the parameters on which we are being assessed in it and secondly there is no right and wrong answer. And to add I only completed 47 SRT while I was aiming for 50+.
IO – Okay Nitin that would be all, do you have any suggestions?
Me – No sir.
This gave me a little confidence that I might make it through this time but was still thinking about all the mistakes that I made.
And that was it , everything was over now.
We all were waiting for the results and the psychologist who was a major came with the results and gave a closing speech first and then announced the results. He first called chest number 2, the friend who met me at the railway station named Mankirat Gill who is a very kind hearted and over enthusiastic sardar with whom I made so many funny moments, the next was chest number 18 Saurabh Sah, him and I are great friends and such a funny chap, and the unexpected chest number 33, that was the moment I was completely shocked as I was absolutely not expecting it not knowing what to do, I just barely managed to spell my name and roll number and was not in my senses for quiet sometime. The moment we stepped out of the room I started crying out of the joy. We went and took our luggage and then met all our batch mates. I was very sad as my brother did not get recommend, this was the last chance for both of us and I wanted him with me. He is chest number 59 in the pic.
SSB has been a great journey for me where I have grown with each attempt and you get to learn about yourself from the experience and made many new friends some of which are even more than just brothers, they are family!
We all were declared fit and were waiting for the merit. Got AIR 127 all set to join OTA CHENNAI.