If you are reading this then I am pretty sure you are already in for a hell of a ride of a tale of a normal person like you who did not give up and made it in his 13th attempt. I have read almost all the success stories that have been shared by DefenceLover. I knew one day I will pen down my story on this same platform, but I did not know that it would take me such a long time.
My journey began on 5th may 2014 when I first gave my SSB for Indian army TGC 119 entry and got conference out and it finally came to an end on 30th March 2018 when I got recommended from 4 AFSB Varanasi through AFCAT Entry. I have seen everything, felt every emotion that a Defence aspirant goes through. I have slept on platforms, traveled in general compartments, slept in the alley of the sleeper trains, woken up with dreams of getting recommended, left exams for SSBs, tolerated the taunts of neighbors and relatives, and finally cried for half an hour on getting recommended. I have so much to tell you guys and I’ll try to give you a Gist of everything important that has happened in my life so bear with me, please.
I gave my first SSB in may 2nd and 3rd on June 4th on Aug 5th in November in the same calendar year which was a mistake and I was heading nowhere. Then after my 6th failure I decided to opt for an alternate career and started preparing for government exams but I never stopped giving SSB although the frequency slowed down. Every time in the interviews, it became so much difficult to convince the interviewing officer that how I was able to manage my finance and how after being provided the best of education by my parents I am still dependant on them for money. So I decided to start teaching mathematics and my first salary was Rs 7333. I taught maths for 1.5 years in Kurukshetra and it changed my personality in so many different ways. After this, I got a job in Delhi Metro but my dream was nowhere coming to reality. Repeated failed attempts had exhausted me and I was nearing the last eligible age limits. I always strived to improve my personality traits according to the demands of SSB and every decision or action I took revolved around this only. I had a two government job in hand and I knew the only thing that would pull me behind was my physical fitness. I started running and I remember first time I ran on 13th December 2017 I could only run 1.6kms that too in 12mins. I felt so ashamed of myself ki banda andar se khatam ho chuka hai. I then started running with a friend of mine who helped me run half marathon on 18th march 2018 that too in 1:51:00.
I am not going to share what all procedure I went through in SSB but I am going to share what helped me achieve what everyone here is looking for.
For screening- the narration is the key, perform your best in oir and last but not the least active participation in group discussion. Make sure that the problem you all have perceived in the group story is sorted out and the measures are taken so that it won’t happen again. Do not fight over how many people u perceived or the age or gender. Help the group reach the solution.
Now comes the main part, do not try to master every test but look at the procedure as a whole. Your psych interview and GTO should all reflect the same thing and it will only come when you are honest with your answers and not try to copy anybody. I wrote very simple TAT stories and the 12th story was about my life experience when one of my student in Kurukshetra came running to me and started touching my feet as he had got selected in Haryana police exam and he gave all the credit to me and I was feeling so embarrassed standing there telling him it was all his mehnat.
In WATs write sentences which shows emotions, do not write any factual sentences as they won’t contribute to your scores. SRTs should be short and do as much as possible. I did the maximum this time in all my attempts. The most important of all psych is your self-description. I suggest you pour your heart out about how you feel about your parent’s friends and teachers and yourself. This part is read by the psychologist interview officer and in one of my attempts, I saw the GTO reading it as well. So make sure you have introspected enough and be honest to it. It doesn’t matter how odd your weakness sound or how many adjectives you have used. I wrote everything I have felt how I would make my parents proud one day and about my friends who have been my spine all through my life, about my teachers without whom I have never been the kind of person I am today.
Now pay heed to me if you want a little protip. Never ever say bad about your friends’ parents and teachers and in every achievement of yours try to glorify them. Fauj runs on brotherhood and friendship and if you are sitting there in the interview room telling more disqualities about your friends than qualities then may the Lord have mercy on you. All through my psych interview, I put forward my friends first in my answers because if you can see a quality in your friend then its pretty obvious you have it too otherwise you would not have observed it so in a way you are only giving away your traits.
My interview went for about an hour this time and as usual, I was asked about everything starting from my school life to my present job. There are so many things I wish to share but I might bore you so I would speak of only a few. At one point of time he asked if I smoke I replied in affirmative, then he asked if I drink again my answer was yes then he asked about my favorite brand to which I replied after that he asked me to tell me one instance where I got too much drunk and I told him about one time where I had a few pegs and then I smoked weed and I blacked out😉. Then I had to convince him that I am not an addict. He also asked me if I have a girlfriend and I said yes(but actually we broke up and she is going to canada and after my continuous efforts of appeasing her for 5 months iIfailed) and iItold him about when she is leaving canada for her mba and he was like fit to relationship khatam and iIremember my answer was sir pyaar bohot hai this distance cant soil this relationship and iIsaid sir till the time she would complete her mba iIwould have completed my training at the academy and we would marry when she would come back. This was the only lie I told and am fortunate Abhishek sir helped me answer this question among many other questions. This time the interview went good and I was able to relate many life instances with my answers. Friends introspect and gather all the instances that hold meaning to your life this helps a lot in interviews.
My GTO was satisfactory this time and I am saying this because in my group everybody had their last or second last attempt and they want to give it all this time so it ended in a fish market which lasted till both group discussions. I spoke when I felt the need and did not contribute to the hustle. My GPE went well and it was exact as the group concluded. In-ground task helping each other is equally important as giving ideas so help each other out, give your hand to your mate while crossing an obstacle, do not hesitate trying a plan out. Then came the lecturette and i messed up real bad there I was not able to speak for even 2 mins and it brought me down but friends it is so important to not lose hope and keep moving forward. No one test decide your decision of recommendation and I remember my GTO saying that day ki do not introspect what happened today go out with your friends and enjoy and do not carry the weight of your mistakes on your shoulders and I followed his words. Next day I was called last in the command task and before my task he took a mini interview of mine and talked about my job in Delhi metro. Then my task began and he started increasing the difficulty level I was able to give solution to all (all thanks to my experience of so many SSBs). Later in individual obstacles, I was able to do 7 and I was happy with my performance at the end of the day.
Then came the conference day and when my turn came I was asked to wait for about healthy 20 mins or so and I was losing my sh*t. I was never asked to wait so long and even the doorman was saying ki kya karke aaye ho aesa. Finally I was asked to enter the conference hall and the first question that was asked was what different have you performed this time so we should select you and my answer was sir I have not prepared any differently iam just trying to be a better person in life immediately he asked to tell me one recent instance where you behaved like a better person to which I said that recently 2 maintainers died in delhi metro who were 49 and 51 years of age and every AM and GM was giving away their salaries so I also volunteered and gave them my 2 days salary. He asked a few questions about it and then he asked how do you enjoy your friend’s company and my reply was just to be with them is quality time, trips and tours are different ways to spend time but just their entourage cheers me up. Then he asked a few general ques about the stay and asked for any suggestion to which I said no and said everything was perfect.
Finally, it was results time, all my group mates were saying I might make it this time and this added fuel to my anxiety. It was my interview officer who was announcing the result and he immediately said chest no 48, believe me, people I had no idea then what was happening I was not smiling I was not happy I was numb I went to the stage and stood before everybody and there was clapping going on for 5 mins and I was standing there my head held low and then struck the reality and then came the first tear. The wing commander there was shaking hands with me and telling me to become a nice officer and I was there sobbing like a small child. I cried for almost half an hour till the time my group came to me hugged me and this bloody aniket telling me kitna royega saale. I can give anything to relive that moment in life and after so many attempts it was worth it. Even now sometimes the flashbacks come and it puts a smile on my face no matter what I am going through at that time. I am really thankful to my friends, my parents and my teachers who believed in me and always supported me. My call letter has come and I would be joining the July course on 2nd of July in Air Force Academy Dundigal, Hyderabad.
PS- I developed this hobby of writing poems during this journey and I wrote one about fauj.. I hope this will connect to every hardcore repeater and aspirant and will motivate you to achieve your dreams.
ए रास्ते तू अब तो रुक जा
मंजिल से अब तो रुबरू करा।
नीन्द में भी कम्बखत सताने लगी है
हर कर्वठ पर सिर्फ ंमंजिल ही याद आने लगी है।
महिने बीत गए हैं इस सफर पर चलते
कतराता आज भी नही हूं इस राह को चुन्ते।
करे थे जो सारे वादे मेरे बापू से वो आज भी मेरे ज़हन में है
थका हुँ हारा नहीं हूं इरादे अभी पथर से फौलादी ही हैं।
रखता हुँ हिम्मत तोड लाउँगा आस्माँ से दो सितारे
कंधे पर लगाके चलूंगा तब देखेंगे सारे।
लिपट जाऊंगा तुझसे कमली मेहबूबा अपने पिया से जैसे
करूंगा देश रक्षा Captain Batra ने करी थी वैसे।
जियुंगा एसे की मौत भी शर्मा जाएगी
सलाम करेगी जब लेने मुझे वो आएगी।