My journey of SSB started in 2009 when I was called for TES-NAVY. Unfortunately I was conference out. My 2nd SSB call letter came for UES-PILOT,NAVY SSC.I was told to report on Bangalore railways station on 26th feb 2013.Since I was doing my Engg. from Bangalore only, so I was happy that I got SSB centre at Bangalore. On 26th,I left from my home for railways station. When I reached there, I could see the SSB crowd. There were more than 200 candidates. Since I came there 1 hr before the reporting time, so I thought to introduce myself to others and make friends.
As I was approaching them, even they could see me and I was wearing formals, which made me unique among them as only 5,6 candidates were wearing formals. We introduced each other, and since I was a reapter, so I also shared my earlier experience with them and gave little bit of intro and guidance regarding SSB.
After 1hr, the SSB bus came to drop the previous batch candidates and to pick us. Fortunately I found one of my friends in the previous batch. He got conference out, I asked him that how many got recommended. He said out of 40 screened in, only 7 were recommended. Then I asked him where did he went wrong and motivated him to improve and give his best in the next attempt. Then we boarded the bus, and my 2nd journey for SSB began. It took 20 minutes to reach the centre. We were told to keep out luggage in the store room and to bring the certificates file. We all came without certificates and sat on the benches. One instructor came and verified our 10th, 12th and Engg. marksheet. Then he segregated the candidates according to repeaters, screened out and fresher and distributed the chest
numbers. I got chest no. 16 and it went till 266. We were then given the PIQ forms to fill and were moved to our barracks. Reporting time for next day was 6 a.m. Since we were 266 candidates and there were water problems in Bangalore so we decided to get up early by 3:30 a.m. and get ready.
Chest no 14a and 18 became my friend we were ready by 4:30.Then we headed towards the mess and had nice breakfast. After that again that instructor came and lined us according to our chest numbers and told us to wait. When all the officers came in the office, then our screening started.
After OIR we were shown a hazy picture congaing 4 people doing some cooking, it could be a chemistry lab scene or a kitchen scene. So according to my perception I wrote a story on cooking competition. After writing we came out and discussed each other’s story. Everybody has written interesting stories. Then we were called for GD,I was in the first batch of 18. Officers came and briefed us with the instructions and narration started. As soon as chest no. 1 ended with his narration, chest no.14 (adjacent to me) started his narration. Everybody got shocked, even the assessors. Then he realized his mistake and felt embarrassed. Then chest no 2 started with his narration and it continued.
Narrated my story very well. As soon as chest no 18 ended with his narration it became a FISH MARKET as usual. After shouting for 5 minutes, assessor told us to shut up and end the discussion as
they couldn’t see us coming on any conclusion. We all came out, had our lunch and were waiting for the results. Finally one officer came with the results. He called chest no 5,7,11,12 and directly went to 19 and so on. “F#CK MAN…I was really shocked that he didn’t call out my no. I was thinking that what I will tell to my family and friends that I got screened out. And the officer went on and on but my chest no was not called. When he was calling the no. from 50 series, suddenly he called chest no 33.It gave me a hope that my chest no could be there in between. But he went on till 150 and my chest no was not there at all. I was not at all listening to what he was saying. And suddenly after chest no 180 he called my chest no., I was not expecting this at all. OMG, this was the worst thing happened to me, the greatest suspense I have encountered in my entire life. Then I went out and joined with the screened in candidates. Total 66 candidates were screened in. We were distributed the new chest no. All the repeaters were grouped in one batch and fortunately I was grouped with freshets got chest no 42.I was so lucky. We were given new PIQs to fill. That day was over then and screened out candidates were taken back to railways station, unfortunately my friends chest no 14and 18 were also screened out. I was feeling bad for them. Later we were shifted to new barracks which were better than older one. THANK GOD!!. There were 8 candidates in one room. I became friend with my roomies. In the evening we had nice dinner and then had a talk with each other. Reporting time for next day was 6:45 a.m.. This time since we were only 66 candidates so we decided to get up at 4:30 a.m.
Next day we got up and got ready, had our breakfast and reported well at time. It was time for PSYCH TEST.1st test was TAT, then WAT,SRT and finally SD. Since I had practised a lot earlier, I was able to complete each part well on time and completely without leaving anything. I was so happy with my performance. That day was over. In the evening we got a news that we were divided in group of 8,and 5 out 8 groups had their GTO on next day, Thank god my group was not in that. We had our GTO the following day.
Next day, those candidates who had their GTO went early by 6 a.m. and those who didn’t have GTO were relaxing. But me and one of my roomy decided to get ready by 9 as we might have interviews. And it happened exactly as we have thought, we were called for interview. When my turn came, I went inside, stood in front of the interviewer. He asked me why I was not selected in my very 1st attempt and told me to show my certificates and few questions about me. Then he told me to sit and then started the real torture. He first asked me about my family, academics, best friends, favourite teachers, subjects, competitive exams etc. Then he stressed on my weakness and was throwing questions around that only. I was able to manage it and tackled the questions boldly and gave genuine and honest answers. But when he jumped on GK questions, I was gone. That was my one of the weakest part. Whatever I knew, I told him, rest I told him that I will find it out. And my interview lasted 50min to 60 min. I don’t know why he told me that I was not prepared well for the SSB. It ended after that. I was little bit disappointed from his comments, so I went to SUBWAY on BRIGADE ROAD and had a CHICKEN TANDOORI to relax myself .Next day was GTO so I went to sleep early as we were told to report at 6 a.m..
Next day came, we dressed in the same dress (white shorts, t- shirts, socks and shoes) and reported at 6a.m. in the ground. We had already taken the feedback and suggestions from the candidates who had their GTO one day before. They were saying that all GTOs were very strict except one and we were hoping to get that as our GTO. Luckily he was our GTO, I was so happy. He started our day with GD.
In both the GDs, I was the one to initiate. So that was the good starting for that day. Then we had GPE, SNAKE RACE, LECTURETTE , followed by INDIVIDUAL OBSTACLES, CT, HGT, and FGT. Since I was the only repeater in my group so I had little advantage and accordingly I took that. I was very happy with my performance in GTO. It was much much better than I had expected and also much much better than my previous attempt. It had balanced my performance in interview.
Now I knew that my PSYCH, GTO were awesome and interview was ok ok. I had that feeling of getting recommended. After GTO we all went in our barracks and our group photo that was taken after getting screened in had come, but didn’t took it. One of my friend asked me that why I didn’t took it, I told him that I will take the photograph after getting recommended from here. They were very impressed with my answer. That night we were discussing about each other till midnight, It was really a good time with new friends.
Next day was CONFERENCE DAY , everybody got ready and reported by 7:30 a.m.. We were asking from the candidates the questions asked from them in the conference. Everybody was asked only two common questions:-“HOW WAS YOUR STAY and DO YOU WANTT TO GIVE ANY SUGGESTIONS”. When my turn came, I entered the conference hall confidently. They told me to sit down. First questions they asked me was that how did I prepared myself for this SSB. I told them that after my 1st attempt, I realized where i was lacking and where I did mistakes. So I rectified them, improved my performance.2nd questions they asked me were those which I couldn’t answer at the time of interview(GK questions). Thank God , I had prepared them in advance after my interview was over and I answered all GK questions which I couldn’t at the time of interview. 3rd question they asked me was that “WHY SHOULD THEY RECOMMEND ME”. Again I told them that I had rectified my mistakes, improved my performance, gave my 100% and I think that I was able to cross that threshold, that’s why I think that should be recommended. And lastly they asked me that whether I want to give any suggestions or not? I said NO and it was over.
After lunch the results came, none from the 8 repeater was selected. Total 10 were recommended including me. Among them I was the only repeater who got recommended in that batch. I was so happy that finally I was able to achieve for what I came here.
Author: Priyam Sharma: Persuing B.E.(ECE)from SJBIT,Bangalore.