Today watching my name appearing in the merit list of the batch for IMA 137 course, memories start to whirl around my mind. A month ago wearing a chest number with a prestigious ‘+’ sign, I wondered is it real or just a wonderful dream. I knew it would take time to sink in, because it wasn’t just a fulfillment of a single person’s aspiration, it was a success for the whole family and friends. It’s a feeling of pride and joy in family’s eyes, a treat to watch a sense of excitement on friend’s faces.
It’s a journey that starts a few years back when a cousin brother got commissioned in the Army. Listening how he achieved it and watching the satisfaction on his parents faces, I use to think should I also try it? Am I capable of achieving it? Do I really want to be an Army officer? But at that point of time, I never felt about it by heart.
Then I met Bhushan in my life, a friend who completely changed it for me. Frankly, it is because of him along with my mother, I am here standing as an Indian Army Officer in the making. Listening to his experiences about SSB’s, the life a Gentleman Cadet (GC) in the academy, the kind of honour and respect an officer receives, the dignity in the Defence Services, made me fell in love with this career. Along with it all, it was my mother’s motivation; her words always encouraged me and made me believe that, yes I can do it. And I started thinking about it, dreaming about it, preparing for it. It was my father’s friend an ex-serviceman, because of whom I started Meeting people from the defence services, which helped me to know in detail about the army and the entrance exams.
With this all and some preparations, I gave the CDSE, cleared it and then came the first call-up letter for the SSB. The day 24th July 2013, from where the real journey began and considering everyone’s views, I decided to take some training which would help me to get familiarized with the process of SSB. With it, I went to the SSB, and with everyone’s wishes and hopes I gave my best shot, but somehow fall short of touch line.
On 23rd September 2013, after the conference results, it was a tough pill to swallow. But, family and friends made it easy. The realization of not getting recommended actually gave me and impetus to perform better and introspect. After which with a wisely guidance of Ret. Brig. Harish Chande, Col. Durga and Lt. Col. Indrajit Ghoshal, I started to understand the SSB better.
The psychological techniques really made me to think positive, to act positively at any situation. The GTO technique’s made me realize the importance of group work and planning and time management along with the social adaptability factor. The interview techniques made me speak, made me introspect and really look where I stand. With this all three ‘मनसा’, ‘वाचा ‘and ‘कर्मा’, the wheels of mind and brain started churning, started thinking deep.
With this all and a rejuvenated mind, I entered the SSB again and it did wonders to myself. And today, watching my name in the merit list I feel proud with a sense of satisfaction, for the efforts I put in. But as the President Sir said, it’s just a start of another wonderful journey… I thank each and everyone around me for helping me to reach this position, and I hope I will walk the path of this wonderful journey with all the blessings and support of all my friends and family and after a year and half I will achieve the ultimate dream… of being AN INDIAN ARMY OFFICER.
About Rohan Chavan: I am joining IMA 137 course on 12th July. Just want share my experience of the SSB and what I learnt throughout the process of it.