This is my second SSB experience. The first one was in NSB Coimbatore for Navy on Nov 2015. Got conferenced out, had a mixed feeling of despair, sadness, as well as the feeling the eagerness to achieve it. I had taken a drop and studied in Kota for IIT, even took coaching for SSB after being CO I came back to Kota this time with more determination. One of my friend Robin Bamel had got recommended for TES-34 from Bhopal. He was waiting for his merit but as the fortunes had it he missed his merit by a single rank. That even motivated me more in the classes, I would always make an attempt to make my answer much better than the previous one. I took advices from lots of friends and teachers. Applied for TES-35 and Navy 10+2. Started to introspect and cross-examine myself. Tried to find out where I went wrong in last SSB and tried to fill those lacuna. Eventually, date for TES for me was 6th march 2016 IN SCS Bangalore. My IIT course was wrapped up by 28th Feb 2016. Came to Chennai for 3-4 days then headed to Bangalore. Our reporting time was 2PM so we had booked a double decker train which would leave Chennai by 7 am and reach Bangalore by 1 pm. I was really excited as one of my friend from last SSB Gautam was also traveling by the same train. We patched up together after reaching Chennai Central. He was also accompanied by one of his friends. We somehow managed to get seats together as the train was rather empty. I also got to know that one of my friend from Kota with whom I used to attend my SSB classes would also be present as his reporting date was 4th march. Nevertheless, we reached the station searched the platform for food, ate it and left. It was again a common sight that there was a long line in front of buses there were 3 of them. All aspiring candidates. I somehow managed to squeeze myself into the bus and sat in a seat where 3 people were sitting I somehow managed to end up sitting with one butt in air, it was painful but worth a shot. We reached SCS Bangalore by 3 pm I along with 2 other guys took out the luggages out of the bus. We had some documentation and verification and of course TA for the first timers, although it wasn’t applicable for me so felt a bit sad. We were divided into 3 groups The Freshers, The Screened Out and the Repeaters, the Repeaters were allotted the last set of Chest No. we were all in all 210 candidates and were provided accommodation in a bed bug infested room. But somehow managed a night got up early took a bath and was ready so now begins the FIRST DAY.
We were asked to assemble near the SSB building HQ and were asked to await further instructions. After sometime we all were taken into a hall and were administered the verbal as well the non-verbal reasoning test. After that we were administered the PPDT, quite easy made a good story, make sure you have good thoughts as it will help you write good stories within time, after writing all these we were asked to wait outside in groups of 15-16 as GD was going to take place. When the turn of our group came I felt a bit nervous as I had heard that in case of repeaters there is always a fish market. We were asked to narrate our stories within a minute. Even had to shorten my story enough to fit in a minute. Some instead of shortening were lengthening their stories and it costed them dearly later on. I somehow managed to wrap it in a minute. Now the GD starts, as soon as a single word is uttered the Psychologist decides to divide the group in 2 and listen turn by turn. In our group nonetheless, we didn’t reach common conclusion as the whole group was stuck in deciding the theme I only gave a single and solid point and waited out. Afterward we were provided lunch and were awaiting our results in front of our packed bags. I was a bit nervous in the screen in because of the past records screen in has. And so the results were announced, I got in but unfortunately my friend Gautam wasn’t able to make the cut his other friend was through out of 210 only 38 were screened in. Who knew those 38 were going to be best friends. We were provided rooms with the group of 8. So in my room were 6 idiots one of them relocated immediately. From chest no. 25 to 32 had a bunch of great guys. We were so much engrossed in our talking that we forgot that we had to sleep early.
Now the day 2 which I consider the most boring day of the SSB process. It was the Psych day so all the 38 were armed with 2-3 pens and I had only one and prayed that it didn’t got stuck in the middle. Somehow managed to go through the TAT, WAT (all 60), SRT(all 60) and SDT completed all of them without leaving one and wrote freely without even thinking just whatever came to my mind. I wanted to be myself this time. After this we were asked to wait downstairs for further instructions and I was hoping that my Interview should be over by that day itself. So it happened my time slot for interview was12.30pm and by the time I went to my room to change and freshen myself up it was 11pm. Hurried myself up and went to the waiting room, I was way too nervous this time I don’t know why but I was. As soon as I entered the room there the officer was waiting, he stood up for handshake, went and did it. He began his questions and shoot it one after another I then adapted the art of dodging them like Neo in The Matrix. So these were the questions asked:
I: Your name is Nadeem Akhtar Choudhury, mother tongue is Bengali and you are settled in Chennai, how come?
M: My father is an ex-servicemen retd. JWO and his last posting was here, we originally hail from Assam, and Choudhury was title given by the Britishers.
I: Your birthplace is in?
I: Do you know that a great commander lived and who fought a very big war, even his statue, a big one is located in Guwahati.
M: Sorry sir I don’t know I’ll let you know later.
I: Don’t you know him, his name is Lachit Borphukan, OK let me know about him in conference.
M: Yes sir surely.
I: Your father is an advocate, pretty interesting, which trade was he in?
M: Sir he was a MT Fitter, and he completed his LL.B in 1997 and till retirement he was serving in the Air Force legal cell.
I: Ok tell me what was your percentage in class 12, which teacher you liked the most and which one you didn’t, which subject you liked the most and which one you didn’t, and what are you doing now.
M: Sir 87%, I liked my physics teacher and disliked my chem teacher, I liked chemistry very much and disliked maths, I have taken a drop to study for entrance exams.
I: Which all entrance exam are you planning to give?
M: IIT, VIT, BIT, IMU, NDA.
I: Did you give last NDA paper.
M: Sir last NDA paper was on 27th September and I had contacted dengue on 22nd September, doctor didn’t allowed me to go. So I was unable to write.
I: have you read this in arihant book or ssbcrack site, because a person who comes from Kashmir gives the same reason, a person from Gujarat gave chicken pox, dengue and chicken pox are the only reasons you get?
M: Sir I haven’t read this in anywhere even I have a medical certificate due to which I had to postpone my first SSB which was to be held on 11th October in Coimbatore.
I: I don’t want any certificate and the reason is not so true.
M: Sir it is up to you to believe I have said my part and I know that it is true and best to my knowledge.
I: OK tell me what a brevet is.
M: Sorry sir I don’t know.
I: you wrote your hobby is cycling.
M: Sir I don’t do professional cycling, I like to move around in cycle to any place that’s why I love it.
I: Which type of cycle do you have, is it geared?
M: Hercules, non-geared.
I: Apart from playing outside what do you like to do.
M: I like to read non fictional books.
I: OK which one did you read before coming here.
M: Sir, 1965: Second Indo-Pak war and Adolf Hitler: Dwitiya Vishwa Yudh Kyu aur kaise.
I: Oh you have read 1965 book OK tell me about battle of Haji Pir.
M: Told him.
I: Which version did you read, Lt. Gen Harbaksh Singh’s?
M: No sir, it was written by Rachna Bisht.
I: Yes, it is the latest one, ok is Haji Pir with us?
M: No, sir.
M: Sir because of Tashkent Declaration.
I: What is it?
(Told him but he wasn’t satisfied so he asked me to let him know later.)
I: So you have taken part in lots of co-curricular activities especially quiz, so tell me about Neil ‘Obrien.
M: Sorry sir I don’t know.
I: Do you know Derek.
M: Yes sir he was the host of bourn vita quiz contest.
I: OK so he is in which political party now.
M: (hesitatingly) Congress.
I: Are you sure.
M: Yes sir.
I: After your training which wing you want to join.
M: Sir Artillery.
M: Because I love to operate weapons.
I: Why don’t you join Mechanized infantry or armored corps?
M: I want to join artillery only.
I: OK, tell me some of its equipment.
M: sir Bofors, M777 howitzers.
M: I don’t know sir.
So the interview was over, went to have lunch immediately and headed back to my room, I was relieved a bit as the interview was over very soon maybe 30-35 mins. All roommates then headed outside to explore Bangalore and its beauty, came back by 6pm. Chit chatted played TT and slept as tomorrow was another big day.
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Woke up by 4.30 am got ready and went for breakfast as we were asked to assemble by 6.15 am as today was GTO day 1. Everyone including me were excited. We had GD, GPE, Lecturette, IO, PGT, HGT and GOR in same day, bit tiring but it was the most active day. I had not done pretty well in PGT just gave a single idea in 3rd obstacle, HGT went well, I was able to complete 10 IO, GD and GPE were smooth all credits to my team mates. The most hilarious part was GOR, we stood first but had a bit of fun too. As in 8 feet wall which are connected by rods, I was a bit scared and was going to fall so I just sat there and everyone looking at me, even in last slide obstacle I was swinging that was hilarious. But never mind, completed it though. We had lots of laugh and heavy lunch after which almost all were martyred in their beds. But some of martyrs from our room wanted to go out so we managed to gather some people and headed out. Came back, had a big group discussion almost all 38 were present in a single room and were talking and sharing their past experiences. We went to bed by 1 am.
Woke up at 5 am, hurried to bath and got ready and assembled at same time. Today we only had our CT and FGT. My voice was gone completely and was barely able to talk due to yesterday’s chit chat dominancy. When my turn came I was asked to shout 2 chest numbers and there was only a squeak. GTO laughed and said “before going to battle you are martyred huh, what happened to your throat”. Even the ground staff including all the groups nearby were laughing and I was laughing too. But managed to complete my CT. FGT I didn’t give a single idea, just helped the team achieve it. That day was bit boring but I played TT whole time to improve my game. Chatted and went off for the big day tomorrow.
Today was the conference day, we had assembled near the conference building by 6.30 am and were tensed. We were briefed by a staff member about how to go about the whole conference procedure. Then we were asked to wait in a hall. Soon, Dy President of 17 SSB came to give the closing address. He motivated a lot and told not to worry as it is not last SSB of life and lots of stuff. We were overwhelmed by his speech. Later on the procedure started it was taking a lot of time even had 2 short naps in between. It took 2 hrs to wrap chest nos. 1-20 but just half an hour to wrap 21-38. I was 31, my heart beats were fast as if it would come out any moment from my chest. When I entered I greeted the president and sat, the IO then asked for the answers and I gave him one by one, he then asked how you would rate your performance. I said that GTO was first and Psych last. He asked why for both and I said that I gel well with group since my schooling days so GTO first and as far as psych is concerned there is always a scope of improvement. And I left.
Soon after sometime results were announced, the TO asked whether it is to be random or serial wise. Everyone said serial wise. It was 6,7,8,13,25,27,31,33. I was very much elated, even as I was about to stand but I fell back in the chair. One of my friends ch. No. 28 was ardent aspirant even took a drop for it, was left crying. I wanted to meet my friends as soon as I reached, they were already in the bus I managed to meet 3-4 of them and left.
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