This SSB Success Story Will Make You Emotional Also A Lesson For Defence Aspirants

There’s never a plan. Life is a journey, you visit different places; learning throughout.

I won’t bore you with my past, I’ll tell events which happened to me after I got Recommended.

25th November 2016, Selection Center South (Bangalore). All the hard work paid off. I was Recommended for SSC Tech 48 course. Yes, the exam to which Wikipedia entry says, ‘SSB is the world’s toughest army test’. I had goosebumps for the whole day, being high in the future to come.

Medicals started from 26th, every single report was marked ‘normal, healthy or fit’

It was on 30th, which was supposedly final day of my medical. I got to know I had a low hemoglobin (12.5, Defense standard is 13–17). Quite a normal thing right? Just some pomegranate, spinach and beetroot shall do. That’s what everyone said. Even the AMC (Army Medical Corps) medical officer thought so. He asked me to give a blood sample for a retest after 2 days as by his observations I wasn’t anemic. Retest reports were same as before. He gave me a ‘Temporary Unfit’ for 42 days, prescribed a diet and assured hemoglobin will surely improve.

5th December, Durgapur, back to home; my family, my extended family of more than 40 members, rejoicing for me. I went to a super specialty hospital consulted an expert dietitian, he prescribed few supplements and an iron rich diet. And said hemoglobin will surely increase. Subsequently, police verification, gazetted officer verification, educational verification all formalities (common process before joining the academy) were happening.

In a few days, everyone knew. My teachers, neighbors, maids, Doodhwala (milkman), every other person I knew was advising me “Anar aur palak khao ab toh afsar bann rhe ..teen mahine me’ (eat pomegranate and spinach, now you’ll be officer in a few months)

I was keeping track of my hemoglobin weekly, 12.3, 12.5, 12.8, 12.5; it just won’t cross 13! Consulted 3 other senior doctors, each one of them assured it’ll improve; keeping on increasing my medicine dosage.SSB Success Story

13th January, Command Hospital Kolkata. Met the doctor after formalities, asked for a complete Hemogram. 14th, reports came. Hemoglobin 14.4! I was in clouds, 7th heaven again. Met doctor, he asked his assistant to mark me ‘FIT’ and ready the documents. Just before signing he studied report once more. Some components were lesser than ranges. Ask for a retest from outdoor pathology (for assurance), I was diagnosed with a genetic condition of lower volume of Red Blood Cell. He said these words “It’d be difficult for you to survive and face extreme physical, mental stress and strain of army standards at high altitude; resulting in hemoglobin loss”.

Shattered! Every plan, dreams everything I hope for the future to be shatter with that. He crossed the ‘FIT’ written in the document and wrote ‘permanently unfit for defense forces’.

I think, I can’t describe in words how my family, friends, everyone who knew felt. It was a shocker for everyone.

Later, in March I made it to the merit list but got a letter from MoD (Ministry of Defense) that I won’t get the Joining Letter.

I wasn’t depressed, just silent, isolated, feeling lonely to myself, frustrated by everything. It took more than one month to get back my mojo. It was my family and two of my friends Piyush, Rishu; I owe them many things which they don’t acknowledge. I recollected myself, I didn’t have any Plan B.

1st March, Ready for my next challenge. I joined a start-up of my friend who happens to be my college senior and roommate for 3 years. Being from a business background, I knew what was calling me, being an entrepreneur was the second thing in my list of wishes. I joined as a Co-founder; learning, experimenting with things applying everything I’ve learned about economics, human behavior and psychology. I don’t know, what will I be up to after few months. I’m sure about one thing, I’ll learn.

14th April, Bangalore, I’m writing this. I just want to say,

Never stop learning. It’s life, it’ll take you to many places, make you face many situations. It’s all worth and will connect someday. Whatever you do and have done, shapes you become whatever you want to.

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.”

~ Steve Jobs

BY: Anshuman Agrahari


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