Cracked SSB Interview In My 8th Attempt To Join Indian Army

I got recommended for CDSE IMA 148 course in my 8th attempt and I thank SSBCrack for providing proper guidance throughout this 4-year journey. Ladies & Gentleman and dear aspirants. This will surely be a long read for you all but I am sure it is worthy of your time. I will advise you all to bear with me and my amateur writing skills. Everything started long back, I still remember when I first went for my first SSB at Bengaluru in Oct 2015 for NDA 135th course out of curiosity. By that time I was already enrolled in B.Tech course at NIT Agartala. I had no idea what SSB is, how life as an officer is or what it takes to be there. It was sheer fortune that I wrote NDA and got my callup. That was the first encounter with the Armed Forces. I come from a civilian background and I had never seen the lifestyle and working culture of Fauj. I felt a different aura of the place and was so impressed with the officers present over there that I genuinely wanted to get recommended, obviously I was not recommended. As I was leaving Selection Centre South, I made a promise to myself that someday I will get through, I will come back and I will get the recommendation. Initially, it was only a challenge for me, a challenge which was worth putting in every effort.

 I went back to my college, continued my studies and gradually started to look into Fauj. There was a different spark in it, there was something that attracted me towards it right after my SSB. In a couple of months, after looking into it, talking about it, knowing about it, I made up my mind to seriously pursue my career in fauj. That decision changed my life.

I reappeared for NDA 137th course and this time it was AFSB Mysore. I prepared my best. I introspected and worked on my shortcomings. I did everything I could to frame an officer like personality in myself. My midterm and SSB dates clashed. I chose SSB. I was very confident that this time I will make it. I was already dreaming about NDA. Everything went well at Mysore, but when the results came I was yet again not recommended. I was shattered. I was disappointed. It was my last attempt for NDA, and my dream of getting into the National Defence Academy was broken into pieces. I literally had tears in my eyes when we were taken back to Railway Station. I gave my best and yet it was not good enough.

I came back to college, now I had to reassess everything. I had to look after my Engineering course as well which itself demanded time and efforts. I decided to start everything from 0 again, work upon myself and again try after my Engineering. I had good 2-2.5 years to prepare and improve. I started thinking about qualities I need to inculcate, how I should frame myself and how to bring up that psychology. I started with little things. I started observing. I started reading, about anything and everything. I improved my physical fitness and strengthened my mental robustness. NIT Agartala and my friends there helped me a lot in developing many essential qualities in myself. Every event I participated, every sport I played, every time I got an opportunity to lead and take responsibility, I took it and I learnt from it. I started to change myself. I started following the principle of ‘Mansa, Vacha, Karmana’. I scanned almost every article available about SSB and watched videos of Fauj to keep myself motivated. Motivation level was already soaring high. I was waiting for my opportunity, my next SSB.

My next SSB call-up came after good 2 years and I thought I was all ready. I was high on Josh and full of confidence. I reported at Bengaluru for Naval Entry in Oct 2018, and to my shock, I was screened out this time. It felt like something has stopped for some moments. It was not sinking in. I came back and gave a deep insight into what went wrong. I made sure not to repeat the same mistakes again and again reported for next SSB at AFSB Mysore in Dec 2018. I was again screened out. I was very disappointed. I was working for it day and night and I was not even getting through the initial screening. I again went back and introspected about it. Every rejection was a lesson for me. I learnt from it and made myself more prepared for the next attempt. I again reported at Bhopal for TGC in Mar 2019 and guess what, again screened out. Now I was broke, I didn’t know what to do. I didn’t know what was getting wrong. Only thing I knew was I will not stop, I will keep going no matter what, I will learn and I will improve. I again reported for CDSE SSB same month and I was yet again screened out. Now I was screened out for four consecutive times. Everyone suggested me to rethink my choice. I got many opinions, but I knew how far I had come since Oct 2015. I was not ready to quit. I chose to fight, fight till I make it. Getting into fauj was my dream, dream that I chose for myself. I was not ready to give up on it this easy.

My college got over. I had some 3 months break before I can join corporate. Two SSB were scheduled during June-July 2019 and I knew this is my last chance to give me 100%. I had to get Recommended now. I was a completely different person after facing these rejections. Only thing I could think about was me getting the Recommendation and earning that uniform. This dream kept me going and gave me the courage to fight against all odds. I again reported at AFSB Varanasi in June 2019, and this time I got screened in. It was a good experience to undergo full testing after 3 years wait, but it was not good enough. I was not recommended, but this time I had that satisfaction in me. I realised I was on the right path and got the confidence that the recommendation is not far from here. My next SSB was still a month away and I worked a few things from there onwards.

I reported at Selection Centre Central Bhopal on 18th July 2019. Our screening was on 19th. I was very calm and composed this time right from day 0. I got through the screening and I was very happy about it. Psychological testing was good and I felt that my true responses are coming out in this attempt. I was more satisfied with my responses than anytime before. Whatever I learnt in all previous attempts was coming into use. Next day was our Group Testing. GD, GPE was good. I politely gave my opinions and I was able to get the group going together. PGT was not that good, but I contributed to the group in the best possible way. Since we were 11 in our group, it was obvious that everyone will be getting somewhat less time to contribute to planning. One thing I kept in mind was to keep my cool and calm with me and to give my best without thinking about results. HGT, GOR, Lecturette, CT, IO and FGT went good. We had a good group and everyone helped each other getting the task done. I had my interview scheduled after 2nd day of GT. My interview was very crisp and short. The officer asked me many things and I was very clear with what I was responding. It was a bit different interview with very less commonly asked questions. I had my conference the next day. I was very confident and I had butterflies in my stomach. My discussion and conference were reasonably long and I was kind of grilled by the president of the board, but I was very honest and confident in my responses.

After the testing was done, we all were waiting for our results. There was something that day which made me feel that I was good enough this time. Soon an officer came with the results, and he told that he is going to announce the chest number who have made it this time. After a pause, he said chest 11! It was me, yes it was me who was good enough after 3 years and 10 months. I stood up and confirmed my identity. I couldn’t feel anything at that time. It was a priceless moment. There was the only flashback in my mind about my journey which had everything. There was a thought about my parents, my family and my friends. After a couple of minutes, reality sinks in and first tear rolled out of my eyes. It was the most wonderful feeling in the world. After facing 7 rejections, countless emotions, I heard what I dreamt about all those years. I was proud of myself and my efforts.

This journey was not easy. For me, it changed everything, it took all I had. I saw everything that a mad aspirant goes through, travelling thousands of kilometres, sleeping on platforms, unplanned trips, rejections, disappointments and what not. But there was one determination and one dream to get Recommended and to join Fauj which kept me going. I had that never give up attitude no matter what. I was willing to give everything it takes and earn it.

I strongly believe that when you give your all for a purpose, face rejections with a big heart and learn from experiences, you get it someday. All you have to do is keep going and never quit. All the Taare and Sitaare get in place then and when you see your dream getting into reality, trust me it’s worthy of everything. I have been declared medically fit for Army and I am very excited for my life at Indian Military Academy and beyond. I was very lucky to have my parents, family and friends throughout my journey. They always motivated me to do good and keep going. I made some really good friends in all my 8 attempts and learnt a lot from them. This was my story from being ignorant about getting Recommended for Indian Army in 8 attempts.

I wish everyone all the very best and I hope it was worthy of your time. Keep dreaming big.

Jai Hind

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