“Success is not final. Failure is not fatal. It is the courage to continue that counts.” Hope you all are doing well. I am Almas Ahmad and with IMA’s motto “Veerta aur Vivek” I set out on a journey, whose outcome nobody can figure out. Reported at Selection Centre East Allahabad in July 2018 at 6 a.m. It was a technical entry, and I was screened out. While moving past that board “प्रथम पग” told myself “Recommend bhi honge to yahin se honge”. But, life had different plans, IMA-146 Entry. Travelled by train from Uttar Pradesh to Karnataka for 48 hrs to reach 24 SSB Bangalore. Screened in this time. Except for psychological tests, everything went well. Even my group was positive that chest no 14(me) and chest no 19 have a chance to make it. Yet, they were wrong both of us didn’t make it. 4 Were recommended.
When I was conferenced out for the first time, the idea of wearing that uniform became more adamant. When I returned home this time, my parents and relatives persuaded me to get a job and forget about the Army. In fact, I had to hear from a few relatives that Muslims are not granted this opportunity, which I always neglected. Only my girlfriend was there, who told me that Something big is waiting for you, that’s why you are getting so many failures.
IMA-147 entry. Reported at Allahabad MCO again in March 2019. The josh was even higher this time, having gone through the entire procedure once. Got 11 SSB’s additional officer as my IO. He cornered me at each step.
IO- “Your father’s monthly income is 8000rs and he owns a general merchant shop, yet even being a B.Tech. you are wasting your time at home.”
I had prepared so many answers yet I became silent. I was conferenced out again. This time I was so frustrated that I missed my train while returning back, I threw all my luggage and felt devastated. I felt like running away because I didn’t want to face my parents and those relatives again.
Returned back, and started searching for a job because that interview left a deep impact on me. Gave PO exam, failed was not even able to qualify Clerk exam. Because I had related every aspect of my life with SSB. This time I decided I won’t tell anyone that I’m writing the CDS exam. Got placed with an MNC in April and moved to Pune, while I was working, IMA-148 dates had come. I didn’t even tell at home that I was going for SSB again. Took a flight from Pune, stayed at a friend’s room in Delhi. Took a bus from Delhi, had to lie on the walking space, since the seats were full and I was not getting any conveyance.
IMA-148 Entry. Reported at Allahabad MCO on Aug 10, 2019, for the 3rd time. Got 34 SSB board, this time I had referred to The Hindu’s app and StudyIQ to remain updated and I had also taken a little guidance from one of my friends who got recommended for IAF. Since he was also working it helped me a lot for Psych as well as the interview. This time I was prepared for each and every question.
IO- “Why do you think you failed in your previous attempts?”
Me- “Sir, I felt like during previous attempts I had a desperation to get recommended which negatively hampered my performance. But, this time I already have a backup and this is going to help me a lot in SSB too.”
He asked a few questions about my job and felt a bit convinced. In PGT, I did not get much chance to give my ideas which I compensated for in FGT. In GOR, I focussed on helping my mates to cross each obstacle. One of the members got stuck at the last obstacle and fell 3 times but I decided unless and until he won’t cross I won’t reach the finish line. I made sure he crossed that obstacle. And, I was the last to reach. Did 14 Individual obstacles and was called by 3 members during Command Task. Felt confident about the conference for the first time.
15th August 2019 Conference Day. My discussion went on for 5-6 minutes only and was asked 4 general questions about the stay. Felt depressed again, I didn’t even take photographs and Xerox and had my return tickets booked as we always hear if the discussion is long, chances of getting recommended are high.
Technical Officer came with the results, asked us to shout out loud UPSC Roll No and Name after he calls out the Chest No.
“Chest No 8” I went numb. Last 1 and a half years flashed right in front of my eyes. All the taunts, the struggle, the entire journey came down to that moment. My batchmates rushed to hug me and Chest no 4 who was also recommended. I couldn’t control myself and with teary eyes asked them “Never Give Up”. 1S/O 2C/O, Got recommended in 4th attempt on Independence Day so Unless and until you don’t ratify your real-life mistakes, SSB is going to be difficult.
Got medically fit, will be joining IMA in January 2020. Hopefully, I’ll get merit in.
“Recommend hue to yahin se hue”