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Sunday, February 25, 2024

TV Anchor Cracked SSB Interview In 6th Attempt To Join the Indian Army

I first appeared for SSB right after my 12 in 2014. My teachers and mentors were quite confident that I would get through considering my sports, co-curricular, and academic background.

TV Anchor Cracked SSB Interview: Hello, I am Rahul. I have been recommended in my 6th attempt, 9 years since I first appeared for SSB. An engineer by degree and Journalist by profession, I always had this fascination for the army. I left my well-doing career as a Tv anchor, having also been a part of top media groups in the country.

TV Anchor Cracked SSB Interview

Just to make the background clear, my Grandfather and his brothers were veterans of WW 2 and Indo-Pak wars, also being among the first recipients of the gallantry award of Independent India. But the scenario changed ever since. None in our family or the extended families joined the forces thereafter. But ever since my childhood when I used to visit Cantonment areas, and CDA offices with my grandmother, I had this awe for the army. I always felt that those who people wear olive greens are the special ones; people love them; the kids who are brought up in the Cants are blessed ones.  

I first appeared for SSB right after my 12 in 2014. My teachers and mentors were quite confident that I would get through considering my sports, co-curricular, and academic background. To the surprise of everyone, I got conferenced out. I was left trembling. To make things worse for me, I got screened out 7 months later. Life kind of stopped. It was a reality check for me.

TV Anchor Cracked SSB Interview

However, by this time, I had enrolled myself in an Engineering college. Whereas other students discussed exams, internals, project, and viva, rarely did I find myself sailing in the same boat with them. I turned from a school topper to backlogged (if there is any such word). Semesters passed and my disinterest towards technology grew, what increased was my love for society, humanities, people, charity camps, doing stage, politics, and news. I started working with NGOs, organizing blood donation camps and spending festivals and birthdays with the less privileged ones.

During the final years of my Engineering, I also started working for the local social media portals and in the evening I also used to go to a studio to rehearse and come back late at night after delivering tuitions. All this was not just the area of my interest but also kept me at bay from the issues simultaneously going on in life.

Henceforth, I started getting clarity on what I wanted to do and more so, what I didn’t. I somehow managed to pass the bachelor’s with the little grades I could and took more time than the stipulated 4 years. I was denied the campus placement opportunity I received.

Soon after, within a month of the completion of the graduation, I received a call from a leading media house in the film city, of Noida. Fighting all resistance I packed my bag and moved to NCR where it was a tough grind for 4 months, travelling each day from Gurugram to Noida. I gave my first audition as a TV anchor and got through, thanks to the learnings I acquired. Started doing well, got multiple roles and within a few months started training interns from leading media schools.

I was fortunate enough to have covered a few of the most historic events in Indian history during my stint including 370 abrogation, the Shri Ram Janmabhumi verdict, etc.

tv journalist ssb interview

In the latter half of 2019, the old love again started to make its way up the vent in my life. Though the media life was giving me everything a young man in his early twenties could ask for viz fame, recognition, lifestyle and whatnot. But due to certain intrinsic and external reasons, I realized that probably time to move ahead again. I registered for CDS very covertly; managed at least half an hour daily post 12-15 hours shift. I managed to clear it in the first attempt and now it was time to convey it to my office, colleagues and family. On hearing this, most of them were capricious about my inane decision. I listened no further; put up my resignation and came back home in the midst of all resistance and advice.

Homecoming was no easier. On one hand, where I had to start from 0 for the SSB preparation with less than 2 months in hand and on the other, I had to face my relatives and community. I appeared for SSB in Bhopal and realized that in the past 6 years, the level of SSB was up by 12 levels. The competition was insane with people with as many as 13 SSBs being there in my batch. I cleared screening but got conferenced out. Came back home shattered. At this time I realized where I had put myself into.

15 days later, what struck and changed everyone’s life forever was CoVID. Life got stuck. I was in the middle of nowhere. I could not go back and in front, there was nothing visible even miles away. Fortunately though, just before COVID struck, I had cleared another CDS written so was expecting another SSB soon. The wait turned longer and longer. On one hand, there was a challenge of survival for each one of us and on the other, I had the challenge of giving meaning to my life again. In this very period, the transformation was initiated and actualized. I shredded more than 13 kgs of weight, got back to books, turned closer to myself, and realized the true essence of life and spirituality. But the SSB still got delayed and I had no other option to wait and work on myself. In the meanwhile, I started to teach and also started freelance work in the media field again.

In January 2021, I got a call from Selection Center South, Bengaluru. The performance in this SSB raised the bar. All was going on well until the last day when I messed up in the command task. The result was the same again, Conferenced out again.

2 months later, I had another SSB which was supposed to be my last SSB because of my age running out and the commitments I had made to my parents to move ahead with other options in life. This time, the place was Kapurthala. The batch saw a huge report of around 300+ candidates and just 30 odd got screened in I managed to sneak my place in for the next 5 days as well. It was going on well until I got grilled on technical questions pertaining to engineering. However, hopes were still there but again, the same story- Conferenced out.

Shattered, devastated would be small words to tell you what I felt about knowing that I would never be able to wear the uniform that I always dreamt of. I somehow collected the broken pieces and rolled my trolly out of the gate of the Selection Center. Sat outside on a platform and cried alone. I did not want to go back home. Outside was a civilian world which felt alien and to my left was a world that was not letting me be a part of it.

Two days later, I reached home. It took me some time to accept the reality that I have to find something in this civil world again whereas the heart was still stuck in the Cantt. Anyhow apart from my teaching and freelance, I decided to prepare for the Civil services, for which I knew that the journey is going to be long and uncertain.

For the time thereafter, I found myself surrounded by books, exams, expectations, and despair; despair of going nowhere in life, despair of not wearing a uniform in life ever and despair of close ones leaving.

It was the time when I came close to realizing why people get into psychological disorders and commit harm to themselves. Somehow because of my tough upbringing, I tried to stand the test of time. When I looked in the mirror, I saw that I wasn’t the same anymore. People unaware came to me and said things like, “Tum pehle ache dikhte thae… Baal kyu km ho gye tumhare…Wo pehle jaisi chamak nahin rahi tumme.”

Rather than laying back and repenting on my decisions or cursing my time, I did all those activities which made me feel better which included running, performing poetries, solo café hopping and listening to hymns to surround myself with positivity. This was easier said than done as I failed in one of the CS Mains, few of the exams I cleared got cancelled, thus adding to my woes. The year was now in the latter half of 2022, and I got an email inviting me for an SSB for an exam I had given quietly some time back but for which I had little expectation of call up.

But this time, before I could tell my parents about this, I couldn’t even convince myself to appear for the same, thus letting it go and again got busy with my work and studies. Just 12 days before the scheduled date, I out of nowhere told my family about me getting the call up to which they were happy and asked me as to what I wanted to do before reminding me that I had already given my career and most crucial years to this. Though they eventually told me that if not going with them bothers me all through my life, I should pack my bags and go because that is where my heart would be.

I had little less than 10 days in my bag. I was already in shape courtesy of my cardio which I never left. This was too less a time to practice or prepare anything. So all I did was brushed up on some current affairs and talked to a few SSB friends; Shashank Ruhela and Ashutosh Tyagi.

I reached the station a day prior. It was the same city I had come to 8 years ago, the city wherein an 18-year-old ignorant of the realities of life got a reality check. The city was Allahabad, now Prayagraj (the rejection centre).

We reported for screening in the dawn of a briskly cold morning in October with bhajans playing on the roadside and a temple in front of our hotel.

I don’t know as to why I did not develop any seriousness or pressure during the screening. I got screened in. But again, there was no excitement or blood rush. In the following 4 days, I hardly touched any book or discussed anything about the interview with anybody. All I did was played Basketball in the evening and table tennis during the night in the barracks.

All this went on well till the final day of GTO when I realized that I had done decently well in the past few days and now I need to conclude it well for my personal satisfaction and not for the selection. I did 10 obstacles in less than 3 minutes and got a fairly challenging Command Task with GTO sir making life difficult for me with every solution I gave. The SSB concluded well for me. Then came the D-Day. I expected my conference to go a little longer than the previous attempt but to my surprise it was again a regular conference lasting for around 2 minutes.

Just after the short lunch break, an officer with an emblem and star on his shoulder and a file in his hand came to the Auditorium where we all were seated. He told us to shout out our Roll Nos and DOB if and when our names were called. After his motivating speech, the Officer read out Chest No 3, we all looked towards our group mate who made his way to the front after speaking out his details. We all looked towards the officer to check if there was any other name in the file. He looked towards the file and said: CHEST NO: 7

For seconds there was no movement or noise in the hall before I realized it was MY TURN to get up… Chest no 7 was me… In these few seconds, before I could speak anything, a flashback of the previous 4 years played in front of my eyes like a movie role. The journey from being a renowned personality to being no one. The suffering, failures and other personal events that unfolded were visualized right in front. So much entangled in emotions, I found it difficult to speak a word. The officer was kind enough to give me lil time. Between the tears and quavering, I slowly uttered my DOB but could not speak my Roll no. Just when I went ahead and stood with chest no 3, I could not look up what happened after that. Later, when the officer left, I saw a few of my friends Ankit, Mahesh, Jaideep, Manish and others run towards me and shed a tear or two in my company.

It took me around an hour to realize that I finally have been recommended. I looked at the plus sign and realized that this was what I had to give my years to. What happened thereafter is again a long story on its own and shall leave it for the close ones. It has already been quite a long recital.

Without going much into the Motivational zone, I shall conclude it with an old saying “It is not the speed of the rivers that breaks the mountains, it is the continuity.” Also, important is that don’t let the final destination get so heavy on you that you forget the process and the life at hand.

Keep yourself grinding but also grounded. Just don’t have passion for something. Love it religiously. Passion has blindspots, love opens your senses.

To crack the SSB Interview, You can join our SSB interview live classes batch and we recommend you to Enroll SSB INTERVIEW ONLINE COURSE. Trusted by thousands of defence aspirants.

The Editorial Team at SSBCrack consists of professional writers, journalists and defence aspirants.
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