Life is full of shocks. Whatever wish you ask god, god will give you, but neither in excess, nor less than what you asked or deserved.
My journey started with Indian Navy UES entry. It held in month of February 2015. There I got screened out. I was not sad, because I knew that I can get recommended. No, it was not over confidence, but optimum level of confidence. Next chance I got for indian coastguard. My PSB centre was in Mumbai. Regarding PSB I would just say that except the initial MCQ test, rest is easy. The first MCQ that is taken is bit tough, thanks to time constraint for individual section, this gets tougher. So out of my 70 candidates, only 23 got entry to next level, i.e PPDT. This was pretty easy and discussion was good. We were divided in two groups-11 & 12 candidates each. Out of we 23, in the evening 8 got screened in. The afternoon batch i.e 12o’clock batch had their PPDT on next day and as mine was morning 8am batch, that’s why we got freed in one day itself.
Now next level was FSB.
Reporting Date: 24th august.
Reporting day: At 1400hr we were made to assemble in a hall and 3 personals sat in front of us. Out of 135, total of 63 came for ssb. On that day only document verification and room allocation was done. One suggestion is ICG take very very very seriously regarding document-certificates. So make everything up to date. Yes if something is missing, they give ample amount of chance and nobody is sent back without testing. In evening our mobiles were taken, and bio-metric test was done. And we were divided in group of 10 each. And payment was told regarding bedding and food. I don’t remember exactly the amount but about 900 bucks were asked for everything, plus 500 bucks security money which will be refunded on 4th night.
Day 1: Psychometric test were same as of other SSB. So would suggest you to don’t only prepare on books, but make your hands used to speedy writing. If your fingers-hands are not quick enough, you will be unable to finish all the test in stipulated time. Here I would suggest you for TAT. There would be 11 slide and 1 blank slide. If in doubt regarding making story, then look at the character in picture and think yourself in the picture as an officer. You will easily make up a story (brilliant story). I was comfortable with the speed (thanks to practice done in advance ). I was in group-B, so on the same day in afternoon, we had group-tasks also. Some of my group members were feared that they didn’t prepared for group task and few like me were happy as we were going to be tension free for rest 3 days (extra days to roam more of delhi). GPE was a disaster for our group. We were unable to come up on common solution. Some of us were even unable to understand the problem. Seriously I would suggest you, kindly prepare some GPE before attending SSB. Then it was Group discussion.
1st topic was- In Making India developed country which has more role: Education,agriculture,military or market.
2nd topic was- Who is responsible for increase in rate of crime against women.
Both GD went smoothly. Because after a disastrous show in GPE, our group was given a break of 5 minutes and in that time we decided that we should give our best in rest otherwise we all will be conferenced out. After GD, it was lecturrette. It was easy. I spoke on “sports as a career”. Rest of the topics were also very easy and an average student can easily speak for 3 minutes.
After the GT, were asked to leave at about 1700. We were very tired after giving continuous test I a single day. In the night, we got a very bad news. Someone heard that our group, group-B is going to be white-washed by GTO. We didn’t focused on this, but still somewhere in back of mind this got stuck up.
Day 2 & 3: Two complete days my group was totally free. We 13 were like free hounds of Indian coast guard. We just roamed here and there whole day. We visited every single tourist place in Delhi.
Day 4: Interview day. There were total 3 officers who were taking interview. One was board president himself, and two were deputy president. Out of these two, one was technical officer (mine interviewer) and other was an executive branch officer. Interview was totally smooth and much of a like teacher-student talks. In between he even scolded me by saying “you are very ignorant”, “coastguard ka kabada ho jayega agar tum jaisa (he was a south indian) officer chala gaya toh.” Here I will give you one suggestion, focus on the questions of rapid round questions. Try to focus on order of the question and try to answer as per order only. If in doubt, don’t fear and ask the officer. After some 3 rapid-questions round, he gave up (I was not following the order) and told me “I am giving you 6 min,say whatever you want to say.” Now this was my golden egg chance. I spoke very confidently about cricket (my favourite), my college, my family, my hometown & state and also about myself. Now if you come upon this type of situation, then do remember to speak something about yourself. The officer is just observing your confidence and speaking level. Mine interview went for 45 min (longest in my group).
Day 5 (D-DAY): Conference was somehow making me nervous as it was my first time. But I consoled myself that “don’t fear beta, you have seen uniformed officer your whole life. Don’t get tensed.”
In conference hall, 13 officers in white sparkling uniform were sitting on a semi-round table. I greeted the board president, he was sitting in centre. He smiled at me and the officer who took my interview asked me to sit. He again asked me some SRT regarding ships (as everybody knew I was a marine engineer). After SRT, he asked me “if I am asked to rank up in ascending order according to performance in each test you gave in last 4 days ,then what will be your ranking ?”
I ranked my PI as 3rd and with a huge smile the officer asked me why ? I told him regarding the ignorance shown by me. (Please don’t hide your shortcomings. They will find everything. Just be truthful and accept it.) My conference also went for 15min (longest in whole batch).
And after conference I was in 50-50 dilemma that I will be getting recommended.
After 2 hrs of looong wait, results were declared. Out of 63, 12 got recommended. I was also recommended. From my group-B, total of 4 were recommended. Yes the worst group in GT was having the most number of recommendations.
Now on that day it took nearly furthermore 2hrs for just filling up forms and other documents. At 1800hrs we were told to report delhi base hospital after 2-3 days as per your convenience. Actually ICG don’t mentor the medicals and they don’t even escort you to base hospital. You have to yourself get all your medicals cleared up at delhi base hospital. Only our documents are sent ahead of us to base hospital.
It took nearly 1 week for all tests to get over. On 1st day we did ENT, Dental and Xray-USG. First shock of my life I got here on that day. In USG, report came out that I have a congenital hypo plastic kidney disorder. Here doctor told me to show this report to nephrology department on OPD. Now I didn’t much paid heed to it and continued my further tests. Next day blood-urine samples were given, ECG and surgical checkup was done. Then next day we were told to report R & R hospital for eye test. Actually base hospital doesn’t have advanced apparatus and free time to take our different eye test. At R&R hospital, it hardly took 2hrs to get over with all eye tests. Our reports were sent to base hospital and doctor approved all this. Now next day it was nephrology OPD. I went there and checked up myself. And that day was my worst day of life. Senior nephrologist after doing checkup told me that I am not fit for joining defence. For about 8-10seconds it made me complete dark. I dreamt of seeing myself in defence uniform from past 6 years, from my school days. But with a single blow, what god gave me just 5 days back, took back return. Somehow I gathered myself and walked out. I showed up my reports to staff surgeon (actually here no medical conference thing is done, staff surgeon himself call individually and checks the report and approves it). He read everything, saw my reports and gave condolences. My mind was not here, I was thinking how I will face myself on mirror. While seeing at mirror, I always dreamt of myself as a defence officer. I was not listening him, I just wanted to ran away from delhi and return to my home. After encouraging me, he told me one thing that I can’t forget till I die & also want to tell you all the same words:
“Officer ban na koi badi baat nahi hai,
Agar zindagi mein na bhi ban paye toh Koi gam mat karna, kyunki
Uniform toh sirf ek kapda hota hai,
Asli officer toh wohi hai jo dil mein apne desh ke bhale ke liye toofan khada kar de.”
Aap kuch aisa bano ki society ka bhala ho. After all why do we all live? It’s for benefit of human race and our society. Sirf uniform pehen ke hi desh ki sewa nahi ki jati. Civilian life mein bji aap society-country ki sewa kar sakte ho.
Kya aapne kabhi suna nahi,”a soldier is never off duty.”
Life is full of surprises. Don’t get dishearten if your dream is broken up. If you don’t get your dream job (as you think it as a dream), then believe me that you deserve better than that. God is thinking better for you and you were trying to adjust for below those standards.