Perseverance will always take your car ahead and hard work will work as a nitro for it. “Do not judge me by my successes, judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.” -Nelson Mandela. These were the lines that kept me going. Motivated and cheered me to try till the very last attempt.
Hello aspirants. My name is Dev Pardeshi, I was recommended for NDA-146 from 33 SSB Bhopal on the 13th of February 2021. After three failures the happiness of hearing my chest number from the mouth of that officer that day left me berserk.
Since my childhood, I had always dreamt of joining the forces. My inclination towards the forces takes its roots in my dad who is Ex-Army personnel. When I was in class 8th I got to know about the prestigious cradle of military leadership, the NDA, and that was the day I decided “NDA to me jaa ke rahuga.”
In my class 12th, I gave two attempts of writing but couldn’t clear them. So I decided to take a drop year and prepare for it. This time I left no stones unturned and prepared well and cleared the exam with a decent 400+ score. I got the first call up for SSB for NDA-144 and the centre was Bhopal.
As per the tips from a senior from school, now in NDA, I started the preparation for SSB. I practised for OIR from RS, practised writing TAT, WAT, SRT & SD from YouTube practice sets. My dad also asked his CO to guide me and all this boosted my confidence.
With all the tips, guidance and a positive approach, I reached the SSB Centre, Bhopal. Even after giving in whatever I had in me, I was conference out. 10.02.2020. For TES-43 I got the same centre and the result too was the same. Conference out. 06.03.2020. NDA-145 got the same centre again and the results were stubborn enough to not change. 21.12.2020.
By this time I started thinking maybe ‘I don’t have it in me.’ I came back from Bhopal and thought about everything that had gone wrong. I jotted down my mistakes and started working on them. Within one month I could do reasonable justice to all the previous mistakes I had committed in those 5 days.
This time also I got my SSB at Bhopal. With much less hope and enthusiasm, I reached the centre. OIR Test was done well and I confidently participated in the PPDT. During those 5 days process, I did everything differently. I weaved good stories and sentences in TAT and WAT. I managed to write 38 SRTs and I didn’t even complete the SD.
In the GTO I kept all my focus towards the group and always tried to take the group ahead. I gave good ideas and also tried to hear others in the GD. I tried to have understood others views in the GPE. In the PGT I either tried to give ideas or worked on the ground. I did 12 obstacles and was also helpful to my teammates in the group obstacle race. My CT was the fastest as I got the way out within minutes. In interview I could answer all the questions asked and also had a good conversation with the Interviewing officer. Most of the question asked were personal life-based. I was honest while answering and told the truth about my weaknesses and didn’t try to hide any.
During these 5 Day, I enjoyed a lot with my batch mates and had a great time in the dorm. On the conference day, I was a little nervous but was not afraid of the results. When the call bell rang. I stood up, walked to the conference hall’s door and entered with a smile. I was asked some questions and was given a situation, which was ‘Since you’re an experienced chap, suppose on the day of your Psychological Tests and the GTO two freshers from your batch comes up to you and asks you for some tips. What advice will you give them and why?’
I told that for psychological tests I will only ask them to write whatever’s relatable and not to wander anywhere for ideas. And for GTO I will tell them that group should be their first priority, not yourself. Have confidence in yourself and perform. I said that I will give these devices only as I’ve committed these mistakes previously.
Hearing this my IO who happened to be the Commandant smiled. I was wished luck and was asked to wait for the results. When the results came, 7 of us got recommended. And now I know ‘I have it in me!’