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Meet Samyak Rai, TGC 139 AIR-1 Indian Army

Jai Hind everyone, My name is Samyak Rai, and I’ve been fortunate enough to secure All India Rank 1 in the TGC 139 July Course (Civil Engineering). I have been...

Jai Hind everyone, My name is Samyak Rai, and I’ve been fortunate enough to secure All India Rank 1 in the TGC 139 July Course (Civil Engineering). I have been recommended twice in two months. My first recommendation was for SSC Navy Tech (Pilot) from 12 SSB Bangalore on 7th January in my maiden attempt. My second recommendation was on 4th March from 22 SSB Bhopal for the TGC 139 Course. I’ve been declared fully fit for both entries and am currently awaiting the Joining Letter.

TGC-AIR-1

But there’s a catch: my story is not as picture-perfect as it might appear. It is full of failures, setbacks, learning, and necessary lessons that have made me the person I am today.

Coming from a defense background, I always aspired to join the prestigious armed forces and don the Olive Green. However, the transition from aspiring to inspiring was not all sunshine and roses.

I primarily attended various Army Public Schools across the country. During my schooling days, from class 9 to 12, my father was posted in Kolkata, the cultural capital of India, known for its rich history of art, literature, and music. Influenced by the talents surrounding me, I dabbled in creative writing as a hobby. Fast forward a couple of years, and I had penned a 190-page novel titled “The Crowded Streets of Fun” when I was in class 11. The book did fairly well in the market, and I was felicitated by the then Governor, Shri Kesari Nath Tripathi Ji. Simultaneously, I tried my hand at music composition. Six months into making music, I was offered a professional record deal by Sony Music Netherlands right before my 12th board examinations. Considering it a once-in-a-lifetime offer, I signed the deal. My music with Sony Label garnered over 700K streams on all major platforms.

However, all this came at a heavy cost to my academics. I didn’t realize how far I had drifted from my main goal. Due to inadequate time devoted to my subjects, I couldn’t perform well in the competitive exams that followed. I soon realized that something urgently needed to change.

As the saying goes, “You can’t have your legs in two boats simultaneously.” I truly understood what it meant and decided to put my interest in music and literature on hold to focus on earning the Olive Green.

12 SSB Samyak 2

Since I couldn’t justify my academic ability with the marks I had scored in classes 11 and 12, I missed the opportunity to appear for the TES and 10+2 BTech entry SSBs. When my classmates were attending those SSB Interviews, I felt disheartened that a significant opportunity had slipped away. However, deep down, I was confident that given a chance, I would perform well and clear it in the initial attempts.

When college started, I was clear about where I needed to be in life. To compensate for the missed opportunities in academics and extracurricular activities in school, I participated wholeheartedly in as many events and competitions as I could while balancing my academics. The aim was to learn, develop interpersonal relationships, and take on responsibilities. During my time in college, I made sure to put my best foot forward and never shied away from putting in extra effort.

As I delved deeper into SSB Interview preparation, I realized there was more to it than just a series of tests. The aim was not to judge who you are but whether you can be molded in the future as per their requirements. My experience at both SSBs was quite similar, where I considered it more like a 5-day camp rather than a test. One key thing that worked for me was maintaining my composure throughout the 5-day testing. I would often wake up early during the SSB Interivew days and give myself a motivational talk. It helped me stay calm and perform well in all the tasks.

Day 1 OIR: For OIR, I practiced as many sets as I could, which helped me attempt the maximum number of questions. The sets are generally easy, and practice makes them easier. PPDT: A great narration can put you at the top of the selection list in screening. In both my SSBs, I ensured that my narration caught the assessors’ attention. In the group discussion, I added logical points periodically and volunteered to conclude the common story.

22 SSB Samyak 1

Day 2 Psych: Personally, Psych has always been my favorite. The main reason is that you don’t compete with anyone else. Similar to OIR, the more you practice for Psych, the better you get at it. TAT: The stories I wrote in TAT complemented the details mentioned in my PIQ. Most of my stories revolved around my friends, family, and hobbies. I allowed myself spontaneous responses for WAT & SRT.

Interview: Right after my Psych ended, I was informed that my interview would start with my chest number. It is better to start with a fresh mind rather than wait the entire day. I was happy with my performance in the Psych and carried the same enthusiasm into my interview.

Day 3 & 4 GTO: Throughout the 9 tasks, I enjoyed them rather than forcing myself. I believe that when you give yourself space and don’t succumb to pressure, you tend to perform better.

Day 5 Conference: The much-awaited day! My conference lasted for nearly 2-3 minutes during which they asked basic questions about my experience, the stay, and what I liked the most about the center. Finally, the results were announced, and I was fortunate to get recommended alongside 7 other candidates.

In summary, from my experience, the armed forces are not looking for Einsteins or scientists. They need candidates with average IQs and a never-give-up mentality—candidates who are always true to themselves and those around them. If you believe in who YOU are and what YOU can be, no force in this world can come between you and your much-awaited uniform.

Like they say, PIQ is your bible. Introspection should be the initial step of your preparation. Anyone planning to join the armed forces should maintain a good physique and avoid negative habits as it is the purest form of self-love. As I conclude, I must assure everyone that if I can make it, then literally anyone can.

Jai Hind Jai Bharat!

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