“Don’t read success stories, you will get only message. Read failure stories, you will get the ideas to get success” – Dr APJ Abdul Kalam. As the above quote says, it is a story which will give you a lot of ideas on how to get success on every problem you face starting from SSB to until you become an Officer in the defence forces. So hang on, it’s a long story. I am Mohamed Shameer, Ex-Cadet of Indian Naval Academy, that’s what my friends say. Getting into defence is my dream which started during my college days. So, ultimately gave on CDS for 6 times, where all ended in failures. So next time, I went for Naval direct entry to taste my first SSB experience.
Applied, got the call and reported to NSB Coimbatore. This is the city where I graduated, so with friendly environment went on to report with high hopes.
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Day 1 – My documents got checked, got my chest number, groups allotted and went into the hall. One of the candidates gave me a disgusting look, when I said, I am a fresher. It really scared shit out of me and I looked at him, as an experienced person, he is gonna knock me down in the stage 1 itself. Completed my aptitude test and PPDT well before the time.
Now, I got to know, why he gave me that kind of look, because, among 32 screened in candidates, 26 were freshers and I was also one among them. Chest number is 7, my lucky thing again.
- Always attend 100 questions in aptitude test. Repeaters, if you get 100 in this, you will get a fair chance of getting screened in.
- Write a story, which is unique. To write a unique story, when you see the picture, obviously you will be getting a story in your mind, now avoid that story and write an opposite or different story (In my all 8 attempts, I was only once screened out). Because, like you, others will also be getting the same story in their head, so, if you do write a unique one, your chances are getting even higher. Be calm and composed during discussion and always try to give a “Head Shot” points.
Day 2 – My psychology test went well as I completed all the tests before time
Hint : 1. Whatever comes to your mind put it on the paper. Never write coached responses.
Day 3 – My GTO was really good except few scolding here and there.
Hint: 1. Again, be calm and composed, head shot points and have a knowledge on current affairs.
- Never try the “Trial and error” method with obstacles. Take a brief look at the very obstacle and try to solve them in a single shot. These obstacle are for 8th Std kids, who solve it using “Trial and error” method, but as an graduate, GTO will expect you to be more intelligent than them.
Day 4 – Same usual stuff. Here, I got an instinct that I am gonna get recommended, because of the conversation I had with my GTO, who was very much interested in my past and my interests.
Here comes the Interview call.
Same usual stuff like, educational, extracurricular, family background and hobbies.
Here comes the interesting part. It started like this,
IO : which party won the recent elections?
ME: BJP and Prime Minister is Narendra Modi,Sir
IO : To Which house Modi is selected?
ME: To Rajya Sabha, Sir
IO : What???!!!!!!!
Me: Sorry sir, it is Lok sabha
IO : How are you saying it is lok sabha now?
ME: I was reading a newspaper while waiting outside, there was a news about Rajya Sabha, due to nervousness I gave you the wrong answer. (Thank god he didn’t ask me the news)
IO : How much is 2^10?
ME: 512, Sir
IO : Beta, calm down and give me a correct answer and take your own time.
And, he made me to tell the 2 power table like a kindergarten kid by using my fingers.
After few more blunders, the diced started rolling towards my luck. Finally, after 50 minutes of interview, it got over. My IO had a great smile on his face, which actually gave me hope.
Hint : Same calm and composed nature, never have over confidence, get to the point straight away, never try to exaggerate on your achievements, give equal weight age to all the areas like your positive and negatives, have a basic idea about the force and it’s major machines. Like if you are attending a Navy SSB, know how the ship floats, how aircraft flies, how Brahmos works etc.
Day 5 – My conference took more than 5 minutes. I was literally shivering on my chair because of the officers who are in uniform. The questions were usual ones, nothing special, but I took time.
Results got out, as I said, my instinct proved me I am correct. 4 got recommended along with me. Filled the forms for Medicals, got a train to Kochi, reported for medicals in Southern Naval Command, Kochi. Finished my medicals after 11 days, the report said that I am medically fit in all areas, then got a bus to Chennai
My Joining order came in the month of November, 2014, which instructed me to report on 10 January 2015.
As per the letter, reported to INA on the said date along with my SSB mates and few other friends.
I felt that my dream has come true when I saw INA and the models ships.
My training started on very second day. I got only 4 to 5 hours of sleep due to training and punishments. After a month, I started feeling acute pain in my knees and one fine day I ended up in the hospital after few consultations. I was not even able to stand due to the pain. Doctors said my knees are weak; literally I have got weak cartilages, which are not able to take up the stress.
One of my senior ended up permanently disabled because of the same problem and he got permanently debarred from the Navy and other forces. Now, I totally got scared that I may also end up in the same condition. To avoid Permanent disability and debar, I took a very worst decision of my life that is to get withdrawal from Navy. After paying a hefty amount, I came out of the Navy.
After I recovered, I started searching for jobs in IT companies, then truth hit me hard, after the gap, none of the IT companies were interested to give me a job, even my previous company. Then I started going for SSBs in the hope of getting into the force again.
In every interview, I got a evil question “Why did you came out of INA?”, even though I told them the honest answer, none of the boards were interested in recommending me.
After 2 Coast Guard, 3 Navy, 1 Army and Airforce SSBs, I am still jobless, whereas my course mates got passed out of the academy very recently. Now, I am trying to move out of my country for my higher studies, which gives me a pain, that I am leaving my country and dream.
My point and advice here are, NEVER EVER COME OUT OF THE ACADEMY, WHATEVER YOU FACE THERE, Don’t let the success hit your head and withstand whatever the training and seniors put on your plate. I have seen N no. of cadets who run out of the academy like sissy boys (this is the name given to the runners there) by saying that they were not able to take up the training, within few days. So, you people don’t do that.
All the very best for your future endeavours, Aspirants.
P.S. : The above hints were from my experiences. Because of one single question and other very few things I am not able to clear, but you can do.