It was during the peak time of a student life, i.e where one applies for various universities and exams to pursue their undergraduate studies.It was then when one of my friends applied for NDA entrance exam.Frankly speaking, I didn’t know what the exam was about and what it meant(very few of my relatives worked for the central government and neither was I much interested in joining defense). But I being a desperate guy with a great aspiration to join a reputed institution I applied and so did my 40 other friends ;)(The exam fee was Rs.100 which was nothing compared to the thousands we spent in applying for the so-called reputed institutions across the country).
I took the exam which was in Vishakapatnam.It was great.The first paper being full of math and the second a mixture of various subjects(Physics, Chemistry, English, History, current Affairs etc.) It was fun as was much more excited to go to Vizag than to write the exam.
Fast forward to August 13th, 2016, I received an email regarding my selection for the interview at Bhopal, Madhya Pradesh.I was excited, to go to a new place and attend the first-ever interview of my life.
I planned my trip accordingly to attend the absentees batch in September as I had my exams on the day the regular batch’s interview was scheduled.
I left to Nagpur to stay at my Uncle’s place, the day before.That was as far as north I had been then.
I later left to Bhopal along with my uncle who saw me off till I got on the military bus which was curiously late.We had to show our documents and ID to get on the bus.As the bus left I found a Telugu guy with me.We all know what happens when two guys of the same language meet each other in a foreign land.We had a great time in the days that came later.:p
The bus entered the large defense area of Bhopal City, it was beautiful.We were made to assemble at a place and given rooms to stay for the next few days.After an hour or so they called to check our documents properly this time and verify the reason for coming to the absentees batch.Later we were given chest numbers and briefed about the rules and regulations to be followed during our stay.
The next day was the first day of our interview, where there would be a screening test based on our reasoning ability, spot imagining of a scene and telling a story of the same in front of a few officers and psychologists.It was great.I aced and was among the ten others who got to stay for the next four days to continue the interview.As soon as the results were declared the screened out had to leave and we had to submit our phones to them for the next four days and were given new chest-numbers.
The next three days were continuous tests of one’s thinking capability, teamwork, speaking skills, physical fitness.I was exhausted in the middle but I had to go on!The details of what those tasks can be available on any other website.I ain’t here to tell you about that!
We had great facilities at SSB Bhopal.
- Internet at low-cost
- Great Scenery of the site
- Mouth-thirsting food and a great canteen
- Indoor gaming hall
- Basketball Court
- much more…
On the third day, we were taken to a Theatre within the campus.It was thrilling as the atmosphere of the place was same as they show in movies.The best part was the theatre was an open-air theatre where all Military people and families could come and watch a movie.Though the movie was boring (Happy Bhag Jayegi) it was a wonderful experience to be seated in such an atmosphere.One of the best events in my life!
Later the next day we were allowed to go and visit the city of Bhopal after that day’s task’s were over.BTW that was the very same day when I had my personal interview with a Naval Officer which happened for about an hour.It was like anything I expected.He was too casual and trying to making me comfortable.He asked a few questions about me and few regarding the naval ships and the country.I answered most of them:p;
Coming back to the trip to the city, we had a taxi kind of vehicle(TATA Magic) which was ready to show us around the city and be with us all along the trip.We hopped in and believe me that was the best trip ever.We had a friend who was a Muslim and that day he had to go to a mosque to offer his prayers.We all were good to go along with him, and that ladies and gentlemen was the first-ever time I set foot in a mosque.Believe me guys who have never been to one, you should go to one at least once in your lifetime especially the ones on Bhopal.It was huge.Since we didn’t have our phones we couldn’t take any pictures of that charismatic place, but Google again saves the day….
Learnt quite a few things about Islam over there, in fact, asked fuckloads of doubts.
Later we went to this Science Museum and did all childish stuff oer’ there :p.
Now comes the part where we all visit the bazar of Bhopal.A certain group of guys headed of to buy ties for the final day’s judgment, but I and my Telugu guy had other plans.We roamed around initially to buy a formal shirt which I bought without trying and later found that it wouldn’t fit me!
After that purchase that’s it we roamed eating stuff and buying stuff we frankly we didn’t’ need.We being the only Andhrites had our own fun with the public and the shops.We all came back at a common spot and headed back to our center.
Bhopal is truly a beautiful city filled with lakes, on the other hand, mosques and lovely people
A day seriously well spent!
Later was the day when our results were going to be declared.So we all got ready and by which I mean…..
Before the results each of us was called upon for the final talk where a group of Officers, Psychologists, and others would surround you in Navy Uniform and see our final report and scorecard and talk with us.That was kind of a tense moment for all of us.
After all the 10 of us had completed we were eager to find out the results(like….obviously). We expected at least two of us to get recommended but sadly none got recommended.Some couldn’t take it and started blaming our GTO while some were okay with it expecting something much better in life.There were a few who said they were going to go again and attend the interview.But we all had one common feeling, that feeling of leaving that amazing place which bonded all of us together,taught us a lot, and that feeling where we have to leave each other.That was more devastating to me than the result.
We were given back our mobiles and given an option to book our tickets with a special quota so that we could go home with ease.The travel expense was reimbursed for both to and fro.We exchanged numbers and said our goodbyes and bid farewell to Service Selection Board Bhopal.We had to take our bags and head back to the railway station where all our journey had begun.
I believe writing that exam is one of the best things an Indian student can do.Acing it and making it through the first screening of the interview is brilliant.The experience I had over there wasn’t like anything else I’ve ever done.People there were all over from the country.Many people, many languages, many stories, much fun.I got to know a lot about how the people of North India see South India.I personally learned a lot of new words in Hindi(by which I mean many :p), culture of a few states, political issues which weren’t that big to be on the head, on the other hand,
The Interview made me realize my fears which I believed back then that I could overcome when the right moment arrives.It proved me I was wrong.
It made me realize that though somethings don’t seem relevant as of the moment(for me CS Engineering was my main goal) going for them will give you an experience, good or bad whatever it may be but experience is what makes a person, isn’t it?