Thursday, May 01, 2008

The tale of a person who wanted to be an Indian soldier

One of my cousins is in the army and a Major. Another cousin wanted to join the defence and this is his story. Statistics say that youths nowadays are opting for other streams and are not willing to join active service but ask those who have not been selected and you'll know how hard it is to join the army or anything in the defence.

My cousin grew up dreaming that he would be a soldier someday. Aunty used to tell me that she would often find him standing in front of the mirror checking if his knees are joined together, if his foot is properly shaped etc. because he had heard that the knees should be like this and the feet should be like that to pass the physicals.

Right after his secondary boards, he gave the written test for the National Defence Academy. He got through it and our happiness knew no bounds. Everybody said that he had the right physique to be in the army etc. Come personal rounds and he was not selected.

He went for an Engineering degree in EEE from Tamil Nadu and completed it with very good marks. His friends were talking about campus recruitments and a job in the IT industry, but he wrote the Combined Defence Services exam. This time too he got through the written test but failed in the rounds after that. Then we heard that he was going for some interview here and some interview there and all turned out to be something related to Active Service. The SSB and what not? In all the cases, he always got through the written test and the first couple of rounds, but would be rejected in the later rounds.

At home we have a laminated picture of my cousin and some other 24 boys standing, their names and numbers written on their chest. I heard this was for something in the navy. He was among the last 5 prospectives who had to stay behind but unfortunately, not the one who got selected. (I heard just one of them made it). This is a snap that reminds us how close my little brother was to his dreams.

He has finished his MTech and is teaching in an Engineering college in Tamil Nadu while doing his Phd.

This is the story of my cousin but he did share the story of another boy he met in one such interviews. The boy said, "My dad, brother, brother-in-law are all in the army and I haven't made it for the third time. You guys have no expectations and pressure. At home, I feel as if I am not a man. I don't know what else to do in life and I don't know how I am going back."


Ritu said...

What a splendid herat warming post! Yes...I have heard of several such failures too...some of my husband's friends who didn't make it are now in other jobs...

My heart goes out to your brother. Its an irony that in a service where there is such a severe shortfall of Officers, they would actually reject able bodied men for no apparent reason. Doesn't India need boys who would want to join the services for the passion of it, not as the last resort to earn a livlihood!!!! There seems to be a slip between the cup and the lip.

I do hope your brother finds happiness pursuing an alternate career. Wish I could add more. I am truly overwhelmed by this post.

Came to ur blog today to tell you that of u're coming to Pune, we could perhaps meet for a cup of coffee somewhere. I could gve you my handphone number. Do let me know.

manuscrypts said...

makes you feel that sometimes its better to be unsure of what you want at that age... the other boy, hope he finds his path soon...

Maverick said...

a heart breaking story indeed.. i always feel sad when someone really tries hard but yet is left a foot away frm his dreams.

Neverthless, I appreciate him for dreaming differently and trying hard to achive it. So what if he didnt get to his dreams, the process in itself must 've been quite a journey which made him a better person.

Thx, for stopping by my blog, and u've been blogging frm 2004? Gosh thats from even before the time when i knew blogs existed :)

Romila said...

This post chokes me up! Don't know what to say, I would like to meet this cousin of yours and salute him from my side.

Irony of it is the Indian army with its increasing scarcity of determined armyman has missed a very able, determined, defence personnel. A big loss for the Indian Army. Hope your cousin finds happiness in the teaching job.

AmitL said...

Err,I wonder-do you want to change your occupation on the profile page,to something more related to wedded bliss-like,domesticity,et al,I wonder??:)

Arunima said...

@Amitl:marriage is not going to change my occupation. :-)

Pallavi said...

Hmmm.. I have my cousins who went through the same. Three bros. One stuck through for 5 years, one never forgets to remind me how he is fulfilling his dad's line.. GAAH and the youngest one who is more my age is happily frolicking abroad away from the pressure.. LOL..

and recently in the news I saw that many army guys were quitting.. sigh :(

First Rain said...

Hi! I followed you back from my blog.

I was once excited enough about the army to write to them and ask more information about entry into the SSB. They never replied. But I think I didn't have any chance of getting seleceted anyway. :D