After a series of postponements due to the Chinese virus, I finally received the call from SSB from 2nd AFSB Mysore for NDA 144 course. This was my first SSB. So I was quite excited.
The D Day was set for 12th July 2020. But before I could reach there I had to overcome many obstacles. The first obstacle was getting a covid negative certificate as it was mandatory at that time. In our state, there was no provision of testing asymptomatic patients without any travel history. So I had to manage a lot of things and influence a lot of people to get that. Finally, I managed to get one just the 2 days before reporting.
Almost all the candidates stayed in the same hotel so a bus from AFSB came directly to our hotel to pick us. In AFSB Mysore we were asked to keep our luggage in a shed and were taken to Arjan Singh Hall. I was very excited to see people in uniform. In the Hall, our DSO briefed us about all the proceedings and our documents were checked. After that, we were given our breakfast. After breakfast, we were allotted chest numbers. Around 100 candidates had reported. I was allotted chest number 83. All these processes were completed in less than 2 hours.
Then we were taken back to Arjan Singh Hall in groups of 50. there our OIR was conducted. Two booklets were given, each containing 50 questions. Sufficient time was given to solve them. I solved all the questions and stared at the other candidates for the rest of the time. Everyone looked quite smart in formal dress.
After the OIR, the image for PPDT was shown. I made a positive and crisp story. After that, we were divided into groups of 10 and taken to discussion rooms. In the rooms, we had a 3D model covered with a cloth. I wondered that must be for GPE. Our assessors came and the narration started. In the discussion part, everyone discussed in a quite civilised manner in the beginning. When things started to get heated up I controlled the discussion and made the candidates agree on common points. Gradually we arrived at a common consensus and I was chosen for narration.
After the PPDT session, we were given our lunch. We waited anxiously for the results. Finally, the results were announced after a motivation speech. I delighted when I heard my chest number. 8 out of 10 candidates were screened in from my group. total of 63 out of 100 candidates were screened in.
After the screening, we were again taken to Arjan Singh Hall (i think AFSB Mysore has only one hall). There again our DSO briefed us about the proceedings. A thorough document check was conducted again. We were made to fill 2 identical PIQ forms. We were allotted fresh Chest numbers. This time I got Chest Number 54.
We were allowed rooms after that. The Candidates mess was fairly big. I got the C17 Globemaster room. I spent the rest of the evening acquainting with the other candidates.
At candidate’s mess, we had a beautiful motivation room with 3D models aircraft and a broken CPSS machine along with numerous books. We also had a TT table. There were also Badminton court, Basketball court and TV room but these were closed due to the Chinese virus.
Psychology test and Interview
The next day we had our Psychology Test. We were again taken to the Arjan Singh Hall, the lone hall in the entire AFSB. All the psych tests were conducted in one go. We were free for the entire day after that.
The personal interview started from the day of psych. My interview was scheduled for 11 am that day. after the psych, I rushed to the mess and got dressed up for the interview. at 12 pm my interview began. My IO was quite friendly and nice. We had a casual talk for almost 10 min. Despite being friendly, he had an evil smile. he asked me 5-6 questions in one go ( the common CIQs). I answered all of the questions well. He asked me technical questions related to my hobbies which I answered well. He tried to confuse me with the forces that act on an aircraft and how these forces act on a glider. According to him, the thrust was absent in gliders but still, they did not lose altitude. he asked mt the reason behind this. I knew that he was testing my confidence and thus explained to him everything according to the conservation of the energy. The interview ended quite well. I didn’t realised how 1 hour 20 minutes passed.
The next day i didnt had anything and was free all day. I spent the entire day reading books and playing TT.
The next day was our GTO. We were taken to the room where we had our discussion of PPDT. Our group was of 7 candidates. By that time we had developed a good understanding among ourselves. The GD went quite well. We had GD on two topics one selected by us and other given by GTO.
After that, we had our MPE or GPE. there was a nice 3D model with all the details. In MPE first time we encountered a difference of opinion in the group. However, there was a little debate and then it was sorted out.
After that, we were taken to GTO ground. The real fun began there. The first event was the PGT. For four obstacle we were allotted 45 minutes. We easily managed to cover the two obstacles. The third one was quite challenging due to a large gap which was difficult to bridge. GTO sir gave us some concessions and we crossed it. The fourth obstacle was pretty badass one. It had two swings and no stable platform between an 8 feet gap. We ran out of time this time.
The next event was the HGT. Our group was divided into two subgroups. In AFSBs the obstacles are quite different and challenging compared to their army and naval counterparts. None of the subgroup was able to complete it.
After that we had command task. GTO sir got quite friendly here. he had a 5 minute informal chit chat with me. Once the obstacle was shown, i was given the liberty to call as many subordinates I wanted. I called the two tallest guys from my group. Both of them were skinny. The obstacle required a simple cantilever and was completed within 2 minutes.
While others performed their command tasks, a funny incident occured. We had some sandwiches as refreshment. While the three candidates were away, their sandwiches were kept on the chairs in the waiting area. beside that are there was a wall. A troop of moneys were crossing the wall in such a disciplined manner which i had never seen before. I offered the monkeys some of those sandwiches which were resting on the chairs and to my surprise they refused and ignored! What a discipline!
We had our lecturette after that. Everyone sppoke quite well and the topics were quite easy ones.
By that time it was drizzling outside. GTO sir briefed us about the obstacles. By the time he had finished his briefing, it was raining very hard. Ironically when we were already wet from head to toe we were asked to discontinue and wait in the waiting area.
The rain continued for 2 odd hours. Our individual obstacles were cancelled. The FGT was conducted but it was a complete mess. Everything was damn slippery. It was getting very difficult to even just sit on the wooden logs and handle the helping materials. Our group failed to complete FGT. With that, the GTO ended.
The last day was the conference day. We all dressed well in the morning and headed to the conference hall. We were kept waiting all day in the same Arjan Singh hall. Finally, my turn came at 2 pm. My Conference barely lasted for 5 minutes. I was just asked about the stay and experience apart from some questions from my academic life.
That night after the conference we had a lot of fun. We remained awake all night and ran in the corridors from one room to another shouting in the dark.
The next day was the judgement day. We headed to the Arjan Singh hall again. The result was announced. I kept my fingers crossed. Surprisingly 14 candidates were recommended out of 63. But this time it wasn’t my turn.
With that my journey at 2 AFSB Mysore ended. Though I had made many good friends and some memories which would remain life long.