It was the fifth day of the selection process to get recommended for the Indian Army as an officer. I woke up early in the morning in the company of patriotic songs as the alarm for all. The climate was extremely cold outside where else our hearts were lit up inside for the results. Bathing was done, body dried up and crisp clothes adorned it. Smartness and perfection is what one could see all around with a high degree of optimism. Breakfast was finished before 7am and all were set for the day’s schedule. The luggages were packed and kept ready.
We all assembled in the main/testing hall. Mock up of Board Conference was held by the Junior Commissioned Officer and all instructions were given before hand. All candidates settled in the main/testing hall and the decision making Board Conference started. Candidates went one by one according to their chest numbers.
I was waiting nervously in the corridors as I was the next chest number. Heart was pumping at a faster rate than usual and I tried to stay calm and composed thinking of my icon MS Dhoni. Suddenly, the red light outside the conference room turned green. I raised up, checked my dress, walked into the room with head held high and straight. I gestured the president of the board and sat on the chair after being permitted. I answered the questions with confidence and optimism. The much awaited and sort after board conference finished within minutes. The Board Conference was done for all candidates and we all had our lunch at the mess room. Special lunch was prepared as a send off gesture for all.
Again we all assembled in the main/testing hall. Now, its for the final result of recommendation of the candidates. Everyone in the hall were nervous as everyone had a dream to wear the olive greens. The Vice President of the Selection Center walked in. It was not for results but for a pep motivational talk.
As usual Dr. APJ. Abdul Kalam and Rahul Dravid were a part of the speech. The values, ethos of the Indian Army and the selection procedure were briefed and it was all over in a short span of time. It was already late and I know my parents will be waiting for my phone call to hear the three cherished words ‘I got recommended’.
One of the officers walked in with the results in his hand. It was complete silence all around. Hopes and heartbeat were running high. That moment of waiting for years was just in front of my eyes and the Officer announced “no one is recommended, this batch is a washout”. Completely broken and dejected, I couldn’t think of anything at that moment.
Everyone looked into each others eyes in dejection. We stayed in silence for some time to accept the decision. It was a melancholy of event. Candidates greeted each other and hugs were shared. Everyone shared their pleasantries and the return journey started.
The Army bus was fully packed with all of us. We all reached the railway station and started leaving with a broken heart. I couldn’t wait to travel in a confirmed ticket. I called my parents and told them the result in a low voice. I boarded the next train to my city in unreserved coach. The usual journey of sitting besides the toilet was a default. I maybe dejected and broken, but will never be demotivated. My resolve got stronger and I said to myself, I will adorn the olive greens soon.
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