Shit ! I would’ve turned off the router the moment I caught a glance at the writhing idiot with cloth-wrapped genitalia; I value my sanity too much.
I got screened out due to my arrogance, with the help of several other factors. Your first guess is right though; I clammed up during the narration. But even before that, during the PPDT, I think I had screwed up. The image had two guys, say Vikram and Manoj (because I forgot what names I’d assigned them) in a room full of objects (mostly wooden) strewn helter-skelter. The upper half of Manoj was visible up to the waist and Vikram’s hand was extended towards Manoj.
I saw Vikram as the central character. I perceived that an earthquake had occurred while Vikram was on the way to his office, and Manoj got half-buried in the debris. So the Vikram was reaching out to pull him out of the debris. Both of them were in positive mood, Manoj because he was being rescued, and Vikram because he found Manoj alive. After that he checked for injuries, and on finding that they were superficial, reoriented him. Then he called the ambulance and together they set out to rescue and administer first aid to more people.
After coming out of the narration + GD, my batchmates told me that my story was too negative because I started with an earthquake. I told them tragedies happen in real life too; it’s how we react to them and handle them is what matters in the end. But they maintained that my story was too negative. Anyway I didn’t have time to think of and write anything else. Due to the time limit I was forced to jot down the first scenario which came into mind and that was the earthquake one. Still I felt that I could still get screened in because I had performed awesome in the OIR tests.
Others perceived different things. One guy’s story was that two guys were in a wood workshop. They were working on a design of a new missile and making a prototype ( wooden prototype ?). They eventually present the design and the prototype to DRDO which gets selected and they receive a medal from their university. To be brutally honest, I found his story lame, but I guess at least it was positive, because he got screened in, and I used this experience to great effect during PPDT in Allahabad a week later, making out a lame positive story and getting myself screened in too. Other stories were almost similar, they involved a wood workshop, people designing new things and all.
While others were narrating, I observed the assessors intently even though we had been instructed to pretend that there weren’t any assessors there. Every time one of them looked at me, with horror I’d realize my mistake and look away and when they turned to look at the narrator, I’d spontaneously resume observing them. This happened 4–5 times and the end of it I’d realized that I’d pretty much shot myself in the foot.
But what really screwed me was my arrogance. A repeater friend had advised me to practice the narration several times in my head, before GD, but I decided that my oratory skills were decent enough and so ignored his advice.
I wish I hadn’t.
When my turn came, I started off confidently enough, and then clammed up. Thought whether my story was too negative and whether I should make up a new story on the fly. But the assessors noticed my silence. I noticed that the assessors had noticed my silence; I looked into the eyes of one assessor and immediately knew I was screwed. Nevertheless I completed my narration and managed to give just one point in the GD, which was just as well, because we were clumped with repeaters and it had turned into a total fish market. Later I learnt that whenever there are too few repeaters or freshers they clump the candidates in one group.
Later after results were announced I went to collect the TA, got 4000 rupees (3840 to be precise), felt slightly happy for a few minutes and returned to Bengaluru. Felt terrible throughout the journey. After reaching Bengaluru I told you about this on Quora, read your reply and felt a little better. Next day, as promised, I went out on my first date after nearly two years (since my breakup). And this date was very special for several reasons, the primary being that for the first time in my life, I was asked out by a girl instead of the other way round. I had promised her if I got rejected in the AFSB we would go out on a date the very next day so that I would at least have something to be happy about, after facing the rejection from the Air Force. And if I got recommended then I’d give her a treat.
The fact that she had asked me out and was willing to date an unemployed person freshly screened-out from the AFSB when she herself is a techie employed in an IT company, restored my self-esteem after it had fallen several notches the previous day. Anyway, I learnt from my mistakes in Mysuru, applied it and somehow got screened-in in Allahabad. But the 11 SSB experience is a long story, one which I’ll tell after I have finished writing it.
Well I enjoyed a bit too much in Allahabad; I suppose that’s why I got conferenced-out. Next time I’ll remember your advice. Thank you sir.
Jai Hind !