I was crazy about joining the Defence services & never thought any other profession measured up to it. The olive green uniform of the Indian Army was my ultimate dream & would have been my highest sense of achievement… at least that’s what I feel now being in the civilian sector & with a private job. May be my perception could have change after I went in there, who knows! After all, the grass always seems greener on the other end.
I manoeuvred my studies from the 10th standard, i.e. high school to become eligible to be in the forces. Before I elaborate on that let me give you an idea about the education system here. In India we have 10+2+3 system – till 10th a person is said to be in school, then junior college (if the school doesn’t have +12, i.e. 11th and 12th) and then the three, four or five year graduation, depending on the stream. One can select one of these three branches – Arts, Commerce, Science after completing 10th. So, I scanned the government sites & their placement section with fine speculation and reconfirmed the information from other such sites & even went around the city (had newly shifted to the city from a small town – both located in Maharashtra) finding out and meeting ex military personnel for getting more confirmed information.
I found out one needs to have a Science background with Mathematics and Physics in the 10+2 for being in the Administration department of all the wings of Defence – Army, Navy, Air Force. I can say I was a good student but with more interest in extracurricular activities. May be that’s why I never stood first in class! Anyway, being from a family of predominantly Engineering professionals & Science graduates I was naturally conditioned to believe it is the most revered stream of studies. I scored average in the 10th standard & the much concerned relatives (they are always more concerned about us than own parents in India!) started giving barrage of uncalled for advices about which stream I should take. I did not want to study something new! I knew Science, not Arts or Commerce! The fact that ‘business’ never roused my interest choosing Commerce was a far cry & I loved Literature as hobby. Irrespective of their speculations & insistence I stuck to Science.
So, taking into note the criteria of the necessary subjects to become eligible for the Indian Army (predominantly Army, then Air Force & lastly, the Navy) I chose Maths, Physics & Information Technology as an elective. All this while I never told anything to my parents or any of my friends. Ah! I remember mentioning to my mom once about the eligibility criteria because of the frequent visits to the internet cafe. We did not have a computer at home & internet was just coming up. This was in 2002.
To be continued…
P.S. In the next part I will write about what was my idea about the Armed Forces belonging a small town from childhood. That will help you relate to the content of this post better, like a prelude. I only knew the National Cadet Corps (NCC) as military!