A week with the Indian Air Force

I’ve never been more than 50 Km away from my parents alone for more than 2 days and when I was, I was mostly under my blood relative’s protection. Not that I despised being with them, I voluntarily stayed with them. The point I want to prove is that I’ve never been on my own for once in 21 years. I never had the chance to live in hostel, or maybe went out for an outing that lasted more that one night. When I cleared AFCAT’s cutoff and received a call letter for the Service Selection Board(SSB) process I was excited. I’d heard before about the life that one experiences in SSB and how one remembers it throughout his life. I didn’t want to let this slot get filled with another week of boring life that I live here.

I scheduled my SSB date on 23 June, 3 months after I received the call. I chose this date specifically making critical analysis of a lot of things. I knew that my end term exams would be finished somewhere around mid June and then my Job would begin on 1 July. I also had a lot to do on my body which was expanding in every direction possible. Hence I joined a Gym the next week. The next three months passed with me working my ass out to burn as many kilos as I could. Precisely, a call for AFSB(Air Force Selection Board)  was the impulse I needed.

The judgement day came and I left for the unfamiliar destination, with a lot of doubts and a little fret. Nonetheless, I arrived there and the next few hours were hard to recall. Everything happened fast or maybe it didn’t. Maybe it was because I was drowsy as I could hardly close my eyes in the 7 hour-long journey via train. First day was a screening round. One had to clear all the tests on day one to proceed to phase two that would be 5 days long. I cleared it. Yes with my eyes almost closed half the time I managed to get through. We all were allotted a chest number, kind-of like an identification for the next 5 days. We all would henceforth be officially referred by our chest number. I was chest number 19. Whenever i heard this, I made my chest swell about 2 inches and I would feel ,for no reason, like an AirForce officer, though it was still a distant dream.

Next few days were a bunch of test that would test our psychology,physical fitness, group management and behavior, pilot aptitude test and what not. Group task were something I enjoyed the most.  Group Discussions, Group Obstacle Tasks, Group Planning etc were the most fun part of the stay. All these task made me feel different form the civilian life that I live back in Delhi.

Back at our rooms we were 10 different people from different cities speaking in different accent but were here for one common purpose. This was the first time I was in the same room with a Khalsa Sardar and people from Indore, Chandigarh etc. Since we knew our night would pass very dull we bought a pack of cards. It did us well for all the 4 days. We 11 people(100 from our room and one from a different room) would play cards for 2-3 hours and making endless fun of any newbie’s mistakes in the game. These 10 people made me laugh enough for my throat to act up. After the second day I could hardly say a sentence without muting  a few words. It took a week for my voice to return to normal. Sometimes we all had a very heated discussion on some irrelevant topic that we would need some distraction and we found that in those swimming calmly in sweet dreams. I can’t describe the pleasure it gave us to wake our asleep friends with ice chilled water. Some of them reacted exactly the way we wanted to. 😀 Yes some of us had the most evil mind in the whole lot.

Food was good as per my expectations of mess food. What else could a hungry and tired student want other than Chicken Curry or Egg Curry at night. Last night was a feast for us. But in this 5 day journey what I remember the most is not the food or the different life i lived there. I remember the people I met, I remember surviving 5 days without my cellphone and no internet, no connectivity to outside world except for a few minutes when we get to call our homes. These 5 days made me realize that had we been allowed to keep our cellphones, these days would have passed pathetically boring and I would have detested my decision of coming here. Whatever be their purpose of taking away our phones, it worked well for me. Although, I regret that I could not make it to the final list of selects I still did not feel bad as my purpose for being there was more or less fulfilled. I was going home with some wonderful memories and just one picture of the whole group together. 🙂AFSB

Game Theory

Real life is the game that – literally – everyone is playing

Life ,as it appears , is a game played by everyone at every moment. It is like one of those endless run games where one runs in a particular direction avoiding obstacles. The goal , however, i realized by a few people and conquered by fewer.

I’ve gotta run because people tell me to do so.

It seems rather pointless to head for the same direction as everybody else. But nonetheless, we still play the game.

The game starts when we are young. It is when we learn the rules of this game. We are overflowing with our zeal and have plenty of energy. At this moment of time, we get to choose a character while the bigger deals like job,car,house,lover etc are still to be unlocked.

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Our experience is still low and a few skill set  also remains locked. It is for us to unlock them. And as we grow, we evolve these traits continuously. One of them being how to obey. Sometimes you may find your own mind going against you, for example it is always hard to resist the temptation to come online in exams. DON’T PANIC. This isn’t a bug in you source code.

Once you master your mind, try playing with others’. You will feel a sudden urge to find a partner. This task is ,in itself, a mini game.  You will require heavy artillery because this level may be close to world war.You may be rejected by several other players. This ,however, is normal, may diminish your willpower. Try to maintain a minimum threshold of it for other tasks. You may be allowed multiple lives at this level, you might just want to play smart to achieve the best lover. 

Once you complete this level, you will find difficulty increased exponentially. With greater responsibilities and much more expectation you may find it difficult to achieve your ultimate goal. But keep your eye on the ultimate prize as this was just a auxiliary mission that you’ve completed. Meanwhile, this level also unlocks several achievements like Happiness, Love and Headache.

Now, it is the time to earn. This is the most important level with almost unlimited upgrades and achievements.

The most important rule of money is never to borrow it, except for things that earn you more back.

Recurring deposits like education may act as a good investment scheme with substantially larger returns for longer period of time.

As time passes you will find your energy reserve depleted and slower recovery. These may be symptoms of aging. Check for other symptoms like Hearing problem, walking problem, health issues etc. If the reports are positive, it may be time for you to retire and save your energy. All players die after about 29,000 days, or 80 years. If your stats and skills are good, you might last a little longer.

Remember there are no cheat codes to this game. That’s why your strategy is important. Because by the time most of us have figured life out, we’ve used up too much of the best parts.

Now you’d best get playing.