It seems that everyone I know said, their lives were just coming on track finally, having so many plans when the lockdown failed them all. So I wasn’t alone.

For the first two months, I took up a job, went to Indore, came back sick and avoided the doctors, I don’t like them. But I was climbing up, with my eyes half closed due to continuous sneezing and sniffing.

I quit the job due to work place politics. I was getting good at delivering lectures on entrepreneurship, art and being a judge in the front row. All around me, there was me, on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, my work was showing off.

I finally took an emergency injection and went home for my birthday, earned some good money and came back with a desperation to succeed. That happens whenever I go home. Have answers to questions of what do you actually do?

I was working on taking my startup Flat and Flatmates to new heights, my studio Akshat Drama Group had started its own artist only private poetry club, जिजीविषा – काव्य से जीवन की दिशा when the mini lockdown hit us. 

No big deal, a few days home and back to pavilion. But I never came back. In those five months, my team created Stay Positive series, I did some videos, handled a few issues. All of this was visible to the world.

When not with the camera, I was sitting idle. The path that I had made in air had vanished. People did not want homes, I did not want to be passive anymore. I wanted more. But what? It was brewing below the surface.

I agreed to have a mentor who could help me unlock my positivity. But teachers came and quit every year, I made them. Only once in a while comes along a teacher who respects a student and knows how to teach.

A mentor is essential to the journey of growing up. Not a relative, best friend or boyfriend. Someone who gives a command and you follow.

This mentor gave suggestions, like get out of the four walled bedroom and sit in the hall with family and do your work. First, the work didn’t move me so I won’t do it. Period. Second, not letting in constant questions or kitty gossip or negative news and deaths a place inside my mind did not work, because I had decided so. 

If you are an advocate, you need someone who knows that his suggestions will be questioned.

But he gave me one good life lesson. Go up to the terrace, lay down and stare at the sky.

Why am I writing all of this? How is this related to SSB? Because this is how my personality evolved.

August 2020, I knew what I wanted, the lockdown had given me a mini retirement and a clean break from my startups that I had an on and off relationship with from years.

I wanted to be an Indian Army Officer. I wanted to be that woman I saw in my day dreams every other day, standing strong and tall, saluting the Indian National flag with her spine full of pride in uniform.

There is a difference. I wanted freedom, not wanting incompetent supervisors or boss to slag for. The dream has to be my own. Only then can I take orders.

There is freedom in traveling to the farthest corner of the country when commanded, perhaps no electricity or internet connectivity but if I am able to make a cup of tea, I can do it.

I came back to Ahmedabad in September 2020 after telling my parents that I am done, I have to get back to work. They did not know then what my real aim was.

My cousin was aiming to open a tuition center and I was planning to go join the army. But she got the funds, got students, got a location and was about to start the next day. That meant quick money. And I had an empty pocket to think of.

It was too big a dream for a lazy person who needs to be constantly pushed, I knew but I also knew that I could learn.

Learning from books isn’t enough. I was ready to be a student. 

  • My first lesson was never degrade your ambitions.
  • My second lesson was, “घर का सारा काम मुझे ही करना पड़ता है, सफाई भी, शॉपिंग भी…”
  • My third lesson was, ‘earn.’

I was doing decent, exercising, working like a turtle, being healthy, writing expense sheets, until December 2020. Then I went home.

Under pressure of avoiding marriage, I told my parents that I plan to join army.
My father’s instant words were, ‘तेरे बस की नहीं है I’ 

I left soon after. 

If this was a SRT question, Situation Reaction Test, I would have written: she did not relent under pressure but convinced them of her determination towards her goal. Bullshit.

They give you 60 SRTs. Because after the 20th SRT, you forget what you had planned to write and start writing subconsciously.

You write what you practise, not what you preach.

This was where one SRT broke my confidence and I hid that well, becoming a rebel without a cause, not studying, being pushed to the gym and somehow never having time to prepare for SSB.

But I was doing other things, restarted जिजीविषा the poet’s club, became a part of Ahmedabad Book Club, hosting meaningful interviews, revamping Akshat Drama Group’s YouTube channel.

My fourth lesson was, network. 

I met all sorts of people every weekend, architects, artists, writers, filmmakers, advocates, this was basic preparation for GD, Group Discussion.

My fifth lesson was, write. I am 4 months late. I am doing it, I am doing it !!

Plan in advance, pack in advance, book tickets in advance and inform your parents in advance. I did all that about 4 days before the exam.

  • Clothes & Shoes
    Documents (2 folders, 1 for the Originals and 1 attested Xerox set)
  • Medical Kit (acidity, headache, eyedrops, Vicks, cotton, bandaid..)
  • Food (yes assume 5 days worth of biscuits, ORS, fruits ecetera..)
  • Basic Cosmetics (pack surf, shampoo sachets)
  • Bedsheet, Neck Pillow
  • Odomos and Perfume

Special Tip: You don’t need a watch. You need comfortable footwear. 

Special Tip: Get registered with the Bar Council, don’t bet on lenient officers.

Special Tip: Remove the permanent tattoo.

Special Tip: Bring lots of pens and a water bottle, no pencil or erasers required.

During this time, my family supported me. My father booked travel, stay and gave me a list of what to pack, half of which I had no idea would be essential later on. 

My mother insisted to tag along but I was standing my ground too. Politely, tell them why it matters for you to travel alone, not for fun, but to not be scared of a new situation every time it presents itself like the ghost of Annabelle.

They saw me prepared and I saw the pride in their eyes. 

They saw the change in me or they saw that I am not giving up even if I am lazy, slow, arrogant and again slow, but I was not going to give up. 

So they did not give up on me. 

This is how I finally tackled that SRT, it’s a hard conversation but you don’t steal eyes from it. 

I was ready to fly to Kempegowda International Airport Bengaluru.

Join the ConversationLeave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *





  1. Naam hi kaafi hai

    Well done champ

  2. Both part is realistic and awesome, and this things to encourage others to do something different from others.