Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fauji Diary - The Interview

Having grown up reading 'How to face an interview' columns in magazines like CSR, Competition Master et all, I could barely fathom the quadrants of personality an interview can explore. At a restless age of 20, expecting pre-conditioned responses is the last thing one can expect. So what transpired during my interview before the 20 Service Selection Board at Bhopal in December 1994 remains itched in my memory till date. It was a cold winter morning and I was sitting in front of Maj Gen B R Verma (Jat Regt) who was the President of the Board.
The President was trying to make sense of my heavily scribbled 'Personal Information Questionnaire' (commonly called PIQ Form), when we started off.

President: So Ashwani, how many friends do you have?
Yours truly: ( to prolong the prized interaction, I felt like giving a big figure but settled for less) I have ten friends.
President: What do you talk to your friends?
Yours truly: Anything from politics to personal matters.
President: ( with a pause) personal matters like what?
Yours truly: ( after a gap) like how to propose to a girl.
President: (writes with the pencil like grandmasters in chess do!) so which is the best suggestion you ever gave to anyone?
Yours truly: (interjection..) Sir,...presently I don't give suggestions, I take suggestions.
President: so which is the best suggestion you ever received?
Yours truly: The best suggestion I ever received was,- 'that first deserve and then desire'.
President: ( after taking some time with his pencil ) OK, ...then what do you think will make you deserving?
Yours truly: Sir, the selection in army through this interview will make me deserving.
President: (after finishing with the pencil, prepared with his googli) Ok, you are selected, you've completed your training and have become an officer, you are in your hometown on leave when you see this beautiful girl in the marketplace. You are attracted to her, you go and propose to her and she slaps you on your face, what will you do?
Yours truly: (interjects)...actually, the way of proposing was not correct, I should have got hold of some common friend, get myself introduced and then gone ahead...
President: (smiles with a BIG grin..) Son, don't challenge the situation, give me a solution after the slap incident.
Yours truly: ( confused....., felt like having already lost in this chess-game)(replied after more than one minute of deep introspection) No matter how hard I try, that girl will remain at the back of my mind, I will grow over that slap incident, get hold of a common friend, get myself introduced, cultivate friendship and then propose at an appropriate time.
President: (I could see a deep appreciation on his face, vibes of approval and affection emanating from him) ( I actually expected him to say something, but this time he took out a pen and wrote about four lines) thank you Ashwani, it was very pleasant meeting with you.(we shook hands)


Mampi said...

Very very mazedaar.
I am sure you have many more such instances in your fauji diary. PUt them here.

Journey is more interesting than the destination. So tell us more such stuff from ur journey to what you were, what you are.

Ashwani Saini said...

thanks mampi,
your nice words always make my day!
thanks again.

Balvinder Singh said...

Ashwani, i think there are a lot of common things in our lives happening with a gap of about fifteen to twenty years. For example, same Selection Board (Bhopal), same training institution ie,. OTA Chennai, same Regiment ie, Dogra same battallion ie, Mighty Third, and now the same institution. And the beauty is that i was also grilled by the SSB president about my girl friends in the interview in July 1977. After getting me to name a few of them he wanted me to reveal that how intimate my relations were with them. And i had a tough time convincing him that friendship is friendship and not a relationship particularly when it is between opposite sex.

Hope to read more from your fauji diary

anaamika said...


Sandhya said...

Hello, I stumbled upon your post and it feels good, reading your blogs. Very interesting.

How do we know said...


Bhavleen said...

hey Ashwani............
after reading excerpts from ur interview....i was amazed at d type of questions they ask.......well i found dat funny ..and interesting too.
i was short of time so cud just read dat page will keep coming back to read more!!!!!!!!!!
hey i've more to say but not here will email u.... :)

manjeet said...

Buddy This was indeed gr8.... Manjeet

badeblog said...

Hi Saini,

I never knew that you got selected for OTA by enlightening the old man with your knowledge about girls and proposals.

But buddy, I know you are very sensitive person and it is reflecting through your blog.

Keep writing.

badeblog said...

Hi Saini,

I never knew that you got selected for OTA by enlightening the old man with your knowledge about girls and proposals.

But buddy, I know you are very sensitive person and it is reflecting through your blog.

Keep writing.

googler said...
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