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SSB - A gateway to be a #MadeofGreat

We all come in contact with a fantastically large number of people during the course of our lives. Many we don’t remember and some we do. Only once-every-gazillion years, do we encounter someone who really leaves a lasting impression. Someone who is #madeofgreat.

Here comes my experience with such a person. It happened at my first ever Defense Interview for Indian Navy. (By the way, Rs. 750 worth Amazon gift voucher is waiting for you at the end!)

After clearing the preliminary examination conducted by Indian navy, I was asked to attend the Service Selection Board (SSB) interview at INS Agrani, Coimbatore. As soon as I got the interview call, I was so very happy and was jumping out in joy. Perhaps, it was just an interview call not an appointment call.

I got down at Coimbatore Junction and went out to see a huge crowd gathered near the gate. Just like every Indian, I pierced the crowd to see what it’s all about. To my astonishment, it was the selected group for SSB interview. I was absolutely petrified.

We hoped into a heavy duty army truck ‘Stallion’ and entered the most closely controlled military environment of Coimbatore, INS Agrani.

Indian army quote

Basically, SSB interview has two rounds conducted for five days. First round runs for one day and second round runs for remaining four days. Boarding and lodging will be provided for all the candidates. Only the qualified person after round one get to stay there for the remaining four days to attend second round, if not they will be dropped at where they are picked, railway station.

After settling down, we were allowed to rest for the night. Next day is the big day, as it was the day of round one, consisting of written examination followed by picture perception test and group discussion.

Officer like qualities

We were seated in a huge conference hall for the examination. As you know, if there is huge crowd in a place it will be noisy in India. Be it a conference, lecture, workshop, market or anyplace for that matter, we have that special knack to make a quiet hall into an earsplitting one.

As we were busy chatting, a neat, orderly middle-aged person entered the hallway and reached the dais in a flash.

With a stern voice, he ordered the hall, 'Sit up, gentlemen. No crouching.'

Everyone raised to sit upright, calmly obeying his order. His words hit us in a brutal force. He made an impact in his very first shot.

'Work hard in silence, let your victory make noise,' he continued.
There was a sudden stillness in the hall. He started explaining about the complete procedure in his own stylish-stern accent. His razor-sharp eyes was highly intimidating, not allowing anyone to have a say in a middle. He had an elegant body-language with confident gestures and expressions.

Listen, think and react is the first and ideal mantra to face the SSB interview. Speaking on that he said, 'We always react first, think about it and lastly listen to the consequences whereas it has to be done in the way around.' (I use this expression is most of my lectures, that's the kind of impact he marked in my life)

He was very expressive. He spoke to the point with clear and crisp words. Completing his instructions he said with a grin, 'You guys can copy in this examination.' Everyone was surprised to hear such a statement from an examiner and started smiling. Before everyone could jump out in joy he interrupted, 'If you are smart enough to fool these smartest men around you!' I looked around to see a dozen men looking just like him. Fair enough, I thought.

All his words were like a motivational quote. It just jolted our senses. It pushed us beyond our limits to strive for excellence. I realised one thing that quotes are not just said, it is experienced.
He is a Colonel, Group Task Officer (GTO) working with Indian Navy. He is man of excellence. He is a man with very high self-esteem. He is a man of confidence. He is not just #madeofgreat but is a #manofgreat. 

I was conference-out in INS Agrani but wasn't really let down by the results. I went in as a pretty-ordinary individual but came out as a positive and energetic person. 

I urge every individual aged below 24 to attend SSB interview at least once in their lifetime if at all you want to be a #madeofgreat. You will feel it!
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Contest time


Answer the below simple question and win an Amazon gift voucher worth Rs. 750. Just be creative!

"What do you think of Tata Motors' association with Lionel Messi?"

Pour in your answers as comments. Hurry up, last date is November 26, 2015!!!
SSB - A gateway to be a #MadeofGreat SSB - A gateway to be a #MadeofGreat Reviewed by T R Gowthama on 17:45 Rating: 5

38 comments:

  1. I so agree with your last comment, Gowthama, that every individual aged below 24 years must attend or try to get her/himself attend an interview with the army/navy service, It definitely changes the way we look at things. My uncle was in the army and even took part in the Kargil war.I attended a mere military day-long event when I was in college and that actually changed my outlook. It instilled in me the true meaning of hard work, discipline and punctuality. Very well written..loved it... :-)

    As for the question of TataMotor's association with Messi, I think, Messi has the skills, the class which are absolutely needed to be the "messiah" of the game! His dribbling, passing and the way he work alone to reach the "goal'' is just incredible. Similarly, Tata Motors single-handedly has changed the definition of car industry in this country. They have some of the toughest yet majestic looking cars- the Tata Safari Strome is an elegant beast, while Tata Manza looks like a princess...beautiful.
    The collaboration is just great, for both Messi and Tata Motors, I can say, they are class apart and we all know, form is temporary, but class is permanent. :-)

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    1. Wow, he is a veteran. My father is an ex-serviceman but he retired before the kargil war. Why cant you write about uncle and his experience. I'd love to know about him. Thanks for the comment Maniparna.

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  2. We need compulsory army training for at least one year. It will bring some discipline, good habits and health.

    Messi is already famous. Even a non-football enthusiast like me knows him. It's high time his presence kicked off football more seriously in India.

    Destination Infinity

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    1. I totally agree with you. Discipline is the major issue of Indians. A disciplined person can be a good learner, educated not mere literate and a responsible citizen. Thanks for the comments.

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  3. The story of a Legend in himself - that's how I will describe it in a short sentence. Very well written with the pics which enhances the simplicity yet greatness of the Man..Salutations and very happy for you to have got inspired and bringing out your best in life.

    My answer: Tata is a name which any and every person can rely on for its honesty, commitment and perseverance. Lionel Messi is a legend who has carved his name in history books with total dedication to the game, simple living and improvisation which is seen with each game he plays. The association of Tata Motors and Lionel Messi as their Brand Ambassador will definitely give an edge to the Tata group over its competitors solely because the brand Ambassador also holds the same reputation of not letting his fans down ever, like Tata Motors who have given the best to the world over the decades. Its an exemplary association par excellence.

    You can choose my answer as the best if you feel I described it all well.. :)

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    1. He is indeed inspiring UK. A charismatic man with exceptional qualities. Thanks for the comment, much appreciated.

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  4. Tata Motors' association with Lionel Messi spells a significantly notable alliance that will steer the company towards favourable benefits. I always acknowledge Tata Motors as a distinctive name in Auto industry, which will not let the success 'larger-than life' elude from its fate now with a timeless guild with iconic figure Messi. I don't see this union of Tata Motors as an aspirational effort for garnering some quick publicity and evoke specific reaction from myriad crowd with Celeb branding, but is rightly an embellished handshake for keeping up the pace to get to the pinnacle of success graph. To sum things up, I am joyous to see the brand and the star uniting for 'One in a Million' #madeofgreat power-packed drive ahead :)

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    1. Thanks for participating in the contest Shilpa, appreciate it. Do visit again, let this not be a contest visit ;-) Happy blogging.

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    2. That's very kind of you Shilpa :-)

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  5. Hearty congrats to you Gowthama..on the SSB..my son did clear the exam but unfortunately could not make it to the SSB interview due to exams..

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    1. Thats very sad to hear. Doesnt matter, ask him to apply again for another services. Do let me know if you want any further clarification on SSB interview and proceedings.

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    2. That is so nice of you Gowthama...so what do you do now?

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    3. Pleasure is all mine. I am a Science Communicator by education and Environmental Educator by profession. I also take part time classes for SSB through Urban Pro. Check my profile here (https://www.urbanpro.com/chennai/gowthama-rajavelu/757221)

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  6. TATA Motors wants to shift to TOP Gear with Lionel Messi as its global brand Ambassador.
    Let TATA fly high and bring further fame for India.

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    1. Fame to our nations mean a lot. Good one Maliyekal. Thanks for visiting and participating in the contest. Appreciate it.

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  7. congratulations Gowthama for making it to the interview, this is surely an inspirational post. Awesome indeed.

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    1. Glad you enjoyed it Shweta. I couldnt get through the interview not once but thrice :-(

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  8. Congratulations and thanks for sharing and inspiring others. A motivation post, I must say.

    Good luck!

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    1. I am really happy that you liked it Saru. Thanks for the comments and wishes.

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  9. Congrats!!
    Indeed a nicely written post. I wish you good luck for the contest
    Here is my answer
    The association of Tata Motors with Lionel Messi is that of two greats. Lionel Messi has been exceptionally talented who with his hard work, determination and sacrifices has got better and tougher in his chosen sport so is the Image, reputation and quality of TATA Motors that have transformed brilliant ideas into masterpieces of engineering and created a brand and products that we are so proud of as Indians. Lionel Messi has transformed his body and the mind body co-ordination into a masterpiece of precision and excellence it would not be wrong to say that Lionel Messi is the TATA Motors of sports where as TATA Motors is the Lionel Messi of vehicles both giants in their own spheres driven by the drive to excel and lead by example. So Lionel Messi is the best choice for becoming the brand Ambassador for TATA Motors
    aaloke19@gmail.com

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    1. That was very refined answer alok. Thanks for the comment, really appreciate it. Do visit again, I'd love to hear your thoughts about my posts.

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  10. Your post defines #madeofgreat to the hilt. Goodluck for the contest
    My answer is:
    Authenticity, reliability, simplicity, as well as its commitment to innovation are the pillars of strength on which TATA have built a brand that has put India on the global map. It is a brand that has stood the test of time just like Lionel Messi who tackles opposition on the field with his skill,agility,strategy,brilliance and raw power to reach and score a goal so has been the track record of TATA motors who has become a brand leader and a global giant. These qualities make TATA Motors and Lionel Messi perfect partners who stand for the same set of values thus Lionel Messi is the perfect brand ambassador to represent TATA Motors.
    Hope my best to be a winner here; do contact me for the prize at mahima2014j@gmail.com
    fingers crossed

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    1. Very sporty comment, intricately explained. Thanks for the comment Mahima. Do visit again.

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  11. Your post defines #madeofgreat to the hilt.Very well written and interesting post indeed.
    My Answer
    Tata Motors is a brand that makes durable vehicles, with its MADE IN INDIA mark makes every Indian proud. It is a brand seen globally as Trusted, Reliable, Innovative and at the forefront of technology. In its journey since inception it has overcome all odds, competition, and adversities with grit and determination. These same qualities are associated with Lionel Messi who was very talented and hardworking from a very early age. With each game that he played he kept improving his skills and built a career to become one of the best player of professional football. There qualities make both TATA Motors and Lionel Messi giants who perfectly compliment each other and Lionel Messi the right and perfect Ambassador who stands for the same values that TATA Motors does.
    bhuwan198grover@gmail.com

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    1. Well said Bhuwan, Messi - Tata motor do compliment each other with their exceptionally unique qualities. Thanks for the comment. Do visit again.

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  12. Your post describes #madeofgreat so well that it has winner written all over it. Good luck for your entry.
    Here is my answer.
    Like minds think and act alike looking at the track record of TATA Motors it has stood the test of time and built a business that was built using bricks of hard work on a foundation of trust. Authenticity, reliability, simplicity, as well as its commitment to innovation are the trademarks of brand TATA Motors. These same qualities are present in Lionel Messi who with his immense talent has made a mark for himself on the international football field .Facing all hardships he has worked hard toiling on the fields and in training sessions facing injuries and pressure to come out trumps and be a winner. Thus these two greats Lionel Messi and TATA Motors are made for each other .There association is a bond of two legends
    In case you pick me a winner my email id is : princess09hema@gmail.com
    Fingers crossed :)

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    1. Very well shaped answer Hemaa. Thanks for dropping by and sharing your thoughts. I'd love to hear again from you. Let this not be a contest-visit. So visit again.

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  13. This post is quite different from the others that I have come across and kudos to you for that. Hailing from the Armed Forces family myself,there is immense pride filled in me as I read your post. To clear an SSB interview is definitely a task in itself. There are coaching classes and the like, But, Exceptional isn’t something you work at. It is what you already are! The Indian Armed Forces is one of the best in the world. Your post Details the SSB interview in a very clear way and is definitely a big motivator for the aspirants. The crisp, yet lucid language used by you, makes one read the whole post without any break. All in all, a very candid and motivational post.

    Coming to the Answer of your thought provoking question, here's my take on it.

    Lionel Messi is the right choice, as despite being diagnosed with a Growth Hormone Deficiency as a child, he did not let this come in his way and persevered his way to the top. Greatness is when, your life becomes an example for others to follow. Tata motors has it's own place in India and is a leader by itself in the automobile industry. So, when two biggies come together, a new era is born. India welcomes Lionel Messi, as the Global Brand Ambassador of Tata Motors.

    May the most meaningful comment win.Good luck to all.

    Kavita Panyam

    kavita.panyam@gmail.com

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    1. SSB process in Indian is the toughest in the world. And it teaches people about themselves. Life in armed forces is the one to be relished. Thanks for the compliments Kavita, really appreciated. Your answer is very refined. Do visit again.

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  14. Yours is a very well written post your .Its is a very nice description of #madeofgreat
    TATA Motors is a brand associated with performance, endurance and excellence. These words are also synonymous with Lionel Messi who plays as a forward and weaves his magic on the football field.Just as Lionel Messi is considered the best footballer in the world ,TATA motors which is Indias premier automotive manufacturer gives wheels to the people of India with its wide range of vehicles. Both believe in excelling in whatever they do and set examples for others to follow. They compliment each other as both are reliable trustworthy and leaders thus Lionel Messi is the natural choice as the brand ambassador of TATA Motors
    yagneshbjoshi10099@gmail.com

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    1. Thanks for participating in the contest Yagnesh. Very well refined answer this is, really appreciate it. Do visit again and share your thoughts.

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  15. SSB process is a great learning experience. Good to see that it made you understand what it takes to be #madeofgreat.:)

    As far as the answer is concerned, it follows:

    ‘What drives us from within is what makes us great’, This is the founding principle behind the overall brand association between Argentinian Football Maestro Lionel Messi and Automobile Giant Tata Motors. The overall #madeofgreat campaign is made upon a clear cut vision of seeking excellence along with self-belief.

    Tata Motors and Lionel Messi, both are the ones people look up to get inspired. Lionel Messi is an amazingly renowned player with huge fan following across the world While Tata Motors is an Indian company which has achieved global distinction in past decades and appeals as a company with immense potential. Tata Motors stands at a path defining phase of its evolution story with some overwhelming produts planned in future. Lionel Messi with a global appeal compliments Tata Motors.

    Thus the association is truly #madeofgreat. Legend and Talent have come together to make a truly fantastic combination. The collaboration will be a win-win for both.

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    1. Wow, I think this is one of the huge comment in my blog in recent times. Very well analysed and intricately explained about the duos Aditya. Thanks for the comment. Keep visiting.

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  16. Dear Gowthama,

    I am not able to see my comment under your post please look into the spam folder.

    Thanks
    bhawna

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    1. I cant find any of your comments being spammed Bhawna. I checked it twice but cant find any. Sorry for the inconvenience!

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  17. Replies
    1. Thanks for the comment Dr. Madhu. Really appreciate it. Do visit again.

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