Friday, September 26, 2008

Making it through the Sieve

"Report at 7.00 in the auditorium tomorrow", these were the last words I remembered before I slipped into a deep, wonderful sleep. Sleep, aahn! The name makes me grin. Probably there's no better invention to life than the ability to sleep according to one's will. Sleep is a very just player. He makes you forget all the worries, problems and anxities which you have to bear no matter who you are. And I hate it when someone wakes me up from my sleep, no matter how important the matter at hand maybe. 

Dreaming about something really romantic(typical me :P), I heard a horrible, loud sound in my ears. I tried cutting out the noise by putting my head beneath my pillow but to no avail. The screeching, shrill sound was still clearly audible and was getting onto my nerves. A good night's sleep can work wonders on your spirits but when waken up in such a lousy manner, can even ruin the best of days. And as I was slowly gaining my consciousness, I realised that it wasn't a noise but rather a song sung by a woman. And a few minutes later, I make out that it is a bhajan dedicated to Vaishnavi Devi. The goddess must have been cursing herself for creating mankind but with helpless desperation probably might have muted her ears from the horrible noise. But for a mere human like me, blessed with no divine powers of Gods, all I could do to protect myself from that torment was close my ears with my fingers. 

A few people around me were already awake and a few who were stirring up, wore shocked expressions at that sudden explosion of sound. I pull my phone from beneath my covers and look at the time, 6.35. Shit! 6.35. I suddenly find myself awake as if I had never slept and come out of the bath in 15 mins. After making sure that my formal shirt is neatly tucked in, my un-combable hair neatly combed and my shoes shining, I stand infront of the mirror and examine myself. My Ammamma would have loved me had she seen me then and my Thatha would have surely fainted. Seeing my hair oiled and neatly combed is one of his all-time prayers to Gods. 

By the time I drink tea and make it out of the hostels, the dormitories are empty. Just me and Rajan. And we run as fast as possible to the auditorium. Had any officer seen us then, we would've surely made it through the physical tests. We were actually running for our lives and you can't run faster than that. By the time we reached the auditorium panting, everyone was already queued up in two lines and we are punished to do 5 push-ups because we were 5 minutes late. This CHM I tell you, would have been the perfect high school headmaster. 

In the auditorium, we are informed about the day's schedule and the test for the day is GD or Group Discussion. Looking around at others(around 40), I feel pretty confident. Arrogance or Confidence, I feel superior in argumentative skills and language skills when compared to most of them. We disperse for breakfast and while eating(a perfect breakfast of 2 boiled eggs or cutlets, 4 bread slices, a dallop of butter, two tablespoons of mixed fruit jam and a glass of milk) I make acquintances with quite a few other, notably a Tamilian and a Dehra fella Anurag. 

We are taken back to the auditorium and there we are shown a hazy picture of a girl playing a piano. At the end of 2 mins, we are asked to write a story based upon the picture. I don't remember exactly but I think I wrote something about the girl being a music prodigy and whatever her emotions are, she shows them by playing it on the piano and then one day her dad is taken to a prison or something. I know, I know that is really dumb but come off it mate, you are given 10 mins to write the story and mere mortals like me cannot make up Oscar-Winning scripts in 10 mins. 

We are then divided into groups of 8 and then in the colonel's office, we were made to read our own interpretations of the picture and then debate upon whose story was the best. My neighbour's story was elected to be the best and mine wasn't even in the running. That really was a setback for an aspiring writer like me. Anyways, after the GD we are made to wait outside until the other batches had their turn and half an hour later, the previous day's captain who addressed us the previous day, addresses us as gentlemen again(the swelling of the chest again :D). He tells us that the GD was actually a filtering test and those who couldn't make it through the test had to leave. I wait with bated breathe. True, I did not want to get into the NDA and badly wanted to get into my Engineering, but I wasn't ready to accept failure. Winning and forgoing is heroism. Losing and returning was losing afterall. 2 mins later I let out a sigh of relief when my name is called upon and I'm guided into the auditorium. 

After all those who are selected are assembled, we are congratulated by the Major addressing us as gentlemen again(I have to mention the reader here that from then on whenever the Major referred to us, it had been "Gentlemen" and I will not mention it again but my chest still swells with pride at the memory of it :P) and tells us that the second cycle of selection process started the next day and lasted upto 3 days. At the end of the speech, we are alloted Chest Numbers(a chest number is a cloth like a bib, colour coded according to your batch and with a serial number printed on it) and we are feeling good about being in the Army(the food was really good :D).

We are free for the day and are given Identity cards bearing our chest names and with "NDA Selections- Sultania Infantry" printed upon them. I come back to the dormitories and with my new filtered room-mates and pass time idling around. The day passes rather uneventfully unless you count two folks fighting over a bar of soap in the baths, Nayan's towel accidentally slipping off his waist and making us find cover or we being shot by Dev's new N73. The ass said he would post the video on youtube but I still cannot find it. Apart from a large amount of time spent on gossiping about girlfriends and typical dirty jokes, the day remains quite boring. We plan to go on an outing but none of us feel like going, so we drop the idea. And after that dinner with formals, we go to call up our respective families( and I call up my "friend" too :D) and spend most of the evening in the Recreation room(which consists of magazines, a TV and a couple of TT tables).

We are asked to report at 7.00 the next morning in the auditorium for the next test by the CHM who visits our dormitory and complains about our neatness. That's all for today. Cya tomorrow then.

Have a great sleep and come back tomorrow for the really exciting parts are yet to come. I know you will return ;). I'm far too irresistable.

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