Dr Kalam: An insight of his SSB experience



Let craft, ambition, spite,
Be quenched in Reason’s night,
Till weakness turn to might,
Till what is dark be light,
Till what is wrong be right!
-Lewis Caroll

Dr APJ Abdul Kalam better known as ‘the people’s President’, hailed from a small town of Rameswaram. Rising through all the obstacles of personal and professional life, from selling newspapers to being – The Commander in chief of the Indian armed forces; many people are unfamiliar of his failure as a young graduate, although ssb repeaters are familiar with it as Dr Kalam is always mentioned in the ending speech of the board President of SSBs.


Like any other fighter plane enthusiast, he too wanted to fly high cutting through the blue skies, but destiny had other big 🚀 plans for him.
Here is an excerpt from Wings of Fire (the autobiography of Dr Kalam) where he talks about his SSB experience at AFSB Dehra Dun:


I halted for a week in Delhi, the city of the great sufi saint Hazrat Nizamuddin, and appeared for the interview of DTD&P(air). I did well at the interview. The questions were of the routine nature, and did not challenge my knowledge of the subject. Then I proceeded to Dehra Dun for my interview at the Air Force Selection Board. At the selection board, the emphasis was more on ‘personality’ than on intelligence. Perhaps they were looking for physical fitness and an articulate manner. I was excited but nervous, determined but anxious, confident but tense. I could only finish 9th in the batch of 25 examined to select 8 officers for commissioning in the Air Force. I was deeply disappointed. It took me some time to comprehend that the opportunity to join the Air Force had just slipped through my fingers. I dragged myself out of the Selection Board and stood at the edge of a cliff. There was a lake far below. I knew the days ahead would be difficult. There were questions to be answered and a plan of action to be prepared. I trekked down to Rishikesh.


He could not join the Air Force but later went on to gift India its indigenous missiles and satellites; bringing independence to India from foreign subjugation in these fields. He’s an ultimate inspiration for any defence aspirant and a prime ambassador of SSB failures who later went on to succeed in their respective fields.
 जय हिन्द 


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