We are so used to watching the hero and villain duke it out on screen and cheering for CSK vs RCB on twitter that we have developed no other means of conflict resolution whatsoever. We are so used to being just the audience to performances that we view even war through the same goggles. The movie ends, the match gets over and the participants and the audience return to their normal lives. War is no movie and we are no mere audience in this scenario.
I did not notice the fish tank in the background until much later when I was going through the photos we took that night and this was inadvertently caught in one corner. The absurdity initially did make me chuckle as I thought to myself what the fish must feel like stuck behind a glass pane and having to watch other dead fish day in and day out. Is it sad? Is it glad that no one’s killed it yet? However, the current scene in India with the back and forth strikes at the Line of control and the whole country praising war through memes on social media (So much 21st century in one sentence, amirite?), it got me thinking – We are all that fish silently watching other fish die from behind glass panes we so conveniently carry in our palms.
So it didn’t quite go as planned.
I was on the phone with my mom early in the morning, as soon as the shop opened up. “I mostly might not make it”, I told her,”if I call home again by today evening, it’s over. Hopefully, I stay another day.” We had the remaining group tasks and the conference that day. If I make it in, I would have a whole lot of documents to fill out and an extra day to stay in for the pilot tests. If not, it’s goodbye.
My shoes were black. The dress code was a white T-shirt, white shorts or tracksuit and sports shoe or P.T shoes, preferably in white. The only pair of sports shoes I own is majorly black and this was bugging me since day one. Of course, the instructions also asked for neatly trimmed hair and formal attire for screening day and yet people in jeans and leather jackets, with handlebar moustaches were screened in. So maybe dress codes don’t matter too much? Tell that to the voices in my head.
Day three was my off day. A couple of my batchmates had their personal interviews but otherwise, I had nothing set for the day. A day of having nothing to do isn’t as fun when you’re removed from everything that normally kept you entertained.
Day one had us on our feet throughout and ended with all of us huddled around the common notice board. Besides the long list of ‘Places to visit in Mysore’ which held detailed accounts of all the famous tourist spots with their distances from the AFSB and means of transport to get there, the notice board also had all the contact numbers we would need there, rules that had to be followed which included things like “steps to ask for the ironing box”, phone and internet booth timings, food timings and a detailed schedule of the forthcoming days. The first two days were set for personal interviews for groups A, B and C while D and E would be having their ‘Group Tasks’. Then we would switch on the next two days. My personal interview was scheduled for 10 AM the next day. And I can’t talk to people. It would be kind if only they let me text the interviewer.
This week began with me taking the Air Force Common Admission Test for the second time. “What happened the first time”, you ask ? Well, I didn’t make it in of course, why else would I be taking it a second time? I did barely make the cut, exam wise. What followed was a six day long selection process which turned out to be rather cut throat.
Also, this story is going to be unapologetically in-depth.