1. The staff college exam aka the exam for the DSSC course in Wellington (Tamil Nadu wala, not the New Zealand wala) is held in the first 10-15 days of September every year. ‘Animated discussion’ about preparing for it starts three years before that.
2. An officer gets three attempts to crack the staff college exam. The number of books, presentations, notes and precis in a single year are enough to occupy one entire freaking room.
3. The level of concentration, on a scale of 1-10, is approximately 34556. An officer gives his whole and soul when it’s time for him to study for this exam. They should all be given AVEEPSM — Ati Vichitra Ekagrata Evam Parishram Seva Medal.
4. An officer generally gets anything between 3 months to 3 days off from work to study for this prestigious exam. This preparation leave is extremely important and in many cases affects the result.
5. No matter what, the preparation leave that an officer’s CO gives is never never never enough.
6. This preparation leave is responsible for a significant increase in the body weight of the officer. Metabolism gets fucked royally, because there is no PT in the morning and no Games in the evening. All he has to do, is sit and study. Even breathing adds a kilo or two to the overall get-up.
7. Beard, unkempt hair, and wearing the same set of clothes for at least 5 days are signs that an officer is preparing for Staff.
8. “Be***ch*d ye kya ch****apa hai sala. Iss umar me itna kaun padhta hai” is a patent dialogue of all Staff aspirants who are mostly over-30.
9. A staff-affected family (meaning a happy family that is no longer happy because the husband is preparing for Staff) will not waste even a day in holidaying, because it will be used for staff preparation. So an entire year goes by in which all the leaves get utilised for padhai.
10. It is extremely difficult to make relatives understand why your husband is not coming for a function or visiting them. This is specially true if the officer chooses to stay at home for preparation (as opposed to running away to Mhow, Pune, Deolali etc).
11. No one can explain the excruciating pain that an officer goes through when he has to let go of an important football or cricket match on TV. I’ll say a silent prayer for those preparing in the year of World Cups.
12. Movies? Shut up.
13. As the date of exam approaches, the officer will start worrying less about the exam and more about the uniform he has to wear to the exam centre. Why? Refer to Point No.6.
14. The last 7 days of preparation are quite surreal… Pata hi nahin chalta ki padhai karein, ki aane wale free time ki planning karein. Officers get distracted so much, that they would plan vacations, shop online for some gadget, or think about partying — everything that is on their to-do list once the exam gets over. This is a syndrome that many of you experienced during your exams in school or college.
15. The day it all gets over, you will find the officer happily passed out in the mess or at some bar or at some friend’s place. Or at home….it doesn’t matter where the ‘passing out’ takes place!
16. And what’s the worse that can happen after this grueling staff exam agani pariksha? “Sir jaldi paltan aa jao, aap agale Adjutant ho.”