“Burning Mach Come in”.  “Burning Mach come in”.
“This is Burning Mach, over”, replied a cool voice.
“Burning Mach, update us about your position”.
“Over”.
“My Bird is at 35’E, 125’N, over” , replied a calm voice.
“Burning Mach, can you sight the target, over”.
“Target sighted , requesting permission to engage the target and neutralized threats, over.”
“Permission granted, over.”
After few minutes of dog fight, targets are neutralized. “This is Burning Mach, target neutralized, requesting permission for a fly by, over.”
“Negative , return to base right now.”
“You need to go to school. Wake up right now.”
“School? for God’s sake , I am a fighter plane pilot.”
“Hey stop pulling my hair. Oh it must have been one of my many dreams. I need to get up to go to school.”, thought David.ChasingTheDream
David is crazy about joining Indian Air Force and becoming a fighter plane pilot. From his childhood he used to watch patriotic movies and his house’s close proximity to the airport most probably had fuelled his dream. Some people(actually everyone who comes to know about his dream) thinks of him as a mad guy.His parents used to think that it is just a passing phase and as he will grow up he will change.However it was not to be.
Fast forward to his college days—
This is the fourth year of David’s college days.His first SSB is approaching and he has started his preparation.He bought a book on SSB and used to study from it.One day as he was studying….
“What are you looking in this photo for the last 10 minutes”, asked his sister.
“I am making a story”,replied David.
“Do you want to become a writer?”,asked his sister.
“No, this is part of my preparation.In my Service Selection Board interview ,after seeing a picture we will have to write a story and finally enter into a discussion in a group comprising off 15 to 20 boys.This is called Picture Perception and Description Test “.
His sister took the book and started to open random pages.Suddenly she asked a question”What is SRT?”
“This is Situation Reaction Test,in this test we will be given situations and we will have to react to this situations”,replied David.
“Suppose you are in a situation where there has been a bomb blast in the vicinity,how would you react?”asked David’s sister like a teacher.
“Give me the book and let me study.”
“Why you don’t know the answer?”asked his sister with a wicked smile.
“I will inform the police and the fire brigade about the blast,then I will pacify the people around me,comfort them,tend to the injured and send them to the hospital”.
“You will do all this in a wet pant?”asked his sister.
“Wet pant,why will my pant be wet?”asked David with a startled expression on his face.
“You will wet your pant the moment you hear the bomb blast,that’s why”,answered his sister and burst into peels of laughter.
“Give my book back”.
“Okay,okay lets be serious.There is another situation,give me a standard answer.”
“Will you give me the book back?”David asked sternly.
Showing total disregard,his sister started to ask.”suppose you find two people quarreling and they are on the verge of exchanging fisti cuffs.How would you react?”
“I want my book back”,replied David.
“You answer the question and I will give it back”,replied his sister.
“The standard answer would be-I would intervene and make them understand it is useless to fight as it solves no problem.Finally they will understand and thank me for this “.
dream-by-Desiree-Jacobs“I would intervene and get punched black and blue.They will understand it was useless to fight amongst themselves as another person is ready to be punched,finally they will thank me for this”,replied his sister and again started laughing.
David snatched the book from her and moved to the other room.However this was just an easy part of his preparation.The hardest part was convincing his parents.His mother was ever-ready to disallow him.However she had her own reasons.She was been guided by her emotions and the mothers of David’s local friends.They used to behave as if they were Service Selection Board interview veterans.
“You know what happens in those interviews,they will make your son run 20 km under the burning sun and if he still survives they will put a load of 10 kg on his back and make him run”.
“Not only this”,started another woman,”they will make your son walk over narrow planks of wood placed at 15-20 feet above the ground.Beneath the planks,there will be water.Our David doesn’t even know swimming,if he falls down who will save him?”
“Thats right,there is too much risk involved,why should I send my son to such a dangerous place”.
That day when David came back from college,his mother declared,”You are not going for your interview,I have come to know about the risks involved.I will tell your father to cancel your ticket.”
“Risk!What risk?”
“I know,they will make you run long distances under the sun,they will make you fall in a pond,you don’t even know swimming.”
“Who said these things to you?”,asked David.
“I don’t know all these,you stay unemployed your entire life,we have enough money,we will sustain you.”
“But then why are these incidents not reported?”
“You have not grown up enough to understand these things.They keep everything under wraps.”
Luckily for David his father did not have these sort of advisers.Hence he was ready to allow David to go,but with a condition he will accompany David.David agreed and his mother relented.
“Mr. David ,we are extremely impressed by your performance.After a long time we have got a candidate like you.You have taken this entire process to a completely new level.Gentleman,we wholeheartedly welcome you to our family!”
Saying this the officer wearing a highly decorated uniform started coming towards David with outstretched hands.Suddenly he put his hands around David’s throat and started throttling him.
“Excuse me ,I am sorry but what did I do?”,exclaimed David.
Suddenly he could see his sister and looking around he understood he was dreaming.
“What were you murmuring and why were you smiling?”,asked his sister.
“Nothing “,replied David with a sheepish smile.
“You must have been dreaming again,right?”,asked his sister.
“Hmm,were you throttling me?”
“No why?”,replied his sister and she started giggling.
“Why were you throttling me?”,asked David somewhat angrily.
“To wake you up.Now get up,you need to go to college.Have you forgotten or what?”
David was thinking something when his sister pulled his hair and said,”Stop dreaming you will fail in the first round itself.Get up,you need to get ready quickly.”
“Let me get into the Indian Air Force once,I will make all the air-force bases out of bounds for you”,David thought in his mind.

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Ramashis Chakraborty
The author is a Software Engineer working with IBM(past Exilant Technologies Pvt. Ltd.). He is extremely passionate about joining Defense Forces.Being an eternal optimist ,even after some unsuccessful attempts,he has not given up and is trying his best to clear the exam.The author is open to both positive and negative views regarding his writings. The stories reflect a life that the author has either lived or dreams about living one day.

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