Dad’s Aspiration Fulfilled By Son: CAPF Commandant Gets CSE AIR 18 (Exclusive)
- Pallavi Priya
- Published on 27 May 2023, 1:03 pm IST
- 4 minutes read
- Chasing and capturing UPSC CSE was Siddharth Shukla’s way of fulfilling his father’s dream
- The boy from UP’s Azamgarh is concerned about his hometown and wishes to improve education there
- He feels one should be process-oriented not result-oriented
A father who himself wanted to be a civil servant and prepared for it but never got a chance, today cannot stop smiling as his son secures All India Rank 18 in UPSC CSE 2022. After his failed 2002-03 attempts, the father had moved on to journalism and shifted base from Azamgarh, Uttar Pradesh to Delhi with his family.
Everything has been fine but the unfulfilled dream lingered in his heart and he wished to see his son fulfil it one day. Siddharth Shukla did exactly that as the decades old dream took shape of reality and the boy even turned out to be one of the toppers this year. His journey though was not easy and it took him four attempts.
In conversation with Indian Masterminds, Mr. Shukla who is under training as Assistant Commandant (CISF) spoke about how he dealt with failures.
A BOON IN DISGUISE
In his first attempt, he failed in Mains badly and then in the second, he couldn’t score good marks in interview. He didn’t even make it to the interview in his third.
While speaking to IM the St. Xaviers (Rohini) alumnus said, “This only acted as boon for me as I got plenty of time to make it right, perfect. I made a plan for next day, next fortnight and for a month. I included how many mock test and test series I have to give in set time.”
The History graduate from Delhi’s Khalsa College, who was also the subject topper, added: “I followed (my day and month plans) rigorously and believe this was the best I did during my entire journey of preparation.”
The time had come to move on his father’s dream path so, he started UPSC CSE preparation. Mr. Shukla’s father, who now works in a newspaper called ‘Lucknow Samachar’ and his mother who was a teacher and now a homemaker, felt blessed.
Mr. Shukla did take coaching in initial days of preparation for General Science but studied his optional (History) on his own. When his efforts were not bearing results, Mr. Shukla decided to try out for other options.
Meanwhile, he also appeared for the UPPCS and reached the interview round. He cleared CDS and went for SSB to finally clear CAPF exam in 2020 with AIR 27. He became Asst. Commandant, Central Industrial Security Forces (CISF) and started training.
He says, “I was following my father’s dream but I couldn’t forget that we are a middle-class family. I couldn’t afford to just wait for UPSC CSE so in between I tried other options too. Luckily, I got in one and now in CSE also.” The officer adds that getting another job makes it easy. “Else, UPSC exam feels like a matter of life and death.”
All said and done, a nagging thought has always been this topper’s companion: Why he wanted to do UPSC? He might have cleared it to make his father proud but to be a good civil servant he needs to be passionate about it.
“Whenever I thought one thing that always struck in my mind was my native place. There was a time when many stalwarts came from that place but now the craze of education has just dropped,” says the boy originally from Azamgarh.
“This has become a motto for me to work in field of education in my area when I get the responsibility of a civil servant”, says the topper. He believes that clearing CSE is just the first step to the real challenge he wants to tackle.
DON’T BE CLOSETED
Mr. Shukla was away from all social media during his preparation. He would use his mother’s phone to talk to his friends. He says that no aspirants should be on social media as it is a distraction and there are limited advantages.
So, when we asked how did he deal with failures he said, he used to talk and play with friends. Even went to travel with them. “After my second attempt I realized that making UPSC preparation a whole and sole purpose is of no good. One can be easy and relaxed during the preparation but shouldn’t wasting time mindlessly,” said the topper.
He has deep interest in spiritual books and has read The Bhagwat Gita and a few of the Upanishads. A book by philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti called ‘The network of thoughts’ just turned his life and mindset around. The book made him be process oriented and not result-oriented. This way he focused on preparation and giving tests rather than thinking about marks and rank. He advises others to do the same.
END OF THE ARTICLE
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