The Second SSB
In 1967 while Ganesan was serving in 4 Engineer Regiment,had opted for permanent commission in the Army.According to then policy he was to go for another SSB.By the time the call came he was posted out as Assistant Garrison Engineer,Shillong.
The service as AGE,Shillong was another interesting story which we will see subsquently.
The second SSB call came in 1968 May directing him to report to SSB Meerut cantt.The time gap was so short that it was not possible to reach Meerut on the specific date.Explaining the details Army HQ was requested another suitable date.
Accordingly in August 1968 he was asked to report to SSB Allahabad.June -July of the year ASSM receives maximum rainfall. washing off roads and rail links were common.In 1968 the rain was so heavy that the TEESTA river bridge of rail link was washed away and roads were disappeared at many places.
Gauhati airfield was like a big Mela with thousands of people trying to get out of Assam.
At that time Ganesan was asked to report to Allahabad as a second chance to appear in the second SSB. How can he go?He decided to ask for another chance.But the Garrission Engineer at Gauhati Airfield (Borjar) rang up Ganesan not to miss this as AHQ may consider that he was not interested and may be rejected at the third time.Being a friend of Ganesan he requested Ganesan to come to Gauhati and let us try for a air ticket.
Gnesan came to Gauhati with a plan to fly to calcutta and from there take train Kalka mail to ALLAHABAD.In that case he will be there at about 1200hrs at SSB just at the reporting time.
At air field plane tickets were booked for almost 15 days and no fresh tickets were being issued.Ganesan and his friend went to the aircraft that was about to take off to Calcutta and met the pilot.
Fortunetly he was an Ex Airforce officer.Ganesan explained the situation to him.He requested the Airport authorities to issue a ticket for Ganesan and took him to the Aircraft.Ganesan was asked to sit near the the AirHostess and the pilot went into the cockpit.The Aircraft took off.
After a few minutes the pilot came out of cockpit and was looking for any vacant seat.The aircraft was full and not a single seat was vacant.
One lady and her 10 years old boy were occupying two seats.The pilot requested that lady whether Ganesan can have that boy on his lap and he be seated there.That lady was kind enough to accept and Ganesan was seated there.
During the travel that lady told Ganesan that she has great respect for Indian Army and keenly observed the 1965 war.She was thrilled to know that Ganesan was in Sialkot sector in that war.
The Aircraft landed at Calcutta.Ganesan thanked every one and was rushing to calcutta Rly station.But the lady requested Ganesan to wait and later took him in their car and dropped him
at the Rly station.
The Kalka mail was about to start.Even though Ganesan had free Rly warrent there was no time to exchange that.He told the train TT and reached Allahabad in time.
The second SSB photo is once again for you.
This photo shows Ganesan seated no.3 and all of them were having about 4-5 years service.In the entire lot Ganesan was the fittest officer.
After 3-5 days of SSB interview as the train services were not restored yet Ganesan was attached to Station HQ Allahabad and reached Shillong after about 20 days.
when result came Ganesan though was selected was shocked to see an officer who was awarded "Veer chakra" in 1965 war was rejected.
AHQ explained that the performance in war is spontaneous and not a planned one.In detailed analysis that officer was unsuitable for Army.
Since the officers were having about 4-5 years service and is serving the second SSB challanges the first SSB and hence subsquently stopped.The officers were selected based on confidential reports and recommendations.
However Ganesan had prooved his merit and rose to the rank of COLONEL and earned Presidents Award VASHIST SEVA MEDAL for distinguished service.