Journey So far
Tuesday, May 10, 2016
It all started when…..well to be honest I don't know when it actually started, but it was in July of 2013
when I decided that I must give some serious thought to pursue career in Civil Services. By August I had
put in my papers and by November end I was back in Pune.
I was attending a friend's wedding when somebody asked me where I was going to prepare for CSE. I
had not decided yet and that same person suggested that I visit Abhyankar's IAS Academy.
1st December 2013 I met Aashay Sir, discussed about my background and got to know about the class.
My first impression of our class was very positive and my first interaction with sir gave me the
confidence that it is here that I can find the path to reach my goal.
I started on 3rd December and the journey so far has been much more rewarding than I had expected.
Two and half years since then I have only grown as a person, learnt many things that are essential to
become a good human being, met officers from services which only inspired me to work even harder.
One of the best decision has been to write CSE 2014, I knew I was not prepared but that was not the
point. It provided me an opportunity to know my strengths and weaknesses. Sir's support during this
attempt was crucial, It was race against time but we were able to hit a good total in Mains. The
interview preparation after the mains was fun filled starting with a trip to Goa followed by Mumbai.
Although I did not clear Main exam I had got the orientation of what needs to be done.
Problem areas vary from individual to individual and one needs an unique solution to overcome them.
This is exactly what the academy provides at every single stage i.e. Prelims, Mains and Interview.
The 2015 prelim was a little different as CSAT was made qualifying thus making GS paper much more
important. Aashay Sir equipped us well with thorough practice (we had 9 mini-mocks and 8 full portion
mocks) and I was able to clear the first stage successfully.
This was followed by a series of mock tests for mains (16 GS mini mocks+ 9 Socio mini mocks and 2 full
portion), this has helped me improve my writing speed as well as arrangement of thoughts necessary to
write a good answer. Lot of focus was on current affairs discussion which is very important in today's
format of CSE.
I want to separately thank sir for helping me improve my essay writing which carries weightage
equivalent to one GS paper. I can vividly recollect my first essay in class, I was barely able to write 200
words but practicing essays and getting them corrected from sir has led to a lot of improvement.
The most interesting and to my mind the most difficult part was the interview preparation.
Interesting because I got to meet great people, the journey started with Mr. Bhagwan Joshi and Dr.
Pradnya Saravade IPS in Pune and Mumbai respectively, followed by our trip to Delhi where I got to
interact with Dr. Nandkumar Saravade ex-IPS, Mr. Rajesh Tomar of ITBP, Nuclear Scientist Dr. Nerurkar
and Mr. Manhar Yadav IFS.
Lastly I got to meet Mr. Jha IRS here in Pune.
These interactions provided a glimpse into life of these officers which was amazing and it also allowed
me to gain knowledge and build perspectives about the burning issues. Most importantly it showed that
one can reach for the skies with feet on the ground.
I said difficult because I am an introvert and this was acting against me during our mock interviews. Sir
kept motivating me to speak more and it worked in the end. I was again impressed by sir's efforts to
prepare questions for me and prepare me for the interview.
Guidance by Ameya Sir and Nila Ma'am has proved valuable. They take keen interest in the progress of
students at the academy. In April 2016 Ameya Sir conducted a mock interview for me and gave me
specific pointers to work on, that way I was able to channelize my energy in a better manner.
Charu Ma'am also inspired me whenever we met. I remember once I met ma'am after 2015 prelim
results and ma'am said " your hard work has paid off, keep working and you will definitely succeed. I'll
pray for you” . Today when I write this testimonial, these words have come true.
Last but not the least; Bharat has been a great inspiration throughout the preparation. He took time
from his busy schedule to talk to me and motivate me.
To conclude, I would like to say that it has been an awesome experience so far as a member of
Abhyankar's IAS family and I see this as a new beginning. Words are not enough to Thank Sir for all the
things he has done.
Sir once gave us an essay topic to write “The path is the goal”, I feel that this statement is more
important today than ever.
Swapnil Mahajan (CSE-2015)