Some take it up by choice, some by passion, some are coerced into it, while some do it merely to try their luck. No matter what way one takes the great plunge, everyone has to go through the rigours of the coveted Civil Services Examination.
The mere mention of Civil Services draws appreciative looks from others and the aspirants themselves gain a respectable status in society. But this respect and appreciation for the IAS aspirants does not come alone, it brings along with it tonnes of expectations that people start harbouring. Each and every person associated with the aspirant, be it the near and dear ones or the distant ones, start dreaming of roaming around in red-beaconed white ambassadors, and all this while the aspirant has just begun knowing the syllabus of the exam.
Being an IAS aspirant also brings one on the target list of matrimonial agents, many of them keeping a keen eye on the aspirant's journey through all the three stages of the Civil Services examination.
Amidst all this future planning, an aspirant has to cope with the herculean and practically endless syllabus of the exam, concentrating more on national and international current affairs rather than family and matrimonial affairs.
With the three stages of the exam spread across a time span of one year, an IAS aspirant, apart from maintaining his motivation, also has to battle the constant queries of relatives regarding the dates of the exam and, more importantly, the result dates. After a lot of slogging, when the aspirant clears the first stage (prelims) in the very first attempt, the expectations sky-rocket, putting him under tremendous pressure.
The pressure of the next stage (mains), in addition to the societal pressure, makes the going really tough. But unfortunately, nobody except the aspirant realises this. After he manages to clear the mains as well, the entire family and relatives erupt into grand celebrations, without realising that the final frontier (interview stage) is yet to be won.
After giving their heart and soul, a handful of those who manage to crack all the three stages of the exam and end up with top ranks, become instant celebrities, with all the competitive magazines carrying their photos and interviews and hundreds of other aspirants thronging them to take some “marg darshan.”
On the other hand, there are those aspirants who despite putting in their best efforts, miss the bus by a whisker. What makes life tough for them is when the society at large treats them as if a doctorate has failed in a class I exam.
A little more compassion and tolerance on the part of society will make the going a lot easier for the IAS aspirants. A little more moral support will ensure that the country gets quality bureaucrats. Give us a hand and we will give it our best shot!
Those who manage to crack all the three stages of the exam and end up with top ranks become instant celebrities