It has been almost two months since 30th April, 2015. It is the day when the final results of CSS-2014 were announced and I became a part of prestigious Civil Service of Pakistan, and got the service of my choice I-e Pakistan Administrative Service.
I get down to writing that story with many thoughts in my mind. The thoughts which hold my hands and warn me of the subjectivity of human mind, having no idea how my story would be perceived. However, I feel that there are many who would get a ray of hope and a flame to fire their ambitions. There are many helpless and unfortunate people, just like me, who have no resources for that journey of competitive exams, but they have the potential and brilliance which is required to pull it off.
I have been contacted by many people to share my story. Today I share it here. It might take some time of yours, but I hope that you would gain something from your time spent reading these lines, the lines which are essence of my life till date. Please pardon me in advance if in the end you feel that you have wasted your time.
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I am the son of a government employee serving in BPS-1. We are three brothers, I being the eldest of all. Since my father was an ordinary government employee, he did not have resources to finance my studies in a good school, so I have been to petty government schools throughout my academic career. There I did not pay any fee but that was maximum my parents could do for me. I am so thankful to them for doing all that for me. I secured first position consistently for 4 years.
I completed my primary education and got admission in a government high school. I had moved to higher classes and here I realized that I needed relatively more resources. I become sad remembering how I contrived my monthly fee of Rs. 10 and some notebooks. I used to spend my weekends on roads, running after the kites so that I may catch a few and manage to have school fee and notebooks by selling these kites, I also helped my parents through the same money. When I was studying in class 10, my teacher used to beat me for not having tuition after the school timings. I did not have money to pay the tuition fee so I left the school and appeared in matriculation exams as a private candidate.
After doing the matriculation, I asked my parents if they needed me to do any job. My father asked me to go ahead with my studies. I got admission in Government Islamic College, Civil lines Lahore. The next four years, from intermediate to graduation, passed like the previous years and I graduated from the college.
My father was so eager to see me in Punjab University as he was doing his job there and it was his dream to see his son studying there. I got admission in IBA, Punjab University. It was that time where I was tested time and again. There were many students from Beaconhouse, Lahore Grammar or like schools who were really good at English and I first time in my life felt as if I missed a lot. However, I had one thing with me, the commitment and perseverance. I graduated in November 2011.
My parents had hoped that now I would bring some joy home and change their days of destitute. That was mere wishful thinking and they still had to wait, and I still have to bear the hardships. I did not want to do job in any bank because interest is forbidden in Islam. I applied for many jobs but did not find one. The places where I was called for Interview, they never called me again despite having good interviews. I faced some discrimination as well. Once I went to an interview where some people from LSE were also invited. I managed to reach the place with extreme difficulty as it was 27 Km away from Lahore. The people at the company were kind enough to ask the gentlemen and ladies from other institute if they needed any juice or sandwiches, but never bothered me if I am called for interview. That was enough to disappoint me and I decided not to do any private job as they would not hire me. The reason may also be my keeping beard and putting on very ordinary clothes.
Quest for CSS Begins
It was December 2011 when I met the brother of my friend, who was preparing for CSS exam. He was Hafiz Karimdad Chughtai, second position holder of CSS 2014. I had no job so just thought to try my luck in CSS. Only two month remained in exams and I applied for CSS. I had opted subject with strange criteria. I had opted those subjects only for which I may not need to buy books as I did not have money. I just applied but did not take it seriously and again started the job search. I got my Pol science books and Business Admin books to start the prep when only 32 days remained in exam. I did not have any idea of the exam, the extent of my ignorance was such that I realized it in exam hall that I have to attempt the paper on blank sheets. I failed the attempt but got fairly good marks to motivate me for next attempt.
I also took the PMS exams which were going to commence in July 2012. I applied for PMS exams with same criteria of opting the subjects. I opted the subjects like Philosophy, Political Science and Business Administration. A friend advised me to opt for Punjabi but I did not have the 700 rupees to purchase the books, and these 700 rupees were the very cost of my allocation. I passed the exam, performed well in interview but failed to get the allocation due to very heavy optional combination. If I had opted Punjabi, I would have easily got the allocation but Allah had planned something else for me.
I had not appeared for CSS 2013 as I was confident enough to get allocation in PMS. But due to failure to get allocation, I started preparing for CSS 2014 attempt. I again opted for subjects which needed no books for preparation. I opted Arabic and Punjabi as new subjects but had no books. I sold all my MBA books but was so dejected at getting only 550 rupees for all my books which were around 20 in number. I could purchase only books for Arabic. I prepared Philosophy from internet, used my F.A book of Indo Pak History for preparing Pak Affairs. I had only three books with me for the preparation of CSS.
I appeared in CSS exam and I had only 30 rupees in my pocket. I had purchased enough stationery items for the exam but had no money in case of emergency. I used to walk to the exam center which was situated around 5 Km Away from my home because I did not have enough money to pay the fare. I never had lunch as I could not finance one. I still remember when once I was late for exam and I did not have breakfast because walking to the exam center took almost an hour. I was broken at that day as I really felt hungry and was not feeling well to attempt the paper out of weakness.
I had also applied for a post of Instructor in Management and Professional Development Department. That was the same institute where all officers of Punjab Government are trained, they also include the PMS officers. I had one visited that place to meet my PMS friends, the awe inspiring ambiance of that place really inspired me. I remember I was heart broken when I returned from that place, I whispered to Allah to bless with success in next PMS exam so that I may also come here. Allah listened and had planned something better for me. I was selected by PPSC as an instructor and I joined MPDD as a teacher of bureaucrats and PMS officers.
I later passed the CSS – 2014 exam. I never went to any academy, individual teacher or any mentor throughout my struggle, neither for written exam, nor for Psychological assessment and Interview prep. I relied on Allah almighty.
Today I stand here, with two gazetted posts in hand. On one hand I am teacher of bureaucrats and on other hand I belong to the Elite Service of Pakistan I-e PAS.
I dedicate my struggle to Allah Almighty, my parents and all those people who have no resources. My message to all of you is that never leave the struggle, the success is the result of hard work, tenacity and patience. I wish you all luck in your endeavors. May Allah help you. I am sorry for taking that much time, please forgive me if I wasted your precious time.