1.You get implicit permission to be a total D-bag to the family for a while – The routine at my house goes something like this:
Mother – Why haven’t you made your bed today?
Me – Because I cleared UPSC.
It’s fun. You should try it.
2.You can set up a Google alert for your name – If you’re of the narcissistic d-bag disposition that is. This is the easiest way I can think of to get multiple news agencies to pick up your name and display it on the Internet. It’s either this, or you write a book called From Bihar to Tihar. You pick.
3.People take appointments to talk to you – Until quite recently you were one of the inglorious unemployed youth of India. After you clear UPSC, you must continue to be one temporarily because this is the government and the machinery that churns out your appointment letter moves slowly. But laypeople are not aware of this small glitch. In their minds you are already sanctioning rations for the poor in flood stricken Assam or carrying out some similarly grave responsibility with your proportionately great powers. The net result being that people your age and a little more permanently unemployed than you send you Whatsapp messages to the effect of, “Hello Ma’am I’m sorry to disturb you but could you please give me a time when it is convenient to call you regarding tips for UPSC exam?”
4.Your sibings have newfound respect for you – This lasts until they realize only too quickly that you have totally ruined their life now because nothing they could ever do would be as awesome for the parents as what you just achieved, and so they are doomed to either walk in your footsteps or be saddled with the epithet of “black sheep of the family” forever. Not pretty for your sibling, your success sadly.
5.Everyone wants you to marry their children – Of course you are not going to be marrying their children just yet, because that would totally defeat the purpose of the swayamvar disguised as training that is arranged especially for you in the romantic hills of Mussoorie, but it’s still nice to be wanted.
6.Parents get recognition through your good name – My father was at the RTO office recently to get his car’s number plate changed. The officer behind the desk looked at my father’s details and said, “Oh, it was your daughter who cleared UPSC exam this time?” I wasn’t there but I’ve heard my father tell this story three times now with great pride. That was nice.
7.You can finally sleep in till late guilt free – Same goes for being able to watch movies guilt free. Although you quickly discover that watching The Notebook for the 34th time on TV was much more fun when you had the Mains exam looming over your head in less than a month. In that situation you really felt like you were living life on the edge.
8.Old ladies want to hug you all the time – Clear this exam and people just arbitrarily decide you are the most simple, sincere, sober child they have ever come across; an asset to your parents and to society at large. You could be the most ridiculous pot smoking, alcohol guzzling, shoplifting selfish bastard around, but once you clear this exam, old ladies congregate around you and confidently vouch for your character by pressing your head fondly to their bosom and suffocating you in their awkward embrace.
9. Parents think you are a good influence on their children – The naivete is touching.
10.You benefit from indulgent misnomers – The beauty of clearing the Civil Services exam is that you don’t even have to obtain an IAS rank to be called an IAS. You can be the 945th person on a list of 990 selected candidates, and you will be accorded the same respect as the ones ranked above you. Of course, this holds true only for the sweet few months after your name appears in the merit list. Once you actually join your service and start working within the hierarchy…ah, then life’s a little less rosy. And so you sit for the exam again, and go through the laborious motions of the exam again, because you nurse a tender ego and know deep within your heart that nothing can possibly sooth the middle class Indian ego except the glorious and glamorous entrapment of colonial-era babudom.