A Curious Army Wife

I joined this crazy tribe when I married into the Indian Army

Army wives’ role…

An interesting piece which was forwarded to me on a social networking site. A very interesting article. I don’t know who the author is, but she definitely captured our sentiments well in her writing. Enjoy….

Today is Aug 19, 2014 and I have finally foundย the author of this piece. She is another curious Army wife, Sonia Kundra SIngh. ๐Ÿ™‚ย 

An Army Wives’ Role

A role that we play other than that I am married to a man who is in and out of his olive green uniforms and seeing him every morning going for PT and at evening sharp four forty five he would be out for games. Many times I would convince myself that this is the way of life. The coffee mornings, the evening social, the welfare meets and the raising days are just going to be a part of our life.

The only part that I thought I would be playing in his life would be to accompany him, dressed up in my best sari (in winters it would be the silk kanjeevarams and in summers the chiffons and crapes would be out).

But its more than that.

Most of the times it would just be us women talking about the mundane topics of where what sari couldย  be bought at their with the best bargain. Sometimes it would be creating your own garment by adding your own creativity like the borders bought at the ‘Laad bazar’ in Hyderabad or the inexpensive crape sari bought at the Amritsar markets. Another thing that army wives become good at is decorating their houses. You cannot beat the decor they create by using the minimal supplies their budget would allow. The MES furniture that had been used for generations, become the makeshift home for all. The artwork on the walls are mostly done by us- the wives, while husbands disappear for the official work. It becomes a lesson in making on your own independently with or without your husband. For the newly weds it is demanding but with all the support that army gives you by sending you help is somehow commendable. There are times when we also become event managers. The coffee morning becomes a complete official duty for us to make the morning for the senior ladies as entertaining as possible. The solo songs, The Master of Ceremonies, the dances, the tambola games and the paper games followed by elite snacks is done at its best. Tedious at times but when we are appraised for the effort, it all feels worth it.

Then comes the part where we are becoming a model for the ‘Jawans’ wives. No matter how younger you are to them, they follow you blindly. Be it advise on marital affairs or how to take care of children before, during and after the pregnancy (even though you don’t have any plans for starting a family), be it joining classes at the Vocational Training Center or taking up a job as a computer teacher, it is you that they come to when problems arise. The happiness in their eyes when they win a competition for your battery (The regiment is usually divided into sub-units called ‘battery’). Little do they know how brave they are. Staying all alone without help and having to take care of the house and the kids all at once is something that is only possible with complete dedication and love.

Being a part of the army is a beautiful experience. The money doesn’t matter and at times even the boring parties don’t matter. You become what you want to become in this organization. There are times when cribbing becomes a session (after all what job is perfect) but you know that you have a life and a responsibility of being not only a wife but an army wife.

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11 thoughts on “Army wives’ role…

  1. Have you compared your life in India to wives of soldiers in other countries?
    Would be interesting to know. Well, they don’t wear saris…anyway!

  2. Ritu on said:

    Hi,
    Every time i read about army socializing i cringe. My boy friend is an Army officer & he tells me these social gatherings & ladies meets are not mandatory mow a days, don’t know if he is saying this to comfort me, which is true ? When it comes to socializing i am a big flop & bit of a loner as well. I prefer my books over a large crowd any day. I have only heard notorious things about those “senior” ladies. I have no idea how i am going to cope with these endless social gatherings. After all in this world, there are a bunch of misfits or non-conformists like me.

    • True Ritu, when socialising becomes compulsary, it then stops being fun. U fortu ately, it should be only the officers who follow seniority protocol but wives also think of themselves as seniors to others. Woman and power rarely go well together in Army. The best thing I can suggest to you is to get a job and excuse yourself ๐Ÿ˜‰

  3. Rita on said:

    Hi,
    Thank u for replying Anamika. I have been caught up in certain things, hence the late reply.

    What is confusing is that i read Army has scrapped the practice of wive’s socializing to be assessed on husband’s ACR…. I thought ACR was the major factor which controlled ‘junior’ wives.

    …..solo songs, The Master of Ceremonies, the dances, the tambola games and the paper games……. Really ? Tambola- in this age ? Sounds like 19th C England to me. Has these ‘senior’ ladies ever heard about the internet ???

    Now i am crazy worried, i hope none of this is compulsory because this will definitely be unbearable to me. Isn’t forced socialization also a kind of human rights’ abuse ? I know i am sounding dramatic but when will these bizzare traditions end ?

    Dear Anamika, the likes of u have gone through a lot it seems at the hand of these ‘senior’ ladies. Damn i didn’t knew all these & i am pretty sure this type of lifestyle is sure to cause me major lifelong headaches. Even if knew, i am too much in love with my man to back out.

    • Hey Rita,
      Relax yaar, I am sure your future husband will help you with this. Drop me a mail at a.nandedkar@gmail.com. Would love to explore this idea more.

    • Anthony on said:

      A lot of cribing on socializing and calling on etc. But conversely when Army brats are crowned Miss India’s everyone is gushing. You see protocol, socializing, being leaders in the most trivial activites is what separates the army brats and wives

      • 1. Thanks for stopping by ๐Ÿ™‚ .
        2. Forced socialising is never fun. However, calling ons, a unique feature of our fauj, is always super fun. No cribbing there!
        3. Army brats have achieved much more than mere crowns. My previous boss was an army brat. We are proud of all, regardless of the beauty factor.
        4. Being a brat is easier than being a wife. Brats-turned-wives will agree. ๐Ÿ™‚

    • I can so relate to what all you wrote Rita!I love my books and would prefer them over large crowds. I didn’t know all these things like forced social gatherings & events which include solo songs,paper games etc exist. I mean why are we supposed to become entertainers? We haven’t joined the army,our partners have. And I’m so proud of him! And same, I’m too much in love with my man to back out.

      • Don’t back out because of these silly reasons! ๐Ÿ˜› They are not worth the joy of living with your guy.
        Chalo now it seems I have to hurry up about my promise to write something about our career choices.

  4. Thank you so much for the reply! And no,I’ll never back out,I love him a lot..!! Thanks for being a blessing for civilians like me ๐Ÿ™‚

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