A Curious Army Wife

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

Archive for the month “July, 2015”

When Army wives start using fauji lingo… Part 1

THE BOSS IS HERE

Photo: IMA Photography Club

No Army wife can escape this! We say what we hear and what we hear has a strong fauji tadka. There are many terms and words that are typically used by Army men in India that become a part of an Army wife’s vocabulary too. Those could be official words, or general words used to communicate with the troops.

Now every army wife (any wife for that matter) takes eavesdropping on her husband’s conversation very seriously. We get to hear a lot of these words at every party or social meet where officers effortlessly shift every conversation to “fauji-related” stuff.

For example, you ask?

Lady: “We have just purchased some awesome stuff from the local hatt-market, you must take your wife there.”

To which the officer would reply, “Of course ma’am. My wife has just returned from a shopping trip from Mhow. (Turning to the lady’s husband). I hear Col XYZ is now posted in the JC Wing in Mhow and is after his unit jungoo’s life who happens to be doing his YOs. His coursemate Col ABS is doing very well there but then he is thankyou-types from what my DS in NDA tells me who is there on TD.

(Shopping gayi khadde me, pehele ABCD seekh leti hoon).

So the poor lady had to hear all this when she had oh so innocently started a neutral conversation with an officer. Story of every Army wife.

And hilarious results follow… Army wives often start using many fauji terms in their normal conversation. They simply adapt those words to fit it in every situation. (Remember how I keep telling you that fauji biwi can adapt anything and everything, everywhere).

A Curious Army Wife has attempted to compile these words and make a mini-dictionary on this blog. Ladies are welcome to add their own well-worn words. New brides can have a look to get a head-start on the boring officers’-talk. Others can simply sit back and enjoy.

1. CHECK MAAR DIYA

Meaning: Usually senior officers and the senior ranks among jawans keep a check on their juniors to ensure that their dress and conduct is in sync with Army standards. So when an officer wears the wrong-coloured socks to an official function or if his fingernails are too big, a senior can ‘check’ him by pointing it out. If the senior is a tough nut, he is likely to maarofy ‘check’ in presence of others to make the situation super embarrassing.

Usage: Meri saas jab dekho mujhe check marti reheti hai, bolti hai “bindi lagao”, “aaj jaldi uth gayi?”, and “tum toh call hi nai karti”… arrgh.

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2. FALL-IN

Meaning: It’s a kind of formation to stand for report. ¬†For instance, if an officer needs to convey some order to 10 jawans, he will ask those jawans to fall-in at a particular time and place. Those jawans gather there and stand in proper formation, like if there are four jawans, they will all stand in a line, or if 10 then in 2×5 (just giving vague examples). a

Usage: The leopard from the neighbouring jungle was on prowl in the cantonment last night. I got so scared about the cats and kittens of my block, immediately unka fall-in karaya to see if all were alive. Thankfully, they were!

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3. GO KAR DIYA

Army minionMeaning: The term used to denote whatever happens after someone in authority says a hypothetical Get Set Go. Usually used to denote the start of cross-country runs, or to indicate how cadets find food irresistible and simply gobble it up (khane pe go kar diya).

Usage: There was no advertisement in the paper and no sms alert too! I went shopping just like that and when I saw that Sale sign at the FabIndia store, meine Go kar diya!

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4. IN LIEU OF

Meaning: This instead of that. X in place of Y.

Usage: See I am coming to watch this pathetic action movie with you in lieu of meeting that boring aunt of yours. But I do all this because I love you. ūüôā

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5. LAGOO HAI

Meaning: Something that is authorised to a person in the Armed forces. Often used in terms of allowances. ration or chhutti.

Usage: Yaar mujhe harr function me tum saree pehenne ko bolte ho, toh mahine me ek saree khareedna toh mujhe lagoo hai. (Husband shocked, biwi rocks)

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6. CAR-DIARY CLOSE

Meaning: For every military vehicle, a dedicated diary is maintained which has details like the dates and frequency of servicing in addition to the number of kilometres has it logged. Army rules require a vehicle (Ambassador, Gypsy, ALS, Dhai-Ton etc) to reach a certain target in terms of kilometres traveled. If the vehicle reaches that mark before the end of the year, then usage of that vehicle is discouraged till the new log book for new year becomes operation and its existing car diary is closed for the remaining month.

Usage: I have been using this laptop for the last 8 years and it is a pain now. Iski car-diary ab close hai.

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7. PUTTI-PARADE

Meaning: A fixed time-period in which an Army man has to change into another dress or uniform. It is a part of officer’s training, which teaches them to waste no time (when there actually is no time). It is also a very popular form of punishments in all training academies like NDA, IMA, OTA etc.

Usage: Army Commander ki wife ne hum sabki putti-parade kara di. Pehele coffee morning, fir welfare program, then high tea and dinner party! Jaan hi le li.

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8. LINE-TOD

Meaning: Break-off. Dismissing everyone after a parade. Command asking a group of jawans/officers/cadets to leave the parade area after a practice or a parade.

Usage: There were three mali, four maids and two cooks working tirelessly for this big party that colonel’s wife was throwing at their bungalow. But the cooks decided they had had too much of Memsahab’s snooty attitude and wo dono line-tod kar gaye.

More to follow soon…. Feel free to contribute. ūüôā

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First packing experience. What a pain!

Though we hate the way our houses smell in the monsoon, there is still no builder in India who can match this amazing view from an Army quarter's balcony.

Though we hate the way our houses smell in the monsoon, there is still no builder in India who can match this amazing view from an Army quarter’s balcony.

And I am back… ūüôā

Not that I was missed, I know. But it still feels great to write “I am back”, for purely selfish reasons with which I won’t bore you.

So it’s been almost two months that I haven’t written anything. I was caught up in the cycle of dining outs – friendly dinners – packing – loading trucks –¬†saying goodbyes – crying¬†my eyes out – travelling – waiting for the bloody trucks – unloading – unpacking – setting¬†up¬†a new house – blah blah.

This entire cycle is what a seasoned Army wife usually gets used to after a couple of postings. But I was new to this whole process and it was freaky to say the least. I am glad it is over.

The day we¬†finally saw the MES guy put locks on the house (quarter in sarkari and fauji lingo),¬†we¬†had¬†moved in with¬†Major Sa’ab’s coursemate and his wife¬†in the same Cantt for two days. As my friend and I were enjoying the drizzle and drinking tea on the balcony, we saw a Dhai-Ton (colloquial for the two-and-half tons capacity¬†Army trucks) pull¬†up in the block.

Two fit jawans¬†quickly started unloading stuff from the truck…aah…so another family was moving in. It was not my house, but still I felt a sense of possessiveness¬†about it.¬†How soon we all get attached to the leaky, dingy and¬†ancient Army quarters¬†was the first thing that dawned on me. Army wives have this incredible knack for¬†accepting any house with open arms and making¬†it their own for the next two weeks (or two months or two years…whatever).

This first packing-moving experience¬†has taught us (Major Sa’ab and I)¬†a lot¬†but I still know that our second time is going to be equally chaotic. I just know it. Don’t ask me how ūüôā .

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