A Curious Army Wife

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

Archive for the category “Humour”

Fauji upbhokta

You know how a song, a phrase, a dialogue often reminds you of your fauji, and whenever you hear it, his image comes to your mind?

For me, that dialogue is “Jiss upabhogta se aap sampark karna chahte hain, wo abhi coverage shetra se bahar hai.” ūüėąūüėą

My first Ladies’ Meet!

There should be two stories under this title ‚ÄĒ the first Ladies’ Meet that I attended, and the first Ladies’ Meet¬†I¬†hosted.

As luck would have it, both these historical accidents incidents happened at the same Ladies’ Meet.

It was my first month as a newly wed in my husband’s unit, which was hosting this mega reunion of all unit officers (serving and retired).

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Can you believe it! All these years and I have not been able to attend any garden parties that I was invited to. Photo by Saanya Bajaj Rawat, a fellow army wife and an Instagram star!

Women of my unit decided to have a coffee morning and since I was the latest bakra ‚ÄĒ was given emcee¬†duties. I’ve¬†was an active orator in school and college, so¬†was thankful¬†of the department I was to handle for that “Spring” or “Holi” or “Colours” or “Floral” theme meet (I can’t¬†seem to remember what the theme was).

Having never attended anything that remotely resembled a Ladies’ Meet, I was kind of taken aback by the extensive preparations that went into it. Right from the games, the menu and the gifts, it all seemed a little surreal and waste of time.

Rehearsals took it’s toll on everyone.

I lost my ‘Tambola virginity’.

By the end, I lost my appetite for that elaborate menu.

I also learnt how to say Thank you and Good Evening for at least 7 times before the guest actually¬†left. Before that, guests spent a good 10 minutes¬†gushing¬†about what a great performance we’ve all put up, and how the food was smashing (even that lady whose expression changed the moment she took a bite of that samosa … to be fair, it did not have enough salt).

And I prayed (more than what I’d prayed during Maths exams) that¬†some¬†divine shakti would stop me from attending the next one.

Maybe my silent prayer was heard by the same upar-wala who had earlier handled (manhandled) my maths request.

Within a month, it was time for me to attend another one. Thankfully, I was a spectator this time.

I made the rookie mistake of not carrying my wallet, because it was¬†a man’s wallet and did not go well with my saree (or any saree). So, at the entrance,¬†I felt a little embarrassed when the lady at the reception desk said, “Rs50 please,” and I had no money with me.

A senior officer’s wife, who was standing right behind me, generously offered to pay my share. She later told me that she had an inkling that I would not know about this “entrance fee”, as was the case with most of the newly weds.

The chief guest of the event arrived (usually wife of the senior most officer) and was “shown” FOUR¬†welcome drinks! She picked one. I wanted to stop the waiter cause a blue drink had caught my fancy. It was gonna go waste as it is na, why not put it to good use. I thank my invisible fairy godmother who prevented me from putting ¬†my thoughts into action.

As soon as the MC started off with her animated enactment of the script, a semi-loud chuckle was heard from the far corner. I was sitting there. What the hell, I made that noise.

One of my unit¬†ladies glared at me to stop! I instantly put on my poker face and resorted to man-hi-man hasna.¬†Years later, I remembered that¬†woman while listening to an absolutely brilliant emcee performance by an Army wife at the IMA passing out parade (POP). Talent ki kami nai hai, it’s just not every unit gets an equal distribution of it.

I am not a great fan of Tambola. Never was, never will be. But that day, it was the best game in the world. I won Rs 75 in it and proudly told my husband,”Aaj teri biwi Rs25 rupaye jeet ke aayi hai! Chal tujhe treat deti hoon.”¬†¬†I dreamt of Tambola being recognised as an Olympic sport that year and me on the podium.

Status quo was restored the very next day.

I’m waiting for your stories… pen it down (one word, one line, one para, one big story… your choice) in the comment section below.

Tell us the story of yourPS:

Make some noise for the JC boys!

Every three months, hundreds of officers of the Indian Army across all arms descend on the cantonment town Mhow (near Indore) and bury themselves in books.
The grueling Junior Command course, better known as JC, is a training course that they take very seriously.
This year, Major Sa’ab was among the JC Boys (as I like to call them now) studying the way that will put serious IIT aspirants to shame.

Some came alone, while others were¬†MBBS (Miya Biwi Bachhon samet). ¬†Major Sa’ab was among the forced bachelors, a privilege he couldn’t enjoy on weekends as I would drop by on Saturdays and Sundays.

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Major Sa’ab’s balcony view from his bachelor pad had these lovely fall colours. The car and bike are both rentals, which is one of the flourishing local businesses thanks to the Army.

So, acuriousarmywife.wordpress.com here has a list of 10 things that only the wife of an officer attending JC will relate to:

  1. JC aya!” Sounds like “Piya ghar aya“, but has the exact opposite effect.¬†It¬†sends most of us into frantic mode and the first thing we do is google ‘Mhow’. Where is¬†this place? What’s the weather like?¬†How far is Indore from Mhow? Where do I shop there? ūüėõ
  2. What all do I pack for two months ‚ÄĒ this question weighs heavy on our mind even after the JC course is over. Some Army wives¬†try to pack light, especially if they are travelling by air. I emphasis on the word ‘TRY’ because, as an unsaid rule, Army wives cannot pack light. We have to pack sarees, suits, winter-wear (if any) and all that jazz that WE KNOW¬†will be needed in a¬†military station. Those with babies have to carry some extra baggage (and I am not referring to the baby here).
  3. Before coming to Mhow for JC, officers start¬†asking other officers who had attended the previous course about¬†how to study and stuff, while we ladies ask fellow Army wives¬†about the accommodation scene, kitchen facilities, ladies’ meet menace, shopping areas and similar topics of national interest.
  4. On reaching Mhow, most of us feel a little disappointed about how the place is too far yet too close to Indore city (my pathetic attempt at translating kitne dur kitne pass). We know the malls, the eateries and the picnic spots are so damn close to Mhow. What an amazing place it would be to spend a couple of years with the family. But then every trip to Indore costs 2-3 hours, which is gold for JC officers. So the wife either sulks at home, secretly cribbing about not being pampered enough, or she just vanishes with the car to explore the city on her own. Bechara officer, sochta hai Mhow mein car leke jaunga toh time save karunga, but ultimatly has to ask coursemates for lift till classrooms too.
  5. Sugrahini becomes the place where Army wives do their JC. Mexican cuisine, baking, and other such short-term classes are organised to keep the ladies busy and out of their husbands’ way ‚ÄĒ¬†all at throwaway prices.
  6. I once heard someone say that Mhow shopkeepers make a lot of money thanks to Army wives. Dohads, Chanderi sarees, smocking dresses and special Mhow embroidary saree (I was unaware of the last one, which is shocking considering I lived in Indore for 15 years) are the things that we Army wives love to hoard. The traders of the tiny Mhow market eagerly await the arrival of every JC course.
  7. Other than the things I mentioned above,¬†Mhow is also famous for things that have extremely high value in the Indian Army. I am talking about bean bags, leather show pieces, paintings (especially the fauji ones) and last but not the least… fauji nameplates.
  8. Words, terms and alphabets complete it’s life cycle in two months, bouncing off our ears till it starts making some sense. We hear stuff like Syndicate, AE 1, AE2, I grading, sand model, ¬†Alpha, AI, Bravo, BI, Charlie, and Echo, in addition to KLPD.
  9. The two months¬†fly by way too fast. Many of us were wondering how we’ll¬†take care of the¬†baby (babies, in some cases) alone, without any help from husbands. Many of us kept thinking of how we’ll pass time in that sleepy town where internet connectivity is a luxury. We all think of how we’ll be able to pack all the stuff we shopped for into those tiny bags we brought. Time simply flies!
  10. And before we realise, it’s all over. We make some glorious friends, revel in the fact that our husbands consumed less alcohol and more notepads, and take back some awesome memories with us. ¬†Hasta la vista Mhow!

When Army wives start using fauji lingo… Part 2

After the first part of When Army wives start using fauji lingo (Part 1, read here) was published, I got some useful feedback from Major Sa’ab. He also suggested that I ask other Army wives to contribute the words they use regularly.

I asked around on Facebook and found some more such words, which meant a sequel to that post was long due. So here it is! Thank you ladies for contributing, your names are mentioned at the end of your ‘word’.

1. JOSH-TYPE or GOOD JOSH!

Meaning: Full of life, very active. Officers’ generally use it to describe a person who is enthusiastic and does the job without any delay.

Usage: My neighbour is a josh-type lady, apparently she took care of 90% things in the Ladies’ Meet. I wish we had someone as josh-type as her in our Unit.

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2. ROGER

Meaning: Ok. Yes.

Usage: I got a message,”Roger, will check it tomorrow”, and I asked who is Roger and whether he is known to you.

(Contributed by Himantika Kumari Dugoli)

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3. PC- PARENTAL CLAIM

Meaning: If the father of a Gentleman Cadet has been the CO/Subedar Maj/battle casualty of a particular Unit, then that GC can opt for the same Unit citing PC or Parental Claim.

Usage: Abhishek Bachchan is acting because he has a PC.
(Contributed by Archana Jha)

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4. ADM INSPECTION

Meaning: Adm (administration) Inspection is the checking of a Unit/Formation’s readiness by a higher authority. Physical fitness, Administration and Operation Roles are some things that are checked.

Usage: Adm Bandobast Pura ho gaya hai. Five guests from my sasural are coming for 10 days. Samjho mera Adm inspection hai.
(Contributed by Ranjeeta Ashes)

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5. RECCE

Meaning: Short for Reconnaissance. Going to a particular location for checking, studying and observing before the actual operation at that location takes place.

Usage: I went to the market on the first day to do a recce of all the shops there. Went next day with my proper shopping list.
(Contributed by Shimbhee Rajan)
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6. DETAILED/DETAILMEMT

MEANING: To assign some work to a soldier/officer or a group of soldiers/officers. Mostly used to denote how many people are occupied where.

Usage: I wanted to go to the handloom exhibition but my mom detailed me to take care of my nani at home till she comes back. Couldn’t leave till evening and missed the show.

Camouflage and Humour: ‘Go to hell’

In the army, even if you declare that you are going to ‘HELL’, you will not be at peace. Cos the next day…

CO: Are you taking your wife along?

2IC: Get some glasses for mess.

QM: Do you require accn, warrant, LRC?

Adjt: Take some packed lunch.

Wife: Why only you?There are other officers in unit also?

Head clerk: Your movement order and LRC shahib.

Bachelors: Get some good movies while coming back.

Married Officers: Achi tarah se liaison karke ana pata nahi kal hum mein se kisi ko jana pade.

Sr JCO: Badiya karna sahib.

CHM: Banda sath mein bhej deta hu sahab.

Sahayak: Saab ek botal rakh diya hai agar seat nahi mila to. (In train)

Civil frnds: Yaar, tum army walo ki aish hai, pata nahi kaha kaha ghoomte rehte ho!

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