A Curious Army Wife

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

MOD not happy with increase in awarding maintenance allowance to military wives

I am no expert on marital disputes and related cases. However, this article caught my eye and I thought I should share it with you guys. It’s a report that Indian Express carried on March 31, 2016. 

Written by Man Aman Singh Chhina | Chandigarh | Published:March 31, 2016 7:21 pm 

A panel of experts of the Ministry of Defence (MoD) has slammed the defence services for passing orders granting maintenance allowance to wives of military personnel from their salaries, especially in Army, without due investigation and scrutiny.

The panel, in its report, has criticised the defence services for passing such orders in, essentially, what are private matrimonial disputes. The Army, Navy and the Air Force Acts provide that the competent authority can impose a cut upto 33 per cent on pay and allowances which can be paid to the wife as maintenance on her application. With growing matrimonial disputes, the number of such applications has increased in the last few years especially with the Army granting maintenance to the spouses on almost all applications through non-speaking orders without providing reasons.

An expert committee constituted by the Defence Minister on litigation has however observed that the exceptional provisions are being invoked in a routine manner by defence authorities. It has also found that the system does not have the wherewithal or ability to examine the veracity or truthfulness of the allegations and counter-allegations of both parties which is basically a matter of evidence that can only be weighed and dealt with by civil courts under law legislated for this specific purpose. The panel has said that this exercise can only be carried out under Section 125 of the Criminal Procedure Code and the relevant Marriage Acts, rather than the defence services getting into what may fundamentally be a civil or private dispute between a husband and his wife.

The panel has also observed that even the Army HQ has expressed concern on the issue and that maintenance is meant to tide over a difficult financial situation and not to lead life on someone else’s expense. It has recorded that the award of maintenance results in grave civil consequences for an individual wherein a cut is imposed on his pay and should be taken as a serious matter and not routine. Moreover, it may not be initiated on the fact whether the spouse is working or not but whether she has the capacity to work or not, further adding that a situation cannot be allowed to prevail wherein an otherwise qualified/educated spouse stops working or refuses to take up a job in order to claim maintenance.

The Panel has stated that though defence personnel have a bounden duty to maintain their families, such issues should be left to Courts to decide based on evidence. Surprised at the acceptance of an unusually high number of applications by the Army, the committee has questioned, “does it mean that it was found that out of the total applications received, such a high percentage of officers were found wanting in their familial and marital obligations? If yes, then what were the tools available to reach that conclusion?”

There has been a rise of litigation on the subject in the past. Recently, a Lt Col had averred that his wife held a Doctorate and also working in a real estate firm but still was awarded maintenance by the Army. Another officer had stated that his wife had a degree of MSc as well as BEd and was earning a huge amount from tuitions and he had elderly parents to look after but still deduction of arrears of maintenance had resulted in disbursement of more than Rs 30,000 to the wife per month while he was being disbursed a amount of just Rs 6000. Another serving Colonel had stated that was being expected put his earnings at the disposal of his wife who was fully qualified and competent to work and was actually working.

Here’s the Indian Express link to the report. http://indianexpress.com/article/india/india-news-india/army-defence-ministry-mod-panel-frowns-on-increase-in-awarding-maintenance-allowance-to-wives-in-military/

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My first Ladies’ Meet!

There should be two stories under this title — 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 — 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:

Thank you readers!

lakhvisitors

Confessions of an Army Wife

I am married to an Army man. This simple introduction will tell you ten thousand things about my life.

And we know the value of ‘life’ like no one else.

We are a typical tribe

Yes, we are. There are some attributes that are unique to us. Many of you know us as the super-stylish women who are party experts and travel the country with their dashing husbands in smart uniforms. Some of you know us as the women who live in bungalows-too-big-for-our-own-good and enjoying discounts too-good-to-be-true at military canteens.

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This piece was first published in Complete Wellbeing magazine.

What people don’t know about us is that we are amazing actresses too – we have to put up a brave face for the world but deep inside we are shit scared for the safety of the men we love.

We just don’t get enough opportunities to stay together because that’s how life is in fauj. When our friends in the corporate world talk about going on a vacation alone to get some space from their spouses – we feel like smacking them. Maybe it is because army wives like me desperately look forward to staying with our husbands whenever we can. In fact, we can count the exact duration in a year (down to the last minute) that we stayed as a couple before duty called.

I had a nice steady career before I became a full-time housewife when I married Major Sa’ab. And for six months, I enjoyed every moment of it. After years of working my ass off, covering various sporting events around the country as a journalist, I finally found myself having time to read that book and cook that dish — the ones I had been wanting to since a long time.

Time to kill
I was suddenly feeling like a rich person amongst all my colleagues, having the one thing they did not have — free time!

But no no no… I had completely under-estimated Army’s talent of keeping its officers and ladies (yes, us too) super busy during peace postings. We had AWWA functions to attend, family meets to organise, ladies meets to practise for and attend every social engagement (by order)!

I almost burst out laughing when one fine day I was told that the station commander’s wife had called a Banarasi saree seller to her place and had asked all interested ladies to join her in saree-shopping. Who had so much time on their hands?

But that was not to be treated as an invitation. It was a farmaan! An order!

So I accompanied all the ladies of the Unit to the memsahib’s bungalow to check out some sarees. And I had to hand it to the lady, she had indeed done us all a great favour by getting that saree-man to her place. He had some of the most beautiful banarasi sarees and at super-cool prices.

I am a saree-freak, so totally enjoyed feasting my eyes on silks and crepes. I did not buy anything though — defiantly disobeying memsahib’s hints that I should get one — because I was out of job and felt it below my dignity to ask my husband for money (a  situation that changed very soon).

The other ladies present there went home with a bunch of sarees, having already earmarked them for future functions.

“This blue saree is for the monsoon theme party.”

“I will save this black one for a dinner function”

“There will be a ladies’ meet during the GOC visit too naa? I’ll wear this crepe saree there.”

I was amazed to see their planning! It put government’s panch-varshiya yojna to shame.

Chivalry isn’t extinct

“Don’t call me Ma’am, please.”

“Ok Ma’am.”

I gave up trying to convince officers to call me by name. I was not used to being called ma’am, it felt unnatural especially when someone belonging to my father’s generation addressed me so.

But that’s when I realised, if there is one place where a woman can enjoy the company of a chivalrous gentleman, it would be in the Armed Forces.

And I am not talking about pulling-the-chair and holding-the-door kind of chivalry. I am talking about a deeper sense of honour and responsibility that makes the men in uniform take care of their women folk.

They will help each other to any extent (even if they are not particularly fond of each other) and take the meaning of the word camaraderie very seriously. Women get pampered the most. And we love every moment of it. Occasionally, Major Sa’ab would make sure that I didn’t get carried away and brought me back to reality. Tried to ‘groom’ me into becoming a good example for others.

wp-1458592578482.jpgDress up!

Grooming is another word that faujis like to use a lot. There is a big list of words that normal people don’t use, but faujis can’t live without those words. Like Groom, detailement, fall-in etc.

I was extremely amused on seeing the sign board outside a military mess. Something about the way “Offrs’ Mess” is written triggers the journalist in me, wanting to point out every time that any normal person would read this as “Offers” instead of “Officers”.

I also had a hearty laugh when my husband first said he needs to “prepare his dress” for the next day.

“DRESS! Ha ha ha! Are you a woman that you want to wear a dress?”

Major Sa’ab frowned. He opened his wardrobe and made me memorise the names of all his “Dresses”. Games dress, ceremonial dress, No.1 dress, No.2 dress, combat dress…. so I learned it the hard way that in Army, even the men wear dresses. And they do it in style!

We, the Army wives, sometimes have to catch up with them in this department. I had to undergo a complete wardrobe change to cater to the requirements of every occasion (in every season).

This involved spending a bomb on sarees, which is the unofficial dress code for all women in any social function. Army wives are experts at wearing a saree in 5 mins, 5 times a day.

Major Sa’ab often joked about how my life changed from being a care-free army girlfriend to a responsible army wife. I sometimes feel that too.

Interacting with soldiers’ families

I realised how little I knew about the organisation before I married him. Only the glamour of crew cut, aviators, woodland shoe and powerful bikes was visible to girls our age.

It was only after I started living with him in his Unit that I came face-to-face with things that only an Army wife will come across.

The most memorable among those things was my interaction with Jawaans and their families. The kind of background they come from and their hardships was the jolt I needed to bring me back to earth from all the show-shaa baazi and Victorian hangover of Army.

Most of wives of Jawaans came from villages and towns, some had not even passed class 10 exams while some were post graduates. I was told that the women looked up to wives of officers (provided we were nice to them) and I needed to be by their side in sickness and health.

I was actually shocked to learn that many of them don’t get to stay with their soldier for 3-4 years at a time and have to live alone or in joint families, which comes with its own set of problems. But I definitely salute them for being the force behind their soldiers, just like the families of the officers.

Interacting with them was an eye-opener.

One young wife asked me how much I earned, and it actually felt nice to see her shocking expression when I told her.

“Can women earn that much money? Can I too?”

I didn’t know what to tell her. I asked her what was her education background, to which she replied that she was a computer graduate. I gave her a lot of gyan about how she should not waste her time at home and get a job. I gave her many options and I sincerely hope that I was able to help her — I don’t know the outcome of that gyan session as my husband got his posting orders the very next month. But I hope that I will meet that young woman someday and that she is earning as much as I am.

That’s the beauty of this organisation. We meet, we bond, and we party like there is no tomorrow. And very soon, it is time to say goodbye to everyone, pack our trunks and move to a new place to start all over again.

That’s life for us. And we know its value like no one else.

This article was written for the magazine COMPLETE WELLBEING and was published in February 2016 issue. The illustration used with this article has been made by Maryam Hasanahmed of homespunaround.blogspot.com.

Salute the Veer Nari

Veer Nari The woman who sacrificed her better half for your better future(1)

In case you are a new bride or someone who is not from the Army fraternity (but were kind enough to stop by here to read this blog), Veer Nari is the name given to a war widow in India.

She is officially defined as “The widow of defence personnel who has laid down his life for the defence of the country whether in war or in a military operation and whose death is attributable to the military service is called ‘Veer Nari’.”

Take a moment to understand the pain of a woman who married a soldier but lost him in the line of duty. Their courage and hardships seldom get mentioned.

PS: Know a Veer Nari whose story the world should know about? Drop in a mail (my email id is in the ABOUT section of the blog) and let me know how to get in touch.

*Guest Post* The Unsung Heroes: Indian Army Wives

Sharing a beautiful post written by a blogger whom I immensely admire for her varied skill-set. Gunjan Upadhyay Mishra, a fellow Army wife and writer, has knocked it out of the park for a six with this piece….

THE UNSUNG HEROS: INDIAN ARMY WIVES

Once, Yama, the ruler of hell, heard a large group of women laughing and talking, enjoying a party in hell. He asked his assistant to find out who these women were, and how were they so happy even in hell! Yama’s assistant instantly answered his query, ‘Sir, these are Indian Army Wives. They enjoy wherever they go.’

The force behind the forces — Army wives!  Photo by Gunjan Mishra Upadhyay.

The force behind the forces — Army wives!
Photo by Gunjan Upadhyay Mishra.

That might sound like a joke to many. But to my ears and eyes, it is the absolute truth. I walk among hundreds of heroes as a part of my daily routine. Someone might come across an inspiring story once in a while. I have hundreds of such stories happening around me, which I witness, feel and live. I see my heroes, I am proud to be in their company, we smile at each other and nod a ‘good evening’ or ‘good morning’, even when we don’t know each other’s names. We know that it does not matter much, we are friends anyways. Such is the spirit of our Army, our officers, and naturally, their better halves. Yes, my heroes are none other than Indian Army Wives!

Indian Army wives constitute a little army by themselves. This little army is a storehouse of talent and fun, a cache of songs and laughter and a beacon of hope in dark times of loss and turmoil. Among this group, one can meet women from all walks of life. Doctors, engineers, army officers, civil servants, lawyers, journalists, air hostesses, teachers, entrepreneurs, authors, poets, actors, classical dancers, corporate trainers, singers, artistes, you name it, we have her! How they manage to be everything that they are is nothing short of magic! At times, they leave me star-struck with their wit, their beauty, their panache, their elegance, their rich taste and class. But these qualities can be easily seen by anyone.

Indian Army wives are much more than that. They are an ocean of beautiful hearts and minds, come together drop by drop, handpicked by destiny, to be paired with the bravest on earth.

I read somewhere, that we should not judge others, as we do not know their story. But I have seen people judging army wives many times. You see them partying daily, but you do not see the uncertainty of tomorrow clawing at their nerves. You see their glamour and style, you do not see the struggle that they go through in moving between one mossy old house to another, every alternate year, or even before that. You think that they do not lift a finger, but actually, the amount of back-breaking work that they do goes unnoticed, well hidden behind their charm. You can spot her driving away in a sedan, but you are conveniently unaware of the fact that she is running from pillar to post, to keep everything in place in the absence of her husband. You think that they enjoy too many ‘freebies’, you never try to understand their pain that is darker than those 30 odd black boxes in which they carry their entire life.

Staying away from her husband for a while is a part of any army wife’s life. During these tough times, while the officer is braving the challenges of glaciers and super low temperatures, the wife has her own glaciers to climb.

In that duration, she doubles up as a father to her kids, a son to her in laws, and does everything that the man of the house is supposed to do, that too with elan. Did you know that army wives compare their separation length with each other and someone who has been away ‘only’ for three years in a marriage of seven years feels luckier than the one who had to spend three years and one month away. Isn’t that a fancy yardstick?

Life, in itself is not easy. Life as a woman is more difficult. Women have the fighter’s instinct and they are tough from within. Army wives are a lot tougher. They live in the present and enjoy thoroughly while keeping in mind that tomorrow might be different. The past year went like a slideshow, leaving me scared and saddened many times. Every now and then, an unfortunate news comes and wakes me up from my sweet dreams to the harsh truth. The reason of my not writing much this September and October was not sheer laziness or any kind of fancy army-wife-partying spree, it was a rather low and heartbroken phase for me.

We lost Maj Dhruv Yadav, an officer who I met very briefly, and had the chance to find out how much he loved kids. He used to ask Coco, ‘Who am I?’, and when Coco replied ‘Dhu uncle’ in recognition, his face beamed with joy. Proud to be in Coco’s good book, he did this again and again, just for the fun of it.

When his news came, all I could remember was Coco’s beloved ‘Dhu uncle’ and his radiant smile and cried at the sheer injustice of fate. I have never spoken to his wife, but all I could think of was her, and their unborn child. I bless his son with all my might, and wish him all the happiness of the world. Even today, not a day goes without remembering Maj Yadav, though I barely knew him. I do not know anyone stronger than his wife, and salute her for being so brave. She, and many others like her have proved time and again, that as long as we have such iron willed women, our frontiers will stay safe.

I must let you in on a little secret now. I am an army wife myself, and consider myself quite strong. A senior officer once jokingly said that I should be awarded ‘Paramveer Chakra’ for my bravery of staying alone in this ‘forest resort’ like house for a few months. But I think my bravery ends there. Inside, I am scared. When I was about to get married, my colleagues sometimes played ‘ae jaate huye lamhon’ for me, not knowing that inside I died a thousand deaths.

Can you believe, I run away whenever the movie Border is being aired on tv? I haven’t watched it, and do not have the courage to watch it ever either. My bucket list has bungee jumping though!

I pray to God for peace and harmony, because no one else’s life depends on it but my own. Whereas, my magnanimous heroes promise to stand by each other, come rain or sunshine. They do not know defeat, and quitting is not an option for them. They stand proudly by their faujis and that my friends is all the more reason why I worship my heroes, these soldiers without uniforms, the Indian Army Wives.

Check out some more ‘Army wife life’ and DIY posts on Gunjan’s blog Bringing Up Coco!

FAQ No.4 Want to marry my Lt Sa’ab

Time for readers to pour in some relationship advice. Here’s a young girl who wants to marry her Lt Sa’ab but her parents are not in favour of pyaar wala shaadi. Give her some strength guys!

FAQ paper - Copy

Some suggestions I received through Facebook –

FAQ4 fb

Kissa Adjutant ki kursi ka!

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The impact of my Major Sa’ab’s announcement that he would soon be on the adjutant’s chair can be accurately compared to that of an iceberg hitting the Titanic. This blog post by A Curious Army Wife is dedicated to the wives of those adjutants, who live a life worthy of a field allowance even during peace postings!

If you are an adjutant’s wife, then here are 10 things that you will definitely relate with:

1. Till now, you must have thought that your husband loves the country more than you. And you were fine by that, weren’t you. Trouble starts when patidev becomes the adjutant and you are pushed to third spot in the love thy list —

  • Our country
  • Whoever is on the other side of the phone.
  • You. (Oh this is so not good).

2. You initially revel in the power your husband has in the unit as an adjutant, till reality strikes hard and you realise, it’s not really power but a big headache. Phone pe phone pe phone…

3. You chuckle when you hear the Jawans address you as “Adjutant Memsahib“.

4. It’s a fun guessing game to indulge in — guess who’s on phone? If you husband answers with “Jai Hind” and then sits up in attention, then it’s probably the CO or a very senior officer. If his posture doesn’t change, it’s his SM. If he scrambles to open his diary to check something, it’s another officer. If he suddenly starts massaging his temples, it’s from MT. If he looks up towards the almighty for some inspiration and patience, it’s from a JCO.

5. You feel weirdly wicked to be in possession of all the information about what the ladies in the unit are demanded  from the adjutant. Aah! So Mrs XYZ asked for the gypsy to go shopping? And Mrs ABC asked her husband’s sahayak to be changed! Poor husband tells these things to you innocently, but you just feel supremely happy at getting the inside dope.

6. “Dinner Conversation” is a distant dream. For a conversation to take place, you first need to have dinner with the person. On the rare chance the adjutant makes it home for dinner, there is very little hope for a proper ‘conversation’ because the damn phone keeps ringing all the time.

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7. You reach that stage where ‘OK Report’ becomes an integral part of your life. Are you going out shopping? Give an OK Report to your husband when you reach. Boarding a train? Give an OK Report when your ticket gets checked. Applying make-up? Give an OK Report when you manage to get the shape of the eyeliner correct. Marroing tadka to daal? Give an OK Report with exact time it took for the daal to cook and gap between boiling and tadka.

8. It’s ok to call him for those OK Reports, but god forbid you call him to ask what time he is coming home, all hell will break lose. “Yaar, you know na I am very busy. I will come when work gets over, don’t call me over such things,” he would say.

9. When he says “Today, there isn’t that much pressure of work. I will finish by maximum 1800hrs. We’ll go for a walk then,” you safely assume you won’t see his face before 2200 hrs.

10. The frequency with which he picks up others’ calls will makes you jealous. “Han han, mera phone kabhi attend bhi mat kariyo,” becomes the patented snide remark of every Army wife.

But when Adjutant Sa’ab has had enough and says in utter frustration, “I think I need to stop taking calls, and start giving some balls,” there is no thikana of your khushi!

All’s well that ends well, or in this case, ends soon.

J&K, Andamans…. been there, done that!

Happy Army Day everyone!

I hope more young men and women realise what a challenging and noble profession this is, and join the Indian Armed Forces.

Let us take a moment to salute our men in olive greens who don’t always get the luxury of sitting in an AC room, or having ghar ki roti, or attending their kids’ PTA, or going to a movie, or staying with their families…

But hey! It’s Army Day today. It doesn’t necessarily have to be a fultoo-serious affair. So, here’s my small attempt to bring a smile on your faces, appreciating the brighter side of life!

Two places a fauji always visits(1)

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? 😛
  2. What all do I pack for two months — 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 — 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!

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