Monday, January 24, 2011

The Army officer's wife- 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 could  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. 


  1. Nice overview of a wife thinking out of the box..keep writing..Good Luck..You can come to my blog sometime..

  2. it is..

  3. well written, and true that there is so much more to the army life,phew,.....I am married to an office,r now for four years and dont even ask what it is been like..... perhaps I can manage an entire write up too. i think i will.
    P.S: On a liter note: an ex navy officer's daughter told me thisand i quote: "Army parties are always about the first lady's ego"; well how true is that? LOLZ!"

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