I am done with my last Ladies Club here in Jalandhar and after two years of sincere attendance to this supposed informal meet of ladies of different cadre, I make my way towards another station with the same plastic chairs and the sofa ladies.
Coming from a civilian background, its hard to associate a get together with a wide display of sarees. The sarees that we usually keep it for special occasions becomes the highlight and somehow you feel you haven't got enough of them. The unit responsible for organizing the evening make it as a matter of life and death to impress the First Lady of the station by customizing the programs to her liking. Be it educational information (if you get stuck with a smart one) or a dance program. It's as if they want the rest of the ladies to have talent enough to fill the void of the evening that they are creating just to entertain one lady. So out comes the bathroom singers, the college type dancers, the lady who can communicate well enough for doing a flawless MC and also ladies that are good for nothing. They are simply not given a choice to say 'No'.
Everyone gets a job here and no way to escape. Their explanation?
"I have done it in my times and now its your turn".
Perhaps no comeback for such a rhetoric statement. The invitations are handmade and often sticking to the themes. It could be a bridal, colors, seasons and traditional. Sounds fun enough but difficult to follow by the book. The new members feel its perhaps a bit exaggerated when they say its a bridal theme. Perhaps its just dressing in their best saree. After all who actually wants to take down that fifty thousand ghagra out of their boxes just to delight the ladies? But its the seniors that take enthusiasm in dressing in their age-old garbs, making it clear that they meant business. So it becomes a matter of pride and for next time we decide to dress exactly as we are told. Then there is the temptation of prizes for the best dressed and we all get swayed by the little fifty rupees candle stands/coffee mugs/ and so on (Bought strictly at the AWWA* stores).
By the end of the program you are just thinking about food. With no prizes (because the seniors have dressed better than you, though looking ridiculous in that out of season dress) and with a growling stomach, we look forward for something to eat. Again we get stuck with the standard menu of something that is liked by the First Lady and since we seem to be paying monthly for this, we hog anyways. (Our pride lost somewhere thinking about our husband's job again). I feel an army wife works for the inane aspects of the organization.
The newly weds- An ornament
The seniors- A tyrant
Need I say more?