Sunday, 25 January 2015

The tale of a Soldier's Wife : JAI HIND KI SENA 

I started my life as an infantry spouse way back in 1986. I was a young girl with a sparkle in my eyes and an enthusiasm of an adventurous life. Life seemed beautiful, to say the least. I looked forward to happy matrimony and togetherness. My husband was a commando instructor and I was a proud bride to see him creating more commandos.

The initial year passed by.. learning to cook and running the  house with a meagre salary. With little money in hand we still had friends coming over every few days for dinner. It was so much fun with same age group around and still remember the bike rides to Goa from Belgaum.

But an Infantry wife’s life is never so smooth …the tough days of Srilanka, Assam were frightful and I would wait for the postman to give me news of his well being.Those were the days when the postman had the power to cheer or sadden you up. He seemed to be the most sought after guy & the shrewd fellow knew it. The memories of Umroi Cantt are still so fresh in my mind when all the ladies got together in the 2IC’s house to get the phone call that would tell us ..ALL IS WELL! Our communication was dependent upon factors beyond our control, and even when it did happen, it was sometimes stale news. I can still feel the excitement and the disappointment each day brought us. 

It is amazing how the ladies kept each other’s morale high though each one was trying her best to keep the tears away. Life in the 'paltan' was full of fun because we had a wonderful crowd. Life was always so unpredictable. I still remember it was my anniversary and I had been preparing whole day for the party as  I was looking forward for everyone to come over in the evening. It was in the evening at 6 that I came to know the Unit was moving out. I recall the tears that wouldn't stop flowing. Poor hubby didn't know how to handle them. With time I learnt how to bravely face these sudden disappearing acts that my hubby did.

Today, after 28 years of married life, when I look back, I see the distance I have travelled. The best thing that ever happened to me was marrying an infantry officer and I am proud of him and our Paltan, 1/11GR which proudly carries the honour to be called Bravest of the Brave with officers like Major Manoj Kumar Pandey, PVC & 2nd Lt Puneet Nath Dutt, Ashok Chakra. Frequent separations, challenges of single-handedly parenting and the learnings of life blossomed me from a simple girl to an efficient army wife.

Over the years, I have grown exponentially and a lot of credit goes to our infantry way of life. Moving from place to place, adjusting in all kinds of accommodations, managing school admissions, not being able to reach the near and dear ones when required etc made me strong. The comradeship of an infantry Battalion , the feeling of being in a home away from home, the strong bonds between the ladies, and of course, the growth that comes from a life lived to the fullest, can't be described in words, can only be felt.

Kids are the biggest beneficiaries of this nomadic life that we lead.  Moving from place to place, they learn the important skill of being able to adjust under all circumstances. Going to ten schools in twelve years makes them learn how to prove themselves time and again, not only to their teachers but also to themselves. Through the journey they make new friends and pick up the various cultures of India. And thats the reason we faujis have no one particular religion. We belong to India.

Working for Asha School came along the way and like a true army wife gave my 100% and was honoured with Army Commander's Commendation Card. An honour which is rarely conferred upon an army wife.

Today I am almost 52 but haven't lost the sparkle in my eyes, the energy in my walk and the zest to live a life with compassion, love & a never die spirit. Remembering the Martyrs on this Republic day, I am going for the flag hoisting with a plastered foot to be with the families of jawans. Thats the undying spirit of an Infantry wife. 
Thank you, Infantry.


Article in the news paper