Unforeseen, unpredictable situations are not a new thing for us, Army Wives. Glad to give you an anecdote.
I would like to take you to that day when we had our pre-wedding shoot. Butterflies in my stomach, accelerated breathing, a racing heart and flushed cheeks! Just his smile made me swoon. I was meeting him after eight months of our engagement- our second meeting! As I told you before- perks of an arranged marriage!
So, there I was, plucking flowers and walking and running around, following the instructions of the photographer to get that perfect picture. Then he announced it was time for couple photographs. I shied away from meeting his eyes. I didn’t have any command over my feelings and emotions and I was blushing as red as a tomato! It was then that he said,
“Err..hmm.. I wanted to tell you something. I might have to leave for J&K…. mmm.. well, mm… seven days after our wedding!”
The song from Border, “Toh Chalun” was ringing on my head. No kidding!
This was just the beginning!
a. Just as in the song, your soldier might have to leave you the very next day after your wedding night! Or like mine, after a week. You are sad and heart-broken. What does that teach you apart from being brave and put on a smiling face in front of all? Learn to travel alone! Simple. You will have to run around with your luggages to his posted location, to your work place, to your home, to his home and every other possible place.
b. Lucky are the ones who could spend the first two years of their marriage with their soldier without having to bother about the call for duty. But then, there are landlines to annoy the hell out of you. Learn to accept the Yes Sir, Roger Sir phone calls, in both his landline and mobile phones. No! Curb that urge to smash the phones into a million pieces when he gets a call every single minute of the day and night.
c. Oh the unexpected announcement that he would be out for temporary duty for 4-5 days. Learn to live alone and manage things.
d. The saga of unexpected announcement continues. This time it’s a party that you’ll have to attend to. Told ya, my darling soldier has this uncanny ability of announcing just 30 mins before the time and yeah, by then I will have to decide on what saree to wear and then yes, W.E.A.R. On other occasions, it would be about a dinner that he had called a “few” friends over. The “few” would include the officers and their families. Be prepared to cook a fairly good meal, set up your home, and be presentable- all in an hour or two.
e. Learn to speak Hindi and its different variants. Hindi is the Army Language. Hailing from the south, I simply couldn’t converse in Hindi, though I can understand well. Blame it on my fascination towards Bollywood movies and songs. It is especially important so as to talk to your maid and the Sahayak Bhaiya.
I know of an incident where the lady didn’t know how to talk in Hindi. The officer had informed her that he had called a few friends over for lunch and imagine the horror of the new bride. All she could think of was seek help from the Sahayak Bhaiyya. She wanted to ask him to buy a chicken for her to cook. But poor her, she didn’t know how to say chicken in hindi. She tried different methods to convince him. Sign language didn’t seem to work. Finally, a lightbulb flashed above her head like in the cartoons. She showed him an egg and said, “Iski Mummy ko leke aao”.
No, not my story. But yes, I have had such close encounters.
f. You get to see some beautiful places where a civilian can never dream of entering. But then snakes, snails and leeches become your constant guests at home. No, not all places of posting are bad. You can also spot deers grazing on your garden, the dancing peacocks and cheerful parrots. Learn to live with it, literally!
I can think of a hundred more. And I didn’t want to touch on our biggest fear!
I am Married to the Olive Green and I’m writing about the 26 things which I get to do/experience that you as a Civilian wife do not!
I hope you come back again tomorrow!
Meanwhile, here is an easy Chicken recipe from my Food Blog to try out!