Ten points to prove that shifting places and new postings can be fun !

Life of an army wife is no different from a nomad’s . We literally live off suitcases . No home is our home forever . We move . We stay . And just as we fall in love with a place , we pack up and leave again .

Life is not stable , never static . It is action packed for life , or at least till we choose for it to be . 

There are many of us , who enjoy it , while a few of us don’t . This shifting of base , every two or three years comes with a lot of benefits and unfortunately with a few negatives as well . But then , it depends on you , whether you want to see the glass half full or half empty .

Here are TEN   points to prove that new postings and constant shifts have their benefits :

1. Getting to see new places : This of course  may sound like a cliché , but it is indeed the truth . A defence life is the best way to travel across the length and breadth of the country and sometimes even , abroad , without much of an effort or expense . Defence wives , particularly Army wives , can boast of a rich travel experience , including in depth knowledge about the culture and cuisine , of different places , sometimes , the most uninhabited and  far off lands too ! So if you are looking for new adventures everyday , get married to an army officer , and you are sure to have one !

2. Collection of handicrafts  from across the country : Visit an army house , and it will prove this. Whether it is the artifacts , local handicrafts , an exquisitely furnished center  table or a leather bean bag ! We have it all . Each time you visit a new place , or get posted to one , it provides one with ample opportunities to make a collection of  the unique cultural exhibits of that place .

3. A unique collection of Sarees and other dress materials : Every army wife makes it a point to shop for  clothes , especially handcrafted sarees , specially designed dress materials etc from the place where they are posted . India , being a country rich in  a variety of colors and crafts , offers  a wonderful shopping opportunity to one and all . The need is to explore these places and crafts ,  and as far as army wives are concerned , it all all ready made for them !

4. Ready made vacations : Every new place you get posted to ,  has a list of weekend getaways already tried and tested by your predecessors  ( army officers and families have the unique ability to find spots for picnics , even in the most inhospitable areas ! ) and you just need to follow the ready made itinerary and

have fun .

5. Tension free schooling : In most places , there are Army schools and Central schools that enable your kids to continue their education hassle free , even in a ‘middle of the year’ posting .

6. Adaptable kids : Most parents in the defence life , are often worried about their kid’s education and the fact that their child’s overall development may be hampered when they travel so often  , and get into the ‘not -so-good’ schools . But , if one does  look around , it goes without a doubt that Army kids are smarter , more flexible and adaptable than their civil counterparts . They adjust to new surroundings faster and also cope better with stress in school and outside , owing to the unpredictable nature of their father’s occupation .

7. New homes : The main change that comes with every new posting is a new house , different , similar , inferior or superior to the previous one . This has its advantage in the fact that , you tend to ‘de-clutter’ your home every two years , (each time you shift ! ) and try to avoid collecting junk at home , compared to your civil counterparts , who while living a stable life , tend to keep collecting unwanted stuff , over the years .

8.New neighbors and new friends : Every new posting comes with a lot of new neighbors and friends , which adds more fun to life . Besides , the fact that we would leave in a few year’s time , makes us more tolerant to ‘bad’ neighbors too !

9. New Jobs :Though a lot of women complain  about the instability ,  in the lives of their army men , to be the main cause for them not being able to pursue their respective careers , I personally feel that a lot of  these places do provide ample job opportunities , and the short service period prevents you from getting bored with your job .  Besides , these days online jobs and freelancing can be carried on uninterrupted  , in all areas with a stable net connection .  Teaching is ,  without doubt the best career option of Army wives , and most army cantonments have a school , where you can do so , conveniently .

10.Variety is the spice of life : A new place removes the monotony from our life and adds spice to our romantic lives too .

With new places to explore each time and new adventures to indulge in , life can be anything but boring .

So cheer up !

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Trials and tribulations

Life is always so unpredictable ! Well , at least when you are a soldier’s wife all the more . Many of my friends have asked me how I handle being so far away from my better  half , so frequently , when they cannot  even imagine a day without their’s . Well I think life teaches you a lot of things the hard way…

When I was a newly wed army wife (or lady wife as referred to in the army ! ), I had similar opinions as them . I was a naive girl , who was afraid to stay all alone in  a house , or even travel by myself ! I was brought up in a metro city , yet I hadn’t really ventured out to far away places on my own …

Yet , today things have changed…I have traveled alone to far off places , even on International trips with a two year old toddler , dangling by my side . I have  now stayed alone , for nights in old , dilapidated bungalows (that belonged to the Nizam’s army ) and stayed without talking to my Husband for days (owing to poor mobile connectivity ! ).

I would be lying  , if I were to say I am not afraid anymore. I am still afraid , still jittery , but I have learnt to face my fears now .  One’s success is not in being ‘unafraid’ but in being aware of one’s fears and preparing to conquer them .

I guess , in the Army  life we do not have a choice . Sometimes if you want to be with your husband , even if it means only for a short while , you are willing to go that extra mile , just to see that smile on the face of your daughter /son  , when she/he meets her dad and vice versa .

Every time I go through a long , tiresome journey  to meet him , my heart is  filled with excitement and happiness , and in the face of these emotions , the weaker emotions like fear , nervousness and discomfort take a back seat .

Some of my friends belonging to a civilian life (as in non army background )  , call me brave , to have married an army officer . But honestly , I am not being brave , I am just adapting… and so will anybody else in my place.

Every human being had this innate instinct to adapt to his/her surroundings and this adaptability is essential for survival . So no matter what situation one is in , there is always a way out , if not , we can create it .

Most of modern day inventions and innovations today are a result of this adapation . It is the very life force that makes a drowning man , hold on to the next available thing to cling on to , so that he can keep afloat .

This life force is present in all of us , just that many of us do not realize it and give up on things quickly. It is when life gets tough , that we realize our true strengths , our capabilities. Of course it does depend from one person to another , as to how you emerge at the end of the hurricane . Some break down , while others grow stronger and more resilient .

Being an army officer’s wife it will , without doubt be the latter .

The other day I was watching the interview of an army wife , who lost her husband , in a military operation  an year ago . What I saw in her eyes were not , tears of a  dejected woman who was now a widow , rather a sense of immense pride  and fortitude that would have moved even the hardest of hearts . She was smiling and eloquent through out  and the nation salutes her stoicism.

She didn’t choose her destiny , especially when she had a four year old daughter by her side , yet she faced it with dignity. She rose from the ashes , much like the mythical Phoenix  , with a vengeance . 

From where does she draw her strength..? How did she manage to keep such a cheerful disposition ,in the face of such  heart wrenching  trauma . Now , that is what I call the life force . The inner strength , that guides all , yet only a few care to listen .

 Everyone has their fears , their problems , their anxieties , but do not let these conquer you , instead , learn to cheat them and be a winner . .. I am still on my way ..

Here is a link to that interview if you want to have a look . It is truly inspiring…….. :

 http://www.ndtv.com/video/player/the-buck-stops-here/india-should-see-the-man-mukund-was-not-my-sorrow-martyr-s-wife-to-ndtv/354130?pfrom=nri_videowidget_cat_5