The Sweet, Sour & Spicy army wives

                                                                            
                                                                    They are cool, they are classy

                                                                    They are smart, they are sassy

                                                                       They are friendly and fun

                                                                They are bold & beautiful women

Army wives are a class apart- the backbone of their family, a source of inspiration for friends, and motivational factor for the nation as a whole.

 Once you are wedded to the olive green, you earn yourself a new extended family. And just like any other family this one also has all kinds of people, with vivid, unique and sometimes unbearable attributes. Being an army wife our encounters are almost often with other army wives, some of whom you remember your entire lives for the love and warmth they shower on you, right from your early ‘bride’ days, while there are others you never forget for completely different reasons….

 

 Here is a list of the different ‘kinds’ of army wives one may bump into during the husband’s service years (you are free to add to this list in the commentbox !). :

  1. Mrs ‘Know-it-all’: This particular kind is generally found hovering around the young  army wives, mostly newlywed, flaunting their military vocabulary and providing their (unwarranted!) expert advice with regard to army etiquettes and customs. The jumpy young brides keenly take notes only to be educated later by their better halves that their ‘supposed’ mentor was a ‘newlywed’ herself, her liaison with the army not being older than six months!

  1. Fairy Godmother: You have to set up your first kitchen, host your first housewarming party or perhaps make a choice of dress for the mess dinner tonight;  Distraught, you have begun to fathom the end of the universe when, lo and behold, an angel walks in. She helps you solve your problems- be it shopping for the right utensils, getting your menu ready or dressing right for a mess party. This particular species of women seem to possess an inbuilt mechanism to sense a crisis (call it the sixth sense or telepathy!) making themselves available at all times of dire need. Generous by nature, they make your problems appear trivial or better still, evaporate with a swish of their wand (actually, with their brilliant presence of mind!). They come in all ages, though their numbers are dwindling owing to the increasing concept of personal space and self centeredness.

  1. The ‘green eyed’ girl: This variety of women is found in abundance everywhere on earth so why should the army shy away! It is not very hard to identify this particular species of army wife if you happen to meet one. Most of them are found scrutinizing their counterparts, noticeably beset with envy. But more often than not, this variety is averse to giving compliments .When this ‘kind’ is at a friend’s place for dinner they inspect the entire house with a keen, albeit, malicious eye and are visibly uneasy  when they notice the sumptuous menu at display.

So do not be surprised at the uncanny resemblance their home decor shares with yours or at similar choices in footwear or clothing (what coincidence!), instead take it as a compliment. 😉

  1. The Grumbling granny: There is no dearth of this breed in the army family. These ladies are easily recognised as belonging to this ‘kind’, by their characteristic puckered brow or a grimace. Whether it is the oily food at a social gathering, an ungracious host, a maid who never comes, the husband’s erratic schedule or an unfriendly workplace; this category of army wives has the weird ability to make a mountain out of a molehill. Needless to say, they are unhappy people who fret and fume about anything and everything in life, spreading their aura of negativity wherever they go.

So if you are the type of person who prefers to stay positive and satisfied with what life offers you, beware of the Grumbling granny!

5.The Master Chef: The liberal army rations enable one to experiment with a lot of ingredients and hence, most ladies in the army are good with baking and cookery in general (exceptions are always there!). The frequent parties, both at home and outside along with travel to far off places, help the ladies in the army to hone their culinary skills to perfection. But even among these reasonably good cooks, is present a superior breed of exceptional chefs, with extraordinary skills in preparing gastronomic delights that can give even a Michelin star Chef a run for his money. It is always a pleasure to meet such women and learn from them!

  1. The Gossip Queen: This species is not indigenous to the army, yet it has found its way into every nook and cranny of this noble institution. It is difficult not to stumble upon at least one of this kind in every peace station. The women belonging to this category of army wives are seldom interested in their own lives and usually spend their ‘not so precious’ time in discussing the private lives of other people. Their faces beam with excitement at the prospect of a scandal and their tongues never tire of peddling rumours. Although they have the knack to spice up an otherwise drab conversation, their petty talk and gossip mongering is best avoided. This breed of army wives are the most dangerous of them all as they enjoy the power to ruin lives and destroy relationships.

So my advice would be not to feed their greedy minds or indulge in any unfruitful dialogues with the likes of these.

  1. Mrs Artsy: Hand them a brush and a few bottles of paint and watch them transform a plain, boring wall into a masterpiece, a simple chiffon sari into a beautiful, trendy one or an old cushion cover into a gorgeous work of art! Meet Mrs Artsy with magic fingers that have the Midas touch. Their homes speak volumes about their artistic talent and they are an asset to the ‘ladies club’!

  1. The Buttering beauty: Never mind how you look, what you wear or how bad your food is, when the Buttering beauty is here. This category of people are extremely gifted with the power to fake a ‘wow!’ or an ‘aw’, following them with flattering statements about the way you dress, cook or speak, without an ounce of truth to it. You shall come across these Buttering beauties more frequently as your husband climbs up the hierarchy and you become what is referred to in army parlance as a ‘Senior lady’ !

           You may graciously accept the compliments that come your way, but with a pinch of salt. Genuine compliments motivate but false flattery misleads one into believing things about one self that are           not  true, creating a false ‘self image’. Learn to differentiate between actual fans and buttering beauties!

 

  1. Mrs Green Fingers: A tiny patch of land outside the ground floor apartment or a small area in the terrace of their first floor home, space is never a constraint for Mrs Green fingers. She can work her magic anywhere, planting fresh herbs, vegetables and vibrant flowers that make even the dullest of places throb with freshness and beauty. A tiny kitchen garden, a garden patch or simple pots in the balcony, their enchanting fingers attract flora even the arid deserts of Rajasthan. Nurturing plants and taking care of them is an art in itself so kudos to these nature lovers for their invaluable contribution to the ecosystem!

  10.   The ‘Gazillion tasker’ : Though most wives in the army are good at  juggling two or more responsibilities     together, either by choice or by sheer lack of it, there is one particular breed of Army wives that are extraordinary in the way they handle the different priorities of life with unmatched flair . Such women never cease to amaze me  as they go about their varied jobs, multitasking between their responsibilities as a wife , a mother, an entrepreneur, an artist and a zillion other activities with elan . Their energy serves as a true inspiration to a lot of women who strive to emulate them, albeit, not so successfully!

 Apart from the above mentioned categories there are a few others too….like…. the ones that open up a blog and imagine they have become a writer! 😉

 

So which ‘kind’ are you?

    

 

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Women’s day everyday ….

Today is the International Women’s day or so they say . Leaves me a little perplexed . Does that mean , the other days don’t belong to us , women or is it just a consolation prize for the otherwise forgotten ‘greatness’ of  women !

I am a woman , and equally , if not any more , sane as my male counterpart , and I think celebrating your existence should be an everyday affair . The social media today , is overflowing with status messages and dedications to this lovely species , called ‘Women’ , telling us about their super powers ,  elevating them to the status of a goddess , describing in varied detail , the hardships faced by them , respecting the women in our family and so on .

Open your facebook or twitter account tomorrow , and these would have disappeared without a sign , ‘poof’ ! ,  back into the same graves , from which they had arisen , much  like ‘zombies’  , only twenty four hours ago .

Today , each one of us think that out social and moral responsibility begins and ends with a social media status (Guilty as charged ! )

What one needs to think is that a ‘Woman’ , is a human being , with slightly different functions ( I am referring to the physical aspects , the social functions are of course , man made !  ) .  We do not celebrate a ‘Man’s day’ (not that I know of  !) , then why this particular bias towards  women ?

Agreed a woman does many things worth a (or perhaps a zillion ! ) mention (s) , but don’t men have their share of duties to fulfill …?

Are we as women , any less human , or inferior to the men , that we require such special days and special dedications ? Women are strong , perhaps , mentally even stronger than men . Such special days , according to me , only go to belittle their hard work and position as an active member of society .

A woman’s contribution to society , just like the men’s   can not   , be  packed into  a single day of the year . That will just not be enough . She deserves love , respect , appreciation and acknowledgement , round the clock , through out the year !

No amount of protests and movements in favor of women emancipation , will work , if the total ‘mind set’ does not change .  Women are not special , perhaps a little physically fragile , but that doesn’t make them the ‘Weaker section of society’ .

In fact if this whole outlook towards women , and the way they are looked at by the society has to change , it has to start from a woman itself ; a mother , who fails to discriminate her children right from their toddler years , who teaches her sons to respect women , in the family and outside , and her daughter to blossom into a real woman , capable of standing her ground , if the need arises.

Don’t wait for others to set examples . Set your own .

As a woman , you need to love and respect yourself , for others to do the same . Be beautiful , on the outside and the inside . Let’s make it our day , everyday  . And this goes for the men folk too . The love and regard is mutual ; our men need some appreciation as well !

Life should a celebration of humanity , every hour of the day , and every day of an year .

We are the masters of our own destiny !

Retail magic !

There are these days when one feels utterly useless …days when one feels enervated ; when the mundane things in life fail to impress and the drudgery of a monotonous life , comes to hit you …When even the most interesting of things seems ho hum and insipid and one longs for a break in the routine…a fresh lease of life …..

It is in times like these one wishes to do the vanishing act , to escape to an exotic island in some far corner of the world or enjoy a relaxing holiday in a quaint European town. (I have this obsession with European countryside , nurtured  by the fairy and adventure tales I read as a child and further facilitated by my own trips to some of these beautiful places …. )

But what does one do when none of these options are viable ? To me the solution is clear – ‘Retail therapy’.

Shopping or ‘retail therapy’ as it is aptly referred to as , is indeed a stress buster , drawing your attention away from the some oppressing realities of life , however only temporarily , and letting you drown yourself , albeit happily , in a sea of clothes , shoes and accessories !

I am not an advocate of wasteful spending and neither would I advise the same to anyone …But , then some small indulgences ,  here and there , just to lighten one’s mood , is not a crime either . After all , we have but one life and if an extra pair of shoes can make you forget your worries and be cheerful for a while , I think it is worth every penny you spend..

There is one really irritating thing about an uneventful life , which is  the fact that , at exactly the same time when you feel your life is such a drab , you will  notice the lives of  all those around you to be exceptionally exciting and eventful…….. And this in turn will make you hate your life even more !

Whenever I get engulfed by  such  an inactive and lackluster life , I treat myself to some shopping … So a few days back I got myself a pair of shoes , and believe  me ( although I know I sound crazy ! ) , things have started looking up since then … I have started looking forward to life in general and to the times I will get to use those shoes , in particular 😛

I guess , life is not that complicated , if we let it be so . Sometimes , it is not about money or use or anything else , sometimes it is all about the ‘simple joys of life’. We need to unwind ourselves and let our muscles loose at times…and indulge…for this life shall not come again !

A tight , rule bound existence , meant to please everyone else , but oneself , cannot last for long .

And besides , when I am on my death bed , I would definitely not want to regret  about the things I did not do , the shoes I did not buy or the place I did not visit …

So do it all now…when you have the time…As for me , these shoes will last me sometime , I mean in terms of joy and rejuvenation , till of course , my life becomes more eventful , which I am hoping it will soon be… 😀

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_prompt/re-springing-your-step/

Breaking free !

She is strong in her weaknesses

determined in her fickleness ,

loud in her silence 

Smiling in her agony

She is in chains , 

yet her thoughts race far ….

like a bird set free 

waiting to break away

from the shackles that bind her

and fly away into the vast open sky……

to breath the air of ‘true freedom’

And  feel  ‘Alive again !’

A WOMAN’S MIND – Fifteen points to know about your g.f or wife !

Ok ,so a few days back , in response to Daily post prompt , I had expressed my wish to gain access  to a a man’s brain , so that I could find answers  to a lot of perplexing questions with regard to the opposite gender , my better half , in particular !

Today I have decided to help out by fellow male bloggers and friends , who have been finding it a little difficult to understand the complex psyche of a ‘woman’ !

On  the basis of my own experiences ,and that of a few female friends  and relatives , I have compiled the following 15 points ,that are true ,in case of most women , though as I have said before , exceptions are always there . Please check them out to see and do let me know your valuable opinions ! So here goes … :

  1. We love to share our joys and sorrows , not keep it pent up inside . But when we confide in you , it doesn’t mean we want a solution from you , we only want a listening ear . And that will be all. 

  2. When we point at a shop window , and ask , ‘Isn’t that beautiful ?’ , we are not asking  you for approval , rather we are dropping a hint . It  simply means  we like it and we want you to buy it for us – period !

  3. When we are unwell and tell you so , please do not call the doctor . We can do so ourselves , we just want a little empathazing ( and loads of affection ! ).

  4. We love to dress up , so don’t take us seriously when we say , ‘I will be ready in five minutes !’ , especially if it is a party we are going to . If you want us to be dressed on time for an event , give us a notice of at least 2 hours , oh alright , at least one hour ! That’s not asking for too much….

  5. We can be answering the phone , while chopping vegetables and catching up with our favorite show on TV ! Yes ,we can ‘Multi task’ , and we don’t see it as a great ‘talent’ . It comes naturally to us, which is why we expect you men ,to do the same !

  6. When we ask you if we look fat , you do not have to be honest all the time !

  7. If we ask you to choose between two things (dress,shoes etc) , always ask us what we like best first and then , simply approve of it  . When we ask you to make a choice , we don’t really mean you too … We just want you to second our choice , that is all !

  8. When we   sulk and say ‘We have no clothes to wear for the evening !’ , please don’t look so surprised . Because, we really do mean it .

  9. When we can’t find the accessory we are looking for , to go with our attire , you must never say  ‘Its ok…why don’t you wear something else with it !’….grrr…There is nothing more frustrating for  a woman , than a change of  plans !

  10. When we get a hair cut , please pretend you have noticed , even if you  haven’t . It can get very upsetting when our hard work  (alright , someone else’s hard work , but…our money ..and time… ) goes unrewarded !

  11. When you ask us if there is a problem , and we say ‘nothing’ , please don’t take that seriously and go about your chores . It is just our way of showing our resentment towards your actions , so if you want to avoid a world war -3 , please make a little more effort to find out , and cajole us into confessing our problem and resolving the issue…

  12. When we see you sitting in one corner , sulking , we imagine that  (  just like us )  you need to share your woes and that is why we ask , ‘What happened..? is something wrong?’ . But  we  do know now that  you don’t like sharing your problems !

  13. If we ask you ‘What are you thinking?’ , it  simply means you haven’t been talking to us enough.

  14. When we criticize a person , it doesn’t mean we hate them ! It only goes to mean that  we hate a few traits of that person , not the person as a whole !

  15. We are not nagging…. We are only trying to pursue perfection in everyone and everything . Perfection , as defined by us , of course ! 😉

And I can go on and on…but I think I will stop here…..

(P.S : This post is written ,with  fun element in mind  , and may include a little exaggerations here and there , but all in good humor . I am a woman myself ,but not an expert…Exceptions are always there , and there a lot of women who may not have the above stated way of thinking ! )

The key to a ‘man’s brain’ !

DAILY PROMPT – GOLDEN KEY

I have often thought if there is a way to know what lies inside a man’s brain !

If were to find a magic key , one that would open up any door or box , I would like to take a peek into , it would be utterly useless to me . Because , I don’t think there exists any such door or box , that I  wanted to look into and haven’t found a way to do so already 😉 I am not the kind of person , who likes poking his/her nose into the private matters of other people , and I seriously believe ,that things that other people (not relatives ! ) are trying to hide way from us ,are best kept hidden !

But , I have always wished to possess  the key to a man’s brain.. if only , even it was for a small fraction of time , I was allowed to get inside the brain of my better half , I would be oh- so- content…!

A few things I would like to find out , once inside :

  • What thoughts cross his mind ,when he is simply sitting on the bed or couch , and staring into nothingness…….. (I always thought he was put off by something I did ,till I realized , he is only taking a break ! )

  • Why are men , never able to ‘multi-task’ ! ( It is either the newspaper or the television , or conversation , but never all the three together ! 😉 )

  • When he says I look good , does he mean it ?

  • Why do men prefer not to talk about their problems ? ( When  we women, feel tensed about something , we need to urgently share it someone , don’t we ? 😛 )

  • How can they work all day and all year with a guy ,and never notice the color of his dress or shoes or any such minor details !

  • Why do men never remember the dress they wore at the last party ? I seriously wish we women had the same ability to ‘forget’ such details, then we would not be suffering from Womanly Wardrobe Woes !

  • When a man enters a social gathering , does he actually ‘only listen’ and not observe…the surroundings ? (Give me five minutes at a party , and I will let you know what kind of shoe is a certain lady wearing or what  is the color of the other lady’s necklace :P. Is it actually possible to ignore such ‘details’ ?

So , as you have already read , my mind is forever trying to unravel the mystery of a ‘man’s mind’ ! and I am sure so are many of you too..so I would love it , if I were to ever stumble upon that ‘golden key’ which would put my doubts to rest and remove all apprehensions !

(P.S : What I have written above are my conclusions based on my own experiences , there may be exceptions !  😉 and you are welcome to give your feedback too.. )

The head turner ! ( weekly writing challenge- The unreliable narrator )

The brilliance of the ‘bride’ almost blinded me…Okay…well at least it made me turn away my gaze from the stage ,where she sat , covered in the yellow metal ,from head to toe…,beads of perspiration forming on her forehead.

The sultry south Indian summer , coupled with the uncomfortable silk attire and the hot flash of the video camera , was beginning to annoy me as I sat there ,draped in my ‘silkish’ best . I was drenched in sweat and my heavy saree clung to my body , making it worse .

For a second , I had the strong , uncontrollable urge to pull out my ‘gold necklace’ , that now seemed to tighten around my neck like a noose , and shove it into the air…But then , it lasted only for a teeny weeny moment….The very next moment I was ready to penalize myself for my impulsive thought ! After all the necklace was a gift from my fiancé…

As my eyes explored the crowds of people that thronged the auditorium , they couldn’t escape noticing the ‘fairer creatures’ among them.. Stunning women , looking resplendent , in their bright Kanchipuram sarees , and jewellery  that dazzled as they turned around. I felt my hand , move to  touch my own necklace , almost instantly…..and with an almost sudden , and quick action of my fingers , set it right , for all to see…

It was a beautiful gold and emerald necklace…As a famous advertisement tagline went..‘Neighbour’s envy….owner’s pride !’…

Just then I saw a lady in a mustard saree , oggle me..or perhaps it was the necklace that gathered her attention ! I could see those hazel brown eyes turns green with envy..Though caught unawares first..I was starting to enjoy her resentment…And then all of a sudden she turned away , to join back a group of ladies , with whom she had been in conversation earlier…thus disappointing me immensely..

As I was about to turn around , giving up all hopes of attracting any further attention , from that section of women , the situation changed. I was presently under the scrutiny of a dozen eyes , and could hear them speak to each other in hushed tones…Although despite my best attempts , I was not able to decipher their mumbled mutterings !

The lady in mustard , was apparently the leader of the pack that was now studying  her , from close quarters. Some of you may argue that , a ‘pack’ is more appropriate to refer to a group of wolves , not civilized ladies ! But then ,these ladies did give me an impression of hungry wolves ,eyeing a prey !

My jubilation was put to an abrupt end as one of them , beckoned the rest of  the group , to her side,using gestures of the hand ..{ reminding me of a Bharata natyam ( a form of south Indian classical dance ) dancer }

The ‘greedy’ pack soon disappeared without a trace…

As I walked across the hall , I could see all eyes settle on me , some even followed. And I rejoiced it all….

I then proceeded towards the dining area , where I relished every morsel of the sumptuous spread , served to me on plantain leaf…Even as I licked my fingers , at the end of my meal , I could see eyes , mostly those of women , stare at me from all corners…some seemed like they would blurt out an exclamation any moment !

So my necklace was a hit…my heart swelled with pride and I beamed with happiness !

By the time I reached home , it was about 3 in the afternoon. As soon as I stepped inside and slumped myself on the couch , my mom appeared from inside the bedroom…

I could see an air of nervousness about her , which was kind of unusual . As she fumbled for words , I asked her what the matter was…

Without uttering a word from her mouth , that seemed have curved itself into a frown , she pointed towards my neck…or so I thought..till I saw it..

My eyes opened wide, in a mixed expression of horror and embarrassment , as they beheld  a gaping hole , on the saree , just below the place where it was pinned , on the left side of my shoulder ! Very close to the necklace……..

It happened in the morning , while I was ironing it and I was about to tell you so …But that is when I got that call informing me that your uncle was in the hospital and I left in a tearing hurry ! The matter had completely skipped my mind , till I got back an hour ago , and realized my faux pas………..………’

As my mother , went on with her explanations and apologies , my mind raced back  in time…..rewinding….

I had woken up late,as I had forgotten to switch my phone alarm on. In my hurry to reach the venue on time , I had  given only a fleeting glance at the mirror . And clambering onto my car, had driven away in haste ..………..’

I closed my eyes……….trying to push the world out……………

http://dailypost.wordpress.com/dp_writing_challenge/the-unreliable-narrator/

  • Fiction writers: Draft a short story or flash fiction piece from the point of view of a unreliable narrator. What is the source of their unreliability? In what ways and details can you reveal that this person might not be telling the truth? What kind of setting or situation can you create?

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