Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Musings of a newly wed.....

                                                  Wedding bells rang....and soon after our wedding he had to leave for his YO's course in CME Pune. My first impression of my life as a wife of an Army Officer started taking it's vague shape there on our wedding reception where on being asked his seniors advised him against taking me along with him to his course. I somehow felt being cheated by my husband. I was not ready to stay back without him...yet I had to as I did not find any other option for myself. But fortunately my mother in law insisted that I join him in Pune. So with her I came to Pune to stay with him. My husband had already arranged an apertment near CME which was to be shared by three other officers, who will be staying with their spouses. Pune was full of fun and frolic for all of us. With husbands being busy in their course the lady wives had a total Masti  time  amongst themselves. It was just like our extended Hostel life for all of us with all of us having Maggie Party and going for a movie late at night on our bicycles. Life was fun at that time. Till then I did not have clue about life of an Army wife.
                                                    The course finished after six months and we had to leave for his regiment in Ambala. We headed for Ambala. I knew that this is  the world that my husband belonged. When our train reached Ambala, my husband remarked that there might not be anyone to receive us at the station and he left the bogie to look out for a coolie.   I smiled wryly. Who did he expect??? I scanned the platform to breathe in the place where I was to start my married life. My gaze was riveted by the sight of a group of OG uniformed jawans all lined up. My husband re-entered the coach. He had changed from a self-conscious newly married husband into an officer. “These jawans  are from my company. My Coy commander has sent them and his Jeep to receive us. You must return their greetings appropriately,” he informed and instructed me. Coming from an entirely civil background I found myself in an ambiance totally alien to me and my husband did nothing to remove ignorance about this new world. My baptisement into army life was beginning...though I was still clueless for an appropriate way of returning their wish.  
                                                   But soon I learnt to address them as "Bhaiyas"(brothers)  and also had learnt to accept their style of hovering around the house. I was welcomed as a new bride with ceremonies by the whole regimental family in our Officers Mess. Of course, there were the initial teething problems. But on the whole I count myself lucky for having been exposed to this kind of life.At first, I used to feel like a bird that has come in from the wild and been imprisoned. There were so many rules and regulations. All that hierarchy from a Lt to a Gen, one had to be so careful. But slowly and gradually I learnt to transform my frivolous, college girl attitude into that of an army officer’s wife. This I achieved by my husband’s acute disapproval of anything unbecoming of a lady and by sheer observation of other ladies. I learnt to mix with different kinds of people coming from different social backgrounds from different parts of India. My major obstacle was my fleeting acquaintance of the language in the fauji-hindi. Using this language, I learnt to mix with people: some of who were familiar and mostly unfamiliar but friendly. In a gathering, I learnt to acknowledge the presence of everybody on entering and leaving. It may seem ridiculous to mention it, but it is ridiculously conspicuous by its absence in gatherings where people confine themselves to groups. The army is one establishment where one’s social etiquette is honed to perfection. At the base of it all is the cardinal attribute of humility, which one learns due to the system of hierarchy. Besides humility and good manners, hospitality towards guests (a dying art where T.V serials gain priority over socializing) is very much interwoven in army life.
                                                       Now I realized that Had I not married into the armed forces, so many creative arts would have bypassed me. The Gypsy life that we lead by virtue of our husbands job brings thrill in our life with challenges of adjusting in an entirely new place and converting a new structure into a home. The way we learn to live with the bare minimum yet we long for more..be it small or big, permanent or temporary, concrete or tin, barracks or bunglows....we are purely blessed to call them our "Home". At every posting I love the challenge of dressing up a new quarter to suit our personalities. I have dabbled in the arts of gardening, flower arrangement, singing, choreography and public speaking. I believe every woman has an artistic niche in her personality. But how many have the fortune or opportunity to explore it, I wonder.
                                                      At times life can be very difficult and lonely as well. But this phase too has its own charm with all those pot lucks and ladies meets we find our way out to keep ourselves occupied yet entertained at the same time. We learn to live on our own for months together without any support system, when our husbands are out on temporary duty or exercise. There are times when you are settling in a new place and you have no servants or maid; which means one has to double up as the maid, chef, gardener, et al. Then when social outings become a compulsion, you have to wear a smile to match the outfit and brave it all as others do. Yes in this course you learn some good acting skills as well. A teaching job with suitable hours is all right. But no woman can seriously think of a 9 to 5 career if she plans to enjoy a family life together. The social commitments as an army wife are all encompassing but can be profoundly satisfying depending on which way you look at it. The sacrifices that we have to make are worth the silent rank that we wear as an Army wife. Yes this is a rank that I would shamelessly flaunt till the last day of my life as I consider myself as blessed to be married to the Olives. This life that I am leading is only about celebrating the brighter shades in it…this life is forever…this life is for me…Touchwood!!!

Saturday, 27 October 2012

A 20 yrs old girl Khushi, commits suicide just two months after her marriage to a hot shot blue collared MNC employee. Khushi,a vivaciously bubbly girl, full of life, her friends and family were of the opinion that wherever this girl gets married off would fill the house with good fortune and happiness just like her name "Khushi"....the Mahendi in her hands were yet to be washed off but soon she tasted the bitter truth of her marriage...Yes Khushi was just another victim of dowry death. Who is responsible for her untimely death???? Her husband, in laws or is it herself who has brought such a cruel abrupt end to a beautiful life???We are fighting so many menaces of society these days but threat of dowry is still going strong with it's head held high. Why do the girls' parents always go weak before the demands from the possible bridegrooms' side??? Why do they fail to realize any sign of demands from the boy's family can only bring ill fate to their daughter's life n nothing else????? Why do we fail to realize that the fight against dowry begins at home, our home,the brides' home!!!

Friday, 7 October 2011

Innocence That Is Long Dead....


Deep inside I hear the call
Yeah it's about time to let it fall...!!!
To turn down the ever choking flashes of moments
Inside my head 
Brought by the colours of forgone 
Or  innocence that is long dead ???

Those ever sparkling stars 
Never seem to get tired
Even of the arrogant thunder storms !!!
Diligently striving to refresh the essence
of their sparkles in my life!!!
The crazy little spell casted on me
And 'Sunshine' that I used to call you fondly...
Did  it ever mean a thing to you ???
Perhaps that's the reason it looked too perfect to be true...!!!
I am not your's neither lost in you
It's just a phase and it will be through
As the snowflakes melts in the sunshine
After the morning dew

There's no magic anymore
We meet as other people do...
For I have grown listless
As the pool beside the shore
You know how it is when there is no splendor anymore...

Thursday, 22 September 2011

A Tale Of Herpetophobia....

"Lizards", those creepy little cold species always with it's wagging tail as it creeps on the wall threatens me to give me my worst ever nightmares!!!The worst feature in a lizard that I find, is it's eyes (WISH I COULD DESIGN SOME STYLISH GLARES TO CAMOUFLAGE THEIR EYES AND MAKE THEM LOOK LITTLE ATTRACTIVE TO ME).I have been cursed with "Herpetophobia",a fear for lizards....I even find it difficult to type out the name......And army quarters are full of them(specially in Ambala)......Our helper has to learn only one thing...SHOO the LIZARDS AWAY....Every evening before he leaves he chases them and seals the house literally....This happened when my husband was posted to the unit.To prevent any encounter with them in the middle of the night I even used to put mosquito net while sleeping. Gosh...how it used to creep me out even by the thought of them getting "PARA-DROPPED" on me at night.I never used to stay alone at home sans my husband at night only because I always used to anticipate being ATTACKED by them while alone at home. That's the reason whenever my husband had to go on some T.D. or something of the sort I would always tag along with him.Once the COMMANDING OFFICER of my husband's regiment gave me the "BRIGHT IDEA"(huh) of putting the egg shells in the house to scare away the lizards. Well, I think he was too bugged by me being tagged along everywhere with my hubby in his official visits. But whatever it was,I could not stop myself form putting that idea into action eagerly hoping to get rid of those little horrifyingly creepy villains. Soon I instructed our helper to seal each and every nook and corner of the house with broken egg shells. Those days we were living in the first floor of a quarter...where, in the ground floor my husband's company commander used to live (who happens to be a pure veggie). One day our helper comes and informs me that the lady staying in the ground floor wants to meet me..I don't know what my "Thamil" speaking helper told her but immediately after landing at her place I could somehow read her feelings towards me.She appeared to be pretty annoyed with me the way she was throwing a hateful look at me. "Oh God,what did I do??"I was just asking myself....and then the dark mystery got unfolded soon as the conversation got rolling between the two of us, she taunted that she wonders "why do I always throw all the egg shells on her house???" !!! Well,I was taken aback by her taunt to no end...."HUH!!..WHY ON EARTH WOULD I EVER THROW EGG SHELLS ON YOUR HOUSE???!!!", yet somehow I managed to keep it to myself....but later realized that it was not her fault either as the egg shells used to be blown away by the winds from my balcony straight to the lawn of her house!!!Well, while explaining the whole story to her she also could not stop from laughing her heart out at my predicament !!!

But that's not all at all....then again during OPERATION PARAKRAM(a military operation in 2001, while the entire Indian Arm Forces' mobilization took place because of the unprecedented attack on our parliament) our husbands were away with the entire unit leaving behind only the rear party and the ladies......My Bhaiya(helper) as usual checked the house for lizards and went away in the evening....My daughter and I went to bed.....I had shut off the lights and was about to lie down when suddenly my daughter whispered....MAMMA CHIPKALI!!!! SHIT!!! I thought...It was 10 pm and in those days mobile was not so much in vogue...I quickly picked up an Army phone and called another lady(GOD BLESS HER) and shared my predicament.....She in turn immediately contacted the regiment......To pass on a message to our Helper.......NOW I DO NOT KNOW WHAT MESSAGE ACTUALLY GOT CONVEYED THROUGH THE PEOPLE IN THE REGIMENT....But half an hour later my door bell rang and I open the door to find 4 sentries with AK47 standing there and asking me...."MADAM, INTRUDER KAHAN HAI????"....(GOD NOT AGAIN !!)Was I embarrassed ???!!!But at the same time this GREEDY thought STRUCK my mind "WISH I COULD KEEP THEM WITH ME TO FIGHT THESE LITTLE CREEPY INTRUDERS AT MY PLACE FOREVER OR AT LEAST TILL THE TIME MY HUSBAND COMES BACK...HOW SECURED AND SAFE MY LIFE WOULD HAVE BEEN....SIGH!!!"

Monday, 19 September 2011

DREAMS

       

Battered time will soon be flying...
Have you seen our faith ever dying...???
Soon the clouds will glow,
These rough blues will flow
Desires will grow
Then I shall row,
For all you know :

No signs of feelings that I adore..
No silly butterflies in my belly,
Only looking to reach the shore..
Nurturing an ever waiting bud within me.
Craving for some sprinkle of sunshine,
Lest you make me smile,
Yes it's been quite long for a while..!!!!

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Does it really matter to you?????





Wonder where it will take us to
It seems so much like a time to bid adieu,
for I have waited for you too long,
Never really cared; what if I go wrong???
Every time the shadows pass by,
my heart skips a beat or two,
Some of your beautiful untruths
still make me hover if it's you!!!

Healing a bruised heart with all it's dreams
moving on to pick up those pieces of life
with the baggage of foregone,
In the jungle of hopes to survive,
Without you or even the anticipations to see you again
For my soul has withered since long...