Wednesday, December 24, 2008

War? Just think about this....

A lot is being covered in the media about a possible war in the near future. The question being repeatedly asked in all the channels and news papers is whether we are ready for war. But to me the real question is- are the soldiers, their families ready for the war? I have a friend who is a new army wife and if we go to war her husband being the infantry man would be the first one to leave along with thousands of others. This would leave an equal number of spouses back home. So what is being done for them? There is a saying that God handpicks special girls to be army wives so where does a war leave a girl who very proudly wedded the olive green.

They experience loneliness, lack of communication, routine emotional upheavals on a regular basis. For an army wife the presence of the military is so strong it is almost like a third partner in the marriage. But in many cases this third partner is the quickest one to leave her in case of some mishap. Once, the then Minister of Defence Mr O Rajagopalan said that the military wives are a national responsibility. I really appreciate his comments. But comments take us nowhere. Standing firmly behind our nation’s heroes these wives do also need a firmer back support.

With so much of media hype I know a lot of military families feel a bit lost right now. They quite honestly don't know what the future holds for them. There are hundreds of issues that are important to the all the army personnel and all of their dependents which need immediate attention. These having been gathering dust in the files and may never even see the daylight.

And lastly whether or not there is a war what is actually needed is a rock solid plan A and plan B for the families to fall back on. Is anybody listening? Rahul Gandhi? We need you here….

Sunday, December 7, 2008

The Great Divide

We organised this high profile seminar on Women and Terrorism day before yesterday. It had in attendance the leading female dignitaries of the city. We also ensured that the highly educated ladies from all walks of life came. A leading lady police officer of IG rank and other police wives were also in attendance along with some other ladies like doctors, army wives, dieticians, psychologists, teachers and so on. As the evening progressed and the seminar got in full swing, one of our army wives was recounting her first hand experience of terrorism while posted in Assam. Her husband had suffered serious injuries during an encounter and then this lady police officer recounted and shared her experiences. Everybody just listened to the both of them in stunned silence. The lady further said that though she respects all of the India’s armed forces but feels that there is a great divide between the respects people hold for the army personnel. While a great majority of our population holds negative opinions about the police personnel it is not the same, in case of the Indian army.

She said such are a strong sentiments for the Indian army that a common man is just not ready to accept them as corrupt or criminals even if it is proved legally. These sentences actually got me thinking and this is a FACT!! So however discriminatory is the sixth pay commission report and whatever may be the attitude of the governments, the truth remains we are indeed the most respected ones. The janta loves us…………. All we need is a platform where the love of our countrymen is directly conveyed to us.

There are number of ways we can make a difference not only to the life of a soldier, but also to their families. With so many years of military lifestyle with me I can truthfully say that the soldiers need our support now more than ever before. There has been enough of political drama, far too many debates and just too much of hypocrisy. I feel that let’s now for once take the reigns in our hands and make them all feel special and loved. And why only the faujis lets for once love all our forces like the defence, the police , the paramilitary and so on……………….The too deserve it!!!

Monday, December 1, 2008

A Call to honour....

So they called us again. Whether it’s a high profile shootout, a child in a borewell, a terrorist attack, floods, earthquakes army is called. Army is no longer meant for protecting the borders, of late, the country needs us everywhere. We clear up the mess and in the bargain lose our soldiers too, but what after that? Once the crisis is solved we are again lost in the oblivion. But, why? Why is the government, the politicians and the common man so afraid to come out in the open and acknowledge that in the current terrorist turmoil our defence forces are their safest bet?

In times like these, what the country need is a deeper and more meaningful alliance between the civil administration and the army of the area even of the smallest of the city. This will help immensely in nourishing the now heavily tattered soul of India. Now they call us when the situation is completely out of their hands. If we have a better association then any crisis would be solved in a much simpler way without losing so many lives. These simple steps will make the atmosphere conducive and the citizens secure. Further it will also help in us attaining our most basic right to leave in peace.

How much our politician may differ but what a common Indian needs today is a safe today. I spoke to a very senior retired army officer and he said “Army is supposed to be non-partisan; national in character, patriotic, professional, and disciplined how it relates to civil society in general will help immensely in the civilian set up. Obligations on both the sides will contribute to the common good by performing duties to benefit the community as a whole. This association I believe will complement each other.” During a time when every citizen of Indian is thinking of the corrective measures to be taken, I think this is the best we can do, right now…….

Friday, November 21, 2008

All Things Fauji and Fantastic

Tears swell up my eyes every time I watch a movie on the armed forces. No I am not weak; it’s just that I feel a connection, not only with the characters in the movie but also with that lonely soldier walking on the streets unaware and unsure of the largely civilian world. But for some reason, I love these movies, no matter how pathetic the plaot or the acting is. Why? That’s because I am a little crazy and love all things even remotely attached to the military world.

The craze started long before I got married to the olive green, with our very own Fauji, the famous serial of Shahrukh Khan. But my actual brush of real army movie was( on my husband’s insistence) with Saving Private Ryan, though the plot is great I loved it for Tom Hanks didn’t you? It has that old world military charm of risking your own life to save another. I simply loved the sheer intensity showed by the soldiers in actually saving Pvt Ryan and helping him finish the battle. The other military movie I like is From Here to Eternity, only for the purity of emotions. Uncle Sinatra you still make us swoon…..

Border was the first indian movie on the war I watched and simply loved it. I loved it for Akshay Khanna and Rakhi. Never saw better mother-son emotions on screen. Even when the movie ended I kept thinking about this blind mother and her life without her son. But I am still waiting for that rocking hindi movie on faujis which captivates the real essence of an Indian soldier.

Schindler’s List also holds a special place in my heart for a cinematic brilliance. Set in a military backdrop it depicts a human side in the not so human times. Next on my list to watch war movies is Apocalypse Now, have heard that it is a great piece of work on Vietnam War. Do share if you have seen some other great military flicks…

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Of Jimmy Choo shoes and Prada bags

Being in the journalism so long and especially writing Olive Green for Hindustan Times for 2 and a half years gave me an opportunity to peek into the lives of so many known and unknown faces of our fauji fraternity. Every time I set out for a story I would surely come back as a proud woman, proud of the fauj and the amazing faujis I met. Some of them are legends, some are getting there and some are simple soldiers with a simple heart.

What struck me when I met each one of them was though they hung their boots long time back their wives are still active and creating a name for themselves in the civilian world and are all doing extremely well. This I think is a positive shift in the mindset. An army wife is no longer the docile dependent soul. She has always been an emotional rock for the family but it’s only now she has taken steps forward to give herself an identity. I personally am thrilled by this new found army wife. She is no longer confined to her house, her family and her regiment. Earlier when her only option was to work in a school she is now making her presence felt in the corporate world, private sector, retails, you name it and she is there!!

Some of those I know cannot do without their Jimmy Choo shoes and Prada bags, and what with that exclusive Ritu Kumar dress!! Wow! This surely is a welcome change. While being financially self dependent, she is now extra capable of being a rock whenever husband decides to hang his boots. They have stepped out of the shadows to stand beside their husband into an ambitious and envious position and how. Many of these career women I know are your typical Super-Mom," entrepreneur or corporate executive. While they say that being an army wife is the toughest job in the world as life keeps throwing curved balls at you, but this is what makes them mentally strong and capable. Kudos to all those wives out there who apart from being wives and mothers are also bankers, corporate heads, editors, event managers in their respective fields.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Strength to carry on……

Photographs like this always tear your heart apart. A departing soldier, who is also a father, a son, a husband, a friend. Though this is a photograph of an American soldier leaving for Iraq but it nevertheless invokes the same dreadful feeling of uncertainty.

We all know that the job of a soldier is not an easy one there is always a certain level of risk involved. But the training imparted to them prepares them to face any given situation. Sometimes these trainings closely resemble what they might experience in a war. But what about the wives and the situations at home? Separations and field postings are the real test of an army wife. And it's not an easy task I must say. Husband's separation along with an emotionally fragile child it is suddenly too much to handle.

Two years is a long time to manage. So I decided to stay at a place where I have a bunch of good friends. This decision helped me immensely because I know the shoulders I can lean on. I already had a steady job and it actually keeps me distracted. There are few friends who are finding it extremely difficult to do even the smallest of tasks in their husband’s absence. To them I would say plan some activities, get involved in your children or join some new courses. It really helps, brooding wont!!
As army wives we must bear in mind that we will have to sooner or later face separation. And what more can husbands ask for than having a strong pillar of strength for wife. I know there are times when you feel too overwhelmed by emotions, I too feel the same most of the times, but there’s nothing I can do. On the other hand it makes the children more vulnerable. They are very emotionally susceptible when father is away and a depressed mom makes them more psychologically fragile. Although it’s just been few months but this is one main lesson I have learnt, because its anytime better than to handle a upset and troubled child.

I am trying to be strong with some great friends and great books but lets see how long I manage. Sometimes I am not too sure myself……..

Friday, October 24, 2008

Stress!! You must be joking!!

So they had a stress management workshop for all the army wives in the cantonment the other day. A noted psychologist was invited to speak on the occasion. All the ladies of the station were invited except the separated families!! I felt these are the ones who needed the workshop first and the foremost!! These are the ones who spend long, lonely, anxious hours day and night. But no! this time again I missed the point!!
I have a friend whose husband is posted in Siachen. Few days back when we met she was having severe hypertension which resulted in endless sleepless nights. She was upset because due to security reasons her husband and his men were supposed to sleep in bunkers. Siachen has low oxygen levels plus staying in a bunker reduces them further as a result he was pretty unwell. It seems for all our serving officers and their better halves here in the station thought that she actually didn’t need a stress management class!!
There’s another lady who has not been able to talk to her husband for the past ten days due to difficult terrain. He is deployed at a far off mountainous post. She has two daughters one of whom is a severe case of asthma. The authorities very rightly felt that this mother didn't need a stress management class either!! Another separated army wife was forcibly made to vacate the accommodation only because of the reason that some serving officers in the station were still living in temporary accommodation. While she a meagre separated wife with two small kids was living in a permanent one!! How could she? Her husband was not serving in the station but at the country’s border, how can she claim to live in a huge comfortable house!! No not done. Plus whats the need to need a stress management class!

So let’s see who all need stress management class. Firstly, are the ones who play mah-jong in the mornings to tear away the previous night’s party’s strain. You know how stressful it is to sleep late and get up late! Second are the ones who need to show off the brand new dress, oh! It can become really stressful when you don’t have an occasion to show that latest addition in your wardrobe. Third are the ones whose hubby’s promotion is due and you just can’t apprehend how stressful it is if the boss’s wife doesn’t smile back!!

Yes! I think these ladies need a stress management class more then seperated ones. You see army is never wrong!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

My Dear Tom Uncle

Being an army spouse gave me an opportunity to interact with various legends of Bhartiya Sena. One of them is Tom Uncle (as he has strictly told me to call him). My first meeting with the legendary, Brigadier Kailash Prasad Pande, popularly known as ‘Tom Pande’ was nothing short of a humbling experience. The moment we met I felt incredibly protective towards them, something unusual, something you feel only for your parents. Born on 4th July 1925 Tom hails from a reputed Army family of Madhya Pradesh. Now, it is their fourth generation in the services.

During our conversation Tom revealed that he has fought as many as 18 battles since World War II, losing none. Tom’s most commendable performance was during the Bangladesh Liberation War in 1971 where he commanded a brigade with distinction which later came to be known internationally as the Phantom Force of Indian Army. For his gallant and skillful command of his force with complete disregard for his personal safety and even minimum comforts resulting in heavy attrition on the enemy, Tom was awarded the coveted Maha Vir Chakra by the President of India. I could notice the moist eyes of the most courageous, determined and inspiring leader of his times as he told me the heartrending tales of the 1971 Indo-Pak War. He lost most of his men at Dhalai where one of the toughest battles of 1971 Indo-Pak was fought. Oh! I just love these faujis.

A nostalgic Tom told about his life and times as an army officer. When I asked him how he judges the present Indian Army, the defensive soldier replied, “I’m very proud of it. Indian Army is one of the best in the world and I admire the professionalism that is seen amongst our troops today.”Following the gas tragedy in Bhopal in 1984 he was invited by the state Governor to be the chairman of the state Red Cross in which capacity he was able to bring solace to thousands of sick and the needy and created clinics and medical facilities to treat over one third of the severally affected population of Bhopal.
So what’s next? I ask. Very shyly, I am told there is a movie being made on him by director Siddarth Kothari and a book being written on the MVCs of the Indian Army by Maj Gen Ian Cardozo, VSM, SM. Long Live the Legend! And I am lucky to have met one.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

My little coterie of friends

I just couldn’t have written another blog without mentioning my great friendships which I have formed during my husband’s numerous postings. For me whether a station is good, bad or bearable largely depends on the friends I have made there. Each friend I mentioned here represents a world, which we once shared which was possibly not born until they arrived. All of my husband’s peace postings remind me of some or the other special friend I had there.

Our first posting Tezpur reminds me of Akhita, a sophisticated and chic Puneite. She was a close friend and our friendship grew from our trips to the hospitals during our respective pregnancies and its complications. Akhita is someone I value as a part of my life for so long, that it seems like forever. Mhow had superb Surender, a pucca sardarni, who never failed to amaze me with her frank and in your face outlook. In fact she is responsible for some of the crucial decisions I made about my pregnancy and deliveries. The fact that our husbands too were great friends made things easier for us. We were next door neighbours and had some of the most memorable times together.
Think of Udhampur I think of Meena, a great friend with a great voice. Though we both belonged to the different units our mutual love for ladies club brought us together. While I loved to emcee she loved to sing. Both of us together would lift up the dullest of the evenings. A short course in Mhow gave me a chance to get lose to Manisha a wonderful human being with a golden heart. I simply love her for her simplicity. A great painter and an excellent cook she taught me about the finer points in life.

Jodhpur gave me a chance to befriend one of our jawan’s wife. Although friendships with other ranks are simply not accepted in the army I formed a very good bond with Saroj during my daily visits to the vocational training centre. Saroj had two children and younger one a girl was mentally disabled. Through Saroj and her immense patience and love for her younger child I got to know about the other side of motherhood. While I got busy with my own little kids I can never forget the love I saw between Saroj and her daughter.
Bhopal is a place which gave a quite a bunch of great friends. Maybe because of the extended period of time we’ve spent here. With Janaki it was all very instant, our boys were of the same age and went to the same school. We had a lot to share which resulted in a very deep friendship. Bhopal also gave me a very special friend Radhika. Her husband has already hung his boots but we still are great friends. We have shared everything thought that ever crossed our minds during that time. Now although she is in Delhi, but even now we have a bond that whenever we talk we start from wherever we left. It’s as if we never leave each other. We seem to be always together, both carrying on with our duties as military spouse and are looking forward to spending the Diwali break together. She is like a sister I never had……

Friendships in the army are like one minute, you’re having the time of your lives together. The next, posting orders come and you’re suddenly saying goodbye. But this little group mine is always sure that the goodbye is to say hello again very soon and we make sure it does. We all stay in touch from wherever we are. Thank you girls! For all the good times, bad times and great times of the army life we faced together. God bless....

Thursday, October 9, 2008

My Dad is a Soldier

My five year old daughter Aayet has taken her father’s departure after a month’s long leave very badly. It’s been four days and she refuses to eat her dinner. She says she’ll have it only when Abba comes back. I have been trying and trying really hard to keep things as normal for her and for my son as I can. But at times I feel nothing seems to work, especially when she is really missing her Abba.
Yesterday she was sitting with one of his socks and crying. I guess being an army officer’s daughter it is just one of the sacrifices she would be making while Dad is away on field postings. I very strongly feel that we army families are some what a silent species. Most of the people just don’t comprehend the circumstances we exist in. Here, is a beautiful poem I came across and would like to share with you all.

My Dad Is A Soldier
My dad is a soldier. I can not lie
When he went it made me cry
It made me feel angry, alone, and afraid.
I find myself wishing that he could have stayed.
Im not sure I understand just why he had to go.
But I do understand that he could not say no.
I am so proud of my dad, for he's loyal, brave and true.
People say he's protecting my freedom and your freedom too.
The comforts of home, he must terribly miss.
He must feel so alone, with no one to hug and to kiss.
I want to hear the voice of my dad and feel the warmth of his arms.
When he wraps them around me, I feel protected from harm.
My dad is a soldier, I can not lie.When he returns home, it will make me cry.
by Michele
In countries like US they have full fledged inspirational programs for the children of deployed parents. There are numerous books for children as well as the mothers on how to cope with seperation. They even have a concept of Daddy Dolls. These dolls are the brainchild of two moms who are married to deployed marines. They wanted to make the separation easier for their children while "keeping their fathers close to their heart." The idea has been very well received and now you can get your own Daddy doll. All you have to do is to give them a three megapixel photo of dad in his uniform and they turn it into a cuddly 12- or 18-inch cotton doll.
I hope we Indians as a nation also wake up to the sacrifices made by our soldiers and take some meaningful action to make lives of our soldiers a bit better. Amen.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Best of the Brats

I must confess I simply love them!! And who doesn’t? Their style, mannerisms, and that little wild streak is something to die for. Ever been to 9 different states, 11 different schools, moved umpteen times, and seen some of the greatest things in the country before you even turned 18? Well, pick any army kid and I am sure you would have a mini encyclopedia in your hands.

Although one feels that this continuous moving around would make them a little unstable but it actually makes them more flexible and determined. I know some of my friend’s children who do have trouble adjusting in a new environment but most of them sailed through these phases comfortably. They generally move with their parents to the stations which already have other kids like them and friendships are formed very quickly. Social evenings and swimming pool sessions do play a large part in these bonds. Kids going through the same transitions tend to gravitate towards each other anyway. And some of the best friendships are formed during those years. With daddy gone most of the time our kids actually bond with each other beautifully. Right across my home some 7-8 kids use a garage for their music sessions. They have formed a rock band which is in fact quite soulful. They say they want be this century’s Beatles. Wow! I must say.

I feel their rich traveling experiences make them flexible, stronger, well read, well traveled, more thoughtful and most importantly smarter and mature adults, raring to go. How many kids do you think know of a place called Bumla which actually is the meeting point of Indo China border or Tawang which has few of the best monasteries in the world or for that matter Palchan, the most beautiful part of Himachal. Our kids do…..
A young girl I met the other day said, “Auntie am struggling to find a place to call home. When people ask me where I am from? I ask them "Do you want to know where I was born, where I went to high school, or where I went to college? I really don’t have one place I belong to. This makes a little sad, I want some stability in my life, some anchor.” These words actually set me thinking. This feeling does come in once in a while, I wanted to know whether this feeling is common A few days later I bumped into my best friend’s teenage son so I popped up the question whether he likes life as an army kid? And I must tell you his reply put me completely at ease, Auntie! Only we are able to do such exciting things! Moving from one place to another and saying, hey, I have a friend that lives there. I wouldn't trade my experiences for the anything. Plus I am so proud of my Dad. I look up to him, and know that he has done the right thing. My parents have raised me to be a strong individual and I wouldn't change my life for anything.” Good going son!!!
But one thing I am sure is that when our super duper dapper kids stand to honour the flag they stand in honour of all soldiers and most of all their daddies and uncles who are serving the country from far off fields.

Monday, September 22, 2008

World of Wonderful Wives

It is a legend, that the God almighty handpicks very special girls to be the army wives. ARMYWIVES! A word that instantly brings to mind varied images of independent, self assured, self confident, savvy and strong ladies, members of that sisterhood of women who have had the courage to watch their men go into battle, courses or long exercises. We women of steel have the strength to carry on with our duties and responsibilities until they return. We are often left behind like I am these days but surely never forgotten, we just carry on with our duties to which we must abide as a result of our marriage to the soldiers of the soil.

I am not being presumptuous but it’s a fact that within days we turn a desolate and deserted looking place into something liking a beautiful abode. Something that the family proudly calls a home. Nicely decorating it, with the treasures of our travels through the length and breadth of the country and abroad. Using hammer and nail, we tack the paintings to the wall, and the roots to the floor as firmly as if we have been living there for a lifetime. We are the breed which holds the family together and raise the best of the brats with best of the brains. No wonder that we have Karan Thapar, Sushmita Sen, JJ Vallaya, Priyanka Chopra etc all coming from the army background.

Unlike the our civilian counterparts, our time is measured not by years, but by postings for example we were married at Tezpur, our first baby came in Mhow, a special promotion in Udhampur, our second baby came in Jodhpur. Our husbands are often on the road, at the border, on a field, or on a course leaving us behind for weeks, months, and sometimes years. During these times we guard the home front and are always ready to help those around them, be it a friend in need, a sick child, an OR family, aging parents or in-laws.
But the sad part is that just at the moment we start calling a place our own its time to go to a newer place. What you never know is that it might be a big metro or the jungles of Assam. All through my married life what I have realized is that we area an ever optimistic lot thinking of the good, and forgetting the bad, cherishing yesterday, while anticipating tomorrow. Regardless of monetary pleasures and pay commissions our hearts overflow with a wealth of experiences common only to those united by the special tradition of military life. Often called the “luckiest ones” I salute these ladies and wish they all could read this and know; How thankful the country is to have you and be loved by you, and how proud it is for all that you have done then, now, and later. Thanks and God Bless all of you and me !!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Glamour and Style Unplugged

Faujis work hard and party hard with the perfect doses of glamour, style and decorum. In a peace posting, parties and social dos form an intrinsic part of an army life. Army is a close knit family and these functions help make the bonds stronger. They serve as a great platform to know each other and socialize. Friendships are formed quickly. While some of the parties are formal and are set in the Officers' Mess, where the ambience is dignified and formal, others are informal get-togethers at each others' houses. Hosting and attending formal parties, informal get-togethers and impromptu festivities are an inherent part of a fauji life, especially during a peace posting, away from the pressures of a field posting and separated family life. And Faujis surely know how to party in style. There is shimmering cutlery, lip smacking cuisine, a lively band, chic and neat waiters, exclusive drinks, a joke here and a tittle-tattle there, all set in an ideal ambience.
Each party has its own appeal there are impromptu parties where the lady of the house receives guests at the middle of the night, (bachelors, who insist on having dinner!). There are formal parties like dinning in and dinning outs, regimental guest’s dinner, raising day dinners which are organized with such meticulousness, grandiosity and finery that they would give even five-star banquets a run for their money. Then we have theme parties like Husband’s night, Hippy Night, Halloween Night where the whole idea is to have interaction notwithstanding the fun and the glamour part. The company is great and so is the atmosphere and food. What more does one need to enjoy? In Army, co-operative effort and courtesy are of paramount importance hence these parties work as a unifying and driving force amongst the services. They are a deeply binding anchor and tradition in the peripatetic Army life. Its raison d'ĂȘtre, however, goes much deeper than its surface appearance of being one of the most frivolous, though certainly attractive facets of social life in the Army.
Children also learn the finer nuances of socializing from a very young age. By the time they are 4-5 years old they look forward to the tambola evenings, club functions, social evenings and of course the dance parties. For them its time for unlimited supply of soft drinks, juices and chips with their own exclusive group. Ask any retired officer and his family what they miss the most in their post-Army life they reply in unison, "Parties and Parties, ofcourse.” Civilian friends often quip, what is the difference? Well, I would say a LOT! Although, receptions, dinners, dances, teas, etc are held essentially in the same manner as in the civilian communities but the cordiality, unity and community interest of service officers and their families and above all punctuality are the most striking features. Long live the celebrations!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

A Tiger Never Cries

When was the last time you witnessed a male army officer cry his heart out in front of the full media glare? Never! True! For them it is erroneous and sinful to pronounce the stress and strain faced infront of anyone, let alone the media. It’s just that our men don’t snivel and sob or let public their troubles, just as a tiger never cries. They are a breed apart, positive to the core even in the most downbeat circumstances. Its only when you do a peek-a-boo you realize that our army is plagued by something commonly known as PAS i.e. Pressure, Anxiety and Stress syndrome. It’s not only about the pays, perks and promotions; there are a number of issues which on a day- today basis take a heavy toll on an army officer and his family mentally as well as emotionally.

Indian army boasts of giving the country maximum number of beauty queens but what about the boys? Just how many Karan Thapars can you think of?
  • Majority of stations do not have good schools and one is left with only two choices- either the family stays separated or compromises on the child’s school. A third option would be of sending the child to a boarding school. But!! Think boarding school, think money, where again an army officers’ child takes a beating. Children are given high-class exposure right from the beginning like horse riding, swimming, tennis, basketball golf etc. Hence, an extremely good schooling is just a natural extension which sadly is not in many cases. A better salary might help to some extent.

  • There are instances of couples staying together only for 3-4 years in their 11-12 years of marriage. Rest goes into the field tenures. An oft repeated incident is of children calling their dads, Uncles, who come home after a long period. By the time they get used to their brand new papas its time to say goodbye again. Field tenures should not be very often.

  • When an army officer goes on a posting he along with his family has to stay for 3-4 months in a room provided by the officer mess, since a temporary accommodation is allotted only after a waiting period of 3-4 months. The temporary accommodations though comfortable stay can be nightmarish if stay over guests land up. By the time a nice and spacious permanent accommodation is allotted the posting is due again. Marriage Accommodation Project(MAP) should be started in all the stations

  • A lot of army officers are these days facing rejection in marriage proposals since girls are becoming more and more career oriented and the only job possible for an army wife is that of teaching which not many opt for.

These things though ostensibly trivial do become core issues in a soldier’s life. Something needs to be done immediately rather than merely politicising the issue or else this tribe of jubilant jolly good fellows will be an endangered one.