What does it take to be an army wife? Well hear it from a real army wife herself’Mrs. Jaya Capoor’ A very pretty and dynamic lady who is the third generation army kid and an army wife! Her husband is the commanding officer (CO) currently which means that she is the first lady of her unit and that actually means that if she will ask for a biscuit then some thousands of men would run, compete and fetch her that biscuit. (What? you took it seriously? Haha! But yeah, she definitely commands the respect of that many men and many more families who look up-to her for guidance, compassion and direction. What more! Know the real life of an indian army wife by yourself.
Tell us something about you.
I am a third generation army kid. I am proud to be an infantryman’s daughter, an electronic engineer’s wife and daughter in law.I am an extrovert by nature, Shifting schools, travelling in special trains during regiment movement, driving tanks etc…is something very familiar to us “Fauji Kid”. I had no problem in commuting in local trains or running after buses in Mumbai during early part of my career in the hospitality industry. I enrolled myself in NCC during my college days in Nainital and represented my state at the Republic Day Parade in Delhi.Representing at the Indo Canadian Youth Exchange Program was an amazing experience in itself. I had the opportunity to see the world and had a great exposure to the outside world.The fun continues by being an Army wife and daughter in law to a fauji.
How is a regular day in your shoes?
My regular day is pretty much the same as any other wife….except, put in a lot of phone calls, a lot of planning for the various portfolios I take care by the virtue of my husband’s appointment. I have to teach kids, make sure they don’t miss their classes or routine. I also ensure that MIL is comfortable. Then everyday there would be someone baiting on me that I d solve there problem like a superwoman which I try my best to do. Then yes nights are followed by endless invitations of parties, events, social work. These are all part of being an army wife. Days are hectic but they have always been like this for me.
So How was Jaya ‘before’ and Jaya an ‘army wife’ ?
Jaya before was a “live wire”. “outspoken, emotional, confident, enthusiastic, short tempered,….probably like many of my age. I am happy, I have really lived my life on my own terms before marriage. I had supporting parents and a brother who used to stand by me like a rock. I married very early. As a young bride I was always very conscious of my background…..I always felt that I had a huge responsibility on my shoulders more so becoz I belong to be fauji background. I can’t go wrong. I can’t insult my parents , hubby or in laws. May be that is that one feeling common to all the army brats married to army officers! This is a journey to become a perfect army wife.
So you have been an ‘Army Brat’, ‘Army girlfriend’ and ‘Army wife’. Tell us the difference.
Being an army brat ,Army Girlfriend or army wife is all the same for me.I had fun then and I am having fun now…….I think it all boils down to whether you are happy or not. People change, army has changed….for sure…..but the beauty lies in seeing the positive side and making the most of what life offers you.
As your Mother in law had been an army wife herself, Tell us how is she different than rest of the ‘saas’
Well , Yes there is a huge difference between a army mother in law and rest of the saas. She is super cool, smart, tactful, intelligent, talented,working, practical and the best part is she has seen it all! There is a mutual understanding and we both respect each other spaces. She understand my pressure and supports me in my endeavours. Like if you meant those nagging and bitching about ‘Bahus’ sort of ‘Saas’ then She is definitely not the one! The good thing about us is that she has also been an army wife and so she understands my pressure as army wife. Haha
Can you give us a sneak peek into this mysterious world of ‘Army Wives’?
Ohhh…Army wives have very interesting lives. There is something always exciting and unpredictable about them. They are multi-taskers for sure! They have to manage it all. The kids, welfare, ladies meet, parties, duties as mother, wife, working professional…all rolled into one. Then at times you will have to attend four events a day and dressing up every time differently. Waving, smiling, encouraging families at a welfare in a full neck totally covered sari then attending a ladies meet wearing your lehngas and may be competing for ‘karwa chauth queen’ and instantly come back home change into those skirts and hats for a ‘Goan theme’ party at the same day. Not to forget making khichdi for your kids as he won’t eat there. So, the list is endless and mystery is never ending. So don’t ask…hah!
Okay now please give us an insider’s scoop of army parties!
Army parties are fun ! You meet a lot of people. Dancing, drinking, eating and all other fun stuffs are just part of our lifestyles. I like to party, meet people and get dressed in the finest of saris or other clothes. It’s like living the royalties. A cocktail in your hands while walking among men in uniforms and enjoying their chivalry. Now that is just the privilege of army wives!
What are the Pros and Cons of being a fauji wife?
A safe and secure army life , great environment, great lifestyle, no economic stress to make ends meet unless you are the Gucci or Armani types then for sure have a second income source. You meet some great people with varied interests, exciting life.Well….for some life can be suffocating…same people, same faces, same talk, whether you like them or not.Less exposure to the outside world . Though one tends to get bored of course of the new recipes, Mhow paintings, Hyderabadi pearls or Kashmiri chinar jewellery. Thanks to the social media, one can really get frustrated off if your dear friend is honeymooning in Seychelles and you are sitting in a dilapidated guest room in Char Dwar ( for some it is somewhere in north east of india).
So that is fauji life…you never know what it throws at you!
So you are commanding too. What all changes?
The fact that you are always being watched! Haha…and the fact that whatever happens wrong it will be blamed on you as if you are responsible for every god damn thing on this planet.
Tell us something about the challenges you face as the first lady of your unit?
I love the challenges that this appointment brings. I feel responsible for the well-being of every family that is part of my regiment. I pray to god that never consciously or unconsciously I hurt the sentiments of any person. God has been kind so let me make a difference somewhere , sometime. Maintaining harmony in the unit is quite challenging sometimes too.
It feel great to be a CO sahab’s memsaab or you miss just being a simple army wife?
Like they always say, it’s lonely at the top! But then everyone wants to get to the top. There is a certain charm in being the first lady but with position comes the responsibility. I enjoy myself and try to keep my life as uncomplicated as possible like before. I try my best to lead a simple life Although I miss going out for those long bike rides, talking over tea for long hours with my friends, wearing whatever I like!
Do you ever regret not giving time to the kids as much as you want?
No , I don’t regret that I am not able to give time but what I do regret sometimes is that I am not able to give them that many great opportunities that their friends of that age get in the civil. My kids loose friends every 2 years, it’s difficult to follow any regime or learn any new hobby since we keep moving. Constant shifting effects their focus!
Is it true that an army wife has to shed off her career dreams just to be with husband?
I wouldn’t say shed off her dreams but it’s true she needs to sacrifice a lot and compromise. She has to be more adaptive to the army lifestyle and support her hubby if she wants to stay with him. Although these days ladies are more mature and making best of both the worlds,working from home, freelancing and what not! Things are lot better now. On a lighter note If you can’t share the same dream with your man in olive green then change the dream. …..haha …find another one!
How is a day shopping as an army wife? They do shop a lot, right?
Haha! Yes we shop a lot but see take it as we don’t just shop but collect memories of constant changing places around us. Whether it is a Tanka from northeast or Buddha from Bhutan or Pochampally sari from Hyderabad, they are all precious because they remind us of our times there!
Tell us the saga of an army wife during deployment?
Nerve wrecking! The lady has to be a pillar of strength for the children, OR’s wives, her parents, her in-laws while wiping never ending tears of missing ‘him’.Yeah we miss our husbands. Okay? but then this is the life we signed up for and its very stressful. The constant fear of losing her husband is looming over her all the time. Skipping a heartbeat every time the phone rings and keeping her fingers crossed when she hears the news is something common in our lives.
Is it true infidelity is common among army wives?
Why blame army wives?? It is prevalent in every section of the society and the army is an extension of the society as well. Believe me, I haven’t come across a single case. I think every person lives their life on their own terms so let it be…..enjoy….a little flirting always spices up the life……hahaha!
Is it true ‘Men in uniforms’ make the best husbands?
Uniformed men do value their wives!. Manners, values and ethos are ingrained in them and gentleman officers follow that. They will do all their work by themselves. These are knights and take good care of their princesses. Chivalry is just a routine. We are pampered lot of women!
Any pearls of wisdom to would be Army wives?
Eat, Pray, Love……really…life in the army changes dramatically..it is so unpredictable so make the most of it……eat well… you never know what’s cmg next. Pray for the safety for your near and dear ones and love like there is no tomorrow
And yes always remember you will live, breathe and walk among finest of men. It’s all worth it.Cheers!
Thank you ! Mrs. Jaya Capoor for opening your heart out and not giving any diplomatic answer.
Hope you enjoyed folks.!
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And you want toexperience the love life of an army wife then you must read this passionate love story of an army officer. An extraordinary tale of love,life,laughter,friendship,betryal and war where a para commando deifes death to unite with his love.
Do check out the link you got nothing to lose and it costs less than your coffee.