Setting up a house, is an art!
For some this is a dream, for which they work all their lives, some get to do it twice or maybe more, but some do it every two-three years. This particular tribe is “us-the Faujis”. There is nothing special about an Indian Army Officer‘s house which is also known as Army officer Married Accommodation counted as one of privileges or facilities provided to an Army Officer. The Army accommodations are usually 2000 sq ft area of 3BHK or 4 BHK flats allotted to Major rank officers and above. The Captain rank officers get usually 2BHK flats with a small kitchen. There is nothing posh about these Army accommodations but the real benefits and perks of being an Army Officer lies in the locality of these barracks/flats in an Army cantonment. The Commanding Officers usually get huge bungalows with well maintained gardens and at some God Forsaken places or in new raisings they live even in tents or tin sheds. Then what is it that make these Army accommodations so attractive so lively and pretty? The secret lies in an ‘ Army Wife’s touch’ which transforms every Army house into an Army Home. A married officer’s accommodation is also the favorite raid target of Bachelors Officers who love to barge in at unearthly hours and use the kitchen to its maximum and then garden chairs are laid out in the little lawns but then this warmth is what completes the living in an Indian Army house. Get ready for a glimpse of life in Indian Army and journey of setting up an Army accommodation by these Army Wives themselves.
What I Thought would happen!
When watching the typical-romantic Hindi movies, I too as a young girl, would dream of a ‘chota-sa-ghar’! But of course, I never thought, setting up this ‘chota-sa-ghar’ would be such an experience in itself.
Though a little difficult initially, for us I guess, the art of setting up a house, isn’t as important as is, mastering the art of first ‘attaching and then de-attaching ourselves’ from the place we call Home!
But before becoming the self proclaimed ‘Interior Designer’, all I had contributed towards this process was helping my mum a little. The biggest help being, doing-up my own room, well, my wardrobe to be honest! The transformation of an Army Brat into a fauji wife, wasn’t as easy as I had thought. Being a true filmsy, when my husband and I were to set up for the first time, I thought the both of us would go hand in hand, discussing and deciding together, what would go where.
Picture courtesy: Mrs Parul Chaturvedi
What Really Happened!
But reality hits hard! After the truck unloaded, I lovingly asked my darling husband, “Would you come, I could use some help. I have it all planned”!
“Of course baby, thats what I’m here for”! My Fauji Husband replied
I felt so happy, but just then he peeped out of the door and shouted, “Chalo bhai, sab aa jao andar”!
And walked in a platoon of men, all ready to help! Though a little shocked and angry initially, soon I agreed that it was the best way my husband could help.
Though I let that feeling go little sooner also because of the reason that I was well acquainted with the fact that the luxury of sharing a house with my soldier is only the privilege of a peace posting and field postings would not only bring painful separations and endless waiting for my fauji but also shifting to an SF or heading towards Maika at the least. An Army Family live upto its glory till the peace postings lasts.
Picture Courtesy: Mrs Parul chaturvedi
Other Army Wives experiences
Mrs Parul Chaturvedi
Mrs Parul Chaturvedi is a Senior Officer’s Wife and have a good following on social media due to her aesthetic sense of decorating a house. Her houses are work of art and she says “We decorate our houses,make it our home and create lifelong memories. We faujis live our lives as if there is no tomorrow,pack our trunks,say goodbye and move to the new place just to start all over again. This is the life of an Army Personnel and we appreciate its value like no one else.”
Mrs Geeta Bali
My next door neighbor Geeta Bali, loves doing up her house, sometimes she follows a particular theme. She told me, “Its a hectic job, unpacking every little thing and finding the right place for it. And what increases my work is not my little boy but the bigger boy(my husband), who would then come and say this should go there and that should go there, he’s never satisfied! But then after a few days, when its all done, he’s full of praises which I think is a typical of a Fauji Husband and I feel so proud of myself.”
Mrs Shivani Singh
Mrs. Shivani Singh, who has recently set up her Oh, so beautiful house! says, “that even though my husband has now retired every corner of my house still blooms with the numerous-nostalgic memories we have woven throughout our army years.”
“Making up my nest once more,
to make it more lively, more comfortable than ever before,
For my loved ones it should bring them more light and sunshine
so when they enter to laugh n smile, n chuckle n chirp to say this nest is all Mine”!
How All Army houses are similar
Yes, if you try to generalize, most of the Fauji houses have so much in common. I mean, just as you enter a fauji’s house, you can easily guess the arm to which he belongs, because right after the host its the Cap-stand that welcomes you. You will find the big-black boxes lined up neatly in the store room, or used as a piece of furniture in the most classy manner. And of course, the archetypal Mementos, have you ever seen a fauji’s house without a huge collection. No matter how many different kinds of drinks are served, there would always be the right kind of glass, be it crystal or Borosil, for every drink, then be it whisky, beer, wine or juice! Not to forget a big Music-System, lots of chuna-gerued gamlas, the Rajasthani wind-chimes, the Indian Postal Service calendar are just a few quintessential things in a fauji house.
How all Army Houses are distinct
There is absolutely no doubt that certain things are so very emblematic in every Army house, but then if you look closely, each one is so distinctive. You can find the connect between the house and the Army family who live there. They seem to be complimenting each other. Its often surprising to see that the same set of houses are done up in such divergent ways. Big or small, ground or first floor, each Army house has something which makes it so special. Its the ambiance and the warmth that makes a stranger feel so much at home.
The house we call our own, the house we put our hearts and souls in, the house that gives us so many memories, the house with which we share our laughs and cries, the house which we know is not ours, the house that still becomes our Home!!
Also at the end of the post I’d like to extend heart felt gratitude to AWHO housing schemes for providing us our very own homes at affordable prices and providing us the feel of owning a house sooner or later where we think of settling up eventually.
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