“Pyar karna aasaan hai, Nibhana mushkil”!! I’m sure just like me many of you must have heard this dialogue numerous times in numerous Hindi movies!! But as we grow older, we understand that there is a life beyond the Hindi Movies. The Real Life!But for us army wives, things are a tad different. For us, Ek fauji se Pyar karna was far more “Aassan”, and Pyaar Nibhana” is way more “mushkil”.The sacrifices the army wife makes, are numerous. The kind of life she lives, is hard.Its rightly said that the Job of an Army wife is the world’s toughest job in many ways.
Apart from the separation, the living alone, the single-parenting, the multi-tasking, the moves etc etc., one of the biggest challenge an army wife faces is to let go off her career dreams! And trust me it is more arduous than it sounds. Living in small towns, villages and far-off places, where, forget internet connection, even a decent mobile network is a thing hard to find. This is gruelling and often makes a fauji wife push her career goals to the back seat.
And it is hard for an urban new age modern woman who was raised with her own aspirations and environment to embrace a lifestyle which if not prehistoric is certainly very laid back and fixed. It demands courage and conviction just like any gentleman officer.
Mrs Neha Khokhar
Being a Home Maker is a personal choice, it cannot be forced upon. Many Army wives prefer to be at home, pampering her husband and in turn getting pampered herself. One such young and stay-at-home army wife is Mrs. Neha Khokhar, who recently celebrated her fourth Anniversary with her Army Officer husband.
“Ours was a love marriage. I happily quit my job at Thomas Cook, to settle with the love of my life. And I have no regrets, as ‘marriage’ didn’t stop me from growing personally. I completed MBA in tourism management. But still, as they say the best qualification of army wives is B.Ed so I have done that too, just to keep all the options open!! I’ve no qualms about leaving my job and shifting with my husband. He supports me in the decisions I take in life. As of now I’m pursuing my further studies. I am proud of the life I have chosen!! Of course there are times when it becomes exasperating as one has to undertake so many responsibilities. But its also satisfying to be able to make a difference in someone’s life and I feel privileged to be a small part of this distinguished family. My advise to all the eligible bachelorette planning to marry an army man, Gear up to be a jack of all the trades, as you never know what all roles you’ll have to play as the Army Wife, it might seem scary, but trust me it’s a lot of fun.”
There are some lucky ones who find a natural affinity to the so called “Most-Appropriate profession for an army wife”-Teaching! I remember when I got engaged, I was pursuing a career in Fashion Designing, and was often told by people around, “Fashion Designing is okay, but now that you are marrying an Army Officer, better that you do your B.Ed too”! And I’m glad I did. No matter where you go, there would at least be a school or Army Public School in an Army cantonment at the least.
Mrs Monica Singh
Let me introduce you to another fauji wife, who too loves this profession, that always keeps you young,, the very elegant and very loved teacher, Mrs. Monica Singh!!
“To say that juggling a job with all the Army commitments is difficult, would be an understatement. But a fauji wife does it with so much balance and planning that appears to be a cakewalk. It is this spirit of the army wife that makes her popular at her workplace for she is efficient and reliable and always keeps up her other commitments. You would be forgiven for thinking that in between the various coffee mornings, ladies meet, welfare meets and dining-ins & dining-outs, she would have a bad record of regularity at her work place, but here again she’ll surprise you, because she rarely takes leave and meets all deadlines. So it’s not about whether it’s easy or difficult it is about the ability of an army wife who makes it achievable. And that too with a lot of grace,always”!
There are others for whom this might not be a viable option! And why not, every woman has all the right in the world to give wings to her dreams. Thankfully times are charging, and the fear of turning into hausfraus is not limited to the women only, even the men have started to feel that way. And today’s Army wife, just like her civilian counterpart is scaling new heights in every profession that she wishes to opt for. The journey is onerous, there is uncertainty at every turn, but just like her soldier, the army wife too doesn’t give up!
Mrs Pragati Shukla
One such fellow army wife is Mrs. Pragati Shukla, a Nuclear Scientist by posted at Bhabha Atomic Research Center, Mumbai. Not just that, she is also associated with an NGO in Mumbai and teaches basic maths to kids.A trained yoga teacher she also gives free yoga sessions. She met an Indian Army Major in Deolali Maharastra, and soon fell in love with the charming young officer.
“Its a blessing to be wedded to olive green but at the same time its job full of responsibilities.I am thankful to all my unit-ladies in the past and present who helped me in grooming and adjusting to the army family.I could get exposure of arranging ladies meet and welfares etc with their help. On an average I went to unit three times every year. When my Army Officer hubby was in Mhow for JC. I used to go there every Friday and return to Mumbai,Monday morning.I used to run from office to catch my flight and mostly used to be the last passenger to board. It felt that flight crew also became a family.Making every weekend special, we explored each n every corner of Mhow in those 70 days. Balancing is difficult but not impossible. I faced many challenges and difficulties, but after going through a miscarriage, then my pregnancy, lonely-visits to the doctor, often sleeping on a wet-with-tears-pillow I think it has made me stronger. With my maternity leave going on, I’m able to spend quality time with my husband and the unit members and have learnt to live life qualitatively not quantitatively. What’s most important is that both of us put in our best. Despite all the testing-times and hardships, I’d never trade my life as a fauji wife for anything.”
A professional or a home-maker, an Army Wife holds the mantel of being an all-rounder. And why not, multi-tasking is the basic trait of every woman, especially the army wife. She fulfills the multifarious duties and responsibilities that she carries when she wears the Silent ranks. She maybe a teacher, a lawyer, a doctor, a writer, an entrepreneur etc. she has learnt to don each responsibility with success. Standing strong, sometimes with, sometimes behind her Soldier Husband, proud of him and his choices, she can juggle the roles very efficiently and with equanimity, and is fully capable of turning lemons into lemonade!
I THINK LIKE A MAN,
I ACT LIKE A LADY,
I LOOK LIKE A GIRL,
I WORK LIKE A HORSE,
I AM AN ARMY WIFE!!
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