I know you find me in your dreams when I am not around you but trust me you always hold my heart and make fondest of all the memories when I go out on operations. I can serve my country without any fear because you are always there with your mother .You don’t know how much happiness you give me when you sent me your pictures from a Shaktimaan and I also know how your friends stared at you when you explained how Shaktimaan is just a Military truck.
I also know your new friends in your new city mocked you when you told them stories of an elephant in your backyard in Binnaguri or the picnics we had under the giant windmills in Deolali neither the Assam jungles nor chillai kalan snow in Kashmir made any sense to them but I want to tell you it should not matter to you because they are not the ones experiencing these incredible things that you have had, you were born to be different and raised unconventionally.
Your life was supposed to be an adventurous ride the moment I took you to my arms only to pass to my Commanding Officer and my other unit officers in the Military Hospital at Pathankot.
You are citizen of this great nation and you had the privilege of being raised upon every bit of it,you only should be proud of it rather seeking validation from people with limited exposure.I am also aware how you were called a spoiled brat by your Bua during family vacation that you took alone with your mom but I know you corrected her that
in the world of military brat is not a word but a badge of honour that you were ‘Born Raised and Transferred’ kid of a Soldier who always prioritised nation above you and your aspirations.
I am sorry I could not attend your last birthday as promised which your mother assured to celebrate with other unit ladies in the Officer’s Mess and hope you understand I was out with my unit far away in the desserts of Rajasthan where sun sets a temperature of 50′ The tanks and guns make integral part of my job and your civilian friends feel I am a ruthless soldier who never comes to pick you up in the school but my wallet will tell you the state of my heart,it has a little picture of you when you were a newborn. Your mother insisted how we should do a baby shoot and I am so thankful to her for this. It makes me sleep better.We have raised you (Okay,mostly your Mom has raised you) with hopes that you will hold dignity,integrity and honour as we held in our hearts. Yes, we kept you disciplined and this is precisely the reason why you are more confident in achieving goals apart from the fact that you could impress your date by your table manners but we have also (mostly me,your mother is super strict but beta I can not do anything about it) pampered you to the core.
I hope you know by now An Army family thrives over the bond of love that it carries in hearts pain,separations,conflicts that you have especially seen every Army mom dealing with are an integral part of an Army family life.
You were born in Kashmir and now your sibling is going to be born in Chennai and as always I will not be around when the little bundle of joy would arrive soon and you are waiting eagerly for me to return back to our home, the House which your mother has decorated tastefully and you also played a great role in it. Your friends were astonished to find javelins from Nagaland, bamboo huts from Assam,paper mache balls from Kashmir, Phulkari curtains from Punjab and many more artefacts from all across the globe inside your little house which looked like a barrack from outside. While staying all across Cantonments and repeating the same pattern of mantling and dismantling a MES accomodation into a home that no matter how shortly we live in each army accomodation we will always put heart and soul while decorating it because these are just not houses but memories.
We dont believe in life but we believe in moments. We believe in live life king size because we know how short life really can be. For us Home is wherever we are!
Army brats are most resilient of all. I take pride that you can stay in any weather, housing, environment, food and learn to make the best of everything. You have grown up that way. I also know the pictures where you were riding on a tank earned you lot of likes but you have to understand that tank is just not a tank in our cantonment occupying one corner carelessly but the pride of a whole regiment. And you have to learn to balance the conflicts that arise now and then within you and make the right decision…always!
At the end of my letter I’d also like to tell that you have been raised by Army parents all across the country and just like all the Army brats hold the same military essence at every different place….. singing carols, celebrating Eid and Diwali at Sarv Dharam Sthals,sharing food in Bada Khanas,leaving early for weapon or helicopter exhibition in a convoy and getting scared at every new Army Public School where the Aunty in your neighbourhood might be teaching in your class who you will be collided during every tambola night even when you tried your best to avoid her are just not unique situations but exclusive feelings. I hope now that you will go out soon and join a college you will not lose your unique identity of being an Army brat and also respect this nation and people whom your father loved so much and mother sacrificed for.
An Army Dad
If you want to know more about this exclusive Army life where pain seperation make equal part as jubilation and euphoria do read the bestseller military fictions
Pictures are exclusively clicked by a talented Army Wife and professional photographer Garima Dixit who is originally a software engineer. Her happiest moments were getting into TOP 35 Children portrait photographers in the world by 35AWARDS 2018. 35AWARDS is a major international award created in 2015 by the creators of the professional photo community 35photo.pro. Her pictures were also selected in AFNS awards. Also, many of my pictures are published in world’s renowned digital magazines like ‘Inspire’, ‘Highlight’ and ‘Gallery of Refined arts’.