Most of my Regular readers know that I am an Armywife. But some don’t so I’ll tell you anyway. I’m married to an Army officer. But just being married to one, doesn’t make you an army wife. It is a whole other ballgame.
There are a lot of rules and compulsions(Even if they say ‘It isnt compulsory’), most of which the latest generation try to disregard/avoid. We have welfares, ladies meets, formal parties, social evenings and a lot more. But the most challenging part is, packing up our stuff and moving every 2 years. You get 3 years if you’re lucky.
But why is that difficult? Well, You cannot have a stable job and even if you manage to keep one, it’ll be an online job or a teachers job. These are honestly not much if you think about it. I have met lots of armywives who are very well qualified.
I’ve met engineers, ICWA’s, CA’s, doctors, financiers, lawyers and the list goes on. A majority of these wives are now teachers; the rest have turned into artists, photographers, fashion/travel bloggers, writers and so on. We have to make the best of this entire situation.
So, when I moved to this new cantonment in Rajasthan, I instantly hated it. It was dry and boring but the cantonment was in the middle of a dense dry forest. The only thing I liked about this place was that it had a swimming pool. I enjoyed my daily routine of swimming every evening. I was staying in a small guest room, eating food from the officers mess, which I soon got bored of; The staple- dal, chawal, roti, sabzi. I, a south Indian, simply hated it.
Only one week after we had moved there, my husband was detailed elsewhere for a couple of weeks. I was so bored.
One evening I left for my usual evening swim schedule and found that the pool was closed for maintenance on an odd day because there had apparently been a swimming competetion for kids that morning. I drove back to my room, changed into cardio gear and went back for a jog. Ugh, Rajasthan, it was so hot, I couldnt jog. I then settled for a brisk walk. What I didnt notice earlier while I drove were the numerous peacocks. I had walked about 2 kms and had seen atleast 20 peacocks. I then saw a herd of deer. After a while I came across a board which said ‘Keep away from wildlife, Preserve nature’ with a picture of a Leopard on it. I started freaking out. I remembered an incident that had happened in the previous place. Just a week after we had moved there, a family of Leopard was spotted near my husband’s workplace.
I turned around and started running back to our room. I had 2 kms to go. I saw no one on the streets. I panicked but I didn’t stop. I kept running. Just when I had about half a km to go, I saw something that made my heart stop. I stopped. I saw two hyenas, one on each side of the road, looking right at me. I had only seen hyenas on animal planet before. I closed my eyes and said ‘Oh God’. Just then I heard a car horn behind me, the hyenas moved back among the shrubs. I took my opportunity and ran like I never have before. I didnt look back, reached my room, bolted the door and didnt go anywhere for a week.
Things did get better once my husband got back. I braved the streets again, with him of course. I learned from the other wives that the hyenas dont bother you, unless you bother them (and they said this with a little shrug). ‘Beware of monkeys’ they said.
So what makes life better in places like these? It is the company you keep, the friends you make and if you’re lucky, you get friends who remain for life.
And when you look back on these stories, they’re HILARIOUS.