Tuesday, May 1, 2018

19 Things I Like & Don't Like About The Fauji Wife Life

I’m married to a man in uniform. I’ve also grown up as a ‘fauji brat’ + my uncle and grandfather were men in uniform. And I have this to say: I like a lot of things about the services, but I’m also not totally gaga over it. Like all things in life, there’s always a good and a not-so-good side to every situation, and the same can be said for the service lifestyle.

Here’s what works for me (and what doesn’t work) in my life as a fauji wife/military spouse. 

Disclaimer: Your opinions may differ and this post isn’t meant to offend anyone. However, what I write here is based on what I’ve experienced as I've bumbled along in my ‘career’ as a military spouse.

Here’s my non-sugar-coated list:

What I enjoy about the service lifestyle:

1. Some of my deepest bonds have been built in the services.

2. I love how laughter and light are part of gatherings with friends. Most people in the fauj don’t take themselves too seriously, and that makes our banter lighthearted.

3. Life in the services is about living in the moment. It’s about making the most of what’s here right now because tomorrow could bring a deployment, a temporary detachment, a posting or even a dangerous mission.

4. The impromptu coffee and gupshup sessions (known as ‘bouncing in fauji parlance) are a truck load of fun.

5. You get plenty of occasions to dress-up in your favorite saris – being a sari aficionado, the sari truly is one of the star attractions for me.

6. You learn to make friends and find friends everywhere you go.

7. If the boss couple is warm, the unit can feel like your home away from home ( I’ve known a few, whom I still remember with fondness).

8. When you’re going on a posting, you’re enveloped in a blanket of affection. People drop in with hot home-cooked meals, you receive lots of tips about the new place you’re moving to and get a warm send-off, which makes the memories very special.

9. You get to savor a unique lifestyle that’s difficult to find otherwise.

10. The varied places you get to make a home in: a bungalow in the plains with a sprawling lawn and peacocks dancing in them; a cozy cottage on a mountain top; an apartment in the desert; and, of course, the dilapidated houses that you learn to turn into décor gems.

11. The peace, quiet and greenery that come with being posted to a base in the back-of-beyond are priceless.

What I am not comfortable with:

12. How your husband’s boss’s wife can literally be your boss. Some kind of hierarchy is fine and maybe necessary in the services. But sometimes people (not everyone, but a few for sure) take their roles as ‘Boss Ladies’ far too seriously, stretching it to the extreme, which can make interactions a tad complicated.

13. Water-tight protocols. Whether you’re attending a dinner party, a unit do or a welfare meet, strict protocols have me tied up in knots (as you can guess, I get very muddled up about always being just right).

14. The chaotic uncertainty of your day to day life. One moment you’re tucking into a cozy family breakfast on a weekend, and the next moment you’re husband is getting into his uniform/fatigues/overalls to go on a temporary detachment without a fixed return date. Or, you’re finally settling into your new house at the base, when you get your posting orders to pack it all up and move to another place.

15. Lack of basic amenities to set up a home office. As a serial entrepreneur, this truly gets tiring – chasing after the only internet provider at a new base for the spottiest connection on earth; endless power cuts; and, sometimes, even a decent piece of floor or a table to set up your home office on.

16. The need to dedicate a large chunk of time to lavish social commitments. As you can guess, I’m hardly a social butterfly and spending an average of 25-30 hours per week, during weekday mornings and weekend evenings at soirees doesn’t really float my boat. I’d rather just go to a good party once a month and be free to use up the rest of the time as I see fit.

17. A flurry of social opinions. Picture this: a very tightly-knit community, a small base in a back-of-beyond place, and lots of energy. When you mix it all up, you’re bound to get plenty of opinions and not all of them very positive.

18. The unsaid pressure (funnily, Never from the husband!) to be good (i.e. fit into someone else's description of a perfect fauji wife) or get your husband's AR shredded to pieces (all you need are a few encounters with this ideology & mindset to see the impact).

19. The ancient houses that are falling apart at the seams just as you move into them. Leaking roofs, walls adorned with seepage, musty cupboards, termite-eaten shelves, malfunctioning bathrooms and flaking wall-paint are part and parcel of the fauji lifestyle. Don’t men and women in uniform, who put their lives on the line every day & their families, deserve better houses to live in (c'mon, even brand new MAP quarters start falling apart within a month or two of moving into them)?

Well, thats all for the moment.

 #militaryspouse #faujiwife #military #faujiwifediaries 

1 comment:

  1. Hi Chandana ma'am, it's so nice to read something from a Fauji Wife. I can completely relate to the things you enjoy as I am a Fauji brat myself, though an unmarried one.



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