A home in a dozen odd boxes- Life as a Fauji Wife

My entire home could be put into a dozen odd boxes. I live life as a fauji wife, an almost nomadic existence, moving places and making a new home every few years, or sometimes even months!!!

For the initial twenty five years of my life, home was Bangalore! Seldom had I moved out of the city, except for short holidays. And then, I was baptized into the Armed Forces fraternity. As the flight took off, soaring high into the sky, I found it difficult to come to terms with the shock and realization that the city of Bangalore would no longer be my home. But surely, I never did imagine that change would be the only constant thing, in my years ahead. And my whole notion of what a home is, would find a new meaning.

Learning to build a home almost everywhere

As I first set foot into the cantonment, that would soon become such an essential part of my life, I was impressed, by the neatly laid out roads, and the perfectly manicured lawns. And that was just that. I was soon, moving from one part of the country to another every few years, managing in cramped transit/mess rooms for months, before turning old apartment complexes into beautiful soulful homes. The wait for the “A type” dwelling, as parts of my luggage would lie packed in a garage elsewhere. And when I finally settle down in an entitled home, it would be time to move out, yet again.

Homes are what we make of it

From the process of cleaning up quarters, which could be a nerve wrecking job in rustic places, all with the creepy crawly insects, I have learnt to convert dilapidated structures into a home. Cover up the walls and its deep peg holes; make a cozy little corner to read with cushions lined against walls, and convert trunks into settees. I have learnt to be the plumber and electrician too, fixing old lamps and leaking faucets. Life surely has its own way of teaching you.

A home is not actually about the concrete rooms and structures. There’s much more to it…

A home with the gracious host

Amidst the uncertainties of postings are the social routines the home witnesses. In a kitchen belonging to a bygone era, I churn up meals in a jiffy, when young officers gate crash for a decent meal. Squealing children, parties and get together, are a norm, irrespective of the size of the home, as I double up as both father and mother, with the usually absent spouse.

Packing memories in boxes

And when it’s time to move, I pack up the household and the fond memories created, ‘cause at the end of the day it is all that matters. Life goes on for a fauji wife, ready for yet another place, ready for yet another chapter.

*Featured Image : Pexels

Further Reads

Parenting alone, a Fauji wife’s saga

I do wear his stripes

Salute to you Sepoy Rachpal Singh.

Gingerly

18 comments

  1. You know, you should write a book about your experiences in different places, Ramya! Change is fun, and since I grew up with my grandma, we moved each time my uncle, who was in defence, got transferred. I quite enjoyed it, even though it meant letting of of the familiar.

  2. Waah can totally relate right now. Living out of boxes. Also with boxes in and out of my tiny house. As u said we learn to make the most of what we get .

  3. My mami, my cousins and my bhabhi would agree with you wholeheartedly, because they too are fauji wives. Life sure does teach you all so much more than us civilians. Although it looks all glamorous from the outside, you all know so minutely that it is not all fun and games and parties ..but days away from our spouses, changing houses as often as others change their automobiles. And, yet, you people make it into a success story with your courage and your resilience. Take a bow, Ramya! A salute to a brave fauji wife from this civilian!

  4. Oh! tell me about it! I just unpacked half of the boxes. A dozen more is left in the store room somewhere and I don’t think I have the energy to take them out and set up the home. I had written something similar as to ‘Living Out of the Boxes’ hehe. Our life! 🙂

  5. It is a tough life but quite a varied one as you get to live in different places within the country. In some ways I can relate to your feelings on the frequent moves as we too had a similar routine (not as a fauji wife) but simply because we made a decision to move cities and countries as part of our decision to explore work and study opportunities! Now, for the past 10 years grounded in Bangalore and although I miss the joys of travelling, in some ways staying rooted is also a source of relief! Like Vidya says, you can put the experiences down and collate them into a book someday!

  6. Life of an army wife is never easy. But is also filled with adventure. Along with packing every two years they have to take care of army associations and cultural programs too. Mingling and making new friends. I used to watch my mom do all of that. You are truly living an exciting and fun filled life.

  7. Ramya, I have been there, done that for 22 years. My husband took voluntary retirement from Indian Navy in 2008 after completing 22 years in the service. There was a time when we moved house 5 times in a year; my parents place, mess, transit , C type accommodation to B type etc … I have left a part of my soul in all the places I have stayed in 🙂 Lovely post. Brought back memories.

  8. I’m always in awe of the people who are on a constant move. And it comes with its own set of pros and cons… moving cities, knowing new people, changing schools, getting to know the culture of every city.. all these things excite me.. but at the same time, fear of packing and unpacking is always there… loved your nuances Ramya..

    Cheers

  9. I have some army wives for friends and I know how hard it is for them to be constantly on the move. I associate those large trunks with a family from the army moving in or out. And I love the ease with which they settle down and make a place their own.

  10. I have a lot of respect for peeps who move so often as I am in the same boat; albeit not the armed forces one!! I live on rent too and the fixing up of a new place to my comfort is such a challenege; its taken me 4 months in this present new abode and things are still not 100% done.

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