BORN
AND MARRIED INTO ARMY

 

A few
months back, I learned from my mother that a score plus five years back, I had
lived in the very same place that I call home (would continue calling it home till
June 2018, unless MES renovates the next block quicker than rumored). So
technically in a different time and space I have lived here, only in a
different capacity. If explained in a hierarchical manner, I was my father’s daughter
back then and now I am my husband’s wife. It’s quiet fascinating – the cycle of
life.

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I have
limited memories of my time here in Quetta as I was only 2.5 or 3 but I do remember
doodling on the very same walls and being told off for doing so. Those times,
when I would fill my pockets with nut shells but mama had told me to dispose of
in bin. Memories of my toddler brother wearing my father’s uniform, and
memories of a beechen tree log in a stream in Chamman that scared the wits out
of me. I remember wearing a yellow frock, holding a bouquet for a group of
aunties and posing for a photograph.  And
then my memories evolved with age. I distinctly remember going to a variety of
schools, wearing a variety of uniforms, having a hundred plus teachers, mentors
and even more friends.

The
most vivid memory of my childhood started at five. My father was posted to Bhawalpur
in a newly raised unit which he would later command. The globe shaped swimming
pool there never failed to amaze me. I remember going to my father’s office
quiet often and being treated with tea breaks. What a memory!  

Later
we moved to Okara. That was the first time, dish was introduced and installed
in our houses. I remember growing up watching Captain Planet and Scooby doo. In
evenings, we would play in our lane. A group of 30 plus kids of the same age
group, all playing and frolicking. I cannot remember a day in my adult life
that I felt the way I did back then. I remember giving and receiving Scrabble
and Monopoly as present for birthdays; for there was always a birthday every
week. From there we moved to Muzaffarabad. I don’t remember being perturbed on
moving, shifting and leaving old friends and acquaintances behind. The idea of moving
now as a wife just brings creases on my forehead. Whereas back then it was an
adventure.

Back
then everything was an adventure. The dripping tin roofs with all the pots,
tubs and crockery employed to prevent carpets from getting wet, the helipad
next to our house where we cycled all day, the haunted isolation of our house
in a valley. But now I really feel for mother whenever I put myself in her
shoes, because for an adult these all are irritants.

Trust
me my first house as an army officer’s wife was by no means better. In fact, we
had an impending danger of uninvited guests pouring in, whose abode was the
roof of our house. Yes! we shared our house with snakes. The house was a
perfect little oven in summers and you could touch the roof while standing on
bed.

From there
we moved to Gujranwala. It was the first time when I sat in a tank. Only a
bunch of girls in our country can boast about that. I remember going to Hathi
park, pedaling in the lake at Nishan-e-Manzil in evenings, attending strings
and various concerts, writing off chips and cold drink on our father’s PA
number. There were no inhibitions, nothing to stop us. We had nothing to worry
about, even our homework and tests remained our mother’s headache.

After
a lot of adventure and exploring many new places I grew up. It was time to say good
bye to my status of being daddy’s doll. But I couldn’t imagine any other life
than Army life. I couldn’t bear the thought of living in the same place for
longer than a year or two. I couldn’t bear the absence of our NCB for doing my
chores, I couldn’t imagine my life any other way; so once given option to select
my marriage proposals, I opted for the Army proposal. Soon I had my coronation.

I
realized that power and authority has many strings attached to it. With
responsibility comes worry. You have to manage everything from finances to the well-being
of every family member. You shoulder every happiness, grief, success and
failure with your spouse. You think about your child’s secure future, education
and health. You worry about your husband when he is out there defending borders
and serving the nation. You take on all the downs alone like a sponge without
letting your children notice. But this, by no means, has ended the adventure I
enjoyed and craved in my childhood. Here I am, more matured and seasoned
learning from and tremendously enjoying club activities, one dish parties, meet
ups with friends and neighbors, making everlasting bonds of friendships.
Enjoying three most mood-lifting facilities here in Staff College i.e. Al Nisa,
Barki Park and Link Up Café. When I look back to the time when I decided my
future path, I always pat myself for choosing this path.  

 

1.   BORN
AND MARRIED INTO ARMY

a.    Positives:

1)    Autobiography of an army BRAT

2)    Childhood reminiscence and adult
struggle

b.   
Negatives:

1)    Missing name and L/No

2)    Non-coherent flow of ideas

3)    Lacks information content for a general
reader.

c.   
Recommendation:

1)    Accept