Digging through my saree trunk (all fauji wives will have their sarees neatly packed in a prized steel trunk) I came across this simple georgette maroon bandhni with the typical thin zari border lying somewhere near the bottom. It had not seen the daylight since many years.The moment I laid my eyes on it…memories came flooding.Oh Yes…this was one of those sarees that came in my tatva.. (the trousseau that comes from the husband’s side). I was getting married to a young lieutenant …fresh from the academy …hardly one and a half years of service in the army whose first posting was in Jamnagar ,Gujarat…hence it was probably the first ever saree he would have picked up for his would be bride. This is one saree that I have worn so often in the past ….immediately after my marriage when relatives and neighbours used to pour in every day to have a glimpse of the noton bou(new bride) as it was easy to drape….the first ever family welfare I attended in the unit was in this saree because I was advised by the husband to wear something which makes me look like the newly wed wife of the young officer since my first family(the batallion will always be my first family because I’ve spent more years of my married life here than with my in laws) was going to see me for the first time. He did not mention though that a One Tonne was detailed to carry the ladies to the welfare centre and the vehicle had a nylon rope hanging at the back which we were supposed to hold and haul ourselves up..there was no other way to get inside the vehicle. .almost in tears at the proposition but did it nonetheless in this very saree…after all life in the army is not a bed of roses …there are challenges at every corner…not only for our Men in Uniform but also for us… the pillars behind them. I dedicate this post to all the fauji wives and families who are like the silent pillars of strength behind the soldiers….be it packing and unpacking at the blink of an eye…making a fabulous home of the dilapidated government accommodation. …organising parties even at an hour’s notice…supporting their kids each time they change schools. ..never thinking of a stable career for themselves. .not expecting their husbands to be present always for anniversaries or birthdays or family occasions. ..staying for years in the most godforsakenplaces ….manning the home front when the man of the house is busy manning the borders….all with a smile.Sarees do have stories..I just realised it.
Jai Hind.

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