The new age “fauji” wife

Discussion in 'Members Corner' started by Ray, Oct 5, 2013.

  1. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    THE NEW AGE “FAUJI” WIFE -

    a story by Vikram Karve

    Cast of Characters

    H – Husband [An Army Officer – a Major (33)]

    W – Wife [The Army Officer’s “Fauji” Wife (30) – an MBA from a leading B-School, she is a career woman working for a top FMCG MNC]


    The Major H and his wife W are sitting at the dining table, having dinner.


    H: How was the day?

    W: Hectic. Very Hectic. We’re running against the clock preparing for this sudden top level meeting. And how about you? How was your day?

    H: Terrible. Just wasting time preparing for the Raising Day celebrations. The Old Man is all hyper – he is sweating for his ACR and is driving us crazy with his micromanagement. He wants Officers to do the job of NCOs. Today he made me stand all day to supervise the placing of flower pots in the officers’ mess garden – and he personally came there ten times to shout at me. It’s bloody humiliating. This peacetime soldiering gets on my nerves – it’s much better to be fighting in the field.

    W: Anyway, keep your Saturday evening free.

    H: Saturday evening?

    W: Yes. We are having a big office party at the Taj. The head honcho and all the big shots are coming over from abroad. My boss has told me to bring you along – the head honcho wants to meet all the spouses. So get your best suit ready.

    H: Are you crazy?

    W: Why? What happened?

    H: Our Raising Day Party is on Saturday evening. It’s the main function of the raising day celebrations and all the top brass is coming. I told you that long back, didn’t I?

    W: Yes, you did tell me. But now this has suddenly come up. As far as I am concerned this office party at the Taj is an official function – you can say it is a working dinner, an essential part of my work – and I have to attend. And you better come too.

    H: How can I come? I have to be present at the Raising Day party. Attendance is compulsory for all officers – it’s like being on duty. And remember, as an army wife, you are expected to accompany me to unit functions and social occasions. The CO has ordered that all wives are to be present for the Raising Day function. As it is, his wife is bickering at your absence from the rehearsals.

    W: The CO has ordered? The bloody cheek! Who the hell is your CO to order me around? You are in the army. Not me. Do you understand? I am not in the army. I am free to do as I please. You just tell your CO that. And as far as rehearsals are concerned, please make it clear to his wife, that so-called “First Lady” of yours, that I have better things to do than parading myself on the stage displaying my physical assets and nor am I interested in prancing around in front of everyone lip-syncing those vulgar Bollywood numbers.

    H: Okay. Okay. Don’t take part in the entertainment show. But you have to be there as a hostess.

    W: Hostess?

    H: Well, all lady wives are required to stand at the entrance to welcome the guests. And then you have to usher and look after the senior ladies. I think you have been especially allocated to look after the wife of the GOC. The 2 I/C said that you were the most polished and smart lady wife in the unit.

    W: Hey, I think you are missing the point. I am not coming for your party. You are coming for my party.

    H: No. You will have to come. It is your duty as an army wife.

    W: Well, when I married you I made it clear that my career was important to me. Maybe other army wives like being “eye candy” appendages of their husbands but I do not intend playing “second fiddle” to you.

    H: Please understand. The CO will spoil my ACR if you don’t come. He specifically told me that you are to be present for the Raising Day function. As it is he is angry that you don’t take part in AWWA and Ladies Club activities.

    W: So how does it matter if he spoils your ACR. In any case, your promotions are by time scale and seniority – you just have to pass time and wait patiently for your turn and when your time comes you will be promoted in due course. For me, I have to slog hard against cutthroat competition and deliver results to earn every promotion. That’s why I am a senior manager today at such a young age, because of sheer performance and merit. And that is the reason why I earn more than double of what you get in the army. And I have much better career prospects than yours. My boss says that they consider me a high-flyer.

    H: I know all that. There is no need to boast. If you don’t want to come, don’t come. I will make up some excuse and say that you are not well or something.

    W: Tell me one more thing – suppose you don’t attend your raising day party – what will happen?

    H: Are you crazy? They will take action against me. They are sure to give me an adverse ACR.

    W: But they can’t throw you out of the army, can they? Can they throw you out, just for not attending a party?

    H: No. I don’t think they can.

    W: In my case they can – my boss will fire me if I am missing when the head honcho wants to meet me. And if I make a good impression, the sky is the limit. There is a position open in Singapore and I have been short-listed. There are three others but I stand a good chance. That’s why my boss wants you to come – so the head honcho can size you up.

    H: Size me up?

    W: I told my boss about you – that you were an engineer, an M. Tech. from an IIT and you were frustrated in the army doing mundane jobs.

    H: Frustrated? Who told you that I was frustrated?

    W: Didn’t you tell me how humiliated you felt when you were told to stand all day and supervise the placing of flower pots in the officers’ mess garden? And don’t they make you run the canteen? And make you do all sorts of odd jobs in the mess? Are these run-of-the-mill jobs worthy of an M. Tech. from an IIT? A brilliant guy like you is just wasting his time and withering away his life, and your talent is unappreciated and unrewarded.

    H: But what can I do?

    W: You come with me for my party on Saturday and meet the head honcho. Maybe he has something in mind for you – they may even make you an offer.


    EPILOGUE

    Let me give you two apocryphal endings to this story.


    Ending 1

    W like a dutiful “fauji wife” skipped her office party and accompanied her army husband H to the raising day party.

    Her gesture was much appreciated by her husband H

    With her poise and polish W succeeded in impressing the top brass and their wives and the CO was delighted with H.

    Her boss was furious with W for being absent from the important event.

    The head honcho expressed his disappointment at not meeting W.

    Though the boss did not fire her, W was sidelined for the lucrative and coveted Singapore assignment and W was passed over for promotion.

    Frustrated at being marginalized, W quit her job and took up a new one, but now as far as her career was concerned, she decided to play second-fiddle to her husband’s career and put in all her efforts as a typical ambitious “fauji wife” to boost her husband’s career.

    When her husband H was posted out, W quit her job, and gave up her career to become a full-time homemaker.

    W now accompanies her husband wherever he is posted.

    As an ideal “fauji wife” W is playing a great role in bolstering and promoting her husband’s army career by her stellar participation in AWWA, Ladies Clubs and other social activities.

    H and W lived happily ever after.


    Ending 2

    H did not attend the Raising Day party.

    He accompanied his wife W to her office event at the Taj.

    For this H was admonished by his CO who vowed to finish him off and ruin his career.

    At the office party, W introduced her husband H to the head honcho.

    Everyone was impressed by H.

    There was a sudden announcement – W was promoted and given the coveted Singapore assignment.

    And then, there was even more surprise – the head honcho offered H a very lucrative position, also in Singapore, so that they could live together.

    W would be head of marketing and H would be head of technology.

    H quit the army (helped by the adverse ACR his CO had given him).

    H took up the job offer and joined W in Singapore.

    W and H lived happily ever after.







    __._,_.___
     
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  3. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    Very interesting. Ending No. 2 is better.
     
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  4. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    That is why there is a huge shortage in the officer cadre at the lower ranks?
     
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  5. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Moral of the story is for IA officers to not marry very ambitious career oriented women. :)

    Most army walas probably end up in arranged marriages and usually the parents get them sundar shushil kanya "fit to be" a fauji ki biwi
     
  6. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Actually, I know some, who live apart since both are ambitious and want to make a career of their job, and at the same time, make pots and pots of money!
     
  7. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    @Ray sir,

    I think I would prefer the "Option 3"

    H went ahead with the Raising day party, informed his CO that W won't be attending as she has prior commitment at her work. H explains to his CO that it would be ethically and morally wrong to force W to do something contrary to her career interests, just like his CO would have frowned upon if H skipped the parade to accompany W on Raising Day.

    W goes ahead to her work party without H, explaining to her boss the same thing as above.

    H & W are married to each other, and not each other's careers.

    If either H or W has to face some discrimination in their respective careers because of this, they both take it in their strides with heads held high, and get on with their respective careers.

    This, IMHO, displays much stronger character and moral/ethical standards.
     
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  8. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

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    Option-1, W is the only looser, Optio-2, both H & W are winners, Option-3, Both end up loosers.
     
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  9. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    When both father & mother fight because of issues related to Ladies club & other activities it is children of army officers who suffer the most.
     
  10. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    Ladies Club and AWWA should not be compulsory for family members of army officers.
     
  11. boris

    boris Regular Member

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    Sir, is option 2 possible for a Major in permanent commission? Are officers regardless of their entry allowed to resign before the commission ends[like 10 years for sc]?

    Another question:
    If an officer is in a SF unit, is the CO still very particular that his wife better be present at any xyz function?
     
  12. Yusuf

    Yusuf GUARDIAN Administrator

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    Option 2 Army is the loser
     
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  13. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    Sir, if you do a risk analysis, Option 2 has the highest risk, followed by Option 1, and Option 3 with the least risk.

    There is no surety that H would be given an offer, if he becomes an absentee to join W. There is no surety that if W gets fired because of ladies club, H will get a career boost.

     
  14. pkroyal

    pkroyal Regular Member

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    Impressive, some one please clarify to me what is AWWA an NGO ??
     
  15. pmaitra

    pmaitra Moderator Moderator

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    Moral of the story, Saturdays and Sundays should not be used to host important events. Saturdays and Sundays are for the family. Any boss who expects his employees to work on Saturdays and Sundays needs a metaphorical kick in the butt, and if he whines about work culture, then he needs a tight slap across his face, again a metaphorical one.

    Plebs will toil away nonetheless, to impress their bosses, in this story, the CO and the Honcho.

    Some members might be managers in this forum. If you guys expect your employees to work over weekends, for no overtime, then sorry guys, you need to get a real job and not eat off of others' sacrifices.
     
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  16. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Well, it all depends on the temperament of the CO.

    One must not forget that the unit is an extended family, which includes all ranks (i.e. officers, JCOs, and OR). We work for each other and their families comfort and join in their moments of joy and also sorrow.

    Therefore, it is upto the individual to decide his priorities.

    A one off not coming, even for a Raising Day, is understandable. But then there are those ladies, who make it a point not to attend 'since they do not come under the Army Act'.

    I say that the point is taken.

    But then the lady should also remember that she should also reject the facilities given by the military like free medical treatment and medicine, free hospitalisation (except food), sharing her husband's entitled rations, the schooling of her children in Army schools, the railway concessions and the free warrant, the use of the Club, and a host of other facilities. After all, as the lady says she is not under the Army Act, and so why enjoy the facilities extended under the Service conditions to the husband, if she does not fulfil her obligation to the unit as an officer's wife?

    But that the lady will not forsake!

    So, you be the Judge.
     
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  17. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Let me explain this issue so that you all can see a different perspective.

    The Army is not a philanthropic organisation.

    It might not sound good, but there is no Saturday, Sunday or anything 'for the family'.

    The unit is THE FAMILY!

    That is what creates the bond, wherein people are ready to follow the leader into battle, knowing fully well that they may not return, but even if the Govt forgets, THE FAMILY will look after the ones left behind.

    Let me give you an example, even though it is not of an unit.

    My NDA course is celebrating the 50th anniversary in Dec.

    We are all retired and quite a few are living on merely the pension which is not really much (some below :inr: 25,000 with DA).

    Yet we are contributing heavily for the get together and ALSO PAYING FOR THE TRAVELLING EXPENSES, STAY AND FOR THE EVENTS FOR ALL OF OUR COURSEMATES' WIVES (I would not be surprised that many are working and would not require this, but still we will pay!). That is what is called CAMARADERIE that has been built up by doing things that normally one would avoid, but doing it for the good ot a team, like organising Raising Days and ensuring by standing at the Officer Mess driveway that the flower pots have been 'genru-ed' and are in a lineI

    Discipline, as one of the popular definition goes, is cheerful subjugating the individual will, for the betterment of the Team!

    I know all this sound funny and even stupid to many, but then this is what drives the army to ensure that you sleep comfortably under the very blanket of security that the military provides by standing a lonely vigil at the frontier and occasionally going to war when the Govt wants it to, knowing fully well that one may not return.

    I am not romanticising the army, all I am trying to say is what is required to make it tick as an organisation that is called to do illogical things like dying for a country, even when its Govt does not care!
     
    Last edited: Oct 6, 2013
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  18. Abhijeet Dey

    Abhijeet Dey Regular Member

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    The full form of AWWA is Army Welfare Wives Association.

    Source:
    indianarmy.nic.in
     
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  19. Ray

    Ray The Chairman Defence Professionals Moderator

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    Read the thread Rum, Bum and Mouthorgan and you will realise what ridiculous things we have to do that in the long run adds to the psychology of obeying orders, that leads to efficiency and leads to walking into the Valley of Death as Tennyson wrote in the Charge of the Light Brigade.
     
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  20. Decklander

    Decklander New Member

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    The problem is that an officer is always on Parade in armed forces. as fighter pilots, even we had to keep our whereabouts known to our senior Pilot(Flight Commander). God knows when the need may arise.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 6, 2013
  21. arnabmit

    arnabmit Homo Communis Indus Senior Member

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    Well, in that case, H has married a bad apple... err... Wife. W is an Alpha female and H will never get any cooperation from her, and H should set expectations elsewhere accordingly.

    It is a sad marriage indeed if any one of the spouse, or both, forsakes cooperation and harmony for the sake of their respective careers.
     

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