Tuesday, July 30, 2013

When the grass became greener

Ten magnanimous years in a profession which was the most revered one for me, the decision to hang my uniform although conscious was not an easy one. Times which zealously reverberated with indelible pride and honour came to an end a year ago. Exigencies of service have always ruled the life of men in uniform. Mine, was no different. I opted for release after ten years of service, to look after my two doting sons.

Getting off the boots, life was an intangible mix of aspirations and apprehensions. The evolving roles had to be realized and justified. Although I was not new to the demanding exacts of a mother of two as I had been handling the same alone mostly but the startling combination of the varied roles - mother, wife and an army wife took a toll on me.  I must admit that the start was enormously disastrous coupled with a severe feeling of loss of identity. I kept gathering the ends in the heterogeneous realms of a divergent world. The harder I tried, the worse life became. And all the emotional turmoil led to most unexpected – psychosomatic disorders in the body. Vitamin deficiencies, thyroid imbalance, ovarian cyst, anxiety – you name it and I had it. It was on one such awful day that while walking out of the bed and in order to reach a glass of water I collapsed. An immense feeling of distress and disbelief gripped me all over. I was numb and shocked to see myself in such a state.

Life is full of phases which are pivotal in shaping our future. It is a make it or break it situation every time. Not realizing this, many a times we get stuck in overcoming our own fears and narrow concerns. That was the day, I not only arose to consciousness but also to an awakening and promised myself to transcend all my inhibitions. Burying the past behind I was ready to start it all new. Armed with a strong will power to make life better I took the first step. I enrolled for a correspondence course of my interest. It served two purposes. First, it took care of my wandering mind and secondly I indulged in something which I always wanted to do. I also engaged myself in pursuing my hobby areas. With every passing day my belief strengthened that stress, is beneficial when taken in small doses. It actually pushes us to achieve our goals in a faster and better manner, but an overdose paralyzes and makes you incapable of doing anything. New learnings widens our horizons as it unblocks our negative connotations. The way my blocks started clearing it appeared as a miracle to me. The issues in life became challenges which I started fulfilling.

My biggest mantra in those tough times was ‘Never say NO’ attitude. Never think that you are incapable of doing a task. Probably you might not know how to do it but that can always be learnt. I absolutely love the famous line ‘Dar ke aage hi jeet hai’. Fears have to be faced in order to be defeated. And also our actions have to be backed by the unfathomable power of thoughts which can easily be summed up in three simple words. Thoughts become things!

You can have, do, or be anything you want. You attract what goes in your mind. Every thought of yours is a real thing – a force”
       -    The Secret

With the mending times the pace of life took its toll. An improved self gave way to bigger responsibilities to be fulfilled. The daunting tasks which lay ahead of a participatory homemaker, caring mother and vivacious army wife got easier as a beaming self surfaced which withstood the test of times. However, the challenge of getting into the shoes of an effulgent lady wife took some time due to the preconceived notions and perceptions. But even this barrier was broken when I laid my guards down and opened to a new life. A life which brought the good fortune of rediscovering self amidst latent talents exercised during varied opportunities. This was the time when I realized that life is same in army in both the roles whether you don the greens or hold the fort from the other side. It is about management and army grills that well in us. Having been privileged of being on both sides of the fence the grass just became greener for me.

Calling it quits as a serving officer was not a loss of identity. I understood that nobody took away the individuality from me. Infact, it got better as it gave me opportunity to justify my other multi-faceted roles with the existing identity of an ex-fauji. I knew that Army is an attitude. It is a way of life which never changes. 


  1. I can so relate to this feeling of loss of identity.I too was a working professional for 11 years and made a conscious decision to quit to be able to join my husband.A decision which makes me a happier person than I would have been had I not chosen to quit and be with him,but it surely at times(far too many times.. my husband would say.. being on the receiving end;-)!!) Leaves me with this vaccum and a feeling of being lost.I too have been developing medical ailments,which should not happen as I am leading a far healthier lifestyle than I was when I was working.But reading your thoughts has infused positivity or I may say a different perspective of dealing with your own decisions!Yess , burying the past is the mantra! I too would from now on, take this as an oppurtunity to rediscover a' new me', like you.And it just gets easier when one has a friend in her husband,my husband my friend forever!Thank you for posting this and looking forward to reading more on oopsna.

    1. Hi gagan. Firstly thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. The problem faced by you and me is not new. Kudos for the women empowerment coming up a big way. But its a phase which we have to face and overcome. You are in a shade better position as you have your undisturbed time and attention to invest in your interests. Go ahead plunge yourself in the not so discovered world around and i'am sure you'll also find your way out. The world is waiting for you. All the best for the ventures ahead.

  2. Hi Uppu... Nice to see u pursue ur dreams. Life is full of ups and downs. U have conquered the responsibilities in Olive greens and now its time to face the world with open arms. And knowing my friend, u will do it wonderfully well.

  3. Thanks deepak for reading my efforts and appreciating it. I am sure i will go far with my friends efforts.

  4. "Army is an attitude, it is a way of life" - aptly expressed.
    Hi Upma,
    Nicely written post.
    You have rightly said that: "Calling it quits as a serving officer was not a loss of identity"
    It is important to be yourself, create your own unique identity - especially important for armed forces officers to ensure that the service does not swamp their own personal identity.
    Now it's time for you to explore your creative side.
    Looking forward to some interesting writing on your blog.
    All the best
    Vikram Karve
    Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve