It’s not only the army officers who have sworn their lives to serve the nation but also the parents, siblings, and partners of those officials who devoted their lives to extending every support so that they can perform their duties effortlessly.
India is said to have the most number of veteran widows. Reminiscing the days when her husband was in the army, Gayatri Bohre, the wife of a late Brigadier J.K Bohre, who served in the army for 35 years said, “Although there were hardships, whenever we were together, those were the best days of my life. Being an army officer’s wife, I eventually got independent. Where I took care of the house and family, he was out there serving the nation.”
She further added that not many people really acknowledge the hardship of a jawan, things might seem simpler to us from a distance but until one is out there by themselves then they may realise what it really takes to be an army officer and be posted in extreme locations like snow-filled boarders, the deserts, etc.
Eventually, the children whose parent/s are in the army also sacrifice being away from their fathers or mothers. Speaking to Outlook, the children also narrated their tales of how they are even part of the army via their parents.
Kavya, a student whose father is in the air force said, “My dad had been posted to 10 locations. The toughest situation to overcome was when we suddenly got the news that my father's helicopter has been shot with high-speed rifle bullets in a low-level flying activity in a Naxalism affected area, I was a young girl and we were extremely worried, but we were relieved as after a few days we got the news that everyone inside the helicopter is safe.”
She added,“Honestly I quite enjoyed it. It was never seen as something unsettling. It was a welcomed change every 2-3 years. A fun fact was that our school vehicles are different, we never went to school in any van or a normal school bus. It was either the army bus, or the Gypsies.”
Talking about the diversified experience that came along the journey, Kavya mentioned:
There is no place else in the country where you get to celebrate the birth of Jesus and the Prophet with the same zest as the birth of Lord Krishna and Guru Nanak Dev. You know when Onam and Pongal are. You actually know what "Aadi Perukku" is. And You never celebrate your birthday in the same state with the same set of friends. You divide your friends as “fauji” friends and “civilian” friends. Party means the annual functions of the Unit and the celebrations at the DSOI (Defence Services Officers' Institute) or Subroto Park.
Both Mrs.Gayatri and Kavya agreed that they rarely go to Supermarkets, it’s always the CSD Canteen. And the entire station became their family.
Lastly, Kavya added that BRAT stands for Born Raised And Transferred. It's got nothing to do with the word brat in the literal sense. And We are proud to be called that, because of the thought life we've led. We are trained to be strong, independent and social with very good manners. Our upbringing and experiences are altogether different, so BRAT is a way of identifying and relating with each other. A kind of kinship.