‘We wrote letters almost every day’: Army wife shares experience of living aparthttps://indianexpress.com/article/trending/trending-in-india/we-wrote-letters-almost-everyday-army-wife-shares-experience-of-living-apart-5742527/

‘We wrote letters almost every day’: Army wife shares experience of living apart

"But soon he had to go back to work, Calcutta was his home but he was posted all over the country. While we were together, I had gotten along so well with his family that when he was away, I’d spend time with them," she said.

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“We spoke for hours, and bonded over so many things! We saw each other often–it was so simple with him– it was love and we both just knew,” Chitra Jha told Humans of Bombay.

While the life of defence personnel is always challenging, their families too have it difficult dealing with long separation as well as uncertainty. However, sometimes the distance and the time spent apart makes bonds stronger, which is exactly what a recent post by Humans of Bombay, featuring an army wife, highlights.

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Hailing from a small town in Punjab, Chitra Jha was always encouraged by her parents to become a strong, independent women, which is what motivated her to join the Military nursing service. “I was always eager to find my path… Just then, I saw an ad calling out to applicants to join the Military nursing service in Calcutta. So I jumped at the opportunity and at the age of 17 I gave the exam. I passed and became a trainee nurse in the army.”

However, it was on a train journey back from her parent’s house that Chitra met Somnath and her life changed thereafter. “This gentleman walked up to me, pointed at the empty seat opposite me and asked in the most formal way possible, ‘May I use this seat?’ I found it weird but when we got to talking – I realised he was a fauji too! We spoke for hours, and bonded over so many things! We saw each other often–it was so simple with him– it was love and we both just knew.”

Read the full post here:

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“I belonged to a small town in Punjab. Both my parents, especially my father wanted his daughters to become strong, independent women, and I was always eager to find my path and get out to go to a big city. Just then, I saw an ad calling out to applicants to join the Military nursing service in Calcutta. So I jumped at the opportunity and at the age of 17 I gave the exam. I passed and became a trainee nurse in the army.

After being posted in Calcutta, I was once on the train back from visiting my parents. Just then this gentleman walked up to me, pointed at the empty seat opposite me and asked in the most formal way possible, ‘May I use this seat?’ I found it weird but when we got to talking – I realised he was a fauji too! We spoke for hours, and bonded over so many things! After we reached, he offered to drop me to the hospital, and we decided to meet again. We saw each other often–it was so simple with him– it was love and we both just knew.

But soon he had to go back to work, Calcutta was his home but he was posted all over the country. While we were together, I had gotten along so well with his family that when he was away, I’d spend time with them.

After a couple of years, his sister was getting married and we were excited to have him back home. But just 3 days before the wedding, we got a call from him saying, ‘Operation Blue Star has launched, the army’s at the Golden Temple and we’re going to war.’ So without thinking I said, ‘If there’s going to be a war, then we should get married now.’ So as soon as he could come back for a day from Amritsar, in a simple ceremony, we got married.

Immediately after that he was posted in Ladakh. I was working so most of my time would be spent at the hospital. Soon after we gave birth to two beautiful kids.

We spent so much time apart from each other but amidst all the distance – we wrote letters to each other almost everyday. He worked for the next 20 years until he retired, there would be days where he wouldn’t respond, days where I’d think that something’s wrong but no one’s telling me anything. But then his letters would arrive and I’d know my husband’s alive.

My husband’s priority has always been the nation. He had taken an oath that the country would always come first and his welfare would come last and I always knew that with his welfare, mine would come last too. It was tough but I’ve been nothing but proud of being an army wife — the wife of someone who’s keeping his country safe. A wife of someone who was out there, battling every single day so that we could all sleep comfortably at night.”