Dr Hema Hirlekar did not expect her life to take a drastic turn after she became a ‘fauji wife’. She learnt a number of lessons and has several anecdotes that she has compiled into her new book, ‘Life of an Army Wife.’
“I was a civilian from an academic background. I was doing my doctorate in chemotherapy when I met my husband. I became an army wife after that. The life was much different than what I was used to. After I got married, I had to adjust to two families; My husband’s and the whole army family. Earlier, my life was in a straight line but later it went on to be full of twists and turns,” explains Hirlekar.
The author has written about her personal experiences in the book and wanted to share her life with others. “I started by writing a blog about my experiences. The blog surprisingly did really well and then I decided to write a book.” It took Hirlekar a little more than four months to complete the book and she is publishing it herself. She shares her experiences, some which are unique and others which are common to all.
Her book also describes the several places in India that she has been to because of the work postings. “I remember when we were in Jhansi, we shifted around five houses and when we finally got into a permanent house, it was time for another posting!” The places mentioned cover most of the country. These include Rishikesh, Dehradun, Mussoorie, Abohar, Arunachal Pradesh, Nagaland, Bangalore, Jhansi, Allahabad and Pune. Hirlekar brings every place to life by narrating various incidents that took place there.
She narrates a thrilling incident when her family was based in Srinagar, “We were staying in a lonely area and we had no neighbours at all. My husband went on his reconnaissance duty. Later, the dispatch officer came home and asked me if my husband had gone out in his uniform or civilian clothes. I replied saying that he wore his uniform and went. The officer told me that my husband wouldn’t come back as army men were being shot. I couldn’t stop worrying and in such situations, you’ll only know what has happened when the senior most officer and his wife come and tell you personally. My husband did come back and I cried when I saw him.”
Being a part of the army life has made Hirlekar realise the brotherhood that exists amongst army men and a bond that gets formed amongst their wives. “I just want people to know that the life of an army wife isn’t all about dressing up and going out to parties. People think that we are fashion divas but we have other things to do as well! Our lives are so different. We learn to adjust to new places and we have to make new friends every time. When times are tough, it takes grit and determination.”
The book is all set to launch on January 7.
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