By Citizen Journalist Nishant Tripathi
Life of an army officer’s kid is quite similar to a normal kid’s life. Sure they play, ride a cycle in the evening, plead to parents to go and eat out side; but there are few things that only a kid of an army officer have experienced, thanks to living a life in a cantonment area. Let’s take a look at some of the experiences that an army kid will very well relate to:
Dad’s morning routine:
If your dad has served in Army, then whenever you wake up early in the morning, he must be doing push ups, squats, is running in the park or doing some of his regular exercise be it rain, sun, cold, or any other weather; daily, year after year without a miss.
No army kid would have NOT changed his schools at least 6 times in his life. Joining in a mid-session with the uniform of the older school always left other kids stare at you as if you have come from a different planet.
The morning alarm:
Living in a cantonment area will have a daily morning alarm or a bugle that woke you up right out of your sweetest dreams.
The while we were in… stories:
From the hills of Jammu and Kashmir to the shores of Kanyakumari; an army kid has seen it all. You must have a while we were living in Gangtok, Akhnoor or Srinagar stories which you share with your ‘civilian’ cousins who normally have lived in one place. Moreover, they are more than happy to go back to their native place than to go somewhere new on a holiday.
The CSD canteen trips:
The ration delivery and CSD canteen trips were always looked forward to get a refill of maggis, bournvita and biscuits to much on.
The army rides
Gypsie, Jeeps, Shaktiman and if you’re lucky, Army buses were your regular rides that you took you to schools, parties or when you travel to a location of your dad’s posting. You also fancied to own a Royal Enfield and a Jeep that emitted an army splendour.
Parties in which you weren’t allowed:
Your Mom and Dad often went to parties in which kids were not allowed. You stayed at home alone, had a party of your own by calling your friends over and having sandwiches and maggi, watching your favourite cartoons till mid night. Staying alone at home is never an issue.
The safety of Cantonment areas:
The life in a cantonment area is very safe. Girls could walk out fearlessly in shorts and skirts without being leered at. Eve teasing is not something you may encounter in these areas.
Packing and moving from one house to another:
After every few years, the army kids move to the next house in a different city or state. The new house is strangely similar to the old one. And moms are quite cool at packing the house. The kids help although the whining comes whenever the crystal breaks in the moving.
Sports and games:
All army kids love sports. Be it basketball, football, cricket, swimming, tennis, table tennis, pool, and what else not. Army kids always preferred to go out and play rather than spend their evening watching TV.
The make shift Theatres:
Remember watching the movies out in the open in those make shift theatres. Army kids have watched most of the movies in these which included watching Sunny Deol and border at least a hundred times, and don’t they love it!
Good evening/Good morning Uncle:
The habit never goes as it lives in home in the first place. Whenever you see an elder, you go in unison with Good morning uncle/aunty…and it takes a moment for you to remember a more courteous ‘namastey’, ‘satsriyakal’. What to do? It’s almost a second nature.
So, yeah army kids have a childhood just like any other kid but there are few things that set their childhood more exciting and memorable.
Disclaimer: All images used here have been sourced from online media.