The Army life is the best life, and this is something that you’ve heard way too often if you’re friends with someone who’s an Army Brat.
But believe me when I say this: The Army life is indeed the best life! And before you start hating me for it, let me tell you why I would say so:
1. You don’t have one place, your home is where the Army takes you
Whenever someone asks me where I’m from, it immediately sends me into a state of existential crisis. Do you want to know where I was born? Or where I first started my schooling? Or the place where I’ve lived the longest? What do you even mean? Home’s been everywhere and if I start listing them down, I’m sure I’ll lose you 2 minutes into it.
2. You’re born with natural wanderlust
Being an army brat means that you get to travel A LOT. You’ve seen almost all of Pakistan in its entirety. When someone says they’ve seen India from Wagah, you just laugh at them in your head because, heh, you’ve been to the actual borders, heh.
3. You master the art of starting all over again after every two years
Because postings, duh. You have to make new friends after every two years and leave the old ones behind. Back in the days, we didn’t even have social media and lost touch with a lot of people after a while. Postings are also a reason why every army brat knows exactly how to socialize with literally ANYONE, which is an amazing bonus.
But real talk: I just hope everyone I’ve ever been friends with is doing absolutely amazing (also, if you’re reading this, hit me up, man.) – sorry for drifting away…
4. You get four months of holidays when you move from a summer region to a winter region or vice versa
That was the life, man. June-July holidays in Sialkot, and then December-January holidays in Quetta because we’re just that awesome.
5. The look of absolute confusion on your civilian friends’ faces when you talked about your Batman
“Wait, Batman?! Like… Superman, Batman?!”
‘No, like, the chacha…’
“You call your dad’s brother Batman?”
‘Not my dad’s brother… the house-help is the chacha… he’s just called Batman because ???’
C O N F U S I O N
Also, post 2006-7 when the NCBs were introduced and all hell broke loose because NCB stands for Non Combat Batman and honestly, that’s the coolest term ever.
6. Talking forever on the PASCOM
It was like a ritual. You come back from school after spending the entire day with your friends and you just ran straight to the PASCOM to talk to the same friends again for literal hours – and then you got in trouble because your mom would’ve had enough of your shit.
7. Mess ke chips, and using your father’s PA number as your currency made you feel like you owned the world
Being broke was never a thing in the dictionary of an Army Brat. And it never stopped you from having the time of your life. You hit the mess, you party like crazy, and in the end, you just tell the waiter chacha to put it under your dad’s name because why not?
What happened at the end of the month is another story altogether that we don’t like talking about. 🙂
8. You refer to all aunties by their husband’s name and sometimes even their ranks
CO Aunty, G2I Aunty, Aunty Shahbaz, Aunty Bashir… I still don’t know their actual names, but that honestly doesn’t matter.
9. You remember spending all of your money at Tambola, and you know the amazing lingo by heart
Weekend Tambola is just the most anticipated event ever because the ENTIRE Cantt comes down to the mess, and it’s legit a festival. Raise your hands if you remember, “Chor with a gun, forty-one,” or “Lashkara, number athara.”
10. There was the Bara Khaana that you all longed to be at
I still think about what these adults did at the Bara Khaana and why children weren’t ever allowed. But I guess that’s okay because that meant more play time with everyone in the colony.
11. Getting to watch all the amazing parade rehearsals never failed to give you goosebumps
Because again, children weren’t allowed at the actual parade.
What is life?
12. The auditorium was your cinema.
Sahi mahol houta tha, and all of the good movies were played for like… free. Best entertainment ever.
13. You related to the life in Alpha Bravo Charlie more than others
ABC was, and is a masterpiece and you can’t fight me on this. I even have it on a VHS. Dedication.
14. Even if you’ve grown up and are independent now, there’s a voice in your head that reminds you of the need for “discipline” in your life
Seeing your parents do everything with a specific order and having “discipline” has rubbed off if you, I guess.
15. And lastly, how can I even forget the Dhai Ton?
And the derh ton. The ultimate school bus experience. Unmatchable.
There’s so much more that I can add here, but these ones stand out. But hey, y’all fellow army brats, why don’t you complete the list in the comments section?
Cover image via dawn.com