The Uniform Love- Affairs That Matter

A man in uniform makes the heart flutter, butterflies dance and—at the risk of sounding bollywood-like—violins sing. Maybe that’s just a little exaggerated but—you’ve got to agree with me on this, if only to a small extent—a man in uniform has a charm like no other.

Why this hype (which I fully admit to fueling whenever I get a chance)?

To my mind, there are a number of reasons. Perhaps it’s the first look, that grand first impression, or perhaps it’s the aura peculiar to the armed forces. Or maybe, it’s what they do.

Personally, I have a soft corner for them.

When a man, after months of strenuous training, matures into an officer, somehow, he is more than what he was, better in way. An officer, to my way of thinking— before you read any further I’d like to plead guilty of stereotyping—is synonymous to a gentleman. So the woman for him has to be equally amazing. Wouldn’t hurt if she beat him at it, too!

As much as I want go gaga about the officers, they aren’t getting space here. This piece is about their Ladies—the ones married to and in love with them. Ladies, let me tell you, you’re awesome.

Ever got a crush on an officer? If you have then you know the ‘crush phase—the time of starry eyes, coy glances and secret smiles’ is same, never mind he be an officer or civilian. Same is the case with attraction and infatuation.

It’s the final fall that changes the game—the leap of faith and admittance of love, not to him, but to yourself. Because if you have been in love with an officer, I am sure you’ll agree being in love with him is easy. Love, per se, is easy. Complicated, scary, but easy! Till you get used to the feeling, it scares the living daylights out of you. But when it’s an officer you love, the fear is different. It just doesn’t scare, it terrifies you.

If you love an officer you will have to accept that days will pass you by without any contact whatsoever. Sometimes the only news of him, or more precisely of the area where he is stationed, will be through media. There will be times you will have to satisfy yourself with a letter, or if lucky, you might get a short call. Frustration, restlessness, nerves are a part of the deal. You’ve got to adjust and not complain, because what he does has played a role in making him the man you’re in love with. That galls as much as it relaxes.

What would it be like when you know he is posted in an area infamous for violence? Where every other day a soldier dies? Not easy, I figure. There will be times when you won’t sleep because of fear for him. I’ve seen it happen. A lady in love scared for her man putting a brave front forward, you cannot see her and not be touched. She stares at her phone, hankering after a text, just a word would do. All she wants is reassurance that her man is safe. Yet when you talk to her, she is all smiles. Believe it or not, that takes courage and equanimity. Then her cell beeps. It’s a message from him. Her heart is in her eyes as she replies. The relief, the care, the fear, the love, all of it, if one looks closely enough, is right on her face. I gather she’d want to hug him right then, but its wait she will have to embrace.

Then he comes home on a short leave. The leave can be terminated without notice, so it barely matters what duration is locked on paper. Every day counts and I’d say it’s expected for her to want to spend as much time with him as humanly possible. Yet, she doesn’t, because she understands there are others who’ve waited for him almost as anxiously as her.

Then it’s time for him to go back on duty. That last day, she’s gone to see him off and just as he’s about to step away from her, all she wants is to hold on tight. Yet, she lets go.

No, loving him isn’t difficult. It’s the endless wait and relentless worry that’s tough.

And if you feel a peace posting would be glitch free, you’ve another think coming. There are so many rules to follow, strictures and codes, sometimes you’re going to want to scream murder. A girl your age is going to call you aunty, and it’s going to make you flinch because no matter how many times you ask her not to, she still will. You don’t like the CO’s wife? Well, you just have to swallow it. You’re fed up of welfares? Well, you got to go anyway. You’re not in mood of a party? You’ll have to flip your mood around. And that’s just the surface.

Basically, it’s not a cake walk.

I’ve not touched any perks here, because well, the perks are so many, my fingers would go numb from typing.

Are you in love with an officer? Are there times you’d rather not be in love with him? Well, it isn’t in your hands. When you love, you just do.

Loving an officer is one hell of a deal. Heck, loving anyone is a hell of a deal. Because it’s love, in the end, it’s worth it. And the officers out there, don’t for one moment think it’s the uniform we love, though it’s a nice touch, it’s the man that makes our hearts flip.

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