Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Yes! I am A Long Way From Home

I'm an army brat. Almost everyone disagrees. I can see why. I saw unit life only for 10 years or so. I never went to "Army" school. I don't posses the brash, cocky self-confidence that characterizes my peers. Heck, I don't even speak Hindi. A lot of people hate me for talking about myself as an army brat, some don't even like the "community" in general.

What most people won't understand is that identifying oneself as an army brat/airforce kid is only an attempt to find kinship. To find a meaning for enormous social pressures we faced growing up. Years of being knocked on the knuckles for not knowing which fork, spoon and knife to use when. Horrific bullying by thugs whose fathers were your father's superiors - it added an extra element of helplessness. Being asked not to mingle with kids whose dads weren't officers. Parties, gymkhanas, club events where every "uncle" and "auntie" had to be greeted before eating a tenth of how much a 7 year old would really want to eat. It's not a patch on the smug superiority exhibited by Dubai raised NRI kids.

Was life harsh and cruel? Sometimes. Was it abusive, and do we seek to form a support group by labeling ourselves? Not in the least. All my family has of our life from 15 years ago is a canteen card and a rank my dad carries. I don't miss a whole lot from my childhood in some remote army base in a fucking jungle. But when I'm down half a bottle of that Irish poison, don't roll your eyes if I want a label to belong to. You wouldn't know - you weren't there.


Purely Narcotic said...

Hello Army Brat,

Hope you had a wonderful start to the New Year! :)

smug superior Dubai raised NRI kid

Thanatos said...

Is it too late to return the greeting? Happy rest-of-the-year smug superior Dubai raised NRI kid!