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37 Joys And Struggles Of Growing Up As An Indian Defence Brat

Born, Raised, And Transferred.

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1. You never really have an answer when someone asks you, "So, where are you from?"

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Everywhere, I guess?

2. But a question worse than that was, "Remember me?"

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You met so many people in your little life, it was difficult to keep track.

3. Your bedtime stories were unusual, heroic tales about brave men and women who brought pride to the nation.

Disney and Amar Chitra Katha were around, but you preferred these much more.
Samer Chand / Getty Images

Disney and Amar Chitra Katha were around, but you preferred these much more.

4. The only Shaktiman in your life was the one that took you to and from school every day.

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5. You went to a dozen different schools but it was always either Kendriya Vidyalaya or APS*.

* Army Public School to civilians, Adha Pagal School to brats.
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* Army Public School to civilians, Adha Pagal School to brats.

6. But when it came to water bottles, your choice was always limited to a variation of these Milton babies.

7. Every word on this means something to you.

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8. Growing up, "I can ask my dad to throw a bomb on you," was your favourite threat for your civilian friends.

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9. Your mum didn't hover around you as much as a sahayak bhaiyya did.

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10. By the time your 16th birthday came around, you’d lived in more Indian states than you could count on your two hands.

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11. Thanks to moving around so much, you are an expert at transferring your entire house into crates and iron trunks.

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12. You made friends in a heartbeat wherever you went.

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13. And you were deeply saddened each time you had to say goodbye to all of them.

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14. But you kept in touch with them by writing to them about your new adventures.

15. OK, you promised you'd write letters but reeeally you wrote emoticon-filled Facebook messages.

16. Almost every person you met, child or adult, had a story that started with, "When I was in..."

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"When I was in Manali," "When I was in Kanyakumari."

17. Your dependent ID was more like your I-can-do-anything-and-get-away-with-it card.

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18. Your fine dining skills are on point. You can breeze through a six course meal like it's NBD.

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Thanks, dad!

19. You cringe every time Bollywood movies show that defence parents are these super strict, almost robotic people.

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20. But you love Border and never miss it on TV.

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21. The national anthem gives you goosebumps and fills you with patriotism every single time you hear it.

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22. No feeling will ever come close to sitting in cockpits of elite jets and helicopters.

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23. Ray-Ban's Aviators aren't just sunglasses, they're a wardrobe necessity.

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Being a brat has given you the birthright for it.

24. And a Timex Flix watch, your most treasured time-piece.

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25. Come rain, hail or a storm, you've never seen your dad miss even one of his morning exercise routines.


26. You never needed an alarm clock because you always woke up to the sound of the bigul, soldiers on the marching ground or on the firing range.

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27. You loved waking up to see your mom or dad in their uniform, ready for the day.

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28. But it was agonising to have a parent leave for days or sometimes even months on end.

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29. And even more terrifying to hear that someone you know has been martyred.

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30. Faujis will use any excuse to party.


Someone joining? Dining In party. Someone leaving? Dining Out party. No reason? Social Evening party.

31. The Army Ball and May Queen pageants are a much bigger deal than any other parties all year.

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FYI: Priyanka Chopra won a May Queen pageant before entering the Miss India contest. THAT'S RIGHT.

32. You adoringly looked at your mom get all dressed up for the "Ladies' Club."

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33. And Friday was the most awaited day because you got to watch English movies and party with friends.

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34. Shopping in the CSD for your favourite items on discount is the best feeling of all.

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35. And as soon as you were old enough, you began taking personal responsibility to fill your household's booze quota.


Old Monk? Check. Jack Daniel's? Check.

36. Such a turbulent yet amazing life has turned you into someone who can adjust anywhere in the world.

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37. And you wouldn't trade your fabulous fauji kid life for anything in the world.