On Book Review-Soldier & Spice By Aditi Mathur Kumar

Author: Aditi Mathur Kumar

Aditi Mathur Kumar at her book launch (Image source: Jollyhoo)

The Plot: 

A hilarious, heart-warming and one-of-it’s-kind story of a complete-civilian-turned-Army Wife. This story takes you behind the closed and guarded gates of a military station, giving you a fat-piece of the grand and mysterious life of the Indian Army Wives.

My Take:

Some books just spell interest. And this is one that took mine. Coming from the army circle, I got the impression that there is everything that I need to know about the army in here but then pleasantly surprised that there is more. It starts on a sweet note where a newly wed is going to her first army home and followed by a series of hilarious disasters with the army “sahayak’ and other ladies in the unit and slowly you get atuned to this very chicklit novel. Firstly, I am glad someone had the guts to write about it. And Ms Kumar gives us an insight about how a newly wed actually feels when she joins her husband in his Unit. Pia comes from a civil background, knowing nothing at all about being a ‘memsaab’ and yet she does everything in her to follow the army wives ‘rules’. Her attitude somehow gets over shadowed and she gets deep into the end with a malicious Junior officer’s wife- Kanika. But then Pia is really a very modern woman so her i-don’t-care attitude at times is scary. She is what you could call ‘today’s woman is yet she tries to adjust even though She has smoked before she got married, held a very busy well-paying job at a TV channel and kept her love affair a secret from her friends and family to Arjun, a handsome ‘hot’ man in uniform. I love her fascination with the combat. Perhaps I share her fantasies in a way, seeing my husband going to work every day in THE dress. The novel is written in first person and could have been difficult to make sense but the author pulls it off with flying colors. Her relationship with the other ladies and the CO’s wife is put really well. Naina, her fun friend and Mrs James, her smoking buddy, are both easy to relate too. And though gossip was not what Pia was looking for, it always seem to find a way to get to her. And then she is in trouble. How she confronts the mean Kanika is worth your time. I personally, smiled and waited for this very moment. And the senior officer’s wives are really something portrayed in general. So, they may or may not be the best of people to be close to.

This novel does give you a wide perspective about an army wives life- Its a glamorous, fun, responsible job. And when you get a view into the Ladies Meet (a monthly get together of all the wives), you will understand how important it is to even plan such an event. The Welfare Meet (with the jawans wives), another important part is also dealt with subtlety, without making it a drab. Pia surely is an active over enthusiastic woman, that other army wives could be intimidated with.

Arjun’s accident was the lowest point of the books and I really wanted to skip the tragedy because i know how that feels. Seeing your husband go for exercise for a month (You don’t know where) and coming to know that he is critical is just heart breaking. I think I felt my eyes tear a little too. Their relationship is strong and Arjun is an exemplary army officer. You can easily fall in love with his easy going nature. He is unfazed by everything and loves Pia unconditionally.

What’s great about the book?

It never gets stagnant, even in the middle. You will find the ever changing nature of the job that gives Pia an interesting outlook about others. Even her chilly fries has an interesting recipe you would like to try at home.

What’s dull about the book?

It’s a beginners manual. Seriously if you are really clueless about the army life then, this is for you. It has been deliberately dumbed down for civilian readers to understand about the Indian Army Wives.




2 thoughts on “On Book Review-Soldier & Spice By Aditi Mathur Kumar

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