The days were hard and the nights were harder
In an Indian Army unit ;
It was just the male soldiers and a male commander
The feelings were tough
The paths were rough
The nation did sleep peacefully
And the National leaders prided this treasure trove
The soldiers protected,
The soldiers killed the enemy
The soldiers returned in victory
The soldiers got martyred fighting the enemy
And one day …….
Who thought ‘Soldier’ will hold no Gender
It won’t be no longer the opposite of ‘Soft and Tender’
As we stepped in …
Burying our femininity under the thick fabric of the Indian Army uniform
Makeup fewer faces, hair in a beret, and a look of a dark worm
And then our caterpillar feet created not footprints but pawprints
As we marched in drill boots, rifles with bayonets….ready to challenge the enemy with our newly acquired military stunts and stints
The pinks, the mauves, the yellows
Yes we traded them, my dear fellows
But with what
With Brass, the blue, the black and the Olive Green
And the day the stars descended onto our delicate girly shoulder
The nation came to know that gender can’t now be associated with the word ‘Soldier’
With pride, I call myself a soldier of the Indian Army Wow!
Albeit a veteran one now ….
But please note, I am not in the classification of an ex servicewomen
Coz I proudly hold my I card of an ex-serviceman!!!
~Lt. Col. Ankita Srivastava (veteran)
New Delhi, India