STORIES FROM OUR BARI | CHAPTER 5 - Chautees Number Saahab | DR. GITA PRAKASH
My days in Army always bring back some of the most precious memories of my life! So, back in the day I was quite athletic and used to run with the boys. One day my trainer said, “You run really fast as compared to other girls. So, you go ahead and run faster! Chautees Number Saahab, daudo (run)!” I was always Chautees Number but that day onwards I was known as Chautees Number Saahab by everyone!
Army can be quite tough but it has been really amazing for me with the adventures, places I travelled, people I met, and most importantly the things that I learnt! Once we had organized a medical camp in Bhuj and at that time I was pregnant with my daughter. Every day, I used to walk to the camp in the sultry heat wearing my saree and long-sleeved blouse. At 40 degrees, with the tar on the road melting, it used to be unbearably hot but I would still make my way through it because the joy of sitting in the shade of kikar trees later and enjoying the cool evening breeze made the journey exciting. This taught me to look at the brighter side of the things!
During my time in Bhuj, I learnt how to block print in the city of Anjar and the printed loved my designs so much that I was asked to come every Sunday to print for him! From gazing at the nesting flamingoes in the Rann of Kutch, watching Gujarati movies, convincing the pilot of a small aeroplane to carry a stuffed 21 Kg embroidered elephant back home for me that I had bought from Khatau, and to being appointed as the officiating CO at 23, I have done it all!
Army teaches you a lot of things! If I learnt embroidery, crocheting, and macrame from the army wives, then my experiences in the Army taught me confidence, respect for elders and most importantly value for time!
One thing I still believe in till date is that life is fun! It is always fun!
Dr. Gita is wearing Kadambri saree styled with blouse and jewellery from her personal collection.