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BooksThe Force Behind the Forces: Stories of Brave Indian Army Wives

The Force Behind the Forces: Stories of Brave Indian Army Wives

The book starts with an emotional dedication to all the Veer Naris telling them that in their quest of finding strength they inspire the nation and the second line of the book dedication at the front few pages also reminds them that they are not alone and nation stands with them.

“You think your pain and your heartbreak are unprecedented in the history of the world, but then you read. It was books that taught me that the things that tormented me most were the very things that connected me with all the people who were alive, who had ever been alive.” ~James Baldwin

This famous quote from James Baldwin perfectly suits the newly released defense book ‘The Force behind The Forces: Stories of Brave Indian Army Wives.’ It is published by Penguin Random House in November 2021. The book is based on real-life stories in an attempt to highlight the extraordinary and also heart-wrenching journey of our Killed In Action soldiers and their brave wives who have suffered the greatest loss of their lives. While there have been books on wars and our soldiers glorifying only the battlefield this is for the first time that a unique book hopes to tell people that our soldiers are much more than that and their families are no less. What makes the book truly exceptional is that it is been written by an Army Wife herself ‘Swapnil Pandey’ whose been married into the fauji tribe past 14 years leading a nomadic life in Army cantonments all over the country amongst extraordinary men and women which eventually pushed her to come up with the most extraordinary stories from Army life. The author’s background not only makes the book authentic but also provides a greater depth of emotions. Her earlier two books ‘Soldier’s girl’ and ‘Love Story of a Commando’ are works of fiction and she came up with this non-fiction based on real-life stories in an attempt to come out of her comfort zone of writing fiction only which is a constant quest for any writer.

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The multinational conglomerate publishing company which was formed in 2013 by the historical merger of Penguin Group and Random Group had acquired this ambitious book highlighting the legitimate glimpses of the relationship between an Indian soldier and his wife in late 2020 and long decided to release this book by fall 2021. Manasi Subramaniam Executive Editor and Head of Literary Rights at Penguin Random House India who actually commissioned the book called ‘the Force behind the Forces’ extraordinarily moving. Not just her, the other editors Shubhi Surana, Aparna Abhijit, Divya who worked day and night just to meet the deadlines on the book written by author Swapnil Pandey fiercely believed that every Indian must read the book.

Book Blurb

Who continues to pay the costs of war long after our soldiers are gone?

There are many stories of courageous heroes at the borders, but how much do we know about the women standing strong behind them?

The Force Behind the Forces is a collection of seven true stories of eternal love, courage and sacrifice. Written by an army wife, Swapnil Pandey, this book brings to light moving stories of unimaginable valour in the face of broken dreams, lost hopes and shattered families. It proves that bullets and bombs can only pierce the bodies of our soldiers, for their stories will live on in the hearts of these brave women forever, women who have dedicated their lives to the nation, without even a uniform to call their own.

Book Cover

The Book cover is eye-catching and thrilling. The balance of feminine and masculine elements of the book had correctly been depicted by the pictures of a lady in combat boots along with her soldier and several tanks amidst dust on the battlefield. There is a splash of neutral and earthy colours of olive green and brown. The cover designers of team Penguin had a challenging task for a unique book cover for a unique book and they eventually came up with 13 unique designs suiting the stature of the stories and the people written in the book.

Book Specification

Title: The Force Behind The Forces

Genre: Defense, Patriotic, Action, Romance

Category: Non-fiction, Real life stories

Publisher ‏ : ‎ Penguin Random House

Language ‏ : ‎ English

Paperback ‏ : ‎ 256 pages

Author : Swapnil Pandey

Rating: 4/ 5 (I am deducing 0.5 mark for this book not having a hardcover and the rest of 0.5 for this exceptional book not being available in other languages like Hindi or Telugu)

Available on: all leading online portals Amazon, Flipkart, Kindle and bookstores across India

Book Review

The book starts with an emotional dedication to all the Veer Naris telling them that in their quest of finding strength they inspire the nation and the second line of the book dedication at the front few pages also reminds them that they are not alone and nation stands with them. This touches all the cords of your heart; nostalgia, overwhelming emotions and curiosity all the feelings hit you at once. Soon, you turn the pages and realise the book not only comprise exceptional stories of brave Veer Naris and martyrs but it also has vivid notes from women like Mrs Meghna Girish mother of brave Major Akshay Girish, Mrs Damyanti Tambay wife of Flt lt V. V. Tambay (one of the missing 54 Indian defense personnel from the 1971 Indo-Pak war who are believed to be in Pakistani custody and reviews by military stalwarts like General V. P. Malik, Former Chief of the Army Staff, Lt Gen. Syed Ata Hasnain, Former GOC 15 Corps, Wing Commander M.A. Afraz (retd), Founder, Honourpoint (an online memorial for every Indian soldier and more. In fact, the book was launched by Dr V Mohini Giri Padam Bhushan who is a beacon of hope for women all across the world. This lifts your spirit and also gives you hope for a nice book read of a book based on the defense world.

The novel is exceptional in that it not only covers counter-insurgency operations and various thrilling missions like any other defense novel based on Indian Soldiers and their valour on the battlefield but the complexity of the emotions that the family of a soldier holds is also portrayed perfectly. I would like to applaud the author for picking up the subject which is extremely emotional and weaving it perfectly with the exceptional valour, courage, pride and dignity that a soldier reflects in the line of duty which eventually becomes the character of a Fauji family. The army wife army brats and the army life can be seen at its full bloom while you flip the pages of the fresh and newly released book. The book comprises seven real-life stories from the Indian Army. Each story is unique from the previous story in its plot, depiction and flow. Every story has an inspirational factor of a unique dimension. Story number one can give you hope and story number two might give you the resilience to stand against all odds the last story of Captain Nagappa and his wife Soumya Nagappa would in fact make you smile and warm your heart. The writer Swapnil Pandey in fact closes the novel with a note that how she had been successful in finding that one story where there is a happily ever after. I would highly recommend The force Behind The Forces: Stories of Brave Indian Army wives to every Indian to read. It is one of the top 10 books to be read once in a lifetime for every Indian. The language and flow are superb as is the trademark of Penguin acquired books. Even though the book provides a lot of glimpse about military culture and ethos and working style never for once you will feel that it is documented, just the sheer joy of uninterrupted reading for any book lover.

Stories featured in the book

  1. The Nation Cried With Her: Lt Nitika Kaul and Major Vibhuti Shankar Dhoundiyal
  2. An Eternal Love Story: Trupti Nair and Major Shashidharan Nair
  3. Never Give Up: Major Priya Semwal and Naik Amit Sharma
  4. The Last Gift: Sujata Chaudhury and Major Satish Dahiya
  5. Two Bodies, One Soul: Sarika Gulati and Lt Col Rajesh Gulati
  6. An Empowered Woman: Jaya Mahto and Lance Naik Rajkumar Mahto
  7. The Kargil Love Story: Sowmya Nagappa and Captain Naveen Nagappa

An ‘unputdownable’ Book! Do Buy Now! Here is the buy link


The Editorial Team at SSBCrack consists of professional writers, journalists and defence aspirants.

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