Black Military boxes? No no, I want some colour

An army family is going to be on the move all the time. Count yourself lucky if you get 2-3 years of an uninterrupted peace posting. Having met so many defence families, I have come to a simple conclusion — pati saath ho na ho, black fauji trunks kabhi ek fauji biwi ka saath nai chhodte.

Colour splash!

Big black boxes… ummm, metal or wooden.. frankly I am not a great fan of those. I understand that they are a necessity, as they come handy in every shifting and moving process, but I am still not that attached to them yet. Maybe I’ll get used to them eventually.

But not black, pleeease! They look so depressing and boring. Boring Big Black Boxes. BBBB. Hah!

So when the time came for us to get extra boxes for our debut shifting experience in fauj, I had this idea that I don’t want the BBBBs. I wanted VCBB… Vibrant Colourful Big Boxes.

So all the time that I had wasted on Pinterest paid off and I chalked out a plan to colour the six boxes we’d bought in different colours. I needed some zing in my life, I don’t thinking dragging black boxes around with me would have helped the cause.

So pesh-e-khidmat hai DIY Guide to Colourful Fauji Trunks! Taaliyaan!!

The boxes in original condition.
The boxes in original condition.

Step 1: So I went ahead and bought all the things I would need to get the six boxes coloured. I had a kitschy design in mind, so bought green, blue, yellow, red and white. I also bought a primer, because you simply cannot apply paint directly onto any metal surface.

Not inside the house.. get it?
Not inside the house.. get it?

Step 2: Take the boxes outside the house, before you start painting them. Yes, it is a very important step that I swear by, because it is difficult to get rid of the smell and stains on the floor if you start painting inside the house. So go out — in the backyard, garage, or balcony. I learned this the hard way.


First coat of primer drying.
First coat of primer drying.

Step 3: Apply two coats of Primer to the box. It is a brownish liquid that forms a protective layer between the metal surface and everything else. You can read the rest of the stuff on the Primer’s label, I am not going to waste my time on that here. πŸ˜›

It rained every alternate day, which threw my schedule off course.
It rained every alternate day, which threw my schedule off course.

Step 4: It will take at least 2-days to get the two coats of primer on. Let it dry after the first coat, preferably for 24 hours before you start off with the next coat. Get the brush to reach every nook and corner of the box.

A friendly visit!
A friendly visit! Good thing the Primer had dried by then.

Step 5: Stray animals and birds are likely to delay this whole process.

Isn't this one looking a little blue? ;)
Isn’t this one looking a little blue? πŸ˜‰

Step 6: Decide which colour you want the base coat of the box to be. Mix the paint with maybe 30ml thinner (haha, yes, everything is fauj is measured in multiples of 30ml). You can add white paint to the colour if you want to lighten the shade a bit. Like I had bought Navy blue shade and added white to make it turquoise.

Step 7: Let the paint dry for another 24 hours. Apply a second coat of paint just to get an even finish.

I am not an artist at all. And I lose interest in any project very quickly. So I abandoned the idea of kitschy design on my trunk and decided to go for solid colours.

My living room.
My living room.

And now I have a pair of red, blue and yellow trunks. It not only felt damn refreshing to have these bright trunks around, it also helped a lot while packing as all similar stuff went into colour-coded trunks. Like kitchen stuff in two red trunks, decorative items in yellow trunks and my stuff in blue trunks. I decided against stenciling Major Sa’ab’s name on those trunks (as many Military men do), why would I want to spoil my efforts hanh! πŸ˜›

The only glitch was Major Sa’ab was leaving for a field posting and did not want to take a colourful trunk with him. In fact he specifically mentioned that he will cut all ties with me if I suggest he take the blue trunk. So he stuck to his trusted black mini-trunk, the one which he’s had since his NDA days. Fine! I’ll keep my rangeele-bakse with me.

So this is the story of my now-extremely jhataang living room, where my boxes are proudly displayed.




12 thoughts on “Black Military boxes? No no, I want some colour”

  1. You have beautiful home! Very different from what i have seen. I love the colors and i will definitely do this colouring of the trunks…thx for the tip. I am fed up of the black trunks too. Your blog is truly gold!

  2. Had a heart laugh. I look at my collection of boxes and remember how each one came to be ours. The wooden ones were my fathers. Circa 1942.

    Thanks a ton for the great reading.

  3. Haha!!! Wow! Those look so pretty!! ☺️☺️
    One request though. Please write more often. It’s a wonderful blog and i keep coming back to check if you’ve written anything new. Especially with laftaan sahab on ex now, it’s amazing to read your blog! Do write often! β˜ΊοΈπŸ‘πŸ»

  4. Hahaha!! My college doesn’t really let me enjoy the judaai πŸ˜‚
    And as far as being lazy is concerned.. Aren’t we all?? πŸ˜πŸ˜‚πŸ‘πŸ»

  5. Hello there, heights of my laziness, I finally read this post today, and immediately regretted being so late. My favorite post! Your ‘Rangeele Bakse’ really look cool. They sound cool too! May I adopt the phrase as a name for one of my stories? I would save it till I get a perfect story to go with it πŸ™‚

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