For a fascinating look at military life in India before WWII, try John Masters' Bugles And A Tiger. Masters was a British officer of a Gurkha regiment in the British Army (as distinguished from the Indian Army). His descriptions of the character, incredible toughness and resilience, and constant humor of the Gurkha soldier is wonderful stuff, and he can make you smell the pines of their hill station and the smoke of campfires. And yes, he killed a marauding tiger with a .303 SMLE and ball ammo.
The story continues in brutal, gripping and infuriating (for the mishandling of the Gurkha troops by higher command) description of their WWII campaigns against the Japanese in The Road Past Mandalay.
Both are wonderful reading by a great writer.
"Don't let macho be your epitaph."