THE LAST BATTLE OF A MILITARY VETERAN – A SOLDIER’S STORY

October 28, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: A SOLDIER’S LAST BATTLE – A STORY ON THE OCCASION OF INFANTRY DAY.

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

A SOLDIER’S LAST BATTLE
Short Fiction – A STORY ON THE OCCASION OF INFANTRY DAY
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Prologue

This happened long back when I was in IAT Pune.

I saw army soldiers cutting grass and clearing up weeds and wild bushes on the campus.

I mentioned this to the OC Adm at tea time.

“These bloody civilian maalis (gardeners) are not doing their job properly, so we have decided to use service manpower to get the campus cleaned up before the VIP visit,” he said.

I was amazed.

Since the “powers-that-be” were finding it difficult to take effective charge of the indolent civilian gardeners and make them do their job properly, the easiest solution was to deploy obedient soldiers to get the job done.

“The civilian gardeners are being paid salaries, aren’t they? But since you can’t get them to do their job, they easiest option is to deploy soldiers – so why not deduct money from the lazy civilians’ salaries and give it to the soldiers?” I wanted to say, but I held my tongue, since it was of no use.

Of course, navy sailors and air force airmen were not deployed to cut grass.

Maybe in the early years of his service, the navy boss had probably seen the infamous“Topass Mutiny” of 1970 and so he decided to be prudent in detailing sailors for menial tasks like grass-cutting.

(The infamous  “Topass Mutiny”of 1970 occurred when some sailors in the Western Fleet refused to clean latrines, after the abolition of the Navy’s Topass branch. The Topass performs the more menial tasks for the crew. The Topass Mutiny led to the repeal of the unpopular decision to abolish the Topass branch)

And, of course, detailing air force airmen for menial tasks was unthinkable.

But the evergreen soldier was the “jack of all trades” and could be deployed anywhere and everywhere, to do anything and everything.

A few days later, the gardener attached to our department came to see me along with his brother.

His brother was a soldier in the infantry (army) and was in his mid 30’s.

The soldier was being released from the army at this young age.

He wanted my help in getting a job.

I helped him out – it just required a phone call to one of my classmates who was an entrepreneur.

I thought about it.

The civilian gardener was better off than his soldier brother.

Firstly, the civilian gardener would retire at the age of 60, when all his familial commitments were competed, unlike his soldier brother who was left to fend for himself in the “civvy street” in his mid 30’s when he had school going children to look after.

Secondly, with successive pay commissions, the “status” of the civilian gardener had been raised – “Class 4” had been abolished, and he was now in “Class 3” – and, accordingly, he got a higher pay scale too.

Thirdly, the civilian gardener would never be transferred and he would spend his entire 40 years career in IAT Pune. Besides stability for children’s education and a good family life, easy availability of housing advance for civilians enabled him build his own house in the village nearby and claim HRA (House Rent Allowance) thereby supplementing his income.

I realized that in case you want to join government service, it was better to be a civilian than a soldier, and this was applicable across the board.


It was this incident that sowed in my mind, the kernel of the fiction short story I wrote a few years later, which I am posting below, on the occasion on“Infantry Day”, with a hope that soldiers are treated better by society.

(67 years ago, on 27 October 1947, infantrymen from the 1st Battalion of the Sikh Regiment landed at Srinagar airfield in Kashmir valley to chase away Pakistani invaders. The enemy was thrown back and the valley was saved. It was the first glorious action undertaken by the Indian Army in the post independence era. Therefore, October 27 is celebrated as Infantry day throughout India)

So, dear reader, as an ode to the soldier on infantry day, let me pull out from my creative writing archives, a story I wrote almost two years ago, in January 2013, and post it once more for you to read:


THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD – A Soldier’s Story byVikram Karve

The Soldier sat on the footpath near the gate of the Accounts Office.

Abe Langde … Hat Wahan Se (Hey you one-legged cripple … Move from there)” a street-food cart vendor said, “Yeh Meri Jagah Hai (This is my place).”

The soldier winced.

Then he looked down at his amputated leg.

Yes, he was indeed a cripple, a langda.

When he had joined the army he had two strong legs.

And now he had just one leg and one stump.

He picked up his crutch, pushed his body up and slowly hobbled a few steps away and was about to sit under a shady canopy near the street corner when a traffic policeman shouted, “Ae Bhikari … Wahan Mat Baith (Hey Beggar … don’t sit there).”

Main Bhikari Nahin Hoon … Main Fauji Hoon (I am not a beggar … I am a soldier),” protested the soldier.

Phir Border Pe Ja Kar Lad (Then go and fight on the border),” the policeman said with sarcasm.

Wahi to kar raha tha (That is what I was doing),” the soldier mumbled to himself.

As the soldier tottered on the street on his crutches he talked to himself. 

He had been a fool to be brave. 

He should have played safe. 

At least he wouldn’t have lost his leg. 

And he would not have been discharged from the army as medically unfit.

Now he was being made to run from pillar to post for his disability pension because just because some clerk had “misplaced” his documents.

The soldier was exasperated.

In the army he was expected to do everything promptly and properly in double-quick time.

But these civilians were just not bothered.

First the paperwork was delayed due to red tape.

Then there were some careless typographical errors in his papers and his documents had to be sent back for the necessary corrections.

And now his papers had been misplaced.

It was sad.

Nobody was bothered about his plight.

The civilian babus comfortably cocooned in their secure 9 to 5 five-day-week jobs were slack and indifferent and did not give a damn for the soldiers they were meant to serve.

Civilians expected soldiers to be loyal unto the grave without offering loyalty in return.

“What is the big deal if you lost a leg?” one cruel clerk had remarked mockingly, “You soldiers are paid to fight. And if you die, or get wounded, it is a part of your job. You knew the risks before you joined, didn’t you? If you wanted to live a safe life why did you become a soldier? You should have become a chaprassi (peon) like your friend.”

Tears rolled down the soldier’s cheek as he thought of this.

Others were not so cruel and heartless, but their sympathy was tinged with scorn.

Indeed, he should have become a chaprassi like his friend who was now helping him get his disability pension.

Both he and his friend had been selected for the post of peon in a government office.

But he had been a fool – he told everyone that it was below his dignity to work as a chaprassi and then he went to recruitment rally and joined the army as a soldier.

He made fun of his friend who took up the job of a peon and boasted with bloated pride about being a soldier.

And now the tables had turned and the peon was having the last laugh on the soldier.

The peon was secure in his job while the soldier was out on the street, crippled for life and begging for his pension.

And now his friend wasn’t even called a chaprassi – they had upgraded all “Class 4” to “Class 3” and his friend was now designated as “assistant”.

His friend would retire at the age of 60 after a safe, secure, easy, tension-free career without any transfers or hardships.

If a soldier got disabled, they would throw him out.

But if a civilian employee like his friend got disabled, they would never throw him out.

And, by chance, if his civilian friend died, his wife or son or daughter would get a job in his place.

Nothing like that for the soldier. 

A soldier had to fend for himself.

The soldier felt disheartened.

He looked at his amputated leg and he deeply regretted his decision to join the army.

Indeed he had made a mistake.

He would have been much better off as a peon, a chaprassi or in some other civilian job.

The soldier also felt a sense of guilt that he had made fun of his friend.

A few years ago, the soldier had laughed at his friend because he was a merechaprassi, a peon.

Today he was at his friend’s mercy.

The soldier had to live on the kindness of the man he had once ridiculed and scoffed at.

It was a terrible feeling.

More than six months had passed and he was still anxiously waiting for his pension and dues.

His friend had given the soldier, and his family, shelter and food. 

And now the peon friend was trying to help the soldier by running around from office to office using the “peon network” to trace the misplaced papers.

The soldier felt sorry for his hapless wife.

His ill-fated wife was at the mercy of his friend’s nasty wife who openly derided her and made her displeasure quite clear by making scathing comments about the soldier, his wife and their children.

His friend’s wife kept on complaining and making snide remarks about how they were sponging on her hospitality like parasites.

The soldier’s wife hated the peon’s wife but she had to suffer the humiliation in silence and bear the daily insults – it was terrible to be at the mercy of someone who detested you.

Today the friend had asked the soldier to stand outside the gate and gone into the accounts office alone.

He had gone in alone because last time the soldier had spoilt everything by refusing to a pay a bribe to the accounts officer.

The soldier had even threatened the accounts officer that he would report the matter.

The accounts officer was furious: “Go and report. Nothing will happen. Now I will see to it that your papers are not traced until you die. What do you bloody soldiers think? That you can threaten us? This is not the army. This is the accounts office. Haven’t you heard the saying that the pen is mightier than the sword – now I will show you.”

Today his friend had gone inside to negotiate.

The clerks had told him not to bring the soldier inside the office as the egoistic accounts officer may get furious on seeing the soldier and everything will be spoilt.

Once everything was “settled”, they would try and trace the “misplaced” documents and he could take them out to obtain the soldier’s signature and re-submit the papers for clearance of the disability pension.

The soldier waited anxiously in the hot sun for his friend to come out. 

Angry thoughts buzzed in his mind.

“Ungrateful, corrupt people – all these civilians,” the soldier muttered to himself, “we sacrifice our life and limb for their sake and they humiliate us, even ask me to pay a bribe to get my own disability pension.”

“Patriotism, heroism, idealism – no one bothers about these things anymore. I made a mistake by joining the army. Yes, I indeed made a mistake by joining the army. But I made an even bigger mistake trying to be brave. What was the point of showing courage, initiative, daring and going beyond the call of duty to nab those guys? How does it matter if a few militants sneak in? Who is bothered about these things anyway, especially out here in the city? They don’t even know what is happening out there. Had I looked the other way, no one would have known, and I would not be a one-legged cripple – a langda. And even then, I wish they had shot me in the head and I had died. That would have been better,” he mumbled to himself, feeling very bitter, frustrated and helpless.

The soldier thought of his wife, his children, the bleak future awaiting them.

How long would they have to be dependent on the mercy of his friend and his nasty wife?

He felt sad, very sad, as depressing thoughts of despondency and hopelessness filled his brain.

He wondered whether his disability pension problem would be solved today.

It was taking long – his friend had gone in at 10 AM and it was almost 12 noon now.

The sweltering summer sun was hot and the soldier felt parched and weak.

He had drunk just a cup of tea since they started their journey to the accounts office in the city by bus from their friend’s home in the distant suburbs early in the morning.

Suddenly the soldier felt faint, so he walked towards the compound wall of the accounts office, took support and slid down to sit on his haunches.

At 12:30 his friend emerged from the gates of the accounts office. 

He was happy – the bribe had been paid, the documents had been promptly traced. 

Now all he had to do was get the soldier’s signature on the papers and he had been assured that the soldier’s disability pension and all his dues would be given within a month.

He began to look around for the soldier and saw him sitting strangely, propped against the wall.

The soldier’s eyes were closed and it seemed that he had fallen asleep.

Something seemed amiss, so he briskly walked towards the soldier, bent down and touched the soldier’s shoulder.

The soldier fell down to his side.

The friend panicked. 

He thought the soldier had fainted so he started shouting for help.

The traffic policeman, the street-cart vendor and some passers-by rushed to help.

The policeman told the vendor to sprinkle some water on the soldier’s face but nothing happened.

The policeman rang up the police control room for an ambulance.

“I hope he is not dead,” the friend said with trepidation.

“I don’t know. But it looks like he is totally unconscious. What happened? Who is he? He was muttering that he is a fauji – is he really a soldier?” the policeman asked.

The friend told the policeman the soldier’s story – the full story.

“Sad,” the policeman said, “very sad – the way they treat our soldiers.”

The ambulance arrived.

A paramedic examined the soldier and said, “I think he is dead. We will take him to the hospital. There the doctors will examine him and officially pronounce him dead.”

The enemy’s bullets could not do what these babus did with their red tape. It is so sad. The enemy could not kill this brave soldier, but the thesebabus  killed him,” the policeman commented.

“Yes. The accounts officer was right,” the distraught friend said, “the pen is indeed mightier than the sword.”

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.



This Story First Posted by me Vikram Karve in my blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal onat 1/09/2013 02:09:00 PM (09 Jan 2013) at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Posted by Vikram Karve at 10/27/2014 03:20:00 PM

FOOD TRAVEL BLOG – MOUTHWATERING MUMBAI MEMORIES – NALLI NIHARI in BHENDI BAZAAR

October 26, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: MUMBAI MEMORIES – FOOD WALKS – Part 1 – NALLI NIHARI at BHENDI BAZAAR.

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

MOUTHWATERING MUMBAI MEMORIES

I Spent the Six Best Years of My Life in Mumbai – 6 glorious years from the years 2000 to 2006

During these six best years of my life, I lived in EMPRESS COURT – my all time favourite home – the best house I have ever lived in during my entire life.

I wish I could have had my retirement home in that lovely neighbourhood, or nearby, but then, can an honest naval officer afford a house in South Mumbai?

Maybe a Merchant Navy Officer can afford a house in “So Bo” (South Bombay) – but if you have spent your life honestly serving the nation in the “Fauji” Indian Navy, forget about Mumbai, you will not be able to afford a home in the heart of Pune, and you would probably have to settle down in some faraway suburb like Wakad or Baner, or in one of those military veteran “ghettos” like Mundhwa, Kondhwa or Mohammadwadi.

But in your mind’s eye, you can always hark back and relive your “good old days” with nostalgia. 

That is what I did on this lovely Sunday morning – I reminisced about my glorious Sunday Morning “Food Walks” in Mumbai.

Let me tell you about my memorable Sunday mornings in Mumbai.

MUMBAI FOOD WALKS – Part 1

NALLI NIHARI at BHENDI BAZAAR
Mouthwatering Memories of an Early Morning Food Walk followed by a Sumptuous Nourishing Breakfast
By 
VIKRAM KARVE

From my Foodie Archives:

I love good food.

I am a foodie – I am certainly not a snobbish “high-falutin fine-dining foodie” – but I would rather describe myself as a simple Trencherman.

As I said, I love good food.

And I love walking around searching for good food. 

So, whenever I get an opportunity, I set off on my frequent “food walks” searching for good food.

It was in “maximum city” Mumbai that I enjoyed my best food walks.

Let me tell about one of my favourite food walks – a fulfilling early morning food walks culminating in a nourishing breakfast.
 
This is probably my first piece of Foodie Writing. 

I wrote this in the year 2000, more than 14 years ago, after returning from one of my food walks.

So, Dear Reader, here are some mouthwatering memories of a glorious early morning food-walk in Mumbai culminating in a wholesome breakfast.

EARLY MORNING FOOD WALK IN MUMBAI  a mouthwatering memoir by Vikram Karve

I start early, at dawn, from my house near Churchgate.

I admire, in the early morning pre-sunrise light, the impressive silhouettes of the magnificent Gothic structures of the High Court and Mumbai University across the Oval.

I hear the clock on Rajabai Tower strike 6.

I walk briskly past Oxford Bookstore, KC College and CCI towards Marine Plaza Hotel.

Then I cross the Marine Drive, turn right and start off towards Chowpatty.

I greet with a smile the morning joggers and walkers and rinse my lungs with the fresh invigorating sea breeze.

I walk briskly on Marine Drive. 

Soon I am past Marine Lines, Taraporewala Aquarium, Charni Road, Chowpatty, Wilson College and after the brisk vigorous walk of about 30 minutes I break out into a slight sweat as I reach the northern end of Marine Drive.
 
Here I ponder for a moment. 
 
Should I turn left up the Walkeshwar Road to Teen Batti and Banganga? 
 
Or should I turn right towards Babulnath?
 
Or should I turn back towards Nariman Point? 
 
I experience a sense of true freedom. 
 
I can make whatever choice I want and go wherever I desire. 
 
That’s freedom!
 
I choose to cross the road, and walk fast, straight up the steep path towards Hanging Gardens on Malabar Hill, trying to exercise my heart and lungs. 
 
I take a round of garden atop the water tank near Kamala Nehru Park (is it called Phirozeshah Mehta Udyan?). 
 
Then I canter down to Kemp’s Corner where I turn right, a U-turn really, past Crossword Bookstore, down Hughes Road.

I turn left past Gamdevi towards Nana Chowk and cross the railway over-bridge and keep going onto Grant Road past Novelty Cinema.

Then I turn right at Delhi Durbar on Falkland Road, reach VP Road, walk past Gol Deval, Alankar cinema and soon I am at Bhendi Bazar.

My destination Noor Mohammadi Hotel is right in front of me across Mohamedali Road.
 
Almost two hours of brisk walking has built up in me a voracious appetite and I am ready to devour a sumptuous breakfast. 
 
I am hungry. 

And I eat only when I am hungry.
 
I enter Noor Mohammadi Hotel, a Spartan no-nonsense eatery, and order aNalli Nihari and Roti. 
 
Within a minute a bowl of piping hot gravy, with a generous chunk of succulent meat floating in it, and a fluffy khaboosh roti is placed in front of me. 
 
I dip a piece of the soft roti in the spicy rich gravy, let it soak for a while, put it in my mouth and close my eyes to luxuriate in and relish the gastronomic experience in its entirety.
 
I can feel the juicy gravy soaked roti melting on my tongue, releasing its delicious flavours and spicy aroma which permeate into my soul. 
 
I am in seventh heaven and keep on attaining higher states of sheer heavenly bliss with every succulent bite of the mouth watering concoction.

They say it’s a bone marrow and wheat gravy, but I don’t delve too much on the contents of a dish.

It’s the taste, delicacy, eating experience and ultimate divine feeling of satiation that matters.
 
It is a delectable beginning to a delightful day as the luscious taste of the delicious Nalli Nihari lingers on my tongue indefinitely. 
 
Yes, it is epicurean satiation of the highest order – a blissful experience I can never forget.
 
Dear Reader, if you happen to be in Mumbai and are ready for a sumptuous non-vegetarian breakfast, take a brisk stimulating food walk early in the morning and begin your day with Nalli Nihari at Noor Mohammadi in Bhendi Bazar. 
 
I assure you it will be a fortifying and stimulating experience.
 
Don’t forget to tell us how you enjoyed the food-walking experience.
 
But remember one thing. 

If you want to truly appreciate this splendid Heritage Gourmet Trencherman’s Breakfast Dish to its fullest, you must build up an appetite for it.

Happy Walking. 

Happy Eating. 

Happy Food-Walking.

Remember, in order to enjoy your food first build up an appetite and then satiate it.

Yes, remember the FOOD-WALK DICTUM:

First build up an appetite and then satiate it

First – WALK WALK WALK

Then – EAT EAT EAT

Once more, let me wish you Happy Food-Walking

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.



Written by me Vikram Karve in the year 2000 and First Posted on my Foodie Blog by me Vikram Karve at url: http://creative.sulekha.com/heri…

Posted by Vikram Karve at 10/26/2014 02:08:00 PM

HOW TO ENJOY YOUR WORK – CAREER GUIDANCE – HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT JOB

October 25, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: CAREER GUIDANCE – HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT JOB.

SELECTING A CAREER  –  GUIDANCE COUNSELLING

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

CAREER GUIDANCE

More than 20 years ago, in the 1990s, I had written a number of articles on career guidance  in magazines/journals and given lectures to students on values based career selection, and subsequently posted these on my blog. This blog post is a revised, amalgamated and updated version of my article first posted by me Vikram Karve in my blog at 3/31/2008 03:22:00 PM at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2008/03/sense-of-values-your-values-and-your.html and my Career Guidance Lecture ppt on HOW TO SELECT A CAREER – A VALUES BASED APPROACH by me Vikram Karve and first postedby me Vikram Karve at 2/23/2009 08:14:00 PM in my blog at url:HOW TO SELECT YOUR CAREER – A Value Based Approach

HOW TO SELECT THE RIGHT JOB
(A VALUES BASED APPROACH)
Career Guidance Tips
By
VIKRAM KARVE


One of the greatest misfortunes in life is to be good at something you do not like

You may be proficient in mathematics but you may hate mathematics.

You may be competent HR or PR Manager possessing excellent communication skills and busy interacting with people every minute of the day, but in your heart you may actually love a life of solitude and contemplation. 

In order to be able to select the right career, you will have to reflect, analyse, and discover your inner self.

This will enable you to be able to clearly distinguish between:

1.  what you are good at doing (proficiency, competence

and 

2. what you enjoy doing (interests, values). 

What you love to do is your true metier and is what you actually want to do in your life. 

When I was in school, in the 1960’s, there was no concept of career counselling or vocational guidance.

All the boys were herded into the Science Stream (unless one was very poor at mathematics).

And all the girls were considered suitable for Humanities (unless she put her foot down and insisted on studying science).

Then, as a boy, if you were in science and did well, the options were Engineering or Medicine, and most of us continued being good at something we did not like. 

The girls mostly studied arts while they waited to get married.

And much later in life we discovered what we truly liked and then, if we had time, we pursued what we really wanted to do (our true métier) as hobbies.  

Fortunately, nowadays things are different. 

Young persons have plenty of choice and opportunity to choose what they want to do.

If you are on the verge of choosing your career, the first thing to do is to develop a concept of the person you would like to be – introspect and try to discover your life orientation


LIFE ORIENTATION

If your want to enjoy your work take care to ensure that your choice of career is in alignment with your LIFE ORIENTATION.

Your life orientation comprises three factors:

1. SKILLS

2. INTERESTS 

3. VALUES

If you choose a career that enables you achieve success facilitating optimal utilization of your best skills, doing the kinds of work that relate to your favourite interests and in consonance with your core values, you will derive total work-life balance and job satisfaction.  

In order to find out your orientation in life you have to know yourself.

Go to some quiet place, sit down comfortably, close your eyes, and reflect on the aspects below to discover your skills, interests and values. 


SKILLS

As a first step to determining your Orientation in Life focus on the various skills you might have.

Introspect and list your SOFT SKILLS and HARD SKILLS. 

Soft Skills: pertain to the intuitive, creative and emotional right side of the brain.

Hard Skills: emanate from the analytic and logical left side of the brain.
Are you a Soft Skills person or a Hard Skills person or a hybrid blend of both?

Which types of skills predominate?

Think of your best skills.

Prioritize your skills, hard and soft, and make a list of all your skills in order of precedence. 


INTERESTS

Now list all your interests and put them in order of your preference, just as you did with skills.

How do you discover your interests?

Assume you have enough leisure and plenty of time and lots of resources – what would you do?

How you like to spend your leisure gives a clue to your interests.

Will the career you choose enable you to satisfy your interests at the workplace or will you have enough leisure and resources to pursue them on your own in your spare time.


VALUES 

Now, focus on discovering your values.

Values are core beliefs which guide and motivate attitudes and behaviour.

When you value something you want it (or want it to happen).  

Values are relatively permanent desires.

Values are our subjective reactions to the world around us.

Values are answers to the “why” question. 

You keep on asking yourself the “why” question until you reach a point where you no longer want something for the sake of something else. 

At this point you have arrived at a value.

Let’s take an example.

I was once teaching a Post Graduate Professional Programme at a premier university, a centre of excellence.

I asked a student, “Why are you doing this academic course?”  

“To gain qualifications,” he answered.  

“Why do you want to gain qualifications?”  

“To succeed in my career.”  

“Why do you want to succeed in your career?”  

“To reach the top.”  

“Why do you want to reach the top?”  

“To get power.”  

“Why do want do you want power?”  

“To control people,” he answered.  

“Why do you want to control people?”  

“I want to control people.”  

“Why?”  

“I like to control people.”  

“Why?”  

“Just for the sake of it – I like controlling people,” he said and repeated why questions elicited similar responses related to control.

Control for the sake of control – that’s when you discover your value.

I realized that control was one of his cardinal values and maybe he was a future megalomaniac in the making! 

The same line of questioning of persons undergoing higher education may reveal values like knowledgemoneystatusstandard of living,quality of lifeambition,achievementgrowthreputation,excellencefame.

Your personal list of values may include values like honesty, integrity, loyalty, prestige, happiness, friendship, family life, achievement, independence, education, power, money, independence, freedom and so on.

Now prioritize your values in order of importance to discover your CORE VALUES - your most important cardinal values.

Remember, there cannot be any “partial” values

For example: you cannot be 50% honest (half-honest) – either you are honest or you are not honest!

Your values are possibly the most important thing to consider when you are choosing a career, an occupation or workplace

That is because you can compromise your values but you cannot change your values. 

If you do not take your values into account when planning your career, there is a good chance you will dislike your work and therefore you will not enjoy your work.


SELECTING A CAREER

Introspect over your skills, interests and values.

If you have conscientiously created and prioritized your lists, you have learned something about yourself and ascertained your orientation in life.  

Whilst considering and selecting a career you must thoroughly evaluate as to what degree the career-attributes are compatible with your orientation in life.  

Let us see some examples:

CASE 1

Suppose your priority SKILLS include hard skills like mathematical and analytical ability, and soft skills like leadership and communication skills. 

Your INTERESTS include travel, adventure, photography and good food. 

And suppose your most important VALUES are family life, prestige andachievement.

Now let us consider various career options.

Consider a career as a deck officer in the merchant navy.

Your skills and interests seem to be ideally suited but there ismismatch, a conflict, between the demands of the career in the merchant navy and your most cherished core value – “Family Life”.

Perhaps, if your most important values were money, independence andprestige, the overall harmony and compatibility of your values, skillsand interests with the career-attributes would have made merchant navy an ideal career option for you.

CASE 2

Now, let us say that you discover that your three most predominant valuesare money, independence and prestige.
 
Will a military career as an army officer suit you?

Well, you will certainly enjoy much prestige as an army officer.

But, as far as money is concerned, the pay package in the army is quite modest.

Regimentation is the basic attribute of military life.

Since an army officer has to live a disciplined and regimented life, you may not be able to enjoy the amount of freedom you will get in the civilian world.


VALUES versus CAREER

In practical life you may not be always able to avoid value versus careerconflict in all cases.

But being aware of this fact will help you come to terms with realities and mitigate the conflict and also contemplate a career-shift in consonance with your value orientation whenever feasible.  

Your values are the most important and critical aspect of your career orientation.

If you want to enhance certain skills, you can work on it and acquire those skills.

Similarly, you can change your interests or develop new interests, devoting time and resources to those interests you would like to create, acquire or strengthen.

Skills can be learned, interests can be developed, but values are intrinsic.

It is very difficult to change your core values.

Remember: You may compromise your values, but you cannot change your values.


CAREER GUIDANCE

Before you choose your career, introspect and ascertain the compatibility, congruence and harmony between the career and your orientation in life (comprising your skills, interests and values). 

Do not make a hasty decision or you may find yourself on the wrong road and then it may be too late to turn back.

Devoid of intrinsic motivation to pursue a career which is not in harmony with your orientation in life, but caught up in the need to gain parental affection, materialistic rewards, extrinsic recognition, peer pressure and societal acceptance, young people often enter careers that may not offer them true inner happiness and fulfillment that evolves from harmonious work-life balance. 

Thus, though they may appear outwardly successful, inwardly they lament over the reality of inner dissonance owing to work-life imbalance.

Let your inner conscience be your guide and resist temptation and undue pressures from elders and peers.

Choosing a career which you love, and doing a job you enjoy which is not in conflict with your values and lets you realize your full individuality and creative potential will enable you to achieve a sense of fulfillment. 

Of course, you can interact with career counselors, you can talk to your parents, elders, peers and take their advice, but it is you yourself who must discover your own life orientation (skills, interests and values), and while doing so, remember to distinguish between the “hard” and the “soft” facets of career attributes.

Read some good books on career guidance.

My favorite is a book called What Color Is Your Parachute by Richard N. Bolles. It is updated and published every year. It is a fascinating read and will help you discover your true métier. 

And why not take a few career tests?

You can either visit a career guidance counsellor or psychologist who will administer relevant tests to you. Or try the online tests. My favorite one is ThePrinceton Review Career Quiz which is available online. 

It is a simple, fast, interesting and effective forced choice test which presents you with interesting career options.

I gave the test sometime ago, and the results say that my interest color is Blue, which means I am a creative, humanistic, thoughtful, quiet type, and my usual style is Yellow, which means I tend to be orderly, cautious, loyal, systematic, methodical, solitary, and organized and will thrive in a research-oriented, predictable, established, orderly environment.

As per the test results, my career choices include Writer, Librarian, Philosopher, Teacher, Professor, Researcher, College or School Administrator, Human Resources Manager, Guidance Counsellor, and, yes, I am supposed to be an ideal Career Counsellor.

Am I one of these? 

Well, I am not going to tell you.

I wish you all the best.


WHAT YOU ARE GOOD AT DOING versus WHAT YOU ENJOY DOING

After you have narrowed down the list of suitable careers in consonance with your life orientation, in the ultimate analysis, you have to distinguish betweenwhat you are good at doing and what you enjoy doing.

Have fun, introspect and learn more and more about your own self.

Take your time, think, discuss, read, experiment, reflect, and discover your true métier in harmony with your interests and values and inner self.

Choose your career wisely. 

Remember, one of the greatest misfortunes in life is to be good at something you do not like. 

So while selecting your career you must reflect, analyse, and you must be able to clearly distinguish between:

what you are good at doing (proficiency, competence)

as opposed to

what you enjoy doing (interests, valueswhat you love to do and what you want to do in life. 

If both match and you are good at doing what you enjoy doing, you are indeed very lucky.

But if you are not so lucky, then, while selecting your career, always try andgive more weightage to what you enjoy doing over what you are good at doing. 

A career can be very satisfying if you have made the right choice.

Like the famous adage that goes: 

If you choose a job you love then you will not have to work even a single day in your life.

On the other hand, a wrong decision can leave you regretting and wishing that you had trodden a different path.

All the Best in discovering your true métier

I wish you a fulfilling career that suits you and may you always have a job which you love.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. These career guidance tips are based on my personal experience. These tips do not constitute professional career guidance and are not a substitute for professional career counselling. Please do your own due diligence while selecting your career.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)



More than 20 years ago, in the 1990s, I had written a number of articles on career guidance and given lectures to students on values based career selection, and subsequently posted these on my blog. This blog post is a revised and updated version of my article first posted by me Vikram Karve in my blog at3/31/2008 03:22:00 PM at url: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve and my Career Guidance Lecture ppt on HOW TO SELECT A CAREER – A VALUES BASED APPROACH by me Vikram Karve and first posted by me Vikram Karve at 2/23/2009 08:14:00 PM in my blog at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/200…



Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/25/2014 11:29:00 AM

LIFE LESSONS I LEARNT Part 1 – ANGER MANAGEMENT – PRAISE IN PUBLIC BUT ADMONISH IN PRIVATE

October 21, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: MISTAKES ARE PORTALS OF DISCOVERY.

A Life Lesson I Learnt 21 years ago
“Praise in Public but Admonish in Private

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

MISTAKES ARE PORTALS OF DISCOVERY
Lessons I Learnt in Life
Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE

This happened around 21 years ago when we lived in the beautiful verdant campus of the erstwhile IAT (now called DIAT Deemed University) in the hills of Girinagar overlooking the serene cool blue waters of Khadakwasla Lake near Pune, with the mighty Sinhagad Fort towering above as a sentinel .

We lived in a typical MES accommodation – ground plus one storey with garages in between, four houses in a block.

Each house had a separate overhead water tank on top of the building and separate servant quarters behind the block .

We lived on the ground floor, and our neighbours who lived on the top floor above us were a young couple with a small kid.

Once there was along weekend – four days off – two days Diwali holidays followed by Saturday and Sunday.

Our neighbours, who lived above us, decided to spend the long weekend in Mumbai with their relatives.

In contrast, a sizeable number of relatives had decided to visit us to celebrate Diwali and spend the weekend in the picturesque surroundings on Girinagar and do some sightseeing and trekking, climb up the Sinhagad Fort and picnic at the Panshet and Varasgaon Dams and stroll on the “beach” on the Khadakvasla lakeside.

The whole gang of relatives arrived early in the morning on the first day of Diwali.

We were enjoying ourselves, the children bursting crackers, and my wife got down to making preparations for a festival feast for all of us and we were looking forward to a delicious sumptuous lunch.

Suddenly, my wife came out and told me that the taps had run dry and she said that water was not coming anywhere in the house.

This was surprising, since there was an abundance of water in Girinagar and we had never faced any water problem.

I rang up the pump house who confirmed that they had duly pumped water for three hours in the morning as per schedule and there was no reason for a water shortage. They suggested that I have a look at my water tank on the roof and if there was any plumbing or piping problem they would send someone to rectify the fault.

I climbed up on the roof and was aghast to see that my water tank was bone dry. The lid had been taken off and the walls of the water tank had been freshly painted.

My neighbour’s water tank was full of water.

I came down and started enquiring when my servant told me that she had seen our neighbour’s servant on the roof early in the morning.

I called the neighbour’s servant.

He said that before leaving for Mumbai, my neighbour had given him instructions to shut the inlet valve, drain the water tank, clean it up, dry it, and then apply a coat of paint, let it dry for two days, and then open the valve so that the water tank would be full by the time they came back.

He was contrite and admitted that, by mistake, he had emptied and painted my water tank instead of my neighbour’s water tank.

He had mistakenly assumed that my water tank was my neighbour’s water tank. That is why he had drained out all the water, closed the inlet valve, dried the water tank, and then cleaned and painted it.

My neighbour’s servant profusely apologised and said he was sorry, but I was furious – because of this man’s stupidity we were going to have a water problem when there were so many guests in the house.

I lost my temper and started shouting angrily at the man, giving him a severe tongue-lashing as the man shivered in fright, when I suddenly noticed his small son watching the proceedings.

The young boy trembled with fear and he had an expression of dread written all over his innocent face as he watched his father being publicly scolded and humiliated.

I could not bear to see this heart-rending expression on the young boy’s face so I stopped my invective tirade, told the man to go away, and went into my room to cool off. 

That day I made a decision.

I resolved that I would never admonish anyone in front of their children or family.

Parents are heroes to their children and the worst thing you can do is to humiliate parents (father or mother) in front of their children.

Similarly, it can be very demoralizing for a manager, or any employee, to be reprimanded by the boss in front of his juniors and subordinates.

I was in a profession where being “goody-goody” and “soft spoken” did not work in all cases and occasionally you had to shout at people and reprimand them in order to get the desired results, but I ensured that whenever I gave a tongue-lashing to someone, I did so in private, by calling him aside separately to give him a dressing down.

Also, I tried my best to criticize the action and to ensure that I did not insult the person by making derogatory personal remarks about him.

I scrupulously tried my best to follow the dictum: “Praise in Public but Admonish in Private”.

I did lose my temper and yell at people in public sometimes, but I immediately made amends by apologising on the spot or at the earliest opportunity.

We all make mistakes.

But the trick lies in realizing your mistake when you commit one, learn from your mistake, take corrective action and make sure you do not repeat the same mistake again.

Experience enables you to recognize a mistake.

As Cicero said: Any man can make a mistake, but only a fool will continue in repeating it.

Mistakes are your best teachers.

Mistakes are lessons of wisdom.

And as James Joyce said: Mistakes are the portals of discovery.

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life.

I have tried my best to learn from my mistakes and endeavoured to ensure that I do not repeat them.

In some cases I have succeeded, in some it is still an ongoing process.

As Tryon Edwards put it: Some of best lessons we ever learn, we learn from our mistakes and failures. The error of the past is the wisdom and success of the future.

I will end with a quote by Wang Yang-Ming:

The sages do not consider that making no mistake is a blessing. They believe rather that the great virtue of man lies in his ability to correct his mistakes and to continually make a new man of himself

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


Posted by Vikram Karve at 10/21/2014 10:40:00 AM

Haiku to Commemorate the Moment I Quit Smoking – MY MINERVA MOMENT

October 16, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: MY MINERVA MOMENT – A Haiku to Commemorate the Moment I Quit Smoking.

Link to my original post in my journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

MY MINERVA MOMENT
A HAIKU TO COMMEMORATE THE MOMENT I QUIT SMOKING
By
VIKRAM KARVE

I feel quite sad when I see so many individuals addicted to things like tobacco and alcohol. 

I know a doctor who smokes. 

He knows that smoking is injurious to health, but he just cannot stop smoking.

Another acquaintance of mine is showing signs of becoming alcohol dependent.

But he just cannot quit drinking, despite everyone telling him that if he does not quit drinking alcohol, he will soon be on the road to alcoholism.

There are some who are addicted to gambling.

But they cannot stop gambling, though they know that gambling can ruin their lives.

There are so many bad habits, vices and addictions.

Conquering an addiction is like attaining freedom from bondage.

More than 12 years ago I quit smoking and drinking. 

For many years now, every year, on the occasion of World No Tobacco Day (31 May) I re-post a self help article I had written long back titled HOW TO QUIT SMOKING in which I describe how I quit smoking and give a simple 3 step technique to quit smoking forever which is breathtaking in its simplicity.

In case you want to read this self help article on HOW TO QUIT SMOKING just click the url link given below.

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

(I have also given the link at the end of the post for your convenience – the link will open in a new window, so you can continue reading this post first and then go on to the article) 

But before you read that blog post, please read the Haiku below titled “My Minerva Moment” I wrote many years ago to celebrate the moment I quit smoking and to describe my freedom from the bondage of smoke rings.


MY MINERVA MOMENT 
 
smoke rings
chains of bondage
like handcuffs

fresh breeze
smoke rings dissolve
I am free


Oh yes, Dear Reader, this is exactly what I felt like when I freed myself from the smoking habit – conquering an addiction is like freedom from bondage.

Now please click the link below to read about the Three Stage Technique onHow to Quit Smoking

HOW TO QUIT SMOKING

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

You can use this de-addiction technique to conquer other addictions as well.

Do comment and tell me if you liked the Haiku and the self help article.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. The self help article mentioned in the blog post above is based on my personal experience. It may or may not work for you. So please do due diligence before trying out this technique.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


Posted by Vikram Karve at 10/16/2014 10:08:00 PM

SILENCE IS THE FIRST STEP TO INNER PEACE – SELF HELP for STRESS MANAGEMENT

October 2, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: OUTER SILENCE and INNER PEACE – SELF HELP for STRESS MANAGEMENT.

OUTER SILENCE and INNER PEACE 
SELF HELP for STRESS MANAGEMENT

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

OUTER SILENCE – THE FIRST STEP TO INNER PEACE
WORDS ON A BENCH IN MUSSOORIE
Meditation
By
VIKRAM KARVE

I am feeling hassled. 

I close my eyes. 

I sit in silence.

I relax. 

And I remember those insightful and profound words engraved on a bench in Mussoorie.

I read those words long back, but those meaningful words that have remained etched in my mind forever.

Agar Aap Shanti Chahate Ho To Pehele Shaant Rehena Seekho 


अगर आप शांति चाहते हो तो पहेले शांत रहेना सीखो


Long back, around 20 years ago, I visited Mussoorie.

During one of my long walks, probably on Camel’s Back Road, or maybe near Lal Tibba in Landour, I saw some words inscribed on a bench.

Those words were a truism that has had a profound impact on me ever since.

I will never forget those interesting words written in Hindi on a bench in Mussoorie:


अगर आप शांति चाहते हो तो पहेले शांत रहेना सीखो 


(Agar Aap Shanti Chahate Ho To Pehle Shaant Rehna Seekho)


Roughly translated into English this means:

IF YOU DESIRE PEACE THEN FIRST LEARN TO REMAIN SILENT 

Of course the word  शांत  (shaant)  also means PEACEFUL 

Yes, SILENCE is the sine qua non for PEACEFULNESS.

Once your mind is calm and peaceful you will experience a sense of inner peace.

If your inner peace is disturbed, there will be turbulence inside you, and you will feel stressed out.

The root cause of stress is lack of inner peace.

The first step to stress management is to restore your inner peace, and not allow your inner peace to be disturbed.

And why does your inner peace get disturbed?

Your inner peace gets disturbed because there is too much “noise” in your life.

There is Physical Noise, Information Overload Noise, Emotional Noise.

There is internal noise and external noise.

There is noise around you and noise within you.

There is all sorts of noise and cacophony. 

Noise hassles you, disturbs your tranquility and is the biggest impediment to attaining peacefulness. 

The first step to inner peace is to get rid of all that noise around you and within you. 

Yes, if you want peace you have to shut out the noise from your life.

Go to a quiet place where there is minimal external noise, switch off your noise-making gadgets like cellphones, shut out the cacophony on TV, shut out all the emotional noise which hassles your peace of mind. 

Sit silently in solitude, close your eyes and see how your inner silence dissolves the noise within you and you will experience inner peace and you will be in harmony with yourself.

That’s what I do every morning. 

I sit in silence in the spacious airy balcony of my ninth floor flat in Wakad.

I absorb the tranquil scenic view of the placid waters of the Mula River quietly flowing below, the peaceful verdant hills in the distance, the still atmosphere, the pure fresh air, and I feel a halo of soothing serenity permeate within me. 

Then I close my eyes and let my silence dissolve the internal noise in my mind and body.

It is only then that I experience inner peace and I realize that I am in harmony with myself.

Yes, if you want to be in harmony with yourself, you must have inner peace.

And, outer silence is the first step to inner peace.


अगर आप शांति चाहते हो तो पहेले शांत रहेना सीखो 

If you want peace then first learn to remain silent


Remember this simple piece of wisdom.

Try it. 

Experience the power of silence in calming your mind.

It works. 

You can take my word for it.

Remember the mantra: Outer Silence is the first step to inner peace.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


This Self Help Article Written by me in 1994 and First Posted by me Vikram Karve in this blog on 16 Sep 2011 at 9/16/2011 01:36:00 PM at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Posted by Vikram Karve at 10/02/2014 11:25:00 AM

ALCOHOLISM – ARE YOU A BORN ALCOHOLIC ?

September 25, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: BOOZE WISDOM – ARE YOU A BORN ALCOHOLIC ?.

Click the link above to read my original post in my journal.

Article also posted below for your convenience:

BOOZE WISDOM – Part 1
ALCOHOLICS ARE BORN, NOT MADE

Link to  my original article in my academic and creative writing journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

BOOZE WISDOM – Part 1

ARE YOU A BORN ALCOHOLIC ?

I had never touched alcohol before I joined the Navy – and I may have remained a non-drinker (a teetotaller) had I not joined the navy.

In the 1970’s, when I joined the Navy, Naval social life revolved around drinking alcohol.

In the Navy, alcohol was the social lubricant which fostered friendship and camaraderie.

Every occasion called for a drink, and any event, or party, official, social or personal, was celebrated by drinking copious amounts of alcohol.

For a rough and tough sailor, drinking was considered “macho” – a sign of manliness – and non-drinkers were mocked and ridiculed as effeminate weaklings.

In the Navy, and other arms of the military, if you were a robust drinker who could hold his liquor well, you were considered a good officer, and that you had good OLQ (Officer Like Qualities).

Good Officers were those who had great capacities for drinking, and a good naval officer was not supposed to get drunk even after imbibing large quantities of alcohol.

There was a saying: “Officers never get drunk, they only feel nice”.

On the other hand, a teetotaller was considered a sissy.

In a nutshell, the naval social environment encouraged and eulogized drinking, and, as I said earlier, drinking was the mainstay of naval social life (and I am sure the same was true of army life as well).

It was the navy that introduced me to the delights of alcohol and it is in the navy that I acquired my drinking wisdom, or “booze wisdom”, as I call it.

So, dear reader, let me share some of my “booze wisdom” with you.

Cheers !!!

BOOZE WISDOM – Part 1

ALCOHOLICS ARE BORN, NOT MADE
An Alcoholic is Born, Not Made
Incoherent Ramblings of an Retired Alcoholic
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:
These are my personal views based on my own experience. They may or may not be applicable in your circumstances. This experiential “wisdom” may not have any scientific basis. You may please do your own due diligence before you pick up a drink of alcohol.

I AM AN ALCOHOLIC WHO DOES NOT DRINK ALCOHOL

ONCE AN ALCOHOLIC – ALWAYS AN ALCOHOLIC

I am an alcoholic.

I am an alcoholic who does not drink alcohol.

Yes, at present, I am a “teetotaller”.

I am an alcoholic.

And I am a teetotaller.

So I guess you call me an “alcoholic teetotaller”.

You think I am crazy?

Let me explain.

You must have heard a saying:

“All those who drink alcohol do not become alcoholics. But all alcoholics drink alcohol”.

I agree with the first part of the saying.

Yes: “all those who drink alcohol do not become alcoholics”.

But I do not agree with the second part of the saying which says that: “all alcoholics drink alcohol”.

This is not entirely true.

There are many “alcoholics” who do not drink alcohol.

For example, there is me.

I am an alcoholic who does not drink alcohol.

Of course, there was a time when I drank plenty of alcohol.

Let me tell you of the stages of my life as far as alcohol is concerned.


MY LIFE STAGES AS AN ALCOHOLIC

My life can be divided into 3 phases:

1. ABSTINENCE 

From Birth to Adulthood (0 – 21 years) – my student days when I did not touch alcohol.

2. DRINKING DAYS

The Prime Years of my Life (21 – 46 years) – my drinking days when I drank plenty of alcohol.

3. TEMPERANCE

My Acme Years (46 years onwards) – my temperance years of teetotalism after I quit drinking alcohol at the age of 46.


GENETIC PREDISPOSITION and ENVIRONMENTAL PROVOCATION

You may ask me: “How can you be an alcoholic if you could quit drinking alcohol?”

Or in other words: “How can you remain an alcoholic even after you have quit drinking alcohol?”

The answers is YES.

You can remain and alcoholic even after you quit drinking alcohol.

Let me elucidate.

You must have heard a saying:

LEADERS ARE BORN, NOT MADE

In a similar vein, I would like to say:

ALCOHOLICS ARE BORN, NOT MADE

Yes, an alcoholic is born, not made

I was a born alcoholic.

However, I did not get a chance to drink alcohol till the age of 21.

So, I remained a “latent alcoholic” (or you may say a “potential alcoholic”).

At 21, after I had joined the navy, I had my first drink of alcohol.

This first drink activated the “alcoholism switch” in my brain.

I realized how much I loved drinking alcohol.

I enjoyed drinking – and alcohol became an important part of my life.


ENVIRONMENTAL PROVOCATION

In the Navy, the environment was conducive to drinking alcohol 

In fact, the Naval Social Environment “provoked” you to drink alcohol

(Maybe it is the same in the army and some other professions too where drinking alcohol is a part of life and you have to resist if you want to remain a teetotaller)

I realized that, if you are an “alcoholic”, the Navy is probably the best place to be in.

Naval life revolved around drinking alcohol.

In the Navy, alcohol was the social lubricant which fostered friendship and camaraderie.

Sitting in the bar drinking together, on-board and ashore, strangers become friends as they drank together.

Those glorious drinking scenes of bonhomie established enduring bonds of comradeship and friendship which have lasted even till today.

Yes, alcohol was the golden bond of fellowship.

My best friends were my navy drinking buddies, cutting across rank, seniority and age.

In the Navy, every occasion calls for a drink.

Any event, official, social or personal, was celebrated by drinking copious amounts of alcohol.

“Make and mend” days or “stripe wetting” ceremonies were celebrated by “elbow bending” PLDs (Pre Lunch Drinks) where beer was guzzled by the gallon.

Though you did not drink when sailing, whenever you were in harbour, or posted in a shore billet, you drank almost every evening – there were cocktail parties, mess nights, or informal “booze-up” get-togethers of friends, or you just went across to the wardroom, officers mess or club for a drink.

The best of duty-free foreign liquor was available on ships, and ashore too, the bars and canteens were well stocked with the best Indian brands of booze.

In a nutshell, the naval social environment encouraged and eulogized drinking.

If you were a robust drinker who could hold his liquor well, you were considered a good officer, and that you had good OLQ (Officer Like Qualities).

On the other hand, a teetotaller was considered a sissy.

Drinking was considered “macho” – a sign of manliness – and non-drinkers were mocked and ridiculed as effeminate weaklings.

In fact, I sometimes wondered why these non-drinkers had joined the navy, since alcohol was the main attraction of naval life.

Almost every naval officer drank alcohol, and there were hardly any teetollalers.

Drinking was the mainstay of naval social life.

As I told you earlier, PLDs, Cocktail Parties, Formal Mess Nights, Formal Social Calls and informal drinking binges were a regular feature and I felt pity watching the few teetotallers as they suffered a torturous time holding a soft drink for hours while all of us enjoyed our booze during those glorious naval parties.

This alcohol-conducive environment which enthused and provoked drinking was ideal for a “latent alcoholic” like me to turn into a “full blown alcoholic”.

Since I was a “born alcoholic”, I already had a genetic predisposition to alcoholism (alcoholism is in my DNA).

However, till I joined the navy, because I did not drink alcohol, I remained a “latent alcoholic”.

The various reasons due to which I did not drink alcohol as a young student can be summed up as: “in my younger days my environment was not conducive to drinking alcohol”.

So, I remained a “latent alcoholic”.

The moment I joined the navy, the environment became very conducive for drinking alcohol, and this “environmental provocation” was the trigger, impetus and catalyst which transformed my “latent alcoholism” into “full blown alcoholism”.

Thus, “Alcoholism” is a combination of “genetic predisposition” and “environmental provocation


ALCOHOLISM = GENETIC PREDISPOSITION + ENVIRONMENTAL PROVOCATION

Alcoholism” is a combination of “genetic predisposition” and “environmental provocation

We can express this as a mathematical formula:

Alcoholism = genetic predisposition + environmental provocation

I had the genetic predisposition or propensity for alcoholism.

But, in my younger student days, there was an absence of environmental provocation – so I remained a “latent alcoholic”.

The moment I joined the navy, the conducive environmental provocation triggered my genetic predisposition.

The “alcoholism switch” was activated in my brain – and my penchant for alcohol was allowed to manifest and flourish.

Before I realized it, I was on the road to alcohol dependence and full blown alcoholism.

But a time did come when I did realize that I if continued drinking alcohol I would eventually slip into the abyss of alcoholism to the point of no return.

I had seen this happening to a few of my seniors, who had become alcohol dependent, and some had turned into full blown alcoholics.

I have seen this happening in the civilian world too.

Many say that alcoholism is on the rise.

In the strict sense, alcoholism always existed – only is was not visible.

In the past too, there were always many “latent alcoholics” with “genetic predisposition” to alcoholism.

However, due to various cultural taboos and non-availability of alcohol due to prohibition policies, these “latent alcoholics” did not get a chance to become “full blown alcoholics” (due to absence of “environmental provocation”).

This aspect is particularly evident in women.

Earlier, owing to cultural taboos women did not drink alcohol, so many women “latent alcoholics” who may have had a “genetic predisposition” to alcohol did not get a chance to become “full blown alcoholics” since there was absolutely no “environmental provocation”.

Now, drinking taboos are being slowly removed, especially in modern urban society.

The urban social environment becoming more and more conducive for women to drink alcohol.

This gives an opportunity for women who are “latent alcoholics” to become “full blown alcoholics”. 


WAKE UP CALL

The first “wake up call” I got was at a cocktail party around 12 years ago.

I drank 11 large pegs of whisky (almost a full bottle).

However, there was no effect on me.

Neither I, or anyone else, could discern that I had consumed such an enormous amount of alcohol.

In fact, a friend told me next morning about the enormous amount of whisky I had drunk and that he was surprised to see me behaving absolutely soberly.

He wondered as to how I could be normal after consuming 11 large pegs of whisky, when just 6 pegs of whisky made him drunk.

This meant that my alcohol tolerance level had increased enormously – and this was the first danger signal of impending trouble if I continued drinking alcohol.

I decided to stop drinking alcohol.

I had no choice.

I had a “genetic predisposition” to alcoholism.

Alcoholism was in my DNA and there was nothing I could do about it.

So the only option was to tackle “environmental provocation”.

I drastically changed my lifestyle and tried to be in a “non-alcoholic environment”.

Even now, more than 12 years since I quit drinking, I try to avoid “environmental provocation” to drink alcohol.

This has certainly affected my social life.

I avoid occasions and places where alcohol is served.

I don’t keep alcohol at home.

And ever since I stopped keeping booze at home a lot of my friends have stopped visiting me.

You may feel that these may seem extreme steps, and you may laugh at me – but then you are not a “born alcoholic”.

Whether I like it or not, I am a “born alcoholic” – and that is why I have to be careful.


ARE YOU A “BORN ALCOHOLIC” ?

How do you discover if you are a “born alcoholic”?

If you never drink, you will never come to know and that is the best thing.

But the moment you have your first drink, and the “alcoholism switch” triggers in your brain, you will come to know that you are a “born alcoholic” – you will start loving alcohol more than anything else.

And then you know what to do.

If you are a “born alcoholic”, then you have to control the “environmental provocation” so that it does not impel you towards drinking.

Otherwise, the deadly combination of “genetic predisposition” and “environmental provocation” can make you “alcohol dependent” and gradually turn you into a “full blown alcoholic”.

Remember: An alcoholic is born, not made.

Yes: “Alcoholics are Born, Not Made”.

Tell me one thing.

What should you do once you discover that you are a “born alcoholic”?

Is it wise to live in denial and ultimately become a full-blown alcoholic?

Or is it better to be frank like me and candidly say:

“I am an alcoholic and that is why I do not drink alcohol”

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. These are my personal views based on my own experience. They may or may not be applicable in your circumstances. This experiential “wisdom” may not have any scientific basis. You may please do your own due diligence before you pick up a drink of alcohol.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)



This is an updated version and repost of my article : ALCOHOLICS ARE BORN NOT MADE posted on this blog on 19 Oct 2013 at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…
First Posted by Vikram Karve at 10/19/2013 03:59:00 PM on this blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Posted by Vikram Karve at 

blogspot.in

9/25/2014 09:49:00 AM

 

 

ADOPTING AND LOOKING AFTER PET DOGS – PARENTING versus OWNERSHIP – Tips on Care of Companion Dogs

September 24, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: PET DOG – PARENTING versus OWNERSHIP – Tips on Care of Companion Dogs.

Click link above to read my original article in my academic and creative writing journal

Article also posted below for your convenience:

PET DOGS – PARENTING versus OWNERSHIP – Tips on Care of Companion Dogs

Link to my original article in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

PET DOG
PARENTING versus OWNERSHIP
Tips on Care of Companion Dogs
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:
1. These are my personal views based on my own experience. They may or may not be applicable in your circumstances. You may please do your own due diligence before adopting a dog.
2. There are two ways of looking after babies and children. Most parents look after their children themselves. Some parents “outsource” parenting duties to “nannies”. It is similar with dogs – you can either look after your own dog personally or you can “outsource” dog care to a “nanny” who looks after your dog. This article is meant for pet parents who intend to personally look after their dogs. 

ARE YOU READY TO BE A PET DOG PARENT ?

Before you adopt a dog, or any other pet, you must ask yourself:

Do you want to be a ‘pet parent’ or ‘pet owner’ ?

There is huge difference between the two.

Ask yourself:

1. Are you going to look after your dog like your own child?

Or

2. Are you going to “outsource” this “task” of looking after your dog to someone else?

Of course, even in the case of human children, there are two types of parents:

1. Parents who do genuine parenting and look after their children personally.

2. Parents who “outsource” their core parenting duties to someone else, like a “nanny”, or to “surrogate parents” like grandparents or relatives, or send their children away to boarding schools to be looked after by strangers.

It is the same with pet dog parenting – those who parent their pet dogs like in the first category above are “pet parents” and those who emulate the second category are akin to “dog owners”.

As far as our pet dog Sherry is concerned, we are in the first category – we are pet dog parents.

Parenting Sherry has been an enjoyable but challenging experience.

I will not call it “sacrifices”, but we certainly have made many compromises in order to be good pet parents – be it in our careers or in our social lives or in travel, recreation and leisure.

Today, Sherry is a “senior citizen” – and like any senior citizen she has her share of her ailments.

Sadly, she is blind, and she has diabetes.

Looking after a blind diabetic dog is a demanding task and places restrictions on the pet parents.

For example, it has become difficult for both of us, my wife and me, to go out together.

Since Sherry has diabetes, someone has to be at home to ensure she gets her correct food diet and medicines (insulin) at the proper time, and has her regular walks under leash, since she cannot see and cannot be left free.

Since Sherry is blind, she cannot be left alone at home for long, as she has developed separation anxiety due to her blindness; nor can we take her out with us like we did earlier since she gets confused and anxious in unfamiliar surroundings, and also there is a risk of injury, which can be dangerous in view of her diabetes.

Last weekend, there was a social function, and my wife attended alone, and I stayed at home to look after Sherry.

This weekend, we have a Navy Foundation Get-together, and I will be going alone, while my wife looks after Sherry at home.

The bottom-line is, that, like all “pet parents”, we will have to accept these restrictions since we decided to adopt a dog many years ago.

That is why, in the beginning, I said that before you adopt a dog, or any other pet, you must ask yourself: “Do you want to be a ‘pet parent’ or do you want to be just a ‘pet owner’?”

It is easy to adopt a dog, but it is a challenging long term commitment to be a genuine ‘pet parent’ and look after your companion dog for its entire lifetime.

Over the past few months I had written a few articles on DOG CARE and posted them on my blogs.

I thought it would be a good idea to abridge and consolidate all these articles in one blog post for convenience of dog lovers.

DOG CARE – Part 1
ARE YOU READY FOR PET PARENTING?
THREE QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GET A COMPANION DOG
DOG CARE – Part 1 – THREE QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GET A COMPANION DOG

3 QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GET A COMPANION DOG

1. WHO IS GOING TO BE THE PET PARENT?

Are you thinking of getting a pet dog?

Wait.

Before you get that pet dog into your life, answer this question:

“Who is going to look after the dog?”

The person who is going to look after the dog must be clearly identified.

He or she must be ready to take on the responsibility and lifelong commitment required to look after a dog.

Let us assume that you are the person who is going to look after your dog (of course, your spouse, your children may share this responsibility, but if you are the person who is getting the dog into your home, you must be clear that looking after your dog is your primarily your responsibility).

You will have to allocate around 3 hours of you time to your dog every day – for feeding the dog at the stipulated time, for regular outdoor exercising and long walks, at least twice a day, morning and evening, for playing, training, grooming and bathing your dog.

Can your existing lifestyle cater to the demands of dog parenting?

Are you willing to change and curtail your lifestyle for the sake of your dog?

Are you willing to make “sacrifices” in your career and social life for the sake of your dog?

Are you willing to forego travel, vacations and holidays for the sake of your dog?

Dogs like routine, and once you establish the routine, you will have to follow that routine.

And, in order to follow your dog’s routine, you may have to forego many activities and events, and adjust your lifestyle and career commitments.

Remember, whoever is going to look after the dog will have to make “sacrifices” and should be prepared for it.

That is why, before you get a dog, you must have the answer to the question:“Who is going to look after the dog?” and that person must be clear about what this onerous dog-parenting responsibility entails.


2. ARE YOU PREPARED FOR A LONG TERM COMMITMENT TO LOOK AFTER YOUR DOG FOR ITS ENTIRE LIFETIME?

You must think carefully before adopting a dog, because you are making a commitment to that dog for its lifetime.

Looking after a dog is similar to raising a child.

But there is one big difference.

Your children will grow up and one day they will become independent and then they will leave you and go away to live their own lives, to pursue their own careers.

But your dog will remain a child forever, dependent on you for its entire life.

Yes, unlike your human children, your pet dog will remain dependent on you for its entire life and will never go away.

Getting a dog is a long-term commitment because most dogs
live for about 10 years.

When you bring a dog into your family, that dog is yours for life.

They say that one dog year is equal to seven human years.

So, a 10 year old dog is equal to a 70 year old human being.

Thus, you will have to look after your dog for its entire lifecycle – as a small baby puppy, as a naughty youngster, in its middle age, and you will have to take care of your dog in its old age.

The normal lifespan of a dog is around 10 to 12 years.

In the normal course, your dog will die in your lifetime.

This is one more big difference between human children and pet dogs – unless you are an old person, in your 70’s or 80’s, barring accidents, in the normal course, your dog will die in your lifetime, whereas your human children are expected to outlive you.

Thus, when you get a companion dog, you must be mentally prepared for this sad eventuality, in addition to the long-term commitment to lifelong care for your dog.

When you bring a dog into your family, that dog is yours for life.

Your dog’s life depends on you.

So, before you get your dog, keep in mind that you are responsible for the dog’s entire lifetime of 10-12 years and your dog will need your extra care when the dog gets old and is not so healthy, right until its death.

A dog’s illness and death can be a very emotionally draining experience and you may not be able to cope up with it.

Before you get a dog, you must be clear that you will have to look after your dog for its entire lifecycle and you must be mentally and emotionally prepared for the fact that your dog will die in your lifetime so that you will be able to cope up with the grief at the loss of your pet dog.

So the second question you must ask yourself before you get a dog is:

Are you prepared to make a long term pet parenting commitment to look after your dog for its entire lifetime of 10-12 years?


3. DO YOU HAVE THE RESOURCES TO LOOK AFTER A DOG ?

Are your present living conditions conducive for the entry of a dog into your life and home?

Is your house suitable for a dog?

Do you have a bungalow with enough space in the compound for the dog to play?

If you have a flat in a high rise residential apartment building, you should think twice before you get a dog.

Your dog will feel “cooped up” in the flat, especially when you leave it alone inside.

You will have to frequently take your dog down for its ablutions.

Also, many high rise residential societies are not dog friendly and discourage pets.

Keeping a dog also entails expenses on food and health care.

Medical expenses can be quite heavy, especially in the dog’s old age.

It required emotional and physical resources on your part too.

Can you afford veterinary care and food for your dog?

Do you have the financial, physical and emotional resources to look after your dog for its entire lifetime?

So the third question you must ask yourself before you get a dog is:

“Do you have the resources to look after a dog?”


THREE QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GET A COMPANION DOG

So, before you bring a dog into your life, you must ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. Who is going to look after the dog?

2. Are you prepared to make a long term commitment to look after your dog for its entire lifetime of 10-12 years?

3. Do you have the resources to look after a dog?

Once the answers are clear, go ahead and adopt a dog.

Pet parenting a dog is a joyful and fulfilling experience.

You will never find a more loyal and devoted friend than a dog who loves you unconditionally.


DOG CARE – Part 2
ADOPTING A DOG
TYPES OF DOG CARE and HUMAN-CANINE RELATIONSHIPS
(4 ways of “adopting” a dog)
Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve

ADOPTING A DOG
4 TYPES OF DOG CARE and HUMAN-CANINE RELATIONSHIPS

There are 4 ways of “adopting” a dog.

In each case the degree of human-canine relationship varies quite a large extent.

Most importantly, in each case, the degree of attachment to the dog varies greatly.

Let me illustrate this point by giving you some examples.

FIRST DEGREE of DOG CARE

When I was in Mumbai, every morning at 6 AM, I would start from my home opposite the Oval near Churchgate, walk down to Marine Drive via CCI, and then go for a brisk walk cum jog to Chowpatty.

Then I would turn back, and walk down to “land’s end” at Nariman Point at the southern end of Marine Drive to do some light exercises.

I noticed that every day a woman would come there in a car.

The moment she got out of the car, a large number of stray dogs would come running to greet her.

She would then sit on the parapet by the sea and feed the dogs biscuits which she had carried with her.

The lady would sit for half an hour, “talking” to the dogs, while the dogs frolicked around her, and after that the lady would leave in her car.

This was her routine every morning.

I will call this the “first degree” of dog care (or human-dog relationship).

SECOND DEGREE of DOG CARE

In the 1970’s, when we were undergoing training near Jamnagar, a female dog gave birth to a litter of 5 pups in the garage of our bachelors’ accommodation.

After a few days, the mother and puppies wandered away, but one puppy remained and could be seen in hanging around the corridor.

We bachelors “adopted” the small puppy.

We fed the dog every day, and soon it started following us around.

We called a vet from town and got the dog inoculated.

In jest, we had named the dog after our hard taskmaster training officer.

The dog started responding to the name.

The dog used to come with us on our jogs, hang around while we played a game, and sit with us in the evenings when we had a drink.

But we never allowed the dog inside our cabins – the dog used to sleep outside in the corridor where we had made a place for him with a blanket and water and food bowls.

When we proceeded to sea for our competency training, we “handed over” the dog to our junior batch, and when we came back a few months later for our second phase of training, the dog was very much there.

We left for sea a few months later and I am sure the dog was looked after by the bachelor officers who came to live in the block after us.

This is the “second degree” of dog care.

THIRD DEGREE of DOG CARE

We saw that in the first and second degrees of human-dog relationships, the dog is not allowed inside the house.

The dog lives outside, either on the street and or in your compound, and you give it minimal care.

I have seen many persons keep rescued dogs below their buildings, either on the street or in the building compound, and they feed the dogs and keep water for them, and, in some cases, ensure vaccinations and minimal veterinary care too.

In the third and fourth degree of dog care, the dog lives in your house.

Let me give you an example of the “third degree” of dog care.

I had a friend in the army who had a dog.

He had entrusted “dog care” to his batman (also called sahayak).

The sahayak was the de-facto master of the dog.

Yes, the sahayak would look after all requirements of the dog – food, water, grooming, walks, exercise etc.

The officer and his family would play with the dog whenever they got time.

But in the same manner as some parents delegate their parenting duties to a “nanny”, the officer had delegated dog care to his sahayak.

Even when the officer and his family went to their hometown on leave or on a vacation, the dog would stay behind with the sahayak.

Like the army, many other organizations like the police or some civil services provide you with attendants who can look after your dog.

If you can afford it, you can hire servants to look after your dog.

In this “third degree” of dog care, your dog is like a child looked after by a “nanny” where you delegate pet-parenting to someone else.

FOURTH DEGREE of DOG CARE

This is the highest form of dog care where the owner treats the dog like his own child.

You look after your dog personally.

You treat your dog as a member of your family, just like your human children, and you do everything possible for your dog like you do for your human children.

You are ready to make sacrifices in your career and personal life for the sake of your dog.

You forgo travel, vacations and holidays, and you cheerfully curtail your social life and make lifestyle changes for the sake of your dog.

You are deeply attached to your dog because you love your dog very much.

This highest “fourth degree” of dog care is very demanding and you should be prepared for a long term lifelong commitment of full time parenting.

Remember, your human children will grow up and go away but your dog will remain a perpetual child.

Your dog will be with you forever for his entire life till his death.

You will have to care for your dog through his entire lifecycle of 10-15 years, including caring for your dog in his old age and you will have to undergo the agony of seeing your dog die before your eyes.

You will have to bear your dog’s medical expenses, which can be quite substantial since veterinary care is costly.

Most importantly, you will get emotionally attached to your dog and your dog will become a very important part of your life.

Are you ready for this highest “fourth degree” of human-canine relationship?

Do you have the time, commitment, temperament and resources to look after your dog?

This highest form of dog care is very demanding – you can take my word for it.

This is genuine pet parenting.


SHOULD YOU ADOPT A DOG?

If you want to adopt a dog, especially a rescued dog, by all means do so.

But please be very clear about the type of dog care you will be able to provide to your dog.

The worst thing you can do is to get your dog used to the “fourth degree” of dog care where the dog gets deeply attached to you and becomes totally dependent on you, and then you “abandon” the dog because you realize that you cannot bear the commitment and responsibilities of looking after your dog or you are reluctant to make sacrifices in your career and lifestyle for the sake of your dog.

So, think properly before you adopt a dog – make sure you do not land up in a situation where you adopt a dog in haste and make the dog suffer later.


DOG CARE – Part 3
LOOKING AFTER YOUR PET DOGS IN THEIR OLD AGE AND ILLNESS
DOG CARE Part 3 – LOOKING AFTER YOUR PET DOG IN OLD AGE AND ILLNESS

LOOKING AFTER YOUR PET DOG IN HER OLD AGE AND ILLNESS

On 05 May 2014, more than four months ago, when my pet dog Sherry was in a critical condition, dangerously ill with a life-threatening illness, in the veterinary hospital, we had two choices:

1. Put her to sleep (Euthanasia)

2. Try our best to save her life and put in all our efforts to nurse her out of her severe illness

We chose the second option.

We decided to look after Sherry in her old age and give her our loving care in her illness, to the best of our ability

Sherry was diagnosed with diabetes and then developed pyometra.

The last one month has passed in a daze – twice a day visits to the veterinary clinic for Sherry’s treatment, her diet, her medicines, her twice a day injections of insulin, sitting with Sherry, feeding her, talking to her and comforting her.

All of us, my wife, my son, daughter-in-law, and daughter, even my old mother and mother-in-law, and, most importantly, the veterinary doctors, we are all contributing, trying our best to save Sherry.

My wife is putting in tremendous efforts caring for Sherry, getting up early in the morning to make food for Sherry, give her the insulin shot, and then in the evenings too, after returning from work.

I try to be with Sherry 24/7 and comfort her, take her for her walks – in her illness, Sherry always wants my company.

On 02 June 2014, the veterinary surgeon had planned to operate Sherry for pyometra, but she was in such poor shape that she was unfit for the operation.

Since the risk of the operation was great, and she had open pyometra, it was decided not to operate but let her be as it is.

Sherry is bravely pulling along, but it seems the diabetes is affecting her eyesight and her vision is getting impaired, and she is showing symptoms of blindness, especially at night.

For us, Sherry is not a dog – she is a member of our family – and we will try and do everything possible for her like we would do for our own children, for Sherry is just like a human daughter to us.

Let us see how things go along. 

Sherry is old now, and ill too, with diabetes and pyometra, and losing her vision.

We will look after Sherry to the best of our ability, give her good loving care, and hope for the best.

For more than 8 long years, Sherry has given us her unconditional love and devoted loyalty.

Now, it is time for us to give her the same love and loyalty in return.

For those who are thinking of adopting a dog, I would like to say one thing:

Before you adopt a dog, ask yourself whether you are fully prepared to look after the dog in its old age and take care of your dog in case it falls ill.

So, before you get your dog, keep in mind that you are responsible for the dog’s entire lifetime of 10-12 years and your dog will need your extra care when the dog gets old and is not so healthy, right until your dog’s death.

A dog’s illness can be a very emotionally draining experience and you may not be able to cope up with it.

Before you get a dog, you must be clear that you will have to look after your dog for its entire lifecycle and you must be mentally and emotionally prepared for the fact that your dog will die in your lifetime so that you will be able to cope up with the grief at the loss of your pet dog.


DOG CARE – PART 4
Human – Canine Relationship
EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT versus “UTILITY VALUE”
Poignant Love of a Pet Parent
Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve

MY DOG AND ME
Poignant Ponderings of a Pet Parent

MY DOG AND ME

Till Sherry came into my life, I did not know that a human could get so deeply emotionally attached to an animal.

I never imagined that I would start loving my pet dog Sherry so dearly.

And I never expected that Sherry would love me so devotedly and become an inseparable part of my life.

For over 8 years, Sherry had been a tough healthy high-spirited dog.

And suddenly, Sherry fell ill, very ill, and as she lay in a critical condition on the examination table in the veterinary clinic, a frail skeleton, almost a lifeless shadow of her former self, the veterinary doctors painted quite a dismal picture – her blood reports were haywire, she had severe pancreatitis, her abnormal sugar levels indicated she had diabetes, so she could not be operated upon for her severe pyometra – things looked bad, very bad – it seemed that her chances of survival were quite bleak.

They gave us two choices:

1. Put her to sleep (Euthanasia or “mercy killing”)

2. Try our best to save her life and put in all our efforts and resources to nurse her out of her severe illness

While the first choice was being contemplated, I looked at Sherry.

Sherry looked at me.

I cannot forget the poignant loving look in her eyes.

I could read through the language of her eyes that Sherry wanted to live – the yearning look in her eyes indicated that she wanted to be with us.

We too wanted Sherry to be with us for as long as possible.

So we chose the second option, to try our best to save her life and nurse her back to health, and the next few days passed in a daze – daily visits to the veterinary clinic for Sherry’s treatment, her strict diet, her medicines, her twice a day injections of insulin, constantly sitting with Sherry, feeding her, talking to her and comforting her.

It was on one of these days, late at night, while comforting Sherry who seemed to be in agony, sitting with her and cuddling her, I switched on the TV, and what I saw was incredible – a fantastic coincidence.

The scene in the movie on TV was a mirror image of what I was doing at that moment.

Here, Sherry had put her head on my lap and I was lovingly caressing her neck.

And on the screen, there was an old man and a dog sitting in exactly the same manner, and the man was lovingly fondling the dog exactly as I was fondling Sherry.

Was it sheer coincidence, a quirk of serendipity – or was it an enigmatic message for me?

The scene on the TV screen before me was the episode of “Candy and his Dog” from the movie “Of Mice and Men”. 


OF MICE AND MEN

One of the most poignant books I have read is “Of Mice and Men” – a novella written by John Steinbeck, winner of the Nobel Prize.

OF MICE AND MEN was published in 1937 and it was John Steinbeck’s first successful book that brought him fame as an author.

The novel “Of Mice and Men” has been enacted as a play on stage and also has been made into a movie (which I was watching that evening on TV).

The setting of the story is a ranch in California during the Great Depression.

The narrative describes the volatile life on the ranch and the precarious relationships between human beings on the ranch – friendships and tensions between the migrant ranch workers (farmhands) themselves and also between the farmhands and the owners.

One of the book’s major themes, and its most poignant sub plot, revolve around Candy and his dog.


CANDY AND HIS DOG

It is said that a dog is a man’s best friend.

This statement aptly describes the relationship between Candy and his dog.

Candy has had his dog since he was a pup.

It is his only friend and companion. 

Candy has been alongside his dog for all of the dog’s life and has had a close relationship with his dog.

Candy remembers the time when he first got the dog.

He always proudly tells everyone that his dog was the best sheepdog.

Unfortunately, Candy’s dog, once a tough healthy impressive sheep herder, has now become blind, toothless, rheumatic, weak, and is in frail health due to old age.

A dominant ranch worker says to the ranch boss, and to the other ranch-hands present, that Candy’s dog is so old that he can hardly walk, the dog has no teeth, the dog is blind and deaf, the dog cannot chew, so Candy feeds him milk, and he asks the ranch boss to tell Candy to shoot his old dog.

All of them tell Candy that his dog is of no good to Candy, and the dog isn’t any good to itself too, since the animal is in misery due its old age infirmities – so why doesn’t Candy shoot the dog and relieve the dog of his suffering?

The ranch boss says that the dog is no good and remarks sarcastically: “…I wish someone would shoot me if I got old and (became) a cripple…”

All the ranch workers suggest that it would be best to shoot Candy’s old dog.

After hearing everyone, the ranch boss decides that since the sick old dog is a useless burden, it would be best to end its suffering by shooting it dead.

Candy is unable to “let go” and tries his best to hold on to his old blind, deaf and disabled dog for as long as possible.

Candy reminisces and tells everyone about the dog.

He describes the time when he first got the dog and mentions that it was the best sheepdog he has ever seen.

Candy harks back to the time when both he and the dog were useful and of great value to the ranch – he was the best ranch handyman and his dog was the best sheepherder.

Now Candy is crippled, as he has lost a hand in an accident, and he has become too old for vigorous work on the farm.

And Candy’s dog is in a similar situation – blind, deaf, disabled and too old to be of any use.

Candy has had his dog since he was a pup.

His dog is his only friend and companion on the ranch, especially after Candy is crippled after losing his hand the accident.

Candy pleads with everyone not to shoot the dog and begs to save the dog’s life: “…I am so used to him…I had him for so long…I had him since he was a pup…I herded sheep with him…You wouldn’t imagine if you look at him now, but he was the best sheep dog I have ever seen…”

But no one listens to his pleas, and the dominant worker called Carlson takes Candy’s dog outside to be shot and buried.

Candy’s dog is “put to sleep” and Candy is heartbroken when he hears the gunshot.


UTILITY VALUE – FATE OF THE “USELESS” WHO HAVE OUTLIVED THEIR USEFULNESS

The “mercy killing” of Candy’s Dog symbolizes the helplessness of valueless persons.

The dog is a metaphor for Candy himself – old and crippled and not of much use to anyone.

Maybe, for Candy, the fear he feels for his dog’s death is parallel to his own fear that when he has fulfilled his purpose and he is no long effectual, when he has outlived his utility, he too will be disposed of as readily as his dog.

The story of Candy’s dog serves as a harsh reminder of the fate that awaits anyone who outlives his usefulness.

To summarize, in the novel “Of Mice and Men” John Steinbeck has portrayed a poignant situation – the hapless ageing ranch worker Candy realizes that both he and his dog have “outlived their utility” when he helplessly watches the cruel way in which his beloved dog is treated.

Candy’s dog was once a great sheepherder.

But now the dog has become blind, deaf and disabled due to old age.

The dog can no longer herd sheep.

Candy’s dog has lost its usefulness – the dog no longer has “utility value”.

So, since the dog has become “useless” – the dog is shot dead.

Candy finds himself in the same position as the dog.

Candy realizes that just like his dog has lost its “utility value”, Candy himself has lost his “utility value.

Candy is anxious, and he is worried about his own future, and he speculates whether he would be fired from his job – if they could get rid of a “useless” dog, what prevents them from getting rid of a “useless” worker?


ME AND MY DOG

There was a time when I was the sole breadwinner for my family.

I provided for my family and I was “useful” to them.

I worked as a Naval Officer and I was “useful” to the Navy.

Today, after my retirement, as far as the Navy is concerned, I am a retired “veteran”, and I am not “useful” to the Navy anymore.

Also, now, after my retirement, I am no longer the “breadwinner”, and my wife and children are financially independent.

So, as far as my family is concerned, in the “material sense”, I am “useless”.

As I told you earlier, I have a dog called Sherry.

Once upon a time, Sherry was a great guard dog (and for me, a loving companion).

Unfortunately, Sherry has been ill for the past few months.

Today, Sherry is a blind diabetic dog – she has diabetes and has lost her vision due to her diabetes.

Like Candy’s Dog, Sherry too has lost her “utility value”.

So, aren’t we in the same situation as “Candy and his Dog” so poignantly described in John Steinbeck’s masterpiece novel “Of Mice and Men”?

I am “useless” thanks to my retirement.

Sherry is “useless” owing to her illness.

Me and my Dog – both of us have lost our “utility value” and have become “useless”.

Is that why we are holding on to each other?


DOG CARE – Part 5
LOOKING AFTER A DIABETIC DOG – LIFESTYLE CHANGES
LOOKING AFTER A DIABETIC DOG – LIFESTYLE CHANGES – DOG CARE – Part 5

LOOKING AFTER A DIABETIC DOG – LIFESTYLE CHANGES

I had brought out above in Part 2 of this series on DOG CARE (DOG CARE – Part 2 – ADOPTING A DOG) that if you get a dog into your home, there are two basic types of “Pet Parenting”.


BASIC TWO TYPES OF PET DOG PARENTING:

1. You can personally look after your dog

2. You can “outsource” dog care to someone else

(This is akin to human parenting where either the mother looks after her own child or the mother “outsources” childcare to a “nanny”)


PERSONAL PET PARENTING – DIABETIC DOG CARE

We, my wife and me, belong to the first category of pet parents and we look after our pet dog Sherry personally.

That is why we have had to change our lifestyle when our pet dog Sherry got diabetes.

From morning to night, our lives now revolve around Sherry.

Our lifestyle and our routine are now governed by Sherry’s routine of her strict diet and timely insulin injections twice a day.

(We never imagined that we would have to administer injections and that too for Sherry)

We have to make sure we feed Sherry the prescribed diet in a timely manner.

We have to be careful Sherry does not injure herself and keep an eye on her in case she becomes sluggish due to blood sugar levels.

One of us, either my wife or me, have to remain at home during her food and insulin time, twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.

This can affect social life – for example, if there is a social event in the evening, only one of us will be able to attend.

To make matters worse, our pet dog Sherry became blind (this happens to most diabetic dogs).

Looking after a blind diabetic dog is now an even greater responsibility.

We are working on helping Sherry acclimatize to her loss of vision and the results are encouraging.

I think we have been able to keep Sherry in good cheer despite her tragedy and trauma of sudden blindness.

I will write about it in Part 6 of this series on “Dog Care”.


DON’T ADOPT A DOG UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED TO LOOK AFTER YOUR DOG FOR HIS ENTIRE LIFETIME

It sounds romantic to adopt a dog, especially a rescued dog.

But it is an onerous responsibility to look after the dog, especially when your dog becomes old and ailing with infirmities.

Once you adopt a dog, you will have to look after the dog for his entire lifetime.

If you want to adopt a dog, especially a rescued dog, by all means do so.

But please be very clear about the long term commitment, the resources required (time and costs) and responsibilities of looking after your dog and make sure you are ready for the career sacrifices and lifestyle changes you may have to make for the sake of your dog.

The worst thing you can do is to adopt a dog and then “abandon” the dog because you realize that you cannot look after your dog.

It is most cruel to abandon a dog which has become deeply attached to you and is totally dependent on you.

Unfortunately, nowadays, especially in urban cities, we see that many people are abandoning their dogs once they realize the onerous nature of pet parenting duties and are not willing to change their lifestyle, bear the responsibilities and costs, or make sacrifices for the sake of their dogs.

So, think properly before you adopt a dog – make sure you don’t land up in a situation where you adopt a dog in haste and make the dog suffer later by neglecting or abandoning your pet dog.


DOG CARE – Part 6
BLIND DOG PARENTING – HOW TO LOOK AFTER A BLIND DOG
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

LOOKING AFTER A BLIND DOG

A dog can become blind due to many reasons.

Diabetes is a major reason for loss of vision in dogs – dogs with diabetes develop cataracts which may result in blindness.

Whatever the reason, losing vision and becoming blind is traumatic for the dog and distressing for the owner (pet parent).

A vet once told me that a dog got so traumatized and depressed after becoming blind that the dog had to be put to sleep.

Unlike human beings dogs cannot speak and nor can you explain things to them like you can do to human beings.

Dogs get confused and disoriented when they suddenly become blind.

Pet parents become distressed and anxious when their dogs become blind.

A pet dog’s blindness will necessitate lifestyle changes in both the pet parents and the dog.

As a pet parent, you have to overcome your own personal grief, and you will have to help your dog cope with blindness.

Here are a few things dog owners (pet parents) can do to help their dogs mitigate the effects of blindness and with cope up with the tragic situation of losing vision.


COMFORT YOUR BLIND DOG

You must constantly comfort your blind dog.

Try to always be at your dog’s side, touch your dog, and talk to your dog in a loving reassuring voice.

You must “talk” to your dog much more.

Speak to your blind dog in your normal, cheery voice.

Your voice will be very soothing for your blind dog.

In fact, in the initial stages of your dog’s blindness, lovingly caressing and cheerfully talking to your dog will relieve your dog of the distress, agony and sense of isolation due to sudden loss of vision.

Talking to your dog will provide comfort and lessen the dog’s sense of isolation.

Your voice and your touch will assure your dog of your companionship.

The most important factor in how well a dog copes with blindness is the love and reassurance you give your dog, as a pet parent.

You must remember that despite becoming blind, your dog can continue to be a loving companion – in fact, the bonding between you and your dog will become stronger.


HELP YOUR BLIND DOG RE-ORIENT TO THE ENVIRONMENT

Sudden onset blindness can be much harder for both the dog and pet parent, than a gradual loss of vision.

A dog with sudden onset blindness is plunged into darkness without warning will become disoriented due to which the dog will experience trauma and anxiety.

As a loving pet parent, you must help your dog overcome this disorientation caused by sudden blindness.

One mitigating factor is that dogs do not rely on their sense of vision to the same extent as do humans.

Your dog depends on other senses like hearing and smell

Of all your dog’s senses, eyesight is third in order of importance after hearing and smell.

You can help your blind dog re-orient by facilitating your dog in using these senses of smell and hearing, along with the sense of touch.

It is best to start re-orienting your dog in a known environment – like your home.

Then, gradually extend to other familiar environments, like your dog’s regular walking routes and play area in your compound.

Be patient when you guide your dog in his familiar surroundings.

Let the dog sniff around, recognize familiar smells – and if you are outside – let the dog “mark” familiar spots.

Help your dog “map-out” his surroundings in his mind, both inside your house and outside.

To help your blind dog negotiate his way around, teach your dog “key words” such as “1-2” for climbing stairs, “walkie-walkie” for the dog to follow you, “stop” for your dog to stop whenever there is some obstruction/hazard etc etc.

You will see that within a few days, your blind dog will re-discover and map-out your house and his familiar surroundings.

You must facilitate your blind dog to overcome the disorientation caused by sudden blindness and re-orient himself by allowing your dog plenty of opportunity to explore and sniff around.

Soon, your blind dog will start enjoying going out on walks with you as before.

However, you should be very careful to ensure that your dog does not injure himself, so keep an eagle eye and a tight leash.

As time passes, you will notice that your blind dog’s sense of smell, touch and hearing will become more sensitive and, to a certain extent, this will compensate for the loss of vision.


TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO AVOID INJURIES TO YOUR BLIND DOG

You must take precautions, both indoors and outdoors, to ensure that your bind dog does not injure himself due to his lack of vision.

Remember, a blind dog cannot see things like before – the blind dog can only smell, hear and sense things.

Inside your home, remove all potential hazards, like tables with sharp edges and other obstructions, by rearranging your furniture in order to make your home safe to move around for your blind dog (you must do this quickly, before you start re-orienting your dog to your house).

A blind dog may have a tendency to walk close to the walls in order to avoid obstacles in the middle of the room so ensure you close cupboard doors, slide in all drawers and keep areas near the wall clear of objects so your dog does not bump into them.

Outside, you must keep your dog on a tight leash and be very alert to ensure your dog does not injure himself by stepping onto sharp objects or banging his head or nose into walls or things.

Preventing injuries is particularly important for blind dogs who have diabetes, since curing of injuries is difficult in diabetic dogs.

Do not scare your blind dog by suddenly touching him or by moving objects (like his food bowl) towards him.

Talk to your dog before you extend your hand.

Tap your dog’s food bowl and call out “Food” or “Mum Mum” to your dog and let your blind dog slowly sniff and approach so that he does not injure nose by banging it against the bowl.

Avoid taking your dog to unfamiliar places where the dog will get disoriented and is likely to injure himself.

As I said before, preventing injuries is particularly important for blind dogs who have diabetes, since curing of injuries is difficult in diabetic dogs.


MAKE LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO CARE FOR YOUR BLIND DOG

You will have to keep the “morale” of your blind dog in high spirits at all times in order to prevent your dog sinking into despondency and depression due to his blindness.

For achieving this, you will have to make changes in your lifestyle.

When your dog becomes blind, you will notice that the dog’s personality may change and your dog may become more affectionate as he becomes totally dependent on you.

A blind dog’s constant need for love and companionship may create “separation anxiety” in your dog.

Your blind dog will always want you in close proximity and will hate to be left alone.

Your blind dog may howl in a heart rending manner if he senses you are going out and leaving him alone.

This means, that if you have a blind dog, you or someone from your family will always have to be at home.

You will not be able to go out together.

You will not be able to leave your blind dog at a boarding kennel and go outstation on vacations.

Even if you have to go out on work, someone will have to be at home to look after the dog.

Many people are ready to look after a healthy dog.

But it is difficult to look after a blind dog.

This is particularly so if your dog is diabetic in addition to being blind, since you have to give him the prescribed diet and medicines at the proper times.

So, you will have to give maximum companionship to your blind dog, both indoors and outdoors.

Talk to your blind dog in a cheerful manner, play with him, take him out for walks, and establish your dog’s routines.

In order to help your blind dog adjust better, it is good to take your dog for a walk on the same route where the smells, sounds and feel of the ground are familiar.

Walk slowly and let your blind dog sniff around and help him become comfortable and re-assured.

You will not be able to take your blind dog with you on visits to other places, to avoid disorientation and injury.

In a nutshell, in order to keep your blind dog in good cheer and high morale, you will have to give him constant companionship and spend more time with your dog.

This will entail lifestyle changes involving curtailment of your social life, and may necessitate compromises in your work life too.


BLIND DOG CARE

Looking after a blind dog is a challenging and stressful task.

Words cannot describe the agony a pet parent feels when he sees his beloved dog suddenly become blind and helpless.

Most loving pet parents get terribly distressed when their dog becomes blind and loses his vision.

Remember that your pet dog can sense your emotions, so it is best that you maintain a calm, upbeat, positive and cheerful attitude and do not transmit negative vibes to your blind dog.

You must help your blind dog adjust to vision loss as quickly as possible, and restore your dog’s confidence and keep him in high morale.

Here are some words of sage advice to pet parents whose dogs have become blind:

“What I say to people is, look, your dog couldn’t read, write or drive a car, anyway. He’s already got four other senses that are better than yours. As long as you take good care of him, he’ll be okay.”

~ Nick Whelan, Canine Ophthalmologist, Ontario Veterinary College

When your dog becomes blind, you must lovingly help your dog adapt his lifestyle to compensate for his blindness.

You must bond closely with your dog and develop the dog’s self-confidence so that your dog remains cheerful despite his tragic loss of vision.

When people get dogs they never imagine that their dog can become blind, or develop some other serious disease or disability.

Let me post a poem (I discovered on the internet) in which a blind dog speaks to its “parents”:

I cannot see you Mommy, when you cuddle me so near.
And yet I know you love me, it’s in the words I hear.

I cannot see you Daddy, when you hold me by your side
But still I know you love me when you tell me so with pride.

I cannot see to run and play out in the sun so bright
For here inside my tiny head it’s always dark as night.

I cannot see the treats you give when I am extra good
But I can wag my tail in “Thanks” just like a good dog should.

“She cannot see. The dog is no good” is what some folks might say
“She can’t be trained, she will never learn, She must be put away.”

But not you, Mom and Daddy, You know that it is alright
Because I love you just as much as any dog with sight.

You took me in, you gave me love and we will never part
Because I am blind with just my eyes, I see you in my heart.

~ Sherrill Wardrip


BLIND DOG PARENTING

If you are a genuine dog lover, pet parenting may turn out to be more difficult than parenting your human children.

Your human children will grow up, leave the “nest” and fly away to their careers and to pursue their own lives.

But your dog will be dependent on you for his entire life – you will have to bring him up in his childhood, look after your dog in his old age, and, you will have to endure the pain of your dog dying before your eyes, for dogs only live for around 10 years.

Adopting a dog is a challenging long term commitment – you are committing yourself to look after the dog for the dog’s entire lifetime of about 10 years and care for the dog in its illness and old age.

Remember – it is easy to get a dog, but it is difficult to look after the dog for its entire lifetime.

And, by a twist of misfortune, if your dog becomes blind, let me summarize the essence of Blind Dog Parenting, and recap the 4 points I told you on how to look after a blind dog:

1. Comfort your blind dog

2. Help your blind dog re-orient to the environment

3. Take precautions to avoid injuries to your blind dog

4. Make lifestyle changes to care for your blind dog



(This Series on PET DOG PARENTING to be continued…)

Dear Dog Lover:

Remember: It is easy to adopt a dog, but it is a challenging long term commitment to be a genuine ‘pet parent’ and look after your companion dog for its entire lifetime.

Do comment and tell us about your Dog Care and Pet Parenting Experiences and Views.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. These are my personal views based on my own experience. These pet parenting tips may or may not be applicable in your circumstances. You may please do your own due diligence before adopting a dog and develop your own ways of looking after your pet dog.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


Posted by Vikram Karve at 9/24/2014 03:16:00 PM

OBIT – REQUIEM FOR A SOLDIER – In Remembrance of Brigadier Pratap Dattatraya Joshi (6.3.1932 – 22.9.2008)

September 22, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: “REQUIEM” FOR A SIMPLE HONEST PATRIOTIC SOLDIER ON HIS 6th DEATH ANNIVERSARY – OBITUARY – In Remembrance of Brigadier Pratap Dattatraya Joshi (6.3.1932 – 22.9.2008).

Click the link above to read the blog post in my academic and creative writing journal.

Article also posted below for your convenience:

“REQUIEM” FOR A SIMPLE HONEST PATRIOTIC SOLDIER ON HIS DEATH ANNIVERSARY

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

OBITUARY – In Remembrance of Brigadier Pratap Dattatraya Joshi (6.3.1932 – 22.9.2008)

Today is the 22nd of September 2014  the sixth death anniversary of my late father-in-law Brigadier Pratap Dattatraya Joshi who we affectionately called “Daddy“. 

How time flies! 

He passed away in the early hours of 22 September 2008.

Six years have passed since the inimitable Pratap Dattatraya Joshi left for his heavenly abode. 

Lest we forget him, on this day, his 6th death anniversary, let me sound the “Last Post” once again.



As a token of my remembrance, here is the obituary LAST POST I wrote for him when he left us for his heavenly abode on the 22nd of September 2008.

LAST POST

Obituary

Brigadier Pratap Dattatraya Joshi  (6.3.1932 – 22.9.2008)

In the early hours of the 22nd of September 2008, Pratap Dattatraya Joshi, breathed his last, and departed for his heavenly abode, at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune.

Pratap Joshi was an epitome of simple living and high thinking. 

Born on the 6th of March 1932, he imbibed sterling values from his father, DP Joshi, a Teacher and Scout, a legend in his lifetime.

Brigadier PD Joshi was a product of the prestigious First Course of the National Defence Academy (NDA – or 1st JSW, as he liked to call it, then located in Dehradun).

Brigadier PD Joshi was certainly not the archetypal pompous hard-drinking handlebar-moustachioed high-falutin “Colonel Blimp” type of Army Officer.

He was not an elitist snob, but a simple honest patriotic professional who believed in grassroot soldiering. 

He was a simple, down-to-earth, Spartan, unassuming, dedicated, sincere, patriotic, scrupulously honest, erudite person possessing a golden heart filled with humility and compassion. 

Throughout his distinguished career spanning 37 years, and even thereafter, he spread happiness, benevolence and goodwill owing to his cheerful disposition, kind-hearted nature and inimitable sense of humour.

Forever young at heart, Pratap Joshi did not suffer from the Auld Lang SyneComplex. 

After retirement, unlike most retired “faujis”, he never lived in the past, languishing and brooding about the “good old days”, but he moved on with exceptional enthusiasm and childlike zeal to his new loves – music and social work.

Starting from the scratch, he studied classical music with sheer dedication, resolute grit and passionate zest for many years till he was bestowed with the prestigious post graduate degree of Sangeet Alankar. 

Then he taught music to one and all, free of cost, making special efforts to teach the needy and underprivileged.

Travelling extensively, and roughing it out in the heart of the mofussil, to rural and far flung regions, he made a significant social contribution to enhancing primary education in backward areas, as the Chief Trustee of the Natu Foundation Educational Trust. 

He eagerly contributed his expertise to Jnana Prabodhini and for improving the efficiency of Hospitals.

Pratap Joshi loved animals, especially dogs. 

He always had pet dogs, and showered his unconditional love on them and all the dogs that he came across in the neighbourhood, pet and stray. 

It was distressing to see Dolly desperately searching for him soon after he had gone away from us forever. 

We shall always remember the love with which he snuggled and cuddled Sherry, our pet dog, a “Doberman-X” girl, when she was a baby.

He had a genuine zest for living, and enjoyed every moment of his life, indulging himself in his favourite foods, movies, travel, music – anything he liked, he did it! 

He laughed, and made others laugh.

I first met Pratap Joshi in March 1982 and he left such a lasting impression on me that I became his fan ever since. 

He was my father-in-law, more like a loving father who I could count on to stand by me, advise and inspire me, in happiness and in adversity, and I shall forever cherish every moment I shared with him. 

My son, a seafarer, was his favourite grandchild, the apple of his eye. 

It was a pity he could not be with his beloved grandfather during his last moments as he is sailing on the high seas. 

Such are the tragedies and travesties of life, and death.

We will miss you dearly “Daddy”. 

You lived your life to its fullest and loved all of us from the bottom of your heart. 

We are sure you will shower us with your blessings from your heavenly abode. 

You were a noble and virtuous man who always did good to everyone you met and wherever you went. 

Pratap Dattatraya Joshi  (6.3.1932 – 22.9.2008) – RIP.

May His Soul Rest in Peace.


VIKRAM KARVE

Obituary First Posted on 22 September 2008 in my Blog at url link:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/200…

HANKY PANKY – STORY OF A SPICY EXTRA-MARITAL AFFAIR

September 19, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY – STORY OF A SPICY EXTRA-MARITAL AFFAIR.

Click the link above to read the original post in my creative writing blog: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/09/every-dog-has-his-day-story-of-spicy.html

EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY
A Spicy Extra-Marital Affair
Short Fiction – A Love Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

From My Creative Writing Archives:
One of my earliest stories – a hilarious romance.
I wrote this story than 10 years ago – in the year 2004.
This story also features in my short fiction anthology COCKTAIL 
Do let me know whether you liked the story.

EVERY DOG HAS HIS DAY – A Hilarious Romance By VIKRAM KARVE
I never reminisce.

It makes me nostalgic, poignant, and melancholic.

But there is one thing that I love to hark back to, revisit in my mind’s eye from time to time, and have a hearty laugh.

A vivid memory of quite long ago – whenever I recall it – I always burst out laughing. 

And so will you when I tell you about it.

It happened long ago – fifty seven years ago – in the year 1956 to be precise.

It happened in far-off tea-estate country, in a remote corner of India, almost in the back of the beyond – the place was then still a relic of the Raj.

I shall not tell you the place, and I will also change the names; for we just want to have a laugh, don’t we?

There was a handsome planter. 30. Let’s call him Roy.

And he had a most beautiful wife. Let’s call her Helen.

A dashing couple. An ideal match – made for each other – at least from the outside.

“Please. I’d like to have a word with you,” Roy sidled up to me at the bar in the Planters’ Club one cold wintry evening.

“Sure,” I said, pointing at the bar-stool. “Come, join me for a drink.”

“Not here,” he said looking at the crowd, “It’s very personal.”

“Okay. Let’s go outside.”

I ordered two whiskies; we picked up our drinks, and went out on the lawns.

It was dark, desolate and chilly.

“I don’t know how to say it,” Roy hesitated.

“Just say it,” I said.

“I want you to keep an eye on my wife,” he said.

“Something serious?” I asked.

“I think she is having an affair,” he said, “Someone visits her whenever I go out on my weekly tours.”

“You’re sure?”

“Not really. But I suspect. There are those telltale signs.”

“Like?”

“She seems a bit too satisfied, fulfilled, happy – how can I describe it – especially when I return home from tour. And there is a strange gleam in her eyes. And now-a-days she is overly polite and considerate towards me. I suspect she is up to some hanky-panky. ”

“Hanky-Panky? Well this is really your private matter. You know I really shouldn’t ….”

“Please,” he interrupted, “you’re the only one I can trust.”

He seemed so desperate that I had no choice. “Okay,” I said, “I’ll need to see your place, and meet your wife too.”

He told me the way to his tea-estate and next morning I was on my way, driving up the hair-pin bends on the steep windy road in my open jeep with my ferocious Doberman, Bruno, sitting beside me.

It was a lonely bungalow atop a hill surrounded by tea gardens. 

Roy welcomed me and introduced me to his wife.

“I’m Helen,” she said looking into my eyes for that moment longer than could be considered polite greeting.

She looked so ravishing that it was with great effort that I could take my eyes off her.

No wonder he was so insecure – anyone with such a beautiful and stunningly sexy wife always feels vulnerable. Especially, clots like him – I wondered why dopes like Roy always got the most gorgeous wives.

We indulged in some small-talk, and it was only after lunch that I brought up the subject. “Mrs. Roy, you must be feeling very lonely out here, isn’t it? Especially when Mr. Roy goes out on his tours.”

“Oh yes, she does,” Roy interjected.

“No, No. I don’t feel lonely at all,” Mrs. Roy said. “In fact, I love being alone. And don’t call me Mrs. Roy – call me Helen!”

“Why don’t you drop Helen off at the club on your way out and pick her up on your way back from your tour?” I suggested to Roy. “She can make some friends, play tennis, cards, tombola, a movie, and party – do whatever she likes and then stay for the night at the guestroom. She’ll always have plenty of lively company at the club”

“I prefer my solitude,” she said.

“She even sends the servants away,” Roy complained.

 “I told you I like my privacy,” she said, a tinge of irritation in her voice.

She seemed quite obstinate, the tone of her voice slightly hostile, so I changed the subject.

“You like dogs?” I asked her.

“I love dogs, adore them,” she said excitedly. “We always had pet dogs back home. I have been telling Roy to get me a nice dog to keep me company, but he hates dogs.”

“Your prayers are answered,” I said, and I led Helen to my jeep where Bruno was sitting obediently.

“A gift for the charming lady,” I announced holding Bruno by the collar and making him smell her.

Bruno instantly took a liking for her, wagged his tail and nudged affectionately against her.

She was overjoyed.

Roy apparently wasn’t too enthusiastic, but I silenced him with a stern look.

On my way out, when I was alone with Roy, I confided in him, “We will catch the lover-boy now. Bruno is the best guard dog in our kennel. I trained him myself. Just leave him in the verandah when you go out at night. He is deadly ferocious – whoever is up to hanky-panky with your wife –well, the lover boy is going to be ripped apart from limb to limb.”

A wicked smile appeared on Roy’s face as in his mind’s eye he visualized his wife’s mysterious lover being devastated and mutilated by the ferocious dog.

That evening many things happened. 

Roy left on his tour, viciously excited, probably relishing in his imagination what was going to happen to the unknown “lover” that night.

Later that night, after a furious bout of lovemaking, Helen lying fully satiated in the arms of her lover, asked her passionate lover, “How did you manage? That ferocious dog did not even bark!”

Her lover gently took her to the window, drew the curtains, and said, “Look!”

In the verandah they saw a totally exhausted Bruno, coupled with a beautiful she-dog, both interlocked, pointing in opposite directions, dog-tired after a vigorous bout of lovemaking and mating.

The mysterious lover mischievously looked at Helen and naughtily teased her, “Tell me, which dog can resist the charms of a hot-blooded bitch in full heat?”

Helen looked at Bruno, and then at her lover, which was me.

Helen laughed and said teasingly to me: “You hot-dogs! You have both been upto hanky-panky, haven’t you?”

“Yes,” I said, tongue-in-cheek, “Every Dog has his day!”

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
This Story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


Posted by Vikram Karve at 9/19/2014 03:50:00 PM

 

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