Relationship Management – How to Build Trust Using Johari Window

August 31, 2015

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

HOW TO BUILD TRUST AND REDUCE TRUST DEFICIT USING JOHARI WINDOW
Relationship Management Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE

From my Academic (Management Lecture) Archives:

For many years I used to teach and lecture on the applications of the JOHARI WINDOW in various aspects of management, especially in project management and all facets of relationship management.

My observations for many years made me realize that one of the major problems in relationships, both personal and professional, at home and at work, is the increasing TRUST DEFICIT.

So, a few years ago I wrote an article on how to reduce TRUST DEFICIT (and build Mutual Trust) using the JOHARI WINDOW.

On the request of some of my friends I am posting the article below once again. As always, I will appreciate your comments, views and feedback.

On request from an erstwhile student of mine, I am re-posting the article on application of the JOHARI WINDOW in reducing TRUST DEFICIT I had written long back based on my management lectures and posted on my blog a few years ago

TRUST MATTERS

I trust people.

Depending on the way you look at it, one of my chief virtues (or shortcomings) is that I trust people.

That is why it is easy for anyone to take me for a ride, and make an “April Fool” of me, as so many have done.

Yes, I have a trusting nature.

That’s why I did not try my hand at business.

By nature, I am an honest, straightforward, outspoken person and I like to be transparent.

I am not a “smooth operator”.

I do not have the “talent” to indulge in one-upmanship.

I do not possess the “tact” to be opaque, secretive and “diplomatic”.

It is because of my trusting nature that have I avoided taking up a profession where one has to put on a mask of pretence, hide things, indulge in mendacity and be Machiavellian to succeed.

In the Navy of yesteryear, we trusted each other – yes, naval officers of the“old-mould” valued trust.

In fact, mutual trust was the main factor on which the navy system worked.

On a ship, everyone trusted the Captain and he in turn trusted his officers and crew.

Sailors trusted officers and, in return, officers trusted sailors.

It has been my experience that trust is the key ingredient in any relationship, personal or professional, and it is always best to associate with trustworthy individuals.

Trust is greater than love.

That is why arranged marriages based on trust may be more enduring than marriages based purely on love.

Trust matters at work too.

One of the plus points I experienced in my career in the navy was the atmosphere of trust which made work stress-free, productive and enjoyable.

I feel that trust is the bedrock of a good relationship.

This is why old fogies like me feel dismayed at the increasing TRUST DEFICIT in all spheres of life, at both the macro and micro level.

It seems that no one trusts each other.

Opposition Parties do not trust the Government and vice versa.

There is mutual trust deficit between the military and bureaucrats.

Organizations do not trust each other.

Bosses do not trust their subordinates and junior do not trust their seniors.

Even in personal relationships, trust deficit is on the rise.

Husbands and wives do not trust each other.

Parents do not trust their children and children do not trust their parents.

There is trust deficit between teachers and students too.

I do not know whether it is true, but a young officer told me that nowadays there is increasing trust deficit in the navy too and he has seen cases where even coursemates do not trust each other.

The moot question, therefore, is:

Can this problem of Trust Deficit be tackled and mitigated?

Are there any methods to reduce Trust Deficit?

Well, let me suggest one method – JOHARI WINDOW

For many years I have taught and lectured on the applications of the JOHARI WINDOW in various aspects of management, especially in project management and all facets of relationship management.

My observations for many years made me realize that one of the major problems in relationships, both personal and professional, at home and at work, is the increasing TRUST DEFICIT.

So, a few months ago I wrote an article on how to reduce TRUST DEFICIT (and build Mutual Trust) using the JOHARI WINDOW.

On the request of some of my friends I am posting the article below once again.

As always, I will appreciate your comments, views and feedback.

TRUST and RELATIONSHIPS

“Should I tell my would-be spouse everything about my past?”

“Should I share my sexual past with my soon-to-be spouse?”

“Should you tell your spouse about your ex?”

These are common questions which arise in the minds of young people and you can see so many about-to-be married youngsters asking similar questions to “agony aunts”.

Conventional wisdom says that the answer is: “Yes. It is best to be open and honest with your spouse. Be transparent and do not hide anything. There should be no secrets between husband and wife.”

But, to my surprise I have seen some “agony aunts” giving advice that being totally honest may not always be desirable and it would be wise to hide your past affairs.”

I find this quite shocking.

Trust is the bedrock of any relationship, especially a lifelong relationship like marriage – in fact, trust is the cement that bonds the marriage.

Once trust is broken, the “cement” holding together the bonds will disintegrate and the marriage will collapse like a pack of cards.

How can you build a marriage on the foundations of mistrust?

There is one more danger if you hide things and keep secrets from your spouse.

You will forever live under the fear of being found out.

The “fear of being found out” is a terrible fear which causes great internal stress which can be detrimental to your health, both physical and mental.

This, in turn, will adversely affect the marital relationship.

Trust deficit has the potential to totally destroy a relationship, and even if it does not totally destroy a relationship, trust deficit will certainly inhibit the relationship from realizing its full potential.

There is a Marathi Serial currently running on Zee TV Marathi called Tu Tithe Mee which depicts the dangers of hiding your past from your spouse.

The story of Tu Tithe Mee portrays in dramatic fashion how a marriage can crumble once a husband unexpectedly finds out secrets about his wife’s past life that his wife has hidden from him.

The story shows how even the smallest seed of mistrust can amplify into a demon of suspicion and create huge distrust which can shake the very foundations of marriage.

It is not only in marriage but trust is the essential ingredient in any successful relationship.

Whether that relationship is between two people, between husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, between friends, between parents and children, between relatives, between neighbours and acquaintances or within a family.

Even at the workplace, for optimal functioning, trust is a must between boss and subordinate, between peers and colleagues, in project teams, in business and partnerships, in customer relationship management (CRM), and all professional relationships.

In many cases, employers are secretive and employees hide things for their employers because of trust deficit.

One example of trust deficit is the prevailing trend of “Pay Secrecy” in the private sector, particularly in MNCs and the IT industry.

In our daily life in Society too, whether it be in the social community, in sports teams, and at schools and colleges, between teachers and students, or a relationship in any facet of life.

At the macro level too, trust between the citizens and the government is essential for effective and efficient functioning of governance.

Trust is the cardinal element that allows the relationship to function effectively.

That is why it is sad to see “Trust Deficit” everywhere.

People do not trust each other anymore.

Yes, Humans do not implicitly trust each other now-a-days.

You can see absolute and total trust only in canine-human relationships – yes, dogs unconditionally trust their human masters and and most human beings trust their pet dogs too.

How can we reduce trust deficit?

How can we enhance mutual trust?

Well, there is a management tool called JOHARI WINDOW which can help.

HOW TO USE THE JOHARI WINDOW TO ENHANCE MUTUAL TRUST AND TO REDUCE TRUST DEFICIT

The concept of the Johari Window is relatively simple.

Assume that you are the wife (self).

There are things about yourself that you know and there are things about yourself that you don’t know.

Also, there are things about you that your husband knows and there are things about you that your husband does not know.

Now it is the same with your husband (other).

There are things about himself that he knows and there are things about himself that he does not know.

Also, there are things about him that you know and there are things about him that you don’t know.

Now put yourself in the place of Self and put your husband in the place ofOther and have a look at the picture below (called Johari Window based on contraction of the names Joseph Luft and Harry Ingham who developed this tool to help people understand and improve their interpersonal relationships).

The TRUST in a relationship is directly proportional to the OPEN Area

The other areas (HIDDEN, BLIND AND UNKNOWN) are sources ofTRUST DEFICIT.

Hence, in order to enhance TRUST and reduce TRUST DEFICIT all you have to do is to increase the OPEN area (also called Arena) and reduce the HIDDEN Area (also called Facade) by Disclosure (Telling) and alsoreduce the BLIND area (also called Blind Spot) by obtaining Feedback(Asking).

The UNKNOWN Area will also start reducing over time as the bonds of your mutual relationships become stronger and stronger and you get to know each other better and better.

TELL (disclosure) each other and ASK (feedback) each other andCOMMUNICATE(give yourself interactive TIME together) to reduce thehidden, blind and unknown areas respectively.

After you follow this – here is how the Johari Windows will look before andafter:

BEFORE DISCLOSURE/FEEDBACK

JOHARI WINDOW AT THE BEGINNING OF THE RELATIONSHIP

[Open Area or Arena Represents TRUST and the other three areas (Blind, Facade, Unknown) represent TRUST DEFICIT]

AFTER DISCLOSURE/FEEDBACK

JOHARI WINDOW AFTER YOU WORK ON THE RELATIONSHIP

[Notice how the Open Area of Arena (TRUST) has increased and the other three areas (TRUST DEFICIT) are reduced]

So now – you know what you must do in order to reduce Trust Deficit in a relationship.

Whether it is a home or at work or any other relationship.

Just sit together and work on Johari Window.

Both of you must use Self Disclosure and Feedback to enhance Mutual Trust and reduce Trust Deficit and consequently improve your relationship.

After you succeed in a one-on-one (two person) situation, you can extend this technique to multiple participants too.

This works for me.

Why don’t you try out the JOHARI WINDOW and see if it works for you.

Try it out with your boss and colleagues at work.

If you are in the service industry try it out with your customers, and if you are in business, try it out in your business relationships.

Try it out at home with your spouse and kids.

If you are in a relationship, try it out with your boyfriend or girlfriend while dating and courting and having a relationship.

When you make friends, remember that deep friendships based on Mutual Trust are more enduring and truly fulfilling than superficial “hail fellow well met” type of casual friendships.

Did it work?

Did the Johari Window Technique help build trust and reduce trust deficit?

What was your experience?

Dear Reader: Please comment – I look forward to your views and feedback.

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 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)

This Article was written by me 20 years ago in the year 1995 and earlier posted online by me Vikram Karve a number of times at various places including in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at urls:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… etc

Unforgettable Characters I Met in Uniform – The “Scholar Warrior”

August 31, 2015

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – The “Scholar Warrior”

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

Humor in Uniform

THE “SCHOLAR WARRIOR”
An Unforgettable Character I Met – In and Out of Uniform
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

PROLOGUE

In the Academia – I have seen self-styled “Scholars”

In the Military – I have seen self-styled “Warriors”

And – among Military Veterans – I have seen self-styled “Scholar Warriors”

Let me tell you the story of one such “Scholar Warrior”

Well – actually – it will be more apt to call him a “Warrior Scholar” – since – at first – he was a “Warrior” – and he turned into “Scholar” much later – a ‘warrior-turned-scholar’ to be precise.

But – if you want me to put it bluntly – like most “Scholar Warriors” you see proliferating like hobgoblins and pontificating on TV debates – it would be more accurate to describe him as a “pseudo- warrior” turned “pseudo-scholar” – because – neither had he fought a war – nor had he achieved any earth-shaking scholarly accomplishments.

Let’s skip the semantics and the gobbledygook – we will call him a “Scholar Warrior” – and get on with the story.

THE STORY OF THE “SCHOLAR WARRIOR” – A Spoof by Vikram Karve

Circa 1992 – The “Warrior”

“Sir – you teach very ‘high-funda’ stuff…” the Major said, sidling up to me in the bar.

“Well – military technology is getting high-tech…” I said.

“Sir – that may be for others – but Sir – please but have mercy on me – I am a simple ‘Cavalry’ officer…” he pleaded.

“Cavalry…? Don’t tell me they are sending officers from one of those ceremonial horse regiments for this ‘Technical Staff Course’…” I said.

“No Sir – my ‘cavalry’ regiment has got tanks – but I am a ‘pure warrior’…”

“Ha Ha – ‘Pure Warrior’ – what do you mean by that…?”

“Sir – I am not interested in learning…”

“You are not interested in learning…? Then why have you come for this course…?”

“Sir – this course is good for my career – it is a ‘criteria’ course for promotion and getting good appointments…”

“Oh – so you want to qualify the course without studying….?”

“Exactly, Sir – you have really understood my problem…”

“So what do you want me to do…? I certainly cannot lower the standard of training or evaluation…”

“No Sir – please maintain your standard – many others are keen on learning – but I want to qualify with the ‘bare minimum’ effort…”

“Ha Ha – ‘bare minimum effort’…” I laughed, “Do you know – we have an expression in the Navy – “bare minimum inescapable requirement’…”

“Yes, Sir – you have put it in a nutshell – ‘bare minimum inescapable requirement’…” the Major said.

The ‘Pure Warrior’ qualified the course with the ‘bare minimum inescapable requirement’…

Circa 2002 – The “Scholar”

“Hello, Sir – what a pleasant surprise to see you here…”

I recognized him at once – he was the same ‘Pure Warrior’ – who had been my ‘student’ around 10 years ago.

“Well – I am even more surprised to see you here – on the University Campus…” I said.

“Sir – I am on study leave…”

“What…? You…? You have taken ‘study leave’…? Don’t tell me that you have suddenly developed an interest in ‘learning’…?”

“No Sir – I am least interested in studying – but I was forced to take ‘study leave’…”

“You were forced to take ‘study leave’ – that is amazing – in the Navy it is almost impossible to get ‘study leave’ due to the perpetual shortage of officers – isn’t there a shortage of officers in the Army…?”

“Sir – there is a shortage of junior officers – but there is a surplus of Colonels…”

“Really…? But how can you be forced to take ‘study leave’…?”

“Not really forced at gunpoint, Sir – but I was ‘persuaded’ to volunteer. One day my Boss called me – and he told me to apply for ‘study leave’. When I expressed my reluctance – my Boss said to me:

‘See – you have finished your command tenure and you still have two years to go before your next promotion board. I have found out that – till now – your ACRs are good – so – if you take ‘study leave’ – then – your average will remain the same – since there will be no ACRs rendered during your ‘study leave’ – so you are likely to be promoted. But – if you are adamant – and you refuse to apply for ‘study leave’ – then you may land up getting superseded. Try to understand the situation – since there are surplus Colonels – they may post you anywhere – in some insignificant appointment – under some guy who does not like ‘Cavalry’ Officers – and you may be ‘written off’ – and that will be the end of your career. So – for your own good – it is best for you to go on ‘study leave’. Why don’t you select a course in Pune for your ‘study leave’ – so that you can enjoy a two years paid holiday in your hometown…’

So – I chose this easy course – where I would have to study the least…”

“Bare Minimum Inescapable Requirement…?” I joked.

“Yes, Sir…” he laughed.

Circa 2012 – The “Scholar Warrior”

A few years after I had retired – I was invited to attend a Seminar.

There – I was stunned to see my old friend – my ex-student – the “pure warrior” – who I had taught 20 years ago – and who I had later met 10 years ago when he was a “scholar” – when he was on ‘study leave’ in the University.

He seemed delighted to meet me.

“Hello, Sir – I am so happy to see you here. Sir – it is great honour for me to speak before my ‘Guru’…” he said.

“You are speaking at this seminar…?” I asked, surprised.

“Yes, Sir – I am the 3rd speaker, Sir…” he said – and he handed me a copy of the seminar programme he was carrying in his hand.

“That’s fantastic – it seems the ‘study leave’ has turned you into a ‘scholar’…” I said.

“Not at all, Sir – I joined back after my ‘study leave’ – but – sadly – I was ‘passed over’ for promotion – so I quit the army – and I was looking for a job in the civilian world – when my I met a Professor who had taught me during ‘study leave’ – he suggested that I do my Ph.D. – and join the ‘Academia’ – where I could enjoy a cool life – and could keep ‘working’ till 65 – or even 70…”

“Ph.D…? Don’t tell me you are doing your Ph.D. …?” I said, taken aback.

“Sir – in fact – I have just completed my Ph.D. a few days ago…” he said.

He handed me his visiting card.

I read his visiting card.

He had written his name as: Col (Dr) ***** (Retd)

He had become a “Scholar Warrior”…

EPILOGUE

I laughed to myself at the quirk of fate…

My reluctant student had become a “Scholar Warrior” – and me – well – I have been reduced to being a “Keyboard Warrior”…

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. This story is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. This Story and 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.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/31/2015 01:46:00 PM

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August 31, 2015

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Why No Women on Navy Ships

August 30, 2015

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Should Women Be Posted on Navy Ships

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

“Should Women be posted on Navy Ships?”

Well – I will not directly answer this rather contentious question.

Instead – I will delve deep into my blog – and pull out one of my favourite Naval Yarns.

This story happened almost 30 years ago – in the mid 1980’s.

Dear Reader – please read this hilarious “memoir” – and you decide for yourself whether the time is ripe for posting women on navy ships.

LIFE AT SEA 
(A Naval Yarn)
Hilarious Memories of My Unforgettable Navy Days
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

WHO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN ON A NAVY WARSHIP ?

Dear Reader – tell me – who do you think is the most important person on a warship?

“The Captain,” you would say, in all probability.

If you were a “technical fanatic” – you may say that the Chief Engineer is the key man on a ship – because it is the engines that move the ship.

Some die-hard branch loyalists would plum for specialist officers of their own branches – the gunnery officer, torpedo officer, navigating officer – or even the most redundant of them all – the communications officer.

“The Ship’s Medical Officer – the Doctor is the most important man on the ship,” the hypochondriacs would probably say.

Some would root for the Quartermaster (or helmsman) who steers the ship.

A Foodie may say that the ship’s cook is the most important individual on the ship – since good food is the sine qua non of high morale.

Aviators think they are prima donnas – especially on aircraft carriers.

Everyone has their own views – and you can debate till the cows come home.

But on this ship – on which I was serving – indisputably – without a doubt –the most important man was the “Fresh Water Tanky”.

Of course – if you are fond of American spellings – you may spell “Tanky” as “Tankey” – like they spell “Whisky” as “Whiskey” – but that is a matter of minor detail.

And since the Indian Navy mostly follows Royal Navy traditions – I will use the British spelling – “Tanky”.

FRESH WATER TANKY

The “fresh-water tanky” is a junior sailor from the engine-room branch responsible for the fresh-water supply in a ship.

In my earlier ships – all steamships – there was an abundance of fresh water – and the “fresh water tanky” was an insignificant cog in the wheel – and most of us did not even know who the “fresh water tanky” was.

But on this ship – which invariably suffered a terrible scarcity of fresh water when we were at sea – the “fresh water tanky” was a VIP – the most sought after individual on the ship – so much so that even the Fleet Commander – a Rear Admiral – personally called the “Fresh Water Tanky” to his cabin at 0010 Hours – yes – at 0010 Hours – which – in civilian parlance means Ten Minutes past Midnight.

WHY DID THE ADMIRAL CALL THE FRESH WATER TANKY AT MIDNIGHT?

The “fresh-water-tanky” was fast asleep on his bunk in the engine-room junior sailors’ mess when he was rudely woken up by the Duty Petty Officer and was told to report to the Admiral immediately in person.

The “fresh-water-tanky” wore his overalls – put on his cap – and rushed up to the Captain’s Cabin – which had been commandeered by the Fleet Commander – as this ship was not designed to be a “Flag Ship” – and did not have separate quarters for the Admiral and his staff.

Also – in this ship – as is the case with most warships – only the Captain’s Cabin had an attached bathroom and toilet.

For all other officers – there was a common bathroom.

Similarly – sailors too had huge common bathrooms – one for senior sailors – and another for junior sailors.

Since the Admiral had moved into the Captain’s Cabin – the Captain had evicted the XO – who had moved into the spare bunk in Cdr (E)’s cabin – and the fleet staff had moved into various spare bunks – and a few junior officers slept in the wardroom.

It was terribly crowded on board – and the water shortage made it worse.

This ship was not designed for the prevailing hot, sultry, humid, sweaty tropical climate – where you needed to bathe at least once or twice a day to keep yourself clean.

The ship was designed for much colder arctic climates where you hardly sweated – and you could go without a bath for many days.

There were cultural aspects, as well, as far as personal hygiene is concerned.

Those people needed much less fresh water than us for daily use – they were not in the habit of bathing every day.

Even for their “ablutions” they used toilet paper.

On the other hand – for us – “Cleanliness was next to Godliness” – and we needed plenty of water for our daily baths and ablutions.

Also – our style of cooking required lots of fresh water.

Thus – this ship catered for far less fresh water than the amount required for our needs – with the result that there was a perpetual water scarcity – though ironically – there was plenty of sea water around us – but we could not use seawater for our daily needs.

Metaphorically – it was a case of “water water everywhere – but not a drop to drink”.

This shortage of fresh water necessitated strict rationing of water – which in turn entailed observance of a strict water routine – and water was opened for bathing only for a few minutes in a day.

But during this long sailing – even this bathing water routine could not be followed – due to some breakdowns – and water was opened only for a few minutes early at dawn for brushing and shaving.

All of us were without a bath for days – which made us feel miserable.

We were all “dry cleaning” ourselves.

And – so was the Admiral.

But now – the Admiral had decided to have the luxury of a bath.

That is why he had summoned the “Fresh-Water-Tanky” at this unearthly hour – well past midnight.

SPECIAL WATER ROUTINE FOR THE ADMIRAL

The “fresh-water-tanky” reached the Captain’s cabin flat on the double.

He knocked – and a loud voice said – “come in”.

The “fresh-water-tanky” entered the cabin – and he saw that the Admiral was standing naked – but for a towel round his waist.

“I want to have a bath – open the fresh water,” the Admiral bellowed.

“Sir – You want to have a bath now…? It is the middle of the night…” the perplexed fresh-water-tanky stammered.

“Yes – I want to have a bath now,” the Admiral said.

“Sir – water routine is from 6 in the morning…” the fresh-water-tanky mumbled.

“I know that. During your water routine timings the water is pressure is so bloody low – that hardly any water climbs up to this deck – as everyone opens up all taps and showers on the lower decks…”

“Sir, there is a problem…”

“Don’t tell me your problems – you just do as you are told – and open the fresh water for 10 minutes – come on – get moving – chop chop…!!!” the Admiral barked at the nonplussed sailor.

The “fresh water tanky” decided to play safe.

He tiptoed down to the Senior Engineer’s cabin.

The Senior Engineer Officer had hit the sack an hour ago – after a hard day’s work slogging away in the bowels of the ship – and he was fast asleep – after imbibing his customary nightcap – a generous swig of rum from the hip flask he always carried in the pocket in his overalls.

The Senior Engineer was in deep sleep – snoring away – on the top bunk – above me.

There was a knock on the cabin door.

I cursed at being woken up from my sleep – and opened the cabin door.

The moment I saw the fresh-water-tanky – I got angry – and told him to get lost.

But – when the fresh-water-tanky told me the reason why he had come – I quickly got up from my bunk – stripped off my lungi and vest – put a towel around my waist – picked up my soap case – and rushed down to the officers’ bathroom.

Meanwhile – the fresh-water-tanky gave the Senior Engineer a “hard shakeup” to wake him up from his deep sleep – and asked for his permission to open the fresh water.

WATER IS A GREAT LEVELLER

Jolted out of his deep sleep – for a few moments – the Senior Engineer Officer appeared to be in a daze.

Then – as he recovered his senses – the Senior Engineer squinted his eyes – and he looked at the clock – it was 12:15 (0015 Hrs in Naval Parlance) – 15 minutes past midnight.

“The Admiral wants to have a bath now?” the puzzled Senior Engineer asked the fresh-water-tanky.

“Yes, Sir. He called me personally to his cabin and ordered me to open the fresh water.”

“What’s the fresh water level?” Senior Engineer asked the fresh-water-tanky.

“Very Low, Sir,” the fresh-water-tanky answered.

“Okay. We will conserve water tomorrow. Now –you just open the water for 5 minutes – strictly 5 minutes – and make sure you don’t tell anyone – let them sleep peacefully,” Senior Engineer said – while he stripped off his overalls, grabbed his towel and made a beeline for the bathroom.

“Aye, Aye, Sir,” the fresh-water-tanky said.

But – before he went to open the fresh water valve – the fresh-water-tanky surreptitiously went down to his mess-deck – quietly stripped off his overalls – picked up his soap – and put on a towel round his waist.

This furtive activity by the fresh-water-tanky was observed by a few engine-room sailors – who had come off watch – and were lying in their bunks trying to sleep.

Seeing the fresh-water-tanky stripping off his clothes, picking up his soap and wearing a towel round his waist – these sailors were roused into a flurry of action – and soon – all of them were seen rushing towards the sailors’ bathroom – clad in their towels.

I don’t know how it happened – but the “secret” news – of fresh water being opened at the midnight hour – spread like wildfire throughout the messdecks.

Soon – everyone was seen rushing in various states of undress to the bathrooms – standing naked under the showers – waiting for water to sprinkle on their bodies.

Yes – on this ship – everyone bathed in his “birthday suit” – even the officers.

On my earlier ships – where there was the luxury of abundant fresh water – it was possible for “OLQ oriented officers” to bathe in an “officer-like manner” – bathrobe, privacy of shower-curtain, et al

But on this ship – water was a great leveler – and things like modesty, etiquette and protocol had no place in the bathroom.

The scene epitomized the famous Hindi proverb – “Is hamam mein sab nange hain” – meaning – “everyone is naked in this bathroom”.

So – whatever your rank – if you happened to be on this ship – you were “nanga” in the “hamam”.

IS HAMAM MEIN SAB NANGE HAIN 

By the time water gushed out of the showers – there were 20 officers standing stark naked under the 4 showers in the officers’ bathroom.

It was a tight squeeze – bodies rubbing against each other – hands with soap moving wildly.

It was a free-for-all – and in the frenzy – you could not even make out who was lathering whose body.

The TASO – an aficionado of sandalwood soap – would emerge from the melee – smelling of the strong heady scent of the aromatic herbal soap used by the Mallu Senior Engineer.

The Gunnery Officer – on middle watch – had handed over the deck to the cute watch-keeping Sub Lieutenant – and rushed down from the bridge without towel or soap – he would “bum” both from someone – as was his habit of “bumming” everything.

The cute watch-keeping Sub Lieutenant would go for his bath later – if he was allowed to leave the bridge – and if there was time enough after the return of the Gunnery Officer – and the water routine was long enough.

Or – the cute watch-keeping Sub Lieutenant would rather skip the collective nude bathing session – he suspected the proclivities of some of the rather bawdy officers who seemed to have a glad-eye on him – and he did not want to risk a repeat of what had happened in the previous free-for-all bathing fracas.

While the officers were enjoying their midnight bath – so were almost all the sailors – with all showers open full blast – and all the ship’s bathrooms filled with bodies chock-a-block.

The result of all of this frenzied full-scale bathing on the lower decks was that not a drop of water climbed up to the Captain’s Cabin – where the Admiral was standing patiently in his “birthday suit” under the shower.

Now – the Admiral was an old sea-dog – who had commanded this very ship – and he realized what was going on.

So – the Admiral wrapped his towel around his waist – and he marched bare-chested down to the officers’ bathroom.

“Bloody, Guns! What the hell are you doing here?” he shouted at the nude Gunnery Officer who should have been on the bridge during middle-watch.

Before the shamefaced Gunnery Officer could reply, the Admiral shouted at him: “Go and sound ‘Action Stations’ – come on, get moving…”

Then – the Admiral looked at the Senior Engineer and commanded: “You make sure the fresh water is pumped in full force till I finish my bath – I want the fresh-water-tanky standing by outside.”

As “Action Stations” were sounded – and everyone began rushing to his action post – the Admiral stripped off his towel and stood under the shower to enjoy a leisurely bath.

As the Admiral was enjoying his bath – his newly appointed “cute and coy” Flag Lieutenant peeped in.

Like most Flag Lieutenants – he was a pretty boy – a “Sea Doll”.

The charming Flag Lieutenant was lucky to have served on comfortable ships.

The coy “Sea Doll” Flag Lieutenant seemed a bit shy and timorous to walk around semi-nude in front of sailors who were rushing up and down in the ship’s alleyways to their action stations in various states of undress.

That is why the demure Flag Lieutenant was dressed up for a bath in an “officer-like” manner – in a full bathrobe covering almost his entire body.

The Flag Lieutenant saw the totally nude brawny “Sea Dog” Admiral standing in his “birthday suit” – stark naked under the shower.

Horrified by the outrageous sight before him – the Flag Lieutenant hesitated and began to retreat.

On seeing his Flag Lieutenant’s coyness – the Admiral shouted at him: “Come on Pretty Boy – hurry up – take off your clothes quickly – take off everything and come here under the shower – Is Hamam Mein Sab Nange Hain…”

EPILOGUE

I will never forget my wonderful time on this glorious frontline warship.

During my long naval career – I have served on many ships and shore establishments.

But – it was on this ship – where we had the best camaraderie among officers – and even our relationships with sailors were most happy.

Despite the tough time we had – and the hardships we faced – this was a “Happy Ship”.

Maybe – it has got something to do with being “Nanga” in the “Hamam” … !!!

Can there be any better bonding than being “Nanga” together in the “Hamam”?

As I told you in the beginning – this incident happened long back – 30 years ago – in the mid-1980’s.

Those were the days of the “all male Navy” – before the Navy started inducting women as officers.

But even now – the Navy does not post women on ships.

Now – after reading this story – what do you feel:

“Should Women be posted on Navy Ships…?”

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. This yarn is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
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)

This Story was written by me 2 years ago in the year 2013 and first posted online by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at 1/28/2014 04:29:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…and later at urls http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/29/2015 10:59:00 PM

The Front-Line isn’t a Parade Ground

August 28, 2015

Source: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/all-quiet-on-western-front-book-review.html

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

AUTHENTIC MILITARY LITERATURE

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT by Erich Maria Remarque
Book Review
By
VIKRAM KARVE

NB: In my review below, the generic term “soldier” encompasses all uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force)

PSYCHE OF A SOLDIER

Recent events indicate that most civilian citizens – including the “powers-that-be” – do not understand the psyche of a soldier.

Almost every day – we see news of soldiers being martyred on the Line of Control (LOC) with our hostile neighbour.

But – the common man remains indifferent to this news since it does not affect him – and some politicians go to the extent of remarking that “soldiers are paid to die”.

We see the tragic sight of military veterans on hunger strike for OROP (One Rank One Pension).

We dismiss the OROP imbroglio as “any other issue” – thinking that veterans protesting and agitating is similar to industrial workers, civilian employees or students going on strike – which happens quite frequently.

Jingoistic Politicians “celebrate” the 50th Anniversary of the 1965 War – while Military Veterans who actually fought in the 1965 War are ignored.

We confuse jingoism with patriotism.

I have seen that many people feel that jingoism means patriotism – whereas – in actual fact – there is a big difference between jingoism and patriotism.

Most civilians have a fancy image of the Armed Forces – because they see the “pomp and show” of smartly dressed soldiers marching during the Republic Day Parade and other ceremonial occasions – or they observe the elegant social life of military officers in peacetime cantonments.

But very few civilians know about the harrowing time experienced a soldier in the field – where he is subjected to extreme physical strain and mental stress – not only in war, border skirmishes and counter-insurgency combat operations – but even in “peacetime” – when he is deployed on hazardous “aid to civil power” duties for maintaining law and order or in dangerous disaster rescue and relief or on “internal security” duties in anti-militancy/anti-terrorism and Counter-Insurgency (CI) operations.

There is a stark contrast between “peacetime soldiering” in exquisite military cantonments and the harsh life in the field (and at sea on warships) – and – sadly – only the former is visible to civilian citizens.

For a civilian citizen – it is difficult to grasp the psychology of the average combat soldier – who lives in an environment of dread and fear – and survives each moment with death tagging him at the elbow.

Over time – the soldier becomes reproachful of those who enjoy safety and security – sitting in peaceful comfort – far away from danger – be they politicians, bureaucrats, civilian citizens, or even his own senior officers or the non-combatant “tail” of the Army.

And – this feeling of antipathy further alienates the soldier from civil society – and increases the chasm between the military and the civil society.

In order to bridge this gulf – it is necessary to apprise the common man about the life of a soldier.

Sadly – we have failed to do this.

Our Mainstream Media tends to hype and dramatize military news/issues for TRPs.

Though Hollywood has produced some realistic War Movies – in India – most Bollywood War Films are jingoistic and overly dramatic in nature.

Curiously – even the Armed Forces indulge in hype and propaganda whenever their PR machinery puts out reports in the media.

Even in their recruitment advertisements – the defence services project the “goody goody” part of “peacetime soldiering” – while downplaying the realistic aspects of military life.

If you peruse literature – to see whether there are any literary works which discern between hype and truth – you will realize that most war novels tend to romanticize war – accentuating jingoistic and romantically appealing concepts such as glory, honour, patriotism, sacrifice, adventure, heroism etc – which are far removed from reality.

When I asked myself whether there were any authentic military novels which realistically depict the “psyche of the soldier” – I remembered that indeed I had at least one such book on my bookshelves.

So – I delved into my bookcase and pulled out my ancient dog-eared copy of ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT – which is the most authentic war novel I have ever read.

As is the case with most of my books – I picked up this book long ago from the pavement bookstalls located on the footpath opposite the Central Telegraph Office (CTO) near Hutatma Chowk (Flora Fountain) in Mumbai.

Whenever I buy a book – I always write the date and place – and I see that I have bought this book 37 years ago in 1978.

So – Dear Reader – let me tell you a bit about this classic war novel which authentically describes the horrors of war and portrays the psyche of a soldier in a most realistic manner.

DETAILS OF THE BOOK

Title: All Quiet on the Western Front
Published: 1958 (Fawcett Crest) Paperback 175 Pages
Author: Erich Maria Remarque
ISBN: 44901634095
Edition language: English (Translated from German)

The above details pertain to the copy of the book I have with me.

For details of various editions of “All Quiet on the Western Front” – just “google” the title – or click the url link: Editions of All Quiet on the Western Front by Erich Maria Remarque

Also – if you do a google search – you will see that this book is freely available online on the internet.

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT – An Authentic Military Novel

There are very few authentic military novels.

ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT is the most authentic war novel that I have read.

The author Erich Maria Remarque was a German War Veteran and this novel is based on his first hand combat experiences during World War I.

Writing with stark authenticity, Erich Maria Remarque realistically depicts the horrors of war as seen through the eyes of a simple soldier – the violence, brutality, fear and terror soldiers experience at every moment – and the novel vividly brings out the effect of combat on the psyche of a soldier.

A novel tells a story.

But – storytelling alone can never produce a great novel – a classic.

What makes a novel a classic is whether the novel has a message – a “moral of the story” – and how effectively the author succeeds in conveying this message to the reader – so that the “moral of the story” has a lasting impact on the reader.

As elaborated by EM Forster in his book “Aspects of a Novel” – the sine qua non of a good novel is that the story must not only move in time – but it must also impart “value” to the reader – and this “value” is encapsulated in the “moral of the story”.

Erich Maria Remarque achieves this brilliantly – writing in present tense to move the story in time – and using flashbacks to effectively convey the “moral of the story”.

The novel emphasizes that soldiers are normal human beings like everyone else.

Soldiers have feelings like you and me.

Soldiers have families, children, relatives, friends – and love them.

Soldiers are sensitive individuals – not emotionless zombies.

The narrator – a young man only 19 years of age – joins the German Army and fights on the French Front in World War I (the “Western Front”).

The narrator speaks to you in the first person – and gives you his “worm’s eye view” of his war experience.

From time to time – by way of flashbacks – the narrator takes you into his “mind’s eye” – as he reflects on his own views, feelings and emotions on warfighting.

And right at the end of the story – while delivering his coup de grace – Erich Maria Remarque suddenly switches to ‘third person past tense’ – and you remain numbed by the epiphany.

As you read the story – you realize the narrator’s growing awareness of the emptiness of such concepts as patriotism, glory and honour when faced with the reality of war.

When they start fighting on the frontline – the young newly inducted soldiers perceive the huge dissonance between peacetime hype and wartime reality.

THE FRONT-LINE ISN’T A PARADE-GROUND

The essence of the book can be encapsulated in the comment – “… the front-line isn’t a parade-ground…” – expressed in ruminations of the narrator in Chapter 5 of the book.

I too realized the significance of this military truism (“… the front-line isn’t a parade-ground…”) – more than 37 years ago – during my nascent days in the Navy – when I joined a front-line warship after completing my training.

Here – on the warship – the focus was on operational excellence and professionalism – in stark contrast to the emphasis on parades, drill and “spit and polish” during our naval training in “stone frigates”.

The story in “All Quiet on the Western Front” begins when – immediately on completion of their basic military training – the narrator and his friends are sent to the front-line to fight on the battlefield.

The front-line is that part of the Army which is closest to the enemy and front-line troops are first-line combat soldiers in the heart of the battle.

Fighting on the frontline – the raw soldiers realize the military truth – that – in the ‘fog of war’ – the harsh reality is that – “the front-line isn’t a parade-ground” – and that all that parade drill and ‘spit and polish’ they had endured during training was futile – and is of no use in brutal warfighting on the frontline.

Subjected to the horrors of war – the narrator and his fellow soldiers realize the“absurdities of saluting and parade” – and – in a rare expression of dark humor – one of his comrades in uniform sarcastically comments:

“You take it from me – we are losing the war because we can salute too well.”

As they fight a brutal battle on the front-line – the soldiers realize the huge difference between “peacetime soldiering” and actual warfighting.

In peacetime – the Army is a reliable, decent job.

However – peacetime rules and hierarchy lose their relevance in the fog of war and amidst the chaos on the battlefield.

In wartime – rules and hierarchy are pretty useless and silly – especially in the merciless cruel atmosphere of ruthless ferocious conflict.

On the battlefront – it is straight and simple – “kill – or be killed”

As the narrative progresses – we see the protagonist’s growing awareness of the emptiness of such jingoistic concepts as patriotism and honour when faced with the reality of war.

He realizes that most civilians seem to know nothing about military life.

War may be an adventure to a jingoist sitting comfortably at home – but it is a terrible experience for the combat soldier who is actually confronted with the possibility of being blown to pieces at any moment.

As he engages in brutal merciless infantry combat – attacks and counterattacks – bombings and artillery barrages – seeing dead and wounded comrades around him every day – he is overcome by fear and a sense of fatalism – and he becomes obsessed with survival.

I am sure most soldiers have experienced similar emotions.

No soldier wants to die – or worse – get injured and become disabled for life.

A soldier just wants to complete his “tour of combat duty” – and return home in one piece – safe and sound.

Forget about full scale war – this is true even in so-called “peacetime” deployments in the field, especially on turbulent borders and in counterinsurgency operations.

I remember that whenever we were deployed – all that the crew wanted was to return safe and sound and waited eagerly for our warship to return to our base port.

SOLDIERS DON’T START WARS

A soldier does not like war – because it the soldier who suffers most in war.

Soldiers don’t start wars.

It is the politicians who start wars.

But – politicians don’t die in the war – it is the soldiers who die in the war.

And later – when the war has been won – it is the jingoists who celebrate war-victories – and most of these jingoists are civilians who probably have never seen a shot fired in anger.

Earlier – in the days of monarchy – the King would lead his Army on the battlefield.

The King would lead his soldiers from the front – he would lead by personal example – fighting on the battlefield.

Sometimes – the King would be killed on the battlefield.

If he lost the war – the King would be imprisoned – and most likely – he would be executed or tortured to death by the victor.

Nowadays – in modern democracies – politicians rule nations.

But – politicians do not lead soldiers on the battlefield.

In fact – politicians have nothing to do with the fighting – they remain safe and sound – securely ensconced in peaceful comfort – far away from danger – while they exhort soldiers to sacrifice their lives for the nation.

And – when the soldiers win the war – the politicians emerge from their safe cocoons – to “celebrate” and take credit for the war victory.

The inherent message in “All Quiet on the Western Front” is that whether the war is won or lost – it is the soldier who is affected by the war.

In fact – all soldiers are affected by the war.

Some soldiers die on the battlefield.

Among those who survive – there are no “unwounded” soldiers.

Some soldiers are injured and get physically disabled – but all soldiers who go through a brutal war are mentally scarred for life.

The author wants to convey that war destroys men – it can kill them – it can cripple them – it can leave them mentally traumatized for life – and even if they survive in one piece – it leaves them changed for life.

While the book focuses on the extreme physical and mental stress faced by soldiers during the war – it also delves on the detachment from civilian life felt by many of these soldiers upon returning home from the battlefront.

Depicting the difficulty of soldiers to revert to civilian life after having experienced extreme combat situations – Erich Maria Remarque says: “…men…even though they may have escaped its shells, (they) were destroyed by the war…”

CONCLUSION

If you have noticed – while I have delved on the theme – I have not divulged the story of “All Quiet on the Western Front” – because I want you to enjoy the book fully when you read it.

Of course – in subsequent blog posts – I am going to discuss some salient excerpts from this book – and try and relate then to present times.

I recommend you read this classic war novel – in fact – I would say that this is a “must read” book – especially if you are thinking of joining the Army or the Armed Forces.

Of course – if you are already in the Army – you must have already read this book as a part of “essential reading” during your cadet training days – and – I am sure this review will motivate you to read “All Quiet on the Western Front” once again.

Do read “All Quiet on the Western Front”.

As I said earlier – you can easily get the book – in print – or digital version – and it is freely available on internet too.

Written in German language – “Im Westen nichts Neues” was first published in serial form in the German Newspaper Vossische Zeitung from November 10 to December 9, 1928.

It was published in book form the following year (1929) and became a big success.

The 1929 English translation of this book by Arthur Wesley Wheen had the title: “All Quiet on the Western Front”.

The literal translation of “Im Westen nichts Neues” is “In the West Nothing New” with “West” being the Western Front and the phrase referring to the content of an official communique at the end of the novel.

“All Quiet on the Western Front” earned Remarque international popularity and by the time of his death in 1970, perhaps fifty million copies of the novel had been sold and it had been translated into fifty-five languages. It is still widely regarded by many readers and critics as the greatest war novel of the twentieth century.

I love reading military literature – especially war fiction – and I have read many war novels – but “All Quiet on the Western Front” is my all time favourite.

The writing style is unique – owing to its stark authenticity – and this book has left a lasting impression on me.

I am glad I read this superb novel – and – I am sure that you will find reading this engrossing book a fulfilling and enriching experience.

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.

How to impart “On The Job” Training (OJT) – An Illustrative Example

August 28, 2015

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Best Training Method – “On The Job” Training (OJT) – A Story

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

“ON THE JOB” TRAINING (OJT)
An Illustrative Example
By
VIKRAM KARVE

There are many types and styles of Training but nothing beats ON THE JOB TRAINING (OJT)

Here is a famous teaching story that illustrates the efficacy of OJT:

TEACHING AND LEARNING “ON THE JOB” TRAINING (OJT)

Noticing that his father was growing old – the son of a burglar asked his father to teach him the tradecraft of robbery and burglary – so that he could carry on the family business after his father had retired.

The father agreed.

That night – the father took the son along for a burglary – and they broke into a house together.

Opening a large cupboard – the father told his son to go inside the cupboard and pick out the clothing and jewellery.

As soon as the boy was inside the cupboard – the father locked the cupboard.

After locking his son in the cupboard – the old burglar made a lot of noise – so that the whole house was aroused.

Then – the old burglar quietly and stealthily slipped away into the darkness.

Locked inside the cupboard – the boy was angry – and he was terrified and puzzled as to how he was going to get out and escape.

Then – an idea flashed in his brain – and the boy started making a noise like a cat: “Meow…Meow…Meow…!”

On hearing the “Meow…Meow…Meow…!” meowing noise of a cat – the family told a maid to take a candle and examine the cupboard.

When the door was unlocked and opened – the boy jumped out.

He blew the candle and pushed his way past the astonished maid.

Then – he jumped out of the window – and he ran out of the house.

The people ran after him – and they chased him in the street.

Noticing a deep well full of water by the side of the road – the boy threw in a large stone into the well  – and then he quickly hid in the darkness.

The pursuers gathered around the well trying to locate the burglar in the water.

After some time they thought that the boy had drowned – and so – they dispersed – and went away.

When the boy got home he was livid and infuriated at his father.

The angry boy started to tell his father the story of how he had managed to escape.

But – but the father cut him short.

Instead of listening to his boy’s story – the father abruptly said to the boy: “Don’t bother to tell me the details. You have escaped and come back here – that is proof enough of your capability and bears testimony to the fact that you have learned the art and craft of burglary – and now – you are ready for the job…”

So – Dear Reader – sometimes it may be prudent to avoid a formal training programme and resort to “On the Job” Training Technique which is breathtaking in its simplicity:

“Entrust a man with responsibility – and then tell him to get on with the job!”

In many situations – “On the Job Training” – OJT – works beautifully.

You can take my word for it…!

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.

This is a revised and updated version of my article first written by me Vikram Karve more than 20 years ago in the year 1995 and posted online earlier by me a number of times including at urls: http://creative.sulekha.com/on-t…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  etc

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/28/2015 11:44:00 AM

TRAINING and EDUCATION for SKILL DEVELOPMENT

August 28, 2015

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: TRAINING and EDUCATION

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:
Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve

TRAINING EDUCATION and SKILL DEVELOPMENT
Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Training Strategy is the sine qua non for the efficacy of a Training Programme.

In fact – Training Strategy is the basis for Training Design and Implementation.

That is why – the first thing I used to do before designing a training programme – was to reflect, explore, consider, analyse and decide as to which Training Philosophy is relevant to the context in the particular Training Need and Environment.

There are 3 basic Training Philosophies:

1.Confucian Training Philosophy

2. Zen Training Philosophy

3. On-the-job Training Philosophy

You must formulate your Training Strategy as per your Training Philosophy.

Thus – Training Philosophy is the foundation – the core – of the “Art of Training”.

CONFUCIAN TRAINING PHILOSOPHY

Objective of Confucian Training Philosophy:

The aim of training is to qualify the trainee for a more important job.

In other words – Training is inextricably linked with Career Advancement.

Most Military Training Courses are based on the Confucian Training Philosophy.

Since Confucian Type Training is primarily for promotion – if the training is not followed by promotion or career advancement quickly enough – non-realization of expectations may create frustration and resentment in the trainee.

ZEN TRAINING PHILOSOPHY

Objective of Zen Training Philosophy:

The purpose of training is continuous improvement in performance.

The emphasis here is on “continuous improvement”.

The aim of training is to improve the present performance of the trainee – by focusing on excellence in work and self-development.

Zen Type training aims at strengthening the inner urge and enhancing requisite skills for work-excellence and job-satisfaction – without the trainee expecting any tangible material reward or career advancement due to the training.

“ON THE JOB” TRAINING

And – of course – if you want to avoid a formal training programme altogether – there is always my favourite good old time-tested “On-The-Job Training” philosophy which is breathtaking in its simplicity:

“Entrust a man with responsibility – and then tell him to get on with the job!”

It is called “On the Job Training” and it always works – you can take my word for it!

In my next blog post – I will tell you a story on “On-The-Job Training”.

TRAINING versus EDUCATION

Hey – Dear Reader – can you this please tell us the difference between Training and Education.

Is there a difference?

Difference between Training and Education:

In my opinion – the difference between Training and Education is as follows:

1. The Aim of Training is to develop the required Skills in the Trainee

2. The Aim of Education is to enhance the Knowledge of the Student

In a nutshell:

Training pertains to skill development

Education pertains to enhancement of knowledge

If so – what are the various “Education Philosophies” akin to “Training Philosophies”?

Hey – you academics and thinkers and educationists out there.

Please throw some more light on this subject – so that we don’t confuse Training with Education – and vice versa.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

In a developing country like India – we need a skilled workforce.

Sadly – in India – we focus too much on Education.

We have too many highly qualified individuals who are unemployable because they do not have the requisite skills.

Even Engineering and Technology Courses focus more on bookish knowledge than practical skill development.

Owing to this – most industrial organisations have to conduct induction training to develop the requisite skills – and make these degree engineers ready for work on the “shopfloor” – to put is metaphorically – and even I have had the opportunity to conduct Induction Training for newly recruited engineers and scientists.

Indian needs SKILL DEVELOPMENT – and – to achieve this – we have to focus more on TRAINING – rather than Degree Oriented BookishEDUCATION.

We keep opening IITs (Indian Institutes of Technology) – but – in actual fact – we need more ITIs (Industrial Training Institutes).

In any case – most IIT students migrate abroad to USA for lucrative careers and to realize their American Dream – so – India does not gain much from IITs.

On the other hand – ITI trainees work in Indian Industries.

We need more ITIs – maybe an ITI in each district.

So – we should proliferating IITs – and start opening ITIs instead.

Yes – in order to achieve “skill development” – India needs more ITIs than IITs.

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.

This is a revised and updated version of my article first written by me Vikram Karve more than 20 years ago in the year 1995 and posted online earlier by me a number of times including at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://education.sulekha.com/art…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/200…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  etc

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/28/2015 10:23:00 AM

Navy Ad

August 27, 2015

Indian Navy – An Ocean of Opportunities – I Command

Do You Want to Live in an Old Age Home ?

August 27, 2015

Source: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/old-age-woes-do-you-depend-on-kindness.html

DO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN AN OLD AGE HOME ?

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

OLD AGE WOES
Do You Depend on the Kindness of Strangers ?
Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Sometime ago – during my early morning walk – I passed by Mrs. J’s house.

I saw J – an 84 year old widow – struggling to walk in her garden.

I wished J good morning – and I asked her how she was.

She answered: “I depend on the kindness of strangers.”

For a moment – I was speechless.

Then – slowly – I let her words sink in – and perambulate in my mind – “I depend on the kindness of strangers” – and – these words struck a chord.

I was transported back in time – almost 35 years ago – to the year 1981 – if my memory serves me right – when I had seen the play called A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE which had a lasting impression on me.

I witnessed a performance of the indigenous Indian Production of this 1948 Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece by Tennessee Williams at the Kamani Auditorium in New Delhi directed by Alyque Padamsee with terrific performances by Dalip Tahil as Stanley Kowalski and Sabira Merchant as Blanche DuBois.

I still remember the heart-rending scene – when – after being totally destroyed by Stanley, while being taken away to a mental asylum, a shattered Blanche holds onto the doctor’s hand and says: “Whoever you are – I have always depended on the kindness of strangers”.

Though the context in the play is different – I realized the universal all-encompassing truth encapsulated in those profound words – which were spontaneously uttered by the old lady J – who I am sure has not read or seen the play “A Streetcar Named Desire”.

As I observe in Pune – I realize that there are so many senior citizens living alone – so many old people who “depend on the kindness of strangers” – especially in the middle-class.

In most cases – their children live abroad in the USA pursuing their American Dream – while their parents live a life of loneliness awaiting their deaths back home in India.

Also – I notice that the longevity of women seems to be more then men – since there are far more senior citizen widows who heavily outnumber the widowers.

Before you blame the “ungrateful and selfish children” for “abandoning” their “hapless” parents – I think you must consider the fact that there are always two sides to a coin (or two “points of view” in every story).

MIDDLE CLASS DREAMS

Let me give you a bit of a background.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s – I lived in a “middle-class” locality in Pune – where parents had two dreams:

1. First – their son must get into an IIT and go abroad to USA to realize the American dream and achieve “success”.

2. Second – they must get their daughters married to a “successful” American NRI so that she too could go the USA to live a life of prosperity and happiness there.

Many such parents – like the old lady J – achieved their dreams.

And – they are paying the price today.

Even today – I see so many parents who are desperate to send their kids abroad for higher studies and to settle down there.

In the earlier “pre-globalization pre-liberalization” days prior to 1991 – it was difficult to go to America unless you graduated from an IIT or topped from a premier University.

Today – it is much easier to go abroad for studies or for work.

Post liberalization – in the globalized world of today – if you are willing to spend your money – you can easily go for higher studies abroad – or you can go there via the “IT Route” – by first going abroad to work onsite – and then sidestepping into a job over there in America.

This is the main reason why there is a beeline for jobs in the IT/ITES industry – it is the easiest way to migrate overseas.

Then or now – the fact of the matter is that it is the parents themselves who encourage and monetarily facilitate their children to go abroad.

Parents inculcate ambitious values that create in the minds of their children the urge to migrate to America or some other prosperous country for a “better life”.

So who is to blame – the parents or the children?

I ask the old lady J – “Why don’t you go and live with your son or daughter in America? Have they refused to take you there? Are your children unwilling to have you live with them?”

“No – not at all. Far from it,” the old lady says, “my children want me to live with them over there and keep calling me to relocate permanently to America and stay with them in the US. I have gone there so many times – but I don’t want to live there with them in America. I don’t like it over there.”

I am puzzled.

It seems very strange.

Why should the old lady prefer to live a difficult lonely life out here in India – full of hardship – when she can live a comfortable life of luxury in America with the best of facilities and healthcare – and in the company of her children and grandchildren?

Why do so many senior citizens prefer to live alone in India and depend on “the kindness of strangers” – when they can enjoy the evening of their lives by migrating abroad to live with their NRI children and exulting in the love and care of their near and dear ones?

Is it ego?

Is it something else?

Is there some other reason?

I don’t know.

I don’t have the answer.

Do you?

If you do have the answer – or wish to share your views on this subject, please comment and let us know.

And – you better start thinking – about the evening of your life – when you become 70 or 80.

You have to decide from these 3 Choices:

1. Do you want to live with your children…?

2. Do you want to live alone…?

3. Do you want to live in an old age home (retirement community) which has assisted living facilities and where you will be well cared for and looked after…?

Remember – if you choose the second or third choice above – you will be dependent on the kindness of strangers.

Think about it.

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. This article is just “food for thought”, my musings, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt.
2. While planning your old age – please do your own due diligence.
3. 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.

This is a revised and updated version of my article first written by me Vikram Karve more than 3 years ago in the year 2012 and posted online earlier by me in this blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/27/2015 11:01:00 AM

Story of the Girl at the Airport

August 25, 2015

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/blog-fiction-girl-at-airport.html.

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

Blog Fiction

THE GIRL AT THE AIRPORT
Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

“Hello Sir,” she said.

In the suddenness of the moment – I did not recognize her.

But then – she gave me her typical vivacious smile – her eyes danced – and I knew who she was.

She had been one of my brightest students.

But then – that was quite some time ago.

“Of course I recognize you,” I said, “How can I ever forget one of my best students? But meeting you here at the airport was so unexpected that I was confused for a moment – and you’ve grown up so much – and I too am getting old now…”

“No Sir – you still look handsome – and as young as ever. I am sure all the girls still have a crush on you – like we all did…!” she said naughtily.

I almost blushed – so to change the subject – I asked her: “What you doing here at the airport?”

“I’m going to New York,” she said, “my flight is delayed – so I am just killing time.”

“My flight to Singapore is delayed too,” I said.

“Singapore?” she asked.

“Yes. I’m going for a conference,” I said.

“Oh,” she said.

For some moments – no one spoke.

To break the silence – I said, “Let’s go to the coffee shop. We can sit and talk over there till our flights are announced.”

As we walked to the airport coffee shop – I thought of the young girl walking beside me.

She had abruptly left our school 3 years ago – after completing her 9th Standard.

When we teachers expressed our surprise – the Principal of our school told us – that her parents wanted to shift her to an elite boarding school – faraway in the hills.

We told the Principal that she was a brilliant scholar – one of our best students – who had the potential to top the 10th Board Exams – and she would surely bring laurels to our school by getting into the merit list. 

We also argued that – even from girl’s point of view – it was not prudent to change her school and shift her just one year before the matriculation board examination.

The Principal told us that he had discussed all this with her parents – but they were adamant that the girl be shifted to a boarding school.

So – the bright young girl left our school – and she went away to the elite boarding school at the distant hill station.

I did not see the bright young girl again – or even hear of her – after she left our school.

“Sir – do you know why I had to suddenly leave school?” she asked me – as we sat down for coffee.

“No,” I said, “in fact, we were quite surprised at your unexpected sudden departure.”

“My parents were getting divorced – and they did not want me around – so they sent me away to the boarding school,” she said, nonchalantly – without batting an eyelid.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “that’s sad.”

“Yes,” she said, “it was really sad. They never asked me anything. They just decided to divorce on their own. I felt terrible. I did not like it at all. It was amicable divorce by mutual consent – but no one took my consent. Why is it – that in divorce cases – no one bothers about the children’s consent?”

I did not answer. 

I did not answer – because I did not know the answer to her question – “Why does the family court not take children’s consent before granting divorce to the parents…?” 

She had a point.

Aren’t children stakeholders in a marriage…?

I remained silent.

I looked at the girl.

Though I had met her parents once or twice perfunctorily at school functions – I did not know her parents that well. 

In fact – I do remember most of my students – but I hardly remember their parents.

I sipped my coffee in silence.

I did not say anything.

I waited for the girl to speak.

“I just don’t know why they split,” she said, “we seemed to be such a happy family together.”

“They must have had their reasons,” I said.

“Well – I think I know at least one reason now,” she said.

I just looked at her – waiting for her to continue speaking.

“Do you know what my father did the moment the divorce was through?” she said.

“What?” I asked.

“My dad got married to a woman half his age.” 

“Half his age?” I asked, quite incredulous.

“Yes. The female was his student.”

“Student?”

“You know that my father is a Professor, don’t you?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said.

The girl looked at me with bitterness on her face – and she said, “Yes – my father married a woman half his age. That girl was his student. She was doing her Ph.D. under him. The wily female snatched him away from us. And it was his fault too – a married man with a family getting involved with a woman so much younger in age than him.  It was terrible – a teacher and a student shamelessly getting married to each other. Just imagine how embarrassing it must have been for me and my mother.”

“Yes,” I said, trying to show empathy.

“And do you know what my mother did?”

“What?”

“Three months later – she too got married to a jerk from her office,” she said, “I hate him – he’s such a crafty smooth-talking fake – a charlatan . I just don’t understand why my mother fell for that slimy scoundrel…? ”

The girl paused for a moment – and she said, “And can you imagine his audacity?”

“Audacity?”

“Yes – this so-called step-father of mine – one day he politely told me that ‘they’ wanted more privacy – so could I please go and stay with my own Dad for a while?”

“Don’t tell me…!”

“Yes – it was disgusting – my mother and my step-father – they were behaving as if they were a ‘honeymoon couple’. And now – my step-father wanted to throw me out of my own house. So – I asked my mother to tell her new husband to shut up…”

“And…?”

“You won’t believe this – my mother just kept quiet and said nothing.”

“So?”

“So – I packed my bags – and I went over to my father’s place – but it was even worse over there.”

“Even worse?”

“Though she did not say so in so many words – my ‘step-mother’ made it quite clear that I was not very welcome – she kept giving me repulsive vibes of fake politeness – you know those terrible negative vibes – I could feel them every moment.”

“That is sad – very sad.”

“So I spent the next two years of junior college – my 11th and 12th – shuttling between my two parents like an unwanted badminton shuttle-cock,” she said.

“It must have been terrible…” I commiserated.

“Yes. It was really very painful for me – so I made a deal,” she said.

“A deal?”

“I told both my parents that I wanted to go abroad to America for my studies – and I wanted them to jointly pay for it – I told them that they must fund my entire studies and my stay abroad,” she said.

“Oh!” I exclaimed.

The girl paused for a moment – she had a sip of coffee – and then – she said: “You know – all of them – my Dad, my Mom, my Step-Father, my Step-Mother – all of them were delighted to hear this – that I wanted to go away from their lives. My Dad used his academic connections – and he went out of the way to get me admission to the best university in the US. As I said – no one wants me here – so – everyone – my very own mother – and even my so-called ‘step parents’ – they are all chipping in to finance my education in America – for as long as I want to study. They are all so happy to get me out of the way.”

“Oh – so that is why you are going abroad to America?” I said.

“Yes. I am running away. To a new life…” the girl said.

Suddenly – her flight was announced – and she got up to leave.

“Thanks for the coffee, Sir,” she said, “it was really so nice meeting you.”

“I am sure we will meet again when you come back,” I said.

“I am not coming back, Sir. There is nothing left here for me to come back to. I am leaving behind the debris of my past – and I am moving on to begin a new life over there – and I am not going to look back…” she said.

“All the Best. Take Care…” I said.

“You too, Sir – Take Care…” she said.

Then she turned – and she walked away.

I watched her for a long time – till she disappeared from sight. 

I thought she would look back. 

I thought she would wave a last good bye. 

But – she did not look back.

Maybe – she did not want to look back at the world from which she had escaped forever.

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 is a revised version of my story titled RUNNING AWAY (SHE DID NOT LOOK BACK) posted online earlier by me Vikram Karve a number of times on this blog – first on August 21, 2012 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and later at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… etc

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/25/2015 01:57:00 PM

 

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