The “Maukatarian” Freeloader – Hilarious Memoir from My Delightful Navy Days

October 21, 2016



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

Hilarious Memories of My Delightful Navy Days


When I was in the Navy – I would say: “There is no free drink…”

A drink costs money – so if you have a drink – it has to be paid for.

So – if you are an honest officer – you pay for your drink (or food).

But – if you are a freeloader – you make someone else pay for it.

A few years ago – a coursemate was promoted to Flag Rank – Rear Admiral – and he jokingly remarked that now – he had joined the “Freeloaders Club.

The words he actually used were: “So – at last – now I have become a “Freedom Fighter” – and – now – everything is free for me.”

In the Navy – someone had coined the term “Freedom Fighters” for “Freeloaders of Flag Rank”.

As I said – my friend was joking – he was an honest officer who paid his bills and was certainly not a freeloader – but I have seen some others – who – the moment they get promoted to high rank – they believe that freeloading is their fundamental right.

Apart from “Freedom Fighter” Freeloaders in Uniform – who freeload by misusing their rank – there is another type of freeloader in uniform – called the “Maukatarian” Freeloader – who is an opportunistic freeloader who improvises his freeloading tactics as per the occasion.

Let me delve into my Humor in Uniform Archives and pull out this hilarious yarn about a “Maukatarian” Freeloader.

Have a laugh – and think about it…

THE “MAUKATARIAN” FREELOADER – a spoof by Vikram Karve

The Navy was the best thing that happened to me.

Way back, in the 1970’s, when I joined the Navy, life was good.

There was never a dull moment.

Something was always happening, and I came across a variety of unique personalities.

Yes, I enjoyed some exciting situations and encountered some inimitable characters.

Those were the best days of my life.

Even now, whenever I reminisce about my “good old” Navy days and recall the unforgettable characters I met there and whenever I hark back to the hilarious incidents (in hindsight), those cherished memories always fill me with cheer, and sometimes bring a smile, maybe a laugh, to my lips.

They say every Naval Officer has a book inside him (or her).

I am writing mine.

In fact, I have decided to write two books – a fiction novel based on my early life in the Navy way back in the 1970’s and a “memoir” comprising non-chronological vignettes from my naval life.

I will tell you more about all that later.

Now, let me regale you with one such hilarious vignette featuring an unforgettable character.

Let’s call him “F”

Why “F”…?

Well – it will be quite evident as you read on.

But – before I begin my story – let me tell you about how values and traditions have changed in the Defence Services – especially the Navy.

Here is the timeline of changing Navy Wardroom/Officers Mess Traditions.


(Seniors Subsidize Juniors)

There was a time when Senior Naval Officers were large-hearted and magnanimous.

The senior always stood a drink for the junior.

Whenever we had a party in the wardroom (officers’ mess) – the “party share” was on “stripe basis”. 

You counted the total number of stripes on the shoulders of officers present – and then – you simply divided the overall damages for food and drinks by the total number of stripes – and – you calculated the stripe share.

You paid a party share depending on the stripes you wore on your sleeves or shoulder.

A Commander (who wore three stripes on his shoulder) paid three times the party share as compared to a Sub Lieutenant (who wore a single stripe).

In effect – the seniors subsidized the bill of the juniors.


(Equal Party Share for All)

As traditions and attitudes began to change – and – officers started becoming money conscious – the stripe share concept gave way to the “on the house” concept – in which – the party share was distributed equally among all those officers who attended the party – and – all members of the “house” paid the same amount of party share – irrespective of how much food and drink they consumed – and– irrespective of their rank.

Of course – when things were “on the house” – those who drank less and ate frugally subsidized those who drank heavily (“topped-up to the hilt”) and gorged on food to their hearts’ content.

With the passage of time – as officers became more and more money-orientated – and – materialism became a way of life – this affected Naval Wardroom Officers Mess traditions too – and – many officers started counting their drinks – and worse – they also counted others’ drinks too…!!!


(You Pay for what you consume)

Now we had a “chit system” and the party share was based on the principle of “Soldier’s Share” – or – “Going Dutch” – in which you signed chits – and – you paid for whatever you consumed.

In this “signing chits” scheme of things – no one subsidized anybody – and – it was each for his own – irrespective of rank and seniority.


(Juniors subsidize Seniors) 

Soon – Wardroom Officers Mess traditions were turned upside down.

Money-consciousness gave way to stinginess and sort of “feudal” culture – owing to selective interpretation of the RHIP concept – which resulted in the proliferation of freeloaders in the senior ranks.

This resulted in a preposterous situation – wherein now – it was the “magnanimous” juniors who were subsidizing their stingy yet greedy freeloading seniors.

You know what RHIP stands for – don’t you?

Well – RHIP is the acronym for RANK HAS ITS PRIVILEGES (Rank Has Its Privileges)

Unfortunately – some unscrupulous and corrupt senior officers thought that RHIP implied that it was their “privilege” to freeload and sponge on their juniors.

Things seem to have turned a full circle.

Hey – I am digressing.

Let me get on with my story.


This story happened during the days of transition from the “on the house” to “soldier’s share” parties.

Those days, there was sometimes a bit of confusion – some parties were “on the house” and some parties were on the “chit system”.

Now our protagonist “F” was a true maukatarian – and – he decided his “party strategy” accordingly depending on whether it was a “on the house” party or “chit system” party.

“F” was quite a senior officer – next in seniority to the PMC (President Mess Committee).

If it was a “chit system” party – F” would survive on water – or he would hang around someone and try to sponge a drink off him – or – he would try to pilfer one of those complimetary gratis “ladies” soft drinks – when he thought no one was looking.

Or – at the worst – if the party was too long – and – his freeloading tactics did not work and yield results – F” would order a small peg of the cheapest Rum with Water (Rum-Pani) – and he would hold his drink in his hand for the entire party.

And – if the party was “on the house”…? 

Well – read on…

“F” arrived for a grand party one evening and asked me: “Is it chit-system…?”

“No, Sir – the party is on-the-house…” I told him, as planned – and I winked at the barman (bar steward)

The PMC, who was nearby, gave me a knowing smile of approval.

“Which whisky have you got…?” F” asked the barman.

“Sir, we are serving Black Knight and Red Knight Whisky…” the barman answered.

Though we had the choicest duty-free whiskies in wardrooms on board ships – this party was ashore – in Wardroom Officers Mess of a “Stone Frigate” – and we were serving IMFL (Indian Made Foreign Liquor) – and – those days – way back in the 1970s – Black Knight (BK) and Red Knight (RK) were popular affordable Whisky brands prevalent in the Defence Services.

“Only BK and RK …?” remarked F” turning his nose up in disdain – and then – Fcommanded the bar steward: “Get me Peter Scot.”

The barman looked at me for a decision since Peter Scot was the most expensive IMFL whisky in the bar those days.

“Okay,” I said to the barman: Sahab ko Peter Scot pilao…” (Give the Sahib Peter Scot Whisky to drink)

Delighted that he was getting the most expensive Peter Scot whisky on-the-house” – the freeloader F” decided to make the most of it.

He knew that irrespective of the amount of the expensive Peter Scot whisky he consumed – his bill would be the same as others who consumed much less – and that too – a cheaper whisky, rum or soft drinks.

So – F” drank peg after peg of Peter Scot whisky – and – he drank so much whisky – that – at the end of the party – F got so drunk – that he had to be physically carried to his house in drunken stupor.

F” had grandly “enjoyed” the party – and he made the most of the “on the house” cocktail party.

A month later – F” entered my office – furiously waving his Wardroom Mess Bill in his hand.

He angrily demanding how he had been charged for 11 large pegs of Peter Scotwhisky.

I was expecting this – so I got up and said to F: “Sir – let’s go to the PMC.”

“Any problem…?” the PMC said looking up from his desk – the moment we entered his cabin.

“Sir – I have been charged for 11 large pegs of Peter Scot for that cocktail party…” complained F.

“So…?” the PMC said, “you drank 11 large pegs of Peter Scot – didn’t you…?”

“Sir – I don’t remember…” said Fsheepishly.

“But I do remember very clearly – you were in such glorious high spirits – that you had to be carried away at the end of the party…” the PMC said.

“But Sir – the party was on-the-house…” protested F.

“Who told you…?” the PMC said.

“The Mess Secretary told me that the party was on-the-house…” shouted F– pointing an accusing finger at me.

“Well – the Mess Secretary is quite a clueless chap. All parties nowadays are on the chit-system. You should have signed your bar chits before ordering your drinks – and you should have checked the bar-book next morning if you had any doubts. No disputes now. That’s the Mess Rule…” the PMC pronounced his decision – and he dismissed F” with a wave of his finger.

Then – the PMC looked at me with a mischievous glint in his eyes.

That’s how we taught this “Maukatarian” Freeloader a lesson.

Well – we taught this freeloader another lesson too – when he tried his “boneless” chicken hanky panky – but that’s another story which I will tell you soon, right here in my blog.

I enjoy writing and I have now started writing my 3 books.

The first is autobiographical fiction – a novel with an engrossing story and characters you will love – the second – my “memoir” – a collection of vignettes from my life in the Navy – something like Tales of the South Pacific – and – the third is a complilation of my “Humor in Uniform” stories.

I am putting my heart into writing these 3 books in order to make them gripping and “unputdownable”.

I am going to write leisurely, unhurriedly, savoring every moment and I am going to enjoy the writing process as I relive my navy days in my mind’s eye.

But I’ll take a break from time to time – and, right here in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog – I will regale you with some more humour in uniform – and tell you a few more naval yarns – like this one.

Till my next Naval Yarn – Cheers – have a drink.

Don’t worry – the drink is “on the house” – or should I say – “Soldier’s Share”…!!!


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.


  1. This story is a fictional 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)

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This story was written by me more than 13 years ago (in 2003) and first posted online in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal blog on 27 April 2011 at url: and reposted a number of times in my blogs including at urls:  and  and etc

Love in the Blue Mountains

October 21, 2016


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

Love in the Blue Mountains 

Short Fiction – A Romantic Love Story By  VIKRAM KARVE   

The Nilgiri Mountain Railway celebrated its Centenary in 2008.

Actually it’s the second time they celebrated the centenary [this second one in 2008 pertains to the Coonoor – Udagamandalam (Ooty) section].

The earlier centenary of the Mettupalayam – Coonoor section was celebrated in 1999.

I cherish fond memories of enjoying travelling by this delightful heritage train – the adventurous journey from Mettupalayam speeding to the foothills of the Blue Mountains to Kallar – and then on the steep gradient on the rack-and-pinion railway track curving and climbing past stations with lovely quaint names like Adderley, Hill Grove, Runnymede and Kateri, laughing at the witty slogans on the walls, through tunnels, over bridges, all the way to Coonoor – a halt for tea – followed by the breathtakingly picturesque journey onto Wellington, Aravankadu, Ketti, Lovedale and Ooty.

Permit me – Dear Reader – for old times’ sake– to pull out from my creative writing archives – one of my earliest fiction short stories written by me long long ago – more than 25 years ago in the early 1990s – and set on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.

I have revised and abridged the story to make it suitable for easy reading on the digital screen.

Do let me know if you liked it.

SECOND HONEYMOON – A Travel Romance by Vikram Karve


Early morning.

Chill in the air.

I stand alone on the metre gauge side of the lonely island platform of Mettupalayam Railway Station.

I stare at the peaks of the Blue Mountains (the Nilgiris) silhouetted in a veil of mist in the distance.

Nothing much has changed here since the last time I came here on my way to Ooty.

It was almost 30 years ago – and even now – the place, the things, the people – everything looks the same – as if frozen in time.

But for me there is a world of difference.

Then – I was a young bride – full of inchoate zest – in the company of my handsome husband – eagerly looking forward to the romantic journey on the mountain train – on my way to our honeymoon at Ooty.

And now everything is so different.

The same place which then felt so exciting then, now feels so gloomy.


But true.

What’s outside just doesn’t matter – what’s inside does.

I try not to reminisce.

Remembering good times when I am in misery causes me unimaginable agony.

I look at my watch.

7.30 A.M.

The small blue toy train pushed by its hissing steam engine comes on the platform.

Dot on time.

As it was then.

The same chill in the air.

Then – I had the loving warmth of my husband’s arm around me.

Now – I feel the bitter cold penetrating within me.

I drag my feet across the platform towards the mountain train.

Then – they called it The Blue Mountain Express.

Now – I don’t know.

Scared, anxious, fear in my stomach – I experience a strange uneasiness – a sense of foreboding – a feeling of ominous helplessness – wondering what my new life would have in store for me.

I sit alone in the First Class compartment right in front of the train – and – I wait for the train to start.

Yes – I sit in the train which is going to take me to the point to no return.

I wish that all this is just a dream.

But – I know it is not.

And suddenly – Avinash enters.

We stare at each other in disbelief.

Time stands still.

There is silence, a grotesque silence, till Avinash speaks: “Roopa! What are you doing here?”

I do not answer.

Because – I cannot answer.

I am struck dumb – swept by a wave of melancholic despair.

My vocal cords numbed by emotional pain.

I look ineffectually and forlornly at Avinash.

He looks at me with a curious expression on his face.

I realize that there is no greater pain than to remember happier times when in distress.

“You look good when you get emotional…” Avinash says sitting opposite me.

In the vulnerable emotional state that I am in at this moment – I know that I will have a breakdown if I continue sitting with Avinash.

I want to get out of the compartment – I want to run away – but suddenly – the train moves.

I am trapped.

So I decide to put on a brave front – and I say to Avinash, “Coming from Madras?”

“Yes,” he says, “I’d gone for some work there.”

“You stay here? In Ooty?” I ask with a tremor of trepidation for I do not want to run into Avinash again and again. I do not want to let him know that I had made a big mistake by not marrying him – that I had made the wrong choice by dumping him – the man I loved – because I was in search of a “better” life.

“I stay near Kotagiri,” Avinash says.

“Kotagiri?” I ask relieved.

“Yes, I own a tea-estate there.”

“You own a tea estate?”

“Yes. I am a planter.”

Now – I really regret my blunder 30 years ago.

Indeed – I had made the wrong choice.

“Your family – wife, children?” I probe, curious.

“I didn’t marry,” he says curtly. “There’s no family – only me. I am a confirmed bachelor – just me – I live all by myself.”

“Oh, Avinash. You should have got married. Why didn’t you?”

“It is strange that you should be asking me why I did not marry…?” he says.

“Oh my God! Because of me…? You did not marry because I dumped you…?”

Avinash changes the subject and he says: “I’ll be getting off at Coonoor. My jeep will pick me up.”

I say nothing.

He pauses – then he asks me, “And you, Roopa? Going to Ooty? At the height of winter! To freeze over there?”

“No,” I say, “I am going to Ketti.”

“Ketti…?” he asks with derisive surprise.

“Yes. What’s wrong with going to Ketti…?” I protest.

“There are only two places you can go to in Ketti – the boarding school and the old-age home. And – the school is closed in December…” Avinash says nonchalantly, looking out of the window.

I say nothing.

Because I cannot say anything.

So – I suffer his words in silence.

“Unless of course you own a bungalow there!” he says sarcastically turning towards me and mocking me once again.

The cat is out of the bag.

I cannot describe the sense of humiliation I feel sitting there with Avinash.

The tables seem to have turned.

Or have they?

There are only the two of us in the tiny compartment.

As the train begins to climb up the hills – it began to get windy and Avinash closes the windows.

The smallness of the compartment forces us into a strange sort of intimacy.

I remember the lovely moments with Avinash.

A woman’s first love always has an enduring place in her heart.

“I am sorry if I hurt you,” Avinash says, “but the bitterness just came out.”

We talk.

Avinash is easy to talk to – and I am astonished how effortlessly my words come tumbling out.

I tell him everything.

Yes – I tell him everything – the entire story of my life.

How I had struggled, sacrificed, planned and taken every care.

But still – everything had gone wrong.

Widowed at 28.

Abandoned by my only son at 52.

Banished to an old-age home – so that “they” – my son and daughter-in-law – “they” could sell off our house and migrate abroad.

“They” – yes – “they” – those two who ruined my life, betrayed my trust – my only son who I doted upon and lived for and that scheming wife of his.

“I have lost everything,” I cry, unable to control my self. “Avinash, I have lost everything.”

“No, Roopa,” Avinash says, “You haven’t lost everything. You have got me! I have got you. We have got each other. Maybe – we can begin a new life together.”

Avinash takes me in his comforting arms – and I experience the same feeling, the same zest, the same warmth, the same lovely emotion, the same love – that I felt 30 years ago – on my first romantic journey – on this same mountain toy train – on my way to my first honeymoon – into the lovely blue mountains.

It seems like I am going on my second honeymoon.

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.


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) 

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This Story Written by me Vikram Karve more than 25 years ago in the early 1990s and posted online by me a number of times in my blogs including at urls:  and  and  and  and  and etc

Life Process Outsourcing aka LPO

October 21, 2016

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



Sometime ago – I met a smart young “upwardly mobile” couple loafing on Main Street (MG Road) in Pune.

“We are really enjoying life,” the husband said, “do you know how – well we have outsourced everything – yes – each and every thing – all household activities – parenting – and even pet parenting.”

“So you have done LIFE PROCESS OUTSOURCING…” I said, tongue in cheek.

“Absolutely – you’ve said it – Life Process Outsourcing – that is the key to happiness,” they exclaimed.

As I said Good Bye and walked on Main Street – I suddenly remembered a story I had written long ago on the subject of outsourcing – when I was trying to fathom as to what the term outsourcing really meant.

I wrote this story more than 9 years ago – on 18 April 2006 – at the height of the BPO Boom in Pune.

This story is included in my book of short stories COCKTAIL.

So here is the story – a spoof – abridged and updated – for you to read – my ignorant take on outsourcing.

Dear Reader – please remember that this is fiction – a spoof.

Do tell me if you liked the story.

I look forward to your comments and feedback.


On the morning of New Year’s Eve – the 31st of December – the last day of the year – while I am leisurely loafing on Main Street in Pune – I meet an old friend of mine.


“Hi!” I say.


“Hi,” he says, “where to?”


“Aimless loitering,” I say, “And you?”


“I’m going to work.”


“Work? This early? I thought your shift starts in the evening – or late at night. You work at a call-center don’t you?”


“Not now. I quit. Now – I’m on my own.”


“On your own? What do you do?”




“LPO? What’s that?”


“Life Process Outsourcing.”


“Life Process Outsourcing? Never heard of it!”


“You’ve heard of Business Process Outsourcing haven’t you?”


“BPO? Outsourcing non-core business activities and functions?”


“Precisely. LPO is similar to BPO. There it’s Business Processes that are outsourced – here it’s Life Processes that are outsourced.”


“Life Processes? Outsourced?”


“Why don’t you come along with me? I’ll show you.”


Soon we are in his office.

It looks like a mini call-center.


A young attractive girl welcomes us.

“Meet Rita, my Manager,” my friend says, and introduces us.


Rita looks distraught, and she says to my friend, “I am not feeling well. Must be viral fever.”


“No problem. My friend here will stand in.”


“What? How can I stand in for her? I don’t have a clue about all this LPO thing…!” I protest.


“There is nothing to beat learning on the job! Rita will show you,” my friend says.


“It’s simple,” Rita says, in a hurry, “See the console. You just press the appropriate switch and route the call to the appropriate person or agency.”

And with these words – Rita disappears.

It is the shortest induction training I have ever had in my life.


And so I plunge into the world of Life Process Outsourcing – or LPO – as they call it.


It’s all very simple.

Everyone is busy.

Working people don’t seem to have time these days.

But they have lots of money – especially those Double Income Career Couples (DINK and DISK) – IT Nerds – MBA hot shots – Finance Wizards – just about everybody running desperately in the urban rat-race of life.
So what do they do?


They “outsource”…!
‘Non-core Life Activities’, for which you have neither the inclination, nor the time – you just outsource them – so you can maximize your work-time to rake in the money and make a fast climb up the career ladder of success.
A ring – a flash on the console in front of me – and I take my first LPO call.


“My daughter has puked in her school. They want someone to pick her up and take her home. I am busy in a shoot and just can’t leave,” a creative ad agency type with a husky voice says.


“Why don’t you tell your husband?” I suggest.


“Are you crazy or something? I am a single mother!” she screams.


“Sorry ma’am. I didn’t know. My sympathies and condolences,” I say.


“Condolences? Who is this? Is this LPO?” she asks, with irritation in her voice.


“Yes ma’am,” I say.

I press the button marked ‘children’ – and I transfer the call – hoping I have made the right choice.

Maybe I should have pressed ‘doctor’.


Nothing happens for the next few moments.

I breathe a sigh of relief.


A yuppie wants his grandmother to be taken to a movie.

I press the ‘movies’ button.

‘Movies’ transfers the call back to me – and says: “Hey – this is for movie tickets. Try ‘escort services’. The bugger wants the old hag escorted to the movies.”


‘Escort Services’ are in high demand.

These guys and girls – slogging in their offices minting money – want ‘escort services’ for their kith and kin for various non-core family processes like shopping, movies, eating out, sightseeing, marriages, funerals – all types of functions – even going to art galleries, book fairs, exhibitions, zoos, museums – or even a walk in the nearby garden.


A father wants someone to read bedtime stories to his small son while he works late.

A busy couple wants proxy “stand-in parents” at the school PTA meeting.

An investment banker rings up from Singapore – he wants his mother to be taken to a temple to pray – to perform an elaborate pooja – in the temple – at a certain time on a specific day.


Someone wants his kids to be taken for a swim, brunch, a movie and to a bookstore for browsing books and music.

A sweet-voiced female IT project manager wants someone to motivate and pep-talk her husband – who has been recently sacked – and is cribbing away at home – and is thoroughly depressed and demoralized.

The sacked husband desperately needs someone to talk to – he needs to cry on someone’s shoulder – to unburden himself – but his own wife is busy – she neither has the time nor does she have the inclination to take a few days off to boost the morale of her depressed husband – when – for her – there are deadlines to be met at work – and so much is at stake for her career.


The things they want outsourced range from the mundane to the bizarre.

Life processes that you earlier enjoyed doing  and you took pride in doing  or you did as your sacred duty  are nowadays considered “non-core life activities” by these highfalutin people.


At the end of the day I feel illuminated on this novel concept of “Life Process Outsourcing”.

I am about to leave – when suddenly a call comes in.


“LPO?” a man asks softly.


“Yes – this is LPO. May I help you?” I say.


“I am speaking from Frankfurt Airport. I really don’t know if I can ask this?” he says nervously.


“Please go ahead and feel free to ask anything you desire, Sir. We do everything,” I say.




“Yes, Sir. Anything and everything…!” I say.


“I don’t know how to say this. This is the first time I am asking. You see – I am working 24/7 on an important project for the last few months. I am globetrotting around the world – and I can’t make it back there to my home in Pune. Can you please arrange for someone suitable to take my wife out to the New Year’s Eve Dance…?”


I am taken aback – but I recover quickly and say: “Yes, Sir.”


“Please send someone really good – an excellent dancer – and make sure she enjoys and has a good time. She loves dancing – and I just haven’t had the time.”


“Of course, Sir,” I say.


“And I told you – I have been away abroad for quite some time now – globetrotting – and I have got to stay out here till I complete the project,” he says.


“I know. Work takes top priority,” I say.


“My wife. She’s been lonely. She desperately needs some love. Do you have someone with a loving and caring nature who can give her some love? You see – I am so busy that I just don’t have the time to give her love. You understand what I am saying – don’t you?” he says.


I let the words sink in.

The guy wants to outsource the love process.

This is one call I am not going to transfer.

This “process” is something I am going to take on myself.

Yes – I am going to in-source this “love process” to myself.


“Please give me the details, Sir…” I say softly into the mike.


Later – in the evening – as I walk towards my destination with a spring in my step – I feel truly enlightened.


Till this moment – I never knew that:

“Love” is a “non-core” “Life-Process” – worthy of outsourcing.


Long Live LPO…!

I love LPO.

What really is LPO…?

Is it Life Process Outsourcing…?

Or – is it Love Process Outsourcing…?
Call it what you like – but I am sure you have got an idea of the great benefits of outsourcing.

And now you know what to do – if you want to outsource something – whether it is a “Life Process” – or “Love Process”

Just call up LPO – and I will be there to assist you.


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.


  1. This story is a fictional spoof, a yarn, pure fiction, just for a laugh, no offence meant to anyone, so please take it with a pinch of salt.
  2. 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) 

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This Story Written by me Vikram Karve more than 10 years ago in the Year 2006 after a walk on Main Street (MG Road) Pune and First Posted Online by me Vikram Karve on 18 April 2006 under the title LIFE PROCESS OUTSOURCING in my creative writing blogs at urls:  and and later reposted online on my blogs a number of times including at urls:  and  and and etc

Essential OLQ (Officer Like Quality) – How to “Bullshit” – A Navy Yarn

October 19, 2016


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



This story happened almost 30 years ago – in the late 1980’s – on a frontline warship.


There is a saying: “No one is indispensable”.

However – in the 1980’s – with the induction of new ships with modern weapons/equipment and sophisticated propulsion systems – I observed that – on many ships – there were a number of Sailors – especially in the Technical Branches – mainly Artificers – who were considered “indispensable”.

Whether these individuals were genuinely indispensable or not – I do not know – and I suspect not.

But the fact of the matter was that the Captain and Head of Department (HOD) wanted that particular “indispensable” Sailor on board the ship during his one year tenure – so that their tenures passed without a hiccup – especially on that crucial weapon system handled by the “indispensable” Sailor.

In fact – the Captain/HOD often got the transfers of these “indispensable” Sailors cancelled – and – I remember a case of “poaching” of an “indispensable” Sailor too – which resulted in an ugly exchange of correspondence, including signals, between the two rival ships involved.

Another offshoot was that these “indispensable” Sailors acquired immense “expert power” – which sometimes overwhelmed “position power”,

And – thanks to their “expert power” – these “indispensable” Sailors sometimes developed a tendency to bullshit.

Here is the hilarious story of one such “indispensable” Sailor called “P”



On our ship we had a Chief Petty Officer – an Artificer – let’s call him “P”.

P was a part of the commissioning crew.

P had remained on the ship continuously without break for more than Seven years.

Every time P’s transfer came – the incumbent Captain would get P’s transfer cancelled.

Every Captain wanted P to remain on board during his tenure – since P was “indispensable”.

P was indispensable – since he was a specialist on a key weapon system.

With increasing years of experience – P gained more and more expertise – and soon – P was the unsurpassed expert on the system in the entire Navy.

Every Captain knew that with P on board – it would be “smooth sailing” as far as that crucial weapon system was concerned.

So every new Captain ensured that – during his command tenure – P was kept on board the ship.

It was a Catch-22 situation.

The more P served at sea on board the ship – the more P yearned to go for an appointment ashore.

But conversely – the more P served on board the ship – he acquired more and more specialist expertise. – and he became even more “indispensable” – and his chances of going ashore became lesser and lesser.

So – the more P served on board the ship – the more P became “indispensable” – and his chances of being posted out diminished – as every new Captain wanted him on board during his own tenure.

P was fed up.

Seven continuous years at sea were taking its toll on his health.

And also – his family life was adversely affected.

One day – suddenly – his transfer order came

was delighted when he got his transfer order to a training establishment ashore as an instructor.

But unfortunately – the incoming new Captain got P’s transfer cancelled.

represented against the cancellation of his transfer – saying that he had served seven long years continuously on a frontline warship – and he desperately wanted to go ashore.

I took Chief Petty Officer “P” to meet the new Captain.

I told the Captain that P had completed 7 years on this ship.

The Captain looked at P – and then – the Captain personally assured “P”:

“You don’t worry. You just remain on the ship for my tenure. The moment my transfer comes – I will see to it that you are transferred to some good place ashore – in fact – I will get you a choice transfer to the shore establishment of your choice…

Despite the Captain’s assurance – P seemed dejected.

This meant another year on board this ship – it would be 8 continuous years of sea time away from family – with no hope that it would end after even this sea tenure was over

When I tried to commiserate with him – P said cynically to me:

“Forget it, Sir. Every Captain says the same thing. Captains come and go – all of you officers come and go – but I am destined to remain stuck in this hellhole forever…”

THE BULLSHITTER XO (Executive Officer)

A few days later a new XO (second-in-command) arrived.

The new XO was a hot-shot “spit and polish” Commander – who had spent most of his time on training ships and shore establishments (stone frigates) – and – a long “chairborne” tenure behnd a desk pushing files in the “Northern Naval Command” (Naval Headquarters) – from where he had arrived on board for his “criteria” appointment.

The new XO boasted that he was going to “kick us into shape”.

On the very first day of sailing – I was summoned to his cabin.

The XO was seated in his chair.

The “indispensable” Chief Petty Officer “P” was standing in front of the XO

P was not standing at attention – which was proper form for sailors – when standing in front of an officer – especially a senior officer like the XO

However – P was standing in his usual casual manner – wearing his peak cap at a rakish angle – in the manner of a famous Admiral.

P had the cavalier bearing of a sailor who has been at sea for a long time.

The “Master-at-Arms” was standing behind P.

The XO shouted at me:

“I was taking rounds of the ship  and your Chief “P” was moving around in a slovenly manner in the alleyway. This sailor – your sailor Chief “P” – he was almost nude  the bugger was dressed in a bloody filthy skimpy lungi  – and even his bloody lungi was at half-mast…”

“Sir  I was going for my bath …” P interrupted.

“Shut up!” the XO shouted furiously at P.

Then  the XO turned to me  and he said to me: “The bugger did not even bother to salute me. Your sailor – Chief P” – he intentionally did not salute me…”

Again  P interrupted  and he said to the XO: “Sir  in this ship we don’t salute below decks…”

This infuriated the XO

The XO stood up to his full height – and the XO looked menacingly at P for some time.

Then – the XO shouted at P: “Don’t you bloody try to bullshit me – and don’t try to act smart with me – I have sorted out many funny chaps like you…” the XO said angrily to P.

“Sir  why are you threatening at me? I told you that in this ship we do not salute below decks…” P pleaded.

On hearing this  the XO glowered at for some time.

Then  the XO roared furiously – the XO shouted at Chief P

“If you misbehave with me – I will throw you out of this ship…”

P (a Chief Petty Officer) looked at the XO (a Commander) squarely in the eye.

Looking straight into the XO’s eyes – P said to the XO:

“Sir  if you get me transferred out of this ship – I will give you a grand party in a 5-Star hotel…”

I almost burst out laughing  but I controlled myself.

In order to prevent the situation from deteriorating further and leading to an aggravated offence  I quickly removed my Chief Petty Officer P” from the XO’s cabin.

Such juicy “galley news” spreads fast  especially at sea – and  in a few hours  the whole ship knew about the incident.

From then on  the XO would scrupulously avoid P.

However – whenever their paths crossed – with tongue-in-cheek  Chief Petty Officer P would taunt the XO

XO Sir – when are you throwing me out of this ship…?”


I learnt three lessons from this story:

  1. Some individuals are indispensable– especially those who have “expert power”. 
  1. As a Military Officer – sometimes – you will have to resort to “Bullshit”.

“Bullshitting” is considered “officership” – an essential part of Officer Like Qualities (OLQ).

But – there are limits to “bullshit” – beyond which “bullshit” can boomerang.

Yes – if you cross the limit – your “bullshit” can boomerang and fly back into your face. 

  1. If you want to have a comfortable life and long tenures –you must try to become “indispensable”.

That is how some officers manage to spend long tenures in choicest stations – and even get their “sea-time” waived.

You will find many such “indispensable” “experts” sitting comfortably for many years in Delhi – and other preferred peace stations – while their counterparts keep slogging it out at sea and in the field.

So – Dear Reader – the “Moral of the Story” is:

As an Officer – you must “Bullshit” your subordinates – but know your limits – especially with “experts”.


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.


  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. 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) 

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

This is an abridged updated extract of my story FEAR – THE GREATEST MOTIVATOR First Posted in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 29 July 2013 by Vikram Karve at 7/29/2013 12:52:00 PM in this blog at url: and revised versions posted by me later at urls:  and  and and  etc

The Marriage of Two Persons Who Did Not Believe in Marriage

October 19, 2016

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

There is saying that all creative writing (fiction) is autobiographical.

I wonder whether this story is autobiographical…?

Dear Reader:

Do read this story of “The Marriage of Two Persons Who Did Not Want to Get Married” – and tell me what you think…


Fiction Short Story By VIKRAM KARVE

He did not believe in “Marriage”

She did not believe in “Marriage”

Yet – they got married.


Here is the story of:

The Marriage of Two Persons Who Did Not Want to Get Married 

“Good Morning…” he said.

“Hi…” she said.

“Thanks for agreeing to see me in your office…”

“You said it was urgent…”

“Yes. I wanted to talk to you alone before you came to my place in the evening along with your parents…”


“I came to tell you that – actually – I don’t want to get married…”

“Oh – is there someone else…”


“You don’t like me…?”

“No. No. I haven’t even met you before…”


“I just don’t want to get married…”

“Oh – are you…?”

“No. No. It’s not what you are thinking. I am not ‘gay’ …”

“Sorry – I didn’t mean it that way…”

“It’s okay…”

“Then – what is it…? Why don’t you want to get married….?”

“I am “married” to the Navy…”

“What…? You are “married” to the Navy…? I don’t understand…”

“I mean that I want to focus all my time and energy on my Navy career – and – I do not want any distractions at this critical juncture of my career…”

“So – you feel that marriage will distract you from your work…?”

“Yes. Right now – I am very busy on my ship – and I will be sailing most of the time. Then – I will go for my “long” specialization course. I want to “top” the course – so – during the course I will require to study round-the-clock. Then – I will go on ship again as a “specialist” officer – which is a crucial appointment – and – a stepping stone to sea command…”

“I get it – you will have no time for me – oh – sorry – I mean – you will have no time for your wife…”

“Yes – I don’t want to get married and then neglect my wife – that will be injustice to her. I will be devoting all my time and energy to my Navy career – and – I will have no time for my wife – so – it is better for me not to marry…”

“So you don’t want to marry because you don’t want to neglect your wife…? Or – is it because you feel that a wife will be a hindrance to your career ambitions…?”


“Both…? How can a wife be a hindrance to your career ambitions…? In fact – someone told me that – if you want to achieve high rank in the Defence Services – it is very advantageous to have a “suitable” wife…”

“Not really…”

“Well – my uncle is in the Army – and – he once told me that – one of the reasons he did not become a General was because he was a bachelor…”

“Maybe it is so in the Army – but – it is not so in the Navy – in fact – our present Navy Chief is a bachelor – he never married…”

“Oh. So you want to become an Admiral…? And – you feel that you will have a better chance if you are a bachelor…”

“Yes – being a bachelor will help me concentrate on my career much better…”

“I can understand. But – please tell me – if you don’t want to get married – why did you give a ‘Matrimonial Ad’…?”

“My parents did it – without asking me – I came to know about it yesterday – when I came on home on leave – and – they told me that you would be coming with your parents  to see me this evening…”

“Oh – but – they could have talked to my parents and cancelled the “Girl Seeing” Ceremony…”

“No – my parents said cancelling would look rude – and – it would complicate things – and – cause misunderstandings…”

“So – they asked you to talk to me…?”

“No. No. My parents don’t even know that I am meeting you here in your office…”

“Oh – so your parents are pressurizing you to get married – and – you don’t want to get married because you are “married” to the Navy…”


“So – what do you want me to do…?”

“You come over in the evening – we can go through the “ritual” – and – later – you can tell your parents that you don’t like me…”

“You want me to tell my parents that I don’t like you…?”


“Why don’t you tell your parents that you don’t like me…?”

“That would be unfair…”


“Yes – it is me who does not want to get married. So – it is not correct for me to hurt you and your parents – by falsely saying that I don’t like you…”

“What do mean by “falsely” saying that you don’t like me…? Are you saying that you like me…? Tell me – suppose you wanted to get married – then – do you find me a suitable wife…?”

“It is a big “if” – but – suppose – I was not “married” to the Navy – suppose – I wanted to get married – then…”


“Then – maybe – I would have said “Yes” to you…”

“So – you like me…?”


“But – we have just met for a few minutes…”

“I can judge a person in the first impression…”

“Really…? So – what do you think – do I like you – or not…?”

“You don’t like me – at least as a prospective husband…”

“Oh. Do you really think so…?”

“Yes. That is why it will be easier for you tell your parents the truth that you don’t like me – whereas – I will have to lie to my parents that I don’t like you – though – in actual fact – I don’t want to get married at all…”

“Shall I tell you something…?”


“I like you…”

“Oh No…”

“I like ambitious career-conscious people – and – I liked the way you told me upfront – in an honest and forthright manner…”


“Actually – I am very ambitious and career-conscious too…”

“That’s good…”

“That is why I too don’t want to get married…”


“Yes. I am just like you. My thoughts are exactly like yours. I too feel that marriage will be a big hindrance to my career ambitions…”

“Really…? Then why did you give a ‘Matrimonial Ad’…? And – why are you coming to my home with your parents to “see” me…?”

“The same reason as yours…”

“Parental pressure…?”



“Let’s do one thing…”


“Let’s get married…”


“Yes. Let’s get married. Once we get married – our parents will be happy – and – they will stop pestering us – and – we can focus on our careers…”

“You mean just a “paper” marriage…”

“Yes – a “technical” marriage – a marriage for the sake of marriage – so that we can get this “marriage issue” out of the way – and – we can get on with our respective careers…”

“You mean – we get “married” – and then – you go your way – and – I go my way…”

“Yes…” she said.

“Okay…” he said.

And so – they got married.

Yes – the boy and the girl – the two persons who did not believe in marriage – they got married.


The story I narrated above happened in early 1982.

And – believe it or not – more than 34 years have passed – and – they are still married.

In these 34 years – many other marriages have broken down.

Even a few so-called “love marriages” have ended in divorce.

But – the marriage of these two persons who did not believe in marriage is still going strong.


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.


  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. 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) 

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

This is a revised repost of my story THE MARRIAGE OF TWO PEOPLE WHO DID NOT BELIEVE IN MARRIAGE written by me Vikram Karve 6 months ago in June 2016 and posted by me online in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve Blog on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at url:

Blogging from Smartphone 

October 18, 2016

Hi Friends

I have just downloaded the WordPress App on my Smartphone.

This is my first blog post from my smartphone.

Misplaced Loyalty

October 16, 2016

Misplaced Loyalty due to The “Keep it in the Family” Syndrome

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

I have just finished watching the movie RUSTOM on Zee TV 

Watching the film for the second time reminded me of a blog post I had written after I had seen the movie “Rustom” when it was released in August 2016.

Here is the article…


“Keep it in the Family” Syndrome

A Garb for Pseudo-Ethics

Musings of a Navy Veteran By VIKRAM KARVE


Recently – I saw the movie RUSTOM

The film is based on the famous 1959 Nanavati Case 

(Commander K. M. Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra)

I am sure you are aware of this landmark murder case in which Commander Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati – a Navy Commander – was tried for the murder of Prem Ahuja – his wife’s lover.


As per information on the Nanavati Case on the Internet – it appears that – Commander Nanavati fired 3 shots at his wife’s lover who dropped dead – and then – Commander Nanavati headed straight to confess to the Provost Marshal of the Western Naval Command – and – on his advice – Nanavati surrendered himself to the Deputy Commissioner of Police.

The murder case received unprecedented media coverage and inspired several books and movies.

Commander Nanavati – accused under section 302 – was initially declared “Not Guilty” by a Jury under section 302 – but – the verdict was dismissed by the Bombay High Court – and – the case was re-tried as a bench trial.

The High Court sentenced Nanavati to life imprisonment for culpable homicide amounting to murder – and subsequently – the Supreme Court of India upheld the conviction.

Nanavati was granted pardon after spending 3 years in prison – and – after his release – Nanavati – his wife Sylvia – and – their 3 children – all migrated to Canada – and – settled in Toronto.

Nanavati died in 2003.

The Nanavati case was the last to be heard as a Jury Trial in India – as the government abolished jury trials after this landmark case.

RUSTOM (Movie) – Twist in the Tail

The movie ending is different – with a “Twist in the Tail”.

The protagonist Commander Rustom Pavri walks free after the jury declares him “not guilty”.

On the eve of the judgement – while talking to the Investigating Officer (Police Inspector Lobo) – Commander Rustom Pavri justifies killing his wife’s lover (Vikram Makhija)

Rustom says that the real reason he shot dead his wife’s lover (Vikram Makhija) was to prevent India Navy from acquiring a “sub-standard” Aircraft Carrier which would have compromised national security.

Vikram Makhija was an “Arms Agent” – and – he had entered into a conspiracy with “Bigwigs” (including high ranking Naval Officers and Bureaucrats) – to siphon off money by importing a “sub-standard” warship.

Rustom is deputed abroad to a foreign country to inspect the ship – and – he discovers the “scam”.

He is shocked to learn that his friend Vikram Makhija is the main conspirator and his own senior officers are involved neck-deep in the scam.

The corrupt “scamsters” try to “persuade” Rustom to give a “favourable” report to accept the “sub-standard” ship.

The corrupt “scamsters” try to bribe Rustom – and – later they threaten him – but – Rustom – who is a patriotic and honest officer – refuses to compromise his integrity.

On his return to India – Rustom he telephonically informs the Defence Secretary about the scam – and – Rustom tells him that he will not spare the main conspirator Vikram Makhija (who – Rustom has coincidentally learnt is having an affair with his wife Sylvia).

(It later transpires that the Defence Secretary is also involved in the scam).

Rustom proceeds to Vikram Makhija’s house and puts three bullets into his chest.

Vikram Makhija drops dead.

Everyone (including the investigating officer Inspector Lobo) thinks that Rustom killed Makhija because he caught him having an affair with his wife.

However – at the end of the movie – while talking to Inspector Lobo – Rustom reveals that real reason why he killed Vikram Makhija.

Rustom says the he killed Vikram Makhija since he was the key conspirator in the shady deal to import the sub-standard aircraft carrier warship.

Thereby – he managed foil the shady deal and prevented the import of a sub-standard warship whose acquisition would have compromised national security.

Inspector Lobo asks Commander Rustom Pavri: “What about the other conspirators like the Senior Navy Officers, Defence Secretary etc…? Why didn’t you expose them and ensure that they got punished…?”

Rustom says: “If I had exposed them – the “image” of the Navy and Government would have got tarnished – so – I did not expose those persons in “high places” to protect the reputation of the nation…”

Does the movie want to give a “message” that it is okay to condone high-level corruption in shady Defence deals – on the specious logic that – exposing high-ranking perpetrators will tarnish the “good image” of the Armed Forces, spoil the reputation of the Defence Establishment and embarrass the Government…?

In the Movie – Rustom displays “Misplaced Patriotism” by his misguided belief – that – he is defending the honour of the Navy and the Nation – by concealing the extent of the scam and withholding the names corrupt senior officers – due to which high-ranking perpetrators of the scam escape punishment and get away scot-free.

Hence – the “moral message” is that – for the “greater good” – it is justified to let wrongdoers get away scot-free just to protect the reputation of the organization.

Bizarre logic – isn’t it…?

Or maybe – it is not so bizarre.

Don’t we see such cases of “misplaced loyalty” in real life…?

This phenomenon is visible at work – at the organizational level – and – in personal life – at the familial level.

MISPLACED LOYALTY (The “Keep it in the Family” Syndrome)

Misplaced loyalty makes you remain silent when you know you should speak up – at work – and – in personal life – especially when it comes to personal friendships and close family relationships.

We see this phenomenon of “misplaced loyalty” in organizations – in the military (under the garb of “izzat”) – and – in “civvy street” too – in civilian bureaucracy – in business houses and the corporate sector – and – of course – in political parties.

Engaging in misplaced loyalty in professional life entails complying with a “code of silence” about the internal affairs of your organization.

In the Military – “Regimental Loyalties” (keep it within the unit) – and “Ship Loyalties” (keep it within the ship) – are examples of such misplaced organizational loyalties.

At the family/personal level – incidents of Incest, Sexual Abuse, Inappropriate Behaviour, Adultery, Pedophilia and Domestic Violence that happen within a “family” – these incidents may be “hushed up” to avoid “washing dirty linen in public” – because of the fallacious fear –  that exposing the wrongdoers may bring a “bad name” to the family and tarnish the reputation of the entire family.

I call it the “keep it in the family” syndrome.

The term “family” is used literally to mean personal family comprising relatives – as well as metaphorically – to refer to organizations (workplace “family”).

“Misplaced Loyalty” due to the “Keep it in the Family” syndrome sometimes makes you condone unethical acts of individuals/organizations who you feel are a “part of the family” and towards whom you feel a sense of “loyalty”.

“Misplaced Loyalty” attitudes of – “Keep it in the Family” – “Don’t Wash Dirty Linen in Public” – result in a “pseudo-ethical” tendency to “brush misdemeanors under the carpet” and “hush up” wrongdoings – due to which culprits get away scot-free.

Owing to these “Misplaced Loyalty” Mindsets in Organizations – Frauds and Scams are “hushed-up” – Corruption and Wrongdoings are not exposed – and – Scandals are swept under the carpet.

In some cases – even heinous crimes are “hushed up” – due to the propensity to “cover up” criminal activities due to the “Keep it in the Family” Syndrome.

Both at the macro-level and micro-level – in organizational environments – and – in family settings – “misplaced loyalty” due to the “keep it in family” syndrome may have deleterious consequences.

The ramification of this “misplaced loyalty” due to the “keep it in family” syndrome is that wrongdoers get emboldened to commit misdemeanors even more brazenly with disastrous consequences.

The widespread corruption, various scams/scandals and proliferation of crime bear testimony to this fact.

Due to the “keep it in the family” mindset – in workplaces and in family settings – if sexual perverts who indulge in “inappropriate behavior” are allowed to get away “scot-free” – they may get emboldened to commit worse misdemeanors like sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape etc.

“Misplaced Loyalty” is dangerous – for the “family” – and for society at large.

Even if it means “embarrassment” to the “family” – isn’t it better to “name and shame” wrongdoers and punish these malefactors at the very first instance…?

Exposing transgressors in the very first instance will help “nip things in the bud” – and – will deter these wrongdoers from committing graver misdemeanors – which may prove to be even more detrimental to the family/organization.

During my long career in the Navy – I did come across a few instances of attempts to “cover up” misconduct due to the “keep it in the family” syndrome (“Misplaced Loyalty” arising from “fear of reputation damage” – or – due to adherence to so-called pseudo “honour codes” prevalent in military training academies and in some regiments/units)

But – by and large – instances of misconduct were duly reported and the offenders were punished.


Coming back to the movie RUSTOM – it is one thing for a Naval Officer to commit an “Honour Killing” by shooting his wife’s illicit lover.

But – it is quite another thing for a Naval Officer to kill a Civilian Businessman who is a conspirator in a defence scam – while at the same time “protecting” high-ranking Navy Officers and Civilian Bureaucrats involved in the same scam – and justifying the “hush up” – on the bizarre logic – that exposing these high-ranking officers will tarnish the image of the Navy and the Nation.

I wish the movie had stuck to the original story – and – not twisted the story by a hotchpotch sub-plot about corruption in defence deals – and – ended up with the protagonist Commander Rustom Pavri justifying his “Misplaced Patriotism” – due to which – he does not expose corruption in the shady defence deal – on the specious logic – that “naming and shaming” corrupt high-ranking officers involved in the scam – would “tarnish the image” of the Navy (and Nation)

So – the protagonist (Commander Rustom Pavri) thereby allows the conspirators to get away scot-free and escape punishment for their misconduct.

Dear Reader – Don’t you see examples of “Misplaced Loyalty” and “Keep it in the Family” Syndrome around you – where – instead of being punished – wrongdoers and culprits are allowed to escape punishment and get away scot-free – at both – the “macro level” – in politics, in bureaucracy, in the military, in corporates, in academia – and also at the “micro level” – in your workplace and among your family and friends…?

I feel that Misplaced Loyalty (due to the “keep it in the family” syndrome) is a garb for pseudo-ethics – and this proves detrimental to the greater good in the long run.

Dear Reader – Do you agree…?


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.


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)  

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

This is a revised re-post of my blog post “Keep it in the Family” Syndromefirst posted online by me Vikram Karve on Monday, August 22, 2016 in my blog at url:


Military Performance Appraisal Made Simple – How to Write Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs)

October 16, 2016

Military Performance Appraisal Made Simple 

How to Write Annual Confidential Reports (ACRs) 

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

This morning I read an article titled “Time to Reflect, Review and Renew Indian Military Officers Promotion Policy” in the October 2016 issue of Fauji India Magazine (pp 61-63, Fauji India Magazine, Vol 2, Issue 11, October 2016)

The article is a discussion on an acerbic critique by an eminent economist who flayed the upper echelons of India’s Military as “visible dense” and “obviously incompetent”. He further opined that these “uninspiring leaders” rose in service by managing to get good ACRs year after year with “bland obsequiousness”.

The article has an interesting debate and discussion featuring diverse views on the ACR system by various distinguished Military Veterans – and – while giving his views in repsonse – an Admiral even admits that there may be a “kernel of truth” in the perceptions of the eminent ecomomist.

Reading the interesting article reminded me of a “Humor in Uniform” Story I had written on the subject sometime back.

Dear Reader – Here is the story…


Humor in Uniform

A Story of 3 ACRs 

Fictional Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer: This is a fiction story – an imaginary fantasy “fairy tale” – and – this humorous fictional spoof is only for those with a “sense of humor”


Once upon a time – there existed a mythical country.

Like all countries – that imaginary country too had a military – which comprised officers and soldiers.

This apocryphal military had a fictitious Human Resource Management (HRM) System.

And – in order to facilitate the selection of the best officers to the “top brass” – this imaginary military of the mythical country had a fictitious performance appraisal system which was breathtaking in its simplicity.

Every year – the immediate boss of an officer (called Initiating Officer or IO) wrote an annual performance appraisal report – called ACR (Annual Confidential Report) – on the officer being reported upon.

In optimal harmony with “military intellect” – the ACR was a simple document – easy to complete in a few minutes – with minimal strain on the brain.

Officers were assessed on a 9 point scale (1 to 9 points) – with “9” points being for “outstanding” performance – “5” points for “average” performance (during the one year period of assessment) – and – “1” point being for extremely “poor” performance.

An ACR with less than 5 points (4 points and below) was considered an “adverse” report.

Depending on his assessment of the officer’s performance during the preceding year – the Initiating Officer (IO) awarded the officer the points he deserved (from 1 to 9).

Then – the IO forwarded the ACR to his boss in a sealed envelope.

The boss of the IO (immediate boss) was called Reviewing Officer (RO).

The RO reviewed the ACR initiated by the IO – and – the RO – in turn – forwarded the “Reviewed ACR” up the hierarchical chain to his boss – the Senior Reviewing Officer (SRO).

The Reviewing Officer (RO) and Senior Reviewing Officer (SRO) were supposed to “moderate” the report – however – in most cases – the RO/SRO endorsed the same points as given the IO – but – in some cases – if they felt that the IO had been too “generous” or unduly “stingy” in marking – the RO/SRO sometimes changed the points up or down as per their judgement.

The points awarded by the SRO were final.

The SRO sent the ACR to Headquarters (HQ) – and – the ACR was duly recorded.

(Remember – the “C” in ACR stood for “Confidential” – so the ACR was treated as a confidential document – to be seen only on a “need to know” basis).

When an officer was due for promotion to the next rank (as per his batch seniority) – the average of his points in all his ACRs in his current rank was calculated.

This was done for all officers in the batch – a merit list was made out – and – depending on expected vacancies in the next rank in the following year – a “cut off” point was decided.

Officers whose “ACR average” was above the “cut off” point were placed on the “select list”.

These “select” officers were promoted to the next rank as and when vacancies arose.

The remaining officers (whose “ACR average” was below “cut off”) were duly “passed over” for promotion – ruthlessly thrown by the wayside – cast away from the “rat race” – and these unfortunate “written off” officers spent rest of the military careers in obscurity – stigmatized as “superseded officers”.

That – in a nutshell – was – once upon a time – the apocryphal promotion system in the imaginary military of the mythical country.

Dear Reader – let me once again reiterate – that – the apocryphal performance appraisal system mentioned above is fictional – a figment of my imagination – and – resemblance – if any – to any system – past, present or futuristic – is purely coincidental.

And – the story I am about to tell you – is a spoof – pure fiction – an apocryphal “fairy tale” – that happened – “once upon a time” – at a fictitious place – in the imaginary military – of a mythical country.


The RO (Reviewing Officer) had summoned the IO (Initiating Officer) to discuss 3 ACRs.

The conversation between the RO and IO was as follows:

RO: I am not happy with the way you have filled up ACRs – especially on these 3 Officers – “A” – “B” – and – “C”.

IO: Why Sir…? I have filled up the ACRs objectively.

RO: Don’t give me bullshit. Is this the first time you are writing ACRs…?

IO: Yes, Sir.

RO: No wonder you are clueless…!!!  Let me explain to you – one by one…

IO: Yes, Sir…

ACR No. 1 – ACR of “A”

RO: Let’s start with the ACR of “A”

IO: Yes, Sir.

RO: You have given “A” a bloody “Nine-Pointer ACR” – are you crazy…? Does that idiot deserve “9 Points”…?

IO: Sir – “A” is the most outstanding officer in my unit.

RO: “Outstanding” – My Foot…!!!  I can’t stand the sight of that conceited bugger…

IO: Sir – “A” is highly professionally competent…

RO: So – what is so great about that…? Every bloody Officer is supposed to be professionally competent. Have you seen his haughty “Body Language”…?

IO: “Body Language”…?

RO: Yes – “A” has rude “Body Language” – especially in front of his seniors. I just don’t like the way he pompously swaggers around.

IO: Sir – I agree that “A” walks a bit robustly. But, Sir – “A” has good “Military Bearing”.

RO: Strutting around pompously is not “Military Bearing”. Do you understand…? I have been observing “A” and his impertinent behaviour – he is arrogant bugger who thinks he is too damn smart.

IO: Arrogant…?

RO: Yes – “A” is an arrogant “showoff” – he needs to be put in his place – the haughty braggart thinks he is a “know-it-all” – he tries to “overshadow” his superior officers

IO: Overshadow…?

RO: Don’t you remember how he made me look like a laughing stock in front of everyone…?

IO: Laughing Stock…? When, Sir…?

RO: During that exercise – when the Chief was there – I was making an important point – and – this bloody idiot “A” – he contradicted me in front of the Chief – and – he made me look like a fool – everyone was laughing at me – and – even the Chief made a sarcastic comment to me that I needed to brush up on my professional knowledge…

IO: Sir – but “A” was right…

RO: So…? He could have kept his trap shut. Officers are supposed to have “Tact” – and – your “A” certainly doesn’t have any bloody “Tact” – he is most ill-mannered – and – have you seen his disgraceful demeanor – his appalling “body language” – it is most inappropriate – I think he has got an attitudinal problem. And – you want to give him a “Nine-Pointer ACR”…? Giving “A” 9 Points is most ridiculous – bring him down to “6 Points”.

IO: Sir – you want to give “A” only 6 Points in his ACR…? Sir – that will be injustice…

RO: What bloody “injustice”…? The stuck-up bugger deserves an adverse report. But – I am not asking you to give him an adverse report. I am just asking you to lower his points a bit.

IO: Sir – 6…?

RO: Okay – since you like “A” so much – give him 7 – but – counsel him to improve his “Officer Like Qualities” – I expect to see better OLQ from him in future …

IO: Sir – 7 – counselling – OLQ…? Sir – I think…

RO: Don’t argue with me – you just do as you are told – do you understand…?

IO: But, Sir…

RO: I haven’t got time to waste – now let’s discuss this other case of gross over-marking of ACR by you…

ACR No. 2 – ACR of “B”

RO: And this Officer – “B” – why have you given him such a good ACR…?

IO: Sir – “B” is a very good officer. Sir – even his “body language” is docile…

RO: He may be okay – but – what about his wife…?

IO: His wife…?

RO: Yes – his wife – have you noticed how “over-smart” she is…?

IO: Sir – “over-smart”…?

RO: Yes – have you seen the way she flaunts her wealth – the way she zips around in her fancy luxury car…?

IO: Sir – that is her company car – that luxury car has been given to Mrs. “B” by her company…

RO: I know – we all know that Mrs. “B” works in a fancy MNC – for an obscene salary – but – that doesn’t mean she has to undermine my status…

IO: What…? Mrs. “B”…? She “undermined your status”…?

RO: Yes – Mrs. “B” overtook my staff car this morning – she honked her horn loudly – and – she brazenly overtook my staff car – driving in a most rash manner…

IO: Sir – she may not have noticed…

RO: Of course she knows it is my staff car – can’t she see the “star plate” on the car –Mrs. “B” did it on purpose – just to “cock a snook” at me…

IO: Sir – she may have been in a hurry to work – your staff car is quite old and your driver drives very slowly…

RO: Why are you trying to defend her misdemeanor…? This is not the first time Mrs. “B” has overtaken me – she had done it many times – even in the city. I am the bloody “Station Commander” out here – and everyone has to give me due respect…

IO: Yes, Sir…

RO: That is not all. My wife – she happens to be the “Senior Lady” out here – my wife has repeatedly complained that Mrs. “B” is rude, insolent and ill-mannered…

IO: Sir – I don’t think Mrs. “B” can ever be ill-mannered – she is a most polished, elegant and refined lady – I have observed that she has impeccable social graces…

RO: Oh – Ho – “polished – elegant – refined – impeccable social graces” – tell me – why are you “batting” for Mrs. “B” so much…? Is there something…

IO: Sir – please. I was just saying that she has social graces…

RO: You say she has “social graces” – then – how come she is so “anti-social” on the “social front”…?

IO: “Anti-social”…?

RO: Yes – my wife says that Mrs. “B” did not attend even a single Ladies Club meeting – nor does she take part in any “welfare” activity…

IO: Sir – Mrs. “B” is a busy working woman with a full-time career…

RO: We know all that – okay – maybe she can’t attend morning meetings – but – she doesn’t participate in evening events too – do you know – she refused to take part in the “fashion show” and “group dance”…

IO: Sir – “fashion show” – “group dance”…?

RO: Are you trying to act dumb…? I am talking about that grand “Husbands’ Night” function we hosted – when all the “big-wigs” and their lady-wives had been invited – and – all the ladies were performing on the stage – and Mrs. “B” was sitting snootily in the audience – and that too in the second row – as if she was a “senior lady”…

IO: Sir…

RO: And – that is not all – when my wife asked Mrs. “B” why she was refusing to participate in the fashion-show and dance – Mrs. “B” passed some sarcastic remarks that she was a “professional career woman” and she wasn’t keen on such “frivolous activities” like “walking-the-ramp” or “dancing” in public on stage. I don’t care if Mrs. “B” is a “hot shot” in the corporate sector – but she is a “military wife” – and that too – she is the wife of a junior officer. How dare she call all other military wives as “frivolous”…? She does not show due respect to my wife and other senior ladies too…

IO: Sir – with due respect – we are discussing the ACR of “B” – not his wife…

RO: I know – but – it seems you do not appreciate the importance of a “lady-wife” in her husband’s career. Ah – now I know why you are so clueless about these things – you are bachelor – aren’t you…?

IO: Yes, Sir – I am a bachelor…

RO: How old are you…?

IO: I am 36 years old, Sir…

RO: 36…? Tell me – why didn’t you get married…? Some problem…?

IO: No, Sir…

RO: Well – if you know what’s good for you – you better get married – yes – if you want to rise in service – you better get married fast – and – make sure you get a suitable wife with LLQ…

IO: “LLQ”…?

RO: LLQ means “Lady Like Qualities” – just like Officers must have “Officer Like Qualities” or OLQ – Military Wives must have “Lady Like Qualities” or LLQ – so get a suitable wife with LLQ – otherwise – if you get a “militarily incompatible wife” likeMrs. “B” – you will be “written off” – like “B”

IO: Sir – with due respect – ACRs are to be written on “demonstrated performance” of the officer…

RO: Ha Ha Ha – “demonstrated performance” – well – I haven’t seen the officer “demonstrating” any performance – but let me educate you about the “demonstrated performance” of his wife…

IO: Sir…?

RO: Are you aware that – just last month – Mrs. “B” gave an interview to a leading women’s magazine…?

IO: Yes, Sir – in the series of “women achievers”…

RO: Let me read out what Mrs. “B” said when she was asked about her being a military wife:

“…I may have married a military officer – but – I have not married the military – so – I resent being called a “military wife” – I am a successful career woman with my own achievements. My husband has his own military career – and – I have my own successful career in the corporate sector – I have my own independent identity – I do not need the crutches of my husband’s military rank – I am not “Arm Candy”…”

Isn’t this most insulting – she is implying that all other military wives are “Arm Candy – in fact – she is tarnishing the image of the service…

IO: Please, Sir – she has just expressed her views – I don’t think she is tarnishing…

RO: Of course – she is spoiling the image of the service – this Mrs. “B” – also – it has been brought to my notice that she keeps writing all sorts of nonsense on the internet – someone told my wife that she has a “Bog” where she writes all this rubbish which shows the service in poor light…

IO: Sir – it’s “Blog” – not “Bog” – yes – Mrs. “B” has a Blog…

RO: I have heard that she writes inflammatory articles trying to incite young military wives…

IO: Not at all, Sir – she writes in a humorous vein – she writes spoofs…

RO: How do you know all this…?

IO: Sir – I read her blogs…

RO: Oh – you seem to be smitten by her…

IO: Sir – please… I think you should stick to the point…

RO: Okay – I will stick to the point. The point is that I am not happy with “B” because of the unbecoming conduct of his wife which is tarnishing the image of the service – and also – I am not happy because of her refusal to participate in social activities which are “part and parcel” of military social life and the duty of every military wife…

IO: Sir, Please – How can an officer be judged by the conduct of his wife…? And – how does a wife’s participation in social activities reflect on an officer’s capability…?

RO: Listen – you stop arguing with me – I haven’t got all day – as far as “B” is concerned – just lower his ACR to “6 Points” – or better still – give him 5 – that’s final – and – now – let’s discuss this most important case of “C” – it seems to be a case of “vindictive under-marking” of ACR…

ACR No. 3 – ACR of “C”

RO: I am astonished – you have given “C” a “Five-Pointer” ACR – do you know what “5 Points” means…?

IO: Sir – “5 Points” means “Average”.

RO: Don’t give me bullshit…

IO: Sir – that is what is written…

RO: I don’t care what is written. With just this one “Five-Pointer ACR” – this officer will be “written-off”…

IO: This Officer – “C” – he deserves to be “written-off”. Sir – professionally – he is totally incompetent – and – as far as man-management is concerned – he was responsible for near-mutiny conditions and I had to intervene. Sir – “C” deserves an “adverse report” – much lower than 5 Points – but – I have been lenient…

RO: Are you really that stupid…? Or – are you just acting dumb…?

IO: Why, Sir…?

RO: Do you know that “C” is the son-in-law of the Senior Reviewing Officer (SRO)…?

IO: Yes, Sir – I know that the SRO is his father-in-law – but I have written C’s ACR as per his demonstrated performance…

RO: Bloody hell – you are back again on the “demonstrated performance” track…

IO: Sir – “C” is a really bad officer – apart from his professional incompetence and ineptitude in man-management – even his moral…

RO: I know everything about “C” – but – I have assured his father-in-law that he will get a thumping ACR…

IO: Sir – how can you…?

RO: My Dear Friend – as far as “C” is concerned – do you know that his father-in-law happens to my IO – and your RO…?

IO: Yes, Sir…

RO: So – if you know what’s good for you – just raise “C” to “9 Points”…

IO: Sir – you want me to give a “Nine-Pointer” ACR to “C”…?

RO: Okay – give him an “8” – I will raise it to “9”…

IO: But, Sir…?

RO: Let me tell you that I am most disappointed with the way you have written ACRs. These two officers – “A” (Body Language) – and – “B” (Over-Smart Wife) – you have given them excellent ACRs – whereas – for “C” (Son-in-Law) – you have given him a “lukewarm” ACR. You have done exactly the opposite of what I wanted. You should have discussed with me before writing the ACRs – instead – you just wrote the ACRs and sent them to me in a sealed envelope…

IO: Sir – as per the rules…

RO: Don’t try to teach me rules about ACRs – I have written ACRs as IO for donkey’s years – and now – I have reviewed hundreds of ACRs as RO. Since this is the first time you are writing ACRs as an IO – I will pardon you for your ignorance. Come on – take back these ACRs – and – rewrite them – you know what I want.

IO: Sir – you are the RO – you can give whatever points you want.

RO: It will look bad if there is a difference in IO and RO points. What will the SRO think…? It will appear that we don’t agree with each other. We must be on the same page – at least – we must appear to be on the same page. Do you understand…? Don’t be dogmatic – be pragmatic – just do as I say – come on – take back these ACRs – and – rewrite them as I have told you…

I wish I could have given this fantasy “fairy tale” a “fairy tale ending”.

But – Dear Reader – I will leave the ending to your imagination.

Tell me – Dear Reader – suppose you were the IO in this story – what would you do…?

Would you be “dogmatic”…?

Or – would you be “pragmatic”…?


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.


  1. This story is a fictional 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. 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 is a repost of my story HOW TO WRITE ACRS posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier at url:

Online Insurance Woes in Digital India

October 15, 2016

DIGITAL INDIA – Hype and Reality


After being elected to power by a huge mandate in May 2014 – Prime Minister Narendra Modi and his Ministers have taken many initiatives for the betterment of India.

One such initiative is “Digital India” – which envisages extensive use of information technology for better governance.

The positive effects of adopting technology in governance are visible in certain ministries/organizations – notably Indian Railways, Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and many Municipal Bodies – which have optimally used Internet (and Social Media) to improve governance (e-governance) and speed up grievance redressal (online complaint management)

However – there are still some “laggards” who refuse to adopt modern technologies to improve governance – they prefer to remain antiquated and backward – and they continue to use the obsolescent “paper based system” instead of “online governance”.

To be successful – the “Digital India” initiative needs to be all-encompassing and must include all organizations (particularly government run organizations) – especially those organizations which provide services to citizens.

A few technophobic regressive organizations should not be allowed to derail or impede the “Digital India” initiative.

Recently – I discovered one such antiquated organization which is indifferent to the Prime Minister’s “Digital India” initiative – “United India Insurance Company Ltd” – which is a Government Public Sector Undertaking (PSU).

Let me tell you about my disappointing experience with “United India Insurance Company Ltd”.

A few days ago – inspired by “Digital India” – I decided to avail the “online” option to buy a Travel Insurance Policy – instead of the traditional “Agent Hard-Copy” which I had used in the past for buying insurance policies.

In the past – I had taken a Travel Insurance Policy from “United India Insurance Company Ltd” in the past (via an agent).

So – I decided to take an “online policy” from the same insurance firm – “United India Insurance Company Ltd”.

Accordingly – I opened the “United India Insurance Company Ltd” website on the internet and I saw an option for buying “online policies”.

So – I filled in the necessary online forms – and – I made the required online payment for the policy.

The payment was successful and I was allotted at “Transaction ID” by “United India Insurance Company Ltd”.

I also received an SMS from my Bank that the amount had been debited to my account and credited to “United India Insurance Company Ltd”.

I was given to understand that online insurance policies are generated instantly and forwarded by email immediately.

However – I did not receive any email from “United India Insurance Company Ltd”.

Also – I did not receive any SMS intimation from “United India Insurance Company Ltd” regarding issue/generation of the online policy.

I decided to wait for a day.

Next morning – I checked my email.

There was no email from “United India Insurance Company Ltd”.

I accessed the website of “United India Insurance Company Ltd” and navigated to the page titled “Download/Search Facility for Online Policies”.

I entered my “Transaction ID” and queried for the Status of my Online Policy.

The Status Report stated the online payment was “successful” (in the “Payment Gateway Information” column).

Under “Payment Process Status” the status was: “Your Payment Synced into our System”

Under the “Policy Generation Summary” the status was: “The policy is not yet generated”

This was 4 days ago.

Since then – there has been no communication from “United India Insurance Company Ltd” – No Email – No SMS – No Call – regarding my online policy.

Despite “successful payment” and “payment synced into system” – the status remains the same – and – the policy has still not been generated by “United India Insurance Company Ltd”.

Online Policies are supposed to be generated immediately.

More than 4 days have passed – but – “United India Insurance Company Ltd” has still not generated my policy.

I have sent 3 reminder emails to “United India Insurance Company Ltd” on both the Email IDs: and mentioned on “United India Insurance Company Ltd” website.

But – I have not received any reply to my emails from “United India Insurance Company Ltd” till today.

The “United India Insurance Company Ltd” Toll Free Helpline 180042533333 does not respond.

Most Private Firms use the Social Media (especially Twitter) effectively to engage with customers and resolve their grievances.

I have observed that many Government Organizations/Entities are active on the Social Media – especially on Twitter – and they respond to Tweets by citizens for grievance redressal and complaint management – besides disseminating information.

Notable among these techno-savvy organizations are Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) and Indian Railways – even the concerned Ministers personally tweet and respond to citizens.

However – “United India Insurance Company Ltd” seems to be an exception.

“United India Insurance Company Ltd” has got a Twitter Account (@UnitedIndiaInsu)

But – the “United India Insurance Company Ltd” Twitter Account seems to be dormant (the most “recent” tweet is on 07 March 2013 – more than three and a half years ago).

This indicates that “United India Insurance Company Ltd” does not believe in “Tweet Governance” which is being adopted in a big way as to facilitate “Digital India” by many progressive organizations.

I have tweeted to (@UnitedIndiaInsu) “United India Insurance Company Ltd” regarding my problem – but there was no response to my tweets from “United India Insurance Company Ltd”.

It seems to be a similar state of affairs on Facebook too.


1. I applied for a “United India Insurance Company Ltd” online policy on 11 Oct 2016. Payment was successful and “synced” into their system. Yet – the online policy has not been issued till today 15 Oct 2016 – more than 4 days after online payment. As per rules – online policies are required to be issued immediately and sent by email. But – “United India Insurance Company Ltd” has not sent any email or SMS regarding my policy.

2. “United India Insurance Company Ltd” does not respond to my emails.

3. “United India Insurance Company Ltd” does not respond to my Tweets.

I feel helpless.

What should I do…?

Even “United India Insurance Company Ltd” Toll Free Number is Unresponsive.

A friend suggested that I should write a hard-copy letter and send it by snail-mail (by postal service) to “United India Insurance Company Ltd” Head Office.

He feels that since “United India Insurance Company Ltd” is a Government PSU – “United India Insurance Company Ltd” may not have made a transition into the modern “Digital Age” – and – “United India Insurance Company Ltd” may still be in the antiquated “Paper Age”.

But – I cannot wait for “paper correspondence” – since I have to travel next week (for which I need the insurance policy).

So – since “United India Insurance Company Ltd” has not issued an online policy in a timely manner – the only immediate option for me is buy another policy from a Private Insurance Company – and later – I can initiate a protracted paper correspondence with “United India Insurance Company Ltd” for a refund.

But one thing is sure.

In future – I will avoid “United India Insurance Company Ltd” and other Government PSUs who refuse to adopt “Digital India”.

The whole nation is trying to move ahead with “Digital India” – and – many Government Entities have adopted “Digital India” in a big way.

Why do a few “techno-phobic” organizations like “United India Insurance Company Ltd” refuse to adopt modern technology…?

Why are they reluctant to be a part of “Digital India”…?

I hope the Government does not allow a few “bad apples” to undermine the “Digital India” effort which requires the participation of all to be a success.

All Government Entities (including archaic PSUs like “United India Insurance Company Ltd”) must be made adopt modern online technologies and make “Digital India” implementation a success.

Do you agree…?


Dear Reader – In case you know some someone in “United India Insurance Company Ltd” – will you be so good as to forward this post to him/her…?

If you do this – maybe “United India Insurance Company Ltd” will be kind enough to issue my online policy at the earliest and send it to me by email. Or – at least – they will show me the basic courtesy of replying to my email or send me an SMS informing me of the status.

Will “United India Insurance Company Ltd” adopt “Digital India”…?

Will they become active on the Social Media (Twitter)…?

Well– it seems a tall order – but – I am always optimistic…

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

A Gift for Diwali

October 14, 2016

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


The festival of Diwali is fast approaching.

This reminded me of a story I had written long ago titled DIWALI GIFT

Dear Reader – here is the story – suitable revised, updated and abridged for reading on the digital screen…


Fiction Short Story  By VIKRAM KARVE

From my Creative Writing Archives:

I wrote this story around 25 years ago  in the early 1990’s.

It is a story written in a leisurely old-fashioned style.

Do tell me if you like it.

Wish you a Happy Diwali

DIWALI GIFT –  short story by Vikram Karve

I do not know how the idea entered my brain in the first place  but once conceived  it haunted me with such urgency  that a strange force took charge of me  impelling me to act.

I tucked the packet under my arm and walked towards my destination  looking around furtively like someone with a guilty conscience.

I had unexpectedly come across Anjali’s photograph the previous night.

The moment I saw her photograph  I knew that I had to see her.

A man’s first love fills an enduring place in his heart.

10 years.

Ten long years.

Anjali had married money.

She had married status.

I was heartbroken.

Yet – I bore her no pique or rancour.

I never will.

How can I…?

I had truly loved her.

I still love her.

I will always love her  always  till my dying day.

I was desperately eager to impress her.

To give her a gift would be too obvious.

I did not know how much she had told her husband about me  about us…

Her children should be the same age as mine.

Maybe slightly older.

They say the best route to a married woman’s heart is through her children.

I looked at the packet under my arm.

A gift.

Yes  the “Diwali Gift”  it was the deluxe set of children’s encyclopaedias I had promised my son and my daughter  year after year  for the last three years – and I did not buy – because it was too expensive.

And now I was going to present the same “expensive” encyclopaedias as a Diwali Gift to Anjali’s children  just to impress her.

As I rang the doorbell  I felt a tremor of anticipation.

Suddenly – I realized that I did not know whether Anjali would be happy to see me  or – would she pretend that she did not recognize me.

The door opened.

Anjali looked ravishing.

She gave me her sparkling smile and welcomed me with genuine happiness: “Sanjiv  after so many years  what a delightful surprise  how did you manage to find me…?”

We looked at each other.

Anjali had fully blossomed and looked stunning.

She looked so exquisite  so dazzling  that I cannot begin to describe the intense emotion I felt as I looked intently into her radiating eyes, totally mesmerized by her beauty.

“Stop staring at me… “Anjali said  her large expressive eyes dancing mischievously.

“You look so beautiful. And so young…”

“But you look old. Even your beard has becoming grey…” Anjali paused, probably regretting what she had said.

Then suddenly she held out her hand to me and said: “I am so happy to see you, Sanjiv. Come inside.”

Her house was extravagant.

Wealth and opulence showed everywhere.

Anjali carried herself majestically with regal poise  her demeanour slick and confident.

No wonder…!!!

To “belong” had always been the driving force of her life.

Money, status, social prestige, success – she had got everything she wanted.

I could not help feeling a pang of envy  and failure.

“You like my house…?” she asked. “Sit down. And you don’t look so lost.”

I sat down on a sofa and kept the gift wrapped packet on the side-table.

Anjali sat down opposite. “How did you know I live here…? We shifted to Mumbai only a month ago.”

I took out the wallet from my pocket, gave it to her and said: “Your husband’s purse. I saw your photograph in it.”

Anjali opened the purse and started to check the contents.

“You don’t trust cops, do you…?” I smiled.

Anjali blushed. She kept the wallet on the table. She looked at me with frank admiration in her eyes. “IPS…? That’s fantastic. I never thought you would do so well! What are you…? Superintendent…? Deputy Commissioner…?”

Now it was my turn to blush.

“No…” I said sheepishly, “I am only a sub-inspector.”

“Oh…” she said, trying to hide her disappointment.

But – I had read the language of her eyes.

The nuance wasn’t lost on me.

Suddenly – she had changed.

“Is Mr. Joshi at home?” I asked.

“He is still at the office…” Anjali said.

“Oh  I thought he would be home,,,” I said.

“I’ll make you some tea…” she said and started to get up.

“Please sit down, Anjali. Let’s talk,” I said looking at my watch, “It’s already six-thirty. Let’s wait for Mr. Joshi. Maybe he’ll offer me a drink. And dinner.”

“My husband comes home very late,” Anjali said. “After all, he is the Managing Director. There is so much work. And conferences. Important business meetings. He is the top boss – a very successful and extremely busy man.”

She couldn’t have spelt it out more clearly.

I got the message loud and clear.

Anjali changed the topic and askedme: “Where did you find the purse…?”

“It was deposited in the lost-and-found section last evening,” I lied.

“It’s strange,” Anjali said, “He didn’t mention anything.”

“He may not have noticed,” I said, tongue-in-cheek, “After all Mr. Joshi is a very busy man to notice such minor things like a missing purse.”

“Yes,” she said, giving a distant look.

Anjali opened the purse once more and examined his credit cards and driving license.

At first she appeared confused.

Then she gave me a cold hard look.

But she did not say anything.

There was a long period of silence.

Grotesque silence.

Anjali kept staring at me.

Looking directly into my eyes.

A distant look.

Almost dismissive.

I began to feel uneasy.

Suddenly – I remembered the gift wrapped packet I had brought for and I exclaimed enthusiastically: “Anjali, where are your children…? I have got a Diwali Gift for them. Just a small present for your kids…”

From the look on her face – I immediately sensed that I had said something terribly wrong.

I saw tears well up in her eyes.

All of a sudden – Anjali looked small, weak and vulnerable.

I felt a sense of deep regret as comprehension dawned on me.

Poor thing – she had no kids.

And I had rubbed salt in hr wounds.

I looked at her helplessly, pleading innocence – but it was of no use.

Some day Anjali might understand my actions – but at that moment it was hopeless to try and explain.

The hurt was deep, and I had to let it go in silence.

We just sat there in silence – not knowing what to say.

A deafening silence.

A grotesque silence.

It is strange how moments you have rehearsed for end up with a different script.

I could not bear it any longer.

I quickly got up and started walking swiftly towards the door.

Suddenly – I realized that I had forgotten to pick up the gift wrapped packet – the Diwali Gift.

But I did not turn back.


I do not know.

“Don’t go, Sanjiv. I want to talk to you,” Anjali spoke coldly.

I stopped in my tracks.

I could hear Anjali footsteps behind me.

I turned around to face her.

She seemed a bit composed.

“You lied to me, Sanjiv,” Anjali said. “I want to know where you found this wallet.”

I did not know what to say. I tried to avoid her eyes.

“Tell me,” Anjali pleaded. “Please tell me where you found this purse…”

When in doubt, I speak the truth.

So I said: “We raided one of those exclusive classy joints last night,” I stammered. “A posh call-girl racket……….”

I could not continue, so I said apologetically, “I’m sorry… I didn’t know…”

“I know  Oh yes I know  You found my husband’s wallet in a whore joint…” Anjali said mockingly.

Then she shouted: “That impotent creep  trying to prove his virility to himself…”

With those few words Anjali had bared the secret of her marriage.

I looked at her.

Her manner was relaxed and nonchalant… her fury was visible only in her eyes.

I was nonplussed.

Suddenly I blurted out: “Don’t worry Anjali. I have dropped the charges. I’ll hush it up.”

I still don’t know why I uttered those words  but on hearing my words  there was a visible metamorphosis in Anjali.

Suddenly  she became flaming mad.

She looked so distraught and angry  that I felt very frightened.

Terrified that she would go berserk and attack me, slap me, or do something violent  I instinctively stepped back.

But – Anjali suddenly turned and left the room.

I waited  as if pole-axed  frozen like a statue for a moment.

After regaining my composure  I decided to leave  and – I started to move towards the door.

“Wait… ” I heard her scream.

I stopped in my tracks.

I turned around.

Anjali quickly walked towards me and thrust out her right hand.

She held a bundle of five hundred rupee notes. “So this is what you have come for, isn’t it…? A bribe to hush up the case, isn’t it…? Even from me…? You unscrupulous dog – I didn’t expect you to fall so low – here – take the money and get out. This is all I have at home. If you want more money – you know where to find my husband, don’t you…?”

“No, Anjali,” I recoiled. “Please don’t …”

“Cheap…” Anjali spat out. There was contempt in her eyes. “Cheap riffraff – that’s what you always were, Sanjiv. Now you get out of my house you filthy blackmailer – and – I don’t want to see your face again…”

She threw the bundle of currency notes at me.

The bundle hit my chest and fell on the ground – the money scattering near my feet.

“I love you, Anjali,” I said, trying to sound sincere.

“Love,” she exclaimed, her radiating eyes burning with anger. “So you have come to see how your barren old flame is flourishing, isn’t it…?”

Anjali paused and said sarcastically: “So you are pleased aren’t you…? You must be so happy to see my “success”…?”

Her vicious and sarcastic suggestion that I might be happy at her misfortune hurt me more than anything else.

I turned around and walked out of the house.

As I walked towards the gate – something hit me on my back.

I winced in pain.

The three volumes of the expensive Children’s Encyclopaedias were scattered on the ground – and – their silver gift wrapping paper was torn.

I knew that Anjali was standing in the door looking at me.

But – I did not look back at her.

I gathered the books – and – I walked away into the darkness.


As I gradually came into consciousness from my drunken stupor – I realized that I was at home in my bed.

Though sunlight filtered in through the open windows – everything looked blurred.

Slowly things began to come into focus.

My daughter was sitting beside me on the bed.

She touched my arm with tenderness.

There were tears in her eyes.

My son stood aloof on the other side of the bed.

There was fear in his eyes.

My wife looked at me with loving pity and she said to me: “The children want to thank you for the lovely Diwali gift. They are so happy…”

She was holding the set of encyclopaedias in her hands – it was the same set of “expensive” encyclopaedias that I had bought for Anjali’s children as a Diwali Gift  just to impress Anjali.

I nodded to my wife.

Then I looked at my children.

My children looked at the encyclopaedias in my wife’s hands – and then – my children looked at me with love and gratitude.

I smiled and reached out to them.

They held my hands and smiled back.

I looked at the pure unadulterated joy in their eyes.

For the first time in my life – I experienced a deep genuine true love for my wife and children.

It was a love which I had never felt before.

Tears of joy welled up in my eyes.

I had discovered love.

Yes – I had discovered the true meaning of love.

On Diwali Day – I had discovered the gift of love.


Copyright © Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


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)

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This Story written by me more than 26 years ago in 1990 and posted on my creative blog first in 2006 at url:  and I have posted this story online a number of times in my various blogs including at urls  and  and etc

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