A Family Drama – Lip Sympathy and Crocodile Tears

July 26, 2017

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/04/lip-sympathy-and-crocodile-tears-family.html

LIP SYMPATHY and CROCODILE TEARS

A Family Drama

Short Fiction By  Vikram Karve 

Around 17 years ago – in the year 2000 – I visited a friend.

His widowed mother also lived with him.

My friend’s wife had given up her career to be at home to look after her mother-in-law – who did not keep too well.
The old woman had two children – a boy and a girl.

Her son – my friend – had remained in India.

The old woman’s daughter (my friend’s sister) was an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) – or maybe – it would be more apt to call her a PIO (Person of Indian Origin).

My friend’s sister had got married to an NRI (Non-Resident Indian) boy – who had migrated to America for higher studies and settled down there.

Later – they had even relinquished their Indian Citizenship to become an American Citizens.

The “Foreign” sister had come on vacation to India – and she was present there with her husband and two kids.

The old woman was blatantly praising her “American” daughter and her husband and kids – gloating about her son-in-law’s prosperity and success – telling us how cultured and caring her younger “American” daughter was – and how smart and bright her “American” grandchildren were – and she showed us the gifts they had brought for her – and pictures of their mansion in the US.

The old woman did not have a single word of praise for her elder son and his wife – who were looking after her – or their children.

In fact – the old woman made some snide sarcastic remarks about my friend’s wife – implying that her “Indian” daughter-in-law was not looking after her well.

Having known the “sacrifices” my friend’s wife had made to care for her “mother-in-law” – I felt angry – and – I wanted to bluntly express my feelings to the old woman.

However – I suppressed my emotions – and – I held my tongue – because – my speaking out may have been counterproductive to the ambience.

Later – at night – I sat down and wrote this story.

LIP SYMPATHY and CROCODILE TEARS – a Family Drama by Vikram Karve

The doorbell rings.

The woman called Manjula opens the door.

“We have come to fit the air-conditioner,” the man outside says.

“What…? We haven’t ordered any AC…” the woman says and begins to close the door.

“Wait…” her husband’s voice says from behind the man.

Manjula is surprised that her husband has come home early from work.

Her husband guides the man inside while his wife Manjula looks on in bewilderment.

“AC…? Have you gone crazy…? You just go and order an AC without even telling me…?”  Manjula asks her husband.

“Mother told me to get it. Smita and her family are coming,” the husband explains.

“Oh…! So all this is for your darling sister and foreign husband, is it…? When we ask for a cooler you crib, and for them it’s an AC…!” Manjula says sarcastically.

“He’s not a foreigner. He’s of Indian origin settled there.”

“So why does he need an AC…?”

“Mother said they wouldn’t be able to stand the heat here, especially the kids.”

“Listen – Houston is much hotter and humid than here.”

“That may be true. But they are used to air conditioning. Please don’t argue with me – as it is the heat is driving me crazy…!”

The bell rings again.

“It must be the commode,” her husband says and goes to open the door.

“Commode…?” Manjula asks, surprised.

“Yes – a “Western Style” Commode…” her husband says.

“This is too much. I have seen that Smita “shitting” in the open – in the fields near our village – when she was a kid.  And now that she’s married an NRI – she wants to defecate ‘western style’…? They are all bloody snobs. I don’t know why they come here once in a few years and try to show off. And you – the perfect dutiful Mamma’s boy – you have just no guts of your own…!” Manjula says angrily to her husband.

“What’s the matter…? Is everything ready…?” Manjula hears her mother-in-law’s stern voice from behind – so Manjula lowers her face and slips away into the kitchen.

“I heard what your wife was saying – her name is Manjula (sweet voiced) – but she speaks in such a rude and uncouth manner…” her mother-in-law says viciously in a loud voice to Manjula’s husband, making sure her taunt is heard by Manjula in the kitchen.

“Oh yeah…Your darling daughter’s name is Smita (cheerful) – but have you ever seen her smiling or laughing – she just carps and cribs all the time,” Manjula mutters to herself.

The NRI guests arrive from Houston , and the next few days are hell for Manjula, physically and mentally.

Manjula dies a thousand deaths in her heart seeing the favoritism of her mother-in-law towards Smita and her family and is unable to bear the patronizing attitude of her guests and the subservient groveling of her own husband before his mother and his fawning submissive behaviour towards his sister and her husband.

And all the time Smita makes sarcastic barbs at Manjula and her incompetence.

Manjula is horrified at the way Smita offers lip sympathy to her “beloved” mother and sheds crocodile tears at old woman’s ‘agony’.

And – Manjula’s dear husband remains silent, a mute spectator…!!!

Why can’t he stand up for his wife…?

One evening – they have invited a large number of guests to dinner.

While Manjula slogs it out in the kitchen – his husband’s sister Smita is reveling in the paeans of praise being showered by her mother and her cronies.

“See Smita’s house in Houston…” the old woman boasts, showing everyone a photo album (which all NRIs invariably bring with them to impress us ‘natives’…!!!).

“See…” Manjula’s mother-in-law goes boasts with pride, “just look at my daughter’s house in America…it’s got a swimming pool… and her children… they are so accomplished… and her husband… my son-in-law… he is doing so well…” she goes on and on and on praising her daughter Smita – till Manjula can’t take it anymore – and suddenly – Manjula interrupts rudely and says to her mother-in-law:

“Mummyji – if you like Smita’s house so much – why don’t you go to Houston and stay there with your darling daughter…?”

“What…?” her mother-in-law asks disbelievingly.

“I mean – Smita is your own darling daughter after all – and I am sure she will look after you much better than I do – isn’t it…? After all – they are so well-off – and caring and loving – I am sure it will be better for you to go there and live in luxury like a Maharani (Queen) – rather than suffering it out here with us…!!!” Manjula says instinctively.

Manjula wants to say more – she wants to vent out all her suppressed emotions – but seeing the fiery look in her mother-in-law’s eyes – Manjula starts to tremble.

Time freezes.

Manjula feels tremors of trepidation – wondering what is going to happen next.

Manjula knows that she has gone too far this time.

There is silence.

A grotesque silence…!!!

And suddenly – Manjula hears her husband’s voice:

“I think Manjula is right…!!!”

“What are you saying…?” Smita asks astonished, looking in disbelief at her brother.

Manjula’s husband Suresh looks at his sister Smita – and says firmly to his sister:

“Smita –  I am saying that Manjula is right. It would be much better if mother stayed with you in Houston for some time. Why don’t you take mother with you to America…? You are her daughter. You have also got to take some responsibility and look after her –  isn’t it…?”

The old woman tries to speak – but her son Suresh – he glances at his mother with firmness in his eyes.

Suddenly – Suresh turns towards his wife Manjula – and – he looks at her in a way she has never seen him look at her before.

Suresh lovingly takes his wife Manjula’s hand in his own hand – and he says to his wife Manjula:

“Let’s go out somewhere – just you and me – we’ll go shopping – a movie – maybe have dinner at some nice restaurant – anywhere you want. And – let’s leave them alone to wallow in their lip sympathy and crocodile tears…!!!”

Manjula looks at her husband with pride.
Manjula is amazed at the metamorphosis in her husband Suresh.

Yes – Manjula is very happy.

Manjula is happy – because her meek and submissive husband – who till now – he behaved as if he was his mother’s obedient pet “dog” – he has suddenly transformed himself into a free-willed courageous “lion”.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in this 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:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/04/lip-sympathy-and-crocodile-tears-family.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This story LIP SYMPATHY and CROCODILE TEARS was written by me Vikram Karve 17 years ago in the year 2000 and posted by me online on my various creative writing blogs – here are some of the urls:

http://creative.sulekha.com/a-family-story-a-family-affair_313652_blog
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/07/lip-sympathy-and-crocodile-tears-short.html
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/09/humor-fiction-lip-sympathy-and.html
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/06/daughter-and-daughter-in-law.html
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/10/can-dog-in-obedience-turn-into-lion-in.html

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/04/humor-in-marriage-lip-sympathy-and.html

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/10/lip-sympathy-and-crocodile-tears-family.html

etc

Love Affairs – It Takes Two to Tango

July 26, 2017

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/07/it-takes-two-to-tango.html

Stealing Affections – It Takes Two to Tango

This morning – I came across a rather curious news-report about a “stealing affections” case.

One does not know the truth about the allegations/case – and – the truth will be found out by the inquiry.

In most “stealing affections” cases – men are accused of “stealing affections”

But – in this case – an allegation of “stealing affections” has been made against a woman.

After reading the news-report – I remembered a Story that I had posted on my blog more than 3 years ago in July 2014.

I had written this story after reading a newspaper report on a “stealing affections” case.

Here is the story once more for you to mull over.

From My Humor in Uniform Archives 

(This Post Was Written on July 19, 2014)

Stealing Affections  It Takes Two to Tango

A Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve 

NB: This Story Was Written on July 19, 2014

There was a recent news-report in the newspapers about a Navy Commodore being sacked as he was found guilty of “stealing the affections of a brother officer’s wife”.

The term “stealing affection” is the military euphemism for “adultery”.

Stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife is deemed to be conduct unbecoming of an officer and conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline and is considered an offence.

Don’t you feel that the expression “stealing affection” is a misnomer?

The word “steal” implies that you take something belonging to someone else without her knowledge or consent.

Can you “steal” someone’s “affections” without the other person knowing it?

Is it a case of one-way love?

Or is the lady (brother officer’s wife) willingly giving her affections to the officer (her husband’s colleague)?

If she is willingly giving her affections, can the officer be accused of “stealing” affections?

And, if the officer had forced his affections on the lady, she could have complained of rape or molestation, or outraging the modesty of a woman, for which the punishment is much more severe than mere dismissal.

There is a difference between sexual harassment and a love affair between two consenting adults.

An officer can “steal” the affections of a brother officer’s wife only because the brother officer’s wife is willing to have her affections “stolen” by him.

In a love affair, the relationship and the sex, both are consensual.

So, isn’t the woman equally responsible for the adulterous love affair…?

It takes two to tango.

Yes, it takes two willing people to commit infidelity, not just one.

Both the man and the woman are equally guilty of indulging in the immoral act of adultery.

But the man is punished severely, even sacked from his job, whereas the equally guilty woman goes scot-free.

Is this fair?

From an ethical point of view, is it ethical to blame only the man for the adulterous love affair in which the woman has willingly participated?

Is it not a case of reverse gender bias…?

Extra-Marital Affairs and “Stealing Affections” are not new to the Navy.

Surely, you have heard of the famous Commander Nanavati Case which, some say, was instrumental in abolishing the jury trial system in India.

As far as the navy mores are concerned, it seems okay for officers to sow their wild oats outside.

Even in cases of “stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife” – as long as the affair is kept discreet, everyone looks the other way.

The Navy cracks the whip only when one of the aggrieved spouses complains, and the complainant is mostly the cuckolded husband whose wife’s affections are being “stolen” by another officer.

The saddest part is that the wife of the “straying” unfaithful husband is hit by a double whammy.

First, she has to bear the social humiliation associated with her husband accused of committing adultery with another woman and being punished for “conduct unbecoming of an officer”.

Second, she has to suffer financial consequences of her husband losing his job and, maybe, his pension benefits, if he is dismissed with disgrace.

The financial jolt due to loss of job and income of the breadwinner can be particularly severe is the wife is a homemaker financially dependent on her husband.

The children suffer unimaginable agony too.

Earlier there were no Lady Officers in the Armed Forces.

So the only sexual “offence” pertained to male officers “stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife”.

With the entry of Women Officers in the Defence Services in the 1990’s – new possibilities have emerged.

Whereas for male officers, stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife is deemed to be conduct unbecoming of an officer and conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline and is considered an offence – in the case of female officers – will the same apply to “stealing the affection of a sister officer’s husband” or “stealing the affections of a married officer”…?

By the way – for a lady officer – stealing the affection of a “brother officer” is considered okay.

Conversely – stealing the affections of a “sister officer” seems okay for male officers.

In fact – “brother officers” are permitted to marry “sister officers” (yes – male officers are allowed to marry female officers) – and there are many “military couples in uniform” in the Armed Forces.

It is all very confusing – so all I will say is that “stealing affection” is an affair of the heart in which “It Takes Two to Tango…”

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

  1. This story is a 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) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/07/it-takes-two-to-tango.html

Revised Repost of my article “Stealing Affections – It Takes Two to Tango” posted online more than 3 years ago on 19 July 2014 at url:

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/07/humor-in-uniform-stealing-affections-it.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/stealing-affections-it-takes-two-to.html  and https://karve.wordpress.com/2016/08/04/it-takes-two-to-tango-so-why-blame-the-man-alone-for-stealing-the-affection-of-a-brother-officers-wife/  etc

How to Blog – 5 Blogging Tips

July 26, 2017

HOW TO BLOG

Five Blogging Tips By Vikram Karve 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/blogging-tips-for-bloggers.html

If you really want to benefit from blogging here are five tips for you to follow:

  1. Blog under your Real Identity 

If you are really serious about blogging – you must not hesitate to mention your actual name – make a genuine profile – and upload your proper picture on your blog.

Yes – you must create a proper profile – and – it is desirable to give your complete contact details too.

Be transparent and truthful about identity.

Is there any point in trying to blog “anonymously” – or by using a “fake” identity…?

Who are you trying to fool…?

It is best to avoid using fancy “handles” and exotic nom de plumes  

Also – it does not make any sense to blog “anonymously”…?

For reasons best known to them – many Bloggers hide behind masks of anonymity.

They blog under fictitious identities using fancy nom de plumes or “handles”.

These anonymous bloggers give chic and swanky titles to their blogs which bear no correlation to the content of their blogs.

Some use names of great literary persons and works from history as pseudonyms (handles) and others use catchy monikers which bear no resemblance whatsoever to their actual personalities.

Why are some bloggers reluctant to put their own face on their blogs and give their own “personality” to their blogs…?

What was the need to blog “anonymously”…?

Why hide behind a fake “handle”…?

Why are some bloggers are shy of giving their full details on their blogs…?

Why do they shy away from asserting ownership of their blogs…?

Are they ashamed of what they are writing on their blogs…?

Or – is there some other reason…?

All this lack of transparency results in a sort of trust deficit about the blogger and is certainly not beneficial to the blogger in the long run.

  1. The Title of your Blog must reflect the Content of the Blog

Before you name your blog – think about the theme or topics you are going to blog about.

This must be reflected in the title of your blog (and url).

Do not confuse the reader and search engines with vague or fancy titles that have no bearing on the content of your blog.

If it is your personal blog – it is a good idea to include your name in the title of your blog.

  1. Blog Regularly

You must blog regularly – the more frequent the better.

You must aim to write one post daily – yes – a blog post a day.

If you cannot blog every day – then – be consistent – and – have a regular schedule and stick to your schedule.

Blogging must become a habit.

  1. Avoid lengthy Blog Posts

Typically – it is best to keep your blog posts under 500 words due to the limited span of attention of a reader when reading on a digital screen vis-à-vis reading on paper.

Nowadays – many people read blogs on their smartphones – so avoid long paragraphs – and – write short sentences – this will make your blog easily readable on a digital screen.

  1. Ensure Good Quality of Content

Yes – content is the supreme factor that will attract readers to your Blog.

As they say – CONTENT IS KING – good content will attract and retain readers.

So – whatever you write – be original – be unique – and – be interesting.

And – NEVER PLAGIARISE – yes – never never never plagiarise from other blogs/websites – because – you will be easily caught – and – once that happens – you will lose credibility forever in the blogosphere.

PS:

It is easy to preach – but difficult to practice – and – I too struggle daily to adhere to my own suggestions.

You may ask me – why am I giving unsolicited advice to other bloggers…?

Well – I have been blogging for around 21 years now – and my most popular Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve which I started around 10 years ago will soon reach 2.5 Million (25 Lakh) page-views – my blog gets around 1500 to 2000 hits every day – and – I have other blogs like this one and I am quite active in the Social Media too.

HAPPY BLOGGING

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/blogging-tips-for-bloggers.html

Revised and Abridged version of my articles posted online by me earlier at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/02/blogging-tips-for-bloggers.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/04/trust-deficit-and-relationships-are-you.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/social-media-fake-identity-and-bogus.html

“Supersession Day” – Recollections of a “Written Off” “Passed Over” Officer

July 26, 2017

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/05/supersession-day-musings-of-written-off.html

Humor in Uniform 

Earlier – Military Officers were quite sensitive about Rank and Seniority – especially Senior Officers.

On being superseded and “passed over” for promotion – most Officers did not like to serve under their erstwhile Juniors.

So – most Superseded Officers would honorably quit uniform – by resigning or taking premature retirement – the moment they were “passed over” for promotion and superseded by their Juniors.

This was especially so in the case of Senior Military Officers.

Many years ago – a distinguished General – who was the Vice Chief of the Army – quit the Army immediately – when he was superseded for promotion to the post of Army Chief by his Junior.

He did not want to serve even for one day under his erstwhile junior.

A few years ago – there was a similar case in the Navy – where the CinC of Western Naval Command quit the Navy – when he was superseded for the post of Navy Chief by his Junior – the Vice Chief of the Navy – who was appointed as the new Navy Chief – instead of the “Senior Most Officer” – the CinC of the “Sword Arm” of the Navy – the Western Naval Command.

I heard that there was a similar case in the Air Force too.

However – things seem to have changed now.

Generals who were superseded for the post of Army Chief are happily serving as Army Commanders under their erstwhile junior who was appointed the Army Chief.

The “Moral of the Story” is that – as per the “New Age” Military Ethos – concepts like “Honour” have become antiquated – and – in the “New Age” Military – “materialism” is the new “mantra”.

Over the years – the Defence Services are becoming more and more like the Civil Services – especially at the “Top Heavy” Senior Level.

So – rather than bother about archaic “old world” military concepts like “Chetwode Credo”, “Honour”, “Military Ethics/Values”  etc – today – Defence Officers take a pragmatic and practical view of life.

Hence – rather than quit the service on supersession – and lose out financially and materially – most superseded officers feel that it is best for “passed over” Officers to continue serving after their supersession – till the age of superannuation – or even beyond – on re-employment – even if it means serving under your erstwhile juniors.

All this reminds me of my “Supersession Day”…

“SUPERSESSION” DAY 

Musings of a “Written Off” “Passed Over” Officer

A Spoof By Vikram Karve

DAY OF THE “PASSOVER”

The Navy Promotion IG (Signal) was released in the evening – and by next morning everyone knew the news – who had “made it” – and who had been “written off”.

My name was not on the “select list”.

I had been “passed over” for promotion.

For me – this came as a bolt from the blue – and – I felt shell-shocked.

I was under the impression that I had done well in my Naval Career – good performance in the right courses – the best appointments on frontline warships and ashore – and – just a few weeks earlier – my boss had told me that he had found out from “reliable sources” that I was sure to be promoted – and he even discussed my next appointment in my new rank.

My boss liked me – and he was extremely disappointed that I had been “superseded”.

My boss genuinely commiserated with me on my bad luck – and – he told me to take the day off – and he assured me that he would help me in whatever way possible.

Plenty of “well-wishers” dropped by to show their sympathy for my misfortune.

A course-mate (whose name was on the “select list”) tried to console me by commenting that the most “hot shot” officer “X” in our batch had also been “passed over”.

“By the way – if it is any consolation to you – even “X” has not made it…” he said.

His sly suggestion that I may be consoled by someone else’s misfortune hurt me very much.

I got furious at his fake consolation – and I said angrily to him:

“How the hell does it matter to me whether “X” is promoted or not…?

Why should I feel comforted by someone else’s misfortune…?

The fact is that – “my goose is cooked” – I am sunk – and – the bottom-line is that my Naval Career is over – I just don’t care who has been promoted or not promoted – the reality is that I have not been promoted – and that is all that matters to me…”

“I am sorry – I was only trying to console you…” he said, contrite – and he left.

A few minutes later – another fellow Naval Officer came in.

He was 2 years senior to me.

He had missed his promotion twice – he had got 2 “R’s” – and he had become very desperate for promotion – but finally – he had made it to the select list in his 3rd and last attempt.

“Congratulations…” I said.

“Thanks,” he said, “but I am feeling very sorry about you – we all were very sure that you would easily make it to the select list…”

He told me that all the “select listed” officers had hoisted a “Gin Pennant” to celebrate their promotion – and he had come to personally invite to the beer session.

My “inner voice” told me not to go – so – I said to him:

“Please try to understand – I am really not in the mood to celebrate right now – but I will surely have a drink with you some other time…”

“I understand – I have gone through the same emotions twice. You take care – we will have a talk later…” he said – and he left my office.

I sat in my office – feeling depressed – when the phone rang.

It was my friend “P” calling from Delhi – a “trunk call” – as they called it those days.

“Congratulations…” “P” said cheerfully – the moment he heard my voice on the phone.

I was stunned.

“P” was appointed in Naval Headquarters – so – surely “P” knew that I had not made it to the “select list” – and that I had been “passed over” for promotion.

So – I was very upset to hear “P” saying “Congratulations…” to me on this sad occasion  – so – I said to “P” in an accusing tone:

“Sir – why are you congratulating me…? I have missed the boat – my name is not in the ‘select list’…”

“I know. I am congratulating you on your “supersession”…” “P” said.

I was flabbergasted.

“P” was a very good friend and I considered him a well-wisher.

We had done our specialization course together – but having spent time doing his Basic Engineering Course (BEC) since he was an ex-NDA Officer – “P” was one year senior to me.

He had been promoted the previous year – and – I had been the first person to congratulate him.

And now – why was he was ‘rubbing salt into my wound’…?

No – he would never do that – because “P” was a genuine friend of mine.

I wondered whether “P” had gone crazy.

Owing to my silence – “P” must have sensed my train of thoughts – because “P” said to me:

“You think I have gone crazy – haven’t you…? But think about what I am saying carefully. Till now – you let the Navy “enjoy” you – but now – it is time for you to “enjoy” the Navy…

“What do you mean…?” I asked “P”.

In a genuinely caring tone of voice  “P” said to me:

“Don’t take any hasty step like ‘Quitting the Navy’ etc.

You have a good reputation – and most senior officers feel that you should have made it to high rank.

Everyone is surprised that you have been ‘superseded’.

I know you are feeling very disappointed too.

But – just relax.

You just continue working to the best of your ability.

Think about how you can realize your best potential – think of a job you enjoy and have a flair for – where you can develop your talents.

The Navy will look after you.

Talk to your wife.

I will call you again tomorrow – you just tell me where you want to go – which type of appointment you want – and we will try to put you there…” 

It was comforting to hear these words of “P”.

“Thanks. I will think it out and call you tomorrow…” I said to “P”.

That evening – I went on a long walk up Dolphin’s Nose.

I sat down – looking at the soothing blue sea of the Bay of Bengal.

As I introspected – the import of what “P” had said became clear to me.

I decided to live my life to the fullest as a ‘superseded officer’.

Next morning – I called up “P” – and I told him where I wanted to go – and what I wanted to do.

Within 6 months – I was sitting in my new appointment – the very choice appointment that I had requested.

I thorougly enjoyed my appointment.

It was long tenure – professionally satisfying and personally fulfilling.

And then – even after this – the Navy gave me good appointments and a stable life.

I served till I attained the age of ‘superannuation’.

It has been my personal experience that the Navy really looks after ‘superseded officers’.

Most officers show understanding and consideration towards ‘superseded’ officers (of course there are a few ‘aberrations’ – but they can be dealt with).

To the extent feasible – care was taken to ensure that my boss had joined the Navy well before me – and he was much senior to me not only in rank but in service as well.

I got good appointments where I could nurture my talents and develop myself – and I was given a free hand to perform to the best of my ability and derive job satisfaction.

And I can proudly say – that – I contributed more to the service after my supersession than before my supersession.

MORAL OF THE STORY

In the Armed Forces – due to the ‘steep pyramid’ hierarchy structure – there are very few vacancies at higher ranks – and most officers are ‘passed over’ for promotion and ‘superseded’ at a relatively young age – in their 30’s and 40’s.

When you are passed over for promotion and superseded – you have 3 choices:

  1. You can quit the Service immediately by Resigning your Commission (even if it means giving up your pension and forgoing/losing many benefits)
  1. You can wait for a few years to complete 20 years pensionable service – and then seek Premature Retirement (PMR)
  1. You can serve till you attain the age of superannuation(earlier the minimum superannuation age was 54 years – but I understand that this has now been increased to 57 years – and some officers continue for a few more years on re-employment)

It is for you to take a considered decision in a ‘holistic’ manner depending on your personal temperament, life ambitions and financial status – and after reflecting on various familial obligations in their entirety.

You may be prepared for the career and lifestyle changes for a “second innings” in “Civvy Street” – but are your wife and children ready for the huge lifestyle and social changes when they suddenly migrate from “fauji life” to civilian life…?

Now – with the implementation of the “No OROP for PMR” Rule – many ‘superseded’ officers may consider ‘Option 3’ above – and serve till they attain the age of ‘superannuation’ in order to get the benefit of ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP).

The choice of choosing from the 3 options is yours – after considering the Pros and Cons.

But – after ‘supersession’ – if you choose to serve till superannuation –you can have a “fulfilling” life in the Defence Services – if you have the right attitude – as encapsulated in the advice my friend “P” gave me on my ‘supersession’:

“Till now – you let the Navy “enjoy” you – but now – it is time for you to “enjoy” the Navy…”

As I said earlier – I contributed more to the service after my ‘supersession’ than before my ‘supersession’ – and while doing so – I nurtured my talents, found my ‘métier’ and developed my ‘forte’.

The “Proof of the Pudding” is that my widely read and popular Blog – my highly appreciated Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve Blog is now nearing 25, 00, 000 (25 Lakh) Page-Views – my blog has crossed 24, 50, 000 (24.50 Lakh) page-views a few days ago and the current page-view count of is now nearing 2,458,740 (24. 59 Lakh +) Page-Views.

And – by the way – I have other blogs too – like this one you are reading – so – I can say that there have been at least 30 Lakh views of my Writing (Stories, Articles, Papers etc) – that I have posted online on my blogs and on the internet.

Had I not been “passed over” for promotion – in all probability – I would have become a part of the “rat race” for promotion – sweating it out – jumping from one “hot shot” appointment to another.

In such a “rat race” career situation – I doubt I would have had the inclination and time to discover my “métier” in Creative Writing/Blogging – and nurture and develop my creative writing skills – which have fructified into Books, Blogs and the numerous Fiction and Non-Fiction Writings that I have published.

Now – you may ask me:

“How to “Enjoy Supersession…?”

That – I will tell you in a susequent blog post.

Maybe – I will write a “SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR “SUPERSEDED” OFFICERS” – in which I will tell you – How to Overcome “Passover Woes” – How to Realize your Inner Potential – and – How to Live a Fulfilling Life as a “Superseded Officer” 

Till then – Dear Reader – do think about this post – and do tell me your views and experiences – I will look forward to your comments.

Wish You a Successful Career – and – if you get “passed over” for promotion – wish you a “Happy Supersession”

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

  1. This is a fictional spoof, satire, 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)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/05/supersession-day-musings-of-written-off.html

This is a repost of my story SUPERSESSION DAY posted by me Vikram Karve online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/11/humor-in-uniform-supersession-day.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/humor-in-uniform-written-off.html etc

Why I don’t live in Pune’s “Fauji Ghetto”

July 26, 2017

Humor in Uniform 

During my interactions with fellow Navy Veterans during our Navy Foundation Pune Get-togethers – I realise that I am one of the few exceptions who do not live in the “Military Veteran Ghettos” of Pune where most Defence Officers prefer to settle down after retirement.

This has put me at a disadvantage – since I am located far away from various “Military Veteran Facilities” like Healthcare (ECHS/Military-Hospitals), Administrative (CSD Canteens/HQ Sub Area), Social (RSI) etc – and worst of all – I have to live a life of loneliness – since all my Navy Friends live in and around these “Ghettos” which are located around 30 Kms away from my house on the other side of town.

An ex-Navy Friend asked me why I didn’t buy a house in one of these “Military Veteran Ghettos” and why I chose to live in a faraway suburb dominated by “IT Nerds”.

“Were you not aware of all these “exclusive” residential projects for Defence Officers in Pune…?” he asked.

“Of course – I was aware of these residential schemes for Defence Officers in Pune. In fact – I was about to book a house in the same “fauji” residential complex where you live – but – I suddenly changed my mind at the last minute…” I said to my ex-Navy Friend.

“You suddenly changed your mind at the last minute…? Why…?” he asked me.

“It was an impulsive decision…”  I said.

“That’s strange. You are not known to take impulsive decisions…” he said.

“You are right. Normally – before taking an important decision – I think things over methodically – but – in this case – I took a rather spontaneous “spur-of-the moment” decision not to live in the “Military Ghetto” where you live…” I said.

“Tell me about it…” he said.

Here is the story…

WHY I DO NOT LIVE IN A MILITARY VETERAN “GHETTO” 

A Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/humor-in-uniform-why-i-do-not-live-in.html

After retirement – I feel lonely.

I feel lonely – because all my Navy Buddies live far away on the other side of town in Pune’s “Fauji Ghetto”.

Sometimes – when I miss the company of my erstwhile friends – I wish I had lived in the “Fauji Ghetto” after my retirement from the Navy – instead of the “Techie” dominated civilian residential complex where I reside.

Do you know why I do not live in Pune’s “Fauji” Ghetto…?

Read on…

WHY I DO NOT LIVE IN PUNE’S “FAUJI” GHETTOS

PROLOGUE

Pune is a popular retirement destination for Military Veterans – especially those from “Up North” – who prefer to settle down in Pune rather than their hometowns.

Since most “Faujis” are accustomed to living in Cantonments – even after retirement – most Military Veterans cannot get over the “Cantonment Syndrome”  – and so – Military Veterans tend to “ghettoize” in “Fauji Ghettos”.

The Army (AWHO) built the first such exclusive “Fauji Ghetto” – in the 1980’s – near Kondhwa – and named it “Salunke Vihar”.

Curiously – the Navy and Air Force (AFNHB) had no such residential project in Pune – despite both Navy and Air Force having a large number of Serving Personnel and Veterans from Pune.

Since there was a huge demand for housing from Military Veterans desiring to settle down in Pune – developers and builders exploited the situation – and announced “exclusive” projects for “Faujis” – which gradually mushroomed into “fauji ghettos” like Mundhwa, Kondhwa or Mohammadwadi – where most retired Defence Officers have settled down.

Now – these builders employed a number of retired military veterans to lure serving defence officers into booking a home in these “exclusive” projects by aggressive marketing.

The story I am going to tell you happened more than 16 years ago – in the year 2001 – during the aggressive “Fauji Ghetto” marketing days.

Those days I was serving in the premier Naval Dockyard in Mumbai.

Dear Reader – Read on…

Mumbai (Circa 2001)

REAL ESTATE BLUES

I had a heated argument with my boss – Commodore XXX – who had still not mentally ascended from the “Engine Room”

To cool off – I headed straight to the Wardroom Mess Bar – sat on the Bar Stool – and ordered a bottle of Chilled Beer.

As I sipped the cool heavenly beer – I started feeling soothed immediately.

In a few minutes – I had forgotten about my nasty boss.

The Bar was empty – except for me – and two men in civvies – drinking beer on a sofa.

One of the two men was a Naval Officer who I knew.

The other man – I did not know.

The man who I did not know – he got up – and he came towards me.

He introduced himself – he was a Retired Army Officer turned “Real Estate Agent”.

“Your friend told me you are from Pune…” he said.

I glanced at the fellow Naval Officer – he nodded.

“Yes – Pune is my hometown…” I said to the Real Estate Agent.

“We have a very attractive Residential Housing Scheme exclusively for Defence Officers…” he said.

“You mean it is going to be a “Fauji Ghetto”…” I remarked, tongue-in-cheek.

“Well – you really have a wry sense of humour – but – let me tell you that this is a “Top Class” project – very posh – with the best of amenities – here – let me show you…” the “Fauji” turned Real Estate Agent said – and he took out some brochures from his briefcase.

He showed me the glitzy brochures – and he explained details of the residential project.

It was quite a good housing project – and I felt that maybe I should consider it – since I was indeed planning to settle down in Pune after my retirement a few years later – by which time this residential project would be ready for occupation.

Seeing my interest – the “Fauji” turned Real Estate Agent said to me:

“I will arrange a site visit on Sunday. We can drive down to Pune in the morning and come back in the evening.”

“Okay…” I said, “But I must talk to my wife…”

“Of course, you must bring your wife with you – we will take both of you to the project site this Sunday…” he said, “We will have you picked up from your home in Mumbai in the morning – and you can return by evening after seeing the site in Pune. Do remember to carry your cheque book – so that you can book your flat after paying a token amount…”

“I will let you know – maybe we will go some time later…” I said.

“You better hurry – almost all flats are sold. In fact – an officer from your unit booked a terrace flat this morning. The apartment opposite his flat is still vacant – I will block it for you – it is one of the best flats in the project – the balcony has a fantastic view – plus – you will be the “Next-Door-Neighbour” of your Fellow Naval Officer…” he said.

“My “Next-Door-Neighbour” will be a Fellow Naval Officer…? Who is this Naval Officer who has booked the neigbouring flat…?” I asked.

Commodore XXX…” the “Fauji” turned Real Estate Agent said.

On hearing the name of Commodore XXX – my blood pressure started rising.

This was because Commodore XXX was my Boss – the very same person with whom I had exchanged some hot words just a few moments ago – due to which I had come to cool off in the Bar with chilled Beer.

Yes – on hearing the name of Commodore XXX – the soothing effect of the Beer started disappearing – and – stress and anger began to rise in me.

So – I looked at the Retired Army Officer turned “Real Estate Agent” – and – I said to him:

“I am not interested in the Flat.

In fact – I am not interested in buying a house in this entire residential project….”

“Why…? What happened…? You were showing interest in the exclusive defence officers residential scheme. You even agreed to come on a site visit. And suddenly – you have changed your mind. What happened to you so suddenly…?” the bewildered “Fauji” turned Real Estate Agent asked me.

I looked at the Retired Army Officer turned “Real Estate Agent” – and – I said to him:

“Commodore XXX is my Boss. 

I cannot stand him even for a minute. 

I hate the very sight of him.

And – you want me to see his bloody face every day – even after my retirement…?” 

 

“Moral of the Story”

There is a saying:

“Don’t cut off your nose to spite your face” 

Is this what I did – by acting impulsively in the heat of the moment – and not buying a house in the exclusive “Fauji Ghetto” in Pune – just because my Boss Commodore XXX  had booked a house there – and – owing to my temporary annoyance with Commodore XXX – I felt that I did not want to see his face after retirement…?

And the biggest irony is that Commodore XXX passed away and left for his heavenly abode many years ago (even before I retired) – may his soul Rest in Peace RIP.

And Me – after retirement – I feel lonely – Yes – I feel lonely – because all my Navy Buddies live far away on the other side of town – in Pune’s “Fauji Ghetto”.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/humor-in-uniform-why-i-do-not-live-in.html     © vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This Story REAL ESTATE BLUES was written by me 4 years ago in the year 2013 and Earlier Posted Online by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/03/humor-in-uniform-real-estate-blues.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/10/humor-in-uniform-why-i-do-not-live-in.htm and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/10/why-i-do-not-live-in-punes-fauji-ghetto.html

 

Humor at Sea – Fresh Water Tanky Tales Part 2 – Is Hamam Mein Sab Nange Nahin Hain

July 25, 2017

LIFE AT SEA  
Water Routine Part 2 – Is Hamam Mein Sab Nange Nahin Hain

 

Continued from Part 1 Is Hamam Mein Sab Nange Hain 

(A Naval Yarn)

Hilarious Memories of My Unforgettable Navy Days 

A Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/01/humor-in-uniform-water-routine-part-2.html

I am sure you enjoyed Water Routine Part 1 Is Hamam Mein Sab Nange Hain

Now – here is Part 2 of the Water Routine Story:

The best thing about our ship was the Executive Officer (XO) – a Naval Aviator with a cheerful temperament and friendly nature – who never pulled rank and took everyone along.

He also happened to be the PMC – and the result was that – despite the hardships – we had a very happy wardroom – and this cordial atmosphere percolated to the lower decks as well.

The XO did not demand any special privileges – in fact – he had quite a laissez faire approach to work – and he would happily join us in the “Is Haman Mein Sab Nange Hain”  इस हामान में सब नंगे हैं  combined nude bathing sessions.

You may say that I am generalizing – and you may not agree with me – but in my opinion – Naval Aviators make the best XO’s on ships.

On my earlier ship too – it was like a breath of fresh air when a Naval Aviator replaced a most painful nit-picking XO.

Naval Aviators came on board ships for their “mandatory sea tenure” – and then they went back to flying duties.

So – they wanted a happy sea-time – and they did not harass the crew.

Accordingly – after spending one year on board our ship – our Naval Aviator XO went back to his first love – aviation duties – and the Captain changed too.

The new XO – a Communicator – was a namby-pamby wimp – an effeminate sissy – and – like most communicators – he was a smooth-talking pernickety pain in the arse (ass).

“He is a bloody prick…” said an officer who had served with the XO on an earlier ship.

“You mean “prig”…?” we asked.

“I mean “prick” – P R I C K…” he spelt it out loud and clear.

“Okay – let’s say he is a priggish prick…” we said.

Soon – it was unanimously agreed that the new XO was a “priggish prick”.

But – since the XO was more of a “Prick” than a “Prig”  everyone called him “Prick”.

The new XO found fault with everything – and worse – he blamed his predecessor – the well-liked Naval Aviator XO – for being too lenient – and thereby spoiling the crew.

A constipated, frustrated “killjoy” – the new XO tried his best to make life as painful as possible.

Though small in stature, light in weight and effeminate in appearance – the new XO feigned a rather amusing spectacle as he tried to pull rank and throw his weight around – trying to demonstrate that he was the second-in-command of the ship.

This snobbish posturing may have worked elsewhere – but such amateurish antics cut no ice on this frontline warship which had a hardened crew.

Ever since he had arrived – the XO had started a running battle with the Flight Commander over OOW and OOD duties.

Though the Flight Commander was a qualified sea watchkeeper – by convention – Naval Aviators did not do watchkeeping duties on this ship – and the other Executive Officers did not seem to mind.

However – the new XO embarked on a holy crusade to “teach him a lesson” – and get the Naval Aviators to do watchkeeping duties.

And indeed – the new XO wanted to teach everyone a lesson – especially all of us from the earlier crew.

Someone said that the XO was an Air Force grounded cadet – sidestepped into the Navy – and because of this – he hated all pilots – since he had failed to qualify as one.

One evening – during a longish sailing – feeling grimy without a bath thanks to the strict water routine due to the perpetual shortage of water – I was sitting in my cabin finishing some paperwork.

“Do you want to have a hot water bath…?” the Flight Commander said, peeping into my cabin.

“Hot water bath…?” I said, surprised, looking at the Flight Commander, who looked freshly bathed and smelt of soap.

“Go quickly to the bathroom. The “fresh-water-tanky” will be waiting for you with a bucket of hot water. After you finish your bath, ask him to get another bucket of hot water for Guns – I’ll tell Guns…” the Flight Commander said.

“You got water with you on the bloody helo or what…?” I asked.

The Flight Commander, who was a good friend of mine, laughed loudly – and he said to me:

“Come on, don’t be crazy. The hot water bucket was meant for “Prick” – I hijacked the hot water bucket.”

“What the bloody hell is going on…? That bloody “Prick” is bathing in hot water when others don’t even get a drop of water to drink…?” I commented.

“After Guns finishes – we’ll tell Senior – I wonder if he knows what’s happening…?” the Flight Commander said.

 

As usual – there had been a strict water routine during this sailing too – so who could refuse the offer of a bath – and that too – the luxury of a hot water bath.

So – I rushed to the bathroom.

The fresh-water-tanky was standing by with a bucket of hot water in his hand.

The moment the fresh-water-tanky saw me in a towel – his face dropped – and the fresh-water-tanky pleaded with me:

“Sir – the water routine is only in the morning. Sir – this hot water is meant for the XO. Flight Commander took one bucket – and now – you also will have a hot water bath…?”

“Have you taken permission from Senior Engineer…?” I shouted.

“No, Sir – the XO has asked me not to tell anyone…” the fresh-water-tanky said.

“From where have you got the hot water…?” I asked.

“I got it from the ship’s galley, Sir…” the fresh-water-tanky said.

“After I finish my bath – you go down to the galley and get one more bucket of hot water for the Gunnery Officer…” I said, “and then – you go and get one more bucket of hot water for the Senior Engineer.”

“Sir – what about the XO – there will be no water left for him…” the hapless fresh-water-tanky pleaded.

“The XO can do “dry cleaning” for all I care – you don’t worry about him – come one– get moving – you go and get hot water for Guns and Senior Engineer…” I ordered the anxious fresh-water-tanky.

The XO was patiently waiting in his cabin for the fresh-water-tanky to “report readiness” to him.

After some time – the XO got impatient.

So – the XO walked down to the officers’ bathroom.

As usual – the XO was properly turned out (in an officer-like manner) – wearing a bath-robe.

The XO opened the door of the officers’ bathroom.

The sight that he saw totally startled him.

Two totally naked hairy scary hulks – “Guns” and “Senior” – were bathing away to glory totally nude in their “Birthday Suits.”

It was a terrible sight – and the “namby-pamby” effeminate XO felt a shiver of fear – as he saw the two redoubtable officers looking hungrily at him.

Magnanimously – the stark naked officers invited the XO to join them for a bath.

The terrified XO beat a hasty retreat.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

  1. This story is a 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)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/01/humor-in-uniform-water-routine-part-2.html

This Story was earlier posted by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog more than 3 years at 2/01/2014 05:55:00 PM  at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/02/humor-in-uniform-fresh-water-tanky.html  and re-posted many times including at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/01/humor-in-uniform-everyone-is-not-naked.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/09/humor-in-uniform-hot-water-bath.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/humor-in-uniform-water-routine-part-2.html

Humor at Sea – Fresh Water Tanky Tales Part 1 – Is Hamam Mein Sab Nange Hain

July 25, 2017

Humor in Uniform

Let me delve deep into my blog – and pull out one of my favourite “Humor in Uniform” Naval “Memoirs”.

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

LIFE AT SEA  
Water Routine Part 1 – Is Hamam Mein Sab Nange Hain

(A Naval Yarn)

Hilarious Memories of My Unforgettable Navy Days

A Spoof By Vikram Karve  

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/humor-in-uniform-life-at-sea-water.html

WHO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN ON A NAVY WARSHIP…?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FRESH WATER TANKY

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

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

But on this ship – which invariably suffered a terrible scarcity of fresh water when we were at sea – the “fresh water tanky” was a VIP – the most sought after individual on the ship – so much so that even the Fleet Commander – a Rear Admiral – personally called the “Fresh Water Tanky” to his cabin at 0010 Hours – yes – at 0010 Hours – which – in civilian parlance means 10 Minutes past Midnight (12:10 AM)

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

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

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

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

For all other officers – there was a common bathroom.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even for their “ablutions” – they used toilet paper.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We were all “dry cleaning” ourselves.

And – so was the Admiral.

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

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

SPECIAL WATER ROUTINE FOR THE ADMIRAL 

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

The “fresh-water-tanky” knocked.

A loud voice said from inside the cabin – “come in”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sir, there is a problem…”

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

The “fresh water tanky” decided to play safe.

He tiptoed down to the Senior Engineer’s cabin.

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

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

There was a knock on the cabin door.

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

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

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

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

WATER IS A GREAT LEVELLER

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes – on this ship – combined “nude bathing” under the open showers was the norm – yes – everyone bathed in his “birthday suit” – even the officers.

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

But on this ship – water was a great leveler – and things like modesty, etiquette and protocol had no place in the bathroom – you quickly took off your clothes and bathed nude.

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

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

IS HAMAM MEIN SAB NANGE HAIN  

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

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

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

The TASO – an aficionado of sandalwood soap – would emerge from the melee smelling of the strong heady scent of the aromatic herbal soap used by the “Mallu” Senior Engineer who would be exuding the antiseptic aroma of germicidal soap rubbed on him unwittingly by the ship’s doctor who was very hygiene-conscious.

The Gunnery Officer – on middle watch – had handed over the deck to the cute watch-keeping Sub Lieutenant – and rushed down from the bridge without towel or soap.

He would “bum” both towel and soap from someone – as was his habit of “bumming” everything from his shipmates.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Bloody, ‘Guns’ – you sneaky bugger…!!! You should be doing middle-watch on the bloody bridge – what the hell are you doing here bathing yourself…?” the Admiral shouted at the nude Gunnery Officer – who should have been on the bridge during middle-watch.

Before the shamefaced Gunnery Officer could reply – the Admiral commanded him:

“You go and sound ‘Action Stations’ – do you understand…? Come on ‘Guns’  – don’t bloody stand there showing me your ****  –  you get moving…”

Then – the Admiral looked at the Senior Engineer and commanded him:

“You make sure the fresh water is pumped in full force till I finish my bath – I want the “fresh-water-tanky” standing by outside.”

As “Action Stations” were sounded – and all Officers and Sailors began rushing to their action posts – the Admiral stripped off his towel and stood under the shower to enjoy a leisurely bath.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

On seeing his “cute” Flag Lieutenant’s coyness – the Admiral shouted at him:

“Come on “Pretty Boy” – you hurry up and take off your clothes quickly – take off everything – and come here under the shower – Is Hamam Mein Sab Nange Hain – इस हामान में सब नंगे हैं…”

 

Before you read Part 2 of the Story in the next post on this blog – here is some “Food for Thought”

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

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

During my long Naval Career – I have served on many ships and shore establishments (stone frigates).

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

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

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

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

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

Those were the days of the “All Male Navy” – much before the Navy started inducting women as officers.

But even now – women do not serve at sea – the Navy does not post women on ships.

Dear Reader – after reading this story – what do you feel:

“Should Women be posted on Navy Ships…?” 

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

  1. This yarn is a 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)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/humor-in-uniform-life-at-sea-water.html

This Story was written by me 4 years ago in the year 2013 and first posted online by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at 1/28/2014 04:29:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/01/hamam-mein-sab-nange-hain-everyone-is.html and later at urls http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/09/humor-in-and-out-of-uniform-hamam-mein.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/01/humor-in-uniform-everyone-in-naked-in.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/should-women-be-posted-on-navy-ships.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/humor-in-uniform-water-routine-part-1.html

Good Mother – Bad Wife : Children Come First – Husbands Afterwards

July 25, 2017

PROLOGUE

In the colony where I live in Pune – almost all children have migrated to the USA to realize the American Dream.

This includes both boys and girls.

That is the reason why Computer Science, Software Engineering and IT are so popular.

It is the easiest way to go abroad.

But one thing is very funny about this Indian (Puneri) diaspora.

In their professional lives and careers they quickly adopt “modern” western American values – but in their personal lives – they still cling on to traditional Indian values.

They are not confused desis.

Far from it.

They want the “Best of both Worlds”. 

So most of the time they keep summoning their parents (especially the mothers and mothers-in-law) to America to look after them and their households.

On the other hand – they in turn care two hoots for their old parents left back in India to fend for themselves.

It is high time they followed the proverb:

WHEN IN ROME DO AS THE ROMANS DO

The fiction short story below BEST OF BOTH WORLDS explores this dichotomy.

I had written this story around 10 years ago –  in 2007 (when Aundh was still developing into a concrete jungle –  with a number of high-rise buildings – as can be seen from the first sentence of the story)

This is fiction – but let me tell you that I have seen many instances of this happening in real life.

In fact – it is happening right now to a friend – whose wife has abandoned him and gone to America for more than 6 months to look after her daughter’s one year old son.

She had gone last year too for about 6 months for her daughter’s delivery too – and the mother and mother-in-law take turns going abroad – to do their “duty” supporting their children’s families – leaving their hapless husbands back home to fend for themselves.

Do American parents do the same…?

Do American children exploit their parents in the same way and make them do “surrogate parenting”…?

I don’t know.

Dear Reader: Please read the story and tell me what you think.

BEST OF BOTH WORLDS
A Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

A middle aged woman watches the sun set from the balcony of her tenth floor flat of one of those ubiquitous residential “townships” – rapidly sprawling and proliferating around the once remote suburb of Aundh – on the outskirts of the once beautiful and picturesque city of Pune in western India.

The doorbell rings.

It’s her husband back home from work.

He’s tired and aching all over after the long bone-rattling, back-breaking and lung-choking commute on the terrible roads and in the polluted atmosphere.

“Good news,..” his wife says exuberantly, giving him his customary cup of tea.

“What…?” the husband asks nonchalantly – carefully pouring the precise amount of tea from the cup into the saucer – and lifting the saucer to his lips to enjoy his tea in his usual habitual manner.

“Our daughter Nalini is pregnant…” the wife exults.

“At long last – I thought she didn’t have time for mundane things like procreation –  I am so glad she found time from her busy schedule…” the husband comments acerbically – and noisily sips his tea in his customary acerbic style.

“Don’t be sarcastic. She’s a career woman. Aren’t you happy…?”

“Of course I’m happy. I’m 56 now – it’s high time I became a grandfather.”

“I’ll have to go…”

“Where…?”

“For her delivery.”

“To Seattle…?”

“Yes. Her due date is sometime in December. I better go as early as possible – maybe in October. Poor thing – it’s her first child. You better get the visas and documentation ready well in time. Nalini wants me to stay for at least three-four months after her delivery.”

“Three-four months after her delivery…? So you’ll be away for more than six months…?”

“Yes. I’m her mother and I have to be there to help her. Poor thing. It’s her first delivery. And that too in America – poor thing…”

“Poor thing…? Who asked her to go there…? And what about me…?”

“You also come and help out….”

“I won’t get 6 months’ leave.”

“You can come for a month or two. To see the baby. In December or January…”

“I’ll see. But I don’t like it there. It’s too boring. And in December – it will be freezing cold.”

“Then stay here.”

“I wish we hadn’t shifted from Sadashiv Peth.”

“Why…? Isn’t this lovely apartment better than those two horrible rented rooms we had…? And – it’s all thanks to Nalini.”

“I know – I know – don’t rub it in. But sometimes – I wish we hadn’t pushed her into studying Computers and IT. We should have let Nalini study arts, history, literature – whatever she wanted to.”

“And – it would have been difficult to find a decent boy for her – and she would be languishing like an ordinary housewife with no future – slogging away over here throughout her life like me.”

“And – we would be still staying in the heart of the city and not in the wilderness out here – and you wouldn’t have to go all the way to America for her delivery…!!!”

“Don’t change the topic….” the wife says.

“I am not changing the topic…” says the husband firmly, “You are not going for Nalini’s delivery to America. Let them manage on her own – she and her husband…”

“But why shouldn’t I go…? She is sending me the ticket.”

“It’s not a question of money. The fact is I don’t want to stay all alone at this age. It is difficult. And out here – in this godforsaken township full of snobs – I don’t even have any friends.”

“Try to understand. I have to be there. It’s her first delivery.”

“Tell me one thing.”

“What…?”

“Don’t American women out there have babies…?”

“Yes – of course they have babies – so…?”

“And do American women always have their mothers around – pampering them during their pregnancies and deliveries…? And then – mollycoddling their babies for the next few months, maybe even a year…?”

“I don’t know…” the wife says, evading an answer, “for them it’s different.”

“Different…?”

“Our girls are “najuk”…

Najuk…?”

“Delicate – fragile.”

“Nonsense. They are as tough as everyone else. It’s all in the mind. It’s only our mindset that’s different.”

“What do you mean…?”

“Thousands of women who have migrated from all over the world are delivering babies out there in America every day – but it’s only our girls who can’t do without their mothers – is it…?”

“Don’t argue with me. It’s our culture – our tradition. A daughter’s first delivery is her mother’s responsibility.”

“Culture…? Tradition…? What nonsense…? It’s not culture –  it’s attitude…!!! Our people may have physically migrated to the modern world – but their mental make-up hasn’t changed – that is the moot point…”

“Please stop your lecturing. I am fed up of hearing your cribs…” the wife pleads.

The husband continues as if he hasn’t heard her – and he says to his wife:

“What they require is attitudinal change and to stop their double standards. Nonsense…!!! Nobody forced them to go to America – they went there on their own begging for a visa – and it’s high time they adopt the American way of life – instead of clinging onto their roots out here – and obsolete values that they themselves have cast off…”

“Please. Please. Please. Enough… I beg of you. Don’t argue. Just let me go to America….”

“No. You can’t go. I can’t stay alone for 6 months. Why should I stay alone…?”

“Try to understand. I have told you a hundred times. It’s our only daughter’s first delivery. I have to be there.”

“Okay. You tell Nalini to come here.”

“Here…?”

“Yes – here – to Pune. We’ll do her delivery right here in Pune. We’ll go to the best maternity hospital – and then – you can keep her here as long as you want. She’ll be comfortable – in Pune – the weather in December is good – and you can pamper your darling daughter and her baby to your heart’s content.”

“No.”

“What do you mean ‘No’…? You went to your mother’s place for your deliveries isn’t it…? And – you came back after the babies were more than 3 months old.”

“That was different. I wasn’t working.”

“Oh. It’s about her job is it…? I am sure they have maternity leave out there. Nalini can take a break and come here to India for her delivery. Yes – she can have her baby here in Pune. And – if she wants to go back early to America – we’ll look after the kid for a couple of months – and then – I’ll take a month’s leave ’ and we’ll both go to America and drop the baby at her place over there.”

The wife says nothing.

The husband says to his wife:

“Give me the phone. I’ll call up Nalini and tell her to come here as early as possible. I’ll convince her she will be more comfortable here…”

“I have already spoken to Nalini and tried to convince her exactly what you suggested…” the wife says.

“And…?”

“She wants the baby to be born there. It’s something about citizenship.”

“So that’s the point…” the husband says, “She wants the best of both worlds – isn’t it…?”

 

EPILOGUE

Parenting Priority vs Conjugal Relationship

 

A friend said in disgust:

“I am fed up of my wife…”

“Why…?” I asked, “your wife is quite good.”

“Oh, Yes – she is quite good…” he answered, “She is a good mother but a bad wife.”

Then – he told me his sob story.

Both his kids – a daughter and a son – both had settled abroad – in the USA.

And since they had got married – they kept on calling his wife over there to do “Nanny” duty.

When his daughter got pregnant she summoned her mother to America to look after her during her pregnancy days – and after her delivery – she wanted her mother to stay on till the baby was a year and a half old.

My poor friend was left to fend for himself for nearly 2 years.

The same thing happened when his daughter-in-law delivered a baby.

Since the daughter-in-law’s mother could not stay for more than 6 months – my friend’s  son emotionally blackmailed his mother to come over for “Nanny” duties till his baby was old enough for day care – since the daughter-in-law wanted to get back to work.

Now – the same story was being repeated as his daughter was pregnant for the second time.

Once a man is married for a long time – it becomes difficult for him to stay without his wife for long durations.

Yes – it is very painful for a “much married” husband (or wife) to be forced to live the life of a “married bachelor”.

“Why can’t our Indian girls be tough like American women when they go over there to America…? Do American women ask for their mothers to come and live with them to look after their babies…?” he said in anger.

“Our girls are very shrewd.

They want the “best of both worlds”.

Indian youngsters want to go to America for the money and good life – but they want Indian style comforts and lifelong parenting.

Indian migrants to America want US Citizenship – but they are reluctant to adopt the American way of family life.

So – pregnant NRI women want their mothers to come to America and look after them and their small children.

They don’t realize that they are ruining their parents’ married life…”

I have seen many such women who are good mothers and bad wives.

Good Mother – Bad Wife

or to put it a bit mildly:

Most Women are Good Wives – but – they are Better Mothers

Now – as I look around me  I find that this is true in most cases  at least among the middle-class families of Pune.

For most married women  the priorities are quite clear:

Children come First – Husbands afterwards

“Parenting Priority” takes precedence over “Conjugal Relationship”

Marital Sacrifice is the order of the day.

Yes – most mothers are ready to sacrifice their marriages for the sake of their children.

Dear Reader:

Do you agree…?

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

  1. This story is a 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)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a abridged version of my stories THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS and PARENTING PRIORITY versus MARITAL SACRIFICE posted online by me earlier a number of times in my blogs including at urls: http://creative.sulekha.com/my-favourite-short-stories-part-48-best-of-both-worlds_543369_blog and http://karvediat.blogspot.ae/2011/09/my-favourite-short-stories-part-48-best.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/03/good-mother-bad-wife.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2013/06/the-najuk-nri-girls-from-pune.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/01/why-ruin-your-marriage-for-sake-of-your.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/04/good-mother-bad-wife.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/06/the-najuk-nri-girls-from-pune.html and http://vikramwamankarve.blogspot.in/2006/10/best-of-both-worlds-short-story-by.html and http://creative.sulekha.com/my-favourite-short-stories-part-48-best-of-both-worlds_543369_blog etc

The Girl I “Hated”

July 25, 2017

THE GIRL I “HATED”

A “Hate” Story By Vikram Karve  

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/06/nisha.html

It was “hate at first sight”.

Strictly speaking – it was not “hate at first sight” – because – I hadn’t even seen her.

In fact – I hated her even before I saw her.

And – when I saw her – I hated her even more.

Yes – the moment I saw her – I was filled with hate towards her.

Now – Dear Reader – before I continue this “Hate Story” – let me give you a bit of the background – and tell you why I hated this woman even before I saw her.

This happened almost 40 years ago – in the 1970’s – when I was a young Lieutenant in the Navy.

Everything was fine – till I got married.

As a bachelor – the Navy looked after all my “boarding and lodging” needs.

Once I got married – I realized that getting a house was a huge problem for Naval Officers – especially those serving in Mumbai (then known as Bombay) – where most of the Navy was located those days.

The waiting time for Lieutenant’s Married Accommodation was more than one year – sometimes extending to even 2 years – after the marriage season – or – following a sudden influx of officers transferred into Mumbai (Bombay).

On the average – the waiting period for married accommodation was one and a half years.

The reason was clear – you were allowed to marry at 25 – when you were a Lieutenant (equivalent to an Army Captain and Air Force Flight Lieutenant).

Those days – after commissioning – it took you 3 years to become a Lieutenant – and then – you remained a Lieutenant for 8 long years – before being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander after a total of 11 years of commissioned service.

By the time you became a Lieutenant Commander – you were above 30 – well past “marriageable” age – so – if you wanted to marry – you did so in the early part of the 8 long years when you were a Lieutenant.

[Yes – those days – in the Navy – it took 11 years of commissioned service to become a Lieutenant Commander (Lt Cdr) – unlike today – when you see greenhorns – who haven’t yet fully grown their whiskers – strutting around wearing “two and a half stripes” of a Lieutenant Commander – thanks to the benevolent Ajai Vikram Singh Cadre Review Report (aka AVS 2006) – which has reduced the value of senior ranks to subaltern status…]

Also – in the Navy – the “Rank Has Its Privileges” concept – RHIP – was extended to family life too – and – newly married Lieutenants – bursting with “marital passion” – who were desperately in need of houses – were kept waiting for the longest time – whereas – “over the hill” Admirals and Commodores – “spent forces” – who were well past their prime years of “marital passion” – these “bigwigs” were given houses immediately.

So – newly married Naval Officers had a long wait before they were allotted married accommodation in Mumbai (which was the premier Navy Base those days – where most Naval Officers were located).

Of course – there were “alternate” arrangements – where they gave you a horrible shoddy dwelling in some dilapidated barrack or derelict crumbling building – euphemistically called “Type ‘B’ or Type ‘C’ accommodation”.

I did not want to ruin the “honeymoon period” of my marriage wallowing in such a shabby rotten decrepit environment.

So – I decided to let my wife stay at her parents’ place in her hometown – while I stayed on board my ship as a “married bachelor” eagerly monitoring the accommodation roster – desperately waiting for my “entitled” house to be allotted to me.

There was another option – I could “share” accommodation with a “course-mate” or a fellow Naval Officer who had been allotted a house – but – having seen some cases where the “sharing” went beyond accommodation – I decided not to explore the “sharing” option.

So – we – my wife and I – we spent the first year of our marriage living apart – me – on board my ship – and she – at her mother’s place in her hometown.

Then – one day – after a wait of more than one year – I was lucky to be allotted married accommodation.

I called up my wife and gave her the good news.

She was delighted – even her parents were delighted.

In fact – my wife’s parents were so delighted that they decided to come along with my wife to help set up her first house.

So – my wife arrived with her parents – and – her parents left after a week after setting up our house.

Sadly – I had to sail out to sea the very evening her parents left for their hometown.

When I returned to Mumbai a month later – I was happy to see that my wife had settled down well – she had already made friends – and – had attended a coffee morning of NOWA (Naval Officers Wives Association).

[Yes – those days it was called NOWA. Later – sometime in mid-1980’s – NOWA was “democratized” – and renamed Navy Wives Welfare Association (NWWA)]

My wife was happy to see me.

Then – she dropped a “bombshell”.

My wife told me that one of her friends was going to come and stay with us as a “house guest”.

“Who…” I asked.

Nisha – she is one of my best friends – in fact – she is a distant relative…” my wife said.

“Nisha…? I have never heard of her – did she come for our marriage…?” I asked my wife.

“No – she was studying in Business School – for her MBA – and – her exams were at the same time as our marriage…”

“Oh – is she coming on a holiday to Mumbai…?”

“No – she has got a job here…”

“But – why is she staying with us…?”

“The waiting time for the ‘Working Women’s Hostel’ is around 6 months – so – till then – she will stay with us…”

“6 months…? Are you crazy…?”

“Why…?”

“This is the first time we are living together after our marriage – and – you want to ruin our privacy…”

“The house is quite big…”

“Big…? There is just one living-cum-dining room and two rooms in this flat…”

“It is a 2BHK flat – we will sleep in the master bedroom – and – she can stay in the other bedroom…”

“No – she cannot stay here…”

“My parents have already committed to her parents – I can’t say “NO” now…”

“Your parents committed…?”

“Nisha’s family has done a lot of good to our family – her grandfather helped my father financially so that he could complete his education – her family has helped my parents in many ways – we are obligated to them – so – my parents could not refuse…”

“Isn’t her company giving her a flat…?”

“No – but – they are giving her HRA…”

“Okay – I will help her find a good flat within her HRA – or some PG accommodation…”

“No – why should Nisha live as a Paying Guest in some PG accommodation when she can live with us…? She even offered to pay for her stay here – but – of course – I refused.”

“I don’t want her money – I want privacy…” I said.

“Please don’t argue with me – Nisha is coming here – I have already said “YES” – so – how can I say “NO” now…” my wife said – and – she started crying.

I had come back after a month’s sailing – and – I did not want to ruin the evening – so – I said to my wife:

“Okay – let her stay…”

Next morning – along with my wife – I waited on the platform of the Railway Station waiting for Nisha’s train to arrive.

As I said – I hated Nisha even before I saw her.

And – when I saw Nisha – I hated her even more.

I thought Nisha would be “good looking”.

But – my hopes were dashed.

Nisha was the most “unappealing” woman I had ever seen – and – I am putting it politely.

After her arrival – life was hell.

I dropped them home – Nisha and my wife – and – I went to my ship since it was a working day.

Trouble started in the evening.

As was customary – after returning home from work – I changed from my uniform into a “lungi” – and – bare-chested – with my “lungi” at “half-mast” – I entered the drawing room for my evening “tiffin” and cup of filter coffee.

Nisha – who was sitting in the drawing room – looked at me curiously.

The moment my wife came out of the kitchen – she looked at me with bewilderment – seeing me dressed only in a “half-mast lungi”.

My wife angrily asked me to come inside the bedroom – and she scolded me: “Have you no decency…? You came out in your “lungi”…? Why are you not wearing a shirt…? Please dress properly – remember – Nisha is staying with us – what will she think of you…? I don’t want to see you wearing a “lungi” again till she is here…”

So now – even in my own house – I had to be “decently” dressed.

Of course – I had to forego my evening pegs of “Rum–Pani” (Rum-Water)

This decision not to drink was my own.

Yes – I took the decision to avoid drinking at home of my own accord.

If my wife did not like my wearing a “lungi” in front of Nisha – I was sure she would throw a tantrum if I started boozing in front of our “hallowed” guest.

Worse was to come at night – when we were in our bedroom.

My wife refused to get intimate – yes – my wife wouldn’t let me get near her.

“Keep away – Nisha is in the next room…” my wife said, rejecting my advances.

“So what – the door is closed…” I said.

“The walls are thin – she can hear everything – and – you make too much noise…”

So – that was the end of my “honeymoon” – and – it looked like there were going to be many days of “abstinence” ahead – at least till Nisha was around.

A few days later – our ship sailed out again – and – when I returned – I realized that Nisha was well entrenched in our house.

Nisha’s routine was set – she would leave for work early in the morning – at 8:30 AM – she would catch a bus from RC Church to her workplace near Churchgate – and – she returned around 7:30 in the evening – just in time for dinner.

Nisha was working for a top MNC – and – she was getting a hefty House Rent Allowance (HRA) – so – I wondered why she was interested in staying in a working women’s hostel – rather than rent her own flat.

“For security – and – convenience…” my wife said, “Besides – even if she rents a flat – it will be in some suburb – and – she will have to travel by local train – and – she is not used to it – since – she has never lived in Mumbai. The Hostel is on Marine Drive – quite close to her workplace – like it is from here – there is a direct bus from the hostel – and – she can even walk down to work…”

“So – your friend Nisha stays put here in our house ruining our married life till she gets a room in the hostel…”

“I told you that she offered to pay for her expenses – but I refused…”

“Ha Ha – no amount of money will compensate the nuisance she is causing to us…”

“Don’t say such things…” my wife said angrily to me, “She is not a nuisance – I told you that my parents have an obligation…”

“I have heard that many times…” I said – and – I headed to the Club to drown my sorrows.

Thereafter – every evening – before Nisha arrived – I would go to the club for a walk on the seaside promenade – followed by a drinking session with some “regulars” – most of whom were bachelors – or – “married bachelors”.

And then – I would return home late at night – when Nisha had retired to her bedroom.

Sometimes – Nisha would be watching TV with my wife – but – the moment I arrived in “high spirits” – she would excuse herself and go inside.

This routine went on for a week or so.

Then – one evening – when I was sitting by the seaside in my club – drinking with a “course-mate” – an unexpected thing happened.

I was stunned to see Nisha standing beside me.

I had been sitting facing the sea – and – she quietly approached me from behind my back – and – stood next to me.

My friend stood up and wished her.

I stood up too.

I introduced my friend to her – and – Nisha held out her hand to him and introduced herself.

Nisha looked at my friend – and – she said to him:

“If you don’t mind – I want to talk something private…”

“Oh, sure – I was about to leave for the mess anyway…” my friend said.

My friend gulped down the remains of his glass – he said goodbye – and – he left.

“Won’t you ask me to sit down…?” Nisha said to me.

“Oh – sorry – please sit down…” I said to her.

“Thanks…” she said – and – she sat down opposite me.

“Would you like something to drink – a soft drink – a juice…?” I asked her.

“What are you drinking…?” she asked me.

“Rum – I am drinking “Rum-Pani” – Rum with water…” I said.

“I’ll have Rum too – but – I’ll have Rum and Coke…” she said.

I tried my best to hide my surprise – but – she saw through me – and she said with a smile:

“So – you smart Navy guys think that girls from the mofussil drink only fruit juice and soft drinks…?”

“No – No – not at all…” I said, “I’ll get you a Rum and Coke…”

“Make it large – a “double peg” – as they say in the civilian world…” she said.

“Cheers…” she said when the drinks arrived.

She raised her glass – and said to me:

“I know you Navy guys don’t clink glasses…”

I was speechless.

Nisha had a sip of her of her Rum and Coke – and then – she said to me:

“I knew you would be here – so – I came here straight from work…”

“Oh…”

“I wanted to talk to you…” she said.

“Regarding…?”

“I wanted to apologize for all the trouble I am causing you…”

“It’s okay…”

“No – it’s not okay – I can see that you “hate” me – ever since the moment you first saw me at the railway station you hate me terribly…”

“No…”

“And – my living with you in your house – this is straining your relationship with your wife – and – I know you two are living together after a long period of separation…”

“Yes – we got Navy Accommodation after more than a year…”

“I know – that’s why I decided to give you the “good news” first…”

“Good news…?”

“I have decided to shift out…”

“Oh – so you have got a room in the working women’s hostel…?”

“No – that will take 3 months more…”

“So – where will you stay for 3 months…?”

“I have found a “PG” – in Bandra…”

“That’s quite far…”

“No – it’s very convenient – I can catch a local train and come straight to Churchgate…”

“Oh…”

“So – let’s celebrate…” she said – and she downed her Rum-and-Coke in one gulp.

We sat – and – we drank – Nisha and Me – in the cool breeze by the seaside.

She was easy to talk to – and my words came tumbling out.

I told her about Navy life – she talked about her life at “B School” – and her work in the Corporate Sector.

As we drank and talked – I began to see her in a different light.

I realized that Nisha was very intelligent – and quite vivacious – and – she was not that bad looking – in fact – she may not be a beauty in the conventional sense – but she had a certain charm about her.

I felt guilty at having thought badly about Nisha – and – I wanted to make up to her – so – I said to her:

“Nisha – you need not shift to Bandra and stay as a “Paying Guest” with some strangers – you are most welcome to stay at our place for as long as you want…”

“Are you sure…?” she asked me – with genuine joy in her eyes.

“Yes…” I said.

“Thank you so much…” Nisha said, “You are so kind…”

“That calls for a drink…” I said – and – I ordered another round of drinks.

And then – we had another round of drinks – and another…

Nisha and Me – we drank – and – we talked – and – we lost all track of time.

I don’t remember how and when we returned home – Nisha and Me – and in what state of drunkenness we were.

Next morning – I woke up late – with a terrible hangover.

I decided to go down to the telephone booth and call up my ship and tell the OOD that I would be “delayed”.

(In the Navy: Officers are never “Late” – they are “Delayed”)

I did not see Nisha around – so I asked my wife:

“Has Nisha gone to work…? Or – is she still sleeping…?”

“She has gone to work…” my wife said.

“Oh – Nisha managed to get up early…?”

“I want to tell you one more thing…” my wife said – looking at me.

“What…?” I asked.

“I have asked Nisha to shift out of our house by this weekend…” my wife said.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

  1. This story is a 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: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/06/nisha.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/10/hate-at-first-sight.html

This is a revised repost of my story HATE AT FIRST SIGHT posted earlier at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/10/hate-at-first-sight.html

Unforgettable Characters I Met in Uniform – The “Motivated” NCC Officer

July 25, 2017

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

Tête-à-Tête with a “Motivated” NCC Officer
A Fictional Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/02/humor-in-uniform-tete-tete-with.html

SQUARE PEGS IN ROUND HOLES

In his introduction to the witty and insightful favourite management classic  “The Peter Principle”  the co-author Raymond Hull narrates hilarious professional paradoxes – probably apocryphal – about “square pegs in round holes”.

“I am no longer amazed to observe that a government-employed marriage counsellor is a homosexual” – he comments.

(The book was written in 1969 when the concept of “Gay Marriages” was not in vogue and a marriage was presumed to be a heterosexual relationship).

Then he gives examples of mismatched “square pegs in round holes” – in fact – the book “The Peter Principle” is interspersed with numerous such droll snippets .

During my long career in the Navy – I have seen many such amusing mismatches.

Once in a Military Hospital – I remember coming across a child-specialist Lady Doctor who hated children.

She was a rather rude young unmarried pediatrician lady doctor in uniform – and someone commented that – maybe she would change her attitude – once she herself got married and had children of her own.

I have seen many officers posted as instructors/trainers/teaching faculty who are total misfits as they are unable to communicate effectively.

This happens because it is assumed that a good student is ipso facto a good teacher– so a “topper” student of a course is posted as an instructor.

On a few occasions – “yours truly” has also been a “square peg in a round hole”.

Yes – I too have had my share of mismatched appointments.

I am sure you too have seen many “square pegs in round holes” in uniform.

Let me tell you of one classic case I came across – a truly unforgettable character.

THE “MOTIVATED” NCC OFFICER

Long back – while I was sitting in the bar at DSOI in New Delhi – I ran into an Army Officer who was Commanding an NCC (National Cadet Corps) Unit at Mumbai (then called Bombay).

The aim of NCC is to motivate young students of impressionable age to join the Defence Services.

Thus – it is apt that the Commanding Officer (CO) of an NCC unit should be a highly motivated officer – who must be an inspiring role model for his young cadets.

An NCC Officer needs to be full of “josh” and “jingoism” – like the highly motivated “Divisional Officers” in National Defence Academy (NDA) and other Cadet Training Academies like Indian Military Academy (IMA), Indian Naval Academy (NAVAC/INA), Officers Training Academy (OTA), Air Force Academy (AFA) etc.

Since we were the only two persons sitting in the DSOI bar that afternoon – I tried to start a conversation with the NCC Officer (the Army Officer who was CO of an NCC Unit).

I asked him about the various initiatives NCC was taking to motivate young college students to join the armed forces.

But – he was not interested in the subject.

In fact – the NCC Officer seemed least interested in talking about his job in the NCC.

He told me that he himself was desperately trying to quit the Army.

He had put in his papers for premature retirement – yes – he wanted to quit the Army – and so – he had submitted an application for premature retirement.

He said that he had come all the way from Mumbai to Delhi to personally get his premature retirement case cleared.

He told me that after the cushy NCC posting at Mumbai – he was due to be posted to a hard field area – so – he had decided to quit the Army and seek premature reitrement – and – he was busy chasing his premature retirement case for the last few months.

He had come to Delhi in order to expedite matters personally – and to get his premature retirement approved quickly – so that his papers would be through before he was posted out from Mumbai.

He wanted to get out of the Army as fast as possible – so that he could take up a lucrative job offer – and settle down in Mumbai.

He told me that he had got an attractive job offer from a prestigious firm in Mumbai.

He also told me that the firm wanted him to join quickly – so time was running out for him.

Also – if he got posted out meanwhile to a field area – it would mean the end of this great opportunity for a successful second innings in the “civvy street”.

From the bitter way in which he complained about his army career – it was evident that he was quite fed up of army life.

The NCC Officer was especially bitter about being sidelined from the mainstream Army and being unceremoniously “dumped” into the NCC.

He was desperate to get his premature retirement approved – and it was evident that all his attention and energies were devoted to chasing his premature retirement case.

No wonder – he was least interested in NCC activities.

The NCC Officer was hardly an “inspiring role model” to motivate youngsters to join the Armed Forces.

Tell me – how can such an officer motivate youngsters to join the Army – who himself is so disillusioned with the Army – that he desperately wants to quit the Army…?

How can a “demotivated” officer motivate youngsters…?

During my long career in the Navy – I saw many officers  – who themselves were in dire need of “motivation” – being posted to the NCC to motivate youngsters.

Yes – officers who were themselves in need of “motivation” were being posted to the NCC to motivate youngsters.

Quite an irony – isn’t it…?

If you really want to motivate impressionable young minds and inspire them to join the Defence Services – why not post young unmarried officers who are full of “josh”, patriotic zeal and nationalistic fervour to the NCC…?

Why post demotivated over-the-hill Officers to NCC – like the one mentioned in the story…?

Can such “demotivated” NCC officers be “role models” to inspire youth to join the Defence Services…?

I was once aghast to see a “re-employed” officer posted to NCC.

Tell me – why not post young enthusiastic officers to NCC – who can truly motivate young students to join the Armed Forces…?

Why post disillusioned and demoralized superseded officers in NCC – or old “re-employed” officers who are “over the hill” – or officers on the verge of superannuation – who just do “time-pass” in NCC appointments…?

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

Disclaimer:
1. This story is a 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. This story is a work of fiction. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in this story and all my 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: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/02/humor-in-uniform-tete-tete-with.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Revised version my my article written by me in the year 2014 and posted online be me Vikram Karve earlier in my Blog – Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/07/humor-in-uniform-square-pegs-in-round.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/04/unforgettable-characters-in-uniform.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/humor-in-uniform-story-of-motivated-ncc.html

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