Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: GUDHI PADWA THOUGHTS – GOOD MORNING

March 21, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: GUDHI PADWA THOUGHTS – GOOD MORNING.

HOW TO IMPRESS GIRLS and BOYS – Impression Management for Long Term Relationships

March 21, 2015

Original Post written by Me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve : HOW TO IMPRESS PEOPLE

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/03/how-to-impress-people.html.

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

IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT

HOW TO IMPRESS GIRLS and BOYS – Impression Management for Long Term Relationships

WORST IMPRESSION IS THE BEST IMPRESSION
Contrarian Wisdom
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Let me tell you an “apocryphal” story.

This happened 33 years ago – in March 1982 – in Pune.

A girl came to see a boy (for arranged marriage).

The girl was accompanied by her mother (the girl’s father, a Brigadier, was serving in a field area).

Normally – in Maharashtra – the boy goes to the girl’s home (for the customary “kande pohe program”).

But – in this case – the boy had requested the girl to come over to his rather Spartan home.

It was around 10 in the morning – the boy was alone at home – as the boy’s mother had gone for work.

The boy (a Naval Officer) had come to Pune on a week’s leave for “girl seeing” for arranged marriage.

Since the boy was not one of those refined “metrosexuals” – he had not “decked up” for the occasion – but he was dressed in a simple cotton white kurta-pyjama – and he was enjoying a smoke and reading a book – while waiting for the girl to arrive.

The girl and her mother arrived at 10:30.

“You are late,” the boy said, and he asked the girl and her mother to sit down.

The boy served Tea (which he had prepared himself).

Then – the boy lit a cigarette – and he said to the girl, “Let me tell you a bit about myself. As you can see – I smoke a lot. I drink regularly too – around 6 large pegs of rum daily – that is about half a bottle of rum every evening. My career prospects in the Navy are not very bright – I am certainly not ‘Admiral Material’. You are a ‘SODA’ – your father is a big shot in the Army – so you may be used to the comforts and facilities of army life – but in the Navy you get nothing – no batman (sahayak), no transport, no proper housing, no facilities – as you can see I am not a rich man – I just have a scooter – and I do not think I will be able to afford a car on the paltry salary we get in the Navy – you will have to live in some temporary make-shift  shanty – and you will have to do all the housework yourself…”

“You don’t get a house in the Navy…?” the girl asked.

“You do – but there is a huge shortage of married accommodation and the waiting period is 2 years – so by the time we get a proper house, it will be time for my transfer – and it is the same story in every new place – so you must be prepared for a nomadic existence shifting from one temporary accommodation to another…”

“What is ‘SODA’…?” the girl asked.

“Senior Officers’ Daughters’ Association – your Dad is a Brigadier so you are a SODA,” the boy said, “but let me tell you one thing – I am an honest, straightforward and outspoken officer – and so – your chances of becoming a member of SOWA are pretty bleak…”

“SOWA – Senior Officers’ Wives’ Association…!” the girl said.

The boy was happy to see that the girl was intelligent.

“You are very intelligent – and highly qualified – and all your good qualities are listed in your matrimonial profile – but I want to know one thing – and I want an honest answer,” the boy said to the girl.

“What…?” the girl asked.

“What are your faults…? Your bad qualities…? Your weaknesses…?” the boy asked.

“I cannot cook…” the girl began opening up – but her mother gave her a stern look – and the girl stopped speaking.

Observing the situation, the boy said to the girl, “Never mind – we will discuss all that in detail when we meet tomorrow…”

“We are meeting tomorrow…?” the girl asked.

“Why not…? After all, we are getting married – and I am here for a week – so we can go out together a few times – and get to know each other better…” the boy said, extinguishing his finished cigarette and lighting another cigarette.

The girl’s mother was getting increasingly uncomfortable at the way things were going, so she asked the boy, “You have a big beard – are you going to shave it off when you get married…?”

The boy looked at the girl’s mother, and he said to the middle-aged woman, “How does it matter to you whether I keep a beard or not…? Are you going to marry me…? Or is your daughter going to marry me…? But since you have asked – No – I am not going to shave off my beard – I like my beard – and a beard is the sign of a true Naval Officer – so I am going to keep my beard even after marriage – forever…”

The boy looked at the girl, and he said, “See – I told you that I drink heavily, I smoke, and that I have no future in the navy – very poor career prospects – and about the poor quality of life in the navy – but you just told me one thing – that you do not know how to cook – please tell me more about your other faults…”

“We have to go somewhere,” the girl’s mother interrupted – and she brought the ‘interview’ to an abrupt end.

In the evening, the girl’s mother made a ‘trunk-call’ to her Brigadier husband and she said, “What a terrible boy? He is himself saying that he drinks half a bottle a day, he smokes, and ….”

She told him everything.

“The boy said all that…?” the Brigadier asked.

“Yes – the boy hasn’t given us even one reason why we should get our daughter married to him.”

“Maybe that is the very reason why we should get our daughter married to him,” the astute Brigadier said.

The Brigadier met the boy – and he liked him – and so – the girl and boy got married.

The girl was expecting the worst.

But after marriage – the girl noticed the following ‘improvements’ in the boy:

1. Her husband did not drink 6 pegs of rum every evening – he drank around 3 or 4 pegs daily – and only rarely – at parties or with friends – did he drink 6 pegs or more.

2. He did not smoke much too – in fact – he smoked very few cigarettes – he preferred smoking his pipe.

3. She had been expecting to stay in a “jhuggi-jhopri” – but first they lived in the officers’ mess for some time – and then they shifted to quite a decent furnished apartment – which though small – the apartment was modern, comfortable, and located in the prime area of the city.

Though he was not an “angel” by any standards – her husband was not all that bad – as she had thought.

Much later – when she had given up all hope – her husband suddenly gave up drinking and smoking one day.

This happened 20 years after her marriage – and she had never imagined that her husband would give up alcohol and tobacco forever.

Of course – her husband has still not shaved off his majestic beard – but then she has got used to it now – after 33 years of married life.

After reading this “fairy-tale” – some persons may think that this is a true story – and they may even “recognize” some of the characters in this story – but let me emphasize that this is an apocryphal story – the characters do not exist and are purely imaginary – and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

What is important – is the MORAL OF THE STORY.

You must have heard the saying: “First Impression is the Best Impression”

But I say: “Worst Impression is the Best Impression”.

If you give your best impression during your first meeting with someone – then you have to live up to the image you have created.

On the other hand – if you give your worst impression during your first meeting – then there is always scope for improvement.

There are many aspects to your personality – the “Best Side” – the “Worst Side” – with shades of grey in between.

At your very first meeting – if you try and impress someone with your “Best Side” – you have projected your best image – and thus you have no scope for improvement.

In fact – you will get all stressed out keeping up appearances trying to live up to the hyped-up expectations you have created in the other person – and slowly the “veneer” will start peeling off – and the goody-goody façade will crumble.

Dear Reader – you just read the “happy ending” story above.

I know a story where exactly the opposite happened.

There was a girl from a civilian academic background (her parents were university professors).

They lived in a town where there was a large cantonment nearby.

Most of her schoolmates and friends were daughters of Army officers – and the girl was enamored by Army social life.

The girl got a proposal from a Naval Officer.

The girl was under the impression that the life of a Navy Wife was the same as the good life of an Army “Memsahib” which she had observed in the peacetime cantonment.

The Navy boy came to meet the girl.

Believing in the “First Impression is the Best Impression” dictum – the boy showed his “Best Side” – and he “boasted” a bit about himself – he painted a rosy picture of Navy life – instead of telling her the ground reality.

All this created a glorified image and high expectations in the newlywed girl.

But – after their honeymoon – when they reached Vizag – everything came crashing down.

The boy sailed off on his ship – leaving the girl to fend for herself – all alone – in their “B Type” hired house – at the other end of town – far away from the Naval Base.

Feeling totally isolated, the girl went into a depression – and summoned her parents – who came rushing to Vizag – to help their daughter settle down and tackle reality.

As their marriage progressed – the “first impression” that the boy had created by showing his “Best Side” – this rosy first impression started to slowly crumble away as his negative qualities began to emerge.

After many years of marriage – the girl still feels that the boy “cheated” her by portraying a goody-goody false impression of himself and hyped rosy image of Navy life.

My hypothesis of “Worst First Impression” worked in my Navy life too.

I was posted as faculty in a prestigious inter-service training establishment.

My boss was a Commodore from a landlubber branch who had never met me before.

However – my “spoken reputation” had somehow reached him via the grapevine.

For a month or so – I noticed that he was quite wary of me – he treated me coldly and he kept me at arm’s length.

Then – one evening – at a party – when he was feeling quite happy after a few drinks – he sidled up to me – and he said, “Actually – I have realized that you are quite a good officer…”

Taken aback, I said to him, “Come on, Sir – of course – I am a good officer – why did you think otherwise…?”

“I had heard so many wicked things about you – that you are a difficult officer – but I actually find you to be so good…” the Commodore said – and later – his wife told me that I was his favourite officer – and he trusted me the most among all officers.

So – Dear Reader – whenever you meet someone for the first time – for matchmaking – for dating – at the workplace – for any long term relationship – beware of the dictum: “First Impression is the Best Impression” – and don’t get too carried away trying to make the “best impression” – since you may find it difficult to live up to such a ‘perfect’ image in later life.

When you meet someone for the first time – never try to “impress” anyone – just be your natural self – in fact – show a bit of your darker side – so that there is always “scope for improvement” later.

And for those of you who are going in for an “arranged marriage” – when you meet your “prospective spouse” for the first time – the first question you must ask him (or her) is: “Tell be about your weaknesses and your faults…”

Remember: “Worst Impression is the Best Impression”.

There is always scope for improvement if you project your “worst” impression

But there is no scope for improvement if you project your “best” impression – in fact, there is always pressure to live up to the “perfect” image you have created – and ultimately, this mismatch will cause stress and distrust in your relationships.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
1. This story is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the 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.

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Posted by Vikram Karve at 3/20/2015 04:16:00 PM

HOW TO STEAL YOUR FRIEND’S HUSBAND aka A HUSBAND – A WIFE – AND THE “OTHER WOMAN”

March 18, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: A HUSBAND – A WIFE – AND THE “OTHER WOMAN”.

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

A HUSBAND – A WIFE – AND THE “OTHER WOMAN”
A Love Story
Short Fiction
By
VIKRAM KARVE

DRAMATIS PERSONAE
Rohan – The Husband
Lata – The Wife
Nisha – The “Other Woman” (Narrator of the Story)

A HUSBAND, A WIFE, AND THE “OTHER WOMAN” – Love Story by Vikram Karve

I look at myself in the mirror.

I do not like what I see.

My face looks terrible – my skin, my lips, my eyes – they all look haggard.

And my eyebrows, my hair – they look unkempt.

Everything about me looks awful.

To put it bluntly – I look horrible.

I desperately need to go the beauty parlour.

I must have a good makeover to make myself presentable.

Today is Sunday.

I’ll go to that exclusive beauty salon near Churchgate – and I’ll get the full works done – from head to toe.

My mobile phone rings.

It is Rohan.

If it was anyone else – I would have rejected the call – or ignored it.

But since it is Rohan – I pick up my cell phone – and I say, “Hi Rohan. What happened? Calling so early in the morning?”

“It’s 8 o’clock,” Rohan says.

“It’s Sunday – I just woke up – I was about to brush my teeth,” I say.

“Oh – I am sorry – but I wanted to come and see you. Are you free? Can I come now – or should I come later?” Rohan says.

If it was anyone else – I would have told them to come later – because I would not want them to see me in my horrible unsightly state.

But with Rohan it is different – with him – I can be myself.

“Come over,” I say, “I’ll brush my teeth and shower. I should be ready by the time you drive down.”

“I am standing outside your door,” Rohan says.

“What…? You are already here?” I say, surprised.

“Yes – if you want – I’ll go down and wait for you in the lobby,” he says.

I look at myself in the mirror once more.

I really look ghastly.

But it is okay.

As I told you before – with Rohan – I can be myself.

“Hey Nisha – what happened…?” Rohan interrupts my train of thoughts.

“Just wait there – I am coming to open the door,” I say.

I disconnect Rohan’s call on my mobile phone – and I walk towards the door.

I open the door.

Rohan looks all dressed up, freshly bathed, smelling good.

“You look good,” I say.

“You look terrible,” he says, “and you are reeking of rum – in fact, you smell like a distillery.”

“I know – I drank too much rum last night. Rohan – you please sit down – I’ll quickly have a shower and get ready,” I say.

“Hey – I picked up some hot idlis and coffee for you on the way. Why don’t you have some coffee first to cure your hangover?” Rohan says, taking out a parcel and a flask from his ubiquitous backpack.

“No – I haven’t even brushed my teeth – just give me a few minutes to freshen up…” I say.

When I come out of my bedroom – I see that Rohan has already laid out the plates with the idlissambar and chutney.

“Should I pour the coffee?” he asks.

“Not now – we’ll have coffee after we eat,” I say.

“Okay,” he says.

“So – what brings you here so early in the morning?” I ask.

“Nothing – I just felt lonely…” Rohan says.

“Lonely…? Where is Lata…?” I ask.

“She has gone to play golf,” Rohan says.

“Golf…? Here at the club…? Why didn’t you go to play with her…?” I ask.

“No – not here – Lata has gone to some fancy golf course near Pune…”

“Really…? But you could have gone with her…”

“She did not want me to come…”

“What…? Lata did not want you to go with her…?”

“Yes – she did not want me to go with her…”

“But why…?”

“She feels embarrassed by me…”

“Embarrassed…? What are you saying…?”

“She is out of my league now – so she feels embarrassed that I am her husband…”

“Just shut up – you are talking all nonsense…”

“No – it is true – ever since she joined that MNC – my wife is ashamed of my ‘middle class mentality’ – especially in front of her bosses and colleagues…”

“I can’t believe it – ‘middle class mentality’ – what does she mean by that…?

“Well, I don’t know – you better ask her that…”

“So – what happened…?”

“Yesterday afternoon I came back after a long sailing – I wanted to spend some together at home – but Lata had to go for this corporate party – all the top bosses of her company have come over for a review from abroad – so I tagged along – I am sure Lata did not want to take me along – but her boss insisted that she get her ‘sailor’ husband…”

“So you enjoyed the party…?”

“Yes – the party was good – excellent booze and delicious food – but I got into an argument with a drunken ‘firangi’ who was speaking derogatory things about India – so Lata got miffed because I was rude to him…”

“Rude…? Argument…? Why…?”

“The snobbish bugger was criticizing everything in India – I listened for some time – but when he crossed all limits and continued talking ill of us – I gave it back to him nice and proper…”

“Good…”

“What do you mean ‘good’…? The ‘firangi’ bugger turned out to be a big shot – he is the ‘Top Man’ in Lata’s MNC – so Lata kept apologizing to him for my behaviour…”

“But why has Lata gone outstation to play golf…?”

“Well – all the top bosses of her company have come from Singapore, Hong Kong – from all over the world – and when they learnt the Lata played golf – they invited her to come along with them – they are going to play a round of golf – and then all the company bigwigs will spend the evening partying at the golf resort – I think it is more of corporate networking than golf…”

“But you could have gone with her – doesn’t Lata come for all our Navy parties? It was rude of her boss not to invite you – especially when you play golf so well…”

“Her boss did ask me to come along for the golf trip. But before I could say anything – Lata told him that I was working today…”

“But why should she do that…?”

“I told you – didn’t I …? Why are you asking me again and again…? Lata feels embarrassed of me in front of her office colleagues – she feels that I lack ‘social graces’ – and she is especially angry after what happened last evening when I gave it back to that ‘firangi’ guy – she is scared I may open my big mouth and say something that may offend her top bosses. So she has pushed off to enjoy the weekend with them and left me high and dry. I am feeling terrible…”

“Come on Rohan – cheer up – let Lata play golf with her bosses – we’ll spend the day together… ”

“I never thought Lata would become so ambitious – she has become desperate for success – and the way she is behaving nowadays, it looks like she will do anything to get it – she may even sleep with that bloody ‘firangi’ top boss…”

“No – don’t say that – I know her – Lata is a simple girl…”

“Oh, yes – Lata was a simple small town girl – but that was before we got married – now she has changed – especially after joining this MNC. Now – Lata feels that she has overtaken me in status – she feels that she has gone way ahead of me – and now she is out my league…”

“Out of your league…?”

“Tell me Nisha – you know Lata’s background – what was she before marriage? Wasn’t she a bloody rustic ignoramus ‘plain jane’…? Whatever she is today is because of me…”

“Well, that is true, Rohan – Lata was just a nondescript BA from an unknown small town college. Yes – you are right – what Lata is today – it is all because of you…”

“I was the one who encouraged her to do her MBA…”

“I remember…”

“And tell me – had she ever seen an officers’ club in her life – and golf – who taught her golf – would she ever have got an opportunity to play golf had she not married me…?”

“Lata always wanted to marry an officer – and she was desperate to escape from her backward hometown and live in modern society – she told me that…”

“And you fixed her up with me…?”

“Her parents asked me if there was a suitable boy I knew – preferably an officer – and I told them about you – and then all of you arranged the marriage…”

“When I asked you to marry me – you refused…”

“Well – at that time – I did not feel it was right for me to marry a fellow officer – I thought ‘in-service marriage’ would be like fraternization…”

“Ha Ha – ‘in-service marriage’ – that’s a load of bullshit – and what bloody ‘fraternization’ are you talking about? Most of the female officers are marrying male officers. And it’s the same in the army and air force too…”

“I know. No civilian wants to marry a ‘fauji’ female – even my own relationship broke up because of this…”

“You were in a relationship…? We are such good friends and you never told me about this before…”

“It happened much before I met you – even before I joined the academy…”

“So – who was it…?”

“He was my classmate at IIT – in fact – after B. Tech. – both of us were placed at the same IT company at Pune – and we worked in same Software Development Project – they even sent us abroad to the US for a few months for onsite work – that is when we got close – so when we came back to India we started dating each other…”

“So – why didn’t you get married to him…?”

“Because – in a burst of jingoism – I decided to join the Navy…”

“You didn’t tell him…?”

“At first he thought I was joking – then when the SSB call came – he told me not to go – but I said I was just going for fun – but then I got selected – and I decided to join the Navy…”

“So – what happened…?”

“He was furious – and he dumped me…”

“He dumped you – why…?”

“He said that he did not want a ‘gun-toting’ wife – and that having a ‘fauji’ wife did not fit into his life plans. He pleaded with me not to join the navy – he asked me to continue in the Software Firm – he said that he had plans for both of us – we were being sent to the US again in a few months – and then we both would both to stay on in America forever…”

“And then…?”

“I made the biggest mistake of my life – I quit my lucrative and promising software job and joined the navy – and I lost everything…”

“Lost everything…? What do you mean…?”

“On the personal front – my boyfriend dumped me – and on the career front – I was doomed to teaching algebra and geometry to newly recruited sailors…”

“Algebra and geometry…? What are you saying…?”

“Well – after the academy – the first posting they gave me was to the sailors’ basic training unit – and what do Education Officers do anyway – teach sailors – or look after libraries like I am doing now – you know – had I stayed on as a Techie in the IT industry – I would have been working in a top software job in Seattle – happily married and all…”

“Seattle…?”

“Yes – that’s where he is – actually he had discreetly talked to our clients about a job for me too – so that when both of us went to Seattle for our next onsite assignment – we would quietly switch over jobs after a few months – and remain there…”

“Wow…”

“And – suddenly – like an impulsive fool – in a fit of jingoism – I joined the Navy. He was so angry with me – that after dumping me – he got married to one of our colleagues – must be on the rebound – but anyway – both of them are doing well out there. And what did I do…? I screwed up my life nice and proper by joining the Navy. Just imagine – I was doing well as a Techie – I had great career prospects – I was going steady with a boy I liked – I had everything going for me – and now – everything is finished – my life – my career – everything…”

“Come on Nisha – don’t say that – things are not that bad – and you should reduce your drinking – and why do you drink all alone in your cabin – at least you can go and drink in the wardroom bar, or in the club, and make some friends…” Rohan says.

“Friends…? Where can I find friends to drink with in the bar…? All my course-mates are married – and no young bachelor wants to date a 34 year old hag…”

“You are 34…?”

“Yes, Sir – I am 2 years older than you – you joined straight after graduation – I worked for 3 years after my engineering and then I joined the navy…”

“It is surprising – we are so close to each other – but you never told me all this about being dumped before…” Rohan says.

“Maybe I never felt so lonely before…?”

“Lonely – you are feeling lonely – that is exactly how I am feeling – lonely. In fact – it was because I was feeling so lonely that I came here so early in the morning…”

“But why should you feel lonely…? You are married…?”

“What marriage…? Lata is busy with her job – and her obsession to break the glass ceiling. And in any case, Nisha – marriage or no marriage – I am certainly going to be very lonely for the next 2-3 years – and the worst part is that even you won’t be there…”

“Why…? What are you saying…?”

“I have got my first command – but the ship is based in Port Blair…”

“Wow – you’ve got your command so fast – you should be celebrating…”

“I know – but Lata is refusing to come with me to Port Blair…”

“Her job…?”

“Yes…”

“She can take a few years off – a ‘sabbatical’…”

Rohan starts laughing – and in a sarcastic tone – he says, “Lata taking a ‘Sabbatical’ – are you crazy or something? Aren’t you hearing what I am saying all this time…?”

“Why – what happened…?”

“Forget about taking a few years off – Lata has bigger plans – she is planning to relocate to Singapore – she is desperately lobbying for a prized job at the company headquarters there – and I am sure she is going to get what she wants – why do you think all this ‘golf diplomacy’ and partying is going on…?”

“But what about your family life…?”

“What family life…? First, she postponed having kids till she completed her MBA. Then – she wanted to wait till she settled down in her career. And now – it looks like she will be off to Singapore – while I languish all alone in Port Blair. I don’t think she is interested in having kids – or in family life – in fact, sometimes I feel that Lata has no use for me now – she has used me as a stepping stone – and now she is busy in her career rat-race on her way upwards to break the glass ceiling…”

“Why don’t you talk to her…?” I say.

“I did…”

“And…?”

“Lata asked me to quit the Navy…”

“She asked you to quit the Navy…?”

Yes – Lata told me that she is quite sure she would get that coveted job in Singapore – and then she had the audacity to tell me that she would wangle some job in HR for me out there…”

“So what’s wrong…? At least you two can stay together…”

“But why the hell should I quit the Navy and take up some insignificant nondescript HR job and play second-fiddle to her? I like the Navy – and I have got my ship command so early – I have a bright future here…”

“Yes – at least you have a future in the Navy – but for me – both my personal life and career are screwed up nice and proper…” I say.

“Why…? What happened to your career…?” Rohan asks.

“Don’t you know…? My 10 years are getting over soon – and I will be out of the Navy – high and dry…”

“You can sign up for 4 years more…”

“And do what…? At least now I am a 34 year old hag – I still have a chance of finding someone – 4 years more – and I will become a 38 year old shrew – and the way things are going – I may land up becoming ‘alcohol dependent’ as well…”

“Maybe you can find someone in the Navy…?”

“Do you have someone in mind…?”

“Anyway – let’s talk something better,” Rohan says, “I am leaving for Port Blair on Thursday. Today is the last Sunday we have together – so let us have a good time – you get ready fast – let’s go for the morning show at Eros or Regal – both the movies are good – then we can have lunch wherever you want – and maybe after that we can go to the races…”

In the evening – when we were walking on Marine Drive – Lata called up Rohan to tell him that she would be coming home only the next morning as she had to attend a campfire party with her company bigwigs at the golf resort. Lata also told Rohan that she was getting the Singapore job which she had desperately wanted and she had spoken about his HR job too.

I looked at Rohan.

He looked disappointed – and he said, “See – I told you – this is the last Sunday before I leave for Port Blair – and – instead of spending some time with me – she is busy furthering her career.”

I marveled at the metamorphosis in Lata.

The way she had transformed herself from a simple, small-town girl into an ambitious careerist was incredible.

Yes – now – as Rohan was saying – Lata was indeed putting her career before her marriage.

Lata is my friend.

I do not want to steal her husband.

But if Lata wants to throw her husband into my arms – then there is nothing I can do about it.

Yes – if Lata wants to throw Rohan into my arms – then I am quite willing to have him there.

Next morning – the moment I reach office – I tell my boss that I want to sign up for 4 more years.

“That’s good,” the Commodore says, “but you have already spent 3 years here in Mumbai – and if you sign up for an extension – you may have to go on a transfer.”

“Sir – is it possible to get a choice transfer?” I ask.

“I’ll try – tell me – where do you want to go…?”

“Port Blair…” I say.

“Are you sure…?” the Commodore asks, looking surprised.

“Yes, Sir – I want to go to Port Blair,” I say.

“Well – Port Blair shouldn’t be a problem at all – consider it done – I am so happy that lady officers like you are volunteering for tough stations like Port Blair…” the Commodore says – and he picks up the phone to make a call.

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

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


First Posted by Vikram Karve at 

blogspot.in

3/09/2015 06:14:00 PM

WOMEN IN THE INDIAN NAVY (and INDIAN ARMED FORCES)

March 16, 2015

WOMEN IN THE NAVY (AND DEFENCE SERVICES)
Gender Equality is a Myth
Musings of Retired Military Veteran
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Women Officers have been in the Indian Navy for 25 years now – enough time for “settling down”, “acclimatization”, “gender integration” etc.

It is high time women officers are given permanent commission and inducted in all branches of the Indian Navy and deployed on ships, submarines and all aircraft and made to undergo the same training and duties as their male counterparts.

All duties (at sea and ashore) should be “gender neutral” and there must be absolutely no difference in duties and service conditions between men and women officers.

Till that happens – inducting women in the Navy will be perceived to be an act of “tokenism” – trying to be “politically correct” – and as a “gender welfare” measure”.

All modern Navies have women officers and sailors sailing on ships on sea and on air combat duties.

Yesterday I saw on TV – a program on a US Navy aircraft carrier – showing interviews with women officers/sailors on USS Carl Vinson (30% of crew is women – there are more than 800 women officers/sailors on board the warship) – the aircraft carrier is deployed on operational duties.

There was a Lieutenant Woman Navy Fighter Pilot deployed on dangerous frontline combat missions carrying out air strikes against ISIS.

Another woman Commander who was commanding a Minesweeper, employed on hazardous minesweeping duties, was also interviewed.

Both women naval officers were married, had children, and were away from their families for over 2 years.

Many women sailors from various branches were also interviewed – and one could see that there was absolutely no difference between men and women as far as duties were concerned – yes – all jobs on board the ships were “gender neutral”.

After viewing the program, one was convinced that there was true “gender equality” in the US Navy.

Why don’t we have a similar situation the Indian Navy?

Unfortunately – in the Indian Navy – though women officers may be willing for seagoing combat duties on warships – will the “patriarchal” Admirals steeped in the “old mould” allow them to do so?

It is probably the same state of affairs in the other defence services too – women are willing to join all arms/services (including combat arms) – women are willing to undergo the same tough training and hardships as male officers – and women are mentally ready to perform hazardous frontline combat duties – but Generals with antiquated attitudes and old-fashioned mindsets will not allow women officers to demonstrate their full military potential by giving them the same opportunities as their male counterparts.

The Proof of the Pudding is the Eating.

Instead of imagining fictitious “worst case” scenarios and making all sorts of hypothetical assumptions – the Navy Top Brass should deploy women officers on sea duties on warships, submarines and seaborne aircraft – and see what happens.

Military Top Brass should do the same and deploy women officers on full-scale combat duties and Counterinsurgency/Internal Security Operations – and then see the actual performance of women officers on ground.

Why are Military Top Brass underestimating Indian Women and assuming that Indian Women are not fit for Combat Duties without giving them a chance to prove themselves – at sea, in air and on the battlefield.

Also – let’s see when Indian Armed Forces start inducting women as soldiers, sailors and airwomen.

If US Navy can have women sailors on ships – why can’t the Indian Navy?

Till both these things happen – as far as “gender equality” in the Navy (and defence services) is concerned – India will remain backward and way behind most modern developed nations.

Gender Equality in the Indian Navy (and Armed Forces) is a long way off.

MY HUSBAND IS HAVING AN AFFAIR – TETE-A-TETE WITH MY HUSBAND’S GIRLFRIEND

February 21, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: HAPPENSTANCE – TETE-A-TETE WITH MY HUSBAND’S GIRLFRIEND.

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

HAPPENSTANCE
TETE-A-TETE WITH MY HUSBAND’S GIRLFRIEND
Short Fiction – a naughty love story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

From My Creative Writing Archives : 

Here is a zesty Mumbai story I wrote around 15 years ago, in the year 2000, after a browse in the Jehangir Art Gallery at Kalaghoda in Mumbai.

I saw two women in an animated conversation – and suddenly this story was conceived in my mind – so I went home and wrote it.

I am sure you will enjoy this naughty romance…

TETE-A-TETE WITH MY HUSBAND’S GIRLFRIEND – naughty story by Vikram Karve

“Excuse me, are you Urvashi Mukherjee by any chance?” a feminine voice said from my right.

I turned my face and looked at the smart young woman wearing a red top and dark blue jeans.

The woman was not ‘fair and lovely’ in the conventional sense.

But she looked very desirable, in a sensual kind of way.

Chic and sexy, flowing hair, with just the right amount of make-up, she exuded confidence.

And as she looked at me with those wonderfully radiant, large and expressive dancing eyes, I felt a strong attraction for her, even though I too was a woman.

“Yes. I’m Urvashi Mukherjee,” I said.

“Hi… I’m Babita. Babita Khanna,” she said.

“Sorry Ms. Khanna, but I don’t think we’ve met before.”

“Sad isn’t it? But I know everything about you my dear Urvashi,” she gave a vivacious laugh.

Then she reached out to my arm displaying a rather impulsive and gratuitous intimacy and said to me, “I recognized you instantly, the moment I saw you. You look exactly like you do in your photograph…”

“My photograph…?” I asked, pulling away my arm.

“Yes. You look lovely. You look exactly as in the photo Milan keeps in wallet.”

Photo? 

Milan? 

I did not like the way she said “Milan” 

How dare she casually refer to my husband in such a familiar manner, and that too by his first name.

And she had called me Urvashi too …

I was truly flabbergasted. 

Who was this woman? 

Why was she acting so intimate and talking to me on first name terms? 

And how had she seen my photo in Milan’s wallet?

“You know Milan?” I asked

“Of course. We work in the same office. Hasn’t Milan told you about me?”

“No. I don’t think so. At least I don’t remember.”

“That’s surprising. Well, I know everything about you. But you know nothing about me” she said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

She looked at me, and in a rather patronizing manner, she said: “Milan should have told you about me. He’s told me everything about you.”

“Milan has told you everything about me?” I repeated.

“Yes. He always talks about you,” she said.

I was taken aback, quite bewildered.

I did not want to talk to this woman.

So I turned my face away from her and looked straight ahead at the painting in front of me.

Then I turned towards her and said, “Well, well. Quite intriguing. Milan has told you everything about me. But he hasn’t told me anything about you!”

“Hey, Milan didn’t tell me you were an art-buff. I never imagined I would run into you here – at the Jehangir Art Gallery.”

“I’m no aficionado,” I said, trying to sound sarcastic, “I’m just killing time here till it stops raining.”

“Aficionado? That’s a good one! I never imagined you’d speak such highbrow English considering you’ve studied in a vernacular school,” she said sarcastically.

This insult was too much. 

Anger began to rise inside me.

But the woman persisted, and she said, “You know Urvashi, Milan keeps telling me of your hilarious malapropisms when you were newly married.”

“I’m sure he has told you about our honeymoon too?” I blurted out in anger.

I instantly regretted my words, the moment they left my mouth.

“Of course I know everything about your hilarious honeymoon,” she said with a mischievous smile.

“What?” I asked, stunned.

She smiled and said, “He told me about the way you got all sozzled on your first night on the beach in Goa when he mixed Feni in your juice hoping to remove your inhibitions.”

Now I was really furious.

I did not want to talk with this woman any longer.

So I said, “Good Bye, Ms. Khanna. It must have stopped raining outside. Time for me to go. I’d hate to come in between the beautiful paintings and a true connoisseur of art like you.”

“Hey. Come on. I’m no connoisseur of art. I too ran in here to take shelter from the heavy rain,” the woman laughed.

Then she said, “And listen – don’t call me Ms. Khanna, just call me Babita. I’m calling you Urvashi isn’t it?”

“Okay. Nice talking to you,” I said, and I walked out of the gallery hall into the foyer of Jehangir Art Gallery.

It was still raining.

So I stood at the entrance looking out towards Kalaghoda waiting for the rain to stop.

To my horror I noticed that the woman had followed me and was standing next to me which made me feel quite uneasy and uncomfortable.

She was a real mystery.

How come Milan had never mentioned her?

He always told me everything about his life. 

That’s what I had thought. 

At least till now.

I had plans for the afternoon and did not want this woman clinging to me like a parasite.

“Let’s go shopping,” the woman said, as if reading my mind through clairvoyance. 

“No. I have got some important work,” I said.

She looked at me with a curious expression and said, “Work? What work will you do all alone at home?” 

So she knew.

Milan had told her even that.

I looked at her firmly and said, “I’m really not keen on shopping right now. Besides I have to get home early. We’re going out for a movie and dinner tonight.”

“No, you aren’t,” she said confidently

“What do you mean we aren’t? He’s already bought the tickets.”

“Maybe he has bought the tickets, but Milan is not going to turn up before midnight. You can take my word for it.”

“He promised me,” I said defiantly.

“Promises are meant to be broken. He won’t come. He’ll be busy doing my work since I have taken the day off. And then he has to go to a business dinner.”

“Doing your work? Business Dinner?” I asked, flabbergasted.

“Don’t delve too much,” she said

“What nonsense? I’ll ring him up right now,” I said, and took out my mobile phone.

“No point trying to call Milan now,” she said, “his mobile will be switched off right now. He’ll be in a meeting. But don’t worry. Milan will ring you up at around six to cancel your movie date and dinner programme. He’ll tell you he has to work late. Of course, Milan won’t mention the ‘business dinner’ part though.”

“Business dinner? How do you know all this?” I asked, confused and angry.

She winked and said, “I told you. Milan tells me everything. There are no secrets between true friends.”

Friends? 

True Friends? 

Milan and this woman called Babita Khanna who I had never heard of before?

This was getting murky.

First she was a colleague.

Now she’s suddenly become a friend of my husband … a true friend … just imagine … she is a true friend … and me … what about me?

The whole thing was bizarre. 

It was incredible and unbelievable.

No secrets between Milan and his girl friend.

But plenty of secrets between Milan and me, his lawfully wedded wife.

The rain was down to a drizzle. and she said, “Come let’s go shopping. And then we’ll enjoy ourselves. We’ll go to all your favourite places. And we will do all the things you like.”

I wondered why she was doing this to me? 

Why was she chatting me up? 

What was her motive? 

Was she trying to tell me something?

Was this really a chance meeting, a pure coincidence, happenstance, serendipity?

Or was it a contrived coincidence?

I had to get to the bottom of it all.

So I said to the woman: “Okay Babita. Let’s go on a date. I want to find out whether Milan has really told you everything about me.”

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

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


This story written by me in the year 2000 and posted online earlier in June 2006 in my creative writing blogs at urls:
http://creative.sulekha.com/happ… 
and 
http://vikramwamankarve.blogspot…

Posted by Vikram Karve at 2/21/2015 12:17:00 PM

Documents Required for ECHS Claims

February 6, 2015

Vikram Karve:

Instead of using E-Governance Initiatives – Armed Forces ECHS is regressing to bureaucratic paperwork and red tape.

Originally posted on DESA Blog:

It is observed that a number of claims for reimbursement of medical expenditure through ECHS are not accompanied by all the required documents. This leads to rejection of claim or delay due to protracted correspondence.

All the veterans are requested to attach the following documents with their claims for reimbursement of medical expenditure through ECHS:-

Note: All documents (Bills, Discharge Summary, Report) to be stamped and sign by hospital authorities.

1. Contingent bill with revenue stamp & sign

2. Application to OIC for Reimbursement

3. ECHS Card’s Photocopy

4. EIR/Referral from Reception (with in 48 Hrs)

5. Emergency Certificate

6. Discharge Summary

7. Bills Summary

8. Bill break up

9. All reports (X-Ray & Lab Reports etc.)

10. Payment Receipt

11. Cancelled Cheque.

12. Stent Invoice, Cover & Implant Invoice (only cardio & other case)

13. Drug Certificate (Drugs/Consumables more than Rs 1000/- per drug)

Hope this benefits the veterans

View original

26 JANUARY – A Story For Republic Day – Blog Fiction

January 25, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: JANUARY 26 – Republic Day Story.

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

In the occasion of Republic Day, here is a story from my Creative Writing Archives.

I wrote this story 2 years ago on the eve of Republic Day – on 25 January 2013 – to be precise.

I feel it is still relevant.

Do tell me if you like it.

Wish You a Happy Republic Day 26 January 2015.

JANUARY 26
Republic Day Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

January 26

Republic Day of India.

6:30 AM.

A cold morning.

A woman sits on a bench on the solitary platform of Girinagar Railway Station.

She looks at her watch.

Then she looks towards the Railway Track.

She has a worried expression on her face.

The Station Master comes out of his office holding two flags, one green and one red.

He sees the woman and smiles at her.

The woman gets up from the bench and asks the station master, “Is the shuttle late?”

“Yes, the shuttle has been delayed. The express train is being stopped here. The shuttle has been detained at the outer signal and will arrive here after the express train goes away.”

“Oh, My God…!!!”

“What happened?” asks the station master.

“I don’t want to be late for the Republic Day function in our school,” the woman says.

“What time is the function?”

“7:30. The normal school time.”

“Oh.”

“I hope I will reach in time,” the woman says anxiously.

“I don’t think so,” the station master says.

“Why? What happened?” the woman asks.

“Well, normally the shuttle leaves here at 6:25 and reaches the Junction at 7:10,” the station master says.

“That’s right. And it is just a 10 minute walk down to school. I’ll reach in time even if my train is a few minutes late, isn’t it?” the woman says.

The station master looks at his watch, then looks at the woman, and he says, “Well, I really can’t say. From here to the junction, it is 45 minutes running time for the shuttle train. The express is expected to arrive at 6:45 and will be detained here for about 10 minutes. By the time the shuttle arrives and leaves it will easily be 7 o’clock. Even if it makes up time, the shuttle train will not be able to reach the junction by 7:30. And then, you still have a 10 minute walk to school. I don’t think you will be able to reach your school by 7:30.”

“Oh, My God. I will be in trouble if I am late for the Republic Day function. It will be so humiliating,” the woman says in an anxious voice with nervousness written all over her face.

“You have got a first class pass, haven’t you?” the station master asks.

“Yes,” the woman says.

“Then don’t worry. You can travel by the express in the air-conditioned coach. I will tell the TTE to permit you. The express will take less than 15 minutes to reach the junction and you will be there latest by 7:10 and you can easily reach your school well before 7:30.”

“Thank you so much.”

“What ‘Thank You’? You are like my daughter. This is the least I can do for you.”

“Why is the express stopping here?” the woman asks.

“The express train is being stopped here for Colonel Ashok,” the station master says.

Suddenly the telephone rings and the station master rushes inside his office.

The woman closes her eyes and remembers the station master’s words:

“The express train is being stopped here for Colonel Ashok”

Those words slice through the woman’s heart like a knife slices through butter.

“So Ashok is a Colonel now. A big shot. Big enough to get the express train stopped for him at Girinagar where even the fast passenger does not halt,” the woman says to herself.

Then the woman is filled with hate and regret.

As the woman remembers her days with Ashok – her thoughts become bitter – and she says to herself:

“Had it not been for the scheming bitch Menaka who mesmerized Ashok with her enticing charms and stole him away from me – today I would been Mrs. Ashok – Yes, it is me who should have rightfully been Mrs. Ashok – I would have been a Colonel’s Wife – a Memsahib.”

Suddenly, the shrill whistle of the diesel engine of the express train disturbs her train of thoughts and the express train arrives on the platform.

The air-conditioned coach stops right in front of her. 

In the door of the coach stands Menaka, Ashok’s wife.

Menaka sees the woman on the platform and smiles at her.

But the woman does not return the smile. 

The woman turns her face away from Menaka.

But the woman furtively looks at the door of the air-conditioned coach with the corner of her eyes trying to catch a glimpse of Ashok.

The big show-off that he is, the woman is sure that Ashok will be all dressed up in his resplendent army uniform strutting like a peacock.

But there is no sign of Colonel Ashok.

Instead she sees a young officer in army uniform getting down from the train with Menaka.

Then both of them  Menaka and the young army officer  start walking together towards the end of the train.

“Come on, get in fast,” the station master motions her towards the door of the air-conditioned coach. 

The Station Master says something to the TTE.

The TTE tells the woman to go inside and sit on Seat No. 30.

She sits on Seat No. 30.

A family – a man, a woman and a small boy sit on the seats around her.

There is a jerk, the tug of the engine, and the train starts moving and picks up speed.

The woman looks at her watch.

6:50.

She heaves a sigh of relief.

She will be well on time for the Republic Day function.

The TTE arrives to check her pass.

The woman asks the TTE: “Why did the train stop here?”

“To detach the refrigerated van at the end of the train,” the TTE says.

“Refrigerated van?” the woman asks.

“The refrigerated van was carrying the body of an army officer who died in action and sacrificed his life for the nation. The dead army officer’s widowed wife was sitting right here on Seat No. 30 – the same seat where you are now sitting,” the TTE says.

“Army Officer? Dead?” the woman asks.

“His name was Colonel Ashok,” the man sitting in front says.

“Ashok? Colonel Ashok?” the woman asks with disbelief.

“Yes. The brave martyr’s name was Colonel Ashok. And hat’s off to the courage of the Colonel’s wife. Despite losing her husband the courageous lady was so poised and calm. It is because of the supreme sacrifice of such brave soldiers and their families that we can celebrate Republic Day … ”

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

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

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



This Story is a Revised Version of My Story Earlier Posted by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at 1/25/2013 10:08:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Posted by Vikram Karve at 1/25/2015 11:41:00 PM

HOW TO MAKE MONEY IN THE STOCK MARKET – A Story of a Punter and an Investment Banker

January 18, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Money – THE PUNTER AND THE INVESTMENT BANKER.

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

HUMOUR IN MONEY

From my Creative Writing Archives:

Here is a fiction short story I wrote 4 years ago, in the year 2011, on a day the stock market was fluctuating wildly. 

Have a Laugh.

THE PUNTER AND THE INVESTMENT BANKER
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

He was not a Bull. 

He was not a Bear. 

He was a Punter. 

Yes, that is why we nicknamed him: “Punter”.

He did not bother about gobbledygook like fundamentals or technicals. 

He did not have an inkling of financial algorithms and risk heuristics.

He never “analyzed” the share market – he just speculated by sheer gut feeling.

He instinctively knew how to time the market. 

That is why he always made money – whether the stock market boomed or it crashed.

He had made so much money that he could have retired and enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle.

But then, he had got addicted to making money by playing the stock market.

Yes, he got a kick out of “making” money rather than “enjoying” his money

So despite his advancing years he kept on playing the market with more and more vigor and he continued to make more and more money. 

Earlier, in the good old days, he would spend his entire time in the “ring” at the Stock Exchange on Dalal Street. 

Now he would sit all day, all stressed up, in his room, glued to his TV, flipping all the financial channels, his fingers on his laptop or smartphone for instant online trading via the internet. 

He had no interests, no hobbies, no pleasures, no loves.

He just enjoyed one thing – playing the stock market and making money. 

One day his lifestyle took its toll and he had a massive heart attack. 

They rushed him to the best hospital in Mumbai.

The doctors said he would require a bypass surgery. 

So they admitted him to the best room in the hospital. 

Instead of relaxing there, he sat whole day watching the stock-market channels on the wall-mounted TV, doing feverish online trading on his smartphone – and he continued making a lot a money and he was very happy.

But the doctors were not happy.

The doctors said that all this share-market business was causing him a lot of excitement which was not good for his already erratic heart.

So one morning they suddenly removed the TV and his smartphone and they even banned all visitors except me, his best friend, and his son, who was a successful investment banker.

“Total rest,” the doctors warned all of us, “he needs total rest, both mental and physical, and only then will he be able to stabilize and be ready for the surgery.”

It was the first time he had to suffer a day of total rest isolated from the outside world.

It was the worst day of his life. 

The entire morning he kept asking about stock prices and asked me for my cell-phone to connect up and find out, but I refused since we were told to strictly isolate him from that world. 

I could realize that he was passing through hell – unimaginable mental agony at not getting information about the stock market – the very thing that had been his bread and butter – even the raison d’etre of his existence.

After lunch he dozed off.

Then he suddenly he woke up, and he asked me, “What is the time?”

“2:30,” I said.

“Good. There is still time. I want to speak to my son,” he said.

“He is coming at 4…” I said.

“No. I want to speak to him now. It is urgent,” he said.

“Your son will be busy now, in his office…” I said.

“I told you it is urgent. Just get him on the phone…” he said excitedly, his breathing getting heavy.

“Okay. Okay. Calm down,” I said. 

I dialled his son’s mobile number.

Soon his son came on the line.

I asked him to speak to his father.

“Sell all shares,” the man shouted at his son via the mobile phone.

“What?” I could hear his son’s surprised voice.

“Don’t ask any questions. You just do what I say. Sell all my shares – do you understand – sell all my shares – everything. Do it now. Today. Before the closing bell. Sell everything online. Right now. You know the user id and password of my trading account, don’t you…” the old man shouted to his son.

“Okay, Papa,” I could hear his son’s voice, before he disconnected.

The old man kept on pestering me to ring up his son and confirm, so I rang up his son half an hour later.

“Yes, Papa – I have sold all the shares in online trading,” the son confirmed.

The old man seemed tremendously relieved and he went to sleep peacefully.

That night, at home, sitting before my TV set, I watched with concern as all the share-market experts on the financial channels predicted that the market was very solid and bullish.

All financial experts recommended that everyone buy shares as the market was going to go up and up and up. 

“Invest … Invest … Invest … Buy … Buy … Buy …” all the experts said in unison.

The market was at an all time high but things were looking so good that it was going to rise phenomenally and your investment would probably double in a few months – all the experts predicted. 

The experts kept quoting analysis in technical jargon I never understood to substantiate their predictions.

Next morning the stock-market crashed

It was the biggest fall ever in the history of the share-market. 

Most investors were wiped out. 

Everyone incurred huge losses – except the old man and me.

Did I say: “The old man and Me?” 

Yes, the “Punter” and Me seemed to be the only two people who had made a profit in this stock-market crash.

Dear Reader – you’re surprised – aren’t you? 

Let me tell you what I did. 

The moment the Punter had finished speaking to his son, I went outside the room.

I called up my broker and told him to immediately sell off all my shares.

The Punter must have made a huge profit selling off all his shares just before the stock-market crashed.

And, as always – playing along with him – I too had made a small fortune by selling off the few shares I had. 

As always – I had blindly followed the Punter.

And, as always – I had profited by blindly imitating whatever he did in the stock market.

The Punter heard the news of the stock-market crash from a careless nurse.

The Punter got so excited on hearing the news of the share-market crash, that he almost went crazy with excitement and happiness thinking of the huge amount of profit he had made. 

The frenzy of ecstasy caused his blood pressure to go haywire – his heartbeats ran amok – and suddenly – the Punter collapsed and died.

I gave a condolence speech at the old man’s funeral in which I praised him profusely.

I told everyone how I had made a fortune in the stock-market by just following him blindly.

Later, the old man’s son took me aside, and he asked me, “Did you really sell all your shares?”

“Yes,” I said, “I had blind faith in your father.”

“I wish I had blind faith in his mysterious ways. But I am an investment banker. I don’t go by gut instinct, like my father did. I analyze things. I never imagined the stock market would crash so badly. In fact I thought the market would go up and it would be foolish to sell such excellent blue chip shares,” the young man said.

I looked at Punter’s son, and I asked him, “Are you trying to tell me that you did not sell all the shares as your father had told you to do?”

“No. I never sold those shares. I am big fool. Had I listened to my father and sold all the shares, I would have made a big fortune. But I did not sell those shares,” the young man said, with a tone of regret in his voice.

“I cannot believe it. You never sold the shares? Not even a single one?” I said.

“No – I did not sell even one single share,” he said.

“Then why did you lie to your father that you sold all the shares?” I asked.

“Because I wanted him to die happy,” he said, “I lied to my father because I wanted my father to die a happy death.”

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

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

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



This Story is a Revised Version of My Story THE PUNTER written by me 4 years ago in the year 2011 and earlier posted by me online in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 25 May 2011 Posted by me Vikram Karve at5/25/2011 11:38:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Posted by Vikram Karve at 1/19/2015 01:18:00 AM

ARE NRI CHILDREN ASSETS or LIABILITIES?

January 3, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: NRI CHILDREN – ASSET or LIABILITY?.

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

NRI CHILDREN – ASSET or LIABILITY?
Short Fiction – An Apocryphal Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

My peer group comprises my classmates from school and college, my ex-navy and ex “fauji” military veteran buddies, and my friends, all in their late 50’s or early 60’s.

Whenever we meet, I realize that one notable fact pertaining to my peer group is that almost everyone has NRI children.

[I use the term NRI (Non Resident Indian) quite generically for all Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) settled abroad, including those who have adopted citizenships of their host countries]

At one such gathering, I met a friend – my school classmate.

She was an “NRI Mother” – or to put it correctly – she was the “mother of an NRI daughter”.

Her only child, a 27 year old married daughter, had settled down abroad in America with her husband.

“Nice to see you after a long time,” I said to my friend.

“Yes – I was abroad for almost one year – in the US,” she said.

“America? Wow!” I said.

“Last year, my daughter got pregnant – so she called me to America to look after her during her pregnancy days – and then, after her delivery, she wanted me to stay and look after the baby – so I stayed on there in the US for almost 6 months,” she said.

“Isn’t it our tradition that daughters come home, to their mother’s place, for their first delivery? Your daughter could have come here to Pune for her delivery,” I said.

“Are you crazy or something?” she asked.

“Why?”

“My daughter wanted her child to get US citizenship by birth. If the baby is born here in India, how will the baby get American citizenship?”

“Oh!” I said, “So you stayed there in America for 6 months after her delivery, did all the baby care, and then came back,” I said.

“Yes – but my daughter called me again for child-care “nanny” duties, till her baby was old enough for day-care, since she wanted to get back to work – it was important for her career that she started working as quickly as possible,” she said.

“So you went to America again?”

“Yes – for 6 months – till the baby was almost one year old,” she said.

“Oh – but now it is finally all over – and you’ll be staying here in Pune now…” I said.

“No – I am going again…” she said.

“You are going again to America…? Why…?”

“My daughter’s job is very hectic – so she wants me to do “nanny” duties and look after her child.”

“But your daughter’s child must be around one year old now – can’t the child be kept in a day-care centre?”

“I don’t know,” my friend said, “but my daughter insisted that I come because she wants her child to be looked after properly by me – so that the child imbibes our culture.”

“Culture…?” I said, astonished – and as I recovered my wits – I noticed that an old lady had walked over and joined us.

I knew the old lady – she was my friend’s mother.

I knew the old lady’s husband (my friend’s father) too.

My friend – their daughter – was their only child.

The old couple lived in a beautiful bungalow in the Lonavala – a picturesque hill station near Pune – and I had once visited them over there a few years ago.

I did not see the old lady’s husband around, so I asked the old lady, “How is uncle?”

“You don’t know…?” the old lady asked me.

“What…?”

“My husband died 3 months ago…” the old lady said.

“Oh – I am very sorry…”

“It’s okay – he was 84 years old – but he was absolutely fit till the last day. Though I miss him very much, one consolation is that he died when he was fit and healthy…” she said.

I did not say anything.

The old lady looked at me, and she said to me, “And by the way – I have shifted to an old age home…”

“Old Age Home…?” I asked, shocked.

“What to do…? I cannot live in that huge secluded bungalow all alone…” the old lady said.

“But why go to an old age home…? Why don’t you live with your daughter in Pune…?” I asked.

“Of course I would like to live with my daughter,” the old lady said, “given a choice, I certainly would not like to live in an old age home – but do I have a choice…?”

I did not say anything – I just kept looking at the old lady, not knowing what to say.

Seeing the confused look on my face, the old lady said, “Didn’t my daughter tell you? Her daughter, my granddaughter, has called her to America for babysitting and nanny duties – she will be away in America for 6 months – and then she may have to go back to America again and again – for the next delivery – and babysitting and nanny duties for the next child – so who is going to look after me here? I am 80 now – so it is better for me to live in an old age home…”

I looked at my friend, and wondered at her predicament.

On one side stood her recently widowed mother, pleading not to be sent to the old age home.

On the other side stood her daughter, beseeching her to come to America to take care of her baby.

She had a duty to look after her old widowed mother.

But she felt the strong pull of motherhood towards her daughter.

She was torn between her loyalty to her mother and her love for her daughter.

And in her case – her motherly love for the daughter had prevailed over her filial duty towards the mother.


EPILOGUE

Persons of my generation, in their 50’s and 60’s, who are parents of “NRI Children”, are in a Catch-22 situation.

They are expected to look after their parents, who may be in their 70’s and 80’s.

But their “NRI Children” also have “expectations” from them – especially from their mothers – during childbirth for “midwife” duties, and later, for baby care and surrogate parenting “nanny” duties.

That is why I often wonder:

Are “NRI Children” an asset or a liability?

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

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


Posted by Vikram Karve at 1/03/2015 03:35:00 PM

“HAPPY” NEW YEAR – a story before you freak out at your New Year’s Eve Party

December 30, 2014

“HAPPY” NEW YEAR
(Do read this story before you freak out at your New Year’s Eve Party)

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/12/happy-new-year.html

“HAPPY” NEW YEAR
A Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

From my Creative Writing Archives:Here is a story I wrote 8 years ago on New Year’s Eve – on 30 December 2006, to be precise.I think it is worth a read before you head for your New Year’s Eve Party…

“HAPPY” NEW YEAR – a Story By Vikram Karve

She licked the salt from her hand and drank the shot, in one go, then had a long swallow of beer that met the tequila’s burn as it rose.

Everyone clapped and cheered.

With that one act she had crossed the barrier.

She was no longer the rustic girl from the mofussil.

Now, she was one of “them”.

No longer would she have to hear those derisive jeers and taunts which pierced her heart – dehati, behenji etc – for now she would “belong”.

“Hey, Mofussil Girl, that’s not the way to have a shot,” Cute Girl said.

“Please don’t call me Mofussil Girl,” she said.

Then Mofussil Girl looked at Cute Girl.

Cute Girl was one of those sophisticated synthetic urban beauties who looked real chic.

Cute Girl was Mofussil Girl’s role model.

“Then let me see you do a Los Tres Cuates,” Cute Girl said.

“What’s that?” Mofussil Girl asked.

“Come on Mofussil Girl, don’t you know what’s a Los Tres Cuates – ‘The Three Chums’ – The Tequila Slammer?” Cute Girl said.

“No,” Mofussil Girl said.

“It is the best way to drink Tequila. Look, I will show you how it is done,” Cute Girl said.

Cute Girl put some salt on her palm, licked it off, downed the neat tequila shot in one gulp down her throat, picked up a wedge of lime and pressed it between her teeth, biting hard into it.

“See – that is how you do a Los Tres Cuates – now you do it,” Cute Girl said.

Mofussil Girl sprinkled some salt on her left palm and picked up a tequila shot from the bar with her right hand.

“Be careful,” a voice said, “It’s her first time.”

“Oh, come on, Killjoy. She’s a tough girl. She’ll drink all of us under the table,” Cute Girl said.

It was now or never.

Mofussil Girl knew that once she proved her capacity to drink she would gain real respect and acceptance in this crowd and she would truly be one of them.

She downed the shot in one go.

As soon the tequila shot hit the pit of her stomach, a rash of gooseflesh raced up from her insides, tremors reverberated through her body up the back of her neck resonating into her brain and she felt her as if her brain might explode – like a terrible black orgasm.

And then she felt a high – a high like she had never felt before.

Everyone cheered Mofussil Girl.

Then a voice said, “Let’s drink to that,” and they all had a few shots of Tequila – in quick succession – one after another – one after another – shot after shot – till they were swinging high.

“Let’s hit the dance floor,” someone shouted, and propelled by unseen hands Mofussil Girl was in their midst swinging away on the dance floor to the rocking music.

The atmosphere in the disco was electric, fantastic, like she had seen in the movies.

Mofussil Girl felt wonderful, mesmerized, and with her inhibitions dissolved in the alcohol inside her, she let her hair down and danced so unabashedly and vigorously that soon she lost herself in the ultimate state of frenzied ecstasy she had never felt before.

This was the hep, hot and happening way to celebrate New Year’s Eve – not sitting with a pizza and ice cream watching the boring New Year’s Eve programme on TV like she had done for the past few years and like her roommate was doing right now.

Mofussil Girl danced continuously without break.

The dance-floor was packed with bodies, rubbing against each other.

Suddenly, the lights went off and it was pitch dark.

The DJ announced, “Ten seconds left for the New Year.”

And then he began counting: “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” and suddenly all the lights came on and everyone seemed to have gone berserk.

Hooters, whistles, horns, drums, shouts – all had raised the noise level to a din.

Total strangers hugged and kissed Mofussil Girl wishing her a Happy New Year.

The reverberating music, the wildly passionate crowd, the dancing strobe lights, the intense smoke, the fantastic cacophony, her sheer excitement and the intoxicating alcohol inside her – it made Moffusil Girl’s head swim so much that she negotiated her way and swayed across to the nearest sofa and slumped down on it.

Moffusil Girl tried to focus on the dancing couples.

Everything was a bit hazy.

Moffusil Girl’s head began to swim even more and she felt thirsty and reached out for the glass of water across the table.

As she stretched across the table she swayed and rolled back uncontrollably into her chair.

Her stomach seemed to be full of mercury, ice-cold and enormously heavy.

Her face felt hot and beads of perspiration began to appear on her forehead.

She pushed herself forward again, trying to reach the glass, and knocked it across the table.

Her brain began to fade, and she leaned her elbows helplessly on the glass edge of the table and felt her head fall on her wrists.

“You’re okay?” Cute Girl asked.

“I don’t know,” Mofussil Girl said.

“Come,” Cute Girl said holding out her hand, “Let’s get some fresh air.”

Mofussil Girl took Cute Girl’s hand and followed her like a zombie into the dark.

Outside it was cold, and in her drunken haze Moffusil Girl could barely sense the maze of hands groping her, supporting her unsteady body and propelling her towards the car park.

Mofussil Girl felt there were two persons within her as result of the baleful double personality that comes into being through drunkenness – the first acted as if without any brain at all, in a mechanical, vacant manner – and the second observed the first quite lucidly, but seemed entirely powerless to do anything.

“Shove her in the backseat,” a male voice said.

“And you come in front,” the man in the driver’s seat said to Cute Girl.

The car drove off into the darkness.

Hearing a shuffling noise on the rear seat, the driver asked, “Hey, what are you guys up to?”

“Giving her a drink,” a male voice said.

“Be careful, she’s already had too much to drink,” Cute Girl said.

“Just priming her up!”

“It may be her first time.”

“Really? Then she’ll need more priming. I’ll give her one more swig.”

And then the man roughly forced the bottle into Moffusil Girl’s mouth.

“Shall we do it here?”

“No. Not in the car. We’ll go to our usual place.”

“Shit! Bloody Shit!”

“What happened?”

“She’s puking.”

“What?”

“She is filthy drunk! She is vomiting all over me. Stop the car before the whole place is covered in puke.”

They stopped the car.

“She’s badly sick,” Cute Girl said, “It was her first time and she’d had too many shots. I told you not to force booze down her throat.”

“What do we do?”

“Let’s clean her up and go ahead.”

“Shit! She’s still puking. She is vomiting all over the place. It’s bloody nauseating. I have lost it.”

“Disgusting! Let’s dump her here.”

“Here? No. Let’s drop her back,” Cute Girl said.

“Drop her back? Are you crazy? And ruin our New Year’s fun?”

“We’ll get into trouble.”

“She’s so drunk that she won’t remember a thing when she wakes up in the morning.”

So they dumped Mofussil Girl in a desolate spot and drove away to enjoy the New Year.

Wallowing in her stinking vomit and shivering uncomfortably, Mofussil Girl stared vacantly into the dark sky, never so frightened, never so alone.

She wanted to cry – but tears refused to well in her eyes and her throat felt dry.

Her recollections and images of the terrible night were just vivid flashes in a void.

Her head throbbed with pain and her body ached as she retched again and again – puking again and again – till there was no vomit left inside her.

Feeling totally shattered and enveloped by unimaginable agony she lapsed into a zombie-like state of suspended vacuum.

The urbanization of Mofussil Girl was complete.

And at exactly the same moment, Moffusil Girl’s roommate was drifting off to sleep tucked in her comfortable warm bed, after watching the boring New Year’s Eve Programme on TV.

Moffusil Girl’s roommate was full of envy as she imagined her friend Mofussil Girl having a great time at the New Year’s Eve Party.

She wished she had accompanied Mofussil Girl to the grand New Year’s Eve Bash.

Wondering with envy how Moffusil Girl was enjoying her New Year Party, the curious roommate dialled Moffusil Girl’s cell phone number to wish her a Happy New Year.

The mobile phone kept ringing in Moffusil Girl’s puke-drenched purse.

But Mofussil Girl did not answer the phone.

Mofussil Girl did not answer the mobile phone because she was in a drunken stupor, totally inebriated, dead drunk, passed out stone-cold, in a state of unconsciousness, oblivious to her surroundings.

So Moffusil Girl’s roommate sent Mofussil Girl an SMS: “Happy New Year”.

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

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

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Revised Version of My Story written by me in December 2006 and First Posted Online by me Vikram Karve at Saturday, December 30, 2006 in my blog at url: http://vikramwkarve.blogspot.in/…

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