Navy Foundation Pune Charter (NFPC) – The “Alumni Association” for Veteran Retired Naval Officers in Pune

January 20, 2018

Tomorrow – on Sunday – 21 January 2018 – we have a Navy Foundation Pune Charter (NFPC) Meet at Peacock Bay hosted by the Naval Officers of National Defence Academy (NDA) in the beautiful environs of the Naval Training Team “Wardroom” on the banks the picturesque Khadakwasla Lake.

We have NFPC meets once in 3 months – every quarter – and normally – the Winter Meet is held at Peacock Bay – the post-monsoon meet is held at in the verdant environment of INS Shivaji Lonavala (a “stone frigate” – the premier technical training establishment of the Navy) – and – the other two meets are held at convenient locations in Pune.

Dear Reader:

This prompts me to tell you a bit about the Navy Foundation.

So – let me update an article I had written a few years ago and post it for you to read…

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2018/01/re-building-bridges-with-navy-veterans.html

RETIREMENT BLUES 

Re-Building “Bridges” with the Navy By Vikram Karve

Before retirement – when I was in the Navy – there was no dearth of friends.

After retirement – I have zero friends.

I am talking of “offline” friends.

Yes – I do have a large number of online friends – and – even my erstwhile Navy Friends have now become online friends.

In Pune – all my Navy Friends – after retirement – live in remote Military Veteran “ghettos” (so-called “exlusive” residential projects for retired defence personnel) – and – these elite “ghettos” are located in the suburbs of Pune – on the opposite side of town from where I live – and – in view of the terrible Pune traffic – I don’t have the energy to drive 30 kms across town and back – except on special occasions.

And – one such special occasion is the Navy Foundation Pune Charter (NFPC) Meet – which is held once in 3 months.

I make sure I attend all NFPC Meets – of course – to meet my Navy Buddies – and also – to enjoy the stimulating PLD followed delicious lunch.

Now – I look forward to the meet on Sunday at Peacock Bay on the banks of Khadakwasla Lake near Pune.

Meanwhile – here is a piece I wrote on the Navy Foundation a few years ago.

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2018/01/re-building-bridges-with-navy-veterans.html

NAVY FOUNDATION PUNE 

The “Alumni Association” for Navy Veterans in Pune By Vikram Karve

If you are a Naval Officer – after retirement – it is best to settle down in Mumbai – which is the premier Navy Station – or – in a coastal city like Visakhapatnam (Vizag), Kochi, Chennai, Kolkata, Goa etc where there is a Naval presence – or – even in Delhi/NCR – where the mighty “Northern Naval Command” is located.

This is because if you settle down in a landlocked place like Pune after you retire from the Navy – you tend to “burn your bridges” with your erstwhile service.

The only redeeming grace is the Indian Navy Foundation – a purely social organization set up to facilitate fraternal relations between retired naval officers.

Luckily – the Navy Foundation has a “charter” (aka “chapter”) at Pune

Membership is voluntary.

Yes – once you retire – many things become “voluntary” – like it is for civilians.

When I was in service – most things were “compulsory”.

Maybe it has changed now –  but those days – even for Navy Wives – it was compulsory to be a member of NOWA (Naval Officers Wives Association) – later “democratized” and renamed NWWA (Navy Wives Welfare Associaltion).

After retirement – I am glad I became a member of the Navy Foundation – because the quarterly Navy Foundation Pune Chapter (NFPC) meetings are the best occasions for meeting and renewing bonds with my former Navy buddies.

Whenever I go for these NFPC get-togethers I feel something like a  “Yossarian”  of  Catch-22  – yes – I feel like Yossarian who is one of the most frequent visitors to the officers’ club that he had not help build.

I am sure you have read the iconic war novel Catch-22.

Let me “jog” your memory about this hilarious yet insightful episode about Yossarian and the Officers’ Club in Pianosa.

In something akin to “Shramdan” – officers are encouraged to build their own clubs.

(If you have served in the Military – you would be familiar with “Shramdan”)

However – Yossarian – who is proud of his ability to avoid work – he contributes nothing to help build the club – he does not go for even a single day to work on building the officers’ club.

But once the officers’ club is ready – Yossarian visits the club almost every day – and he makes maximum use of the facilities – which he had not helped build.

Let me quote a paragraph from Catch-22 which encapsulates this sentiment (paraphrasing/emphasis mine):

“Actually there were many officers’ clubs that Yossarian had not helped build – but he was proudest of the one on Pianosa. 

It was a sturdy and complex monument to his powers of determination. 

Yossarian never went there to help until it was finished – then he went there often – so pleased was he with the large, fine, rambling shingled building. 

It was a truly splendid building – and – Yossarian throbbed with a mighty sense of accomplishment each time he gazed at it – and reflected that – none of the work that had gone into it was his…”

For me – like Yossarian – it is a similar equation with the NFPC .

As far as I am concerned – “effort-wise – I contribute “nothing”.

But – I participate in all get-togethers most enthusiastically.

We had three excellent NFPC get-togethers in Lonavala – wonderful days – like picnics – a nostalgic walk down memory lane for many Navy veterans who reminisced about their halcyon training days at this picturesque location.

We also had a few memorable meets at Peacock Bay on the shores of Khadakvasla Lake near the National Defence Academy (NDA) – hosted by Naval Officers of NDA.

Around one year ago – on 29 Jan 2017 – we had a lovely meet at the same picturesque venue – and the hospitality, entertainment and food surpassed the previous meets.

At all these meets – the distinctive Naval efficiency, superlative hospitality and caring courtesy shown to us Veterans – all this demonstrates how much young Naval Officers and Sailors genuinely care for its Veterans.

(I observed the same Navy spirit of genuine care and courtesy towards Veterans during my recent visit to my professional alma mater INS Valsura Jamnagar for the Stone Frigate’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations)

When I was in service – I remember us hosting get-togethers of Navy Foundation at IAT Pune at the Naval Jetty (Sailing Club) on the eastern bank of Khadakwasla Lake – sometime in the 1990’s.

In Pune – on of the favourite venues for NFPC Meets was Atlantis

Sadly – there is no Navy Wardroom (Navy Officers Mess) or Navy Institute/Club in Pune.

And – in the past – officer-bearers of NFPC have had harrowing experiences running from pillar to post trying to negotiate the red-tape while dealing with the Army to get other Military Venues for NFPC Meets.

So – thanks to “jointmanship” demonstrated by the “Pongos” – the NFPC officebearers found it more convenient to organise Navy Foundation Meetings in Pune at ATLANTIS – which is conveniently located – and much more flexible to deal with – with zero red-tape – and better off in all respects – especially food-wise and ambience-wise – or even at venues like Corinthians Club – where one meet was held .

Of course – some officers of the “old-mould” insisted that NFPC meets be held in a Service Officers Mess – so – a few meets were held in the Army Sub Area Officers Mess – but – the ambience and food was not as good as Atlantis or Corinthians Club.

The best thing about these Navy Veteran Meets is the egalitarian atmosphere – with a total absence of the rank-consciousness one sees while in service – since – after retirement – all veterans are civilians – equal in status – and now – instead of rank – it is age that is respected.

As I said earlier – after retirement – our only connection with the Navy is the Navy Foundation – and Navy Veterans look forward to NFPC meetings where you can bond, interact and network with your erstwhile Navy buddies while regaling each other with delightful anecdotes of the “good old days”.

If you are a Navy Veteran Officer in Pune – I look forward to meeting you at the next Navy Foundation Pune Charter Lunch Meet on 21 January 2018 at Peacock Bay.

So – if you are an Indian Navy Veteran Officer – and happen to be in or around Pune – please be there.

NAVY FOUNDATION 

How the Indian Navy Foundation for Veteran Navy Officers was Born 

Maybe – for the benefit of Navy Veterans who do not know about the genesis of Navy Foundation – it would be a good idea to share an interesting article by a distinguished erstwhile Navy Chief Admiral JG Nadkarni on the Navy Foundation for Veteran Indian Navy Officers.

I came across this informative article on the Birth of the Navy Foundation on the website of the Navy Foundation Mumbai Charter at url:

http://www.navyfoundationmumbaicharter.in/birth_of_the_foundation.html

I am posting the article below for your convenience and easy reading…

Birth of The Foundation by Adm JG Nadkarni

The idea was Ram Tahiliani’s. He had just returned from an official trip to the United States. Whilst there, he had been greatly impressed by the Veterans’ organisation in that country. I was his Vice Chief. After returning he asked me if a similar organisation could be started for the Indian Navy in India. I was told to look into it and come up with a proposal.

We examined it from all angles. To be effective it would have to be a Naval Headquarters’ baby. It would have to be fully supported by the Navy in all aspects. At the same time each Unit would have to be totally autonomous. Naval Ex-servicemen are notoriously touchy. Having been subjected to orders all their lives they are averse to be dictated again now that they have retired. Moreover some of the officers were very senior and had to be handled and treated with respect. Anyway, we decided to go ahead and institute an organisation for all Ex-servicemen under the patronage of Naval Headquarters.

We considered many options for a suitable name. It had to be unique and easily acceptable. Such names like “Navy League”, “Navy Association” were considered and rejected for one reason or another. Finally, we hit upon the idea of “Navy Foundation”, which was unanimously accepted.

Various models lay before us. The Indian Air Force has an “Air Force Association” which is open to all Air Force personnel. Somehow we felt that this would not be suitable for us. The class system is still prevalent in India and we had seen what happened in some of the Air Force-Navy housing schemes. We decided that the Navy Foundation should be only for the retired officers of the Indian Navy.

It is one thing to start a body and quite another to make it work. There were already in existence various well established organisations started by retired naval officers. There was the “Navy League” in New Delhi, another body called the “Anchor Hold” in Bombay. In Pune there was the “Retired Naval Officers’ Association”. These were thriving organisations, who met regularly, had activities, bank accounts, Presidents and Chairmen who were reluctant to give up their positions, dissolve the bodies and join the Navy Foundation.

During the next two months I visited various places, held meetings with their members and tried to convince them that joining the Navy Foundation would be beneficial. Most bodies were reluctant at first. Their biggest worry was that Naval Headquarters would start dictating terms and they would end up being one more directorate of NHQ. I convinced them that each body would be totally autonomous and except for one annual meeting there would not be any interference by the Navy in their day to day functioning. Moreover, NHQ would act as the go between with the Government for various problems faced by Ex-servicemen.

One by one the organisations started seeing reason and decided to merge themselves with the Navy Foundation. Some refused and exist even today as parallel organisations. In Pune Admiral Soman headed the Retired Naval Officers’ Association. He readily agreed and was very enthusiastic. In Bombay the association was headed by Commodore Chatterji. He was reluctant at first and took a lot of persuasion but agreed eventually. I am really happy that the original assurance given by us has been meticulously observed by the Navy. There has been no interference, dictating or coercion on these groups.

The next phase was to start “Charters” in various areas where retired naval officers had settled in large numbers. Such Charters were started in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Kochi and Calcutta. Later more Charters were added.

I realized that to really get the Charters going, some assistance from Naval Headquarters would be necessary. Commands were persuaded to make a room available as offices for each Charter. In November 1987, I took over as CNS. I decided that the funds raised in the Navy Ball of 1987 would be distributed to various Charters as seed money for initial financial assistance. We raised nearly Rs. 7 lakhs in that Navy Ball and this money was distributed. Rs 1.5 lakh each to big Charters and Rs. 1 lakh to small Charters.

In 1987, when I was the VCNS we started a magazine called “Quarterdeck” for Ex-servicemen. We roped in then Commander Uday Bhaskar, the Navy PRO and the late Tappi Koppikar to be the first joint editors. Its first issue was a roaring success. It won a prize for the best magazine in its category. On the establishment of the Navy Foundation it became official magazine. Successive editors have improved and embellished it. It is distributed far and wide and veterans look forward to each issue.

During my travels around the country and meetings with naval veterans, I had realized that all servicemen have problems about their welfare, pay, pensions etc. Many of these had landed on my desk when I was COP and a full time body was required to deal with these. When I decided to establish a full time directorate to deal with ex-servicemen’s problems and feed them with current happenings in the Navy. Each year we held a get-together of ex-CNSs and other officers and gave them briefings on operations, personnel and other aspects of the Navy. Today the Directorate of Ex-servicemen’s Affairs is doing excellent work and acts as a conduit between the veterans and NHQ.

The first annual meeting was held in NHQ under my chairmanship and a constitution was approved. We were able to clear many apprehensions and doubts about the Foundation.

Today, the Navy Foundation is a going body and Charters are well established.

Today, the Navy Foundation is a successful and dynamic organisation. Various Charters are doing excellent work in keeping alive the bonds and camaraderie established during our time in the Navy. There is a total absence of rank consciousness or hierarchy. They have regular get-togethers, illuminating lectures and picnics. Many establish bodies to help widows. The Mumbai Charter has even got a marriage bureau for children of Ex-servicemen!

Ram Tahiliani would be happy that his dream of 1987 has now become a reality…!!!

———————————————————–

Bye for now.

If you are an Indian Navy Veteran Officer – in or around Pune – I look forward to meeting you at the forthcoming Navy Foundation Pune Charter Lunch Meet on Sunday 21 January 2018 at Peacock Bay on the banks of the cool blue waters of Khadakwasla Lake with a view of the imposing Sinhagad Fort stading as a sentinel in the distance across the lake.

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/2018/01/re-building-bridges-with-navy-veterans.html

This post is an abridged updated consolidated extract of my articles earlier posted by me at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/10/navy-foundation-pune-alumni-association.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/retirement-blues-burning-bridges-with.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/navy-veterans-meets-re-building-bridges.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/03/navy-foundation-pune-alumni-association.html

The “Nightie”

January 20, 2018

Most Naval Officers are Smart and Debonair. 

I am an exception. 

I am a puritanical simpleton and quite a prudish dope. 

This resulted in some rather amusing incidents. 

Here is one such delightful story from my early Navy Days…

THE “NIGHTIE” 

Romantic Memories of my Wonderful 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.in/2017/07/the-chic-woman-in-haute-couture-lingerie.html

MY SHIPMATE’S GLAMOROUS WIFE

I was – I still am – an old fashioned prude – and – I am a bit puritanical by nature.

Let me tell you a hilarious anecdote – a result of my rather prudish behaviour – which happened long back when I was a young officer in the Navy.

It was the evening of the “Navy Ball” – the much awaited grand finale of the Navy Week in Mumbai (then called Bombay).

It was decided that all ship’s officers who did not live in the Navy Township (NOFRA) would assemble with our wives in the home of a shipmate who lived in NOFRA near the Navy Command Officers Mess – the venue of the Navy Ball.

We could park our scooters/motorcycles near his house.

(Yes – those days most Navy officers had scooters/motorcycles – since they could not afford cars)

We would then all walk down to the Navy Command Mess Lawns for the Navy Ball.

Accordingly – my wife and I reached my shipmate’s house half an hour before the commencement of the Navy Ball.

Some officers and wives were already there – some trickled in.

Our shipmate had generously opened a bottle of Rum – and he told us to help ourselves while they got dressed.

My shipmate came out of his bedroom smartly dressed in the distinctive Navy Formal Evening Uniform – Dress No. 6 – “Monkey Jacket” – Bow Tie – Miniature Medals – Cummerbund – and all.

He said that his wife was getting ready.

It was almost time for the Navy Ball.

We were anxiously waiting for his wife to get ready.

After some time the bedroom door opened – and my shipmate’s wife stepped out.

I was most disappointed to see that she had still not got ready.

I observed that she was still in her inner clothes.

So – I blurted out to her:

“What is this – Ma’am…? The Navy Ball is about to start and you are still in your underwear”…?”

“Underwear…? my shipmate’s wife said – looking at me with an expression of total shock.

I realized my mistake – so I said to her:

“Sorry – I meant to say “Lingerie. We are getting late – and you are still in your lingerie”…”

“Lingerie”…? she gasped in astonishment – it seemed as if she was even more stunned.

Maybe – I had used the wrong word again – so I corrected myself – and I said to her:

“Actually – I meant to say “Nightie”…

When she heard the word “Nightie” – I could see her shock turn into anger.

She was looking at me with blazing eyes.

She pointed towards the skimpy dress she was wearing – and she shouted at me:

“You are calling this a “Nightie”…? 

This is a haute couture designer dress. 

Do you know how much money I spent on this exclusive custom-made dress…? 

I had never heard the term “haute couture” before.

So – I mumbled: “Haute Couture…? 

There was a deathly silence all around.

I looked at my shipmate’s wife with regret in my eyes – and – I put on a contrite expression on my face.

She was looking at me in a strange sort of way – as if thinking something in her mind.

After some time – I saw the expression on her face change from anger into anxiety.

And soon – the expression on the face of my shipmate’s wife changed drastically – from anxiety – her expression changed into one of panic.

My shipmate’s wife looked at my wife – then – she looked at the other ladies.

Suddenly – my shipmate’s wife said in panic:

“Tell me – is this dress really looking so bad…?”

After that – my shipmate’s wife burst into tears – and she ran back into her bedroom.

The fact of the matter was that my shipmate’s wife was very chic, stylish and fashionable.

She had got this most fashionable skimpy western style dress exclusively “made-to-order” from a top designer (“haute couture”) especially for the Navy Ball.

Being an old-fashioned simpleton prude – I thought my shipmate’s wife was wearing a “Nightie”.

I did not realize that it was not a “nightie” that she was wearing – but an exclusive haute couture latest fashion skimpy dress – which she had got specially made for her by a leading fashion designer.

My wife gave me a glaring look and she told me to disappear – lest I say or do something even more stupid – that would further aggravate matters.

Then – my wife and the other ladies went inside to console my shipmate’s wife.

It was decided that all the gentlemen would proceed for the Navy Ball – and – the ladies would join later.

I apologized to my shipmate:

“I am very sorry – I did not mean to insult your wife.”

“Oh, come on – forget it…” my shipmate said, “In fact – after hearing your comments – I almost burst out laughing myself.”

“But your wife must be angry with me…?” I said.

“Don’t worry – she’ll be okay – she spent a fortune on that designer dress – that is why she is so upset…” he said.

Later – the ladies joined us in the Navy Ball.

My shipmate’s wife was the centre of attraction in her “haute couture” skimpy fashionable dress.

Indeed – she looked very sexy in her alluring dress.

I wanted to apologize to her for my earlier “faux pas for calling her lovely “haute couture” dress a “nightie”.

I wanted to tell my shipmate’s wife that she looked very sexy in her exquisite new dress.

But – my wife had given me strict instructions to keep my mouth shut.

So – I kept my mouth shut – and – I did not compliment my shipmate’s wife on how chic and glamorous she was looking in her gorgeous “haute couture” dress.

EPILOGUE

Many years later – my wife was shopping in the Ladies’ Garments Section of a famous Mall in Pune.

I was just hanging around.

Suddenly – I saw the same chic and fashionable lady – my ex-shipmate’s glamorous “haute couture” wife – standing near me.

Yes – it was the same lady who had worn the “haute couture” skimpy fashionable dress to the Navy Ball (which I thought was a “Nightie and had even called “Lingerie”)

She looked very fashionable and “tip-top” as ever.

She recognised me.

I wished her.

She smiled back.

“My wife is in the trial room…” I said.

“Oh…? I must meet her…” she said.

I looked at elegant “haute couture” lady – and I said to her:

“Ma’am – I want to ask you a favour…”

“Sure…” she said.

I pointed to the colourful “nighties” hanging nearby on a rack – and I said to her:

“Ma’am – if you don’t mind – can you please help me select a “Nightie” for my wife…?

My wife likes “half nighties” – short “nighties” – like these “nighties” over here on this rack…”

My ex-shipmate’s stylish “haute couture” wife burst out laughing – and she said to me:

“These are not short “Nighties” – these are “Kurties” – or “Tops” – but – they are certainly not “Nighties” 

And – by the way – these are not “Lingerie” either…!!! 

Ha Ha – so many years have passed – but you are still as “clueless” as ever – aren’t you…?”

I smiled at her.

She started laughing.

I joined her in her laughter.

I knew that she had forgiven me for my “faux pas on that Navy Ball Evening – many years ago.

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/the-chic-woman-in-haute-couture-lingerie.html

Updated Re-Post of my Story titled FAUX PAS First Posted by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog in April 2014 at 4/26/2014 08:09:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/04/faux-pas-hilarious-memories-of-my.html and in Nov 2014 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/11/my-shipmates-chic-wife-hilarious.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/06/humor-in-uniform-chic-haute-couture.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/nightie.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/poodlefaking-haute-couture-navy-wife.html and https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/haute-couture-lingerie-nightie.html etc

Bloggers Should Stop Demanding/Expecting Freebies 

January 20, 2018

The Woman in the Red Dress

January 19, 2018

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

During these 6 best years of my life – I lived in a building called EMPRESS COURT – in the “Art Deco” District – opposite the Oval. 

Empress Court is my all time favourite home – the best house I have ever lived in during my entire life. 

In the evenings – I would browse books in the  Oxford Bookstore next door – yes – I spent many delightful hours browsing books on elegant rocking chairs – refreshing myself with delicious cups of invigorating teas in the “Cha Bar”. 

From time to time there would be book launches in the bookstore – which I would love to attend – for literary pleasure – as also – for the delicious snacks and drinks they served after the launch. 

After one such book launch – I came home – and wrote this story – THE WOMAN IN THE RED DRESS 

Yes – Dear Reader – you guessed right – the lovely author whose book was being launched – she was wearing a red dress.

I wrote this story around 15 years ago – in 2002/2003 – I think. 

By the way – this is FICTION – my imagination running wild – as always.

Dear Reader: Do tell me if you liked the story… 

Links  to my source post in this blog: https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/11/01/woman-in-the-red-a-love-story/ and my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/wedding-anniversary.html

THE WOMAN IN THE RED DRESS  – A Love Story by Vikram Karve 

For those who have been lucky to have a “love marriage” – there is an important day to celebrate called “wedding anniversary”.

For me and my wife – surviving a quintessential loveless “arranged marriage” – our “wedding anniversary” is “just another day”.

That is why – instead of romancing each other over candlelight dinner – on our wedding anniversary – my wife and I are browsing books at the bookstore.

Suddenly – my wife says to me:

“Arun  look there…!!!”

“Where…?” I ask my wife.

“Look there – near the window – look at the “woman in the red dress”…” my wife says, pointing her hand.

I look at the “woman in the red dress”.

“Don’t you know who she is…?” my wife asks excitedly.

“No…” I say.

“The “woman in the red dress” – her name is Nisha” – she is the famous romantic author…” my wife says ardently.

Nisha…? I have never heard of her…” I say nonchalantly.

“You come with me…” my wife says.

I follow her towards the bestseller rack near the entrance.

My wife she pulls out a paperback from the shelf – and she shows me the photo of the “woman in the red dress” on the back-cover.

“Yes – it is her…” I say, “now let’s go home.”

“Come on, Arun – let’s go and meet her. I want to get her autograph on this book…” my wife says.

“No…” I interrupt, “she is busy browsing books – and she is a “celebrity”. She won’t like being disturbed – let’s go home…” I say – and I turn towards the exit.

“Please…” my wife says.

“No – there is no need to give so much importance to these authors. Let’s go home…” I say irritably – motioning my wife with my eyes.

“You go home. I am going to meet her and get her autograph on this book…” my wife says.

And – my wife starts walking towards the “woman in the red dress” – who is still absorbed nose-deep into browsing the book in her hand.

I turn away – and I quietly walk into the philosophy section – and browse some self-help philosophy books.

After a while – my wife comes – and she says to me:

“She wants to meet you…”

“Who…?”

Nisha – the author – she wants to meet you.”

“But – I don’t want to meet her…”

But – it is too late.

I see the “woman in the red dress” following my wife – walking towards me. 

Standing bang in front of me – the “woman in the red dress” says to me:

“Hi Arun – remember me…? Don’t you recognise me – I am Nisha – your college girfriend…”

I am terrified –  I am struck dumb, speechless.

I shiver in trepidation – as I stare at the “woman in the red dress” – standing in front of me.

The “woman in the red dress” looks at my wife – and she says to my wife :

“Your husband Arun and Me – we had a really “good time” together in college – we were going “steady” for a long time – yes – your husband and me we were “very close” and intimate – once upon a time…”

My wife looks confused.

I remain silent.

Then – the “woman in the red dress” looks at me – and she says to me:

“Arun – tell me – do you remember all the things we did…? 

Do you remember all the great fun we had together – those intimate moments…? 

Don’t you remember – Arun – or – have you forgotten…?”

I avert my eyes from her gaze.

I look down at me feet.

I wish the earth below me would split and swallow me up.

I remain silent – dumbstruck.

The “woman in the red dress” says loudly to me:

“Hey Arun darling – I am sure you have told your wife all about us. 

Or – haven’t you…?”

She is really digging her fangs into me – like a snake.

Seeing the horror-struck expression on my face – the “woman in the red dress” turns her face towards my wife.

She looks at my wife for some time.

Then – the “woman in the red dress” says to my wife:

“I am really sorry. 

But – I thought there was no place for secrets between husband and wife.

I thought Arun would have told you about me….”

My wife looks at the “woman in the red dress” defiantly.

My wife looks directly into her eyes.

Then – my wife emphatically says to her:

“Of course – Arun has told me everything about you.

Yes – Nisha – I know everything about you and Arun.

He has told me every single thing.

Like you said – there is no place for secrets between husband and wife.

So – my husband has told me everything about his past – about all his girlfriends and affairs – including full details about his affair with you…”

Then – my wife turns to me – and she says to me:

“Shall we go home, Arun…?”

Mesmerized – awestruck – I look at my wife.

For the first time in my life – I feel a flood of love for my wife.

That is the moment I fall in love with my wife.

Yes – that was the moment I fell in love with my wife.

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)

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This story was written by me Vikram Karve more than 15 years ago sometime in the years 2002/2003 and posted online earlier by me in my creative writing blogs a number of times including at urls: http://creative.sulekha.com/how-i-fell-in-love-with-my-wife_74054_blog  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/09/my-favourite-short-stories-part-34.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/01/do-you-remember-moment-when-you-fell-in.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/10/can-there-be-love-in-arranged-marriage.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/05/why-i-love-my-wife-blog-fiction-story.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/11/01/woman-in-the-red-a-love-story/ and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/wedding-anniversary.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/06/woman-in-red-dress.html

Dead End

January 19, 2018

I wrote this story 25 years ago in 1993.

I think this fiction story DEAD END is quite relevant even today.

Do tell me if you like the story…

DEAD END
Short Fiction Story By Vikram Karve 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/10/short-fiction-story-dead-end.html

DEAD END – Short Fiction Story by VIKRAM KARVE 

Manjunath was a contented man.

He was the proud owner of a coconut grove – more than a hundred trees – located on the most picturesque stretch of the western coast – skirting the Arabian Sea.

His land was fertile and the yield was excellent.

Every morning – along with his wife and two sons – Manjunath would cast his fishing nets into the gentle waters of Baicol Bay – and in the evening – when he pulled in his nets with the receding tide – the catch would be adequate – if not substantial.

He would also tend to his coconut grove and the various fruit bearing trees and vegetable shrubs he had planted on his land.

I loved Baicol Bay.

It was a most beautiful and pristine place by the sea.

Sunset – on the western coast – was a special event.

So every evening – I went for a jog on the soft unspoilt beach – and after a swim in the crystal-clear waters – I relaxed on the sands – beholding the fascinating, yet soothing, spectacle – of the mighty orange sun being devoured under the horizon of the sea.

As darkness enveloped – Manjunath would gently appear by my side with a tender coconut in hand.

At that moment, there was nothing more refreshing than sweet coconut water.

The year was circa 1980

I was a fresh, young and idealistic Indian Police Service (IPS) Officer – on my first posting – as Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) of this lovely coastal district.

The air was fresh and unpolluted – and the weather was temperate.

There was no railway line – no industries – and no noise.

The district headquarters was a one-street town.

Everybody knew everybody – the people were peace-loving – and in the prevailing climate of contentment, it was no surprise that the crime-rate was almost zero.

One day – my boss – the Superintendent of Police (SP) – he took me to an important meeting in the District Collector’s office.

As I heard the words of the Collector – I experienced a deep sense of distress.

A notification had been issued and a mammoth Steel Plant had been sanctioned in the Baicol Bay area.

Land Acquisition was the immediate top priority.

The police were to be present to see that the land acquisition process was smooth and to ensure there was no law and order problem.

“But why can’t they locate the Steel Plant somewhere else…? This lovely place will be ruined. And where will the people go…?” I protested.

At first – the Collector appeared dumbstruck by my interruption.

Then he glowered at me with a fierce and threatening stare.

I avoided his gaze and looked around the room.

Everyone was looking at me in a curious manner.

My boss – the SP – was desperately gesturing to me to keep quiet.

“I wonder whose side you are on…?” the Collector snapped angrily, still giving me an intimidating glare.

“Don’t worry, Sir…” the SP spoke, addressing the District Collector, “There will be no problems. The people here are a docile lot. Everything shall proceed smoothly.”

When we were driving back to our office – the SP said to me:

“Joshi – you better tame your tongue and watch what you say – especially in front of others.”

“Sir, you please tell me. Is it not gross injustice…? We pay them a pittance for their fertile land. And then we evict them from their habitat, and destroy the beauty of this place, just because someone decides to set up a set up a Steel Plant here.”

“My dear Joshi – it is in the national interest. Why don’t you try and understand. Everyone who is displaced shall be properly rehabilitated with a job and a house – and they will also get a good compensation for their land.”

“Come on, Sir…” I argued, “You know where we are going to relocate them. The rehabilitation camp is more than twenty kilometres away from the sea front. And we are putting them into small overcrowded multi-storeyed tenements, which are at complete variance from their ethos. These people are used to open spaces, fresh air, and most important – the waterfront, the sea.”

“That’s enough, Joshi…” the SP said angrily, “Your job is to carry out my orders. I want you to take personal charge of this land acquisition operation. The task must be completed smoothly and on schedule. Is that clear…?”

“Yes, sir…” I replied meekly.

That evening I held a meeting with the affected villagers.

Manjunath was sitting in the first row, right in front of me.

I spoke of patriotism – I exhorted them to sacrifice their land for the “national cause” – I told them of the prosperity the Steel Plant would bring into their lives.

To my utter surprise – there was no resistance to the land acquisition.

Everyone seemed convinced – I think because they were simple people who believed every word I said.

But to my own self – my own words sounded insincere – and I felt acutely uncomfortable.

And so – the land acquisition operation began.

An awe-struck Manjunath saw the might of the government on display.

Manjunath watched with tears in his eyes as huge bulldozers destroyed his beloved coconut grove.

He also felt intimidated by the columns of police standing by to ensure that the land acquisition process was done smoothly.

And so – Manjunath lost his land – and was displaced from his home.

But – in lieu of his land – and since he was a displaced person – Manjunath had been promised a job at the Steel Plant which was going to come up on his land.

A few months later Manjunath stood before the employment officer.

The employment officer was in a foul mood.

“These illiterate buggers get jobs on a platter while my matriculate brother-in-law rots unemployed in city…” he complained, “I had promised my wife that I would wrangle at least a Class 4 unskilled labourer, domestic attendant or peon’s job for him out here.”

“Hold your tongue…” the rehabilitation officer said angrily, “These so-called ‘illiterate buggers’ – as you call them – they were landowners, displaced from their own land. They are entitled a job in lieu of their land acquired for this project.”

“Okay, okay. Don’t get hot…” the employment officer said to the rehabilitation officer.

Then – the employment officer looked at Manjunath – and curtly asked him:

“Do you possess any special skills…?”

Manjunath could not comprehend the question – so he just stood silent.

In an exasperated manner – the employment officer snapped at Manjunath:

“Listen. We haven’t got all day. Tell me. What can you do…?”

“Coconuts…” Manjunath answered.

“Coconuts…?”

“Yes, Sir. Coconuts.”

“What else…?”

“Fish.”

“Fish and Coconuts, eh…!!! You will see plenty of them…” the Employment Officer said.

He wrote the word ‘COOK’ beside Manjunath’s name in the register.

And so – in one stroke – Manjunath was transformed from a land-owner into a cook.

First – Manjunath worked as a cook in the ramshackle canteen for construction workers.

And later – as a cook in the huge industrial canteen of the Steel Plant.

But – Manjunath was lucky.

At least – he had become a cook.

Most others became Unskilled Labourers because the skills they possessed, like farming and fishing, were not relevant as far as the Steel Plant was concerned.

And so almost all the “skilled” workers – the tradesmen, all the welders, fitters, machinists, electricians etc – they all came from outside, from faraway places – most of the workforce of the steel plant came from the cities and the urban areas.

And gradually – the complexion of the place began to change.

Soon – I stopped going for my daily evening jog to Baicol beach.

Now – the whole place was littered with debris from the construction work – and the air was no longer pure – but the environment polluted by fumes and dust.

It was no longer quiet and calm – but the noise from the ongoing construction work was unbearable.

And – of course – now there would be no Manjunath waiting for me with a tender coconut in hand.

So – when my transfer came – I felt relieved and happy.

I no longer loved the place – and – more so – I could not bear the pain of witnessing the beginning of the systematic metamorphosis of a beautiful natural paradise into a huge monster of concrete and steel.

Somehow – I never had the opportunity to visit that place for many years.

Then – after 15 long years – I had to go there as a DIG (Deputy Inspector General) of Police.

The place had changed beyond recognition.

The gigantic steel plant – the railway line – the new port – the industries – the ‘fruits’ of liberalization – and the signs of prosperity – modern buildings adorned by adjoining slums – filth and polluted air – all types of vehicles clogging the roads – restaurants and bars – the noise – and even most of the people looked alien.

As we drove down to the police headquarters – the SP said to me:

“It’s no longer the same place when you were here, Sir – things have changed…”

“The crime-rate was zero then…” I said. “What has gone wrong…?”

“There are two types of people now, Sir – the “Liberalised Indian” and the “Marginalised Indian”…”

“And “us”…!!!”

“And “us”…!!!” he laughed, “Yes, Sir – and us – trying to sort the whole thing out.”

I was head of the crime branch at the state police headquarters – and I had been sent down to that place to investigate a series of bizarre murders.

A few bigwigs were waylaid – they had their heads chopped off – and their headless bodies were dumped outside their houses.

It had created such a scare – that my boss had rushed me down.

The car stopped.

I recognized the place at once.

“The common thread, Sir…” the SP said, “All the victims lived in this luxury residential enclave.”

“I knew this place…” I said, feeling a tinge of nostalgia, “There used to be a coconut grove here. This place was acquired for the steel plant. But now I see that it is just outside the perimeter wall. I wonder why they excluded this area.”

“Must be the environment stipulations, Sir…” the SP mumbled, “the 200 meter zone or something. They must have de-notified it.”

“De-notified it…? Don’t give me bullshit…!!!” I shouted, “How the hell has this posh residential complex come up here…? And if the government did not want the land for the steel plant – then why was this excess acquired land not returned back to the original owners…?”

“Sir – this land which was sold by the acre in your time – 15 years ago – now it is priced per square foot.”

“The fruits of progress – is it…?” I snapped.

I could see that the SP was getting confused by my unexpected line of investigation – and he was getting a bit scared too – for I was a DIG.

So – I decided to put him at ease.

“Tell me, Pandey…” I said patronizingly, “What were you before joining the IPS…?”

“An Engineer, Sir – from IIT, Delhi…” he said.

This was no surprise.

Engineers – even Doctors – were joining IAS and IPS nowadays.

I looked at the SP – and I said to him:

“Let me explain in a way you will understand…”

Pandey was looking at me intently.

I paused – and I asked him:

“Do you know the definition of the word system”…?”

“Yes, Sir…” he answered.

“Every “system” has a natural rhythm…” I said, “okay – take this place – for example. All the people here in this “system” – farmers, fishermen, everyone – they all had a natural rhythm of life which perfectly matched the rhythm of this place. And – there was harmony. Then suddenly – we disturb the “system”. We drastically change the rhythm of the place. We create a mismatch. And when the people cannot cope up – we call them marginalised Indians” – as you put it.”

Pandey looked thoroughly confused – so I avoided further rhetoric – and I came straight to the point:

“You are looking for a motive – aren’t you, Pandey…?”

“Yes, Sir…” he said.

“Okay – you consider this. You own some fertile land. We forcibly acquire it – mouthing platitudes like “national interest”, “patriotism” etc. Then – we sit on your land for 15 long years – while you are reduced from an owner to a labourer. And then – one fine day – you find that your beloved land has been grabbed by some land-sharks from the city. What would you do…?”

The SP did not reply.

“Do one thing, Pandey…” I said to the SP, “There is a man called “Manjunath”. He probably works as a cook in the Steel Plant canteen. Bring him to me. He may have some clue – and maybe – he will give us a lead…”

In my mind’s eye – I was thinking of ways of how to get Manjunath off the hook.

An hour later – the SP came rushing into the police headquarters.

The SP looked dazed – as if he had been pole-axed.

“This guy Manjunath – he went crazy…” the SP stammered.

“What happened…?” I asked.

“Sir – when the police party approached him – he was chopping coconuts with a sharp sickle. Suddenly – he slashed his own neck. He died on the way to hospital. There is blood everywhere…” the SP said.

In the morgue – staring sadly at Manjunath’s dead body – the SP commented:

“Sir – just look at the expression on his face. He looks so content.”

“Yes…” I said, “He has reached the “DEAD END”…” 

“Yes, Sir – he has truly reached the “Dead End” …” the SP said, with tears in his eyes.

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 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.
  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/2017/10/short-fiction-story-dead-end.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This fiction short story DEAD END was written by me Vikram Karve more than 25 years ago, in the year 1993.

Later, I posted this story online on my creative writing blogs a number of times, including in this blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/12/dead-end-my-favourite-short-stories.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/01/dead-end-short-fiction-story.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/10/zameen-short-fiction-story-dead-end.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/02/land-acquisition-story-dead-end.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/dead-end-story.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/10/25/the-dead-end-2/ and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/10/short-fiction-story-dead-end.html etc

8 Reasons That Make Ro-Ro Ship Unsafe to Work On

January 18, 2018

https://www.marineinsight.com/marine-safety/8-reasons-that-make-ro-ro-ship-unsafe-to-work-on/amp/

Has the bitcoin bubble finally burst?

January 18, 2018

Check out this story from the NZ Herald 

http://nzh.tw/11977544

Has Bitcoin Bubble Burst…? ☝

The Story of My Navy Beard

January 17, 2018

Last month – in December 2017 – I visited my professional alma mater INS Valsura Jamnagar for the Platinum Jubilee Celebrations of the Stone Frigate. 

There – while walking around the Quarterdeck (Parade Ground) – and looking at the Captain’s Office nearby – I remembered this story… 

THE STORY OF MY NAVY BEARD 

“What if…?”

“What if – I hadn’t joined the Navy…?”

Well – if I hadn’t joined the Navy – three things wouldn’t have happened:

  1. I wouldn’t have become a “drunkard”
  1. I wouldn’t have become a “writer”
  1. I wouldn’t have grown a beard

Yes – I give the Navy full credit for these three things.

These three things wouldn’t have happened if I hadn’t joined the Navy.

However – some things have changed now.

I am no longer a “drunkard”.

I am living a life of strict sobriety for 15 years now – ever since I quit drinking alcohol.

Now – I am more of a “Blogger” than a “Writer”.

Yes – from a “Writer” – I have metamorphosed into a “Blogger”

But – as far as my beard is concerned – there is no change.

I still have my glorious beard.

I grew my beard in January 1978 – and – I have kept my beard continuously for 40 years  – and now – in January 2018 – my beard celebrates its 40th Birthday.

Some of my Navy friends kept growing beards and shaving them off from time to time – but – I loved my beard so much – that I never ever thought of shaving it off.

As I said – before I joined the Navy – I was clean shaven – and – I never imagined that I would keep a beard.

So – the full credit for my beard must go to the Navy.

Why did I grow a beard…?

What prompted me to suddenly take a decision to grow a beard…?

Let me tell you the story of my majestic beard…

JOIN THE NAVY – AND – GROW A BEARD 

Link to my original post in my Writing Blog: https://karve.wordpress.com/2016/09/02/the-story-of-my-majestic-beard/

THE STORY OF MY MAJESTIC BEARD By VIKRAM KARVE

If you are an Unemployed Unwanted Uncelebrated “Retired” Navy Veteran like me – what is the best thing to do…?

Reminisce.

Yes – I can hark back in time and reminisce – and I can talk about my “good old navy days”.

But – what do I do if there is no one to talk to…?

I can write about my unforgettable reminiscences.

Well – that is exactly what I am going to do now.

I will hark back in time to my early Navy days – take you back to the 1970’s – and tell you why – thanks to the Navy – I grew my handsome beard – which adorns my face till today.

By the way – if I had not joined the Navy – I probably would not have kept a beard.

Yes – before I joined the Navy – I was clean shaven – and I had never contemplated having a beard.

But then when you join the Navy – everything changes – and you change – whether it is for the better or for the worse – well – that depends on you!

I remember my first day at the Naval Academy in Cochin (now called Kochi).

The moment we reported to the Academy – an army of barbers descended on us to chop off most of the copious hair adoring our heads – and shave the stubble on our faces.

We were given crew cuts – and our faces were shaven clean.

A few young men did have moustaches – but these moustaches were ruthlessly removed.

At the Naval Academy – even moustaches were not permitted – and all trainees had to be “clean shaven”.

“SEAMANLIKE” APPEARANCE

Dear Reader – before I proceed further with my story – let me digress – and tell you a bit about the navy tradition of sailors keeping beards.

After independence – we imbibed our military traditions from our erstwhile rulers – the British – and accordingly – our Navy adopted the customs and traditions of the Royal Navy.

Hence – even on the subject of moustaches and beards – the Indian Navy had adopted, verbatim, the regulations of the British Navy – which required that a naval officer or sailor had either to have both “beard and moustache” or neither.

This means that you had to have a “full-set beard” (a full beard and moustache).

The beard must be complete – joined from sideburns – covering the entire jawline and chin – and joining the moustache.

A Navy Officer or Sailor had to have a “full-set beard” or nothing.

A moustache on its own was not permitted.

You were required to obtain the approval of your Commanding Officer to “discontinue shaving” or to “continue shaving” – every time you wanted to change your appearance.

If you wanted to grow a beard – you had to put in a request to stop shaving – yes – you had to formally seek permission to “cease shaving”.

If your request was granted – you were allowed three weeks (21 days) to grow your beard.

During this time of 21 days – as the beard grew – the beard grower was not permitted to go ashore or to be seen in public until the Commanding Officer felt that the beard was fit for public viewing.

A Naval Officer or Sailor was required to have a rugged, “full set”, masculine looking, well-developed beard which gave you a macho appearance.

Wispy or wimpy looking beards were not allowed – and “designer stubble” was certainly not permitted.

If the Commanding Officer (Captain) approved of your beard – you were allowed to keep a beard.

But – if your Commanding Officer deemed your beard to be “unworthy of a seaman” – you were ordered to “shave off” your beard.

Suppose you were allowed to have a beard – and – you kept the beard for a few years – but later – if you wanted to shave off your beard – you had to seek permission to “start shaving”.

Beards were not permitted in the Army and Air Force – but you were allowed to keep moustaches.

Yes – if you are in the Army or Air Force – you can either keep your face clean shaven – or you can keep a moustache (without a beard).

I am sure the Army and Air Force have regulations governing moustaches which specify the types of moustaches permitted, sizes, shapes, styles etc.

But – I have seen that the Air Force has a fondness for handlebar moustaches – and so do some Artillery Officers.

Sadly – most officers now prefer the “metrosexual” clean-shaven “chikna” look – in the Navy – and in the Army and the Air Force too.

MOUSTACHES IN THE NAVY

Sometime in the 1970’s – due to pressures from youngsters and to be in sync with prevailing customs – the Indian Navy relaxed the provisions governing wearing of moustaches and beards.

The regulations were amended so that – now – the issue of permitting “moustaches without beards” was left to the Commanding Officer’s discretion.

After these amendments – the Captain could permit officers and sailors to wear moustaches and beards or shave them off, if they so desired.

Moustaches and beard could be worn with or without the beard and moustaches respectively.

Side whiskers (sideburns) were permitted right down to the level of the lobe of the ear.

Moustaches, beards and whiskers had to be neatly cut and trimmed.

Of course – this privilege may be withdrawn in cases of untidy growth.

This relaxation has resulted in many Navy youngsters sporting moustaches.

Of course – the seasoned “sea-dogs” preferred “full-set” beards.

WHY I GREW A “FULL SET” NAVY BEARD

After completing our basic Naval Training – we were sent for our specialization course.

As I told you earlier – consequent to the relaxation of “appearance” regulations – a few young officers had started sporting moustaches – and I too felt like having a moustache.

So – the moment we reported for the specialization course – I applied for permission to grow a moustache.

The Commanding Officer (CO) refused permission for me to grow a moustache.

I protested to my training officer – but he showed me the Navy rules and regulations which stated that granting permission for moustache was the Commanding Officer’s prerogative.

“Sir – suppose I seek permission to grow a beard…?” I asked.

“If you apply for permission to grow a beard – the CO will have to grant you permission – at least for three weeks…” the Training Officer said.

My request to “cease shaving” was promptly granted by the Commanding Officer.

I stopped shaving – and my beard started to grow.

Around 15 days later – during Friday morning Divisions (Parade) – the Commanding Officer – while inspecting the Under Trainee Officers Division – he suddenly stopped before me – yes – the Commanding Officer stopped before me and looked at me.

The Commanding Officer looked at my face – as if scrutinizing it – and he said to me:

“You look good in a beard. Your beard suits you well. Keep your beard…”

This happened more than 40 years ago – in January 1978 – and now – in January 2018 – my beloved beard celebrates its 40th Birthday.

Quite funny – isn’t it…?

I actually wanted to grow a moustache – but – thanks to quirks of the Navy – I landed up growing a beard instead.

But – once I grew my beard – I started liking my beard – and soon – my beard became sacrosanct to me – and I never shaved it off.

I love my majestic beard.

My beard has been my loyal companion throughout my entire Naval career – and now – my beard is my faithful friend in my lonely retirement days

I am proud of my beard.

I am glad I have a beard.

In hindsight – I do not know whether joining the Navy was good for me – or whether I would have done better in the “civvy street”.

But – one thing is for sure.

I owe my beard to the Navy.

Had it not been for the Navy – I may not have kept a beard.

I love my beard.

And as I write this – from time to time – I lovingly caress my lovely beard.

QUOTES ON BEARDS

In conclusion – let me give you 3 quotes on beards:

A woman with a beard looks like a man – and a man without a beard looks like a woman

~ Afghan saying

There are two kinds of people in this world that go around beardless – boys and women – and I am neither one

~ Greek saying

He that hath a beard is more than a youth – and he that hath no beard is less than a man 

~ William Shakespeare

So – Dear Reader – this is the story of my majestic beard…

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/me-and-my-navy-beard.html

Revised Version of my story posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 21 Sep 2014 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/09/why-i-have-beard-humor-in-uniform.html  and on 29 April 2015 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/04/join-navy-and-grow-beard-story-of-my.html  and in Aug 2015 at url:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/navy-memories-why-i-grew-beard.html and in May 2016 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/join-navy-and-grow-beard.html

Humor – The Queer “Married Bachelor”

January 17, 2018

If you go to a Defence Officers’ Mess (or a Navy Wardroom) – you will find two types of “single” officers living/dining in the Mess:

  1. Unmarried Bachelors 
  1. Married Bachelors 

Unmarried Bachelors comprise officers who have never married – or officers who are divorced/widowed.

“Married Bachelors” are of two types:

  1. “Permanent” Married Bachelors 

“Permanent” Married Bachelors comprise “in living” officers who are married – but are staying away from their wives for some reason like wife’s career, children’s education, marital discord etc.

“Permanent” Married Bachelors reside as “single” officers in the Officers’ Mess/Wardroom.

  1. “Temporary” Married Bachelors 

“Temporary” Married Bachelors are Married officers who temporarily dine in the Officers’ Mess/Wardroom – because their wives have gone on a vacation/holiday – or their wives are away at their hometown/mother’s place for confinement/delivery of a baby or for some “back-home-type” family occasion/commitment.

Long ago – around 40 years ago – when I was an “unmarried bachelor” – I once met an inimitable character – a rather peculiar type of “Temporary Married Bachelor”.

Here is the story…

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/07/15/married-bachelor/ 

THE MARRIED “BACHELOR”

A Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve 

THE CURIOUS “MARRIED BACHELOR”

Yes – the story I am going to tell you is about a rather curious “married bachelor” I met long back in the Navy.

Let us call him “X”.

This anecdote happened around 40 years ago – in the 1970’s – when I was a carefree “unmarried bachelor” – and I lived in a wonderful Officers’ Mess with some delightful messmates – most of whom were also “unmarried bachelors” like me.

Now – “X” was quite senior to us – and “X” was very much married.

“X” was not a “Permanent” Married Bachelor who lived in the Officers’ Mess as “single” officers in the Officers’ Mess because of a long distance marriage.

“X” lived a “happy married life” with his wife in married officers’ accommodation.

However – though “X” was “happily” married – he spent every evening with us “unmarried bachelors” in the Officers’ Mess.

“X” would arrive in the Officers’ Mess punctually at 7 o’clock in the evening.

“X” would play billiards with us – then he would come with us to the Officers’ Mess Bar – and he would drink with us till closing time – late into the night.

After enjoying the entire evening with us bachelors at the officers’ mess – “X” would go home to his wife – almost at midnight.

This was his routine every evening.

We felt sad for his wife.

Yes – we felt pity for X’s wife – because of the terribly shoddy manner in which “X” treated her – leaving her all alone at home every evening while he enjoyed with us in the officers’ mess.

“X” was indeed a “misogynist” husband.

“X” took his docile wife for granted.

“X” went out every night to have a good time with the “boys” – while his hapless wife had to spend her lonely evenings at home.

Every evening – his devoted wife would dutifully wait for her husband “X” to come back around midnight – to have dinner.

This routine went on for months.

MELANCHOLIC “MARRIED BACHELOR”

One day – suddenly – without any warning – our friend “X” did not turn up at officers’ mess at 7 PM in the evening.

In fact  – “X” did not turn up the entire evening – he did not come to the officers’ mess at all that day.

We missed “X” during the evening.

We thought he was probably unwell.

But – when “X” did not come to officers’ mess for three successive evenings – we decided to go to his house and see if things were okay.

When we reached his home – we were taken aback to see “X” sitting all alone in the darkness.

In his hand “X” was nursing a drink – which he did not seem to be enjoying.

“X” seemed to be in a state of melancholy.

We were puzzled by his strange behaviour – so – we asked “X” what was the matter with him – why was he sitting all alone in the darkness in such a sad mood.

We asked him why he had not come to the officers’ mess in the evenings – as per his usual routine – for the past three days.

“X” simply said that his wife had gone to her mother’s place for a few days – and – he was feeling lonely and miserable.

It was evident that “X” was badly missing his wife.

“If you are feeling lonely and miserable because your wife has gone away – that is all the more reason you should come to the officers’ mess…” we said.

We asked “X” to come with us to the officers’ mess and cheer up.

We told “X” that – since he was feeling lonely – it would be good for him to spend some time with us in the officers’ mess.

We urged him to come with us to the officers’ mess.

We told him that spending some time in our company – playing billiards – and enjoying a few drinks – would surely raise his spirits – and this would help him forget his loneliness and cheer him up.

Surprisingly – “X” refused to come to the officers’ mess with us.

“X” sullenly told us that he was not in the mood – and that he wanted to be left alone.

So – we left him alone at his home – to “mope and grope” – to “moan and groan” – and to “wallow” in his loneliness.

For many days – “X” did not come to the officers’ mess.

HAPPY “MARRIED BACHELOR”

Then – suddenly – one evening – we found “X” entering the officers’ mess promptly at 7 o’clock in the evening.

There was a spring in his step – and “X” seemed to be happy and full of good cheer.

“My wife has come back…” he said happily.

“X” looked delighted and he seemed very happy.

It was evident that he was very happy that his wife had returned back to him.

And then – like earlier days – “X” thoroughly enjoyed the evening with us in the officers’ mess.

“X” was in a really good mood – he was really enjoying his drinks – and by the time it was bar closing-time – he was “happily drunk”

Then – as per his earlier normal routine and natural style – at midnight – a happily drunk “X” staggered back home – where his wife would waiting for him.

For “X” – it was back to the “good old days”.

Once again – after his wife had come back to him – “X” became his original self – a “happily married bachelor”.

Every evening – the “happily married bachelor” “X” would arrive at the officers’ mess punctually at 7 PM – and spend his time with us unmarried bachelors – enjoying himself thoroughly till midnight – and then – swaying in “high spirits” – he would go back home to his beloved wife.

Strange but true – the moment his wife returned – “X” was back to his old “married bachelor” ways.

Yes – once his wife was back  – every evening – punctually at 7 PM – “X” was seen in the evening at the officers’ mess – enjoying himself thoroughly till midnight.

We were puzzled by his strange behaviour.

When his wife was present – “X” seemed to be bored of his married life – so he left his wife behind at home – and he went out to the officers’ mess to enjoy a good time with the “boys”.

But – when his wife went away – “X” was filled with misery and despair – and he spent his time brooding alone at home in lonely melancholy – longing for his wife to come back.

And – the moment his wife returned back to him – “X” was back to his old ways – leaving his wife all alone at home – while he went off to enjoy his evening at the officers’ mess with us bachelor boys.

MARRIAGE IS A MYSTERY – MARRIAGE IS AN ENIGMA

At that time – I was perplexed at the strange behaviour of “X” 

I never understood this amusing paradox of his marital relationship.

When his wife was away – the husband stayed at home – gloomy and melancholic – and he refused to come with us to the officers mess’.

But – when his wife was at home – the husband would come out of his home – and he would happily spend his evenings in high spirits with us in the officers mess’ – leaving his wife all alone at home.

But – soon – I got married.

And – over the years – as I became “much married” – I slowly began to fathom such inexplicable mysteries in marriage relationships and realised that marriage is a enigma.

That is why – even after more than 35 years of married life – I still feel that – marriage is a mystery – an enigma – and – every marital relationship is unique in its own way.

Once I was married – I began to understand the “curious” behaviour of the inimitable and unforgettable “married bachelor” “X”

After marriage – whenever my wife went away to her mother’s place for a few days – I often found myself in similar “Temporary Married Bachelor” situations – and you would find me sitting at home all alone – gloomy – forlorn – feeling “sad” – missing my wife – “moping and groping” – in lonely melancholy – yearning for my darling wife.

And – the moment my wife came back – I was so filled with happiness – that – I would immediately wear my walking shoes – and – with a smile on my lips – and – a spring in my step – I would step out for an enjoyable walk all by myself – leaving my darling wife all alone to “hold the fort” at home.

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/05/the-married-bachelor.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised updated version of my story written by me Vikram Karve in the year 2010 and earlier posted online by me in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 – Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/13/2013 11:51:00 AM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/08/the-misogynist-husband-and-mystery-of.html and re-posted at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/03/humor-in-uniform-bachelor-boy-story-of.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/07/the-much-married-bachelor.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/are-you-married-bachelor.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/the-happily-married-bachelor.html

Meet the people in NZ’s most isolated town

January 17, 2018

Check out this story from the NZ Herald 👇

http://nzh.tw/11958664

👆 

Most Isolated and Unspoiled Town in New Zealand – this town has no mobile cell-phone connetivity even today 

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