Talk to Me – Please Talk to Me

March 22, 2019

I like to talk to people.

Before retirement – in the Navy – there were always plenty of people to talk to.

After retirement – with Kids having grown up and flown away from the “nest” – and – Wife busy with her career during the day – I am all alone at home – and – since I don’t live in Pune’s “Military Ghetto” – I am friendless – and – I have no one to talk to.

So – whenever I meet someone – I say: “Talk to me…”

TALK TO ME

Fiction Short Story By Vikram Karve

“Talk to me…” the old man said.

“What is it…?” his wife said.

“I want to talk to you…” he said.

“Please – don’t spoil my mood in the morning – I am getting late for work…” she said.

“But I want to talk to you…” he said.

“Okay – what is it…?” she said, irritably.

“I am feeling depressed…” he said.

“Not again…!!! Stop complaining all the time that you are “depressed” – “your problem is that you have no problems” – you sit at home all day doing nothing – an empty mind is the devil’s workshop – why don’t you take up that job they are offering you…?” she said.

“I don’t want to do that job – I don’t want to do any job – I was a full Colonel in the Army – a senior officer with rank and status – and just see the type of humiliating jobs they are offering me…” he said.

“You don’t want to do a job – you don’t want to sit at home. Tell me – what do you want me to do…?” she said.

“Talk to me…” the old man said to his wife.

“Not now – I am already late – please let me go to work…” his wife said.

And soon – the old man’s wife left for work.

The old man picked up his mobile cell-phone and called up his son.

“Talk to me…” the old man said to his son.

“Dad – are you crazy – do you know what time it is out here…?” the old man’s son said from New York, “it is almost midnight – you have woken me up from my sleep…”

“But – I want to talk to you…” the old man said.

“Please Dad – I have had a very hard day – I am extremely tired and I want to sleep – I will call you when I wake up in the morning – after 7 hours…” the old man’s son said – and he disconnected the phone.

The old man called up his daughter – who lived in Australia.

His daughter was in her office.

It was a busy afternoon – and she was about to go for an important meeting.

Suddenly – her mobile cellphone started ringing.

She was surprised to see that her father was calling from India.

“Yes, Dad…?” the old man’s daughter said, impatiently.

“Talk to me…” the old man said to his daughter.

“What…? Dad – are you okay…?” the old man’s daughter said.

“I want to talk to you…” the old man said.

“Not now, Dad – I am really very busy in office – I am on my way to a meeting – I will call you after a few hours – when I get home in the evening…” the old man’s daughter said.

The old man’s daughter disconnected the call – she put her smartphone on “silent” mode.

Then – she hurried for the meeting.

The old man sat all alone in his house – feeling terrible.

Earlier – he would talk to his pet dog – but now – even his pet dog was dead and gone to his heavenly abode.

The old man called up his ex-Army buddy – but found his mobile phone “switched off”.

Maybe – his ex-Army buddy was lecturing in the Business School where he went quite often to deliver lectures.

The old man called up another ex-Army buddy – a coursemate – but his mobile phone was “out of coverage area”.

Maybe – his coursemate was playing golf.

The old man felt miserable.

Gloomy thoughts perambulated in his mind.

Despondency overwhelmed him – and this pushed him further into deep depression.

The old man desperately wanted to talk to someone and unburden himself of his woes.

As a last resort – the old man decided to talk to his nephew – who was a psychiatrist.

The old man dialled the psychiatrist’s mobile number.

No one picked up – but – in response – the old man received an SMS asking him to call a landline number.

The old man dialled the landline number.

A lady – probably a receptionist at his nephew’s clinic – she picked up the phone.

I want to talk to Dr. “X” …” the old man said.

“Are you an existing patient…?” the receptionist said.

“No – I am his uncle – I want to talk to him urgently…” the old man said.

“Sir – I will give you an appointment in the evening…” the receptionist said.

“Not in the evening – I want to talk to him right now…” the old man said.

“Sorry Sir – Dr. “X” does not see any patients in the morning…” the receptionist said.

“I am his bloody uncle…!!! I want to talk to him right now…!!! Do you understand…?” the old man shouted.

“Please, Sir – Dr. “X” is conducting the weekly clinical update now – and he has told us that he is not to be disturbed – why don’t you come in the evening, Sir – I will give you an appointment at 6 PM – that is the only slot available today – please tell me your name, Sir…” the receptionist said.

“I told you that I want to talk to him right now…” the old man yelled.

The receptionist disconnected the phone.

The old man could bear it no longer.

The old man got out of his flat – he entered the lift – and – he went down to the ground floor.

The old man desperately wanted to talk to someone.

But – everyone seemed busy.

Even the security staff at the gate looked busy – the guards were busy checking visitors and vehicles – and the supervisor was making entries in registers.

The old man walked to the security gate – and he said to the security supervisor:

“Give me the rooftop terrace key…”

“Why do you want the terrace key, Sir…” the supervisor asked the old man.

“I want to jump from the terrace and commit suicide…” the old man said.

The supervisor thought that the old man was being sarcastic – so the security supervisor said to the old man: “I am sorry, Sir…”

“Come on – give me the terrace key…” the old man shouted at the supervisor.

The supervisor thought that – maybe – the old man wanted the terrace key to adjust his DTH TV Antenna – which he had done a few days ago.

So – the security supervisor gave the old man the terrace key – and he made an entry in his register.

The old man took the terrace key – signed the register – and he walked towards the lift.

As he saw the old man enter the lift – the security supervisor remembered the old man’s words:

“I want to jump from the terrace and commit suicide…”

The supervisor wondered why the old man was being so sarcastic.

But – the old man wasn’t being sarcastic.

The old man had meant every word of what he had said.

Yes – the old man had meant every word of what he had said.

The old man went up to the terrace of the high-rise building.

Then – the old man jumped off the terrace.

The old man’s body hurtled down 150 feet onto the road below.

The old man died instantly – the moment he hit the concrete road below.

EPILOGUE

A few days later – they held a condolence meeting for the old man.

While condoling the sad demise of the old man – someone said:

“It is a mystery why the old man committed suicide…”

A man who lived on the same floor as the old man said:

“It is really sad – why did the old man commit suicide and end his life – he had absolutely no problems…”

The old man’s next-door neighbour said:

“Yes – the old man had no problems. And – even if the old man did have some problems – he should have talked to someone…”

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/2017/03/depression-talk-to-me-i-want-to-talk-to.html

This is a revised re-post of my story TALK TO ME which I wrote in the year 2015 and posted online by me earlier in my academic and creative writing journal at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/12/talk-to-me.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/talk-to-me-i-want-to-talk-to-you.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/talk-to-me-i-want-to-talk-to-you.html

Senior Citizens Banking Facilities – Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Circular

March 22, 2019

All Banks are required to provide facilities like doorstep banking, automatic conversion of bank account to senior citizen account, online pension life certificate etc. to Senior Citizens as per Reserve Bank of India (RBI) Circular issued in November 2017.

Click the URL link below to read the RBI circular.

👇

https://m.rbi.org.in//scripts/BS_CircularIndexDisplay.aspx?Id=11163

👆

Are Banks providing the necessary facilities to Senior Citizens in accordance with the RBI circular above…?

Feedback is important in the Military

March 21, 2019

Interesting article on Loyalty and Dissent in the Military

👇

https://warontherocks.com/2019/03/loyalty-and-dissent-getting-flag-officers-to-hear-the-truth/

👆

Telling the Truth

“M” and M’s wife – a curious story

March 20, 2019

Today – Dear Friends – is the festival of Holi.

Holi is associated with Humor and free-for-all fun and frolic. 

Here is a Story from my Navy Days – apt for the occasion…

“M” and M’s Wife

A Spoof By Vikram Karve 

Naval Academy Cochin (now called Kochi) 

Circa – Mid 1970’s 

WHY DID YOU JOIN THE NAVY…? 

The moment we reported to the Naval Academy (NAVAC) at Cochin (Kochi) – we were asked the quintessential question:

“Why did you join the Navy…?”

Most of us gave unimaginative stereotyped answers which everyone had heard before.

Acting Sub Lieutenant “M” was different.

Sub Lieutenant “M” said:

“I joined the Navy to drink good Booze…”

(Those days – the Junior-most Officer Rank in the Army/Navy/Air Force was Second Lieutenant (2nd/Lt)Acting Sub Lieutenant (Ag Sub Lt) and Pilot Officer (P/O) respectively. 

In the year 2004 – thanks to the AVS Cadre Review Bonanza – this junior-most officer rank was abolished – and Defence Officers were commissioned directly as Lieutenants/Sub Lieutenants/Flying Officers in the Army/Navy/Air Force respectively – which were the ranks above the erstwhile “2nd Lt”/“Ag Sub Lt”/“Pilot Officer” – the lowest officer ranks earlier) 

Dear Reader: After this digression – let me start telling you the story again:

The moment we reported to Naval Academy (NAVAC) Cochin (Kochi) – we were asked the quintessential question:

“Why did you join the Navy…?”

Most of us gave unimaginative stereotyped answers which everyone had heard before.

Acting Sub Lieutenant “M” was different.

Acting Sub Lieutenant “M” said:

“I joined the Navy to drink good Booze…”

“What did you say…?” the Officer-in-charge bellowed at Acting Sub Lieutenant “M”

Acting Sub Lieutenant “M” nonchalantly said:

“Sir – I said that I joined the Navy to drink good booze…” 

The Officer-in-charge and Staff Officers of NAVAC thought that Acting Sub Lieutenant “M” was joking.

But – Acting Sub Lieutenant “M” was dead serious.

He had indeed joined the Navy to drink good booze.

We were “University Entry Officers”.

We were selected via the “University Entry Scheme” (UES) – an “Earn while you Learn” Recruitment Scheme – which was highly successful in attracting the best Engineering Talent.

Under the UES – Navy Selection Teams visited premier Engineering Colleges/IITs/RECs (NITs) at the beginning of our pre-final year – and they interviewed and shortlisted suitable candidates – who had to appear before a Services Selection Board (SSB) at Allahabad, Bhopal or Bangalore.

Those selected by the SSB – and found medically fit – were offered a commission as an Officer in the Navy from the beginning of their final year of Engineering.

So – we were Naval Officers drawing handsome pay during our final year of Engineering – owing to which we enjoyed great prestige and relative affluence as compared to our fellow student classmates.

On completion of our B. Tech. / BE courses – we joined the Naval Academy – for Basic and Divisional (B&D) Training.

We had heard that – during his final year in Engineering College – “M” had taken his appointment letter (as an officer in the Indian Navy) to a Military Unit near his college – and he had managed to get a Liquor Card from the Unit CSD Canteen which enabled him to enjoy his full “Booze Quota” of “Military Rum” during his final year of Engineering.

Coming back to the Naval Academy – on our very first “liberty” a month after joining training – while we headed for Movie Halls and Restaurants in Ernakulam Town – Acting Sub Lieutenant “M” rushed to nearest Bar to get gloriously drunk.

In fact – “M” enjoyed himself so much – downing peg after peg of Rum – to “cure” his “thirst” – that he passed out “dead drunk” in the Bar.

Luckily for “M” – a “Good Samaritan” saw his Navy ID Card.

The “Good Samaritan” carried the blissfully “comatose” Acting Sub Lieutenant “M” into his car – then he drove down to the Naval Base – and deposited “M” outside the OOD’s Office.

This episode resulted in some heavy “punishments” and “restrictions” for “M” – including cancellation of his “liberty” (“shore leave” in Navy Jargon) till the end of the term.

The “powers-that-be” realized that Acting Sub Lieutenant “M” meant business – as far as his reason for joining the Navy was concerned.

However – “M” was not to be deterred from his aim.

And – within a few days – he used his initiative to get access to booze.

As I told you – we were already Officers when we joined the Naval Academy (NAVAC) – and we were drawing full pay and allowances.

So – we dined in the Officers’ Wardroom – the Southern Naval Area (SNA) Wardroom Officers’ Mess.

(Yes – those days it was a Naval Area – not a Naval Command. A few years later – SNA was upgraded to SNC (Southern Naval Command)…)

Of course – since we were not allowed to wear stripes during training – we dined in a separate “Gun Room” – but – we were full-fledged members of the Wardroom Officers Mess.

There were no “free” authorized rations those days – so – as officers – we paid for our food – unlike cadets – who dined in cadet dining halls in the Academy and got free food.

During Basic Training – we were not officially allowed to drink liquor – but we were permitted to smoke – and we bought our cigarettes at the Wardroom Bar by signing chits – since we were full-fledged members of the Wardroom Mess.

On working day evenings – we dined in “Red Sea Rig” uniform.

On Weekends/Sundays/Holidays – we were permitted to wear “civvies”.

One Sunday evening – while we were buying cigarettes at the Bar – “M” asked the steward for a Large Peg of Rum – and – with confident flourish – “M” signed a chit for the Rum.

The steward served “M” a Large Peg of Rum.

It was as simple as that.

From then on – every evening – “M” would sneak out from his cabin during the pre-dinner “Study Hour” – and head for the Wardroom Bar for his daily quota of Rum – and then – after quickly downing a few pegs of Rum “down-the-hatch” – “M” would  join us for dinner in the “Gun Room”.

Once our Basic Training was over – and we passed out of the Naval Academy – we could officially drink all the liquor we wanted to – especially top class premium “duty free” foreign liquor on ships.

For Acting Sub Lieutenant “M” – the choicest “duty free” foreign liquor was a bonanza – the very raison d’être – for which he had joined the Navy.

“M” had a great time in the Navy – especially on board ships – drinking all the booze he wanted to his heart’s content – fully realising his cardinal aim of joining the Navy –> “I joined the Navy to drink good Booze…”

10 Years Later 

IAT Girinagar Pune

Circa – Mid 1980’s

“M” enjoyed his bachelor days “soaked in alcohol” – imbibing all the booze he could lay his hands on.

For “M” – it was the happiest time of his life – and the Navy was the best thing that had happened to him.

Sadly – one day – “M” got married.

And – even worse – “M” got a “tough cookie” teetotaller wife – who cracked down heavily on his drinking.

In fact – his redoubtable wife banned alcohol in the house – and she kept an “eagle eye” on her husband at parties.

So – “M” would surreptitiously gulp a few quick “down-the-hatch” pegs of Rum whenever he got an opportunity – followed by some cardamom (Elaichi) to mask the smell of alcohol.

A few years later – “M” landed up as a “student” for an advanced specialization course at IAT Girinagar Pune – where I was his instructor.

Every evening – “M” would tell his wife that he wanted to “clear some doubts” about the subject I was teaching him – and he would land up in my house.

Of course – there were no academic “doubts” he wanted cleared.

“M” would have three quick pegs of Rum at my place.

And then – “M” would head home feeling “high” and “happy”.

When his wife questioned him on his “happy” state – “M” would plead that I was his instructor – and I had offered him a drink.

“M” told his wife I would get annoyed if he refused my generous offer of a drink – and this may affect his grades in the course.

M’s wife blamed me for “spoiling” her husband.

One day – M’s wife had her revenge on me.

On Holi evening – I was taking a long evening walk to sober up from the boisterous drunken Holi celebrations in the morning.

M’s wife waved out to me – and – she called me to her lawn.

“M” was probably sleeping inside – “dead drunk”.

While celebrating Holi with full gusto – “M” had “passed out” in the morning after surreptitiously downing huge amounts of a deadly cocktail of  “Rum and Beer”.

(“M” had taken advantage of the fact that his “beloved” wife had magnanimously permitted “M” to have one bottle of Beer – as a special case for the occasion of HOLI 

So – “M” had heavily “fortified” his Beer with plenty of Rum – he had poured almost half a bottle of Rum into his bottle of Beer. 

After imbibing this huge amount of booze in a short time – “M” got totally drunk – and soon – “M” collapsed unconscious into drunken stupor – and he had to be carried home…) 

Coming back to our story…

On HOLI evening – when I was taking a long evening walk to sober up from the boisterous morning celebrations – M’s wife waved out to me and she called me to her lawn.

“M” was probably sleeping inside – still in drunken stupor – after his “glorious” Holi “celebration” in the morning.

I walked across the lawn to the M’s wife.

M’s wife looked charmingly at me.

“You drank too much in the morning. I will give you something really good to cure your hangover…” M’s wife said with a tender smile.

I accepted her kind invitation.

M’s wife asked me to sit on a chair in the verandah – and then – she went inside.

After some time – M’s wife emerged from kitchen – and – with an innocent smile – she served me a glass of Khus “Sherbet” cool drink.

What I did not know was that M’s wife had laced the cool green Khus “Sherbet” with a heavy dose of “Bhang”.

Yes – M’s wife had spiked the cool drink with deadly intoxicating “Bhang”  (cannabis)

M’s wife had slipped me a potent “Mickey Finn”.

And – I naively drank the “Bhang” spiked cool drink.

Yes – I unsuspectingly drank the intoxicating “Bhang” spiked “Sherbet”.

Soon – the “Bhang” started having effect – and I started feeling “high”.

I wondered why M’s wife was giving me such a “sweet” smile…?

Was she trying to…???

Dear Reader: 

What do you think happened thereafter…?

Well – that’s another story…

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

  1. This is a fictional spoof, satire, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved) 

Link to my source post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2019/03/mickey-finn-story-from-my-navy-days-for.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Updated, Abridged and Revised Version of My Story WHY DID YOU JOIN THE NAVY posted online by me on November 16, 2015 in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/11/why-did-you-join-navy-humor-in-uniform.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/humor-in-uniform-why-acting-sub.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/humor-in-uniform-why-did-you-join-navy.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/03/humor-in-uniform-my-coursemate-m.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2018/03/a-humor-in-uniform-story-on-occasion-of.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/10/31/humor-in-uniform-unforgettable-characters-i-met-in-the-navy-sub-lieutenant-m/ and  http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2019/03/mickey-finn-story-from-my-navy-days-for.html  etc

Bawdy Humor : A Ribald Story for Holi : Bura Na Mano – Holi Hai : A Naval Yarn – The “Fleet Auxiliary” Called Semaphore Signal

March 20, 2019

Today is Holi.

A day for bawdy humour and raunchy jokes.

So – Dear Reader – let me post for you a ribald Naval Yarn  a rather risque story  maybe apocryphal  certainly spiced up for you to enjoy.

Have a laugh – it is just a yarn – no offence meant to anybody – like they say: “Don’t mind – it’s Holi…!!!” –  Bura na mano Holi hai 

THE “FLEET AUXILIARY” CALLED SEMAPHORE SIGNAL 

Hilarious Story from My Delightful Navy Days

A Fictional Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:

  1. Please read this apocryphal story only if you have a sense of humor. This naval yarn is a fictional spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh. And yes, this story is for mature adults only, so if you are a kid, or an overly gender sensitive type, please skip this post. 
  2. Please note that more than 42 years ago –in the 1970’s –it was an all-male Navy – where bawdy jokes, ribaldry and profane language was the order of the day – and concepts like gender-sensitivity were unheard of – and this story is written in that spirit.
  3. 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)

THE FLEET AUXILIARY CALLED SEMAPHORE SIGNAL

PROLOGUE

I close my eyes – and – in my mind’s eye – I mentally go back in time – more than 42 years ago in time – to the 1970’s – and reminisce about my halcyon Navy days – the happiest days of my life – and let delightful memories of those glorious Navy days perambulate in my brain.

This morning – as I delved into my halcyon Navy Days – floating over my time line – I suddenly remembered that unforgettable episode about the “Fleet Auxiliary” who I had nicknamed “Semaphore Signal”.

Let me tell you about it.

Please read the yarn and do tell me if you enjoyed reading the story, and I shall spin some more yarns for you.

I enjoy spinning yarns, some true, some spiced up with lots of salt and pepper, and some apocryphal.

Like I said, I am going to spin a few Naval Yarns for you.

Now – Dear Reader – you’ve got to remember one thing:

More than 42 years ago – in the 1970’s – it was an all-male Navy – where bawdy jokes, ribaldry and profane language was the order of the day – and concepts like gender-sensitivity were unheard of – and this story is written in that spirit.

So let me reminisce and spin a few yarns for you to enjoy, no offence meant to anybody.

I just want to make you laugh and drive away your blues, and mine too.

I am sure you have a good sense of humour and you will enjoy these yarns in the right spirit and take it with a pinch of salt.

The “Fleet Auxiliary” called “Semaphore Signal” – a Spoof by Vikram Karve 

“FLEET AUXILIARIES”

We had returned to port after a long sailing – and – in the evening – I decided to visit my course-mate “Horny” on his ship – which was parked just ahead of us.

Unlike mine – his was a small ship – and the atmosphere was totally informal – with just a “Snotty” Midshipman and a Sailor leisurely manning the gangway.

(In Royal Navy slang – a Midshipman is sometimes referred to as a “Snotty”.

Two popular stories give origins for the term Snotty for Midshipmen

The first claims that it arose from a shortage of handkerchiefs among Midshipmen – who would consequently use their sleeves to wipe their noses.

The other story claims that the three buttons formerly sewn onto midshipmen’s jacket cuffs were placed there to prevent them from wiping their noses on their sleeves…)

I identified myself – I told them who I wanted to meet – my coursemate “Horny”.

And – I started walking inside – when the “Snotty” said to me:

“Sir – just a moment – he is busy right now – someone is there with him in his cabin.”

“He is busy…? Okay. I’ll come later. Just tell him I had come…” I said – and – I started to walk away.

“Sir, why don’t you speak to him…?” the Snotty said.

The Midshipman (“Snotty”)  – he dialled “Horny” in his cabin – and – he held out the phone to me.

“Hey, don’t go…” Horny said, “just come down to my cabin.”

Horny was waiting for me outside his cabin – and I could see that he was genuinely happy to see me.

“So nice to see you after so many days. Come inside…” he said – opening the door of his cabin.

I was taken aback in surprise by what I saw in his cabin.

A woman was lying on his bunk.

On the side-table – there was a bottle of my favourite Premium Scotch Whisky.

I was not surprised at seeing the girl.

Horny was a known Casanova famous for his peccadilloes.

What surprised me was the bottle of whisky – because Horny was a strict teetotaller.

Horny introduced me.

The girl made no effort to get up.

She continued to lie down on the bunk in her supine position.

The girl smiled at me.

I smiled back.

Then Horny pointed outside and said to me:

“Why don’t you sit in the wardroom for some time…?

We will finish off our business and join you in a few minutes.

The bar, the fridge, everything is open – so just help yourself to a drink and whatever you want…”

It was just 6 PM in the evening – so – I poured myself a beer – switched on the TV – and I relaxed in the wardroom waiting for Horny and his “consort”.

I was two beers down by the time Horny joined me in the wardroom.

“Girlfriend…?” I asked him.

“No…” Horny said, “She is just a “Fleet Auxiliary”…”

AN EXPLANATORY DIGRESSION… 

Let me digress a bit and tell you the difference between Fleet Auxiliary and “Fleet Auxiliary”

Fleet Auxiliary 

The former Fleet Auxiliary is a support ship, like an oil tanker, a supply vessel, a depot ship, or a hospital ship, which supports the main fleet.

“Fleet Auxiliary” (in quotation marks)

The latter “Fleet Auxiliary” is a moniker – a nickname given to a girl who “supports” the men who man the Naval Fleet – by having a “good time” with them – and helps them quench their carnal passions.

This story is about this second type of “Fleet Auxiliary”.

Dear Reader – let me tell you that – with a “Fleet Auxiliary” – it is a “no-strings-attached” amorous relationship.

Of course – there may be a bit of “give-and-take” – a sort of “barter” – like sometimes – where the “Fleet Auxiliary” gets to drink the best booze – and gets some gifts like an expensive perfume – or some exquisite Swiss chocolates – as a “quid pro quo” – in return for her “favours”…

Let me tell you that in those golden days of the “License, Quota, Permit Raj” of the 1970’s – when prized and coveted foreign goodies were was not available in the domestic market – and we in the Navy got them duty-free on board ships – a Naval Officer was quite high up on the social ladder.

Regrettably – the advent of liberalization and globalization changed everything – and nowadays – a Naval Officer is no longer the crème de la crème of society anymore – because today – money determines your status – and businessmen, entrepreneurs and celebrities are the new “role models”.

And – as far as “Fleet Auxiliaries” are concerned – it looks like they have disappeared from the fleet and found greener pastures – because when I asked a young “Subbie” about it a few days ago – he seemed totally clueless…

Digression Over  Story Continues … 

WHY THE FLEET AUXILIARY WAS CALLED SEMAPHORE SIGNAL

“Oh. So – she is your latest “Fleet Auxiliary”…? But – she looks quite a “Plain Jane”…” I remarked.

“Never a judge a chick by her looks…” Horny said, “I can tell you from my own experience. Most of those gorgeous chic beauties who look like sex bombs turn out to be damp squibs – but these prosaic looking “Plain Jane” types are terrific. Just like this one. She is really great. Just three drinks – and she is ready for action…”

“Three drinks…?” I asked.

“Yes – just three large pegs of neat whisky – and she is all “primed up” – ready for action…” Horny said.

“Really…?” I said, incredulous.

“The first drink – she lies horizontal. The second one – she puts her legs up by 45 degrees. And – the moment she has her third drink – her legs go straight up to vertical position – and – she is ready for action…” Horny said.

“Like a “Semaphore Signal”…” I said.

“Semaphore Signal…? You mean the Flags…?” Horny asked me.

“No. No. Not Naval Semaphore Signalling. I am talking about Railway Semaphore Signalling…” I said.

“Railway Semaphore Signalling…?” he asked, confused.

“Yes. Railway Semaphore Signalling. To be precise your passionate “Fleet Auxiliary” can be described as a “Three Position Multiple Aspect Upper Quadrant (or MAUQ) Semaphore Signal”…”

“Hey – stop the mumbo jumbo and explain to me in simple language…” Horny said.

Now – I am no great raconteur – so I picked up a pencil and piece a paper – I drew some pictures – and I explained the salient aspects of Semaphore Signalling.

If you want to know what I told Horny – have a look at the picture below:

semaphore1

               

semaphore2 

Multiple Aspect Upper Quadrant (MAUQ) Semaphore Signalling

The images above are from the Indian Railways Fan Club (IRFCA) Website Post on Signalling Systems. Indian Railways Fan Club (IRFCA) is a hobby group for discussing all aspects of railways in India. You may read the post on semaphore signals by clicking the url link:  http://www.irfca.org/faq/faq-signal2.html

SEMAPHORE SIGNALLING 

Dear Reader – Please see the two railway semaphore signals in the picture above.

Let’s look at the red coloured semaphore signal first.

The arm at horizontal position means “stop” – inclined upwards at 45 degrees means “caution” – and the arm in the vertical position means “all clear” – and the train can proceed.

Now – let’s look at the yellow coloured semaphore signal.

I think – that in the context of this story – the yellow coloured signal seems more apt:

STOP – ATTENTION – PROCEED 

Now – just imagine the legs of the girl (our “fleet auxiliary”) in place of the arm of the signal.

First Drink – Legs Horizontal – STOP 

Second Drink – Legs inclined upwards by 45 degrees – ATTENTION

Third Drink – Legs Vertical – PROCEED

On hearing my explanation – Horny burst out laughing – and we both laughed for a long time.

We were still laughing when “Semaphore Signal” joined us in the wardroom.

She had freshened up.

We talked.

I liked her.

Though she was quite chubby and ordinary looking – she had a very friendly smile – and she exuded a sort of affable charm.

We all had a drink of Whisky – and then – Horny dropped the girl (“Semaphore Signal”) at the bus stop near Museum on his bike – and he returned to the ship and we continued drinking.

Life moved on.

Horny moved on.

And – I moved on.

And – of course – the “Fleet Auxiliary” called “Semaphore Signal” moved on in life too – though – I did see her a few times – circulating around in the Fleet.

Many years passed – and I had forgotten all about this episode.

One day – I unexpectedly ran into “Semaphore Signal” while browsing in a bookstore located in a Mall.

I recognized her at once.

She was the very same “Fleet Auxiliary” I had nicknamed “Semaphore Signal”.

Now – so many years later – she had turned a bit plump – but otherwise – she looked the same chubby girl with a sincere, friendly smile which radiated the same charming warmth.

I smiled at her.

She did not smile back.

In fact – she totally ignored me – showing absolutely no trace of recognition.

Then – she turned and walked towards the exit of the bookstore.

She walked out of the bookstore – and – she stood in the foyer.

I followed her with my eyes – and I positioned myself so that I could clearly see her.

She took out her mobile phone from her purse – dialled a number – held the cell-phone near her ear and she spoke briefly.

Then she walked into the Food Court of the Mall – and she sat down on a vacant table.

I kept down the book I was browsing – I walked out of the bookstore into the spacious food court – and I sat down on a table – from where I could see her clearly.

She knew that I was stalking her – but she avoided looking directly in my direction.

Suddenly – a small girl came running and ran into her arms.

The girl was followed by a man – who smiled at her and sat down opposite her.

They were talking – maybe they were discussing what to eat – mother, father and daughter – a happy family.

I noticed that “Semaphore Signal” exuded the bliss of domesticity.

I felt happy for her – a “Fleet Auxiliary” so happily settled down in family life.

It was time for me to leave.

I got up – I looked at her for the last time – and – I started to turn away.

Just as I was turning away – “Semaphore Signal” looked in my direction.

She gave me a fleeting glance – a brief smile of recognition.

Then – she looked down at her daughter and started talking to her.

EPILOGUE

As I walked away after the encounter – I felt happy for “Semaphore Signal”.

She was one of the fortunate “Fleet Auxiliaries” who had put her past behind – she had moved on into a new world – and settled down into a happy married life – the bliss of domesticity.

Other “Fleet Auxiliaries” were not so lucky.

Some “Fleet Auxiliaries” could not move on in life – and they persisted with their ways – till age overcame them – and then – the only future the could look forward to was to live a life of a lonely spinster – an old maid – with only reminisces to think about.

A few “Fleet Auxiliaries” managed to “trap” a gullible Naval Officer into marriage.

Some marriages succeeded – but – many such marriages ended in disaster – since the “Fleet Auxiliaries” remained in the same naval environment and did not escape to a new world.

Much as they tried – the “Fleet Auxiliaries” could not prevent the shadow of their past life from haunting their present lives.

I don’t know why – but – whenever I see a woman drinking whisky – I remember “Semaphore Signal”.

Yes – whenever I see a woman drinking whisky – the episode of “The “Fleet Auxiliary” called Semaphore Signal” is rekindled in my mind – I hark back to those delightful Navy days – and a smile comes to my lips.

I really do not know if there is a connection between alcohol and promiscuity – but then as my Navy Friend Romeo would boast: “Give me a woman who drinks and I can get her into bed”.

And – he proved his theory – time and again.

But that is another story – one more yarn I will spin some day.

Till then – let me hark back with nostalgia to the story of “The “Fleet Auxiliary” called Semaphore Signal”.

NB: 

By the way – the Railways have replaced Traditional Semaphore Signals with Electric Light Signals – and – I don’t think you will see a traditional Semaphore Signal anymore. 

But that doesn’t matter. 

The next time you see a railway signal – or a traffic signal – and as you watch it changing colour – do remember this story – and have a laugh.

Dear Reader: 

Have a laugh – it is just a yarn – it’s Holi – so – no offence meant to anybody – like they say: 

“Don’t mind – it’s Holi…!!!” (Bura na mano – Holi hai)

Keep Laughing and have a Happy Holi. 

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 apocryphal 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. Please note that more than 42 years ago –in the 1970’s –it was an all-male Navy – where bawdy jokes, ribaldry and profane language was the order of the day – and concepts like gender-sensitivity were unheard of – and this story is written in that spirit.
  3. 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 source post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/06/humor-in-uniform-fleet-auxiliary-called.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This Story was written by me Vikram Karve more than 7 years ago in January 2012 and posted online earlier in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve by me Vikram Karve at 10/31/2012 02:15:00 PM at url link:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/10/a-fleet-auxiliary-called-semaphore.html  

and reposted online by me Vikram Karve a number of times including at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/07/humor-in-uniform-story-of-semaphore.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/02/the-fleet-auxiliary-called-semaphore.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/12/memoirs-of-fauji-failure-fleet.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/humor-in-uniform-fleet-auxiliary-called.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/26/humor-the-fleet-auxiliary-called-semaphore-signal/ etc

Turkish History – Reforms of ATATÜRK

March 19, 2019

Turkey – Reforms of Attaturk

👇

http://www.tayyareci.com/cocuklar/05ing.htm

👆

Turkey – Reforms of Attaturk

Turkish History – Hat Law

March 19, 2019

Informative article on the introduction of Hats in Turkey

👇

https://lareviewofbooks.org/article/turkeys-glorious-hat-revolution/

👆

Turkish History – Hat Law

Turkey – Ataturk’s Reforms – Turkish History

March 19, 2019

Informative Article on Ataturk’s Reforms in Turkey which created a Modern Nation

👇

http://www.allaboutturkey.com/ataturk-reforms.htm

👆

Turkish History – Ataturk’s Reforms

Equator Crossing Ceremony: The Real Test Of Seafarers

March 19, 2019

Crossing the Line Ceremony transforms Pollywogs into Shellbacks

👇

https://www.marineinsight.com/life-at-sea/equator-crossing-ceremony/

👆

Crossing the Equator

My Friend’s Girlfriend

March 19, 2019

MY FRIEND’S GIRLFRIEND 

Fiction Short Story By Vikram Karve 

“Your name really suits you…” I said.

“Really…?” she exclaimed.

“Yes. “Smita” means “Smile” – a girl who smiles a lot – a “forever smiling” lady – like you…” I said to her.

“Thank you so much…” she said – giving me a sweet smile.

Her lovely smile really enhanced her beauty.

We sat opposite each other.

She was a “well-endowed” beautiful woman – and – I looked at her with frank admiration.

She blushed – and she said to me:

“You have come quite a bit early. Your friend has gone for his Sunday Morning Golf. He should be back by 11:30…”

“I know. I wanted to speak to you. Alone…” I said to her.

“You want to speak to me…? Alone…?”

“Yes – I want to hear your side of the story…”

“Oh – so you’ve heard the wife’s version – you’ve heard the husband’s version – and now – you want to hear what the “other woman” has to say…”

“Please don’t say that…”

“That’s what all his Navy friends call me – even worse things…”

“Not me…”

“Yes – I know. You are his only Navy friend who hasn’t “ostracized” him. Everyone else – even their wives – they treat us like “outcasts” – they have socially “boycotted” us…”

“He is a good man – very helpful – he was very kind to me during my Navy days…”

“I know. He has been good to me too – especially when I was in trouble – he gave me shelter when I was homeless – I will never forget that gesture…”

“Tell me – how did it happen…? How did you move in with him…?”

“I came to Pune around 2 years ago – I rented the flat next to his – we were next door neighbours…”

“Was his wife living with him then…?”

“No – she had already gone to the New Zealand – to live with her daughter…”

“So – he was living all alone…”

“Yes…”

“Then – what happened…?”

“Nothing happened. We were just neighbours – that’s all. Well – since he was a retired man – he was home all day – so – he would collect my couriers, online-shopping stuff – that’s all…”

“That’s all…?”

“Yes – we had a purely neighbourly relationship. Of course – as we got to know each other better – we would go out once in a while – for shopping, for a movie, or he would take me to his club…”

“Oh – so – you were friends…”

“Yes – you can say that. Tell me – can’t a 60 year old man and a 35 year old woman be friends…?”

“Of course…”

“Well – he was a “forced bachelor” – and I was a “single woman” – with no friends in Mumbai…”

“Single…?”

“I never married…” she said.

“Oh…” I said.

“He was quite upset that his wife was not coming back from the New Zealand…”

“I know. He told me. First – his wife went to the New Zealand for their daughter’s first delivery – and she stayed for 6 months. Then – she went again for their daughter’s second delivery – and she stayed for 6 months again. And then – 3 years ago – she went again to look after their daughter’s children – and she hasn’t come back ever since – she is away continuously for more than 3 years now…”

“Yes. Their daughter got divorced. So she wanted her mother to come over to look after the kids…”

“Nanny Duties…?”

“Yes. Meanwhile their daughter managed to get her mother a “Parent Resident Visa” – so that mother could live in New Zealand indefinitely…”

“Indefinitely…?”

“Yes. Their daughter already had permanent residency of New Zealand – and she got the same for her mother…”

“So – his wife has become a permanent resident of New Zealand…?”

“Yes. And that’s what made your friend very upset. He thought that the daughter was emotionally blackmailing her mother. So – he asked me for help…”

“You…?”

“Well – I am a lawyer – and – I specialize in “Family Law”…” she said.

I smiled.

She smiled back at me and said:

“You must be thinking – I am a single woman who has never been married – who has no family – how can I practice “Family” Law…?”

“No. No…”

“I agree – I have no personal experience of marriage and divorce. Maybe that helps me look at things is a pure legal and unbiased way…”

“Yes. You have a point…”

“Anyway – your friend came to me – he told me his story – and he said that he wanted his wife to come back to him – so – I suggested the “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” approach. He agreed. So – I drafted a “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” notice – and we sent it to his wife…”

“Yes. She showed me the “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” Notice…”

“Did she…? But – apparently – the notice had no effect on her…”

“No. No. She was very upset. She told me that she wanted to come back to live with her husband…”

“Then – why didn’t she…?”

“Her divorced daughter emotionally blackmailed her. Her daughter told her that she was a “single mother” who had to work to earn a living – and there was no one else to look after the children…”

“Do all women in New Zealand have their mothers with them for “nanny duties” and to look after their children…? Surely – there must be “babysitters”, “daycare”, “kindergarten schools” etc…”

“My friend’s wife – she is very close to her daughter…”

“What about her husband…? Doesn’t she care for him…?”

“Of course she loves him…”

“If she loved her husband – she wouldn’t leave him to fend for himself all alone – for such a long time – it’s more than 3 years now since she has gone to New Zealand…”

“Poor thing – on one side is her husband – and – on the other side is her daughter – and – she is trapped in-between…”

“But – isn’t a husband more important than a daughter..?”

“I don’t know. But let me tell you that she is most upset that you have moved in with her husband…”

“She should be upset – and – if she is so upset – why doesn’t she come back…? Let me assure you that the day she comes back – I will move out. You convey that to her…”

“I will…”

“Tell her one more thing – that we – her husband and me – we have a “clean” relationship…”

“Clean Relationship…?”

“It is “pure” friendship, companionship – that’s all. Yes – we live in the same house – but we have our separate bedrooms…”

“Oh…”

“You don’t believe me – do you – that a man and woman can live in the same house and yet have a “clean” relationship…?”

“To be frank – I thought you two were “friends with benefits”. Well – you are very attractive – and he – …”

“Your imagination must be running wild – but let me assure you that there is nothing of that sort between us – we are good friends and companions – that’s all…”

“So – it is just a “mutually beneficial arrangement” – that’s all…?”

“Yes – you can say that – but it’s more than a mere “arrangement” – maybe you can call it a mutually beneficial “relationship” – but a “clean” one – a “pure” friendship…”

“How did you move in with him…? I mean – you were his neighbour – and suddenly – you move into his house and start living with him…”

“Yes – it happened quite suddenly. My NRI “landlord” decided to come back to India – so he wanted the house for himself – of course – he gave me one month’s notice as per the lease contract…”

“Oh…”

“I started looking for a house. He – your friend – he was helping me find a house. I wanted a house in this neighbourhood – or nearby – since it is convenient for my work – but –nothing was working out – there were just no houses for rent in this area – and I was on the verge of becoming homeless. One day – he suggested that I could stay as a “Paying Guest” in his house…”

“And you accepted…?”

“At first – I was reluctant. But – he insisted…”

“You should have thought of his wife. Did you ever wonder what she would feel if you moved in with her husband…?”

“I did. I told him. But he said that his wife hadn’t even bothered to reply to his “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” Notice. He was sure that his wife was never going to come back. He pleaded with me to stay with him…”

“Thank you for being so candid…” I said to Smita.

“So – are you going to tell his wife my side of the story…?” she asked me.

“Yes – I will call her tonight – and I will tell her about your “clean” relationship…”

“Please assure her that the day she comes back – I will move out…”

“Yes – I will tell her – but it seems that her daughter won’t allow her to come back…”

“Oh. Now that you have heard my story – I hope you won’t “blacklist” me – like all his Navy friends and their wives have done – since they consider me the “other woman” who has ruined his marriage. In fact – they have even “ostracized” him – and I feel guilty that I am the reason for this…” she said.

“Come on – I am his true friend – and now – I am your friend too. I will always be with you…” I said to her.

“Thank you so much…” she said.

“There is one more thing I wanted to ask you – I want your help as a lawyer…” I said to her.

“Sure – I will be most happy to help you…”

“I want to send my wife a “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” notice…”

“What…?”

“My wife has gone to America for my daughter’s delivery…”

“Oh. When did she go to the US…?

“Three months ago – I went along with her to San Francisco to drop her – our daughter delivered a girl – I flew back after a month – but my wife wanted to stay a bit longer to help out our daughter…”

“Oh. And when did you visit New Zealand…?”

“I stopped over in New Zealand on the way back. A classmate of mine lives in Auckland – he has been calling me to visit New Zealand – so – I flew from San Francisco to Auckland – I enjoyed a week touring New Zealand – and then I flew back to India via Singapore…”

“Oh…”

“It was on my last day in Auckland that I ran into her – I mean my friend’s wife – and she took me home and poured out her heart to me. I told you that she showed me the “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” Notice – and she was very upset about you moving in with her husband…”

“Was her daughter there…?”

“No. Her daughter had gone to work. She was alone in the house waiting for the kids to come back from their primary school…”

“Okay. So – she is not going to come back…?”

“Yes – it seems that she is not going to come back – at least not in the near future…”

I could detect a “sense of relief” in Smita on hearing this.

Then – Smita looked at me and said:

“Hey – please tell me – why do you want to send your wife a “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” Notice…? In any case – she can’t stay in the US for more than 6 months – unless she gets a “Green Card”…”

“I want her to come back immediately. It’s already been 3 months. I am fed up of living alone. I can’t wait any longer. My wife had promised me that she would come back in 2-3 months…”

Suddenly – the doorbell rang.

“Oh – he has come back from his Golf…” Smita exclaimed.

She looked at me and said:

“You come to my office tomorrow. We will discuss your case in detail over there. I’ll give you my card before you go. Now – you can enjoy talking about your “Good Old Navy Days” with your friend over beer while I make some delicious “small eats” and food for you…”

Then – she went to open the door.

EPILOGUE

My Friend’s Wife did not come back.

She continued to live with her divorced daughter in Auckland.

In due course – she and her daughter – both became New Zealand Citizens.

10 years passed.

The daughter got re-married.

Her daughter’s new husband did not want the daughter’s mother hanging around.

The children had grown up too – and they did not require a “nanny”.

So – my Friend’s Wife has “relocated” to an “Old Age Home” near Auckland.

I wonder why she didn’t come back to her husband…?

Is it because of her “pride”…?

Or – is it because being a New Zealand Citizen – she gets generous “old age” benefits…?

My Friend and his “Live-in Partner” Smita – they are still living together – quite happily.

By the way – I did send the “Restitution of Conjugal Rights” Notice to my wife.

And – the moment she got my email – my wife came rushing back to me.

Maybe – my darling wife did not want some beautiful lady moving in with me – as a “Live-in Partner” – à la – “my friend and Smita”.

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:

  1. This story is a fictional spoof, satire, humor, 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/2018/04/restitution-of-conjugal-rights.html

Also published earlier in this blog at urls: 

https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/04/05/conjugal-rights-a-story/

https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/08/17/restitution-of-conjugal-rights-a-love-story/

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

A Part of this story was also published in my blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2018/04/smita-means-smile.html

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