My Girlfriend – The “Feminist”

November 19, 2019

During my college days I had a girlfriend called Rita who was a “Feminist”.

I met her again many years later.

This is the story…

RITA – MY “FEMINIST” GIRLFRIEND

Fiction Short Story By Vikram Karve

Part 1 : MY “FEMINIST” GIRLFRIEND

“Hey – will you please pick me up from “XXX” Bookstore on your way back from office…?” my wife said over the phone.

“Okay – but I can only come after 6 o’clock…” I said.

“No hurry – I am going for a book launch – it starts at 5:30 PM – it will go on till 6:30 PM at least…” she said.

I reached the bookstore around 6:15 PM in the evening.

There was quite a crowd for the book launch.

At the entrance of the bookstore – there was a big poster of the book being launched.

The title of the book was:

“GENDER EQUALITY IN MARRIAGE”

The moment I saw the photo of the author – my heart skipped a beat.

It was the “Feminist” – my college classmate – Rita.

I walked to the book-launch area – and I quietly sat down on a vacant chair in the last row.

The “Feminist” was speaking about her book – and as I expected – she was delivering a diatribe against men in general and the patriarchal system in particular.

I could see my wife in the first row – listening attentively – lapping up every word.

After finishing her tirade against the masculine gender – the “Feminist” began waxing eloquent about marital abuse and domestic violence – and she exhorted women not to tolerate any dominating behaviour from their husbands – “there is no need for women to suffer an abusive marriage” she emphasized – and then she explained various legal remedies available to women who suffer abuse at the hands of their husbands.

At the end of her speech – after concluding her bitter rant against all men in general and husbands in particular – the “Feminist” looked in my direction – and she gave me a smile of recognition.

Then – after her book was launched by a “VIP” celebrity – the “Feminist” was whisked away by the organizers to autograph copies of her book.

I walked to my wife – and I said to her:

“Come on – let’s go.”

“How can we go now…?” my wife protested.

“Of course we should go now. The book launch is over…” I said.

“I want an autographed copy of her book…” my wife said.

“You want to buy this useless book…?”

“How can you call this book useless…?”

“Anyway – I just heard her bigoted views – I don’t want you to read such “inflammatory” books…?”

“Inflammatory..?”

“Yes – such provocative books will only spoil our marriage…”

“Now I know – you are one of those “MCP” husbands she was talking about…”

“What nonsense…”

“Till now – you have managed to “subjugate” me – but now – I will read what is written in the book – and I will teach you a lesson…” my wife said.

My wife joined the queue to get an autographed copy of the book.

I saw that the publishers had organized “high tea” in the rear section of the bookstore where the book launch had taken place – so I walked there and poured myself a cup of tea – then I sat down on a table enjoying my tea.

After a few minutes – my wife came with a copy of the book in her hands – she was ecstatic as she showed me the autograph of the “Feminist” – who had written my wife’s name with a message:

“Wish you a “gender equal” marriage”.

“See – she has already started corrupting you with her prejudiced views – even before you read the book…” I said to me wife.

“Hi Arun – may I join you…?” a feminine voice said from above.

I recognized the voice at once – and – I felt a tremor of discomfort.

I looked up at the “Feminist” and I said to her:

“Oh – Hello Rita – of course – please join us.”

The “Feminist” (Rita) pulled a chair and sat down to my left – with my wife to her left – opposite me.

I cannot describe the expression on my wife’s face – to put it mildly – she looked “amazed”.

The “Feminist” looked at me and she said to me:

“So – Arun – “long time no see” – I was quite surprised to see you here – sitting in the last row – listening to my talk…”

“Actually – I came to pick up my wife – she had come for your book launch…” I said.

“Oh – yes…” the “Feminist” said looking at my wife.

Then – the “Feminist” looked at me and said:

“Arun – won’t you introduce your wife to me…?”

I introduced them.

My wife smiled at the “Feminist” – and – my wife asked her:

“You know my husband…?”

“Of course I know him – we were classmates in college…” the “Feminist” said.

“Really…?” my wife said, surprised.

“Of course – Arun and I had a really “good time” together in college – we were the best of friends – inseparable buddies – in fact – I even “proposed” to him…” the “Feminist” said to my wife.

“You proposed marriage to Arun…?” my flabbergasted wife asked the “Feminist”.

“Of course – I wanted to marry Arun – but he turned down my marriage proposal – didn’t Arun tell you about me…?” the “Feminist” said to my wife.

Suddenly – a man appeared.

The man looked at the “Feminist” – and he gestured towards his watch.

“Oh – I have to go for a TV interview…” the “Feminist” said.

The “Feminist” got up from her seat – she looked at my wife – and smiled.

“It was so nice meeting you – do watch my interview at 8 PM about my book on TV…” the “Feminist” said to my wife, mentioning a news channel.

Then – the “Feminist” looked at me – and – she said to me:

“Arun – it was great meeting you after so many years…”

I smiled at her and said:

“Yes – wish you all the best…”

After the “Feminist” had walked away – my wife asked me:

“You didn’t even ask your girlfriend for her mobile number…”

“Why should I ask her for her mobile number…?” I said.

“Don’t you want to rekindle your “old flame” – your first love…?” my wife teased.

“You shut up – it was nothing like that – we were just classmates…”

“Oh – but she said that she proposed to you – she wanted to marry you – and the way she was looking at you – it is clear that she is still in love with you…”

“But – I was never in love with her…”

“Why…?”

“Because she is a “masculine” woman…” I said.

“What nonsense – she looks quite “feminine” to me – in fact – she is a very beautiful woman…” my wife said.

“I was not talking about her physical looks – I was referring to her strong ideological views…” I said.

I wanted to end this conversation – so I got up from my chair – and I said to my wife:

“Let’s go home…”

In the car – my wife started off again about the “Feminist”.

“Why didn’t you marry her…?” my wife asked me.

“Because I was “scared” of her…”

“Scared? How can you be scared of her…? You are twice her size…”

“I was not scared of her physically – I was scared of her views…”

“Why…?”

“She is a man-hater…”

“Oh – she does not like men…? It is surprising. She doesn’t look “that type”…”

“What do you mean by “that type”…?” I asked my wife.

“You know – “that type” – there were a few girls in our college hostel – they did not like boys – they preferred girls – you know what I mean – “that type”…?”

“No – No – No – Rita is not “that type”. Tell me – if she was a “lesbian” – would she have proposed marriage to me…?”

“Oh yes – you are right – that means she “likes” men…”

“On the contrary – she “hates” men…”

“But – she “liked” you…”

“She may have personally liked me – but in general – she is a “feminist” – in fact – she is a “man hater” – a “misandrist” – who is strongly prejudiced against men – and – I did not want a wife who hates men…”

“I hate you…” my wife said.

Luckily – we reached home – and I was happy to end this rather irksome conversation.

Later – I saw that my wife was glued to the TV watching the “Feminist” spew venom against the masculine gender in general – with a special diatribe against husbands in particular – as she discussed various aspects of her book.

At night – in bed – I observed my wife avidly reading her autographed copy of the book on “Gender Equality in Marriage” written by the “Feminist”.

Part 2 : MY “FEMINIST” WIFE

After reading the book written by my “Feminist” friend – from the next morning onwards – there was a visible change in my wife’s attitude and demeanor.

My wife started asserting herself – putting into practice some the principles written in the Feminist’s book.

From time to time – my wife would watch the “Feminist” on TV debates.

And – after every such debate – my wife would become more aggressive – demanding “gender equality” in marriage – and the upshot was – that I was soon reduced to being a “homemaker” (in addition to being the “breadwinner”).

Ever since my wife had met my “Feminist” classmate Rita – equations in our marriage had altered drastically – and – my life was becoming hell.

A few weeks later – one evening – while we were shopping in a posh locality – my wife suddenly said to me:

“Look, Look, Look – look there…”

I looked in the direction my wife was pointing.

Across the road – I saw the “Feminist” – Rita.

Part 3 : THE “FEMINIST” WHO LOVED ME

Yes – it was Rita – the “Feminist”.

Rita had got out of a car and was walking towards a building – and then – she entered the building.

“She probably lives here – let’s go and meet her…” my wife said excitedly.

“Are you crazy…? We can’t just barge in like that…” I protested.

“Of course you can – after all – you were her “first love”…” my wife said.

“Please stop it – I don’t want to meet her – as it is she has been a bad influence on you…” I said.

“Bad influence…?”

“Yes – just by reading her book – you have made my life hell. Just imagine what will happen if you actually start meeting her…? She has already “liberated” you enough – I don’t want her to “liberate” you any further. That is why I do not want you to meet her – she is a bad influence and will corrupt you totally…” I said.

“I am going…” my wife said – and she crossed the road – and walked towards the building.

I had no choice but to follow her.

My wife was looking at the board in the foyer.

Suddenly – she located the Feminist’s name and exclaimed:

“Ah – there – “Rita” – 3rd Floor – see – the flat is her name – it seems that she did not get married…”

We went up by the lift – and rang the doorbell.

The door did not open for some time.

“Let’s go – no one is opening the door…” I said.

In response – my wife pressed the doorbell for a long time.

“Who is it…?” a male voice said from inside.

“Rita’s friend…” my wife said.

The door opened.

A man was standing in the door.

From the stink of whisky from his breath and body – and from his disheveled appearance – I realized that he was drunk.

“Let’s go…” I said to my wife.

But – my wife asked the man:

“We have come to meet Rita – she lives here – doesn’t she…?”

The man said:

“Yes – Rita lives here – I am Rita’s husband – but who are you…?”

I told the man my name.

The drunken man thought for a moment – and then he exclaimed loudly:

“Oh – so you are her lover boy – her college sweetheart – and you have started seeing her again – haven’t you? Reviving your “old flame” – eh…?”

I was rendered speechless.

My wife gave me a deadly look.

I recovered my wits.

Then – and I said to the man:

“That is not true – we were just classmates.”

“Well – I am not too sure – but – anyway – come in – let’s see what Rita has to say…” the man said.

Then – the man staggered drunkenly towards the bedroom shouting:

“Rita…Rita – look who has come to see you…?”

We – my Wife and Me – we stood in the doorway.

The drunken man went inside the bedroom.

And when he emerged – I saw that he was dragging Rita roughly by the arm.

I was shocked to see Rita.

Her face was swollen up and bruised – her lip was cut and bleeding.

It was evident that Rita had been badly beaten up and brutally battered by her husband.

Her body – her clothes – had all the tell-tale signs of violent physical abuse.

“I gave her a nice thrashing just now…” Rita’s husband boasted drunkenly, “Do you know why…? Do you know why…?”

And then – suddenly – Rita’s husband started slapping Rita on the face…

“You stop it – or I will call the police…” I shouted.

Then – I walked to the Rita’s husband – drew myself up to my full height – and I said to Rita’s husband in a loud voice:

“You leave Rita alone – and you go inside your bedroom – otherwise I will thrash the hell out of you – and hand you over to the police…”

Rita’s husband sensed that I intended to carry out my threat – and he realised – that in this situation – discretion was better than “valour” – so – he let go of Rita’s arm – and – he walked away into the bedroom.

“Let’s take Rita to a doctor…” I said to my wife.

“No – No…” Rita protested, “I don’t want to go to a doctor – I will manage myself – you please go…”

“You look after her…” I said to my wife, “I will call the police…”

“You want to call the police…? Are you crazy…?” Rita shouted at me.

“Why…?” I asked.

“If you call the police – the whole world will come to know the truth. My entire image will come crashing down. Do you want me to make me a “laughing-stock” in society…? Rita said, with tears in her eyes.

“What’s wrong with you…?” I said.

“Please – Please – Please. Arun – Please. You just leave me alone and go away – this is my personal matter – I don’t want you meddling in my personal affairs – let me be as I am – if you interfere – my situation will become even worse – please don’t make matters worse – please – I beg you – please leave me alone and go away…” Rita desperately pleaded to me.

“But…? How can I leave you like this…?” I said.

“Don’t worry – these things keep happening – I have got used to it – everything will be okay in the morning – he will make up to me – and things will be fine – you don’t worry – everything will be fine – but you please go – you please don’t make things worse for me – please leave me alone and go…” Rita begged me.

“I still feel…” I said.

“Arun – you promise me one thing…” Rita said.

“What…?”

“Promise me that you will not tell anyone about my personal life – if the world comes to know – my reputation will be ruined – please – I beg you – Arun – you promise me – you promise me that you will not tell anyone…” Rita said to me – her voice full of anxiety.

“Okay, Rita – I promise. I promise you that I will not tell anybody about your personal life…” I said to Rita.

Then – with great reluctance – we left Rita’s house.

Later – at night – when we were in bed – my wife said to me:

“Shall I say something…?”

“Of course. What do want to say…?” I asked my wife.

My wife said to me:

“You should have married Rita.

Then – all this tragedy would not have happened in her personal life…”

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 of this story in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/06/the-feminist-who-loved-me-short-story.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a updated re-post of my story titled THE FEMINIST posted online earlier by me Vikram Karve on this blog on July 6, 2015 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/07/the-feminist.html and revised and reposted at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/blog-fiction-feminist.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/10/gender-equality-in-marriage-story-of.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/12/feminist.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/the-feminist-who-loved-me.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/my-feminist-girlfriend-and-me-romance.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2016/03/11/my-feminist-girlfriend/ and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/my-feminist-girlfriend-and-me-romance.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/the-feminist-who-wanted-to-marry-me/and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/my-feminist-girlfriend-love-story.html

Story of a “Free” Male and a “Freemale” – The Marriage of Two Persons Who Did Not Want to Get Married

November 18, 2019

This is a story of a “Free” Male and a “freemale” – a rather queer love story – of the Marriage of Two Persons Who Did Not Want to Get Married.

THE “FREE” MALE AND THE “FREEMALE” 

Fiction Short Story By Vikram Karve 

THE MARRIAGE OF TWO PERSONS WHO DID NOT WANT TO GET MARRIED 

He did not believe in “Marriage”.

She did not believe in “Marriage”.

Yet – they got married.

Why…?

Here is the story of:

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

“Good Morning…” he said.

“Hi…” she said.

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

“You said it was urgent…”

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

“Oh…”

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

“Oh – is there someone else…”

“No….”

“You don’t like me…?”

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

“Then…?”

“I just don’t want to get married…”

“Oh – are you…?”

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

“Sorry – I didn’t mean it that way…”

“It’s okay…”

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

“I am “married” to the Navy…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Both…”

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

“Not really…”

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

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

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

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

“Okay. So your Navy career is the only reason you don’t want to marry…? Suppose you were not in the Navy – would you have got married…?”

“I can’t say – but I really don’t think so. I am an independent sort of person. I like my solitude, my freedom…”

“Oh – so you prefer to be a “Free” Male – rather than be tied up to a “Ball and Chain”…”

“Ha Ha – “Free” Male – you can say that – yes – I prefer to be a “Free” Male…”

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

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

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

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

“So – they asked you to talk to me and cancel the “Girl Seeing” meeting…?”

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

“Oh – so your parents are pressurizing you to get married – and – you don’t want to get married because you are “married” to the Navy – and – of course – you want to be a “Free” Male…”

“Yes…”

“So – what do you want me to do…?”

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

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

“Yes…”

“Why don’t you tell your parents that you don’t like me…? It is easier for a boy to “reject” a girl – isn’t it…?”

“That would be unfair…”

“Unfair…?”

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

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

“It is a big “if” – but – suppose – I wanted to get married – then…”

“Then…?”

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

“So – you like me…?”

“Yes…”

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

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

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

“I feel that you don’t like me – at least as a prospective husband…”

“Oh. Do you really think so…?”

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

“Shall I tell you something…?”

“Yes…”

“I like you…”

“Really…? You like me…?”

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

“Thanks…”

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

“That’s good…”

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

“What…?”

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

“What…? “Free Male”…? Are you a “Male”…? Or …?”

“No. No. No. I am very much a female. I said “freemale – it’s one word – not two words like “Free Male”…”

Freemale…? What does it mean…?”

“A “freemale” is an independent, modern woman who is happier living a fulfilling single life than actively pursuing romantic relationships – a “freemale” is a professional woman who is single and genuinely loves it – like me…”

“Ha Ha – so – “Freemale” seems to be the feminine version of “Free” Male…?”

“That sounds a bit gender biased – but yes – you can say that a “freemale” is the female counterpart of a “Free” Male. Just like a “Free” Male is a man who does not the burden of marriage – a “freemale” is a woman who does not want the burden of marriage…”

“Tell me – if you did not want the burden of marriage – why did you give a “Matrimonial Advertisement”…? And – why are you coming to my home with your parents to “see” me as a prospective husband…?”

“The same reason as yours…”

“Parental pressure…?”

“Yes…?”

“Oh…”

“Let’s do one thing…”

“What…?”

“Let’s get married…”

“What…?”

“Yes. Let’s get married. Once we get married – our parents will be happy – and – they will stop pestering us for marriage. Then – we can focus on our careers – and – we can live our lives freely as we want to…”

“You mean just a “paper” marriage…”

“Yes – a “technical” marriage – a marriage for the sake of marriage – so that we can get this “marriage issue” out of the way – so that we can get on with our respective careers and continue living as we are doing now – as a “Free” Male and a “freemale”…”

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

“Yes…” she said.

“Okay…” he said.

And so – they got married.

The “Free” Male and the “freemale” got married.

Yes – the boy and the girl – the two persons who did not want to get married – they got married.

EPILOGUE

The story I narrated above happened in early 1982.

And – believe it or not – more than 37 years have passed – and – they are still married.

In these 37 years – many other marriages have broken down.

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

But – the marriage of these two persons who did not want to get married – this marriage continues to this day.

Yes – the marriage of the “Free” Male and the “freemale” is still going strong.

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 source blog post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/07/the-marriage-of-free-male-and-freemale.html

This is a revised version of my story THE MARRIAGE OF TWO PEOPLE WHO DID NOT BELIEVE IN MARRIAGE written by me Vikram Karve more than 3 years ago in June 2016 and posted by me online in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve Blog on Saturday, June 11, 2016 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/the-marriage-of-two-people-who-did-not.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/10/the-marriage-of-two-persons-who-did-not.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/04/16/a-free-male-and-a-freemale-the-marriage-of-two-persons-who-did-not-want-to-get-married/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/10/17/free-male-and-freemale-a-queer-love-story/ and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/the-free-male-and-freemale-queer-love.html

Booze vs Books – Story from My Mumbai Navy Days

November 18, 2019

BOOZE versus BOOKS

(BOOKS “in lieu of” BOOZE)

If you have served in the Defence Services – I am sure you have heard of the term “in lieu of” – which means “in place of” or “instead of”

In the Navy we have – Money “in lieu of” Ration (MLR) Compensation “in lieu of” Quarters (CILQ) Travel Allowance “in lieu of” Transport (TA) etc etc etc

But – have you heard of Books “in lieu of” Booze…?

Or – to put it in better language – Books “in lieu of” Liquor (Acronym: BILL)

Read on…

BOOKS or BOOZE – Which Do You Prefer…?

BOOKS “IN LIEU OF” BOOZE

A Story from my Navy Days – A Spoof By Vikram Karve

This story happened long ago – around 42 years ago – an unforgettable “memoir” from the best days of my life – my delightful Mumbai Navy days – in the 1970s – when I was serving on a frontline warship based at Mumbai (then known as Bombay).

We – a shipmate and me – were loafing around on a Sunday morning – browsing books at the pavement bookstalls around the Central Telegraph Office (CTO) near Hutatma Chowk (Flora Fountain) in Mumbai (Bombay).

I noticed my friend engrossed in a large size book – a regal looking tome – which looked like an encyclopedia.

“Look at this fabulous book…” my exited friend said, “it is an encyclopedia of “numismatics” – it is fantastic – everything is here – the complete history of coins and currency – and details and pictures of rare coins…”

“Yes…” I said, “it seems to be a rare book.”

“I have been interested in “numismatics” since my schooldays…” he said, “but I have never seen a book on “numismatics” like this book. There is a wealth of information in this encyclopedia.”

Now – as you must have guessed – my friend’s passionate hobby was “numismatics” (the study of coins and medals) – he was an avid collector of rare coins and had an impressive collection.

Yes – those days – most naval officers had diverse hobbies – all sorts of activities ranging from outdoor pursuits like hiking, trekking, bird-watching, star-gazing, fishing etc – to the more prosaic indoor hobbies like philately and numismatics.

I saw how much my friend had liked the book – so I said to him:

“Why don’t you buy the book…?”

“Yes…” he said, “I must buy this book.”

We asked the bookseller the price of the book.

The bookseller quoted an astronomical figure.

“Are you crazy…?” I said to the bookseller, “yours is a pavement bookstall – and this is an old secondhand book – and you are quoting such a high price – which is even more than if this were a brand new book in a reputed bookstore…”

“Sir – this is a very rare book – a limited exclusive edition – see the prestigious foreign publisher – look at the date of publication – Sir – this book is long “out of print” – you will not get this book anywhere…” the bookseller said.

“But the price is too high – you can surely give us some discount…” my friend said.

“Sorry, Sir – I cannot give you a discount on this book. Sir – you take it or leave it – but let me tell you – if you come tomorrow – you may not find this book here. An old gentleman showed interest in this book yesterday – he did not have the money – so he said that he may come today evening…” the bookseller said, driving a hard bargain.

We bargained and haggled – but the bookseller would not budge – he refused to reduce the price of the book.

Finally – I said to my friend:

“If you have liked this book so much – why don’t you buy it…?”

“Look at the price of the book – it is almost half our monthly pay…” my friend said.

“Which whisky do you drink…?” I asked my shipmate.

“Whisky…? Have you gone crazy…?” my friend asked, taken aback, “What the hell has whisky got to do with this book on “numismatics”…?”

“Just tell me – Which whisky do you drink…?” I asked him again.

He told me his favourite brand of whisky.

“Now – you tell me – how many pegs of whisky do you drink every day…?” I asked him.

“3 large pegs – maybe 4 – sometimes 5 large pegs…” he said.

“Okay – if you average it out – you drink around 26 large pegs every week – and a bottle of whisky has 13 large pegs – so your whisky consumption works out to approximately 2 bottles of whisky a week…” I said.

“Maybe…” he said.

So let’s say you drink 2 bottles of whisky a week – that’s around 8 bottles a month…” I said.

“Not 8 – maybe 6 or 7 – I don’t drink every day…” he said.

“Okay – let’s say you drink 6 bottles of whisky a month…” I said.

“So what…?” he asked.

“Now – listen to me – if you don’t drink booze for 2 months – you will cover the cost of this book…” I said.

“What are you saying…?” he asked, looking confused.

(Dear Reader: Since we were serving on a ship – we got “duty free” whisky in the wardroom on board ship – so please keep this in mind while reading the calculations below. And remember – this story happened around 42 years ago – in the 1970’s – when the relative prices of “duty free” Scotch Whisky and Books were quite different from what they are today …)

I said to my friend:

“You don’t drink for two months – and you will cover the cost of this book…”

My friend asked me:

“What are you saying…? I am confused…”

I explained to him:

“The price of this book is the same as around 10 bottles of whisky.

You drink a minimum of 6 bottles of whisky a month – so that makes it 12 bottles every two months.

You can easily cover the cost of this book if you don’t drink for 2 months.

So – you don’t drink for 2 months.

Or – if you cannot totally stop drinking – then drink one peg less every day – till it adds up to 10 bottles – and you will cover the cost of this book…”

My shipmate looked at me in astonishment.

“Are you off your rocker…? You are a really crazy guy – comparing Booze and Books…” my shipmate said.

“You smoke – don’t you…? Tell me – which brand of cigarettes….?” I asked him.

“Enough…!!! Enough of your crazy logic…!” my shipmate interrupted me, looking exasperated.

But – he seemed to have been convinced by my logic.

He pulled out his wallet – and – he bought the book.

NB:

In case you are one of those “number crunching” types – here are some “facts and figures”:

1. Those days – in the 1970’s – the basic pay of a Navy Lieutenant (Army Captain/Air Force Flight Lieutenant) was Rs. 1100 per month.

2. In the Navy – a “peg” means a large peg (a “double” = 60 ml).

3. When this story happened –we were serving on board a ship – so I am talking of “Duty Free” Scotch Whisky served in Wardrooms of Warships.Today – if you are a “civilian” Book Lover – you can buy many good books in the cost of a bottle of Premium Scotch Whisky.

BOOKS “IN LIEU OF” LIQUOR (Acronym: “BILL”)

I spent my entire “working life” in the Navy.

And – since I was an honest officer – I do not have much money – nor – do I have many assets.

The only “wealth” I have are my books – which I have collected since my college days – and later – I bought plenty of books when I was in the Navy.

Whenever I wanted to buy a book – I always calculated its cost in terms bottles of booze.

And – in most cases – I bought the book.

Yes – when faced with a “Books versus Booze” dilemma – I always made sure that I bought Books “in lieu of” Liquor.

I drank a lot of Booze

I read a lot of Books

All the Booze I drank – it vanished from my system by the very next day.

But – I still have all the Books that I bought “in lieu of” all the Booze that I did not drink.

Today – in my home – I have plenty of Books adorning my bookshelves.

But – you will not find even a single bottle of Booze.

As I look at my impressive collection of Books – I think of all the bottles of Rum and Whisky that I did not drink.

It’s true – isn’t it…?

Even if you do not drink alcohol – you may consider “Booze” as a metaphor for any luxury, extravagance or “conspicuous consumption” that you indulge in.

And – you may consider “Books” as a metaphor for “things of lasting value”

You spend lavishly on momentary pleasures like food, drink, clothes, movies, entertainment, holidays etc.

You splurge your money on transitory extravagant events like marriages, ceremonies, parties and such fleeting occasions.

You go on reckless shopping sprees buying things that you not need.

You indulge extravagantly in “conspicuous consumption” which gives you only “momentary pleasure”.

But – when it comes to acquiring things of “lasting value” like books – you get stingy and tightfisted…

Why this inexplicable paradox…?

EPILOGUE

While writing this story – I realised that during my bachelor days as a Naval Officer – I was an “intellectual drunkard”.

Ha Ha – I drank a lot of Booze – and – I read a lot of Books

In fact – I loved reading while drinking.

So – it would be apt to describe me as an “intellectual drunkard”

So – Dear Reader – here is some advice from an “intellectual drunkard”:

The next time you see a good book – remember this story about the Booze versus Books dilemma.

And – make sure that you:

SKIP THE BOOZE – and – BUY THE BOOK

Yes – when in a Books versus Booze dilemma:

“Skip the Booze and Buy the Book”

“Bibliotherapy” is always better than “Alcohol De-Addiction Therapy”

Cheers…!!!

Happy Reading.

MORAL OF THE STORY

You can apply this story anywhere if you treat BOOZE and BOOKS as Metaphors.

BOOZE represents those things that give us transitory pleasure.

BOOKS represent those things that give us permanent happiness.

You can always curtail things that give you transitory pleasure to get those things that give you permanent happiness.

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/2017/02/humor-in-uniform-booze-versus-books.html

This is an updated, abridged and revised version of my blog post BOOZE AND BOOKS written by me Vikram Karve on 13 Feb 2015 and posted online earlier in my blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/02/booze-and-books.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/09/humor-in-uniform-skip-booze-buy-book.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/04/28/books-in-lieu-of-booze-story-from-my-navy-days/and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/humor-in-uniform-books-in-lieu-of-booze.html

Mumbai Memories – Empress Court – My Lovely Art Deco Heritage Home

November 18, 2019

MUMBAI MEMORIES

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 EMPRESS COURT – my all time favourite home – the best house I have ever lived in during my entire life.

I wish I could have had my retirement home in that lovely neighbourhood – or nearby – but then – can an honest Naval Officer afford a house in South Mumbai…?

Maybe a Merchant Navy Officer can afford a house in “So Bo” (South Bombay) – but if you have spent your life honestly serving the nation in the “Fauji” Indian Navy – forget about Mumbai – you will not be able to afford a home in the heart of Pune – and – you would probably have to settle down in some faraway suburb like Wakad or Baner or Kharadi – or – in one of those military veteran “fauji ghettos” like Mundhwa, Kondhwa or Mohammadwadi – where most retired defence service officers have settled down.

But in your mind’s eye – you can always hark back – and relive your “good old days” with nostalgia.

That is what I am going to do in the next few blog posts – I will reminisce about my glorious Mumbai days.

Here is the first post – on Empress Court – the best house I have ever lived in.

EMPRESS COURT

My Home in Mumbai For the Six Best Years of My Life By Vikram Karve

The next time you visit South Mumbai – go to Churchgate, admire the beautiful Art Deco style façade of the Eros Cinema, an architectural landmark, which marks the beginning of the Art Deco district of Oval Precinct.

Then – start walking southwards down Maharshi Karve Road – passing Eros – and – Sundance Cafe to your right – the verdant Oval Maidan across the road to your left.

Keep walking past splendid Art Deco buildings like Court View, Queens Court, Greenfield, Windsor, Rajesh Mansion.

Stop at the T-junction with Dinsha Vachha Road – look across the road – and – you will see the most magnificent building of them all – Empress Court.

Pause for a moment to appreciate the splendid pista green building with its exquisite façade.

Then cross Dinsha Vachha road – walk towards Empress Court – enter the building through the elegant entrance of Empress Court – climb up the wooden spiral staircase to the second floor (or – if you prefer – ride up in the ornate lift) – and – ring the doorbell.

If you had come around 19 years earlier – from 2000 to 2006 – maybe – I would have opened the door – for this is the place where I spent the six best years of my life.

Oh yes…!

How can I ever forget Empress Court – the best house I have ever lived in.

Let’s go in.

A huge hall – dining room to the left – drawing room to the right – airy windows – and a cute circular balcony.

Stand in the Balcony – and – admire Mumbai University’s Rajabai Clock Tower right in front of you across the Oval – the High Court to its left – and Old Secretariat to the right.

All the buildings across the Oval are iconic Gothic Style majestic structures in stone.

Walk through the airy cool rooms – each with a balcony with excellent views.

Open the doors and windows – and enjoy the refreshing sea breeze.

It’s heavenly.

Words cannot describe the blissful delight I felt when I lived here in Empress Court.

Close your eyes and think of GB Mhatre – the architect who crafted and designed this elegant apartment house.

Empress Court – facing the Rajabai Clock Tower – is located on the western side of the Oval – and – is a part of the heritage Fort Precinct.

The lush green Oval Maidan – a Grade I Heritage Precinct – an open space colonial pattern esplanada of scenic beauty – acting as a buffer between two architectural period styles:

1. The GOTHIC buildings of the Mumbai University – the Bombay High Court – and – the Old Secretariat to the East of the Oval (Karmaveer Bhaurao Patil Marg earlier called Mayo Road)

and

2. The ART DECO district to its West of the Oval (Maharshi Karve Road – earlier called Queens Road)

The location of Empress Court is ideal.

There is the Oxford Bookstore next door – where I spent delightful hours browsing books on elegant orange rocking chairs – refreshing myself with delicious cups of invigorating teas in the “Cha Bar”.

Just a short walk across Shankar Jaikishen Chowk – and past the Cricket Club of India (CCI) – and – you are on Marine Drive.

Opposite Empress Court is the lush green Oval Maidan – ideal for brisk walks in the mornings and evenings – and rollicking times playing with your pets.

The Business and Art districts, education, museums, sightseeing, shopping, good food, entertainment, night life, clubs, sports, bus and railway stations – everything is nearby.

You are right in the centre of everything that’s happening in Mumbai.

I shall never forget the clock atop Mumbai University Rajabai Tower – whose chimes woke me up at 6 AM every morning – to watch the glorious spectacle of the metamorphosis at sunrise – as the sun rose every morning – between the tall Bombay Stock Exchange (BSE) Building and the Rajabai Clock Tower.

How can I forget the soothing green Oval Maidan – the Football Matches at the Cooperage nearby – just down the street – and – the calm tranquil soothing sunsets on Marine Drive.

Thank you Empress Court …!!!

I shall always cherish the 6 years I spent with you – yes six glorious years from 2000 to 2006 – the best years of my life – in the best place I have ever lived in.

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)

Links to my original/source blog post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/mumbai-memories-empress-court.html

Revised repost of my article written by me Vikram Karve more than 13 years ago in the year 2006 and posted online earlier in my various blogs a number of times including at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/05/mumbai-memories-empress-court-six-best.html and http://creative.sulekha.com/empress-court-the-most-beautiful-building-in-the-art-deco-district-of-the-oval-heritage-precinct-in-mumbai_494023_blog and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/01/mumbai-memories-empress-court.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/01/mumbai-memories-empress-court.html etc

“Supersession Day” – “Memoirs” of a “Written Off” “Passed Over” “Fallen By the Wayside” Officer

November 18, 2019

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

However – this overly rank/seniority conscious mindset seems to be changing.

Generals who were superseded for the post of Army Chief – they happily served as Army Commanders under their erstwhile junior – who was appointed the Army Chief – and so do many other officers – yes – nowadays most superseded officers who have no qualms about serving under the command of their erstwhile juniors.

The “Moral of the Story” is that – as per the “New Age” Military Ethos – old military concepts like “Honour” have become obsolete and antiquated.

In the “New Age” Military – “Materialism” is the new “Mantra”.

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

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

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

All this reminds me of my “Supersession Day”…

“SUPERSESSION” DAY

“Memoirs” of a “Written Off” “Passed Over” “Fallen By the Wayside” Officer

A Spoof By Vikram Karve

DAY OF THE “PASSOVER”

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

My name was not on the “select list”.

I had been “passed over” for promotion.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The fact is that – “my goose is cooked” – I am sunk.

And – the bottom-line is that my Naval Career is over.

I just don’t care who has been promoted – or not promoted.

The reality is that I have not been promoted – and that is all that matters to me…”

On hearing my angry words – he looked contrite – and he said to me:

“I am sorry – I was only trying to console you…”

Then – he left my office.

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

He was two years senior to me.

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

“Congratulations…” I said.

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

He told me that all the “select listed” officers had hoisted a “Gin Pennant” to celebrate their promotion – a Pre-Lunch Drinks (PLD) Beer Party to “wet” their new stripes.

My friend had come to personally invite for the “stripe-wetting” Beer Session.

My “inner voice” told me not to go for the “stripe-wetting” promotion party.

So – I said to him:

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

My friend looked at me with empathy and said:

“I understand – I have gone through the same emotions twice.

You take care – we will have a talk later…”

And – he left my office.

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

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

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

I was stunned.

“P” was appointed in Naval Headquarters.

So – surely – “P” knew that I had not made it to the “select list”.

Surely – “P” knew that I had been “passed over” for promotion.

Hence – I was very upset to hear “P” saying “Congratulations” to me on this sad occasion.

Getting angry – I said to “P” in an accusing tone:

“Sir – why are you “congratulating” me…?

I have “missed the boat” – my name is not in the “select list”…”

My friend “P” said to me:

“I know that your name is not on the select list.

I am “congratulating” you on your “supersession”…”

I was flabbergasted.

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

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

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

And now – I wondered why was he was “rubbing salt into my wound”…?

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

I wondered whether “P” had gone crazy.

Owing to my silence – “P” must have sensed my train of thoughts.

Over the phone – my friend “P” said to me:

“You think I have gone crazy – haven’t you…?

But think about what I am saying carefully.

Till now – you let the Navy “enjoy” you.

But now – it is time for you to “enjoy” the Navy…”

“What do you mean…?” I asked “P”.

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

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

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

Everyone is surprised that you have been “superseded”.

I know you are feeling very disappointed too.

But – just relax.

You just continue working to the best of your ability.

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

The Navy will look after you.

Talk to your wife.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I decided to live my life to the fullest as a “superseded officer”.

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

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

I thorougly enjoyed my appointment.

It was long tenure – professionally satisfying and personally fulfilling.

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

I served in the Navy till I attained the age of “superannuation”.

It has been my personal experience that the Navy really looks after “superseded officers”.

Most officers show understanding and consideration towards “superseded” officers.

Of course there are a few “aberrations” – but they can easily be dealt with.

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

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

And I can proudly say – that:

I contributed more to the service after my “supersession” – than before my “supersession”.

MORAL OF THE STORY

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

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

1. You can Quit the Service immediately by Resigning your Commission (even if it means giving up your pension and forgoing/losing many benefits)

2. You can wait for a few years to complete 20 years pensionable service – and then seek Premature Retirement (PMR)

3. You can serve till you attain the age of “superannuation”. Earlier the minimum superannuation age was 54 years – but I understand that this has now been increased to 57 years – and some officers continue for a few more years on “re-employment”.It is for you to take a considered decision in a “holistic manner depending on your personal temperament, life ambitions and financial status – and after reflecting on various familial obligations in their entirety.

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

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

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

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

“Till now – you let the Navy “enjoy” you.

But now – it is time for you to “enjoy” the Navy…”

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

The “Proof of the Pudding” is that my widely read and popular Blogs:

My highly appreciated Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve Blog has more than 3.3 Million (33 Lakh) PageViews (current count = 3, 300, 9600 Page-Views) and this Blog you are reading right now Writing by Vikram Karve is also extremely polular too – besides many more blogs, websites and social media where I write/post my creative work.

Yes – I have many other blogs/websites – like this one you are reading – so – I can say that there have been around 4 Million (40 Lakh) views of my Writing (Stories, Articles, Papers etc) – that I have posted online on my blogs and on the internet.

And yes – I have published a couple of books and large number of articles/papers/stories in print too.

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

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

Now – you may ask me the moot question:

“How to “Enjoy” Supersession…?”

That – I will tell you in a few susequent blog posts.

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

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

Wish You a Successful Career.

And – if you get “passed over” for promotion – wish you a “Happy Supersession”…

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Link to my original posts in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/05/supersession-day-musings-of-written-off.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/supersession-day-recollections-of-a-written-off-passed-over-officer/

This is a repost of my story SUPERSESSION DAY posted by me Vikram Karve online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/11/humor-in-uniform-supersession-day.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/humor-in-uniform-written-off.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/11/10/supersession-day-memoirs-of-a-written-off-passed-over-fallen-by-the-wayside-officer/ etc



PDA – “Public Display of Affection”

November 18, 2019

CABARET IN PARIS

During our visit to Europe last year – we – my “Better Half” and Me – we saw an enthralling “French Can Can” cabaret called Paradis à la Folie at Paradis Latin in Paris.

The place was jampacked.

We were lucky to get excellent seats – and we – my “Better Half” and Me – we sat next to each other.

When were seated in the restaurant – before the start of the cabaret show – a lady photographer asked us whether we would like to take some pictures as a memory of our visit to Paradis Latin.

The “package” comprised 5 pictures.

For the first picture – we were required to hold (clink) our champagne glasses together and smile.

My “Better Half” was okay with this – as long as I kept a resonable distance between us.

For the second picture – the lady photographer asked me to hug my “Better Half”.

As I hugged my “Better Half” – I could sense that she was feeling uncomfortable.

Next – for the third picture – we were asked to hold each other tight – and rub our cheeks together.

I responded enthusiastically – but my “Better Half” was desperately trying to wriggle away from me – she seemed to feeling very awkward and embarrassed – and – the way she was trying to free herself from my “clutches” – this indicated that she was feeling distinctly uncomfortable and extremely uneasy.

However – the third “romantic” photo was successfully clicked – though the expression of my “Better Half” is quite hilarious.

For the fourth picture – I was supposed to kiss my “Better Half” on the cheek.

When I tried to do so – my “Better Half” violently pushed me away.

She seemed furious at my attempts at “Public Display of Affection” – albeit – just for a photo.

My “Better Half” was looking at me so angrily – that I could not even dare to attempt to kiss her on the lips – as was required for the fifth picture.

The lady photographer had a big laugh at my “predicament” – and she gave us a discount – since she could click only 3 out of the 5 “romantic” pictures.

Later – my “Better Half” scolded me for my attempts at “Public Display of Affection” – and that too – when some people in the restaurant were a part of our tour group – who seemed to be eagerly watching us.

(Of course – my “Better Half” thoroughly enjoyed the the Paradis Latin Cabaret Show – which was a most beautiful, artistic and enjoyable cabaret – 90 minutes of enthralling entertainment – marvelous mesmerizing French Can Can dances with captivating music, dazzling costumes and incredible choreography)

Coming to my “Better Half” – her distaste for Public Display of Affection reminds me of this story I had written some years ago…

PDA – “Public Display of Affection”

A Love Story by Vikram Karve

PROLOGUE

A few days ago – while crossing a busy road I caught my wife’s hand – with the intention of helping her cross the road safely.

“Why are you holding my hand in public…?” my wife scolded me – and – she pulled away her hand.

My “Better Half” seemed furious at my “indecent” act of holding her hand in full view of the public.

So – I said to my wife:

“I am sorry – I just wanted to help you cross the road…”

My wife admonished me:

“Am I a small child or something…? I can cross the road myself. You behave yourself – especially in public…”

The same thing happened on our recent tour of Europe.

Whenever I tried to hold my wife while posing for photos – my wife would try to wriggle away – scolding me not to hold her.

Zero “Public Display of Affection” – that is the story of our “romance”.

Dear Reader – for your information – we have been married for more than 37 years.

(my wife and I got married on 30 May 1982)

Yes, Dear Reader – my “Better Half” and I – we have completed more than 37 years of married life.

But – there is no question of “Public Display of Affection” aka PDA.

(Ha Ha – there’s hardly any “Private Display of Affection” either – but – that’s another story)

Hey – Dear Reader – I am digressing – so – let me come back to the incident where my “Better Half” scolded me for holding her hand in public.

Well – this incident reminded me of a “Public Display of Affection” story that happened many years ago – during my delightful early Navy days…

STORY OF THE “LOVEY DOVEY” COUPLE

A Case of “Public Display of Affection” aka “PDA”

Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve

My first unforgettable memory of Public Display of Affection (PDA) was around 42 years ago – in the late 1970’s – during my early days in the Navy.

There was a young newly married couple who just could not take their hands off each other.

A Naval Officer is not permitted to get married before the age of 25.

But in this case – the Navy had made an exception.

In a rare gesture – the Navy had shown “compassion” for “passion”.

It was a whirlwind romance – and parental opposition had necessitated a quick “hush-hush” wedding – and the Navy was presented with a fait accompli – when a young Under-Trainee Sub Lieutenant got married without without permission and reported for duty along with his newly-wedded wife.

The young Sub Lieutenant bluntly stated that he was prepared to quit the Navy for the sake of his “Lady Love”.

So – permission was granted as an exceptional case – and the young couple was allowed to stay in the Wardroom (Officers Mess).

They were allotted a cabin in the old barrack where married officers awaiting allocation of proper married quarters lived temporarily.

The newly married husband and wife were passionately in love.

Their fervent love was visible to one and all – because the handsome husband – and his beautiful wife – demonstrated their obsessive affection for each other quite explicitly in public in a most uninhibited manner.

Dear Reader – please remember – this was the conservative India of the 1970’s – and this brazen Public Display of Affection (PDA) was happening in a remote cantonment – in full view of sailors and their families – who were mostly from rural areas – and had rather conservative values.

Now – in the orthodox and conformist environment of a cantonment – an officer and his wife indulging in such titillating physical Public Display Of Affection (PDA) was viewed as scandalous conduct.

The officer was warned to mend his ways.

The wife was “counselled” by ladies.

But – there was no effect.

In fact – the “advice” seemed to have the opposite effect.

The young “lovey-dovey” couple continued their amorous “PDA” with much greater ardour and passion – which seemed to be attaining new heights.

One evening they were observed kissing and “making out” in the dark corners of the base cinema hall – with their hands all over each other – when the lights suddenly came on.

Next morning – the “lovey-dovey” officer was read the “riot act” – and threatened with disciplinary action if he did not mend his ways.

“We will throw the book at you…” he was warned.

“We will charge you with Section 53 (indecent behaviour) and Section 54 (conduct unbecoming the character of an officer) of the Navy Act…” they threatened him.

But despite all this – there was no salutary effect on the officer and his wife – who continued their brazen PDA with increasing passion.

Soon everyone turned a blind eye to the PDA – because all realized that the officer and his wife were madly in love with each other.

The officer completed his training a few months later – and was transferred to a ship based at Mumbai.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief – in a cosmopolitan place like Mumbai – PDA was no big deal – even the Navy in Mumbai had a progressive culture as compared to other places.

3 YEARS LATER

I saw the officer three years later at an official function.

He looked like a ghost of his earlier self – as if he had gone through a serious bout of illness.

When I commented on his emaciated appearance – someone said to me:

“Don’t you know what a terrible tragedy the poor chap has gone through…? He has been through a most acrimonious and nasty divorce – and the distressing marital discord and bitter divorce has taken a big toll on his health.”

“Divorce…?” I was stunned.

I could never imagine that such a “lovey-dovey couple” who publicly demonstrated their intense love for each other would ever get divorced.

I still remembered their extremely sensual, passionate, amorous and highly romantic Public Display of Affection (PDA).

How could a husband and wife who were so passionately in love with each other suddenly get divorced…?

It did not make sense.

The couple had been so much in love – that they did not hesitate to publicly display their affection for each other despite societal disapproval – how could they get divorced…?

I just could not understand this inexplicable paradox.

20 YEARS LATER

Twenty years later – I once again met the officer – this time at an airport.

He told me that he had quit the Navy – and he had taken up a job in the corporate sector.

There was a lady standing next to him along with two children.

He introduced his wife and children.

So – he had got remarried.

Looking at his kids – I estimated that he must have got remarried around 10 years ago.

I remembered the officer and his first wife – the “lovey-dovey couple” – and their passionate, unrestrained and uninhibited Public Display of Affection (PDA).

But – now – there appeared to be a sea change in his demeanor with his new wife.

There was absolutely no Public Display of Affection (PDA) between him and his new wife.

In fact – from the way they were conducting themselves in public – it did not even appear that they were husband and wife.

What an irony…?

The “lovey-dovey” marriage with PDA – it broke up within one year.

The “loveless” marriage without PDA – it lasted for more than 10 years

And – it looked like this second marriage would last forever.

I still cannot fathom the paradox.

A relationship with “100% PDA” is fragile.

But – a relationship with “Zero PDA” is durable.

Such are the mysteries of marriage, romance, love, dating and relationships.

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 source post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/12/public-display-of-affection-aka-pda.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a Revised Version of My Story PDA – PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier in this blog on 21 Jan 2015 and 04 Aug 2015 and 06 Oct 2015 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/01/pda-public-display-of-affection.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/humor-in-uniform-public-display-of.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/10/lovey-dovey-couple.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/humor-in-uniform-pda-public-display-of.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/public-display-of-affection-pda.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/11/14/pda-public-display-of-affection/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/01/08/do-you-like-public-display-of-affection-aka-pda/ etc

Navy Cut

November 17, 2019

NAVY CUT

Tobacco – the Navy Connection

OUT PIPE

Story from My Navy Days by Vikram Karve

NB:

  1. This story happened 42 years ago in the 1970’s.
  1. For the benefit of my civilian readers – certain Naval Terms have been explained in brackets/italics. Military/Naval/Veteran readers may skip these explanations.

PART 1

We sailed out after breakfast in the morning.

At around 10 AM – “Special Sea Dutymen” (SSD) had been “secured” after we left Mumbai harbour (Mumbai was called Bombay in the 1970’s).

[Special Sea Dutymen (SSD) are key sailors involved in certain important evolutions of the ship like entering/leaving harbour, anchoring, coming alongside, close-quarter manoeuvring, refuelling at sea etc. Officers and Key Senior/Junior Sailors and in each department man/operate vital posts/equipment during these evolutions].

Special Sea Dutymen (SSD) had been “closed up” before leaving harbour.

And – Special Sea Dutymen (SSD) were “secured” after leaving harbour.

[“close up” means to immediately proceed to place of duty. “secure” means to stop work. After the evolution is completed – the SSD hands over duties to the “Duty Watch” and the SSD “secures”. The “Duty Watch” performs their assigned duties for the 4 hours “Watch” – at sea – the working day is divided into watches of 4 hours each – starting midnight – with two dog watches of 2 hours each in the evening – in order to escape the monotony of standing the same watch every day].

At 10:30 AM – “Stand Easy” was “piped”.

[“Pipe” (or Boatswain’s Call) is a command issued by the Quartermaster over the ship’s broadcast system – it comprises a boatswain’s “call” – a methodical wailing whistle peculiar for each “command” – followed the verbal “command” spoken clearly on the ship’s broadcast system. “Stand Easy” is a short break for the crew in the day’s work routine for a cup of tea and a smoke].

“Stand Easy” had been piped – and – we were enjoying a cup of tea with snacks in the Wardroom.

Suddenly – the Ship’s Main Broadcast System (SRE) crackled to life – and we were surprised to hear a rather funny announcement:

“Cigarette Band”  सिगरेट बंद )

We were wondering about this crazy announcement – when we heard the next announcement:

“Executive Officer requested Bridge – Captain’s Compliments…”

This was going to be fun – it seemed that the XO was going to get a “Bottle” from the Captain.

[The term “Bottle” is Naval Slang for reprimand].

So – I went up to the ship’s bridge to see the fun.

The furious Captain was shouting at the XO.

“What the hell is happening…? What is this bloody “Cigarette Band” ( सिगरेट बंद ) nonsense…?” the Captain asked the XO.

“Sir – “Cigarette Band” ( सिगरेट बंद ) is the Hindi translation for “Out Pipe”. The Quartermaster was piping “Out Pipe” after “Stand Easy”…” the XO said.

[Normally – “Stand Easy” time is from 10:30 AM to 10:45 AM in the morning and for 10 minutes in the afternoon from 3 PM to 3:10 PM.  After “Stand Easy” time is over – there is a Boatswain’s Call – “Out Pipe” – asking the sailors to get back to work after their “Tea and Smoke” break. The word “Pipe” in “Out Pipe” refers to Tobacco “Pipe”. In earlier days – most sailors smoked “Pipes” – Tobacco Pipes. It was thought that the nicotine in tobacco smoke boosted your mental clarity, gave you more energy and soothed your fatigue – so – sailors would be rejuvenated after “Stand Easy” break. On hearing the “Out Pipe” – sailors would extinguish their smoking tobacco pipes – and get back to work.  “Out Pipe” is also sounded after Breakfast, Lunch Break, or whenever men are required to come up from their messes to muster for work].

“Sir – “Cigarette Band” सिगरेट बंद ) is the Hindi translation for “Out Pipe”. The Quartermaster was piping “Out Pipe” after “Stand Easy” time was over…” the XO explained to the Captain.

“But why the hell are we making such ridiculous “pipes” in Hindi on this ship…?” the Captain bellowed.

“Sir – there is a recent letter from Naval Headquarters (NHQ) to encourage use of Hindi in the Navy – and – they have forwarded a list of Hindi Equivalent Words for Navy Terminology…” the XO said, “and the Hindi experts in the Navy had translated “Out Pipe” as “Cigarette Band” सिगरेट बंद ).

(Literally translated – “Cigarette Band” means “Cigarette Shut/Close/Stop”)

“Pipes are not Cigarettes…” the Captain opined, “the correct Hindi name for “Pipe” is “Chillum” चिल्लम ) – or – “Hookah” ( हुक्का ). So – “Out Pipe” should be translated as “Chillum Band” ( चिल्लम बंद ) – or – “Hookah Band” ( हुक्का बंद ) – isn’t it…?”

“Yes, Sir…” the XO said.

“Send a letter to Naval Headquarters (NHQ) accordingly…” the Captain said.

“Aye Aye, Sir…” the XO said.

(“Aye Aye means “I understand and I will comply”)

“And one more thing – “Number One”…” the Captain said.

(Colloquially – on a ship – the Captain addresses his XO as “Number One” – with reference to the term “First Lieutenant” – as the Executive Officer was colloquially called in earlier Royal Navy Days). 

“Yes, Sir…?” the XO said.

“Stop these Hindi announcements. I don’t want sailors to get confused. Many sailors don’t understand Hindi that well. Tomorrow – they may ask me to give “Conning Orders” in Hindi – and there will be chaos. Remember – the Navy sails in international waters – so – in the Navy – we work in English. So – no more Hindi announcements on this ship…” the Captain said.

“Sir – the NHQ letter…” the XO stammered.

The Captain interrupted him and said sternly: “Till I am in Command of this ship – all “pipes” and “announcements” will be in English. Do you understand…?”

“Aye Aye, Sir…” the XO said.

So – “Cigarette Band” सिगरेट बंद ) was “Band” ( बंद ).

And – we were back to the proper traditional announcement – “Out Pipe”.

PART 2 – “NAVY CUT”

Nowadays – smoking may be frowned upon.

But – some years ago – till the 1970’s at least – smoking was considered cultured, stylish and urbane – a “social grace” – a sign of sophistication and refinement.

I started smoking in the 1970’s – after I joined the Navy – though – I did smoke a rare cigarette during my college days in the company of my friends – many of whom were smokers.

In the Navy – smoking was a part of everyday life and social culture.

Cigarettes were smoked in offices and all social occasions – and – with the permission of the senior officer – you could smoke during conferences and meetings – in fact – a tin of cigarettes would be kept on the conference tables with a lighter – and ashtrays were ubiquitous.

During our training days – we could smoke in classrooms – with the permission of the instructor – who would be a smoker in most cases.

Of course – cigarettes were very much a part of “Stand Easy” breaks.

On ships – we got the best of Imported and Indian Cigarettes at “Duty Free” Rates – and – this was a big incentive to smoke.

(Also – we got the best of Scotch and Foreign Liquor/Beer at “Duty Free” Rates – so – we were “motivated” to enjoy drinking as well).

After enjoying smoking the best of cigarettes – one day – I saw an old “Sea Dog” smoking a pipe in our ship’s wardroom.

I felt that pipe smoking was more genteel and dignified than smoking cigarettes – so – I decided to try “pipe smoking”.

I went to a reputed Tobacconist in Fort, Mumbai – and – I bought a pipe – a complete pipe cleaning kit – and – a leather pipe pouch – for my pipe and the cleaning kit comprising stainless steel scraper, reamer, cleaner for the tobacco bowl, chenille stems (straws to insert and clean the pipe stem) – and – to carry a tin/pouch of pipe tobacco.

In the evening – I sat in the wardroom – puffing away – with my new pipe between my lips.

The old “Sea Dog” walked into the wardroom – with his pipe firmly held between his lips.

The moment he saw me – he walked towards me – and – he sat down beside me.

Then – he educated me on all aspects of pipe smoking.

A few days later – he presented me with a Briar Pipe.

I enjoyed smoking a pipe – it gave me a unique pleasure – and – a sense of calmness and tranquility.

Relaxing after dinner – sipping Cognac – smoking my pipe – it was most pleasurable.

(While I found Blended Scotch Whisky with Soda quite effective in lieu of an “aperitif” – I loved a nightcap of Cognac or Drambuie Liqueur as a digestif – especially after a hearty Navy Style dinner).

I enjoyed smoking pipe during the day too.

It kept me calm and reduced my stress – and – probably made me a bit thoughtful.

I realized the virtues of pipe smoking.

In the words of Albert Einstein:

“I believe that pipe smoking contributes to a somewhat calm and objective judgement in all human affairs.”

William Makepeace Thackeray opined:

“The pipe draws wisdom from the lips of the philosopher, and shuts up the mouth of the foolish; it generates a style of conversation, contemplative, thoughtful, benevolent, and unaffected.”

Yes – pipe smoking certainly makes one contemplative.

However – when you smoke a pipe – for full effect of nicotine – you must inhale tobacco smoke.

The nicotine in pipe tobacco will boost your mental clarity, provide you more energy, and even soothe your fatigue, anxiety or nervousness – that is why pipe smoke must be deeply inhaled for maximum “benefit”.

I enjoyed pipe smoking for a few years – though I smoked cigarettes once in a while – when I found it inconvenient to carry my pipe.

I started off with the iconic “Three Nuns” Pipe Tobacco – and later – when appointed ashore – I experimented with various “Navy Cut” and “Flake” brands – and some “Blends” from Tobacconists – till I devised my own blend – which was deep, smooth and aromatic.

My pipe smoking days tapered off after marriage.

My “Better Half” didn’t like the omnipresent tobacco aroma and she also detested cleaning my pipes every alternate day (which involved immersing the pipe bowls overnight in rum and scraping them) – a task I had “delegated” to her.

She would radiate “negative vibes” towards me whenever I sat down with my pipe in my lips to enjoy a smoke – and these “venomous vibes” would diminish the blissful enjoyment of my pipe smoking.

So – I reduced my pipe smoking – and soon – I was back to smoking cigarettes – though – I did smoke my pipe on rare occasions.

Later – in the year 2002 – I quit smoking permanently – so – only nostalgic smoking memories remain.

By the way – if you are a smoker – or – if you have been a smoker – you may have come across the term “Navy Cut”.

In fact – “Navy Cut” cigarettes are quite popular.

Do you know what “Navy Cut” means…?

The term “Navy Cut” has its genesis from the habit of Navy Sailors who took a mixture of tobacco leaves, twisted them into a roll and tied it tightly with string or twine to bind the tobacco leaves – and then moistened the tobacco leaves in rum to mature, meld and blend – and “pressed” and stored the tobacco roll to mature.

Whenever the sailor wanted to have a smoke – he would “cut” off a slice from the tobacco roll and put it into his pipe.

This slice of tobacco was known as a “twist” or a “cut”.

In due course – with the advent of crafting of pipe and cigarette tobacco – all “twisted” and “pressed” tobacco became known as “Navy Cut” because of its popularity with Navy Sailors who liked its compactness, flavour and long-lasting slow-burning qualities.

Whereas Navy “Cut” Tobacco was cut from twisted, pressed and melded Tobacco – “Flake” Tobacco was the Traditional “Cut” of Pipe Tobacco – sliced from large pressed cubes (bricks) of tobacco.

“Flake” tobacco is supposed to have a rather “tobaccoish” taste as compared to the more flavoursome “Navy Cut”.

I am sure you must have come across “Navy Cut” and “Flake” cigarettes.

PART 3 – EPILOGUE

Dear Reader – the aim of this blog post is just to highlight the connection between Tobacco and the Navy – and not to eulogize smoking.

In fact – if you smoke – I will advise you to quit smoking – like I did almost 18 years ago in the year 2002.

Here is the story of How I Quit Smoking

In conclusion – I will say – the Navy has a connection with many things – especially three “Sins” – Tattoo, Rum and Tobacco – which were spread around the world by Sailors.

Do you have a Tattoo…?

Do you drink Rum…?

Do you Smoke…?

If so – “blame” the Navy…!!!  LOL

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, 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: https://karvediat.blogspot.com/2019/11/out-pipe-story-from-my-navy-days.html

Part 1 of this Blog Post posted in my blog at url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/11/16/navy-cut-part-1/  and  https://karvediat.blogspot.com/2019/11/out-pipe-part-1-story-from-my-navy-days.html \

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Two Old War Veterans – Story

November 17, 2019

Two old men – in their 70’s – they sit in the transit area of a famous international airport – waiting for their connecting flights.

The two old men look at each other.

They notice that they have something in common.

Both of them have artificial limbs – prosthetic legs.

Dear Reader – Read On – A tête-à-tête between two old War Veterans…

Tête-à-Tête between Two Old War Veterans

Fiction Short Story By Vikram Karve

Two old men – in their 70’s – they sit in the transit area of a famous international airport – waiting for their connecting flights.

The two old men look at each other.

They notice that both of them have artificial limbs – prosthetic legs.

“How did you lose your leg…?” one old man asks the other old man.

“In war…” the other old man says.

“Oh – in war – I too lost my leg in war…”

“Really…? So – like me – you too are a “war veteran”…”

“Yes…”

“In which war did you lose your leg…?”

“Long ago – in the “Battle of Two Peaks”…”

“What…? Believe it or not – but – I too lost my leg in the “Battle of Two Peaks”…”

“What a coincidence…!!!”

“Yes…”

“But – how come I don’t know you…? I know almost everyone who was there…”

“Maybe – we were fighting on opposite sides…”

“Oh. Are you from “XXX” Army…?”

“Yes – I was in “XXX” Army – in that war – we were enemies – our countries were adversaries…”

“But now – our countries have a friendly relationship…”

“Yes – foes became friends – but – we lost our legs…”

“Politicians play jingoistic games – but – it is soldiers who lose their life and limb…”

“Yes – like we lost our limbs…”

“Luckily – we didn’t lose our lives…”

“Yes – it was terrible – the “Battle of Two Peaks” – a bloody battle…”

“We lost more than 100 men – while capturing “Yellow Peak” – from you…”

“We too had heavy casualties – while capturing “Green Peak” – from you…”

“It all went waste…”

“Yes – immediately after we had captured each other’s peaks – there was a sudden ceasefire announcement from both sides – an armistice…”

“And then – hostilities between our countries ended – and – the war was over…”

“Then – politicians and diplomats sat across the negotiating table – and they agreed to return each other’s captured territories…”

“So – we returned “Yellow Peak” back to you…”

“And – we returned “Green Peak” back to you…”

“Everything was back to normal after the war was over – status quo ante – except for one thing – the soldiers who got killed fighting in the war – the dead soldiers – they did not come back to life…”

“Yes – the dead soldiers did not come back to life…”

“And – we lost our legs…”

“Yes – we became “disabled” for life…”

“Maybe – it was you who planted the landmine which blew up my leg to smithereens…”

“And maybe – it was you who fired the shell whose shrapnel shattered my leg…”

“Ha Ha Ha – what an irony – we soldiers destroyed each other. And – those wily politicians who made us destroy each other – they remained safe and sound…”

“Yes. Politicians start wars – but – politicians don’t die in wars. It is soldiers who die in wars – or get wounded and disabled for life – like us…”

“It’s one hour to my flight. I think I will get moving – and – I will hobble along to the boarding gate. It’s a long walk…”

“Where are you going…?”

“San Francisco – my son has settled down there…”

“I am going to Melbourne – my daughter lives there…”

“I still have trouble while walking. What about you…?”

“Yes – I too have lot’s of trouble while walking. After all – how can an artificial leg be as good as a real leg…?”

“Every time I walk – with each painful step – I remember the “Battle of Two Peaks”…”

“Me too. Every step is so painful that it evokes traumatic memories of that terrible battle…”

“In hindsight – it was a futile battle…”

“Yes. We fought bravely on the battlefield – but the unscrupulous politicians claimed all the glory for victory in the war…”

“And then – in an act of “statesmanship” – the crafty politicians returned the captured peaks to each other…”

“The politicians – of both our countries – they usurped the credit for “victory” in the war – and – they became “statesmen”…”

“Yes – the politicians gained from the war…”

“But – we patriotic soldiers lost our legs – and we became disabled forever…”

“For politicians – the war was a “win-win” situation…”

“But – for soldiers – a war is always a “lose-lose” situation…”

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/2017/08/war-veterans-tete-tete.html

revised and reposted at urls: https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/08/10/a-tete-a-tete-between-two-war-veterans/

and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/06/two-old-soldiers/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/03/20/a-conversation-between-two-old-war-veterans/

Humor in Uniform – The “Mogul” Principle aka The “Animal Farm” Syndrome

November 16, 2019

In his classic satirical allegory  ANIMAL FARM  – the author – George Orwell exemplifies the tendency of people to abuse power.

Whenever a person gets power – his attitude changes dramatically.

I have seen this metamorphosis in a person’s attitude and behaviour happening in the Navy (the same is visible in Politics and the Defence Services, Civil Services etc and even in the Corporate Sector).

When an officer gets promoted to high rank – the first thing that happens is that power goes to his head.

His ego bloats – and he changes his way of thinking.

He starts behaving differently.

He starts displaying all the trappings of power – figuratively and literally (an example is the obsession to display “stars” and rank symbols all over – like displaying vehicle star plates on lecterns, boats, horse buggy, golf caps etc).

He starts doing exactly the same “unethical” and “unofficerlike” things – the same things that he had criticised as a junior officer – when he saw his seniors do it.

And – to justify his conduct – he starts uttering platitudes like:

“Now that I have the view from the “Top” – things look “Different” – and now – I must behave like a “Leader”…”

“MORAL METAMORPHOSIS” ON PROMOTION TO HIGH RANK

This “moral metamorphosis” happened to one of my course-mates.

As a junior officer he was most vociferous in his criticism of the conduct of some of the senior officers.

“Bloody freeloaders…” he would exclaim, “the buggers want everything free. They want everything ‘on-the-house’ and don’t want to pay for anything. Just look at the way they blatantly misuse transport and manpower!”

But when he was promoted to a senior rank – he started behaving in exactly the same way – taking full undue advantages of his rank.

Maybe the “moral metamorphosis” owing to high rank had now made him see things differently…!!!

After all – Rank Has Its Privileges (RHIP)…!!!

Once – a veteran political leader was asked why his party had changed so much from the values it once represented.

The Political Leader explained why his party had changed:

“It is all because of power. Earlier – we were in the opposition. Now – we are in power. Once you have tasted power – everything changes.”

It is true:

“Power Corrupts…”

and

“Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely…”

The moral of the story of Animal Farm is that because of this innate corrupt nature of most human beings to misuse power for their own benefit – whatever the form of governance – democracy, monarchy, socialism, communism, or dictatorship – nothing much changes for the impoverished and hapless Aam Aadmi – or “common man” – since the human-power relationship makes all systems “feudal” in nature.

On a lighter note – the Naval Yarn I am going to narrate below illustrates this dictum.

ONE MOGUL REPLACES ANOTHER MOGUL – “Animal Farm Syndrome

A Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve

ONE MOGUL REPLACES ANOTHER MOGUL

Disclaimer:

The word MOGUL is also spelled MOGHUL or MUGHAL.

In this story – the word MOGUL is used in a metaphorical sense.

In the context of this story – the word MOGUL (or MOGHUL or MUGHAL) means a powerful person – a person who rules or commands.

“MOGULS” IN UNIFORM – an apocryphal story by Vikram Karve 

This happened long back – more than 42 years ago in the 1970s – in the early days of my Naval career.

I was a bright young Navy Officer serving on a front-line warship.

It was the farewell party of our boss – the Captain of our ship.

Everyone was happy to see him go ashore on transfer at the end of his tenure.

He had been a terrible boss – a ruthless taskmaster – quite a tyrant – and – he had made our life hell.

A strict authoritarian disciplinarian – he wielded total power and commanded the ship like a martinet – ruling us like an absolute monarch.

As far as he was concerned – it was “his” ship.

He boasted that there were just two categories of people on-board “his” ship:

1. HE 

(the Supreme Lord and Master)

and

2. WE 

(the rest of the crew – which included everyone else – starting from the second-in-command XO –  right down the junior-most sailor)

This Feudal Style Tyrant Captain exemplified the  “Navy Dictum”  immortalized by Captain Queeg in the classic Navy Novel – THE CAINE MUTINY – written by Herman Wouk:

Captain Queen had famously told his officers and sailors:

“…there are Four ways of doing things on this Ship:

  1. The RIGHT WAY
  1. The WRONG WAY
  1. The NAVY WAY 

4. My WAY

On MY SHIP  we do things MY WAY…” 

Our Captain believed in Captain Queen’s dictum.

Our Captain had made it very clear that – he wanted things done “his way”.

We had nicknamed him: MOGUL” 

At his farewell party in the Ship’s Wardroom – Scotch Whisky was flowing freely – and everyone was thoroughly enjoying the party.

Everyone was downing peg after peg of the choicest whisky.

Every Officer was happy to bid farewell and say goodbye to the “Mogul”.

The officers were celebrating in anticipation of the forthcoming “Freedom” from “Mogul Tyranny”.

For me – it was an evening of mixed emotions – since it was my farewell party as well – because – as luck would have it – by sheer coincidence – I too was going away on transfer to another front-line warship.

So – this was the farewell party for two officers – the Captain (“Mogul”) – and – Yours Truly (Me).

As it is customary to “look after” the farewell guest very well – my shipmates had plied me with plenty of whisky – peg after peg – “down the hatch” – and by the time I was called upon to deliver my farewell speech – I was feeling very “nice”.

As I told you once before – there is a saying in the Navy:

Officers never get Drunk – they only feel “Nice”.

And – I was feeling awfully “nice”.

Being the junior – I was called to deliver my farewell speech first.

In a farewell speech – you are free to say whatever you wish – and – no offence is taken.

I was feeling awfully “nice” – due to the enormous amount of whisky I had imbibed.

At first – I said the customary things – I thanked my shipmates – I talked about the good times we had together in the wardroom.

But as I spoke – my inhibitions started peeling off – and I started speaking out my mind freely.

Then – in a spurt of audaciousness and recklessness – thanks to the “Dutch Courage” – fuelled by the huge amount of alcohol flowing in my veins – I started gesticulating towards the Captain – and – I blurted out my farewell speech:

“Tonight – I am feeling privileged – that along with me – it is the farewell party of our beloved Captain – who we affectionately call “MOGUL”.

I know all of you are happy to see off this “Mogul”. 

Yes – all of you are happy that he is going away. 

But – remember one thing:

ONE MOGUL REPLACES ANOTHER MOGUL.

So – don’t be too happy that this “Mogul” is going away.

It may well turn out – that the new incoming “Mogul” – he may be worse than this outgoing “Mogul” – whose days on this ship are over. 

And – God Forbid – if the new “Mogul” is a worse tyrant than this one – then you will reminisce and remember the “good old days” you had under this “Mogul”…”

After uttering these words – I narrated the story of one my favourite books – ANIMAL FARM  (an allegorical novel by George Orwell).

In this story – there is a rebellion – an uprising by all the animals who unite and rise in revolt against the tyrant human beings who own the Animal Farm.

The humans are overthrown by the animals – who achieve “freedom” from human tyranny.

But soon – the pigs – who led the uprising – gradually assume control – and start taking over power.

The pigs replace the humans as the rulers – yes – the pigs become the new “rulers”.

Eventually the pigs become worse tyrants than the humans – and the pigs make life hell for all the other animals.

So – despite change in leadership – nothing changes for the common animals.

I have seen plenty of examples of the “Animal Farm Syndrome” in the Navy and Defence Services.

Don’t you see this “Animal Farm Syndrome” everywhere – in all organisations – in the Civil Services – in the Corporate Sector – even in Academia – in Government Organisations – and particularly – in “democratic” organisations like Political Parties too.

One “Mogul” replaces another “Mogul” – but – nothing much changes for the common man.

In fact – in most cases:

When “Leaders” change – things may get worse for the “Followers”

(Just like it happened in the novel “Animal Farm”…)

Hey – Dear Reader – I have digressed – so – let me get on with my story:

NEW “MOGUL” RAJ

Let me recap my farewell speech for “Mogul” – our tyrant Captain:

“Tonight – I am feeling privileged – that along with me – it is the farewell party of our beloved Captain – who we affectionately call “MOGUL”.

I know all of you are happy to see off this “Mogul” – all of you are happy that he is going away. 

But – remember one thing:

ONE MOGUL REPLACES ANOTHER MOGUL 

So – don’t be too happy that this “Mogul” is going away.

It may well turn out that the new incoming “Mogul” may be worse than this outgoing “Mogul” – whose days on this ship are over. 

And – God Forbid – if the new “Mogul” is a worse tyrant than this one – then you will reminisce and remember the “good old days” you had under this “Mogul”…”

A few months later – I ran into one of my ex-shipmates.

He told me that my prediction had come true.

My ex-shipmate laughed and said to me:

“You were right – One Mogul replaces another Mogul – but – the Mogul Empire continues forever…”  

He told me that things had happened exactly like I had predicted.

Life on-board the ship had indeed become terrible under the new Captain.

And – just like I had said in my farewell speech – in the evenings – all officers sat in the wardroom – drowning their sorrows in alcohol – and  reminiscing about the “Good Old Days” in the earlier “Mogul Empire”.

My ex-shipmate said to me:

“The earlier “Mogul” was a “bullshitter” – but at least – he was an honest bloke.

On the other hand – this new “Mogul” is not only a terrible “bullshitter” – but he is a crafty, cunning, corrupt man – a slimy character – and a bloody “freeloader” too – and he has made our life really miserable…”

MORAL OF THE STORY

THE “MOGUL” PRINCIPLE (The “Animal Farm” Syndrome)

Look around you and you will see that this “Mogul” theory is true in real life too.

Don’t you see the “Animal Farm” Syndrome everywhere – in politics, at work, in society – where – One “Mogul” replaces another “Mogul”…?

Leaders come and go  elections happen  governments change  regimes come and go  sometimes democracy becomes dictatorship  and sometimes – dictatorship becomes democracy  and – socialism metamorphoses into globalization, liberalization and crony capitalism.

All sorts of things happen – but for you and me – for the “Aam Aadmi” – the “common man”  – nothing much changes – and our life remains just the same.

In fact  in most cases  things may even get worse than before.

Of course  there are exceptions – yes – there are a few genuine leaders who really make a difference  but nowadays  such examples are few and far between.

By and large  the Mogul Principle prevails.

So  before you rejoice too much on hearing the news that your tyrant Boss is going to go away  or – you are delighted that you have a new Leader to rule over you – remember THE MOGUL PRINCIPLE:

“ONE “MOGUL” MAY REPLACE ANOTHER MOGUL – BUT – THE “MOGUL” EMPIRE (Mughal Raj) – IT CONTINUES FOREVER…”

I have seen this happening in the Navy.

One “Mogul” goes away.

Another “Mogul” comes in his place.

And – instead of improving things – every new “Mogul” adds his own “Killjoy”  contribution – and makes life even more painful and miserable than before.

I am sure this “Mogul Principle” prevails in all the Defence Services – the Civil Services – in Politics – and indeed – in all Organisations.

We especially observe this phenomenon in politics too.

So – look around and observe – in your workplace – in politics – and in the world outside.

Do you see “Animal Farms” around you…?

Isn’t the “Animal Farm Syndrome” prevalent everywhere – in politics, in civilian bureaucracy, in the military…?

Don’t you see one “Mogul” replacing another “Mogul” – and nothing much changes for you…?

Instead of improving things – doesn’t every “Mogul” add his own “killjoy contribution” to making life more painful…?

Of course – there are exceptions to the rule – but for most of the time – the “Mogul Empire” (Mughal Raj) perpetuates.

Dear Reader:

Do you see The “Mogul” Principle around you…?

Tell us your views on the “Animal Farm Syndrome”. 

And – please share your experiences of “Moguls” you have seen in your organisation and in your life.

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 source blog posts in my Blogs: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/humor-one-mogul-replaces-another-mogul-the-animal-farm-syndrome/     and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/10/07/humor-in-uniform-the-animal-farm-syndrome/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/the-animal-farm-syndrome-one-mogul-replaces-another-mogul/and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/05/humor-in-uniform-one-mogul-replaces.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised and updated version of my story written by me Vikram Karve more than 7 years ago in 2012 and posted online earlier on this Blog Posted by Vikram Karve at 3/28/2012 10:40:00 PM at url link: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/03/one-mughal-replaces-another-mughal.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/05/mogul-principle.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/08/a-naval-yarn-one-mogul-replaces-another.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/06/mughal-raj-in-navy-mughal-paradigm.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/04/mughals-in-uniform-spoof.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/moguls-in-uniform-animal-farm-syndrome.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/the-animal-farm-syndrome-one-mogul-replaces-another-mogul/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/05/26/humor-one-mogul-replaces-another-mogul-the-animal-farm-syndrome/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/10/10/humor-in-uniform-the-animal-farm-syndrome-one-mogul-replaces-another-mogul/ etc

Navy Cut – Part 1

November 16, 2019

NAVY CUT – Part 1

Tobacco – the Navy Connection

OUT PIPE

Story from My Navy Days by Vikram Karve

NB:

  1. This story happened 42 years ago in the 1970’s.
  1. For the benefit of my civilian readers – certain Naval Terms have been explained in brackets/italics. Military/Naval/Veteran readers may skip these explanations.

PART 1

We sailed out after breakfast in the morning.

At around 10 AM – “Special Sea Dutymen” (SSD) had been “secured” after we left Vizag harbour.

[Special Sea Dutymen (SSD) are key sailors involved in certain important evolutions of the ship like entering/leaving harbour, anchoring, coming alongside, close-quarter manoeuvring, refuelling at sea etc. Officers and Key Senior/Junior Sailors and in each department man/operate vital posts/equipment during these evolutions].

SSD had been “closed up” before leaving harbour – and – SSD was “secured” after leaving harbour.

[“close up” means to immediately proceed to place of duty. “secure” means to stop work. After the evolution is completed – the SSD hands over duties to the “Duty Watch” and the SSD “secures”. The “Duty Watch” performs their assigned duties for the 4 hours “Watch” – at sea – the working day is divided into watches of 4 hours each – starting midnight – with two dog watches of 2 hours each in the evening – in order to escape the monotony of standing the same watch every day].

At 10:30 AM – “Stand Easy” was “piped”.

[“Pipe” (or Boatswain’s Call) is a command issued by the Quartermaster over the ship’s broadcast system – it comprises a boatswain’s “call” – a methodical wailing whistle peculiar for each “command” – followed the verbal “command” spoken clearly on the ship’s broadcast system. “Stand Easy” is a short break for the crew in the day’s work routine for a cup of tea and a smoke].

“Stand Easy” had been piped – and – we were enjoying a cup of tea with snacks in the Wardroom.

Suddenly – the Ship’s Main Broadcast System (SRE) crackled to life – and we were surprised to hear a rather funny announcement:

“Cigarette Band”  सिगरेट बंद )

We were wondering about this crazy announcement – when we heard the next announcement:

“Executive Officer requested Bridge – Captain’s Compliments…”

This was going to be fun – it seemed that the XO was going to get a “Bottle” from the Captain.

[The term “Bottle” is Naval Slang for reprimand].

So – I went up to the ship’s bridge to see the fun.

The furious Captain was shouting at the XO.

“What the hell is happening…? What is this bloody “Cigarette Band” ( सिगरेट बंद ) nonsense…?” the Captain asked the XO.

“Sir – “Cigarette Band” ( सिगरेट बंद ) is the Hindi translation for “Out Pipe”. The Quartermaster was piping “Out Pipe” after “Stand Easy”…” the XO said.

[Normally – “Stand Easy” time is from 10:30 AM to 10:45 AM in the morning and for 10 minutes in the afternoon from 3 PM to 3:10 PM.  After “Stand Easy” time is over – there is a Boatswain’s Call – “Out Pipe” – asking the sailors to get back to work after their “Tea and Smoke” break. The word “Pipe” in “Out Pipe” refers to Tobacco “Pipe”. In earlier days – most sailors smoked “Pipes” – Tobacco Pipes. It was thought that the nicotine in tobacco smoke boosted your mental clarity, gave you more energy and soothed your fatigue – so – sailors would be rejuvenated after “Stand Easy” break. On hearing the “Out Pipe” – sailors would extinguish their smoking tobacco pipes – and get back to work.  “Out Pipe” is also sounded after Breakfast, Lunch Break, or whenever men are required to come up from their messes to muster for work].

“Sir – “Cigarette Band” सिगरेट बंद ) is the Hindi translation for “Out Pipe”. The Quartermaster was piping “Out Pipe” after “Stand Easy” time was over…” the XO explained to the Captain.

“But why the hell are we making such ridiculous “pipes” in Hindi on this ship…?” the Captain bellowed.

“Sir – there is a recent letter from Naval Headquarters (NHQ) to encourage use of Hindi in the Navy – and – they have forwarded a list of Hindi Equivalent Words for Navy Terminology…” the XO said, “and the Hindi experts in the Navy had translated “Out Pipe” as “Cigarette Band” सिगरेट बंद ).

(Literally translated – “Cigarette Band” means “Cigarette Shut/Close/Stop”)

“Pipes are not Cigarettes…” the Captain opined, “the correct Hindi name for “Pipe” is “Chillum” चिल्लम ) – or – “Hookah” ( हुक्का ). So – “Out Pipe” should be translated as “Chillum Band” ( चिल्लम बंद ) – or – “Hookah Band” ( हुक्का बंद ) – isn’t it…?”

“Yes, Sir…” the XO said.

“Send a letter to Naval Headquarters (NHQ) accordingly…” the Captain said.

“Aye Aye, Sir…” the XO said.

(“Aye Aye means “I understand and I will comply”)

“And one more thing – “Number One”…” the Captain said.

(Colloquially – on a ship – the Captain addresses his XO as “Number One” – with reference to the term “First Lieutenant” – as the Executive Officer was colloquially called in earlier Royal Navy Days). 

“Yes, Sir…?” the XO said.

“Stop these Hindi announcements. I don’t want sailors to get confused. Many sailors don’t understand Hindi that well. Tomorrow – they may ask me to give “Conning Orders” in Hindi – and there will be chaos. Remember – the Navy sails in international waters – so – in the Navy – we work in English. So – no more Hindi announcements on this ship…” the Captain said.

“Sir – the NHQ letter…” the XO stammered.

The Captain interrupted him and said sternly: “Till I am in Command of this ship – all “pipes” and “announcements” will be in English. Do you understand…?”

“Aye Aye, Sir…” the XO said.

So – “Cigarette Band” सिगरेट बंद ) was “Band” ( बंद ).

And – we were back to the proper traditional announcement – “Out Pipe”.

To be continued in Part 2…

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, 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: https://karvediat.blogspot.com/2019/11/out-pipe-part-1-story-from-my-navy-days.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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