Salary – Genesis of the Term “Salary”

May 28, 2020

Salt (Salarium) was an important commodity in Ancient Rome.

Roads were built to transport Salt – one such road was called “Via Salarium”.

Salt Rations given to Roman Soldiers were called Salarium (Salt).

When soldiers were given money to buy salt (money in lieu of salt) – the money was called Salarium.

In due course – money (wages) given to soldiers were called Salarium.

By the late 14th Century – the English word “Salary” – derived from Salarium – was used to denote the stipend paid to priests – and soon – the term “Salary” was used to describe wages paid to anyone.

Today – “Salary” means “Pay” or “Wages”.

Timeline of COVID-19 Lockdown in India

May 28, 2020

Lockdown

👇

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_lockdown_in_India?wprov=sfla1

👆

Lockdown

COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown in India – Timeline

May 26, 2020

COVID Lockdown – Timeline starting from Janata Curfew and Lockdown 1, 2, 3, 4 – till today.

👇

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/COVID-19_pandemic_lockdown_in_India?wprov=sfla1

👆

Lockdown

The “Butterfly” – a romance story

May 21, 2020

THE “BUTTERFLY”

Fiction Short Story By Vikram Karve

“Do I need to flirt with every man I meet in the hope that he would marry me…?” she said, “That’s what my mother wants me to do – she literally pushes me towards every officer she thinks is an “eligible bachelor” – hoping that he would marry me….”

I remained silent – to let her vent out her emotions.

She looked at me and said: “My mother – she pushed me into the arms of your course-mate – hoping he would marry me – but – your course-mate did exactly the opposite – he fucked me – and then – he dumped me….”

“Please don’t use such vulgar language…” I said.

“Vulgar…?” she said, “You are a real prude – aren’t you…?”

“It doesn’t look good – a nice girl like you using such “four letter words”…” I said.

“Ha – Ha – “four letter word” – you want me to use the word “lovemaking” – do you…?” she said, “Well – there was certainly no “love” involved – it was an act of “lust” – he got me drunk – he took me to his cabin – and he fucked me…”

“He got you drunk…? Did he…?”

“No. No…” she interrupted, “I got drunk willingly – to loosen my inhibitions. It was my first time – and I was a bit nervous…”

“Oh…” I said.

“I had flirted with many officers before – but I knew where to draw the line. But all those flirtations turned out to be transitory – fleeting romances – but with your course-mate – it was different – he wooed me quite intensely – I felt that he was genuinely interested in me – I thought that if I let him fuck me – he would marry me – but – exactly the opposite happened – the moment I let him fuck me – he dumped me – I think that was all he wanted – to fuck me…” she said.

“That’s bad…” I said.

“He probably thought I was a woman of “loose morals” – not “wife material”. I was good enough to have a “good time” with – but not good enough to marry…” she said, “So – he went home – and he got married to the “back home type” girl selected by his parents. And – I have lost my virginity – so now – no one will marry me…”

“Don’t say that…” I said, “Times have changed. People are more broad-minded nowadays…”

She looked at me and smiled.

“Will you marry me…? I am telling you that your course-mate fucked me and I am not a virgin. Come on – you marry me…” she said to me.

I remained silent – not knowing what to say.

“You see – it is easy to talk modern things – but doing it in actual life is difficult – most of you officers I have met – you show off that you are very modern and liberal – but actually – you all are narrow-minded MCP’s – like your course-mate – who fucked me and dumped me…” she said.

“Why are you saying all this to me…? Did I ever do anything wrong to you…?” I said to her.

“No. No. You are the best officer in your course. I still remember what you told me when I tried to flirt with you…” she said.

“What did I tell you…?”

“You told me what your grandfather had said to you – “If you don’t want to go to a certain town – then don’t take the first step on the road to that town…” – she said, “You made it quite clear that since you didn’t intend to marry me – you were not interested in flirting with me…”

“You follow the same principle too – albeit in the opposite manner – you flirt with a boy in the hope that he will marry you – like your mother advised you…” I said.

“Yes – but it boomeranged with your course-mate…” she said, “I flirted with him – I even let him fuck me – in the hope that he would marry me – and instead – he dumped me – and I lost my virginity in the bargain too…”

“But you have decided to “Bash on Regardless”…” I said, “You are going to keep “flirting” till you find a husband…”

“Yes. I am meeting someone tonight…” she said.

“Here – in the Club…?” I asked her.

“Yes…” she looked at her watch and said, “It’s almost 8 o’clock – he should be coming now…”

“Oh. Then I should go – I don’t want to be a “Kebab Mein Haddi”…” I said.

I got up to leave – and I said to her: “All the Best…”

“I enjoyed talking to you…” she said, “Just talking for the sake of talking – no intention – no ulterior motive – no expectations – just simple conversation…”

“Me too…” I said – and I walked across the club lawns towards the bar.

Dear Reader – did I tell you the name of the girl I was talking to…?

Well – her name was “Nisha” – yes – Nisha.

THREE YEARS LATER

“Why don’t you sit in the wardroom and have a drink…” the OOD said, “I’ll finish off my rounds and join you…”

[The Wardroom is a Naval Officers’ Mess on a Warship or Stone Frigate (Naval Shore Establishment). OOD is the acronym of “Officer of the Day” – the “de facto” and “de jure” Commanding Officer of the warship in off-hours in harbour]

I walked down to the Ship’s Wardroom.

I was surprised to see Nisha sitting inside – she was all alone – except for the steward standing behind the bar.

I smiled at her – she smiled back.

I sat down in front of her.

“So nice to see you here…” I said to Nisha.

“Yes – it’s been 3 years since we last met – isn’t it…?” she said.

“Yes…” I said, “In the club…”

“I didn’t know you were on this ship…” she said, “in fact – I didn’t see you on other ships too – or – in the club – or in the mess…”

“No. No…” I said, “I am not on this ship – in fact – I am not even posted in Mumbai – I am in Delhi – I have come on Temporary Duty here – the OOD is my Boss’s brother-in-law – I have come to collect some duty free canteen stuff for him…”

The steward asked me what I would like to drink.

“Get me a “Chivas Regal” – Large…” I said – and – I looked at the glass on the table in front of Nisha. She seemed to be drinking whisky too – so – I asked her, “same for you…?”

“Okay…” Nisha said – looking at her glass, “But I am having “Black Dog” with Soda…”

I looked at Nisha and asked her: “So – where is your “host”…?”

“He has gone to his cabin – to “tidy up”…” Nisha said.

“So – are you still flirting with every man you meet in the hope that he would marry you…?” I said – tongue-in-cheek.

“No…” Nisha said, with a naughty smile, “Now – I flirt just to have a “good time”….”

Suddenly – the OOD popped into the Wardroom – he smiled at Nisha – then he looked at me – and – he said to me: “Ah – I can see that you are comfortable. I’ll just go to the gangway and call up the Captain – I’ll make the “rounds report” to the Captain – and I’ll join you here for a drink…”

(This story happened 45 years ago – in the 1970’s – and those days – when a ship came to harbour and berthed alongside a jetty – a landline telephone was rigged up at the Quartermaster’s Post near the Ship’s Gangway)

The OOD left – and – an Officer entered the Wardroom.

I knew the officer – not intimately – but – I knew him just by face.

The Officer had a “spoken reputation” of being an ardent womanizer – a “Casanova”.

I wished him – he wished me back.

Then – the Officer looked at Nisha and said to her: “Let’s go up to my cabin…”

Nisha finished her drink – she smiled at me – and – she left with the Officer – to his cabin – to have a “good time”.

After Nisha and the Officer had left – I pondered over Nisha’s words:

“Now – I flirt just to have a “good time”….”

Earlier – she was flirting with the intention of “hooking” a husband – and now – she had become a “hooker” – a “fleet auxiliary”.

__________________

Dear Reader:

If you wish to know more about the sobriquet “fleet auxiliary” – please read this story (click the link below):

THE “FLEET AUXILIARY” CALLED “SEMAPHORE SIGNAL”

https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/09/18/humor-the-fleet-auxiliary-called-semaphore-signal-a-naval-yarn/

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 post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2020/05/the-butterfly.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Husband Swapping

May 20, 2020

HUSBAND SWAPPING

“Sci Fi” Story By Vikram Karve

Mussoorie (circa 1995)

Failures avoid school reunions.

It is painful – and shameful – for a “loser” to be in midst of “winners”

But this time – I decided to go.

Sucheta would be there.

She had rung up from New York.

And of course – her husband Anand was also coming with her.

Maybe – Anand was the real reason I wanted to go.

It was 15 years since we passed out from school – and the reunion was a grand affair – in the best hotel – at this picturesque “queen of hill stations” – on the slopes of the awesome mighty Himalayas – where our school was located.

As I said the reunion was followed a lavish dinner and dance party for ours was an elite and famous boarding school, valued more for its snob appeal rather than for its academic excellence.

“Bookworm” was an exception.

He had topped the board exams and had become a distinguished scientist – always inventing something mysterious and experimenting something esoteric.

“Hi, Bookworm…” I said. I was genuinely happy to see him.

“Moushumi…” he said angrily to me, “my name is not “Bookworm”. My name is Doctor Kedarnath Joshi. So don’t call me Bookworm. I don’t like it. I am a full-fledged Professor.”

“Okay, I’ll call you Professor Bookworm…” I teased him.

“That’s better…” he said, with smug look on his face.

“So, Professor Bookworm – what are you inventing nowadays…?” I asked him.

“I am researching in the frontiers of Psycho-cybernetics…” he said.

“Pyscho-what…? Stop the mumbo jumbo, Bookworm. Tell me in simple language. Who are you – and what do you do?”

“Okay. I am a neurologist. A psychiatrist. A psychologist. And – I also hold a doctorate in Electrical Engineering. Currently I am researching in mind-transference…” Bookworm said proudly.

“Mind-transference…?” I asked confused.

“You have seen star-trek haven’t you…?”

“Yes.”

“There they transfer persons in space. H G Wells’ time-machine transferred entire persons in time…” he said.

“Time Machine – you’re making a “time machine”…?” I asked incredulously.

“No..No… I am working on something more complicated – Brain Transfer – I can put your mind into someone else’s body – and vice-versa – that is – someone else’s brain into your body…!!!”

“It sounds very spooky to me. Is it ESP…? Or some kind of occult stuff…?”

“Not at all…” Bookworm said, “Nothing supernatural, esoteric or mystical. It’s a purely scientific technique. I have developed a pilot system for trials. The machine is upstairs in my hotel room. Why don’t you give it a try…?”

A strange curious wicked thought crossed my mind.

I surveyed the expanse of the majestic ballroom with my eyes.

And soon – my eyes found Anand.

His dashing physique and his magnificent beard made him look prominent in the crowd.

He looked a decisive, hot-blooded and dangerous man – but he also looked vulnerable.

He wore a lonely and rather perplexed expression – as though he were at the party – but not enjoying it.

And beside Anand – stood his wife Sucheta – radiating the natural pride of possession that any woman feels when she has the ownership and company of a man that other women desire.

I reminisced.

There were four of us who grew up together.

The same group of classmates and friends – in school and in college – Anand, Mohan, Sucheta and Moushumi (that’s me) – the “famous four” – inseparable friends.

All of us loved each other.

I had the first choice – since both Anand and Mohan were desperately in love with me – and – both Anand and Mohan had proposed to me.

I chose Mohan – leaving Anand for Sucheta.

And since that moment – I kept tormenting myself – wondering if I had made the wrong choice.

Physically – I lived with Mohan.

But – in my heart – I longed for Anand – repenting – and trying to imagine – what my life would have been like – if I had married Anand instead of Mohan.

I looked at Anand – and then at Bookworm.

Serendipity…!!!

Yes.

It was indeed Serendipity – pure luck.

I felt the adrenalin rush.

This was my golden chance to find out what life would have been like if I had married Anand.

And – I was going to seize the opportunity.

I waved out to Sucheta – and 5 minutes later – both of us were lying side by side on the double-bed – in Bookworm’s hotel room.

There was a mesh of wires – with electrode-transducers connected to our heads (like an EEG) – a laptop-like special computer – and a briefcase-size electronic device – which Bookworm described as the “Electrophoresis Signal Processor”.

“Good…” Bookworm said, “both your brainwave frequencies are in “beta” state around 15 hertz. I will give you both a high frequency burst to momentarily raise your brain-states to “K-Complex” and instantaneously commence the electrophoresis.”

Looking at me – Bookworm said:

“Moushumi – you will be Sucheta as far as the outside world is concerned. So when you wake up – you go straight to Sucheta’s husband Anand. Let’s see if he suspects.”

And then – to Sucheta – Bookworm said:

“Sucheta – you go straight to Moushumi’s husband Mohan. He will think you are Moushumi.”

“It’s dangerous. I am scared…” Sucheta said.

“Come on, Sucheta. Be a sport. It’s just for fun…” I said.

Bookworm said in a serious tone:

“It’s not fun. We are doing this experiment to validate my research – in vivo – to see if the concept of mind-transference it works. Just for half-an-hour. After 30 minutes are over – both of you come back to me over here in this room – and I will reverse the process. And – everything will be the same as before. Then – you can leave this room as your own “original selves” – your own “same mind” in your own “same body”…”

I closed my eyes in trepidation – wondering whether I was doing the right thing.

Suddenly – I felt my brain go blank and then there were vivid flashes in a void.

When I woke up – the “Brain Transfer” was done.

My mind was put in Sucheta’s body – and Sucheta’s mind was in my body.

For the outside world I was Sucheta.

Half an hour later – I was in a state of ecstasy – in seventh heaven – I was gliding in Anand’s strong arms, enjoying the dance, in blissful trance.

Bookworm suddenly appeared by my side – he started tugging my arm and telling me with urgency in his voice:

“It’s time. Let’s go, Moushumi.”

“Moushumi…? Why are you calling her Moushumi…?” an incredulous Anand asked Bookworm.

“She is Moushumi…” Bookworm said pointing at me.

On hearing this – Anand snapped angrily at Bookworm:

“Are you drunk or stoned or something…? Can’t you see that she is my wife Sucheta – why are you alling her Moushumi…?”

Bookworm pointed at me and said to Anand:

“No, No. I did Psycho-Cybernetic “Mind-transference” – Sucheta into Moushumi – and Moushumi into Sucheta – so – though she looks like Sucheta because her body is Sucheta’s – her mind is Moushumi’s – so – she is actually Moushumi…”

“What nonsense…!!!” Anand said to Bookworm.

Bookworm said – pointing at me:

“She may look like Sucheta – but she is actually Moushumi…”

On hearing this – a flabbergasted Anand said to Bookworm:

“You have really gone crazy. I am telling you once again – this lady in front of me is Sucheta, my wife. And – Moushumi must be with her husband Mohan. I last saw them having a drink near the bar.”

Instinctively – I turned and looked towards the bar.

I could not spot Sucheta (who was in my body).

Nor was Mohan there.

I hurriedly scanned the room.

There was no sign of them.

They had disappeared.

Bookworm was in a state of panic.

Suddenly –Bookworm started shouting incoherently at Anand:

“Anand…Anand…Try to understand…Your wife Sucheta has gone away with Mohan. And this lady here in front of you is Moushumi – Mohan’s wife. This is only Sucheta’s body. Inside her is Moushumi’s mind. Moushumi’s mind is in Sucheta’s body. My“in vivo” experiment was successful – my psycho-cybernetics discovery is validated – the mind-transference has been achieved…!!!”

“Psychocybernetics…? Mind-transference…? Stop talking nonsense…!” Anand shouted angrily at Bookworm.

And then – taking my arm – Anand said to me:

“Come on Sucheta. Let’s go. Bookworm has gone crazy. And it’s getting late. We’ll drive straight down to Delhi. I’ve got a busy day tomorrow before we catch our flight back home to New York.”

As we walked through the parking lot – towards the luxury limousine Anand had hired for his visit – I noticed that “our” car was missing.

Yes – “our” car – my actual husband Mohan’s car – was not in the parking lot.

Maybe Mohan had taken Sucheta (thinking it was me).

It was cold – and I glanced at “our” small cottage on the hill slope for the last time.

“They” were probably cuddling up in “our” bedroom by now.

I thought I was smart – but it was Sucheta who played the double game.

For me it was only a half-hour experiment – but Sucheta had upped the ante – and turned the tables on me.

Will Mohan ever find out…?

And what about Anand…?

Will Anand continue to think that I am his wife Sucheta…?

Will this psycho-cybernetic mind-transference last forever…?

Am I beyond the point of no return…?

As I think of my future – I shiver with tremors of trepidation.

From now on life is going to be a tightrope walk.

Every moment – I will have to be on my toes.

I am excited – very excited – and a bit terrified and scared too.

From now on – life is going to be dangerous fun.

But one thing is sure.

Now – I am living in Sucheta’s body – and I will really know what life would have been like – if I had married Anand instead of Mohan.

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/serendipity.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Updated Version of my Story written by me – around 25 years ago – in the mid 1990s – and earlier Posted Online by me a number of times in my various blogs including at urls: http://creative.sulekha.com/double-game-fiction-short-story-by-vikram-karve_32021_blog and https://karve.wordpress.com/2005/12/24/ and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/02/electrophoresis-virtual-wife-swapping.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/09/wife-swapping.html andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/01/wife-swapping-by-signal-processing.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/high-tech-wife-swapping.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/08/serendipity.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/08/01/how-to-swap-your-husband/ etc

PCMC must enable Ex-servicemen property tax rebate for online payment

May 19, 2020

For PCMC

PLEASE ENABLE PROPERTY TAX EXSERVICEMEN REBATE FOR ONLINE PAYMENT

Ex-Servicemen (Maji Sainik) are given 50% rebate in Property Tax by PCMC.

For availing this rebate, Ex-Servicemen have to put up an application, complete various formalities, and get a sanction letter issued.

However, even after issue of 50% rebate sanction letter – the property tax bill does not reflect this 50% rebate.

Hence – ex-servicemen are not able to pay their property tax online by internet.

PCMC is requested that in the case of ex-servicemen who have been sanctioned 50% rebate – this rebate amount be deducted from the property tax while preparing that property tax bill.

This will enable ex-servicemen to pay property tax online via internet.

Many ex-servicemen are old and have to perforce go physically to the ward offices to pay property tax despite online facilty being available.

Please incorporate 50% “Maji Sainik” Ex-Servicemen Rebate in the Property Tax Bill itself to enable online payment of Property Tax by Military Veterans.

Also – once a sanction letter has been issued – the ex-serviceman should not be harrased every year to get fresh sanction.

Also – in view of COVID-19 Lockdown – ex-servicemen rebate must be enabled for online property tax payment.

Jai Hind

One Night Stand

May 18, 2020
CONSCIENCE
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE
From My Creative Writing Archives:

One of my earliest short stories – “Conscience” – passionate romance – story of sleazy one-night stand
I wrote this story 25 years ago in 1995 on paper when there was no internet – so – I have revised, updated and abridged the story to make it suitable for reading on the digital screen.
Dear Reader – Do tell me if you like it…
CONSCIENCE – short story by Vikram Karve

Part 1 – ONE NIGHT STAND
I waited in anticipation.

I was overcome by tremors of trepidation.

I felt shivers of fear go up my spine.
I secretly hoped that he would not come.

But he did come.
He arrived right on the dot.

Sharp 10 o’clock at night.

It was exactly as planned.

He said nothing when he entered.

The moment I recognized him – I started to tremble.

But he did not seem to notice.
He turned around – as if he had forgotten something.

Then he took two quick steps – and he bolted the door.

Hoping to conceal my emotion – I began to talk – talking also helped me gain my composure.

I said to him:
“Please be seated, Sir. Would you like a drink…?”

“Whisky and Soda…” he said.

He loosened the knot of his tie as he moved towards the sofa.

He sat down and he gave me an appraising look.
I took my time getting up from my chair – taking care to make my movements deliberately slow – in order to hide my fear and nervousness.

I walked towards the fridge.

My back was turned in his direction – but still I could feel his eyes piercing me.

Soda, glass, opener, ice-bucket and a bowl of peanuts ready on a tray – I opened the liquor-cabinet.

At first my hands instinctively touched a bottle of cheap whisky – but then I hesitatingly picked out a bottle of the best premium whisky.
After all this was a first-class client.
And maybe this would be his last drink.
Let him enjoy it.

I carefully set the loaded tray on the table in front of him – and I sat down on the chair across.

I poured him a stiff drink – and I opened the bottle of soda.

“Put lots of ice…” he said, in a commanding voice.

And then – as an afterthought – he added:
“What about you…?”

“No…” I said, handing him the glass, “I don’t drink on duty.”

“Duty…? Ha Ha Duty– I like your sense of humor” he laughed.
Then – he looked me in the eye.
He took a sip of the whisky and closed his eyes with a gesture of fatigue – as if waiting for the whisky to caress his brain.

His was not an unpleasant face.

In fact he looked quite handsome.
“Without any effort I could go straight to sleep…” he said – with his eyes still closed.
Then – suddenly he opened his eyes – looked directly at me – and with a mischievous smile – he said to me:
“Ah – but there is plenty to do tonight – isn’t it…?”

“Yes indeed…!!!” I said to myself, “there was plenty to do tonight.”

In my imagination – I tried to visualize how I was going to do it.

The man shifted on his seat – he took out a wallet from his hip pocket.

He stylishly extracted 5 crisp pink coloured 2000 rupee notes – and he put the 10,000 Rupees on the table in front of me.

I did not pick up the money.

“It’s okay…” I said, “There is no need for you to pay me. The treat is on-the-house”...”
“Who said so…?” he snapped an angrily.

“The person who sent me here…” I answered.

“What else did he say…?”

“He told me that you are a very special guest.”

“And…?” he asked.

“He said that I should be very discreet – and that I should not even breathe a word about you to anyone.”

“And will you…?” he asked.

I paused – and then I said to him:
“It’s okay. You can trust me.”

The man smiled – and then he said:
“Take the money. I always pay for everything. I am a man of principles.”

Suddenly – I could feel the venom rising inside me.

Ha Ha – a man of principles…?
My Foot…!!!

Hypocrite…!!!

That’s what he was.

A Bloody Hypocrite…

Where were his principles when he had killed my husband…?
Where were his principles when he concocted lies and told everyone that it was a gruesome accident…?
Where were his principles when he quickly disposed off my husband’s body at sea – into the Davy Jones’s Locker – buried into the deep at the bottom of the sea…?
Murderer…

Bloody Murderer…

That’s what he was.

An unscrupulous mendacious murderer…

And tonight he was going to pay for it.
Everything was in my favour.

I had recognized him.

I knew who he was but he did not know who I was.
For him – I was just a nameless face – a one-night stand.
Yes – for him I was just a one-night stand – to be used, discarded and forgotten.
Though he could not possibly realize it – it was he who had reduced me to this.

And now he had unknowingly walked right into my hands.
“Is it enough…?” he asked, pointing to the money on the table.

“My normal rate is 50,000 – and some happy clients sometimes pay me even more than a Lakh for a night…” I said.

I wanted to embarrass him – for I had glimpsed into his wallet when he took out the money.

I picked up the 10,000 rupees from the table – tucked them in my blouse – and I said to him:
“But then after all you are a special guest so I will give you a discount – as I told you earlier – the treat is on the house – so I will consider this as a tip – and even if you did not pay – it was okay…”
He smiled – looking intently into my eyes for a few seconds.

Then he gulped down his drink – he got up from the sofa – and he came around the table and stood behind me.

I sat still – waiting for his next move.

He put his hands on my shoulders – and he said matter-of-factly to me:
“Let’s go to bed…”

And so – we went to bed – for a one-night stand.
Part 2 – DEADLY DATE
When I woke up – for a moment – I could not imagine where I was.

The silence was so intense – that I could hear my heart beating.

The room was not quite dark.

The door of the bathroom was partly open – and I had left the bathroom light on.

As I turned – I saw him lying beside me.

I felt a sudden flush of passion.

It was after a long time that I had made love to a man.

I had really enjoyed it.

I yearned for some more.

But I quickly controlled my feelings – and I carefully observed the sleeping man.
He breathed steadily – like a man immersed in deep sleep – fully satiated.

But I had to be sure.

“Hello…” I whispered near his ear.

No answer.

He was dead to the world.

Very slowly very silently – I slipped out of my bed.
I carefully bent down near the bedside table.

I unplugged the two-pin electric plug from the socket on the wall.

Then – I carefully coiled the wires around the base of the table-lamp.

I picked up the table-lamp in both hands holding the plug carefully.

I stood for a while – looking at the man to see whether I had disturbed him.

His breathing was as regular as before.

I took a couple of tip-toe steps and halted – took a few steps more and waited – and so on – till I reached the bathroom door.

Then I quickly went inside – and I locked the door.

I yanked out the wires from the table-lamp.

Then – with my teeth – I removed the plastic cladding from the open ends – exposing at least two inches of naked copper on both the wires.

I smiled to myself.

In my hands, was a weapon of death – a set of coiled wires – one red and one black – long enough – a two-pin plug at one end – and the other end was exposed – naked.

I retraced my steps – tiptoed – leaving the bathroom light on – and the door a bit ajar – so that I could just about see slightly.

I put the plug in the socket.

Then I uncoiled the wires – carefully holding one wire in each hand – a few inches away from the naked exposed copper – my hands apart.

I switched on the electric switch with my left toe.

Then – I got on the bed – and I slowly advanced on my knees towards the sleeping figure.

The man was lying on his back – sleeping soundly.

He seemed dead to the world.

Soon – he would actually be dead.

I decided to aim for his eyes.

Simply thrust one live electric wire into each eye.

Hopefully – death would be instantaneous.

The electric current would flow through his brain and kill him on the spot.

Even if death wasn’t instantaneous – at least he would be knocked unconscious – and blinded – and then – I could take my own time to finish him off by shoving the live wires deep into his eyes till his brain got roasted.

I steadied myself – and I moved my hands slowly.

The live wires had almost touched his eyes – when some invisible force seemed to have grabbed my wrists.

I froze.

I felt a turbulence of conscience.

It was as if there were two brains inside me.

One brain pulled my hands back and my soft inner voice said:
“I don’t want to be a murderess. What do I gain by killing him…? If I kill him – then what is the difference between him and me? What about his family…? Why should I make them suffer for no fault of theirs? And maybe what he officially said was indeed true – that it was just an accident – like he had reported…”
The other brain desperately urged me to kill him and pushed my hands forward – and – my hard inner voice said:
“Revenge…! Vengeance…! He deserves it…!”
This inner voice won – and I said to myself:
“An eye for an eye – a tooth for a tooth – do it now – kill him – quickly fast…”
And slowly – my hands started moving forward.

Suddenly – the man started turning.

I panicked.

In my panic – as a sudden reflex action – I instantly pulled my hands back.

In the confusion – the live naked electric wires touched.

There were sparks of electricity.

And then – there was total darkness.

Short Circuit – the fuse had blown.

My blood ran cold.

It was pitch dark – and I felt scared


– very frightened.

There was no movement from the man.

Instinctively – I guessed that the man had turned over on his side – his back towards me.

I tiptoed to the bathroom – retrieved the table-lamp – kept it on the bedside table – and tucked the wires underneath.

Then I lay down on my bed – as if nothing had happened.

The centralized air-conditioning was still on – but the bathroom light had gone off.

It seemed that only the local 5 Ampere light fuse had blown – but I did not know where it was.

I had muffed up a golden chance.

The man was lucky to be alive.

It was his sheer luck!

But I knew that I would have to try to kill him when I got an opportunity.
I would have to create that opportunity – and kill him.
I would have to keep trying – again and again – to kill him – for he did not deserve to live.

Maybe – I could try some other technique of murder.

And with these thoughts – I drifted off to sleep.

Part 3 – EPIPHANY
When I woke up in the morning – I saw that the man was still fast asleep.

Dawn had broken.

I opened the window – and let the sunlight in.

“Who’s that…?” he asked – startled – adjusting his eyes to the sunlight.

“It is time for you to leave. You must go away now…” I said.

I walked towards the sofa – picked up his clothes – and threw them to him.

He dressed hurriedly.

Then he quickly walked to the connecting door between our rooms.
He opened the door.

At the door he paused for a moment.
He turned towards me and he said to me:
“Good Bye, Mrs. Morris. They told me that you would kill me. I came to find out. But killing isn’t easy. Yes – killing is not easy. You can take my word for it…”
With these words – he left my room – silently closing the door.

I sat in dumbstruck silence – a deathly grotesque deafening silence.

I never saw him again.

I never want to see him again.

In my entire life – I have never felt so scared – so frightened – the dreadful fear I felt at that moment.
Even today when I think of that horrific one-night stand – a shiver of fear goes up my spine – a deadly electric quiver vibrates throughout my whole body – and I resonate with a terrible indescribable fear.
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 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)

“Cover-Up” Made Simple

May 18, 2020

HOW TO “COVER UP” MISTAKES

Musings of a Navy Veteran By Vikram Karve

An old “Sea-Dog” once told me a Naval Yarn – maybe it was an apocryphal story.

A Navy Captain rammed a jetty while berthing his ship thereby damaging his ship as well as the masonry structure on the wharf.

Normally – a Ship’s Captain would have been court-martialled and punished for this professional lapse of poor navigation and shoddy seamanship.

However – the Captain was well-connected – in fact – he had “Royal” connections and patrons in high places.

Instead of punishing him for his mistake – the “powers-that-be” commended the Captain for “keeping a cool head in a crisis”.

Yes – instead of being punished for ramming his ship on the jetty – the Captain was rewarded for keeping cool in a crisis – and hence – his professional lapse was covered up.

This is a time-tested subterfuge to cover up mistakes – to reward the person who makes a mistake instead of punishing him for it.

You don’t accept your mistake – instead – you glorify your mistake as if it was an achievement.

You act boastfully about something you ought to be ashamed of.

This stratagem may be unethical – but it seems to work everywhere – in all spheres of life – especially in politics – in bureaucracy – and – in the military too.

I was fortunate that I read the classic military war novel Catch-22 by Joseph Heller before I joined the Navy.

Reading Catch-22 gave me a better understand the curious goings on and peculiar behaviour of some of the idiosyncratic characters I came across in the Navy and it helped me maintain my sanity in the rather atypical Naval Environment.

There were plenty of  “Cathcarts” “Dreedles” “Scheisskopfs” “Peckems”“Korns” “Captain Blacks” “Milo Minderbinders” “Doc Daneekas” and “Wintergreens” around – and occasionally – you also noticed a “Yossarian” – or a “Dunbar”.

In fact – during my career in the Navy – I saw an analogous caricature of every character of Catch-22 – including some of the female characters.

I am sure you have read Catch-22.

In case you haven’t – do read the book – it will surely bring a smile to your lips.

There are many themes and morals in Catch-22 – including the truism I had told you about on how to cover up mistakes.

The best way to “cover up” a mistake is to reward the person who commits the mistake instead of punishing him for it.

A pertinent example of this dictum is illustrated in a story enunciated in chapter 13 of the war novel Catch-22.

The protagonist of the novel – Captain Yossarian – he is a bombardier – in a bomber squadron.

Yossarian’s Squadron is tasked to demolish an important bridge.

Yossarian is leading the bombing mission.

Due to navigational error – the bomber formation is not exactly over the target – so Yossarian orders the bombers not to drop their bombs.

So – the bomber squadron is unsuccessful in its mission.

As per the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) in force – it is irregular to go for a second bomb run over the target – especially when there is heavy anti-aircraft fire (flak).

Despite this – Yossarian takes his formation over the target for a second time – this time they are exactly above the bridge – the bombers drop their bombs – and – the bridge (target) is destroyed in the second bomb run.

Unfortunately – one of the bombers in the formation is hit by anti-aircraft fire and blows up mid-air – and the entire crew is killed in action.

The Bomber Group Commander Colonel Cathcart is furious at the loss of the bomber aircraft and its crew.

He wants to court-martial Captain Yossarian for not following the SOP.

But – the Deputy Commander Lieutenant Colonel Korn advises against it.

Korn is Cathcart’s right-hand man – an “intellectual” who does most of thinking and work for Cathcart who only takes the credit.

Korn knows that Cathcart is extremely ambitious and is obsessed with getting promoted to General.

So – Lieutenant Colonel Korn tells Colonel Cathcart that till now – his bomber group has had an exceptional record and having a court-martial on the base may spoil that perfect record.

Also – a court-martial may expose many other flaws – and this may blemish the excellent reputation that Colonel Cathcart and his Bomber Group enjoys till now – and – this may reflect poorly on the Group Commander Colonel Cathcart – and adversely affect Colonel Cathcart’s promotion prospects.

So – Korn tell Cathcart that punishing Yossarian by Court-Martial may not be advisable.

Korn advises Cathcart that instead of punishing Yossarian – it would be best to cover-up the shameful incident by awarding Yossarian a Medal for Bravery.

“We can easily justify the gallantry award – after all – I suppose it did courage to go over the target the second time in heavy anti-aircraft fire – and he did hit the target, destroy the bridge and successfully achieve the mission…” Korn says, “You know – that might be the answer – to act boastfully about something we ought to be ashamed of. That’s a trick that never seems to fail…”

And so – Yossarian is awarded a medal (instead of being punished).

Dear Reader:

Look around.

Don’t you see examples of this phenomenon everywhere…

  1. You “cover up” a mistake by rewarding the person who commits the mistake instead of punishing him for it.
  1. You act boastfully about something you ought to be ashamed of.
  1. You create hype by touting your failure as your “success”.

 

I have seen many such cases during my Naval Career – and even now – I see this happening everywhere – politicians seem to be especially adept at doing this.

Military History is replete with examples where defeats in war have been “glorified” – and – and avoidable casualties due to military incompetence are hyped as “sacrifice” – the most famous example being “The Charge of the Light Brigade” at Balaclava.

(Subsequent accounts of the “Charge of the Light Brigade” tended to focus on the bravery, valour and glory of the cavalrymen – rather than then military blunders of monumental proportions which resulted in the military disaster involving huge casualties and the near destruction of the brigade.

There was a famous poem “The Charge of the Light Brigade” written by Alfred Tennyson to “celebrate” this act of “bravery” and “sacrifice” of soldiers in what was actually a suicidal cavalry charge.

This is an excellent illustrative an example of “glorification” of a blunder and disaster) 

Political History will reveal plenty of such “cover ups” too.

Even now – as the COVID Crisis has gripped the entire world – don’t you see examples of this “Cover-Up Strategy” being successfully used by Politicians, Bureaucrats and various International, National and Local Agencies…?

Dear Reader – please comment and tell us if you have you seen examples this “cover up” strategy – glorify failure – reward mistakes – and act boastfully about something you should be ashamed of…”

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2020/05/how-to-cover-up-mistakes.html

Story of Two Aviators : Two King Cobras Named Ravi Dhir 

May 18, 2020

Link to article Two King Cobras Named Ravi Dhir by Dr. Krishna S Dhir

http://www.indiandefencereview.com/spotlights/two-king-cobras-named-ravi-dhir/

Two King Cobras Named Ravi Dhir

List of Catch-22 characters

May 18, 2020

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Catch-22_characters?wprov=sfla1

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