Changing Face of the “FAUJAN” (Military Wife) – Story of 4 “Fauji Memsahibs”

April 22, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: ARMY WIFE – THEN AND NOW : A TALE OF FOUR FAUJI MEMSAHIBS.

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

THE NEW AGE “FAUJI MEMSAHIB”

Sometime back the Social Media was abuzz with news of a curious contretemps pertaining to AWWA (Army Wives Welfare Association) and this issue was reported in the media too (Link to report below):

Major’s wife threatens action for being forced to rehearse for a show

If you read the news report and peruse the numerous comments and views on the incident expressed by young army wives on the social media, especially twitter, it is evident the archaic feudal army social culture is not in sync with the aspirations of the new age army wife.

All this “humor out of uniform” reminded me of a blog post I had written a few months ago about the changing face of the “Fauji Memsahib”

I am posting the story once more for you to read:

ARMY WIFE – THEN AND NOW : A Tale of 4 “Fauji Memsahibs
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Story of 4 “Fauji Memsahibs”

ARMY WIFE NO. 1 – SHE HAD NO REGRET MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER

1948   Army Bride

“There is a marriage proposal for you,” her parents say, the moment she returns home from college.

“I don’t want to get married,” she says.

“Do you want to remain a spinster all your life?” her mother asks.

“No. But let me finish my graduation. Then I’ll see,” she says.

“She has a point. Let her finish her graduation. It’s just a question of one year,” her father says.

“Yes, let me finish my graduation,” the girl says.

“What graduation? Your whole aim is to get married, isn’t it? The boy and his parents are not insisting on graduation. They saw you at the club last evening, they have liked you, the boy has liked you, and the proposal has come. And let me tell you one thing – you won’t find a more eligible bachelor than him. It will be top status match. He is an army officer and you know that army officers are in highest demand – he can get any girl he wants, and you will be very lucky to get a husband like him. We will all regret it if we let go an opportunity like this,” the mother says.

“Please don’t hurry me up. Let me meet the boy. I will talk to him. Maybe he will wait for one year till I finish my B.A. – maybe we can get engaged now and marry later,” the girl says.

“No. The boy cannot wait for one year. He has been selected to go abroad for a long training course in England. He is leaving next month and they want to get him married before he leaves so that he can take his wife along with him to England,” the mother says.

Her father interjects, “I have found out everything about the boy from my army friends. The boy is a fine officer and has a very bright future in the army. The family is very respectable and decent too. I think you should consider this proposal.”

Seeing the daughter confused, the mother says firmly, “Listen carefully. They want our answer by tonight – yes or no. There is bevy of girls lined up for him, so may girls are desperate to get married to him, and you will regret it all you life if you let this boy go.”

The girl nodded her acceptance.

He mother rang up the boy’s mother.

Next day, the boy and his parents came over to “see” the girl – notionally, the boy’s side still had the prerogative to “reject” the girl but then they had already seen her and liked her.

The girl got married to the army officer the next week. They went on a whirlwind honeymoon to Darjeeling, then to the army cantonment where the boy was posted, where there was a flurry of parties, and then they set sail for England.

The girl did not complete her graduation. There was no need for so much education – for she was going to be a full time army wife – a “memsahib”.

The girl did not regret her decision.

In fact, marrying an army officer was the best thing that happened to her.

Where else would she get the high status in society, the top quality lifestyle, and the comforts that she enjoyed as the wife of a General?

Yes, her husband had become a General and she was the “first lady” and she was proud to have contributed to his success as a perfect army wife.

She felt absolutely no regret that she had married an army officer.

In fact, marrying an army officer was the best decision of her life.


20 Years Later…


ARMY WIFE NO. 2 – SHE HAD A LITTLE BIT OF REGRET MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER

1968   Army Bride

She was a budding lawyer with a lot of promise.

After her LL.B. she had begun her practice under the tutelage of a top-notch lawyer.

One day, she submitted her resignation and told him that she was giving up her law practice.

Her boss was aghast and demanded to know the reason for her inexplicable decision.

“Sir, I am getting married to an army officer,” she said.

“But why resign and give up your practice? You can continue to practice law even after marriage. You are so talented – you have a very bright future ahead of you – I am sure you will become a very successful lawyer and, who knows, you even may get the opportunity of being elevated as a judge,” he said.

“Sir, my husband will be posted all over as an army officer and I don’t want to live separately from him – in fact, he has made it quite clear that he wants me to accompany him wherever he goes,” she said, and quit her law career.

She enjoyed being an army wife, supporting her husband in his career, taking part in various social duties, the nomadic way of life, and cozy existence of cantonment life.

Later, as she saw that some of her classmates and erstwhile lawyer colleagues, who were much less accomplished than her, had become successful lawyers, and some had even become judges, and she felt a tinge of regret, for she had no identity of her own except that of being the wife of an army officer.

Yes, she did feel a bit of regret that she had married an army officer and sacrificed her own career.


20 Years Later…


ARMY WIFE NO. 3 – SHE HAD PLENTY OF REGRET FOR MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER

1988   Army Bride

She was a qualified engineer who had specialized in computer and software engineering.

She got a job in the top pioneer software company and had settled down quickly in her career.

She got married to an army officer.

She had two choices:

Option 1

1. She could give up her career as a “Techie” and join her husband in the remote place where he was posted and then accompany him wherever he was posted. She realized that if she wanted to always be with her husband, as an army wife she would have to be either a homemaker or a teacher, the only feasible career in a cantonment.

Option 2

2. She could continue her career but have a “long distance marriage” with her army husband as he got posted all over.

She chose the second option. 

Yes, she chose Option 2 – she decided to pursue her career as a “Techie” and have a “long distance marriage”.

She did extremely well in her career.

Soon, she was way ahead of her “fauji” husband who was plodding along in the army.

In their entire married life, they spent just 3 years together when her husband managed a posting to her place of work.

Often, she felt lonely, as she missed her husband.

As she saw her fellow “techie couples” enjoy the bliss of married life, she was filled with regret that she was married only on paper.

Yes, she was married only on paper – in practice, her life was as if she was not married.

Loneliness proved corrosive for her army officer husband too, who took solace in alcohol.

Worse, the army officer husband developed an inferiority complex because his wife had done much better than him in life, career-success wise and money wise, as the prospects in the army were limited as compared to the software industry.

All this – the conjugal separation, her work pressures, compounded by her husband’s increasing melancholic attitude, took its toll on her too.

She regretted marrying an army officer.


20 Years Later…
                                                          

ARMY NOT-TO-BE-WIFE NO. 4 – SHE DID NOT WANT TO REGRET BY MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER

2008   Not-to-be Army Bride

She was the ambitious daughter of an army officer – she was an “army brat”.

She studied economics from a premier college and then followed it up with an MBA from a top Business School, topping in both courses.

She had got a top-notch placement as an investment banker.

She was taken aback when her classmate from school suddenly proposed to her.

He was also an “army brat” who had joined the NDA as a cadet after school and was now an army officer.

The army officer told the investment banker that he was secretly in love with her and was waiting for her to finish her studies before he proposed.

“But I treated you as a friend,” she said.

“But for me you are much more than a friend – tell me – what’s wrong if we get married – we know each other since school,” he said.

“Are you crazy?” she said.

“Crazy? Why?” he asked.

“Why don’t you understand? You are just an army officer and I am an investment banker. I am out of your league now. Do you know the package I have been offered? In the army, I doubt you get even one-tenth of the salary and perks I get. See, don’t feel bad, but I have my dreams, my ambitions of making it real big – now I am heading for Hong Kong, after that I don’t know where I will go – so marrying an army officer just does not fit into my career plans – you understand, don’t you?” she told him, “I do not want to regret by marrying an army officer.”

The investment banker girl looked at the dejected army officer and said, “Will you mind if I give you some advice?”

“Go ahead,” the army officer said.

“If you want to be happy, you better find a wife within the army,” she said.

“What do you mean?” the army officer asked.

You should marry a female army officer. There are so many girls joining the army nowadays. So why don’t you find a bride in uniform – it will best for both of you.”

With these words she walked out his life.

So, the investment banker, the ambitious daughter of an army officer, the “army brat” – she did not want to regret by marrying an army officer.

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

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)



Updated and Revised Version of my Article “THE CHANGING FACE OF THE ARMY WIFE” posted in my blog on 22 Jan 2014 First Posted by Vikram Karveat 01/22/2014 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/10/2014 12:08:00 PM

Short Fiction Story – THE INTENSIVIST – Irony of Life or Quirk of Fate?

April 20, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: THE INTENSIVIST.

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

THE INTENSIVIST
A Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

The doorbell rang.

It was my friend – the ‘intensivist’.

Now – I am sure you know that an ‘intensivist’ is a doctor who specializes in the care of critically ill patients – usually in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU).

My intensivist doctor friend was in-charge of the ICU of the best hospital in town.

“I need a drink,” my friend, the intensivist, said.

I poured him a drink – and I asked him, “everything okay?”

“A strange thing happened today,” he said.

“What?” I asked.

“Last week – around 6 days ago – two critically ill patients were admitted to the ICU – they were both put on ventilator – I will not bore you with details of their illness – but both of them had exactly the same symptoms – and both were in very bad shape – on the verge of death,” he said.

“Old…?”

“Yes – old men – both more than 80 years old…”

“The first patient had a continuous stream of visitors – relatives – friends – well-wishers – there was always a minimum of 3 people waiting on him round the clock – sometimes even more – he seemed to be very popular and loved by so many…”

“Really…?”

“His entire family – his children – his grandchildren – he even had a great-granddaughter – they were constantly by his side in the hospital – he loved them all so much – whenever I looked at him – I could see that he had a great desire to live – in fact – when I spoke to him when he was slightly better – he asked me for a quick discharge from hospital – because he wanted to go home to his family – yes – I could see that he desperately wanted to live – and the huge number of people who visited him – all  his well-wishers – they all wanted him to get better and live a long life…”

 And what about the second patient…?”

“I was about to tell you that – the second patient had no visitors – not a single person came to visit him in hospital for all these 7 days…”

“Not even a single visitor – how is that possible – does he not have any relatives, friends…?”

“He is a widower – and both his children are settled abroad in America…”

“He has no relatives over here…?”

“Apparently not – most of his folks seem to be dead – and the younger relatives are all settled abroad – well – he was living in one of those high-falutin old age homes…”

“That’s sad…”

“Yes – he was very lonely and depressed – he once spoke to me – and he told me that he wanted to die – that he did not want to live anymore…”

“What happened…? Did he die…?”

“No – he became better – and today we sent him out of the ICU into the general ward – it seems he may be discharged in a few days…”

“And the other patient – the old man with lots of visitors – what happened to him…?”

“He died this morning…”

“That’s sad – all his well-wishers must have been distressed…”

“Yes – there was a pall of gloom when we declared him dead – terrible scenes of sadness as his heartbroken family was overcome with sorrow – everyone was crying – grief-stricken, inconsolable…”

I saw tears well up in the eyes of my intensivist friend – so I said, “Come on – you are a doctor – you shouldn’t get so emotional…”

My intensivist friend looked at me and said, “It’s a strange irony, isn’t it…?”

“What…?”

“The man who wanted to live – he died. And the man who wanted to die – he survived – and he will continue to live the lonely unhappy life that he does not want to live…”

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

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

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


Posted by Vikram Karve at 

blogspot.in

4/20/2015 11:58:00 AM

“FINGLISH” aka “FAUJI” ENGLISH – Humor in Uniform

April 19, 2015

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

Humour in Uniform

“FAUJI” ENGLISH aka “FINGLISH”
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

The word “unassuming” has a positive connotation.

“UNASSUMING” means MODEST.

Modesty is a virtue – and – for an Officer in the Defence Services – Modesty is considered an “Officer Like Quality”.

One of my friends – while rendering the performance appraisal of an officer – the Annual Confidential Report (ACR) – he wrote in the ‘pen picture’ column:

“…XXX is an unassuming officer…”

My friend was summoned by his boss (the Reviewing Officer or RO).

“There is a mismatch in this ACR – you have given very high points to the officer in performance rating column – but you have given him an adverse report in the ‘pen picture’ – you have written that “…XXX is an unassuming officer…” – you better rewrite the ACR – lower the points and get the officer’s signature on the adverse remark,” the boss said.

“Sir – ‘unassuming’ is not an adverse remark…” my friend said.

“Of course it is an adverse remark – ‘unassuming’ means that he does not ‘assume’ things – well – let me tell you that officers are supposed to assume things, take initiative, be innovative, have vision…”

“Sir – being ‘unassuming’ is a positive attribute – ‘unassuming’ means being ‘modest’ – being ‘down-to-earth – ‘humble’ and ‘unpretentious’ – being a ‘gentleman’ – and officers are supposed to be gentlemen – aren’t they…?” my friend said.

On hearing this – the boss glared at my friend and said, “Stop bullshitting me…”

“Sir – please ask your staff officer to get a dictionary – I will show you what ‘unassuming’ means…” my friend said.

“Are you trying to teach me English…?” the boss said.

“No – Sir.”

“Now listen to me – you may know what ‘unassuming’ means – I may understand what ‘unassuming’ means – but will those buggers up there understand…? Let me tell you that it will be considered as an adverse remark and this officer will be written off. Do you want to write off this officer – is he so bad that you want to finish off his career…?” the boss said.

“No – Sir – he is a very good officer…”

“Then please take back this ACR and write a fresh one – you can replace the word ‘unassuming’ with some standard term like ‘sincere’, ‘hardworking’ etc – which everyone understands easily…”

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

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.

Posted by Vikram Karve at 4/19/2015 11:48:00 AM

MAHARSHI KARVE (18 April 1868 – 09 Nov 1962) – His Life Story in His Own Words – Looking Back – Autobiography

April 17, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: MAHARSHI KARVE – His Life Story.

Article Link:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/04/bharat-ratna-maharshi-dhondo-keshav.html

Article also posted below for your convenience to read:

MAHARSHI KARVE
His Life Story in His Own Words

LOOKING BACK By DK KARVE (1936)

 
The Autobiography of Bharat Ratna Dhondo Keshav Karve
 
(Book Review by Vikram Waman Karve)
 
Tomorrow 18 April 2015 is the 157th Birth Anniversary of Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve (18.04.1858 – 09.11.1962).
 
I felt that, on this occasion, it would be apt to tell you about his life and work as written by him in his autobiography titled LOOKING BACK published in 1936.
 
Dear Reader, you must be wondering why I am reviewing an autobiography written in 1936.

Well, sometime back, for six years of my life, I stayed in a magnificent building called Empress Court on Maharshi Karve Road at Churchgate in Mumbai.

I share the same surname ( Karve ) as the author.

Also, I happen to be the great grandson of Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve. 

 
But, beyond that, compared to him I am a nobody – not even a pygmy.
 
Maharshi Karve clearly knew his goal, persisted ceaselessly throughout his life with missionary zeal and transformed the destiny of the Indian Woman.

The first university for women in India, SNDT University, and educational institutions for women under the aegis of the Hingne Stree Shiksan Samstha Poona, later renamed Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha (MKSSS) Pune, covering the entire spectrum ranging from pre-primary schools to post-graduate, engineering, vocational and professional colleges bear eloquent testimony to his indomitable spirit, untiring perseverance and determined efforts.

 
In his preface, Frederick J Gould, renowned rationalist and lecturer on Ethics, writes that “the narrative is a parable of his career” – a most apt description of the autobiography. The author tells his life-story in a simple straightforward manner, with remarkable candour and humility; resulting in a narrative which is friendly, interesting and readable.
 
Autobiographies are sometimes voluminous tomes, but this a small book, 200 pages, and a very easy comfortable enjoyable read that makes it almost unputdownable.

Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve writes a crisp, flowing narrative of his life, interspersed with his views and anecdotes, in simple, straightforward style which facilitates the reader to visualize through the author’s eyes the places, period, people and events pertaining to his life and times and the trials and tribulations he faced and struggled to conquer.

 
Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve was born on 18th of April 1858. In the first few chapters he writes about Murud, his native place in Konkan, Maharashtra, his ancestry and his early life– the description is so vivid that you can clearly “see” through the author’s eye.
 
His struggle to appear in the public service examination (walking 110 miles in torrential rain and difficult terrain to Satara) and his shattering disappointment at not being allowed to appear for the examination (because “he looked too young”) make poignant reading.
 
“Many undreamt of things have happened in my life and given a different turn to my career” he writes, and then goes on to describe his high school and, later, college education at The Wilson College Bombay (Mumbai) narrating various incidents that convinced him of the role of destiny and serendipity in shaping his life and career as a teacher and then Professor of Mathematics.
 
He married at the age of fourteen but began his marital life at the age of twenty! 
 
This was the custom of those days. 
 
Let’s read the author’s own words on his domestic life:
 
 “… I was married at the age of fourteen and my wife was then eight. Her family lived very near to ours and we knew each other very well and had often played together. However after marriage we had to forget our old relation as playmates and to behave as strangers, often looking toward each other but never standing together to exchange words … We had to communicate with each other through my sister … My marital life began under the parental roof at Murud when I was twenty …” 
 
Their domestic bliss was short lived as his wife died after a few years leaving behind a son.
 
“Thus ended the first part of my domestic life”… he concludes in crisp witty style.
 
An incident highlighting the plight of a widow left an indelible impression on him and germinated in him the idea of widow remarriage.

He married Godubai, who was widowed when she was only eight years old, was a sister of his friend Mr. Joshi, and now twenty three was studying at Pandita Ramabai’s Sharada Sadan as its first widow student.

 
Let’s read in the author’s own words how he asked for her hand in marriage to her father – “I told him…..I had made up my mind to marry a widow. He sat silent for a minute and then hinted that there was no need to go in search of such a bride”.
 
He describes in detail the ostracism he faced from some orthodox quarters and systematically enunciates his life work – his organization of the Widow Marriage Association, Hindu Widows Home, Mahila Vidyalaya, Nishkama Karma Math, and other institutions, culminating in the birth of the first Indian Women’s University (SNDT University).
 
The trials and tribulations he faced in his life-work of emancipation of education of women (widows in particular) and how he overcame them by his persistent steadfast endeavours and indomitable spirit makes illuminating reading and underlines the fact that Dr. DK Karve was no arm-chair social reformer but a person devoted to achieve his dreams on the ground in reality.
 
These chapters form the meat of the book and make compelling reading. 
 
His dedication and meticulousness is evident in the appendices where he has given date-wise details of his engagements and subscriptions down to the paisa for his educational institutions from various places he visited around the world to propagate their cause.
 
He then describes his world tour, at the ripe age of 71, to meet eminent educationists to propagate the cause of the Women’s University, his later domestic life and ends with a few of his views and ideas for posterity. 
 
At the end of the book, concluding his autobiography, he writes:
 
“Here ends the story of my life. I hope this simple story will serve some useful purpose”.
 
Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve wrote this book in 1936. 
 
He lived on till the 9th of November 1962, achieving so much more on the way, and was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters ( D.Litt.) by the famous and prestigious Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Varanasi in 1942, followed by University of Poona [Pune] in 1951, SNDT Women’s University in 1955, and the LL.D. by Bombay [Mumbai] University in 1957.
 
Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve received the Padma Vibhushan in 1955 and the India’s highest honour the “Bharat Ratna” in 1958, a fitting tribute on his centenary at the glorious age of 100.
 
It is an engrossing and illuminating autobiography, written in simple witty readable storytelling style, and it clearly brings out the mammoth contribution of Maharshi Karve and the trials and tribulations he faced.
 
 
Epilogue
 
I was born in September 1956, and I have fleeting memories of my great grandfather Maharshi Karve, when I was a small boy, during our visits, till 1962, to Hingne Stree Shikshan Samstha (now called Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha).

My mother tells me that I featured in a Films Division Documentary on him during his centenary celebrations in 1958.

 
Here is a picture of me with my great grandfather Maharshi Karve taken in the year 1958.
 
 

Vikram Waman Karve with Maharshi Karve (1958)

 
It is from some old timers, a few relatives and mainly from books that I learn of his pioneering work in transforming the destiny of the Indian Woman and I thought I should share this.
 
I have written this book review with the hope that some of us, particularly the students and alumni of SNDT University, Cummins College of Engineering for Women, SOFT, Karve Institute of Social Sciences and other educational institutions who owe their very genesis and existence to Maharshi Karve, are motivated to read about his stellar pioneering work and draw inspiration from his autobiography.
 
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 book review. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 
 
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.
 

Navy Officers – “SEA DOLL” versus “SEA DOG” – Two Types of Archetypal Naval Officers – Humor in Uniform

April 17, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: “SEA DOG” and “SEA DOLL” – Two Types of Navy Officers – Humor in Uniform.

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

HUMOR IN UNIFORM

“SEA DOG” and “SEA DOLL”
TWO TYPES OF NAVAL OFFICERS
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:

Please read this spoof only if you have a sense of humor. 

This article is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.

The terms “dog” and “doll” are used in a metaphorical sense.

If you have a look at The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English – in this Slang Dictionary – one meaning of the word “doll” is “a very attractive person of any sex that you may find attractive” – and, of course, you know that the term “sea dog” means an experienced sailor.

This spoof 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.


SEA DOGS and SEA DOLLS – Spoof by Vikram Karve

When I joined the Navy – in the 1970’s – I observed that there were two types of Naval Officers:

1. Sea Dogs

2. Sea Dolls

Now – before you jump the gun and accuse me of “gender insensitivity” – please note that the term “Sea Doll” is not being used for women naval officers – there were no women naval officers when I joined the navy – except a few “landlubber quack chicks” in the medical branch.

Even today – women naval officers adorn only “soft” shore billets – and a woman naval officer does not have to undergo the tough strenuous ship life of male naval officer on warships at sea – so maybe I will have to conjure up some other epithet (without the prefix “sea”) for these feminine landlubber ladies in white uniform.

I have digressed – so let me come back to the topic of “Sea Dogs” and “Sea Dolls”.

As a young naval officer – I realized that there are two navies within the navy:

1. The Operational Navy – comprising all aspects pertaining to warfighting at sea – warships, submarines, aircraft, the dockyards and various frontline units supporting the fleet…

2. The Ceremonial Navy – comprising all the “showmanship” activities like parades, fleet reviews, Public Relations (PR) Exercises, “shop windows”, events like navy week and navy ball, public shows, parties, social events et al…

“Sea Dogs” ran the “gristly, gritty and grimy” operational navy.

“Sea Dolls” ran the “spick and span” ceremonial navy.

“Sea Dogs” were rugged masculine looking men.

In contrast – “Sea Dolls” adorned the “fair and handsome” genteel “metrosexual” look.

Most “Sea Dogs” sported rough and tough “Full Set” Beards.

“Sea Dolls” preferred to have an elegant and pretty “clean-shaven” look.

There were some exceptions.

I have seen some clean-shaven non-bearded “Sea Dogs”.

But I have never seen a bearded “Sea Doll”.

Whether bearded or not – “Sea Dogs” preferred the tough natural look – a seaman’s robust grooming and rugged brawny turn out.

“Sea Dolls” were obsessed with maintaining a suave polished appearance and chic glamorous attractive turn out.

“Sea Dogs” were “tough cookies”.

Most “Sea Dogs” had an abrasive personality – like rough and tough sailors.

In stark contrast – “Sea Dolls” were “smooth operators”.

All “Sea Dolls” had a pleasing personality – like slick charming corporate executives.

In earlier days – it was the “Sea Dogs” who dominated the senior ranks in the Navy – but gradually the tide seems to have turned in favour of the “Sea Dolls”.

I wonder whether the same applies to the Army and Air Force – and what are the Army and Air Force equivalents of “Sea Dogs” and “Sea Dolls”.

By the way – have you read the classic military novel Catch-22 ?

Yes?

Then, let me give you a metaphorical example.

If “Catch 22” was a Navy Novel – a “Sea Dog” would be someone like the character of General Dreedle (an archetypal no-nonsense blunt plain-speaking military man) – and a “Sea Doll” would be someone like General Peckem (a pompous pretentious sycophantic show-off)

If you have read Catch-22 – you will understand what I mean.

I can go on and on about “Sea Dogs” and “Sea Dolls” till the cows come home – but by now – I am sure you have got the drift.

So – the next time you meet a Naval Officer – have some fun and amuse yourself – have a good look at the Navy Officer – and try to judge for yourself – whether he is a “Sea Dog” or a “Sea Doll”.

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)
 


This Spoof is written by Vikram Karve in June 2014 and Earlier Posted Online by Vikram Karve in Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve byVikram Karve at 11/22/2014 08:03:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 4/17/2015 01:53:00 PM

HUMOR IN UNIFORM – BULLY and SISSY – Navy Yarn – Sugar and Scuttlebutt

April 16, 2015

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

Humour in Uniform

SUGAR TREATMENT
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

This happened long back – almost 40 years ago – in the 1970’s.

On our ship – there was a bully – a senior Lieutenant – let’s call him “J”.

Now – a Naval Lieutenant is equivalent to an Army Captain – and those days – you remained in the rank of Lieutenant for 8 long years before you were promoted to Lieutenant Commander – equivalent to Major.

And – after you were commissioned as a Navy Officer – you became a Lieutenant after 3 years – so it took you 11 years to become a Lieutenant Commander.

But – suddenly in the year 2006 – the AVS Cadre Review Bonanza changed everything – and now everyone becomes a Lieutenant Commander in just 6 years service – and the prestige of rank has been diluted.

Those days – on a ship – except for the Captain – and Heads of Department (XO, EO, LO) – all officers were Lieutenants – and – of course – sometimes there were a few under-trainee Sub Lieutenants and Midshipmen too.

As I told you earlier – “J” was the senior-most Lieutenant in the Wardroom – and there was “K” the Senior Engineer Officer – who was the junior-most recently promoted Lieutenant.

“J” was more than 7 years senior to “K”.

“J” was a Cadet Entry Executive Officer with an imposing personality and intimidating manner – he was one of those ‘quintessential’ haughty puffed-up “macho type” ex-Military School, ex-NDA officers – who thought they wereprima donnas in uniform.

“K” was a rather meek looking docile Direct Entry Technical Officer – who had been directly commissioned as a Sub Lieutenant under the University Entry Scheme.

The contrast between the two Lieutenants was stark.

“J” was a terror on the ship – as he moved around with a pompous swagger – full of bluster and bombast – bullshitting the hell out of anyone who came in his way.

“K” was a simple unpretentious officer – a thorough professional engineer – who kept to himself – and who quietly performed his duties efficiently – and did his job in a humble modest sort of way.

“J” was a sadistic bully – he had a terrible reputation of ragging and physically abusing his juniors – and one heard all sorts of scuttlebutt about his brutal exploits – maybe bilge – but the gossip was so scary – that most officers kept clear of him – and the Sub Lieutenants and Midshipmen were especially terrified of him as they heard wicked rumors that “J” was a bum bandit on the prowl for peg boys.

“J” made life hell for sailors too – they steered clear of him – and – in fact – some even avoided going on liberty when “J” was on duty – in order to avoid encountering“J” on the gangway – and risk the danger of being put on charge for some trivial issue.

“J” took special delight in bullying “K”.

Maybe “J” had some wicked ulterior designs for which he was trying to subjugate“K”.

Or maybe “J” liked to target “K” because he was a University Entry Officer – because“J” thought himself to be a “cat’s whiskers” cadet entry officer and “K”a lowly “poltroon” who did not deserve to wear stripes.

Once – in full view of sailors – “J” belittled “K” by publicly shouting at him: “We cadet entry officers go through the full tough grind – I got screwed for 6 years in military school – then we were rogered for 3 years at NDA – then toiled as a sea cadet – sweated it out as a midshipman – and then I got my stripe after so many years of jiggering – and you ‘dope entry’ buggers just walk into the Navy with a stripe on your shoulder.”

“Sir – how does entry matter – once we are in the navy – we are all equal officers,” retorted “K”.

“You consider yourself equal to me? My foot! You are a bloody sissy who can’t even take charge of your sailors – just look at the way your engine-room sailors move around in a bloody slothful manner – you are a bloody disgrace to uniform – a sissy with zero OLQ…”

“K” felt humiliated at being insulted in front of sailors.

But he did not want to get into an argument with “J”.

So “K” walked away – and he went straight to his boss – the Engineer Officer (EO) – and complained to him: “Sir – ever since I have come – “J” has been talking to me in an insulting manner – and today he humiliated me in front of sailors…”

“Go and tell the XO – he is “J”’s HOD,” the Engineer Officer said – as he had no guts to admonish “J”.

“K” went to the XO and he complained to the XO about “J”.

“Go to your EO – he is your HOD,” the XO said.

“Sir – I had gone to the Engineer Officer – he told me to come to you since you were the HOD of “J”…”

“Don’t act like a bloody sissy and come crying to me – you are an officer – so you sort out your own problems yourself…?” the XO bullshitted “K”.

The fact of the matter was that both the EO and XO were scared of “J” – though they both outranked him.

As I told you earlier – “J” had an imposing personality.

And to add to his “macho” image was his impressive motorcycle.

Yes – “J” had a mighty Bullet Motorcycle which was his prized possession.

“J” was passionate about his motorcycle.

“J” had “jazzed up” his motorcycle with all sorts of glitzy adornments, ornate accoutrements and fancy gadgets – shining electroplated exteriors, klaxon horns, showy lights, special wheels etc – in a word – his motorcycle looked magnificent.

On Sunday morning – at around 11 AM – “J” was seen kicking his motorcycle and driving off in style.

As usual – “J” had painted the town red on Saturday evening till past midnight – slept late on Sunday morning – woken up around 10 AM – hurriedly got ready – and as per his Sunday routine – “J” was on his way to the Racecourse for the Sunday races.

“K” smiled cannily as he saw “J” drive off on his motorcycle – and he too decided to go ashore.

“K” did not have a vehicle – so he would walk down to Colaba – spend some time browsing on the Causeway – have a Biryani lunch at Olympia – and then maybe see a movie at Regal or Eros – then spend the evening loafing on Marine Drive.

When “K” returned on board ship in the evening – he saw that “J” had lined up the OOD and the duty watch sailors near the gangway – and “J” was shouting at them furiously.

“J” seemed to be in a foul mood – so “K” quietly went down to his cabin.

Later – when “K” went down to the Wardroom for dinner – he found the OOD sitting there.

“Sir – why was Lieutenant “J” shouting on the gangway – did he lose money at the races?” “K” asked the OOD.

“His bloody motorcycle packed-up – the engine conked-off and stalled while he was driving to the racecourse…” the OOD said.

“So what’s he so angry about – any machine can fail – surely he can get his bike repaired…” “K” said.

“It’s not so simple – “J” said that his motorcycle engine has seized – the entire system has got fouled up – the mechanic said the bike required complete engine overhaul or maybe even a new engine – and it’s going to cost him a fortune…” the OOD said.

“Oh – so that’s why Lieutenant “J” is so upset…” “K” said.

“That’s just one part of the story – actually “J” is quite well-off – so money is not a problem for him – the bigger issue is that his pride has been hurt – “J”thinks it is sabotage…”

“Sabotage…?”

“The mechanic told him someone put some mucky stuff into the petrol tank – probably sugar…”

“Sugar…? So what happens if you put sugar in a motorcycle’s petrol tank…?”

“You tell me – you are the engineer on board, aren’t you…” the OOD said to“K”.

“K” remained silent.

The OOD looked at “K” and said, “Well – in the Wardroom we are not supposed to stand drinks to fellow officers – but I think I’ll buy you a drink – you certainly deserve one…”

“Drink…? Me…?”

“Well – two unrelated incidents – the steward reported to me that a bag of sugar is missing from the pantry – and the quartermaster told me that you went ashore early in the morning – at around 5:30 – even before ‘Hands-Call’ – and he saw you walking on the jetty – near the vehicle park…” the OOD said.

“K” said nothing – for some time he remained silent – then he smiled at the OOD and said, “I think I’ll have that drink…”

“Sure – but you better be careful – “J” is sure to find out – and then he will have a go at you – so keep a sharp lookout…”

“Let him find out – he won’t do anything – “J” is a bloody bully – and bullies are cowards…”

“What do you mean…?”

“Have you read ‘Godfather’…? Or seen the movie…?”

“Yes…”

“Do you remember the horrific ‘horse-head’ scene – where the movie producer finds the bloody severed head of his horse in his bed…?”

“Yes…”

“And the arrogant producer is so shaken up that he submits to Godfather Don Corleone’s request – doesn’t he…?

“So…?”

“Well – this time I fingered his motorcycle – next time – who knows what will happen…? And “J” knows this…”

The way the meek-looking Senior Engineer “K” spoke these words in a soft chilling tone – the OOD felt a tremor of trepidation himself.

On a ship – it is difficult to keep anything secret.

Scuttlebutt spreads fast – and soon the ship’s grapevine was abuzz with the story of how the docile looking unpretentious Senior Engineer “K” had deflated the Haughty Gasbag Lieutenant “J” by giving him the ‘sugar treatment’…”

To cut a long story short – from then on – the ‘Pompous’ Lieutenant “J” kept clear of the ‘Coy’ Lieutenant “K” – and everyone on the ship treated Lieutenant “K” with healthy respect and admiration.

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

Posted by Vikram Karve at 4/16/2015 03:07:00 PM

LIP SYMPATHY and CROCODILE TEARS – Marital Relationships and Family Affairs – Daughter-in-law versus Daughter

April 10, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: LIP SYMPATHY and CROCODILE TEARS – Short Fiction – Indian Daughter-in-law versus NRI Daughter Story.

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

LIP SYMPATHY and CROCODILE TEARS
A Story of Changing Marriage Relationships
By  
VIKRAM KARVE 
 
Around 15 years ago – I visited a friend.
 
His widowed mother also lived with him.
 
My friend’s wife had given up her career to be at home to look after her mother-in-law, who did not keep too well.
 
The old woman had two children – a boy and a girl.
 
The son – my friend – had remained in India.
 
His sister had got married to an NRI (Non Resident Indian) who had migrated to America for higher studies and settled down there – and they had even relinquished their Indian Citizenship to become an American Citizens.
 
The “Foreign” sister had come on vacation to India – and he was there with her husband and two kids.
 
The old woman was blatantly praising her “American” daughter and her husband and kids – gloating about her son-in-law’s prosperity and success – telling us how cultured and caring her younger “American” daughter was – and how smart and bright her “American” grandchildren were – and she showed us the gifts they had brought for her – and pictures of their mansion in the US.
 
The old woman did not have a single word of praise for her elder son and his wife – who were looking after her – or their children.
 
In fact – the old woman made some snide sarcastic remarks about my friend’s wife – implying that her “Indian” daughter-in-law was not looking after her well.
 
Having known the “sacrifices” my friend’s wife had made to care for her mother-in-law – I felt angry and wanted to bluntly express my feelings to the old woman.
 
However – I suppressed my emotions and held my tongue – since this may have been counterproductive to the ambience.
 
Later – at night – I sat down and wrote this story.
 
LIP SYMPATHY and CROCODILE TEARS – a story by Vikram Karve
 
The doorbell rings. 
 
The woman called Manjula opens the door.
 
“We have come to fit the air-conditioner,” the man outside says.
 
“What…? We haven’t ordered any AC…” the woman says and begins to close the door.
 
“Wait…” her husband’s voice says from behind the man.

Manjula is surprised that her husband has come home early from work. 
 
Her husband guides the man inside while his wife Manjula looks on in bewilderment.
 
“AC…? Have you gone crazy…? You just go and order an AC without even telling me…?”  Manjula asks her husband.
 
“Mother told me to get it. Smita and her family are coming,” the husband explains.
 
“Oh…! So all this is for your darling sister and foreign husband, is it…? When we ask for a cooler you crib, and for them it’s an AC…!” Manjula says sarcastically.
 
“He’s not a foreigner. He’s of Indian origin settled there.”
 
“So why does he need an AC…?”
 
“Mother said they wouldn’t be able to stand the heat here, especially the kids.”
 
“Listen – Houston is much hotter and humid than here.”
 
“That may be true. But they are used to air conditioning. Please don’t argue with me – as it is the heat is driving me crazy…!”
 
The bell rings again.
 
“It must be the commode,” her husband says and goes to open the door.
 
“Commode…?” Manjula asks, surprised.
 
“Yes – a “Western Style” Commode,” her husband says.
 
“This is too much. I have seen that Smita shitting in the open – in the fields near our village – when she was a kid.  And now that she’s married an NRI – she wants to defecate ‘western style’…? They are all bloody snobs. I don’t know why they come here once in a few years and try to show off. And you – the perfect dutiful Mamma’s boy – you have just no guts of your own…!” Manjula says angrily to her husband.
 
“What’s the matter…? Is everything ready…?” Manjula hears her mother-in-law’s stern voice from behind – so Manjula lowers her face and slips away into the kitchen.
 
“I heard what your wife was saying – her name is Manjula (sweet voiced) – but she speaks in such a rude and uncouth manner,” her mother-in-law says viciously in a loud voice to Manjula’s husband, making sure her taunt is heard by Manjula in the kitchen.
 
“Oh yeah…Your darling daughter’s name is Smita (cheerful) – but have you ever seen her smiling or laughing – she just carps and cribs all the time,” Manjula mutters to herself.
 
The NRI guests arrive from Houston , and the next few days are hell for Manjula, physically and mentally.

Manjula dies a thousand deaths in her heart seeing the favoritism of her mother-in-law towards Smita and her family and is unable to bear the patronizing attitude of her guests and the subservient groveling of her own husband before his mother and his fawning submissive behaviour towards his sister and her husband.

And all the time Smita makes sarcastic barbs at Manjula and her incompetence. Manjula is horrified at the way Smita offers lip sympathy to her “beloved” mother and sheds crocodile tears at old woman’s ‘agony’.

And Manjula’s dear husband remains silent, a mute spectator…!

Why can’t he stand up for her…?
 
One evening – they have invited a large number of guests to dinner.

While Manjula slogs it out in the kitchen – his husband’s sister Smita is reveling in the paeans of praise being showered by her mother and her cronies.
 
“See Smita’s house in Houston,” the old woman boasts, showing everyone a photo album (which all NRIs invariably bring with them to impress us ‘natives’…!). 
 
“See…” Manjula’s mother-in-law goes boasts with pride, “just look at my daughter’s house in America…it’s got a swimming pool… and her children… they are so accomplished… and her husband… my son-in-law… he is doing so well…” she goes on and on and on praising her daughter Smita till Manjula can’t take it anymore and suddenly Manjula interrupts rudely and says: “Mummyji, if you like Smita’s house so much, why don’t you go to Houston and stay there with your darling daughter…?”
 
“What…?” her mother-in-law asks disbelievingly.
 
“I mean, Smita is your own darling daughter after all, and I am sure she will look after you much better than I do, isn’t it…? After all, they are so well-off, and caring and loving. I am sure it’s better for you to go there and live in luxury like a Maharani (Queen) rather than suffering it out here with us…!” Manjula says instinctively.
 
Manjula wants to say more – vent out all her suppressed emotions – but seeing the fiery look in her mother-in-law’s eyes – Manjula starts to tremble.
 
Time freezes. 
 
Manjula feels tremors of trepidation wondering what is going to happen next. 
 
Manjula knows that she has gone too far this time.
 
There is silence. 
 
A grotesque silence…! 
 
And suddenly Manjula hears her husband’s voice, “I think Manjula is right…!”
 
“What are you saying…?” Smita asks astonished, looking in disbelief at her brother.
 
“I am saying that Manjula is right. It would be much better if mother stayed with you in Houston for some time. Why don’t you take mother with you to America? You are her daughter. You’ve also got to take some responsibility and look after her, isn’t it…?” Manjula’s husband Suresh says firmly to his sister Smita.
 
The Suresh glances at his mother in a firm manner.
 
Suddenly, Suresh turns towards his wife Manjula – and he looks at her in a way she has never seen him look at her before.

Then Suresh lovingly takes his wife Manjula’s hand in his and says, “Let’s go out somewhere – just you and me – we’ll go shopping – a movie – maybe have dinner at some nice restaurant – anywhere you want. And let’s leave them alone to wallow in their lip sympathy and crocodile tears…!” 
 
Manjula looks at her husband with pride. 
 
Manjula is amazed at the metamorphosis in her husband Suresh. 
 
Manjula is so happy that her meek and submissive husband – who till now was like his mother’s obedient pet “dog” – has transformed himself into a free-willed courageous “lion”.

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 spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. 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)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


This story was written by me Vikram Karve 15 years ago in the year 2000 and posted by me online on my various creative writing blogs – here are some of the urls:
http://creative.sulekha.com/a-fa… 
http://vikramkarvestories.blogsp… 
http://creative.sulekha.com/lip-… 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

APRIL FOOL – All Fools Day Story

March 31, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: APRIL FOOL – Humor in Uniform.

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

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

“APRIL FOOL”
Delightful Memories of My Navy Life
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Tomorrow is the 1st of April – April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s Day (also known as All Fools’ Day) is celebrated annually on the first day of April. 

It is a time for the traditional playing of pranks on unsuspecting people – the victim of such a prank being called an April Fool.

One of my weaknesses is my trusting nature – I easily trust people.

Because of my simple trusting nature it is easy for anyone to take me for a ride – yes – you can easily make a fool of me – and – I have been made an “April Fool” so many times right from my childhood.

In fact – owing to my trusting nature I a simpleton – quite a gullible person – and therefore – a prime target for April Fool Pranks.

When I hark back and think of the occasions when I was made an unsuspecting victim of April Fool Jokes – and when I recall all the April Fool Pranks I was subjected to – I can never forget how I was made a total “April Fool” – 32 years ago – on the 1st of April 1983.

Here is my “April Fool” story – have a laugh…

HOW I WAS MADE AN “APRIL FOOL”
(a “Memoir” by Vikram Karve)

01 April 1983   (New Delhi)

It was 10 AM (1000 Hrs in Navy Parlance) on the 1st of April 1983 – and I busy with my research work in IIT Delhi.

(Yes – after slogging for 5 years in the Navy – afloat and ashore – I was selected to undergo the prestigious 2 year M. Tech. post graduate course in Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology New Delhi aka IIT Delhi from July 1981 to July 1983)

It was the last (4th) semester of my 2 year M.Tech. Course – and I was busy with my dissertation work.

My ex-shipmate entered the Tropo Lab.

He was also doing M. Tech. at IIT Delhi – but in a different specialization.

He said excitedly, “Hey Vikram – congratulations – your appointment has come – you will be going to IAT Pune after your M. Tech.”

I was very happy and joyfully excited to hear this.

Pune is my hometown.

I had never expected a posting to Pune in my naval career – as I thought that – except for a few billets at NDA – there were hardly any billets for naval officers in Pune – especially for technical officers.

In fact – I was worried that they may transfer me back to INS Valsura Jamnagar – where I had spent less than one year (1980-81) on instructional duties – before escaping from there as I was selected for my M. Tech. at IIT Delhi – and I had no desire of going back to that godforsaken place again.

“You don’t seem to be happy?” my friend said.

“I am very happy,” I said, “but how do you know about my appointment?”

“I had gone to INS India Supply Office for some work. I saw your name in a NA List over there. I have just come from there and I came straight here to tell you the good news.”

[Those days Naval Headquarters (NHQ) published a weekly Navy Appointments (NA) List which listed all appointments (transfers/postings) issued during that week]

“What about you? Is your name in the NA list? Has your new appointment come too?” I asked him.

“No – I saw only your name in the NA list. Why don’t you go down to NHQ and personally get your appointment letter?” he prompted.

As I said – I was really delighted to be transferred to Pune – my hometown.

So – so I immediately drove down on my scooter to NHQ.

First – I went to INS India Supply Office – and I checked the NA List folder.

Yes – my name was very much there – at Serial No. 12 of the list of 20 names – and entry in the NA list said that I was appointed on instructional duties to IAT Pune July DTBR.

I wrote down the relevant details of the NA list.

Then – I went to the Base Supply Officer – and I asked him if my appointment letter had come.

The Base Supply Officer called for the NA List folder – he looked at the NA List – and he said, “This NA list has just been issued. It will take some time for the letter to reach here. They take their own sweet time to dispatch the letters. Why don’t you go across to DOP and get your personal copy?”

(DOP was the acronym for Director of Personnel)

Those days we were very scared to go anywhere near DOP – because they were always on the prowl looking for “murgas” to transfer to “kala pani” – and other such remote places.

But I was so excited – that I drew up courage – and I walked into the office of the DDOP who looked after our appointments.

I was delighted to see an officer who I knew very well sitting in the chair of DDOP – he was a course-mate of my previous ship’s XO.

He used to visit our ship often – and we had spent many evenings drinking together.

The DDOP too was happy to see me.

He told me that he had just taken over as DDOP just a day earlier on the 31st of March.

He enquired about me – about my M. Tech. course – and then he asked me what I wanted.

I told him the story – gave him details of the NA List – and asked him if I could have a copy of my appointment letter.

He called his deputy – handed him the chit with NA List details – and told him to give me a copy of my appointment letter.

The officer looked at the NA list – and looking confused, he said, “Sir, we haven’t yet issued any appointment letters for officers doing M. Tech. at IITs – anyway I will just check and get back to you, Sir.”

After a few minutes he came back and said, “The NA list with this number has still not been issued.”

“What? How can that be?” the DDOP said.

Then the DDOP looked at me – and he said, “Are you sure you saw the NA list in the INS India Supply Office?”

“Yes,” I said, “it is right on top in the NA list folder in the base supply office.”

The DDOP picked up the phone and he dialled a number.

He seemed to be speaking to the Base Supply Officer. 

The DDOP read out the number of the NA list – then waited for some time – then he listened to the voice on the other side – and then he said to me, “Just go down to the Base Supply Office and get the NA list folder – I want to get to the bottom of this.”

As I was leaving – I could hear him speak on the phone, “I am sending the officer to you…”

The moment I reached the hutments where the Base Supply Office was located – I found a big gang of my friends waiting outside for me with broad smiles on their faces.

Among my friends – standing prominently with a big smile on his face – was the Captain of my previous ship (now a Commodore posted in NHQ) – and it was he who had orchestrated the whole practical joke.

I knew I had been made an “April Fool”.

That afternoon – I had to treat everyone to beer in the INS India wardroom – and the DDOP and Base Supply Officer (who were also parties to the “April Fool” prank) also joined in the “elbow bending” PLD session for a glass of chilled beer.


EPILOGUE

During the PLD beer session – I put on a mask of cheerfulness – but deep inside I was feeling terrible.

I think the Commodore (my ex ship’s CO) and the DDOP noticed this – so they asked me for my choice of transfer on completion of my M. Tech.

“IAT Pune,” I said tongue-in-cheek, “but if that is not possible then anywhere except Jamnagar.”

Three months later – I was transferred to a billet in New Delhi as an Asst Director in R&D.

Two years later – in June 1985 – one day – out of the blue – I saw an appointment letter placed on my table.

I had been appointed for instructional duties to IAT Pune July DTBR.

Was it as a recompense for the “April Fool” prank – from the DDOP and my ex ship’s CO – and all those who had played the “April Fool” joke on me?

All is well that ends well.

HAPPY ALL FOOLS’ DAY

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

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

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.



Earlier Posted by me Vikram Karve on 01 April 2014 in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at 4/01/2014 11:39:00 AM at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

CONFLICT MANAGEMENT – CONTRARIAN THEORIES – AGONOLOGY versus SATYAGRAHA

March 30, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: CONFLICT MANAGEMENT – AGONOLOGY versus SATYAGRAHA.

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

CONFLICT MANAGEMENT  –  AGONOLOGY versus SATYAGRAHA

HOW TO DEAL WITH CONFLICT
Ruminations of a Veteran
By
VIKRAM KARVE

CONFLICT RIDDEN ENVIRONMENT

We live in a conflict-ridden environment and we do not know what to do about it.

It seems that we are confused.

There are so many conflicts going on right now.

There are problems with our not-so-friendly neighbours at our borders, especially the frequent skirmishes at the LoC and intrusions and incursions at the LAC.

There are internal security issues – and law and order problems within.

Politicians and political parties are perpetually in a state of conflict with each other.

And there is antagonism and ill-will between sections of society.

There is an environment of rancor and bitterness everywhere.

For example – look at the acrimony between ex-servicemen and “babus” – or for that matter the bad-blood between the uniformed military and the civil services.

In other places too – there is increasing resentment between various cadres of employees and between competing businesses.

There is an increase in “gender conflict” too – at home, at work, and in society – and this gender conflict this leads to hostility and violence against women – at both the domestic and societal levels.

It seems that these conflicts are allowed to fester because we seem confused and do not know how to deal with all these issues.

You cannot neglect the issue and allow conflicts to go on indefinitely in the hope that the conflicts will resolve themselves.

If you adopt this approach – conflicts will aggravate – and things may worsen to such an extent that you will have to pay a heavy price.

Conflicts have to be resolved.

And – in order to resolve conflict – you cannot “look the other way” and be indifferent and hope for the best and wish that the immortal panacea “time” will solve your conflict – or some divine miracle will solve your problems – or someone else will resolve your conflicts for you.

You have to deal with and resolve your own conflicts yourself – you cannot “outsource” conflict resolution because outsourcing conflict resolution may create a even bigger problems than the conflict itself, as history has shown.

How do you resolve conflicts?

Which approach do you adopt?

There are contrasting approaches to resolving conflict – and all these approaches lie in between the two extreme theories of conflict resolution.


CONTRASTING APPROACHES TO CONFLICT MANAGEMENT – THE TWO EXTREMES

The two extreme approaches to resolving conflict are:

1. AGONOLOGY

2. SATYAGRAHA


AGONOLOGY

Agonology employs a strategy of deceit.

The objective is to defeat the opponent by using whatever means – violent and non-violent – which may be expedient.

The cardinal principle of Agonology is to make the opponent’s position as difficult as possible.

Escalate the conflict – especially if it creates more difficulties for your opponent than you.

Strike first at the opponent’s most vital parts.

Attach the opponent frontally and internally.

Make him bleed externally and internally by giving him a “thousand cuts”.

Destroy and degrade his resources – and if possible – subvert his resources and try to use his own resources against him.

Deceive your opponent – never disclose your “true” intentions, motives and tactics.

Commit “irrational” acts from time to time to confuse opponent

Go in for the “kill” at the earliest favourable opportunity.

Push your opponent against the wall – into a tight corner – and leave your opponent with only one way out and that is to surrender to your wishes.

Make your opponent resolve the conflict on your terms without any “give and take” on your part.

This is Agonology in a nutshell.


SATYAGRAHA

Gandhian Satyagraha employs a “truth” strategy.

In this context – “Truth” means a resolution of the conflict without compromising your own cardinal principles, beliefs and values.

The objective of Satyagraha is to achieve an agreement with the opponent acceptable to both sides by engaging him in a search for “truth” – using only nonviolent means.

The basic premise of Satyagraha is to engage your opponent by non-violent means in a search for “truth” which will lead to a mutually favourable solution and amicable resolution of the conflict.

Satyagraha is based on ethical principles.

You never take undue advantage of your opponent’s difficulties.

You try to cool down the conflict – and search for avenues of cooperation on honorable terms – in a spirit of “give and take”.

You protect the opponent’s person and his resources.

You do not take any actions that will make your opponent “lose face”.

You never lie – you never hold anything back – and you keep your opponent informed of your actions.

There is no place for deceit and mendacity in Satyagraha.

You reduce your demands to a minimum consistent with “truth”.

You try your best to extend areas of rationality in searching for a mutually acceptable solution.

You launch direct action only after exhausting all efforts to achieve an honorable settlement – but all your actions are strictly non-violent.


CONFLICT RESOLUTION

Agonology and Satyagraha are two extreme contrasting approaches to resolving conflict.

You cannot swing from one extreme to another as this causes confusion and exacerbates the conflict rather than mitigate it.

For each conflict – you have to formulate a specific conflict resolution strategy

You may – at first – take a “middle-of-the-road” approach.

If you can resolve the conflict – it is well and good.

Otherwise – you will have to move towards one of the extremities and decide between Agonology and Satyagraha.

So do tell us – for the various intractable “unresolvable” conflicts going on in our present-day scenario – which approach do your suggest – Agonology or Satyagraha? 

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

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

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


Written by me 3 years ago, in 2012, and earlier posted online in my blog at url: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Posted by Vikram Karve at 3/25/2015 01:00:00 AM

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

March 21, 2015

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

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