“Student Pathway” to Migrate for a “Better Life”

December 7, 2016

BEWARE OF “EDUCATION TRAFFICKING”

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/student-pathway-to-migration-beware-of.html

Are You Taking the “Student Pathway” to Migrate for a “Better Life”…?

Musings of a Veteran By VIKRAM KARVE

THE “STUDENT PATHWAY”

In the 1970’s – my classmates used the “student pathway” to migrate abroad to the US and settle down there permanently to realize their “American Dream” (those days – USA was the most sought after destination for youngsters who wanted to migrate away from India for a “better life”).

In fact – before “liberalization” (1991) – owing to various “socialist” restrictions – the “student pathway” was the only way to migrate and settle down in a foreign country.

“Liberalization” and “Globalization” created new options for aspiring migrants – like the “foreign job” option and “onsite work” option etc – which facilitated migration to a foreign country – but – even now – most aspiring migrants use the “student pathway” route to migrate and settle down in the country of their choice.

During my recent visit to New Zealand – I interacted with many youngsters from India – who were on the “student pathway” to realize their dream of settling down in New Zealand.

Today – in view of various favorable advantages and promising prospects – many youngsters want to migrate to New Zealand – and – they use the “student pathway” – since – New Zealand’s immigration policies include a post-study work pathway for international students who have completed a New Zealand qualification – which lets you find a job and get work experience in a field related to your studies and makes it easier to apply for residence and finally acquire citizenship.

All the youngsters I met in New Zealand – some students – and some working after completing their studies – all of them were desperate to settle down in New Zealand – and – not even a single youngster wanted to return back to India.

(In fact – New Zealand is such a lovely place that even visitors feel like staying on there forever – and – most visitors feel sad when their stay in New Zealand comes to an end and they have to return home)

The youngsters told me that one good plus-point of studying in New Zealand is that you can “earn while you learn” – since students are allowed to work part-time for a specified number of hours every week – and since the hourly “minimum wage” is quite good – students can earn enough to meet their daily needs.

Once they got accustomed to the “better life” in New Zealand – they did not want to return to India – and they wanted to permanently settle down in New Zealand “at any cost”.

I could see this desperate desire for residency (and finally citizenship) in most of the youngsters I met in New Zealand.

One of my friends who has settled down in New Zealand told me that this desperation (to remain in New Zealand) makes youngsters vulnerable to exploitation – especially after they complete their studies and are looking for a job in order to get a work visa – and later – when they want residency – in order to achieve their long term goal is to permanently settle in New Zealand.

She also told me another shocking fact.

She said that it was “our own people” who exploited young Indian migrants the most.

By the term “our own people” – she was referring to erstwhile Indians (who migrated from India to New Zealand many years ago and had got New Zealand Citizenship) – it was they who were exploiting new Indian Migrants the most.

I was shocked to hear this – that – in most cases – new migrants were being exploited by employers in their own ethnic communities.

I did see many young “Indian” migrants working in stores, malls, hotels, restaurants, cafes etc. – but – I was impressed by their “dignity of labour” which is a sign of egalitarian society – it was good to see that students/youngsters were ready to do any type of work to earn some extra money.

In fact – in the very café where my friend and I were sitting – it was an “Indian” migrant who was managing the counter and also serving us.

She told me a few stories – but – I thought they may be apocryphal.

But then – a few days ago – I read three news reports which shocked me.

Here are the url links to the news reports (click url to open on a new page):

1. NZ dream turns to nightmare for international students

URL: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11760721

2. Student Visa: ‘It’s not about education’

URL: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11759352

3. ‘Sleep with me if you want your visa’ boss tells student worker

URL: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=11760729

Let me add a disclaimer that what is described in these news reports may be aberrations – and may not be representative of the broad reality.

In fact – from my experience of the excellent social life I observed in New Zealand – I feel that these reports may be rare isolated exceptions – and – New Zealand certainly has a superior quality of life than most places.

Yes – New Zealand is a great place to visit, to study, to work – and – if you want – to migrate, reside and settle in.

But – if you are thinking of migrating permanently – you must make yourself aware of various aspects of the realities of life there.

The aim of this article is to generate a bit of awareness.

I do not intend to dissuade youngsters from migrating abroad to realize their dreams of a “better life”.

In fact – I would encourage youngsters to migrate to places where they can achieve their fullest potential and thereby contribute more to the world.

However – aspiring migrants must ensure they are aware of the pros and cons – especially if they are using the “student pathway” – so that they don’t fall victim to “education trafficking” and become vulnerable to exploitation.

EDUCATION TRAFFICKING

A newly coined term “Education Trafficking” refers to the phenomenon of enticing aspiring migrants to take the “student pathway” to get a permanent residency in the country of their choice.

These aspirants pay huge amounts of money to use the “student pathway” to migration since education is expensive in most developed countries.

(It is well known that education has become big business and there are many “stakeholders” who want a share in the pie).

The root cause of the problem of “Education Trafficking” does not lie in the new “host” country to which students want to migrate.

The root cause of the problem lies in the “donor” country “exporting” students – where various “Agents” and “Consultants” mislead and exploit gullible youngsters who are desperate to migrate overseas for a “better life”.

If you want to use the “student pathway” to migrate for a “better life” – please do so by all means – but ensure that you perform “due diligence” and carry out a “reality check” – so that you do not become vulnerable to exploitation once you migrate to the land of your dreams.

—————-

Dear Reader: Have you read my previous posts on my observations during my short stays in New Zealand…?

Here are a few of the URL links:

DO YOU WANT TO MIGRATE TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY FOR A “BETTER LIFE”…?

URL: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/do-you-want-to-migrate-abroad-for.html

BOMBAY in New Zealand – Travel Tales

URL: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/bombay-in-new-zealand-travel-tales.html

Milford Sound is Awesome

URL: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/milford-sound-fiordland-south-new.html

WHY DO PEOPLE MIGRATE…?

URL: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/why-do-people-migrate-conversation-with.html

New Zealand Foodie Memories

URL: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/food-photos-new-zealand-trip.html

NEW ZEALAND FOOD DIARY OF A PURE VEGETARIAN

URL: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/food-diary-of-pure-vegetarian-in-new.html

Also – I intend writing a few more articles on my visits to New Zealand – and – I will post them in my blogs in due course for you to read and comment upon.

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
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Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/student-pathway-to-migration-beware-of.html

The Wannabe Girl

December 3, 2016

“WANNABE GIRL 

Fiction Short Story By VIKRAM KARVE 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/wannabe-girl.html

Recently – I saw some young Techies (IT Nerds) drinking “shots” in a restaurant – trying to show off their drinking prowess – desperate to “fit into the crowd” (like most “Wannabes”) – and – I was reminded of a fiction short story I wrote more than 10 years ago on in the year 2006…

“WANNABE” GIRL – a Story By Vikram Karve

She licked the salt from her hand and drank the shot, in one go, then had a long swallow of beer that met the tequila’s burn as it rose.

Everyone clapped and cheered.

With that one act she had crossed the barrier.

She was no longer the rustic girl from the mofussil.

Now, she was one of “them”.

No longer would she have to hear those derisive jeers and taunts which pierced her heart – dehati, behenji etc – for now she would “belong”.

“Hey, Mofussil Girl, that’s not the way to have a shot,” Cute Girl said.

“Please don’t call me Mofussil Girl,” she said.

Then Mofussil Girl looked at Cute Girl.

Cute Girl was one of those sophisticated synthetic urban beauties who looked real chic.

Cute Girl was Mofussil Girl’s role model.

“Then let me see you do a Los Tres Cuates,” Cute Girl said.

“What’s that?” Mofussil Girl asked.

“Come on Mofussil Girl, don’t you know what’s a Los Tres Cuates – The Three Chums’ – The Tequila Slammer?” Cute Girl said.

“No,” Mofussil Girl said.

“It is the best way to drink Tequila. Look, I will show you how it is done,” Cute Girl said.

Cute Girl put some salt on her palm, licked it off, downed the neat tequila shot in one gulp down her throat, picked up a wedge of lime and pressed it between her teeth, biting hard into it.

“See – that is how you do a Los Tres Cuates – now you do it,” Cute Girl said.

Mofussil Girl sprinkled some salt on her left palm and picked up a tequila shot from the bar with her right hand.

“Be careful,” a voice said, “It’s her first time.”

“Oh, come on, Killjoy. She’s a tough girl. She’ll drink all of us under the table,” Cute Girl said.

It was now or never.

Mofussil Girl knew that once she proved her capacity to drink she would gain real respect and acceptance in this crowd and she would truly be one of them.

She downed the shot in one go.

As soon the tequila shot hit the pit of her stomach, a rash of gooseflesh raced up from her insides, tremors reverberated through her body up the back of her neck resonating into her brain and she felt her as if her brain might explode – like a terrible black orgasm.

And then she felt a high – a high like she had never felt before.

Everyone cheered Mofussil Girl.

Then a voice said, “Let’s drink to that,” and they all had a few shots of Tequila – in quick succession – one after another – one after another – shot after shot – till they were swinging high.

“Let’s hit the dance floor,” someone shouted, and propelled by unseen hands Mofussil Girl was in their midst swinging away on the dance floor to the rocking music.

The atmosphere in the disco was electric, fantastic, like she had seen in the movies.

Mofussil Girl felt wonderful, mesmerized, and with her inhibitions dissolved in the alcohol inside her, she let her hair down and danced so unabashedly and vigorously that soon she lost herself in the ultimate state of frenzied ecstasy she had never felt before.

This was the hep, hot and happening way to celebrate New Year’s Eve – not sitting with a pizza and ice cream watching the boring New Year’s Eve programme on TV like she had done for the past few years and like her roommate was doing right now.

Mofussil Girl danced continuously without break.

The dance-floor was packed with bodies, rubbing against each other.

Suddenly, the lights went off and it was pitch dark.

The DJ announced, “Ten seconds left for the New Year.”

And then he began counting: “10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1” and suddenly all the lights came on and everyone seemed to have gone berserk.

Hooters, whistles, horns, drums, shouts – all had raised the noise level to a din.

Total strangers hugged and kissed Mofussil Girl wishing her a Happy New Year.

The reverberating music, the wildly passionate crowd, the dancing strobe lights, the intense smoke, the fantastic cacophony, her sheer excitement and the intoxicating alcohol inside her – it made Moffusil Girl’s head swim so much that she negotiated her way and swayed across to the nearest sofa and slumped down on it.

Moffusil Girl tried to focus on the dancing couples.

Everything was a bit hazy.

Moffusil Girl’s head began to swim even more and she felt thirsty and reached out for the glass of water across the table.

As she stretched across the table she swayed and rolled back uncontrollably into her chair.

Her stomach seemed to be full of mercury, ice-cold and enormously heavy.

Her face felt hot and beads of perspiration began to appear on her forehead.

She pushed herself forward again, trying to reach the glass, and knocked it across the table.

Her brain began to fade, and she leaned her elbows helplessly on the glass edge of the table and felt her head fall on her wrists.

“You’re okay?” Cute Girl asked.

“I don’t know,” Mofussil Girl said.

“Come,” Cute Girl said holding out her hand, “Let’s get some fresh air.”

Mofussil Girl took Cute Girl’s hand and followed her like a zombie into the dark.

Outside it was cold, and in her drunken haze Moffusil Girl could barely sense the maze of hands groping her, supporting her unsteady body and propelling her towards the car park.

Mofussil Girl felt there were two persons within her as result of the baleful double personality that comes into being through drunkenness – the first acted as if without any brain at all, in a mechanical, vacant manner – and the second observed the first quite lucidly, but seemed entirely powerless to do anything.

“Shove her in the backseat,” a male voice said.

“And you come in front,” the man in the driver’s seat said to Cute Girl.

The car drove off into the darkness.

Hearing a shuffling noise on the rear seat, the driver asked, “Hey, what are you guys up to?”

“Giving her a drink,” a male voice said.

“Be careful, she’s already had too much to drink,” Cute Girl said.

“Just priming her up!”

“It may be her first time.”

“Really? Then she’ll need more priming. I’ll give her one more swig.”

And then the man roughly forced the bottle into Moffusil Girl’s mouth.

“Shall we do it here?”

“No. Not in the car. We’ll go to our usual place.”

“Shit! Bloody Shit!”

“What happened?”

“She’s puking.”

“What?”

“She is filthy drunk! She is vomiting all over me. Stop the car before the whole place is covered in puke.”

They stopped the car.

“She’s badly sick,” Cute Girl said, “It was her first time and she’d had too many shots. I told you not to force booze down her throat.”

“What do we do?”

“Let’s clean her up and go ahead.”

“Shit! She’s still puking. She is vomiting all over the place. It’s bloody nauseating. I have lost it.”

“Disgusting! Let’s dump her here.”

“Here? No. Let’s drop her back,” Cute Girl said.

“Drop her back? Are you crazy? And ruin our New Year’s fun?”

“We’ll get into trouble.”

“She’s so drunk that she won’t remember a thing when she wakes up in the morning.”

So they dumped Mofussil Girl in a desolate spot and drove away to enjoy the New Year.

Wallowing in her stinking vomit and shivering uncomfortably, Mofussil Girl stared vacantly into the dark sky, never so frightened, never so alone.

She wanted to cry – but tears refused to well in her eyes and her throat felt dry.

Her recollections and images of the terrible night were just vivid flashes in a void.

Her head throbbed with pain and her body ached as she retched again and again – puking again and again – till there was no vomit left inside her.

Feeling totally shattered and enveloped by unimaginable agony she lapsed into a zombie-like state of suspended vacuum.

The urbanization of Mofussil Girl was complete.

And at exactly the same moment, Moffusil Girl’s roommate was drifting off to sleep tucked in her comfortable warm bed, after watching the boring New Year’s Eve Programme on TV.

Moffusil Girl’s roommate was full of envy as she imagined her friend Mofussil Girl having a great time at the New Year’s Eve Party.

She wished she had accompanied Mofussil Girl to the grand New Year’s Eve Bash.

Wondering with envy how Moffusil Girl was enjoying her New Year Party, the curious roommate dialled Moffusil Girl’s cell phone number to wish her a Happy New Year.

The mobile phone kept ringing in Moffusil Girl’s puke-drenched purse.

But Mofussil Girl did not answer the phone.

Mofussil Girl did not answer the mobile phone because she was in a drunken stupor, totally inebriated, dead drunk, passed out stone-cold, in a state of unconsciousness, oblivious to her surroundings.

So – Moffusil Girl’s roommate sent Mofussil Girl an SMS: “Happy New Year”.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/wannabe-girl.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised version of a story WANNABE GIRL LIBERATED WOMAN written by me Vikram Karve more than 10 years ago in the year 2006 and posted online by me a number of times in my various blogs including at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2010/10/wannabe-girl-liberated-woman.html  and  http://creative.sulekha.com/wannabe-girl_68833_blog  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/12/happy-new-year.html  etc

What Do You Gain From Love…?

December 2, 2016

WHAT IS THE UTILITY VALUE OF LOVE…? 

Utility Value of Love

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/does-love-have-utility-value.html

WHAT DO YOU GAIN FROM LOVE…?
Musings of a Veteran
By
VIKRAM KARVE

In materialistic world of today – you must have a motive for doing something.

You must “gain” something from doing an activity.

After all – you are investing your precious time, talent and effort in the activity.

So – you must get your RETURN ON INVESTMENT (ROI)

If you spend your time and effort pursuing some activity – there must be some material motive for doing that.

There is a utility value attached to everything.

You are expected to gain something – it can be POWER, WEALTH or FAME.

It is mostly Wealth or Money.

Yes – in most cases the motive is MONEY (Wealth).

Many people ask me why I am wasting all my time and so much effort Blogging and Writing – when the same time and effort could be put to “good” use by me doing something worthwhile to earn money.

“You spend so much time and effort blogging…” they say.

And then – they ask me: “What do you gain from blogging…?”

“Why don’t you monetize your blog…?” other well-wishers say, “at least you will earn some money for your efforts.”

Is the aim of education solely to get a job…?

Yes – that is the utility value of education.

But what about the joys of learning…?

Doesn’t education expose you to the joys of learning…?

Why can’t people understand that a person can do something for the sheer enjoyment of doing it – without any material gain or ulterior motive.

Another person used to asked me why I spent so much time with my pet dog Sherry and looked after her so lovingly.

“Are you making money by selling her pups..?” he asked – and he was surprised when I told him that I did not have any intention of mating my dog.

Maybe he had seen some persons who keep dogs as a business and as a means to make money by breeding them.

He could not believe it when I told him that I keep a dog just for the sheer love the dog bestows on me.

“But – what is the use of love…? What do you “gain” from love…?”

What is the use of love…?

What do I gain from love…?

Well – love creates positive vibes in me – love generates inner happiness.

Why do we try and analyse the utility value in each and every thing – even love…?

Does love have a utility value…?

What is the utility value of love…?

Let me quote an Urdu couplet I heard long back.

(I cannot translate it exactly – but I will try to give you the gist)

Someone asked a lover:

इश्क का क्या फायदा (What do you gain from love…?)

The lover replied:

फायदे का क्या फायदा (What do you gain from gain…?)

Why do we look for profit or reward in anything we do…?

Why do we have expectations in a relationship…?

Yes – even in relationships we see a utility value.

Why do we always expect a RETURN ON INVESTMENT…?

Why can’t we do something just for the sake of doing it – for the sheer enjoyment of that activity – just like we do – in the case of true love or इश्क

Do we look for “Return on Investment” when we love someone…?

What do you gain from love…?

What do you gain from “gain”…?

इश्क का क्या फायदा ?

फायदे का क्या फायदा ?

Would some connoisseur of Urdu Sher-Shairi (philosophical poet) be so good as to translate and interpret this couplet for us in a better way please.

Dear Reader:

Do you look for utility value in everything…?

I eagerly await your comments.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/does-love-have-utility-value.html

This is a revised repost of my article written by me Vikram Karve 6 years ago in 2010 and posted by me online earlier a number of times in my blogs including at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/03/what-is-utility-value-of-love.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/05/what-do-you-gain-from-blogging.html  and  http://creative.sulekha.com/what-do-you-gain-from-love-why-do-we-have-expectations-in-a-relationship_88231_blog etc

Are You Afraid of Marriage – or – Are You Afraid Staying Single…? Gamophobia and Anuptaphobia

December 2, 2016

RELATIONSHIP PHOBIAS

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/gamophobia-fear-of-marriage.html

GAMOPHOBIA (Fear of Marriage)

Short Fiction Story By VIKRAM KARVE

“Why can’t people understand that I do not want to get married…” she said.

“What happened…?” I asked her.

“It’s my mother again – now – she has found a “Boy” for me over here…”

“Here…? In New Zealand…?”

“Yes – last year – when I was on vacation in India – I escaped seeing “Boys” saying that I had decided to settle down permanently in New Zealand – and – I was unwilling to relocate from Auckland – so now – they have found a “Boy” for me out here…”

“Oh…”

“I just don’t understand why my parents are so desperate to get me married…”

“You are 30 now – you are already past what is considered “marriageable age” in India…”

“But – I don’t want to get married – so – how does it matter – whether I am past “marriageable age” or not…?”

“Well – in India – parents feel it is their duty to get their daughters married…”

“That was okay in the past – when girls were not financially independent – but today – things are different – in fact – I am sure I earn much more than most “Boys” of my age…”

“Maybe – your parents feel that now that you are 30 – you should “settle down” in life…”

“But – I have already settled down in life – haven’t I…? I have a good job with excellent career prospects – I have my own house in the best inner city suburb of Auckland – I have my own car – I have everything I need…”

“That may be so – but – probably – your parents feel that you need a husband – and – getting married will complete your life…”

“Well – I feel “complete” already – so – there is no place for anyone else in my life – I don’t need anyone – I have got everything…”

“What about…?”

“Please – let’s not discuss that – but – let me tell you that I can easily get enough of it to satisfy my needs – whenever I want…”

“I meant companionship…”

“I get plenty of “companionship” at work – in fact – a bit too much – you know the job I do – I have to spend the whole day interacting by people – colleagues, customers, clients – I get so fed up that I just want to be alone at home to enjoy my “self-time”…”

“I meant friendship – friends…”

“Friends…? You are there – aren’t you…? Whenever I want – to relax over a drink – or – go on a drive – or I want to get something off my chest – I call you – and you come – like you have come now…”

“Yes – I am always there for you – but – don’t you want to have more friends…?”

“Actually – out here – one doesn’t need many friends – I like the social culture out here – where they respect your privacy…”

“You never had any friends out here…? Even when you were studying at the University…?”

“Of course I did. But – those days were different – now – I like my solitude…”

“Yes…”

“In fact – now – you are my only friend. I like you because you are the only one who doesn’t indulge in “matchmaking” and try to get me married – like most Indian “Expats” out here try to do – they keep hounding me to get married – searching for suitable “matches” – finding all sorts of “Boys” for me…”

“Well – you can’t blame them – can you…? They may have travelled a long distance from India and migrated and settled down over here – but – their mindset hasn’t changed – though they are physically in a modern country – culturally – in their minds – they still carry old-fashioned Indian values – that’s why they feel that it is odd for a girl to remain unmarried once she crosses 30…”

“Well – I am happy and single – I am living my life to the fullest – on my own terms – and I don’t want anyone worrying about my marriage – not even my parents – and certainly not these Indian “expats” out here…”

“Don’t pay much attention to them – but – remember – that – like your parents – their intentions are good…”

“Well – I don’t care about their intentions – but – they hassle me with all their “matrimonial talk” and comments about my living a single life – that’s why I have dumped everyone – except you – because you are the only one who accepts me as I am. Yes – you are the only one that I consider as my friend – because you don’t have any “good intentions” to end my “spinstership” and get me married…”

“Hey – your glass is empty – should I get you some more beer…?”

“No – I’ll go home now…”

“Why so early…? It’s Friday night – and only 7 o’clock…”

“I have to go. But – you wait here…”

“Me…? Wait here…?”

“Yes. I want you to speak to the “Boy” – and – you will tell him that I don’t want to get married…”

“What…?”

“Don’t you remember what I told you…? My parents have found a “Boy” for me over here…”

“Is he coming here to meet you…?”

“Yes – I called him here at 8 – for dinner. But now – he can have the “dinner date” with you instead of me…”

“Who is the guy…? Does he live here in Auckland…? Maybe I know him…”

“No. He was working in Christchurch. He took up a job in Auckland only last week. I don’t know what my parents told his parents – and what hopes they raised in him – because – from the way he talked to me on phone – it seems he is taking things for granted. I only hope he hasn’t relocated to Auckland in anticipation of getting married to me – because – if he has fancy ideas – he is going to get the shock of his life when you tell him that I am not interested in marriage …”

“Oh. So – you want me to do your dirty work…”

“Yes. That’s what good friends are for – aren’t they…?”

“But I don’t even know him…”

“Here – I am sending you his picture and name on your mobile phone. Okay – I’ll go now – you enjoy your “dinner-date” with the “Boy” – and – you please call me up in the morning and tell me what happened…”

“Okay. Bye. Take Care…” I said to her.

“Bye…” she said – and she walked towards door of the pub.

EPILOGUE

Next morning – I called her up to tell her that the “mission” had been accomplished.

Then – I called up my mother in India – and I said to my mother: “Ma – you can start looking for a suitable bride for me…”

“Bride…? You want me to search for a bride for you…? What happened to that girl over there in Auckland…? Weren’t you supposed to meet her last evening…?”

“Yes. I met her…”

“What happened…? Did you talk about marriage…? Did you propose to her…?”

“We talked about marriage – but – I didn’t propose to her…”

“Why…? What happened…? Did you have a fight…? Is there some problem with her…? You broke up with her…?”

“No – No – Ma – nothing like that at all – we are still good friends – but – she doesn’t want to get married – that’s all…”

“She doesn’t want to get married to you…? Why…? Why doesn’t she want to get married to you…?”

“It’s not me. She doesn’t want to get married to anyone – she prefers to remain single – that’s all…”

“She wants to remain unmarried…? Strange girl…”

“Ma – you forget about her. I am coming to India for a month during my Christmas Vacations. Please have some good girls lined up for me to see…” I said to my mother.

“Don’t worry – you’ll get the best of girls to select from…” my mother said, “You are a “prime catch” in the marriage market – you are a most eligible bachelor – and that too you are well settled in New Zealand – there will be so many good girls dying for the opportunity to go abroad and settle down in that lovely place…”

AFTERWORD

Well – my “girlfriend” who wanted to remain “happily single” – maybe she had “Gamophobia” (Fear of Marriage).

But – as far as I was concerned – I surely had “Anuptaphobia” (fear of staying single) – yes – I certainly did not want to remain a “chronic bachelor” for all my life.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

1. This blog post 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/2016/12/gamophobia-fear-of-marriage.html

Humor in Medicine – “Doctors” in Uniform

December 1, 2016

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/humor-in-uniform-military-medicine.html

When a Retired Military Veteran – an ex-Navy shipmate – asked me why I visit a Civilian Dentist – I joked with him:

“When I was in the Navy – Military Dentists ruined some of my teeth – now – after retirement – Civilian Dentists are trying to restore those teeth…”

In the Civilian World – you can choose your Dentist (or Doctor).

But – in the Military – you cannot choose – you have to go to the Dentist/Doctor in your unit/ship/base – or to the Dentist/Doctor to whom you are referred by your Medical Officer.

(Yes – in the Armed Forces – Doctors are called “Medical Officers” and Dentists are called “Dental Officers”)

Once – in Pune – in terrible pain with my tooth aching – I was made to run from pillar to post – from one Military Dental Centre to another – as there was a “jurisdictional dispute” – it was not clear to which of the 3 Military Dental Clinics our Inter-Service Unit was attached to – and – each Military Dental Clinic claimed that our unit was not in their “jurisdiction” and advised me to go elsewhere to another Military Dental Clinic (reminiscent of stories of people being made to run around by police stations over “jurisdiction” issues).

Just like Military Patients cannot choose their Doctors – even Military Doctors have no choice – even if they want to treat patients who are outside their “jurisdiction”.

Everything is allotted.

Yes – in the Military – you cannot choose anything – even your house (accommodation) is allotted to you.

You have no to accept what is allotted to you – as they say – in the military – “either – you like it – or – you lump it”

Of course – you are free to choose who you want to marry – but then – hardly anyone wants to marry “faujis” nowadays – so there is not much of a choice there too.

I have digressed.

Coming back to Military “Medicine” (and Military “Dentistry”) – there are excellent Dentists/Doctors in the Military – but – most of them are posted to “prestigious” military hospitals/clinics in big stations like Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Bangalore etc.

My visit to the Dentist evoked some amusing “Dental” Memories of My Wonderful Navy Days.

I will write a “Memoir” on the topic soon and post it over here in my Blog.

Meanwhile – Dear Reader – in order to give you a bit of background – here is a post I wrote a few years ago on Military “Medicine”

Humor in Uniform

MILITARY MEDICINE (Military Style Health Care)

“DOCTORS” IN UNIFORM

A Fictional Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/humor-in-uniform-military-medicine.html

“DOC DANEEKA” STYLE MILITARY HEALTHCARE

When anyone asks me about life in the Armed Forces (the Army, the Navy, or, the Air Force) – I tell them to read the famous World War II Novel CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller.

If you have served in the Defence Services – in all probability – you would have read Catch-22 – and even if you have not read it – you would have experienced the essence of Catch-22.

Are you are a motivated youngster who intends joining the Army, Navy or Air Force…?

I suggest you read Catch-22 – so that you will be well prepared for the inimitable characters and unique situations you will encounter during your military service.

In CATCH-22 there is a character called Doc Daneeka – a Medical Officer or MO (as Military Doctors are called).

His style of diagnosis and treatment is simple.

In fact – Doc Daneeka has succeeded in elevating medicine to an exact science.

Doc Daneeka fully delegates diagnosis and treatment to his assistants – two soldiers called “Gus” and “Wes”

These two soldiers run the healthcare system in the military unit on their own with so much efficiency – that Doc Daneeka is left with nothing to do – which is fine with him – since he hates medical practice anyway.

The “modus operandi” of the Military Healthcare System is as follows:

All “patients” (who report on sick parade) have a thermometer shoved into their mouths and have their temperature taken.

1. Those with body temperatures above 102 degrees Fahrenheit are rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.

2. Those having temperatures below 102 degrees Fahrenheit have their gums and throats painted with gentian violet (throat paint) and are given a dose of laxative to clear their stomachs and digestive systems.

3. Those who have a temperature of exactly 102 degrees Fahrenheit are told to come after one hour to have their temperature taken again so that the line of treatment could be decided as follows:

(a) Temperature more than 102 – rush to hospital

(b) Temperature less than 102 – throat paint + laxative to clear digestive system

4. After one hour – if a patient’s temperature is still 102 – he is asked to keep reporting to the clinic every one hour till his temperature either goes above 102 – or his temperature comes down below 102 – so that he could be treated accordingly as per option 1 or option 2 above.

During my long service in the Navy – and in inter-service establishments – I came across many such “Doc Daneeka” style Doctors in the Military.

You cannot escape these “Doc Daneeka” types even after retirement – since they pursue you in the ECHS too.

“DOC DANEEKA” STYLE HEALTH-CARE IN THE ECHS (EX-SERVICEMEN’S CONTRIBUTORY HEALTH SCHEME)

I have observed another “Doc Daneeka” technique – used sometimes by the ECHS in its clinics – since it works better when dealing with ageing old retired veteran senior citizen ex-servicemen (who are considered a nuisance).

There is a saying: “Time is a great healer”.

The essence of this ECHS technique is to make the patients wait indefinitely in the crowded waiting room of the clinic – and let “time” do the “healing”.

On reporting to the ECHS clinic – the hapless old-aged frail unwell senior citizen ex-serviceman is made to stand in a long queue – and then he is given a chit.

Of course – before this – they try to get rid of the veteran by raking up some issue about his ECHS Card – and – the hapless veteran is sent on a “wild goose paperwork chase” and put in a “red-tape spin”.

But – if the veteran is lucky – then the sick old man is made to wait indefinitely – for a long time – in a congested jam-packed waiting hall.

Four things can happen to the patient – a sick and ailing old man – while he waits at the ECHS clinic:

1. The patient drops dead.

In this case – no further treatment is required at the clinic

2. The patient faints – he becomes unconscious – or he goes into a delirium – as he becomes seriously ill.

In this case – he is rushed to the nearest Military Hospital

3. The patient gets fed up of waiting at the ECHS Clinic – and so – he goes to the nearest private clinic for treatment for which he has to pay from his own pocket.

The ECHS view is that though ECHS contribution is forcibly deducted and membership of the healthcare scheme is mandatory it is the patient’s personal choice whether to avail ECHS treatment – or to go to a private medical practitioner – so ECHS is quite happy if the military veteran goes elsewhere for medical treatment – thereby – unburdening ECHS load.

4. If the military veteran patient persists in waiting at the ECHS clinic – he is got rid off by referring him to an “empanelled” civilian hospital

If you wonder what happens to the sick military veteran patient when he is referred to an empanelled civilian hospital – well – the horror stories could easily fill a huge tome – and more.

5. Well – there can be a happy experience too – for the military veteran patient who perseveres in waiting for many hours at the ECHS clinic.

The patient actually starts feeling well during the waiting period – the sick veteran is cured by the long relaxed wait.

After all – rest is the best cure for many illnesses.

Now – since he has become well – the veteran does not need any medical treatment at the ECHS Clinic – so he can go away happy – after spending a leisurely relaxed day at the ECHS clinic.

Dear Military Veteran: Do visit an ECHS clinic and tell us whether you see the “Doc Daneekas” around – and their style of treatment of patients.

THE DOC DANEEKA PRINCIPLE : Make Patients Disappear

(Ultimate Goal = Zero Patients)

Remember – the cardinal “Doc Daneeka Principle” is to make patients disappear and realize your ultimate goal of a “Zero Patient” situation.

And – in this direction – I think the ECHS is trying hard by introducing more and more “hurdles” like increasing red-tape and paperwork – introducing hassles like repeated renewal of cards etc – locating clinics in inaccessible distant places – and trying its best to make patients go elsewhere to seek medical treatment – so that soon – ECHS achieves its ultimate goal of “zero patients”

By the way – it was also a “Doc Daneeka” type masterstroke by the Armed Forces in the 1980s – when – the Defence Services abdicated responsibility for post-retirement healthcare of their own veteran retired ex-servicemen by creating a new organisation called ECHS – and they effectively passed the buck of post-retirement healthcare to ECHS.

A “DOC DANEEKA” PEDIATRICIAN IN UNIFORM

THE “CHILD-SPECIALIST” WHO HATED CHILDREN

There are many excellent doctors and brilliant specialists in uniform – but most of the professionally outstanding “fauji” medical officers are posted at VIP Military Hospitals in New Delhi and large stations like Mumbai, Kolkata, Pune, Bangalore etc where abundant medical facilities already exisit in civilian hospitals.

There are many first-rate doctors posted in smaller units also.

So – by and large – there may be more “Doc Daneekas” in smaller units/ships – but – if you observe carefully – you can spot a few “Doc Daneekas” in big military hospitals too – like – the pediatrician who hated children.

Yes – a pediatrician is a child-specialist – and is supposed to like children – but this child-specialist hated children.

This happened long back – when my kids were small – in Vizag – when I came across this unique “Doc Daneeka in Uniform” Pediatrician – a Navy Lady Doctor in uniform – a child-specialist who hated children.

Yes – believe it not – she was a Pediatrician who hated children.

This Child-Specialist “Fauji” Doctor was unmarried – she had no experience of handling children – and worse – she hated children.

This “child-hater” Pediatrician was a “Doc Daneeka in Uniform” specimen of a different kind.

Her tactic was to avoid seeing children (who she hated).

She insisted on proper “paper work” – and – she would not see sick children unless you had got a “referral” through proper channel.

If anyone took their child/baby to her directly – she would scream and create a scene – and – shout at the hapless parents to follow proper procedure – and get a proper referral from their unit/ship doctor or general OPD.

The result was that – due to all these hassles and delays – the parents of sick children took their children to civilian doctors (paying from their pockets).

So – hardly any “children-patients” reached the “child-hater” Pediatrician – and she was having a relaxed tenure.

AN EXCEPTION TO THE RULE

A “FAUJI” DOCTOR WHO WAS NOT A “DOC DANEEKA” IN UNIFORM

Luckily – we had a Command Medical Officer (a Surgeon Commodore) – who was an exception to the rule – he was certainly not a “Doc Daneeka” in Uniform – in fact – he was a genuine Doctor in Uniform.

Ths Surgeon Commodore – the Command Medical Officer (CMO) – was himself a renowned pediatrician – an outstanding child-specialist – and he loved children.

Yes – he was a Pediatrician who loved children – unlike the young lady “child-hater” Pediatrician in the Naval Hospital.

Now – Command Medical Officer (CMO) was a staff appointment – so his job was to push files in Headquarters.

Had he been a typical “Doc Daneeka” in Uniform – he would have preferred to do paperwork rather than treat patients – but – the CMO was a genuine doctor who wanted to practice medicine.

He opened a “Child OPD” in his office in Command Headquarters – and – we all used to take our children to him for treatment.

However – even this magnanimous act of the CMO had no effect on the shameless “Doc Daneeka” in Uniform child-hater lady pediatrician – who seemed to be quite happy at the turn of events – since now – everyone took their children to the CMO – so the lady “Doc Daneeka” child-hater child-specialist had to see no “children-patients” – whom she hated anyway.

WHY ARE THERE SO MANY “DOC DANEEKAS” IN UNIFORM…?

In order to understand why there are so many “Doc Daneekas” in Uniform – let me give you a simple illustrative example.

Suppose there a two surgeons.

The first surgeon does 100 surgeries per month.

The second surgeon does only 10 surgeries per month.

In Private Practice – it is obvious that the first surgeon (who does more surgical operations) will earn more money – and the surgeon who performs more surgeries will also progress faster up the ladder of professional success and fame.

In case of “Fauji” Doctors – it does not matter – because – whether you do 100 surgeries per month – or – 10 surgeries a month – or – even if you do zero surgeries per month – you will get a fixed monthly pay as per your rank and seniority – and – promotion is by seniority – so you have to wait in the queue for your turn to come – irrespective of your merit and work performance.

If someone has joined before you – he is ahead of you in the queue – and so – he will get promoted before you.

So – a “Fauji” Doctor sitting in Headquarters pushing files will get the same pay as his batchmate who is slogging it out treating patients in a military hospital.

And – in case the File Pushing White-Collar Babu “Fauji” Doctor has joined the Army Medical Corps earlier (and is senior in service) – the “White-Collar” Babu “Fauji” Doctor doing administrative work will be promoted earlier than the Professional “Fauji” Doctor who is actually practicing medicine in the field – in accordance with the sacrosanct principle of seniority.

So – maybe – it is the “system” – which creates so many “Doc Daneekas” in Uniform.

I am sure you have read about some of my hilarious encounters with these “Doc Daneeka” style “Fauji” Doctors in my blog – of course – I will tell you some more from time to time.

Now let me ask you the moot question:

If you are thinking of studying medicine – would you like to be a “Doc Daneeka” in Uniform…?

Ha Ha Ha

And – Dear Military Veterans – did you encounter any “Doc Daneekas” in Uniform during your Military Service or after your Retirement…?

Yes…?

Do tell us about your experiences.

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 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/2016/12/humor-in-uniform-military-medicine.html

This article (humorous fictional spoof) was written by me Vikram Karve almost 6 years ago in early 2011 and posted online by me Vikram Karve a number of times in my blogs including at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/02/doc-daneeka-in-uniform-hilarious.html  and   http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/humor-in-uniform-my-hilarious.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/04/humor-in-uniform-health-care-military.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/military-medicine-doctors-in-uniform.html etc

“Vultures” – Birds of Prey

November 30, 2016

“VULTURES”

Short Fiction By VIKRAM KARVE  

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/i-am-not-vulture-story.html

THE VULTURES – Short Story By VIKRAM KARVE 

The old man was dying in hospital.

Everyone wanted him to die.

Except me.

I was the only one who did not want him to die.

I wanted him to live because I would lose everything if he died.

They wanted him to die because they would gain something from his death.

Like vultures – circling around their prey – these human “vultures” waited for him to die – so that they could swoop down and grab their pound of flesh.

I did not want anything.

I did not want any “pound of flesh”.

I just wanted my old man to come back to me – hale and hearty.

I dreaded to imagine what would happen to me – if the old man died.

I looked at all the human “vultures” – eagerly waiting to seize their share in the “pie”.

And – it was a huge “pie” – because the old man was very rich and wealthy.

He was a self-made man and had earned all his wealth slogging it out sailing on the high seas for over 40 years.

I did not want any share in the pie.

I just wanted my old man to live.

The old man was the only thing I had in this world – and without him – I had nothing to live for.

I hoped and prayed that this time too it would be a false alarm – like so many times before – and my old man would come back to me hale and hearty – like he always did.

We all waited on the spacious verandah of his majestic bungalow – the old man’s most prized possession – a magnificent mansion on the banks of the Mula river near Wakad with a huge compound enclosing the vast expanse of land.

The old man had bought the land for a pittance more than 30 years ago – when Wakad was a nondescript remote village in the back of beyond – some distance away from the town of Pune.

On this huge plot of land – he had built a beautiful bungalow on the banks of the Mula River.

The old man loved to be close to nature – and – during his vacations ashore from sea – he had spent his time hiking – and rowing his boat on the river.

Now – everything had drastically changed.

Wakad was now an up-market suburb of Pune and a most sought after destination owing to its proximity of the InfoTech Park at Hinjewadi where thousands of young upwardly mobile overpaid “Techies” (IT Nerds and Software Geeks) worked.

The old man’s bungalow was called Anchorage.

Till a few years ago – Wakad was a solitary place.

But – with the advent of the Information Technology and Software Industry in Pune – there was an “IT Boom” – which resulted in the “Real Estate Boom” – and there was fervent construction activity all over Wakad.

Soon – the sprawling bungalow was surrounded by posh high rises and residential townships.

For the last few years so many persons, promoters, builders – even his own kith and kin – had their eyes set on this prime property.

For them it was an eyesore – a huge undeveloped piece of land in the centre of lucrative real estate.

Over the last few years – so many builders and developers had tempted the old man with the best of deals.

They offered him the choicest of apartments in Pune and Mumbai.

They said they would give him hard cash if he wanted – lots of cash.

They even tried to coerce him – with subtle threats and hints of intimidation.

But the old man would not budge – and he had firmly refused to sell his bungalow.

Only I knew the real reason why the old man did not want to sell his bungalow.

Yes – only I knew why he preferred to live a lonely life in this desolate mansion – rather than shift to the comfort of a modern high-rise apartment in the heart of the Pune.

Some thought he was a shrewd man.

The more he held on to his bungalow, the more the price would increase.

A few years ago the offers were in Lakhs of Rupees – but today – the price of this prime real estate was worth Crores of Rupees – many crores – maybe 10 Crore – 20 Crore – maybe even more.

That was the reason why all the “vultures” had gathered.

No one was willing to forfeit their share of this bonanza – they were sure to get at least an apartment in the township which would come up here or maybe enough money to buy a flat wherever they wanted.

And maybe – they would get a share in his wealth too.

Hardly anyone ever visited the old man in his bungalow – but now as he lay dying in the hospital – so many relatives and well-wishers had appeared out of nowhere.

In fact – they had all rushed to the hospital and crowded the ICU eagerly awaiting the news of the old man’s death – but the doctors had thrown them out of the hospital.

The doctors had allowed no one to enter the old man’s ICU room and sit beside him except his best friend and a long time shipmate – who the old man jokingly called Captain Haddock.

That’s why all of them impatiently waited at the old man’s bungalow in anticipation of  the “good” news.

The old man had been fallen ill many times before – he had been admitted to ICU a couple of times too – he had given them so many false alarms – but this time they hoped that he would die, once and for all.

Suddenly – I saw Captain Haddock’s car enter the porch.

He got out the car walked towards the verandah.

“What happened?” they all eagerly asked him the moment he entered the verandah, hoping to hear the “good” news.

“His condition is the same.”

“Why don’t they remove life support?” the old man’s son, who had flown down from Delhi asked.

“You go to the hospital and ask them,” Captain Haddock said angrily, “The best doctors in town are being consulted. The top specialist is coming over from Mumbai and if required we will fly your father in an air ambulance to Delhi or wherever required, even abroad, for the best of treatment. We will make all out efforts till the very end to save his life. I have told them not to worry about the money.”

“Not to worry about money? You told them not to worry about money?”

“It’s not your money,” Captain Haddock shouted at the old man’s son, “The hospital bills are being paid from the old man’s own hard earned money. I have a Power Of Attorney for that, so you don’t worry.”

“It’s not that,” interjected the old man’s daughter. She had come all the way from Bangalore.

“It is precisely that,” Captain Haddock said bluntly to the old man’s daughter, “You don’t want money spent on his treatment as you feel that your share will become less.”

The old man’s daughter winced.

She wanted to talk back – but her husband gestured to her to remain calm.

The old man’s son-in-law had insisted on accompanying his wife to Pune.

He had “insider” information from the ICU Intensivist (who had been his classmate in school) that this time it was not a false alarm and indeed the old man was sinking and he was most likely to die.

The old man’s son-in-law feared that his MBA brother-in-law, the old man’s son, who was street smart and cunning, would surely try his best to con them and try to grab maximum share in the old man’s property.

The son-in-law knew that his wife’s older brother was so wily and devious – that he would have no compunctions in cheating his own sister – who was a simpleton Techie – and giving her a raw deal.

I looked at the old man’s biological children.

They had his blood flowing in their veins.

And – they wanted him to die.

I did not have the old man’s blood flowing in my veins.

Yet – I wanted him to live.

At a distance stood a man with shifty eyes.

He was a real estate developer who was desperate to get hold of the old man’s property.

He had come, ostensibly, to help out in case any assistance was needed – but he actually wanted to ensure he was at the scene of action and to make sure he did not lose any opportunity.

He had already talked with the old man’s son – who had assured the real estate developer that he would convince his sister – and the moment the old man died – they would negotiate and strike a deal.

There were many other “vultures” who would come and go, to check whether their “prey” had died so that they would not miss their share of the “feast”.

And there were numerous smaller vultures watching from a distance, their “beaks” in readiness to “peck” at whatever “flesh” remained.

No “vulture” wanted to miss the opportunity – they all knew that old man was wealthy and prosperous – he had plenty of “flesh” and if they swooped down at the right time they may get lucky.

One “vulture” had an eye on the old man’s booze collection – the choicest liquor from all over the world.

Another “vulture” fancied the rare books in the old man’s library.

One more “vulture” coveted the old man’s vintage automobile.

Yet another “vulture” wanted his paintings, his exquisite art collection, probably worth a fortune.

Some other “vultures” eyed the chandeliers, the artifacts, the curios, the maritime mementos collected by the old man during his voyages around the world.

Some of these human “vultures” even wanted his antique furniture.

The old man had a lot of possessions and the “vultures” wanted everything – you name it – and the “vultures” wanted it.

And they all waited for the old man to die.

Except me.

I did not want anything belonging to the old man.

I just wanted my old man – I wanted him to live.

Suddenly Captain Haddock’s cell-phone rang.

Captain Haddock put his mobile to his ear – and he listened for some time.

Then he just said a soft “Yes” into the phone – and kept the cellphone in his pocket.

After keeping his mobile phone in his pocket – Captain Haddock gave a poignant look.

Captain Haddock nodded to everyone – and he began walking towards his car.

He abruptly he stopped – and turned around – as if searching for someone.

Captain Haddock saw me – and his eyes focused on me.

He looked at me in a sympathetic manner – as if consoling me.

Then – he got into the car and drove away.

My heart sank.

I feared the worst.

I was shattered.

But there was nothing I could do except wait and pray.

It was unimaginable agony.

I wished I would die – rather than be rendered an orphan.

But everything turned out well.

My old man did not die.

He came home hale and hearty.

On seeing the old man return home hale and hearty – all his “near and dear” ones – his “kith and kin” – were disappointed.

Yes – they were disappointed that the old man had survived and got well.

They all wanted the old man to die.

Because they are all humans – “vultures” – who wanted to “feast” on his “flesh”.

I am happy.

I am happy that my old man survived the illness – and I am happy that he is now hale and hearty.

I do not want my old man to die.

I want him to live.

I want my old man to live – because I am not a human being.

Yes.

I am not a HUMAN BEING

I am not a “VULTURE”

I am a DOG

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 this story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/i-am-not-vulture-story.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

I wrote this Story VULTURES in May 2012 and first Posted this story online on my blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve in May 2012 – First Posted by Vikram Karve at 5/29/2012 02:38:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/05/vultures.html  and revised and reposted the story at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/04/vultures-short-story-by-vikram-karve.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/12/vultures-story.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/12/human-vultures.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/04/birds-of-prey-vultures.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/are-you-vulture.htmletc

Marriage Bureau Partners

November 30, 2016

The Matchmaking “Business” 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/the-matchmaking-business-matrimonial.html

Marriage Bureau Partners – A Story By VIKRAM KARVE  

Visit to the Marriage Bureau

More than 36 years ago – in the year 1980 – I went to a “Marriage Bureau” in Pune.

All my attempts at finding a suitable bride through the “love” route had failed – and I decided to go in for an “arranged marriage”.

The Proprietors of the Marriage Bureau were a “made-for-each-other-couple” – who seemed to be in their early 40’s.

The man and the woman sat side by side in the same office as true partners.

They seemed to be a most compatible couple – and the harmony which was visible in their demeanour indicated that they were true “soulmates”.

Seeing this “ideal couple” at the helm of affairs inspired confidence in me.

I knew that I had come to the right place – only a truly happily married couple whose relationship was rocking would know the “compatibility aspects” required for a happy marriage – and they would surely find the right bride for me.

Both of them asked me a number of questions – regarding myself – and also – about my “expectations” as far as the bride was concerned.

Within a week – they had lined up 3 girls for me to “see”.

I liked the very first girl I “saw” – and we both said “yes” to each other.

For the sake of courtesy – I “saw” the other 2 girls too – and I liked both of them – but then – legally – I could have only one wife – so – I got married to the first girl to whom I had said “yes”.

The fact the all the 3 girls the ‘Marriage Bureau’ had suggested were a “perfect match” for me – was “proof of the pudding” – that – the “made-for-each-other couple” who ran the ‘marriage bureau’ knew what marriage was all about.

36 Years Later

01 January 2016 

Meeting the “Matchmakers”

It was a grand event – in the best 5 Star Hotel in town – to celebrate the Golden Jubilee (50th Anniversary) of the ‘Marriage Bureau’.

Yes – the ‘Marriage Bureau’ had been started 50 years ago – was still going strong – in fact – they now had a global presence – and operated online through their website – and – today – they had launched their ‘Mobile Matrimonial App’ too.

It was a huge event – and the crowd must have been at least a thousand strong – maybe even 2000 – and – it seemed that most of the couples whose marriages had been “arranged” by this “marriage bureau” had made it a point to attend.

They had even tracked us down to our present address in New York – and since we were in India for our annual Christmas Vacations – we – my wife and I – made it a point to attend the function.

The proprietors of the ‘marriage bureau’ – who – most probably – were now in their late 70’s – still looked a very “made-for-each-other couple”.

Both of them were in perfect harmony with each other – like “soulmates” – a “perfect” couple – and they acted like perfect hosts.

Dressed in matching colour-coordinated clothes, the two of them stood together at the entrance to welcome us – and – later – after they had cut the magnificent anniversary cake together – both of them moved around to personally greet us and ensure that our glasses were topped up, our plates were full and we were being well looked after.

During the party – many couples expressed their gratitude to the “made-for-each-other couple” proprietors of the ‘marriage bureau’ – and – I too made it a point to meet them and thank them for finding me a most suitable bride.

After the event – we – my wife and I – walked to the foyer of the hotel – and I asked the concierge to get me a taxi to Aundh – when – a male voice suddenly said from behind: “Why Taxi…? I am going towards Aundh – I will drop you in my car…”

I turned around – it was the ‘Proprietor’ of the ‘Marriage Bureau’ – our host.

Soon – his chauffeur driven limousine arrived.

“You two sit on the rear seat – I will sit in front with the driver…” he said to me and my wife.

“Sir – but what about ‘madam’…? Isn’t she coming…?” I said.

“…‘Madam’…? Which ‘Madam’…?” he asked.

“Sir – your wife…” I said to the the ‘Proprietor’ of the ‘Marriage Bureau’.

“My ‘wife’…? Well – I don’t have a wife – I am a bachelor…” he said.

I was stunned.

On seeing my bewilderment – the ‘Proprietor’ of the ‘Marriage Bureau’ said to me:

“Don’t feel embarrassed – it happens quite often…

Many people think that my “Business Partner” is also my ‘Life Partner”…

But – we are quite clear about it…

We never mix “Business” with “Matrimony”…

“Business is “Business – and – “Matrimony is “Matrimony…”

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/the-matchmaking-business-matrimonial.html

This is a re-post of my story MARRIAGE BUREAU posted by me Vikram Karve online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/marriage-bureau.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/the-matchmakers-story.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/the-business-of-matrimony.html

Who Is Planning Your Life … ?

November 30, 2016

WHO IS PLANNING YOUR LIFE … ?

Ramblings of a Retired Mind By VIKRAM KARVE  

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/how-to-plan-your-life.html

ARE YOU LETTING OTHERS PLAN YOUR LIFE…?

If you travel on a road which others have built – then you will reach the destination where the road goes.

Yes – if you travel on a road that someone else has built – you will reach that destination which those who built the road want you to reach.

You will not the destination you want to reach.

It is true – isn’t it?

Since others have built the road on which you travel – you will reach the destination which the road-builders want you to reach.

In a metaphorical sense – it is the same with the “journey of life” too.

If you let others plan your life – then you will reach the “destination” which they want you to reach.

That is why – you must plan your own life according to the “destination” or goal that you want to reach.

Unfortunately – it is easier said than done.

How do you land up travelling on the wrong road on the Journey of Life…?

It all starts when you are small – too young to understand things – and too immature to formulate your life goal.

The moment you enter school – your parents decide what they want you to achieve – the “destination” they want you to reach – and your ambitious parents start planning your life accordingly.

Your teachers play a role in planning your life too.

And – you are quite clueless to understand anything – since you are too young to understand what is going on.

It happened with me too.

In Class 9 – I was put in the “Science” Stream.

No one asked me my choice – because probably – I was considered too young to make a choice.

In our school – there was a simple rule – only those “weak” in mathematics were sent to the “Arts” Stream.

And unfortunately – I was good at Maths.

Sometimes – it is a great misfortune to be good at something you don’t like.

Later – my parents, teachers and “well-wishers” decided that I must appear for the IIT JEE.

I cleared the JEE – studied Engineering for 5 years – got a B. Tech. degree – and reached the “destination” that they wanted me to reach (they wanted me to be an Engineer)

The same thing happened during most of my working life too.

It was others who did my career planning.

The HR bosses in the Navy decided which training courses I should do – which areas of expertise I should specialize in – which ships I should be posted on – my appointments – everything.

And – I kept “travelling” on the “path” they planned for me – and – I duly reached the “destinations” they wanted to me to reach.

First – my parents and teachers planned my life.

Then – the Navy planned my life.

It was only after retirement – that I had the luxury of planning my own life according to the goals I wanted to reach.

No longer do I have to “travel” on roads that others have built for me.

No longer am I reaching “destinations” that others want me to reach.

Now – I am my own master.

I decide my goals – I plan my life – and I “build” my own road towards the “destination” that I want to reach.

But  –I can do this only now – after retirement.

Just imagine what could have happened if I had been given an opportunity to plan my life in school.

WHO IS PLANNING YOUR LIFE…?

I trust things have changed now – and young children are being given greater independence to decide their own destiny.

I really don’t know – so you tell me.

Are young children being given the freedom to plan their own lives…?

Or – are parents still planning the lives of their children and making them “travel” on roads towards “destinations” that the parents want their children to reach…?

And worse – are some parents trying to achieve their own unrealized goals vicariously through their children…?

If you are a young student – remember that you have to plan your own life according to the goal you want to reach.

If you let others plan your life – then you will reach the “destination” they want you to reach.

And once you have travelled too far down the wrong road – it becomes difficult to turn back – and you are left with no choice but to continue travelling – till you reach the wrong “destination”.

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 story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/how-to-plan-your-life.html

Revised repost of my selfhelp article posted online many times earlier including at urls http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/08/who-is-planning-your-life.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/04/life-planning-self-help-tips.html  and  https://www.quora.com/profile/Vikram-Karve/Writing-by-VIKRAM-KARVE/Life-Planning-If-you-let-others-plan-your-life-%E2%80%93-then-you-will-reach-the-%E2%80%9Cdestination%E2%80%9D-they-want-you-to-reach etc

Short Fiction Story – The Martyr

November 30, 2016

THE MARTYR  

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/the-martyr-fiction-short-story.html

Fiction Short Story By VIKRAM KARVE 

The MARTYR 

6:30 AM.

A cold damp rainy morning.

A woman sits on a bench on the solitary platform of Girinagar Railway Station.

She looks at her watch.

Then she looks towards the Railway Track.

She has a worried expression on her face.

The Station Master comes out of his office holding two flags, one green and one red.

He sees the woman and smiles at her.

The woman gets up from the bench and asks the station master: “Is the shuttle late?”

“Yes, the shuttle has been delayed. The express train is being stopped here. The shuttle has been detained at the outer signal and will arrive here after the express train goes away.”

“Oh, My God…!!!”

“What happened?” asks the station master.

“I will get late for school.”

“Is there something important today?”

“Yes. There is an inspection. We teachers have been told to make sure we are present on time.”

“What time do you have to reach?”

“7:30. The normal school time.”

“Oh.”

“I hope I will reach in time,” the woman says anxiously.

“I don’t think so.”

“Why? What happened?”

“Well, normally the shuttle leaves here at 6:25 and reaches the Junction at 7:10.”

“That’s right. And it is just a 10 minute walk down to school. I’ll reach in time even if my train is a few minutes late, isn’t it?”

“Well, I really can’t say. From here to the junction, it is 45 minutes running time for the shuttle train. The express is expected to arrive at 6:45 and will be detained here for about 10 minutes. By the time the shuttle arrives and leaves it will easily be 7 o’clock. Even if it makes up time, the shuttle train will not be able to reach the junction by 7:30. And then, you still have a 10 minute walk to school. I don’t think you’ll be able to make it on time.”

“Oh, My God. I will be in trouble if I am late for the school inspection. It will be so humiliating,” the woman says in an anxious voice with nervousness written all over her face.

“You’ve got a first class pass, haven’t you?” the station master asks.

“Yes,” the woman says.

“Then don’t worry. You can travel by the express in the air-conditioned coach. I will tell the TTE to permit you. The fast express train will take less than 20 minutes to reach the junction and you will be there by 7:15 and you can easily reach your school well before 7:30.”

“Thank you so much.”

“What ‘Thank You’? You are like my daughter. This is the least I can do for you.”

“Why is the express stopping here?” the woman asks.

“The express train is being stopped here for Colonel Ashok,” the station master says.

Suddenly the telephone rings and the station master rushes inside his office.

The woman closes her eyes and remembers the station master’s words:

“The express train is being stopped here for Colonel Ashok”

Those words slice through the woman’s heart like a knife slices through butter.

“So Ashok is a Colonel now. A big shot. Big enough to get the express train stopped for him at Girinagar where even the fast passenger does not halt…” the woman says to herself.

Then the woman is filled with hate and regret.

As the woman remembers her days with Ashok, her thoughts become bitter, and she says to herself: “Had it not been for the scheming bitch Menaka who mesmerized Ashok with her enticing charms and stole him away from me – today – I would been Mrs. Ashok. Yes  it is me who should have rightfully been Mrs. Ashok – I would have been a Colonel’s Wife – a Memsahib.”

Suddenly, the shrill whistle of the diesel engine of the express train disturbs her train of thoughts and the express train arrives on the platform.

The air-conditioned coach stops right in front of her.

In the door of the coach stands Menaka, Ashok’s wife.

Menaka sees the woman on the platform and smiles at her.

But the woman does not return the smile.

The woman turns her face away from Menaka.

But the woman furtively looks at the door of the air-conditioned coach with the corner of her eyes trying to catch a glimpse of Ashok.

The big show-off that he is, the woman is sure that Ashok will be all dressed up in his resplendent army uniform strutting like a peacock.

But there is no sign of Colonel Ashok.

Instead she sees a young officer in uniform getting down from the train with Menaka.

Then both of them, Menaka and the young army officer, start walking towards the end of the train.

“Come on, get in fast,” the station master motions to the woman on the platform, pointing his hand towards the door of the air-conditioned coach.

He says something to the TTE.

The TTE tells her to go inside and sit on Seat No. 30.

She sits on Seat No. 30.

A family – a man, a woman and a small boy sit on the seats around her.

There is a jerk, the tug of the engine, and the train starts moving and picks up speed.

The woman looks at her watch.

6:50.

She heaves a sigh of relief.

She will be well on time for the school inspection.

The TTE arrives to check her pass.

Curious, the woman asks the TTE: “Why did the train stop here?”

“To detach the refrigerated van at the end of the train,” the TTE says.

“Refrigerated van?” the woman asks.

“The refrigerated van was carrying the body of an army officer who died in action and sacrificed his life for the nation. The dead army officer’s widowed wife was sitting right here on Seat No. 30 – the same seat where you are now sitting,” the TTE says.
“Army Officer? Dead?” the woman asks.

“His name was Colonel Ashok,” the man sitting in front says.

“Ashok? Colonel Ashok?” the woman asks with disbelief.

“Yes. The brave martyr’s name was Colonel Ashok. And hat’s off to the courage of the Colonel’s wife. Despite losing her husband the courageous lady was so poised and calm. It is because of the sacrifice of such brave people that we can live in peace … ”

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/the-martyr-fiction-short-story.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is an abridged version of my story first posted online by me Vikram Karve at 1/25/2013 10:08:00 PM in Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/01/26-january-2013.html and posted online by me a number of times later on my various blogs including at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/01/army-wife.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/12/the-colonels-wife-fiction-short-story.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/republic-day-story-january-26.html  etc

Breakfast at Sea – Eggs to Order

November 30, 2016

Foodie Humor in Uniform 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/foodie-humor-in-uniform-eggs-to-order.html

EGGS TO ORDER  – A Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE 

In the 1970‘s – when I served on Navy Warships – at sea – the steward would wake you up in the morning with a cup of tea – and – he would ask you: “Sir – ‘Eggs to Order’…?”

This was the first decision an officer had to make during the day – what type of eggs to eat for breakfast – on most ships the choice ranged from simple Boiled Eggs or Fried Eggs to the more elaborate “Masala” Scrambled Eggs on Toast, Cheese Omelette etc

One of my friends from the erstwhile Supply and Secretariat (S&S) Branch once quipped that this was the most important decision a Naval Officer had to make at Sea during the entire day (where he had a choice).

During my recent visit to New Zealand – I saw that the most popular Breakfast dish was Eggs Benedict – which basically consists of toasted halves of English Muffin topped with Poached Eggs, Hollandaise Sauce and Ham, Bacon, Spinach etc

Here is a picture of Eggs Benedict (from the internet)

 
Eggs Benedict – Poached Eggs, Ham, Bacon, Spinach on Toasted Muffin

The creamy yellow yolk seems to have escaped from the white of the poached eggs and spread all over imparting its delicious taste.

Here is a picture of a Poached Egg with the Yolk intact.

 
Poached Egg

Looking at Poached Eggs reminded me of a story from my Navy Days.

Yes – when I saw those yummy Poached Eggs adorning the Eggs Benedict during my recent  New Zealand visit – I was reminded of this hilarious ‘poached eggs’ anecdote in the wardroom of a frontline Navy Warship many years ago – in the 1980’s.

POACHED EGGS FOR THE “SEA DOLL” – A Spoof by Vikram Karve

When I joined the Navy in the 1970’s – warships were classified into 3 types – and – this made it necessary to have separate ‘streams’ for training.

Accordingly – Officers and Sailors would be assigned to one of the ‘streams’ and be trained for selected equipment in that ‘stream’ – and appointed on ships of relevant stream for which they were trained.

The 3 basic ‘Streams’ were:

  1. “A” Stream comprising the latest “Western Origin” Ships like Leander Class Frigates.
  1. “B” Stream comprising older “Western Origin” Ships.
  1. “C” Stream comprising the latest Soviet (Russian) acquisition ships.

“A” Stream Brand New “Western Origin” Ships were comfortable Leander Class Frigates of British Design. As you know – the ‘British Navy’ is called the ‘Royal Navy’ – and “A” Stream Ships were “Royal” too – with snobbish stiff-upper-lip “Royal Culture” and consequent ‘class distinctions’ between Officers and Sailors.

On the other hand – “C” Stream Ships of “Eastern Origin” (Soviet Union/Russia) with their Socialist Egalitarian Design were comparatively ‘Spartan’ as far as ‘creature comforts’ were concerned – the focus being on densely ‘packing in’ maximum equipment – with lesser emphasis on ‘creature comforts’ and cozy habitability.

Life on “C” Stream ships was austere and grueling as compared to “A” Stream ships.

“C” Stream Officers enviously called “A” Stream Ships as “Hotel Ships”.

Another advantage of “A” Stream Ships was that – those days – “A” Stream“Western Origin” ships were based at Mumbai (then called Bombay)

On the other hand – most “C” Stream “Eastern Origin” Ships were based at Visakhapatnam (Vizag) – which – those days – in the 1970’s – was a “one street town”

(Of course – now – Visakhapatnam is a modern vibrant metropolis and a beautiful city).

I was lucky to be allotted “A” Stream – so I enjoyed myself thoroughly on my first two ships – both were comfortable Frigates of which were based in Mumbai.

After a few years – I was expecting to be appointed on a “A” Stream ship – but someone in NHQ got some crazy ideas about “cross-pollination” and “cross-fertilization” – so – I landed up on a “C” Stream ship.

My ship was a frontline Destroyer – at that time – the most powerful and modern warship in the Navy – with state-of-the-art weapon systems and equipment.

Of course – though not as austere as earlier “C” Stream ships – my new ship was not as comfortable as her contemporary “A” Stream “Hotel Ships”.

My new ship was “first of its class” – built in the Soviet Union (Russia) – and – in the true spirit of egalitarian socialist “comradeship” – there was no separate galley (kitchen) for officers.

So – food for officers was cooked in the common galley along with sailors’ food – and it had to be carried by stewards all the way down the alleyway to the wardroom which was quite far away.

Hence – the stewards had a tough time – especially while sailing – when the full complement of officers would descend in the wardroom for meals.

To make matters worse – our ship was designated “Flagship” most of the time – with an additional complement of “Fleet Staff’ also eating in the wardroom.

Thus – the wardroom – which was already strained catering to the ship’s officers – had to provide for supernumeraries as well.

During one such sailing – we were sitting for breakfast – and I noticed a new Commander from the Fleet Staff – he seemed to have been newly posted to the Fleet Staff.

I looked at the Commander.

He seemed to be a “stiff-upper-lip” Royal Navy Style  “Sea-Doll”

He was certainly from the“A” Stream.

The steward asked us: “Eggs to order, Sir…?”

Now – during sailing – in view of the common ship’s galley from where the food had to be carried – generally – there were just two choices in “eggs to order” – you either had Boiled Eggs  or you had a Masala Omelette.

I ordered my customary “Omelette”.

The Commander said: “Poached Eggs”.

I smiled to myself: “Poached Eggs – Ha Ha. And on this ship…?”

This guy was certainly a snobbish type from the “A” Stream – maybe he had even commanded one of those “Hotel Ships”.

After some time – the steward placed an “Omelette” in front of me (as I had ordered).

And – to my amusement – the steward placed an “Omelette” in front of the “Sea-Doll” Commander too.

The Commander looked angrily at the Steward and said:

“I ordered ‘Poached Eggs’ – not an ‘Omelette’ – take this ‘Omelette’ away and get me ‘Poached Eggs’…”

The Steward took the “Omelette” away.

After some time – another Steward placed Two ‘Boiled Eggs’ in front of the snooty Commander.

“I don’t want bloody ‘Boiled Eggs’ – I ordered ‘Poached Eggs’…” the Commander shouted at the Steward.

This was going to be fun.

There was still time for “Both Watches” – so – I ordered another ‘Omelette’ – and I waited in eager anticipation – for events to unfold.

After a long wait – a Steward landed up with two “Bulls Eye” Soft ‘Fried Eggs’ – and placed them in front of the Commander.

The astounded Commander had a look at the ‘Fried Eggs’.

“What the hell is this…? These are ‘Fried Eggs’. Don’t you know what ‘Poached Eggs’ are…? Call the bloody ‘Chief Steward’…” the ‘high and mighty’ Commander barked at the hapless Steward.

The Chief Steward duly landed up.

The snobby Commander scolded the Chief Steward:

“Don’t your Stewards and Cooks know what a ‘Poached Egg’ is…? I have ordered ‘Poached Eggs’ – and these buggers got me an ‘Omelette’ – then ‘Boiled Eggs’ – and – then – ‘Fried Eggs’ – they are giving me all types of Eggs – except ‘Poached Eggs’…”

“Sir – we have a common galley…” the Chief Steward tried to explain.

But – the ‘stuck-up’ Commander shouted at the Chief Steward:

“Don’t give me bullshit – just get me ‘Poached Eggs’ – do you understand…?”

I finished my second ‘Omelette’ – and coffee – but the ‘Poached Eggs’ had still not arrived.

“Both Watches” was piped – so I excused myself – and left the wardroom.

I do not know what happened after that – whether the snooty Commander got his ‘Poached Eggs’ or not.

But – a hilarious thing happened next morning.

The moment the snobbish “Sea-Doll” Commander arrived and sat down for breakfast – a Steward opened the fridge – and the Steward took out a pair of cold ‘Poached Eggs’ (prepared the previous night).

The cold soggy ‘Poached Eggs’ were placed in front of the snobbish Commander.

I looked at the stale cold crumpled soggy ‘Poached Eggs’.

The eggs looked most ‘unappetizing’ – to say the least.

The ‘high and mighty’ Commander looked at the hideous shriveled cold ‘Poached Eggs’

From the expression of nausea on his face – it looked as if he was going to throw up.

“Take these horrible ‘Poached Eggs’ away – and get me an ‘Omelette’ …” the “Sea-Doll” Commander ordered the Steward.

I smiled to myself.

As my “C” Stream friends used to say – “C” Stream is a great leveler.

But one thing was sure – ‘camaraderie’ on “C” Stream Ships was much better.

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
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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.

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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.

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Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/foodie-humor-in-uniform-eggs-to-order.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised updated re-post of my story POACHED EGGS posted online by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog earlier aturl: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/humor-in-uniform-poached-eggs.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/foodie-humor-in-uniform-poached-eggs.html

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