MY HUSBAND IS HAVING AN AFFAIR – TETE-A-TETE WITH MY HUSBAND’S GIRLFRIEND

February 21, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: HAPPENSTANCE – TETE-A-TETE WITH MY HUSBAND’S GIRLFRIEND.

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

HAPPENSTANCE
TETE-A-TETE WITH MY HUSBAND’S GIRLFRIEND
Short Fiction – a naughty love story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

From My Creative Writing Archives : 

Here is a zesty Mumbai story I wrote around 15 years ago, in the year 2000, after a browse in the Jehangir Art Gallery at Kalaghoda in Mumbai.

I saw two women in an animated conversation – and suddenly this story was conceived in my mind – so I went home and wrote it.

I am sure you will enjoy this naughty romance…

TETE-A-TETE WITH MY HUSBAND’S GIRLFRIEND – naughty story by Vikram Karve

“Excuse me, are you Urvashi Mukherjee by any chance?” a feminine voice said from my right.

I turned my face and looked at the smart young woman wearing a red top and dark blue jeans.

The woman was not ‘fair and lovely’ in the conventional sense.

But she looked very desirable, in a sensual kind of way.

Chic and sexy, flowing hair, with just the right amount of make-up, she exuded confidence.

And as she looked at me with those wonderfully radiant, large and expressive dancing eyes, I felt a strong attraction for her, even though I too was a woman.

“Yes. I’m Urvashi Mukherjee,” I said.

“Hi… I’m Babita. Babita Khanna,” she said.

“Sorry Ms. Khanna, but I don’t think we’ve met before.”

“Sad isn’t it? But I know everything about you my dear Urvashi,” she gave a vivacious laugh.

Then she reached out to my arm displaying a rather impulsive and gratuitous intimacy and said to me, “I recognized you instantly, the moment I saw you. You look exactly like you do in your photograph…”

“My photograph…?” I asked, pulling away my arm.

“Yes. You look lovely. You look exactly as in the photo Milan keeps in wallet.”

Photo? 

Milan? 

I did not like the way she said “Milan” 

How dare she casually refer to my husband in such a familiar manner, and that too by his first name.

And she had called me Urvashi too …

I was truly flabbergasted. 

Who was this woman? 

Why was she acting so intimate and talking to me on first name terms? 

And how had she seen my photo in Milan’s wallet?

“You know Milan?” I asked

“Of course. We work in the same office. Hasn’t Milan told you about me?”

“No. I don’t think so. At least I don’t remember.”

“That’s surprising. Well, I know everything about you. But you know nothing about me” she said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

She looked at me, and in a rather patronizing manner, she said: “Milan should have told you about me. He’s told me everything about you.”

“Milan has told you everything about me?” I repeated.

“Yes. He always talks about you,” she said.

I was taken aback, quite bewildered.

I did not want to talk to this woman.

So I turned my face away from her and looked straight ahead at the painting in front of me.

Then I turned towards her and said, “Well, well. Quite intriguing. Milan has told you everything about me. But he hasn’t told me anything about you!”

“Hey, Milan didn’t tell me you were an art-buff. I never imagined I would run into you here – at the Jehangir Art Gallery.”

“I’m no aficionado,” I said, trying to sound sarcastic, “I’m just killing time here till it stops raining.”

“Aficionado? That’s a good one! I never imagined you’d speak such highbrow English considering you’ve studied in a vernacular school,” she said sarcastically.

This insult was too much. 

Anger began to rise inside me.

But the woman persisted, and she said, “You know Urvashi, Milan keeps telling me of your hilarious malapropisms when you were newly married.”

“I’m sure he has told you about our honeymoon too?” I blurted out in anger.

I instantly regretted my words, the moment they left my mouth.

“Of course I know everything about your hilarious honeymoon,” she said with a mischievous smile.

“What?” I asked, stunned.

She smiled and said, “He told me about the way you got all sozzled on your first night on the beach in Goa when he mixed Feni in your juice hoping to remove your inhibitions.”

Now I was really furious.

I did not want to talk with this woman any longer.

So I said, “Good Bye, Ms. Khanna. It must have stopped raining outside. Time for me to go. I’d hate to come in between the beautiful paintings and a true connoisseur of art like you.”

“Hey. Come on. I’m no connoisseur of art. I too ran in here to take shelter from the heavy rain,” the woman laughed.

Then she said, “And listen – don’t call me Ms. Khanna, just call me Babita. I’m calling you Urvashi isn’t it?”

“Okay. Nice talking to you,” I said, and I walked out of the gallery hall into the foyer of Jehangir Art Gallery.

It was still raining.

So I stood at the entrance looking out towards Kalaghoda waiting for the rain to stop.

To my horror I noticed that the woman had followed me and was standing next to me which made me feel quite uneasy and uncomfortable.

She was a real mystery.

How come Milan had never mentioned her?

He always told me everything about his life. 

That’s what I had thought. 

At least till now.

I had plans for the afternoon and did not want this woman clinging to me like a parasite.

“Let’s go shopping,” the woman said, as if reading my mind through clairvoyance. 

“No. I have got some important work,” I said.

She looked at me with a curious expression and said, “Work? What work will you do all alone at home?” 

So she knew.

Milan had told her even that.

I looked at her firmly and said, “I’m really not keen on shopping right now. Besides I have to get home early. We’re going out for a movie and dinner tonight.”

“No, you aren’t,” she said confidently

“What do you mean we aren’t? He’s already bought the tickets.”

“Maybe he has bought the tickets, but Milan is not going to turn up before midnight. You can take my word for it.”

“He promised me,” I said defiantly.

“Promises are meant to be broken. He won’t come. He’ll be busy doing my work since I have taken the day off. And then he has to go to a business dinner.”

“Doing your work? Business Dinner?” I asked, flabbergasted.

“Don’t delve too much,” she said

“What nonsense? I’ll ring him up right now,” I said, and took out my mobile phone.

“No point trying to call Milan now,” she said, “his mobile will be switched off right now. He’ll be in a meeting. But don’t worry. Milan will ring you up at around six to cancel your movie date and dinner programme. He’ll tell you he has to work late. Of course, Milan won’t mention the ‘business dinner’ part though.”

“Business dinner? How do you know all this?” I asked, confused and angry.

She winked and said, “I told you. Milan tells me everything. There are no secrets between true friends.”

Friends? 

True Friends? 

Milan and this woman called Babita Khanna who I had never heard of before?

This was getting murky.

First she was a colleague.

Now she’s suddenly become a friend of my husband … a true friend … just imagine … she is a true friend … and me … what about me?

The whole thing was bizarre. 

It was incredible and unbelievable.

No secrets between Milan and his girl friend.

But plenty of secrets between Milan and me, his lawfully wedded wife.

The rain was down to a drizzle. and she said, “Come let’s go shopping. And then we’ll enjoy ourselves. We’ll go to all your favourite places. And we will do all the things you like.”

I wondered why she was doing this to me? 

Why was she chatting me up? 

What was her motive? 

Was she trying to tell me something?

Was this really a chance meeting, a pure coincidence, happenstance, serendipity?

Or was it a contrived coincidence?

I had to get to the bottom of it all.

So I said to the woman: “Okay Babita. Let’s go on a date. I want to find out whether Milan has really told you everything about me.”

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)


This story written by me in the year 2000 and posted online earlier in June 2006 in my creative writing blogs at urls:
http://creative.sulekha.com/happ… 
and 
http://vikramwamankarve.blogspot…

Posted by Vikram Karve at 2/21/2015 12:17:00 PM

Documents Required for ECHS Claims

February 6, 2015

Vikram Karve:

Instead of using E-Governance Initiatives – Armed Forces ECHS is regressing to bureaucratic paperwork and red tape.

Originally posted on DESA Blog:

It is observed that a number of claims for reimbursement of medical expenditure through ECHS are not accompanied by all the required documents. This leads to rejection of claim or delay due to protracted correspondence.

All the veterans are requested to attach the following documents with their claims for reimbursement of medical expenditure through ECHS:-

Note: All documents (Bills, Discharge Summary, Report) to be stamped and sign by hospital authorities.

1. Contingent bill with revenue stamp & sign

2. Application to OIC for Reimbursement

3. ECHS Card’s Photocopy

4. EIR/Referral from Reception (with in 48 Hrs)

5. Emergency Certificate

6. Discharge Summary

7. Bills Summary

8. Bill break up

9. All reports (X-Ray & Lab Reports etc.)

10. Payment Receipt

11. Cancelled Cheque.

12. Stent Invoice, Cover & Implant Invoice (only cardio & other case)

13. Drug Certificate (Drugs/Consumables more than Rs 1000/- per drug)

Hope this benefits the veterans

View original

26 JANUARY – A Story For Republic Day – Blog Fiction

January 25, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: JANUARY 26 – Republic Day Story.

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

In the occasion of Republic Day, here is a story from my Creative Writing Archives.

I wrote this story 2 years ago on the eve of Republic Day – on 25 January 2013 – to be precise.

I feel it is still relevant.

Do tell me if you like it.

Wish You a Happy Republic Day 26 January 2015.

JANUARY 26
Republic Day Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

January 26

Republic Day of India.

6:30 AM.

A cold 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 don’t want to be late for the Republic Day function in our school,” the woman says.

“What time is the function?”

“7:30. The normal school time.”

“Oh.”

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

“I don’t think so,” the station master says.

“Why? What happened?” the woman asks.

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

“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?” the woman says.

The station master looks at his watch, then looks at the woman, and he says, “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 will be able to reach your school by 7:30.”

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

“You have 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 express will take less than 15 minutes to reach the junction and you will be there latest by 7:10 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 army uniform getting down from the train with Menaka.

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

“Come on, get in fast,” the station master motions her towards the door of the air-conditioned coach. 

The Station Master says something to the TTE.

The TTE tells the woman 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 Republic Day function.

The TTE arrives to check her pass.

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 supreme sacrifice of such brave soldiers and their families that we can celebrate Republic 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:
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.



This Story is a Revised Version of My Story Earlier Posted by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at 1/25/2013 10:08:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Posted by Vikram Karve at 1/25/2015 11:41:00 PM

HOW TO MAKE MONEY IN THE STOCK MARKET – A Story of a Punter and an Investment Banker

January 18, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Money – THE PUNTER AND THE INVESTMENT BANKER.

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

HUMOUR IN MONEY

From my Creative Writing Archives:

Here is a fiction short story I wrote 4 years ago, in the year 2011, on a day the stock market was fluctuating wildly. 

Have a Laugh.

THE PUNTER AND THE INVESTMENT BANKER
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

He was not a Bull. 

He was not a Bear. 

He was a Punter. 

Yes, that is why we nicknamed him: “Punter”.

He did not bother about gobbledygook like fundamentals or technicals. 

He did not have an inkling of financial algorithms and risk heuristics.

He never “analyzed” the share market – he just speculated by sheer gut feeling.

He instinctively knew how to time the market. 

That is why he always made money – whether the stock market boomed or it crashed.

He had made so much money that he could have retired and enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle.

But then, he had got addicted to making money by playing the stock market.

Yes, he got a kick out of “making” money rather than “enjoying” his money

So despite his advancing years he kept on playing the market with more and more vigor and he continued to make more and more money. 

Earlier, in the good old days, he would spend his entire time in the “ring” at the Stock Exchange on Dalal Street. 

Now he would sit all day, all stressed up, in his room, glued to his TV, flipping all the financial channels, his fingers on his laptop or smartphone for instant online trading via the internet. 

He had no interests, no hobbies, no pleasures, no loves.

He just enjoyed one thing – playing the stock market and making money. 

One day his lifestyle took its toll and he had a massive heart attack. 

They rushed him to the best hospital in Mumbai.

The doctors said he would require a bypass surgery. 

So they admitted him to the best room in the hospital. 

Instead of relaxing there, he sat whole day watching the stock-market channels on the wall-mounted TV, doing feverish online trading on his smartphone – and he continued making a lot a money and he was very happy.

But the doctors were not happy.

The doctors said that all this share-market business was causing him a lot of excitement which was not good for his already erratic heart.

So one morning they suddenly removed the TV and his smartphone and they even banned all visitors except me, his best friend, and his son, who was a successful investment banker.

“Total rest,” the doctors warned all of us, “he needs total rest, both mental and physical, and only then will he be able to stabilize and be ready for the surgery.”

It was the first time he had to suffer a day of total rest isolated from the outside world.

It was the worst day of his life. 

The entire morning he kept asking about stock prices and asked me for my cell-phone to connect up and find out, but I refused since we were told to strictly isolate him from that world. 

I could realize that he was passing through hell – unimaginable mental agony at not getting information about the stock market – the very thing that had been his bread and butter – even the raison d’etre of his existence.

After lunch he dozed off.

Then he suddenly he woke up, and he asked me, “What is the time?”

“2:30,” I said.

“Good. There is still time. I want to speak to my son,” he said.

“He is coming at 4…” I said.

“No. I want to speak to him now. It is urgent,” he said.

“Your son will be busy now, in his office…” I said.

“I told you it is urgent. Just get him on the phone…” he said excitedly, his breathing getting heavy.

“Okay. Okay. Calm down,” I said. 

I dialled his son’s mobile number.

Soon his son came on the line.

I asked him to speak to his father.

“Sell all shares,” the man shouted at his son via the mobile phone.

“What?” I could hear his son’s surprised voice.

“Don’t ask any questions. You just do what I say. Sell all my shares – do you understand – sell all my shares – everything. Do it now. Today. Before the closing bell. Sell everything online. Right now. You know the user id and password of my trading account, don’t you…” the old man shouted to his son.

“Okay, Papa,” I could hear his son’s voice, before he disconnected.

The old man kept on pestering me to ring up his son and confirm, so I rang up his son half an hour later.

“Yes, Papa – I have sold all the shares in online trading,” the son confirmed.

The old man seemed tremendously relieved and he went to sleep peacefully.

That night, at home, sitting before my TV set, I watched with concern as all the share-market experts on the financial channels predicted that the market was very solid and bullish.

All financial experts recommended that everyone buy shares as the market was going to go up and up and up. 

“Invest … Invest … Invest … Buy … Buy … Buy …” all the experts said in unison.

The market was at an all time high but things were looking so good that it was going to rise phenomenally and your investment would probably double in a few months – all the experts predicted. 

The experts kept quoting analysis in technical jargon I never understood to substantiate their predictions.

Next morning the stock-market crashed

It was the biggest fall ever in the history of the share-market. 

Most investors were wiped out. 

Everyone incurred huge losses – except the old man and me.

Did I say: “The old man and Me?” 

Yes, the “Punter” and Me seemed to be the only two people who had made a profit in this stock-market crash.

Dear Reader – you’re surprised – aren’t you? 

Let me tell you what I did. 

The moment the Punter had finished speaking to his son, I went outside the room.

I called up my broker and told him to immediately sell off all my shares.

The Punter must have made a huge profit selling off all his shares just before the stock-market crashed.

And, as always – playing along with him – I too had made a small fortune by selling off the few shares I had. 

As always – I had blindly followed the Punter.

And, as always – I had profited by blindly imitating whatever he did in the stock market.

The Punter heard the news of the stock-market crash from a careless nurse.

The Punter got so excited on hearing the news of the share-market crash, that he almost went crazy with excitement and happiness thinking of the huge amount of profit he had made. 

The frenzy of ecstasy caused his blood pressure to go haywire – his heartbeats ran amok – and suddenly – the Punter collapsed and died.

I gave a condolence speech at the old man’s funeral in which I praised him profusely.

I told everyone how I had made a fortune in the stock-market by just following him blindly.

Later, the old man’s son took me aside, and he asked me, “Did you really sell all your shares?”

“Yes,” I said, “I had blind faith in your father.”

“I wish I had blind faith in his mysterious ways. But I am an investment banker. I don’t go by gut instinct, like my father did. I analyze things. I never imagined the stock market would crash so badly. In fact I thought the market would go up and it would be foolish to sell such excellent blue chip shares,” the young man said.

I looked at Punter’s son, and I asked him, “Are you trying to tell me that you did not sell all the shares as your father had told you to do?”

“No. I never sold those shares. I am big fool. Had I listened to my father and sold all the shares, I would have made a big fortune. But I did not sell those shares,” the young man said, with a tone of regret in his voice.

“I cannot believe it. You never sold the shares? Not even a single one?” I said.

“No – I did not sell even one single share,” he said.

“Then why did you lie to your father that you sold all the shares?” I asked.

“Because I wanted him to die happy,” he said, “I lied to my father because I wanted my father to die a happy death.”

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.



This Story is a Revised Version of My Story THE PUNTER written by me 4 years ago in the year 2011 and earlier posted by me online in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 25 May 2011 Posted by me Vikram Karve at5/25/2011 11:38:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Posted by Vikram Karve at 1/19/2015 01:18:00 AM

ARE NRI CHILDREN ASSETS or LIABILITIES?

January 3, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: NRI CHILDREN – ASSET or LIABILITY?.

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… 

NRI CHILDREN – ASSET or LIABILITY?
Short Fiction – An Apocryphal Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

My peer group comprises my classmates from school and college, my ex-navy and ex “fauji” military veteran buddies, and my friends, all in their late 50’s or early 60’s.

Whenever we meet, I realize that one notable fact pertaining to my peer group is that almost everyone has NRI children.

[I use the term NRI (Non Resident Indian) quite generically for all Persons of Indian Origin (PIO) settled abroad, including those who have adopted citizenships of their host countries]

At one such gathering, I met a friend – my school classmate.

She was an “NRI Mother” – or to put it correctly – she was the “mother of an NRI daughter”.

Her only child, a 27 year old married daughter, had settled down abroad in America with her husband.

“Nice to see you after a long time,” I said to my friend.

“Yes – I was abroad for almost one year – in the US,” she said.

“America? Wow!” I said.

“Last year, my daughter got pregnant – so she called me to America to look after her during her pregnancy days – and then, after her delivery, she wanted me to stay and look after the baby – so I stayed on there in the US for almost 6 months,” she said.

“Isn’t it our tradition that daughters come home, to their mother’s place, for their first delivery? Your daughter could have come here to Pune for her delivery,” I said.

“Are you crazy or something?” she asked.

“Why?”

“My daughter wanted her child to get US citizenship by birth. If the baby is born here in India, how will the baby get American citizenship?”

“Oh!” I said, “So you stayed there in America for 6 months after her delivery, did all the baby care, and then came back,” I said.

“Yes – but my daughter called me again for child-care “nanny” duties, till her baby was old enough for day-care, since she wanted to get back to work – it was important for her career that she started working as quickly as possible,” she said.

“So you went to America again?”

“Yes – for 6 months – till the baby was almost one year old,” she said.

“Oh – but now it is finally all over – and you’ll be staying here in Pune now…” I said.

“No – I am going again…” she said.

“You are going again to America…? Why…?”

“My daughter’s job is very hectic – so she wants me to do “nanny” duties and look after her child.”

“But your daughter’s child must be around one year old now – can’t the child be kept in a day-care centre?”

“I don’t know,” my friend said, “but my daughter insisted that I come because she wants her child to be looked after properly by me – so that the child imbibes our culture.”

“Culture…?” I said, astonished – and as I recovered my wits – I noticed that an old lady had walked over and joined us.

I knew the old lady – she was my friend’s mother.

I knew the old lady’s husband (my friend’s father) too.

My friend – their daughter – was their only child.

The old couple lived in a beautiful bungalow in the Lonavala – a picturesque hill station near Pune – and I had once visited them over there a few years ago.

I did not see the old lady’s husband around, so I asked the old lady, “How is uncle?”

“You don’t know…?” the old lady asked me.

“What…?”

“My husband died 3 months ago…” the old lady said.

“Oh – I am very sorry…”

“It’s okay – he was 84 years old – but he was absolutely fit till the last day. Though I miss him very much, one consolation is that he died when he was fit and healthy…” she said.

I did not say anything.

The old lady looked at me, and she said to me, “And by the way – I have shifted to an old age home…”

“Old Age Home…?” I asked, shocked.

“What to do…? I cannot live in that huge secluded bungalow all alone…” the old lady said.

“But why go to an old age home…? Why don’t you live with your daughter in Pune…?” I asked.

“Of course I would like to live with my daughter,” the old lady said, “given a choice, I certainly would not like to live in an old age home – but do I have a choice…?”

I did not say anything – I just kept looking at the old lady, not knowing what to say.

Seeing the confused look on my face, the old lady said, “Didn’t my daughter tell you? Her daughter, my granddaughter, has called her to America for babysitting and nanny duties – she will be away in America for 6 months – and then she may have to go back to America again and again – for the next delivery – and babysitting and nanny duties for the next child – so who is going to look after me here? I am 80 now – so it is better for me to live in an old age home…”

I looked at my friend, and wondered at her predicament.

On one side stood her recently widowed mother, pleading not to be sent to the old age home.

On the other side stood her daughter, beseeching her to come to America to take care of her baby.

She had a duty to look after her old widowed mother.

But she felt the strong pull of motherhood towards her daughter.

She was torn between her loyalty to her mother and her love for her daughter.

And in her case – her motherly love for the daughter had prevailed over her filial duty towards the mother.


EPILOGUE

Persons of my generation, in their 50’s and 60’s, who are parents of “NRI Children”, are in a Catch-22 situation.

They are expected to look after their parents, who may be in their 70’s and 80’s.

But their “NRI Children” also have “expectations” from them – especially from their mothers – during childbirth for “midwife” duties, and later, for baby care and surrogate parenting “nanny” duties.

That is why I often wonder:

Are “NRI Children” an asset or a liability?

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)


Posted by Vikram Karve at 1/03/2015 03:35:00 PM

“HAPPY” NEW YEAR – a story before you freak out at your New Year’s Eve Party

December 30, 2014

“HAPPY” NEW YEAR
(Do read this story before you freak out at your New Year’s Eve Party)

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/12/happy-new-year.html

“HAPPY” NEW YEAR
A Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

From my Creative Writing Archives:Here is a story I wrote 8 years ago on New Year’s Eve – on 30 December 2006, to be precise.I think it is worth a read before you head for your New Year’s Eve Party…

“HAPPY” NEW YEAR – 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)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Revised Version of My Story written by me in December 2006 and First Posted Online by me Vikram Karve at Saturday, December 30, 2006 in my blog at url: http://vikramwkarve.blogspot.in/…

Naval Customs, Traditions and Punishments in IN & RN —-Cdr(Retd) Carl Gomes

December 17, 2014

Vikram Karve:

Very Useful

Originally posted on DESA Blog:

To open article please click on Link Below:-

Naval Customs &  tradition

Naval Customs, traditions and punishments in the IN and the RN

Customs and traditions are important factors in the growth and maintenance of naval esprit de corps. In many cases, they concern matters which cannot be adequately covered by official regulations nor,indeed, would it be appropriate for them to be dealt with in this way. Frequently the customs of the
Navy originated in the need to have a code of conduct to ensure that not only officers worked together harmoniously, but also that their relationship with the men under their command was properly governed. The following examples of naval ceremonies and phraseology will give the reader a brief
insight into this important part of naval life.

Crossing the line

To the average civilian, “crossing the line” means ‘overstepping the limit or boundary’; but to those familiar with…

View original 2,273 more words

MILITARY MUST HAVE ZERO TOLERANCE POLICY FOR ABERRATIONS

December 3, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: ZERO TOLERANCE TO ABERRATIONS – Humor in Uniform.

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM
Zero Tolerance Policy for Aberrations

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

ZERO TOLERANCE TO ABERRATIONS
Incoherent Ramblings of a Retired Veteran
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

In recent times, I have noticed a rather curious verbiage which has entered military jargon and used quite routinely by “faujis” while interacting with the media.

Whenever something goes wrong in the Armed Forces, the standard response of “fauji” Senior Officers is: “This is an aberration”.

This catch-all excuse (aberration) is used widely to cover all sorts of misdemeanors, mishaps and unpleasant incidents involving military personnel including:

1. Scams and Corruption Cases.

2. Scandals like wife swapping, “stealing affections” and other acts of sexual misconduct and moral turpitude.

3. Unethical, Immoral and Criminal Acts.

4. Mishaps and Accidents.

5. Acts of Indiscipline, Misbehavior and Misconduct.

6. Personal Tragedies and Injustices like suicide, delays in payment or non-payment of dues and compensation to disabled soldiers and martyrs’ widows etc.

There is a scam involving senior officers – and pat comes the standard response: –“This is an aberration”.

There are news reports of indiscipline, of Officers and Soldiers getting involved in spats and clashes with each other, or military men indulging in brawls with civilians – and when asked about these acts of indiscipline, misbehavior and misconduct by men in uniform, the “fauji” spokesman says: “These are aberrations”.

From time to time, there appear media reports of various acts of moral turpitude – wife swapping allegations, accusations of stealing affections of brother officers’ wives, allegations of sodomy, sexual offences etc – and we get the same standard response from the Defence Authorities once again – yes, you guessed right: All these acts of moral turpitude are “aberrations”.

A ship sinks, there are mishaps involving submarines, aircrafts crash, there are other accidents involving military weapons and equipment – and we get the standard response: “This is an aberration”.

A soldier commits suicide; a martyr’s widow is made to run from pillar to post for a promised plot of land; a disabled soldier is deprived of his rightful compensation – yes, the authorities have their explanation ready: “This is an aberration”.

Every misdemeanor, every wrongdoing, every mishap, every accident, every lapse is covered by the catch-all term – ABERRATION

Aren’t these ubiquitous “aberrations” becoming a little too frequent?

Can a modern war-fighting system afford to have so many “aberrations”?

Isn’t it high time for the Defence Services to adopt a policy of ZERO TOLERANCE TO ABERRATIONS


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)


Posted by Vikram Karve at 12/02/2014 03:14:00 PM

The New Age “Metrosexual” Naval Officer – SEA DOGS and SEA DOLLS – Humor in Uniform – A Spoof

November 23, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – SEA DOGS and SEA DOLLS.

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

SEA DOGS and SEA DOLLS
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:
1. 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.
2. This spoof is for mature adults only, so if you are a kid, or an overly gender sensitive type, please skip this post.
3. 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 – A 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 do not have to undergo the tough strenuous life of a 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, “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 natural look – a seaman’s robust grooming and robust brawny turn out.

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

Sea Dogs were “tough cookies”.

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

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 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 – and a “Sea Doll” would be someone like General Peckem.

If you have read Catch-22, you’ll 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 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)
 



Posted by Vikram Karve at 11/22/2014 08:03:00 PM

CIVILIAN IN UNIFORM – “SUNDAY ROUTINE” – Unforgettable Memories of My Navy Life

November 23, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: “SUNDAY ROUTINE” – Unforgettable Memories of My Life in the Navy.

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

“SUNDAY ROUTINE”
Unforgettable Memories of My Life in the Navy
By
VIKRAM KARVE

It is a bright Sunday Morning out here in Pune.

So, I think it will be apt to hark back to my halcyon Navy Days and tell you about the Navy “Sunday Routine”.

In the Navy, when you are at sea, you are on duty round-the-clock 24/7, and there is no “holiday” so there is no “Sunday Routine” in the true sense.

But when your ship is in harbour, you have “make-and-mend” (half day) on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and a “Sunday Routine” on Sundays and Holidays.

Unlike the corporate sector and government civilian babus, an operational organisation like the navy does not have the luxury of a “5 Day Week” – so we worked 6 days a week – and a weekly “off” only on Sundays – unless you were on OOD duty.

So, we eagerly waited for and coveted the “Sunday Routine”.

Once you retire, every day is a “Sunday Routine”.

But when we were in the Navy, and our ship was tied alongside in harbour, we looked forward to our Sundays, to enjoy what the Navy calls “Sunday Routine” – our well deserved leisure time.

“Sunday Routine” was our own personal time which we could spend as we liked and do as we pleased.

Aristotle has wisely said: “The end of labour is to gain leisure”

We laboured the whole week to gain our “Sunday Routine” and we were determined to enjoy our well earned leisure to the fullest.

Different individuals spend their leisure in different ways.

How you spend your leisure defines your persona.

If you want to find out the true character of a man, find out how he spends his leisure.

In the defence services, especially in the navy, how you spend your leisure mainly depends on where you are posted.

If you are lucky to be posted in a “maximum city” like Mumbai, there is a plethora of opportunities for enjoying your leisure.

On the other hand, if you are posted to a back-of-beyond remote desolate cantonment, your choices for spending your leisure are limited.

In Mumbai, you can enjoy the life of a “civilian in uniform” whereas military cantonments trap you into the straitjacket of “fauji” life, even on Sundays as avenues for leisure are limited.

Let me describe to you, to compare and contrast, two typical “Sunday Routines”, one in Mumbai, and one in Vizag, almost 10 years apart, both when I was posted on ships, the first in the latter half of the 1970’s and the second in the latter half of the 1980’s.


INS “XXX” (Harbour Sunday Routine – as an “in-living” officer)
Mumbai (then called Bombay) – end 1970’s

This was the happiest time of my life.

It is great to be on a happy ship.

Ours was a frontline warship – the ship was new, the crew was good, we had a delightful wardroom with friendly officers, and the general atmosphere on the ship was harmonious, and the main reason for all this was our Captain, who was a great guy. His credo was simple – all he demanded is that we do our jobs properly; beyond that, we were free to do whatever we pleased.

(I have observed during my long service in the navy and in inter-service establishments, that, particularly in the defence services, much depends on the Commanding Officer or the “Boss”, for creating a harmonious the atmosphere in a ship/unit)

On a Sunday we woke up early (remember I told you in an earlier article that I never had late nights on Saturdays and I preferred to have my hangovers on working days).

Then we embarked on a long Sunday morning walk cum jog – walking out of Lion Gate, past Kalaghoda, crossing the Oval, past CCI, then onto Marine Drive to jog to Chowpatty and back to Churchgate, where we picked up a copy of the Cole (for the day’s races).

Then, in the wardroom, we had a leisurely Sunday breakfast on board ship, of dosas and coffee, while “studying” the Cole and the racing columns in the newspapers.

Ours was a wardroom of “punters”.

At around 10 or 10:30 we were off again, walking down to our favourite Stadium Restaurant Churchgate, for a brunch of sumptuous “Kheema Pav” followed by a cup of invigorating Irani Chai, while discussing our “forecasts” and “predictions” for the day’s races.

Then we caught a local train to Mahalaxmi racecourse, so that we were well in time for the first race of the day, which began at noon, or sometimes a bit later at 12:30 or 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

(We took the precaution of buying a “return ticket” – for obvious reasons)

I loved going to the races. 

The atmosphere was electric – the bookie ring, the tote, the stands, the racecourse, the crowds, the excitement, the thrill – it was a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday afternoon.

In the evening, after a refreshing shower, and fortified with a generous quantity of Scotch and Soda, our hip flasks topped-up, we headed out again, for dinner and a late night movie followed by midnight ice creams or milkshakes.

Where we went for dinner depended on our luck at the races – either Olympia or Bade Miyan – or Gaylord or Kamling.

Even during the off-season, when there were no races, there was so much to do on a Sunday in a “maximum city” like Mumbai.

Like I said, those were the happiest days of my life, and my most enjoyable “Sunday Routines” too.

I thought these happy days would never end, but two years later, I was yanked off the ship, and posted to Jamnagar (as an instructor), and as I said, though I was familiar with the dreary place, it was still a big culture shock for me after my wonderful days in Mumbai.

After enduring a few months in that desolate place, almost becoming alcohol dependent, since the main leisure activity there was drinking Rum (while listening to old Hindi Songs on Urdu Service), I escaped by getting “selected” for a “prestigious” M. Tech. Course at IIT Delhi.

Two years of “paid holiday”, followed by two years in R&D, and then two years teaching at IAT Pune, and I was back on a frontline warship in Mumbai.

“Bombay days were back again”.

It was back to halcyon “Sunday Routine” days – I lived at Vasant Sagar in Churchgate – and for the first few months we had a great life.

As I was living it up, chanting “Happy Days are here again”, our luck ran out, and the base port of our ship was changed from Mumbai to Vizag, and we were off to the Eastern Seaboard.

I had been to Vizag only once on my earlier ship, but I did not see much of the Naval Base, since our ship was berthed on the iron ore jetty in the port trust, and we were there for just a day or so, and we spent our liberty hours ashore in the town.

But it seemed that, as far as the town was concerned, nothing much had changed in the last 10 years.

As compared to Mumbai, Vizag was a big comedown, as you will realize, when you see how I spent my “Sunday Routine” at Vizag (Visakhapatnam)
 

INS “YYY” (Harbour Sunday Routine – as an “MLR” officer)
Vizag (Visakhapatnam) – end 1980’s

I was now married (MLR or “Money in Lieu of Ration” in Naval Jargon) and living with my family in Naval Park Vizag.

Sunrise is early on the eastern seaboard, so I get up at 5:30 on Sunday morning and head for my Sunday morning super-long walk, up Dolphin’s Nose, down to Continental Beach, and then head back straight to the “Sunday Market” in the HSL complex near Scindia, reach there by 7 just as the market (haat) is opening up.

The entire naval community is there, mostly ladies whose husbands are sleeping off their hangover, and some early riser husbands like me.

In Vizag, this Sunday Morning Market is a “must visit” if you live far away from town in Naval Park, to pick up your weekly stock of vegetables, fruit and fish.

At around 8, I return home, I have a bath, we breakfast on the idlis I have brought from the Sunday market, and at 9 o’clock, we all settle down before the TV set to watch the epic serial Ramayan (later when Ramayan was over, we would watch Mahabharat from 9 to 10 every Sunday morning).

Then we (self, wife and son) head to the swimming pool and spend an hour swimming and cooling off and chitchatting with friends.

At 12 noon we are in the makeshift club located in the parking lot of the officers’ mess for the Sunday afternoon Beer Biryani Tombola.

(Yes, in Vizag it is Tombola at the Navy Club in lieu of Horse Racing at the Mahalaxmi Race Course which we enjoyed in Mumbai)

Then, I head back home for a “beer and biryani induced siesta”  which makes me feel groggy.

In the evening, maybe we head for town, full family of 3 on my Bajaj scooter, maybe accompanied by friends, and hang around Ramakrishna Beach, or maybe a movie at Jagdamba followed by dinner at Daspalla.

Then we head back home and hit the sack.

What a comedown from the glorious “Sunday Routines” of Mumbai.

One thing good in the Navy is that nothing is permanent.

So, 10 years later, in the year 2000, I am back in Mumbai, and now I enjoy my “Sunday Routines” even better than before, as the Navy gives me a lovely house in Empress Court, opposite the Oval, in Churchgate.

What better location can you ask for in Mumbai, especially to enjoy your leisure? 


EPILOGUE

I spent my most enjoyable “Sunday Routines” in Mumbai (Bombay) and Delhi.

And the most lackluster and dreary Sunday Routines were in Jamnagar, arguably the worst place to be posted to, during my younger days in the Navy.

The Sunday Routines in places like Vizag, Kochi (Cochin) and Pune were somewhere middle-of-the-road, as I have described above.

How about you? 

How do you like to enjoy your Sundays?

And especially if you are a “fauji”, do tell us how you enjoyed your “Sunday Routines” in the “fauj” – in the army, navy or air force.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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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.

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This is a re-post of my article First Posted by me Vikram Karve in my academic and creative writing journal blog at 7/08/2014 11:30:00 PM at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 11/23/2014 10:25:00 AM

 

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