Memories of New Zealand – Mackenzie Sheep Dog Memorial at Lake Tekapo – Travelogue

February 5, 2016

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: For Dog Lovers : Tekapo Dog Memorial

 

Memories of New Zealand – Mackenzie Sheep Dog Memorial at Lake Tekapo – Travelogue By VIKRAM KARVE

During my recent visit to New Zealand – while travelling from Christchurch to Queenstown – I was pleasantly surprised to see a Bronze Statue of a Dog – a memorial for James Mackenzie’s legendary Sheepdog (Collie).

It was the first time that I had seen a monument dedicated to a dog.

The sheep dog statue stands proudly on the shores of the unique exquisite turquoise waters of Lake Tekapo – amidst breathtaking scenery of snow capped mountains of the Southern Alps.

Lake Tekapo is located in the heart of Mackenzie County in the Canterbury Region of South New Zealand – halfway between Christchurch and Queenstown.

After leaving Christchurch – you drive past the lush green Canterbury Plains – then cross the towns of Geraldine, Fairlie and Kimbell – and then you climb up – and traverse across the Burkes Pass into scenic basin in the heart of the mountainous South Island called ‘Mackenzie Country’.

Mackenzie Country has fascinating landscapes and two lakes Tekapo and Pukaki whose waters have a unique turquoise colour caused by glacial flour suspended in the water.

At the heart of Mackenzie Country is the beautiful Lake Tekapo with its marvelous turquoise waters surrounded by magnificent scenery and the awe-inspiring snowcapped peaks including the cloud-piercing Aoraki Mount Cook.

(The Mackenzie Country was free of human beings until several hundred years ago with the arrival of the Maori in search of food. The Moa, a large flightless bird now extinct, and other birds were hunted and eels fished for in the area. The Maori called the area Takapo – meaning “To leave in haste at night”. The current name – Tekapo – is possibly a corruption of Takapo).

As I told you earlier – Lake Tekapo is nestled in the heart of New Zealand’s South Island. The lake lies at the foot of the Southern Alps, which rise to a height of 3 kilometres. New Zealand’s highest mountain, Mount Cook (Aoraki) is a short drive away and rises to 3,753m (12,313ft).

Lake Tekapo is truly stunning – a breathtaking sight with its turquoise waters and surrounded by spectacular scenery and a most wonderful view of the Southern Alps including the snow-covered mountains like Mount Cook.

Here is a picture of Lake Tekapo with Mount Cook in the distance which I took on my smartphone on 26 December 2015.

 

COLLIE SHEEP DOG STATUE

Standing proudly on a large rock on the shores of Lake Tekapo is a bronze statue of a Collie Sheep Dog.

In 1855 James Mackenzie – a Scottish Shepherd discovered this basin that now bears his name (Mackenzie Country).

As per local folklore – James Mackenzie was a “Sheep Stealer”.

The story goes on to say that “Sheep Thief” James Mackenzie had a loyal Collie Sheep Dog named “Friday” who used to protect his sheep and hustle the flocks of stolen sheep into his sheep farms.

By stealing sheep from the Canterbury Plains and driving them inland across mountain passes into this remote area with the help of his Collie Dog ‘Friday’– James Mackenzie had become a prosperous sheep farmer.

One day James Mackenzie’s deeds caught up with him.

James Mackenzie was arrested and sent to jail.

The authorities went up the Burkes Pass into the “Mackenzie Basin” to retrieve the stolen sheep and return them to their rightful owners.

However – James Mackenzie’s loyal Collie Sheepdog continued to protect his sheep.

Mackenzie’s highly intelligent dog ‘Friday’ continued to drive the sheep without his master’s control.

The Sheepdog ‘Friday’ could not be restrained – and the dog aggressively attacked anyone who tried to come near his sheep.

Finally – Mackenzie’s Collie Sheep Dog ‘Friday’ was shot and put down by the authorities.

The loyal Dog resolutely performed his duty towards his Master till his last breath and gave up his life for his Master.

The capture of James Mackenzie, for being “in the company of a thousand stolen sheep” as he rustled them with his dog ‘Friday’, through a remote alpine pass into “a plain of immense extent” resulted in his deeds being immortalized and his name being given these highlands ever since – hence the area is called “Mackenzie Country”.

Many years later – the residents of Mackenzie Country decided to construct this monument in memory of James Mackenzie’s legendary Collie Sheepdog ‘Friday’ and all the hardy working Collie Dogs without the help of which the grazing of this mountainous country would have been impossible.

Like Mackenzie – in the 19th century – many Scottish shepherds came to work on the pastoral runs of the Eastern South Island – and the high country could not have been farmed successfully without the Border Collies they brought with them.

Thus – in addition to ‘Friday’ – this monument at Lake Tekapo honours all these ‘Canine Scots’ of Mackenzie Country.

This monument is dedicated to all good and faithful Collie sheepdogs who always gave their best irrespective of the weather or hardships, in burning heat and frozen snow.

It is a unique monument dedicated to a dog – I wonder if there is any such memorial dedicated to a dog elsewhere in the world.

The bronze dog statue was commissioned by Mackenzie Country residents in recognition of the indispensable role of the sheepdog in their livelihoods. The sculptor was Innes Elliott of Kaikoura, with a dog called Haig, belonging to a neighbour, being the model. Elliott reported the sculpting process took approximately 15 months. Clay for the model came from the insulator works in Temuka, with a plaster cast of it made and sent to London in 1966, where the statue was cast.

The statue was unveiled on the 7th of March 1968 by Sir Arthur Espie Porritt, Governor-General of New Zealand.

The inscription on the monument plaque reads:

“This monument was erected by the runholders of the Mackenzie County and those who also appreciate the value of the collie dog, without the help of which the grazing of the mountain country would be impossible.

Unveiled on March 7, 1968, by Sir Arthur Espie Porritt, BT, GCMG, KCVO, CBE, Governor General of New Zealand

‘Beannachdan Air Na Cu Caorach’ (which in Gaelic means “blessings on the sheep dogs”).”

Here are a few pictures of the ‘Tekapo Dog Memorial’ which I took on my smartphone during my visit to Lake Tekapo on the 26th of December 2015.

‘Friday’  – the sheepdog belonging to Mackenzie, the folk hero who was the first European to find the route into this mountainous Basin – and all sheepdogs are remembered with the phrase “Beannachdan Air na Cu Caorach” (which means “Blessings on the Sheep Dog”) on the monument plaque.

A Picture from the shore of the Turquoise Waters of Lake Tekapo.

Lake Tekapo is a scenic resort with picturesque surroundings and breathtaking views. The air is pure and the sky is clear. For those interested in astronomy, this place has the darkest night skies and observatory open to public. There is plenty to do in the beautiful tranquil environment and good facilities for accommodation and food. Lake Tekapo is conveniently connected – located midway between Christchurch and Queenstown – a 3 hour drive from either place – and is an ideal stopover for all types of tourists – a good honeymoon destination too. On our next visit – we will certainly spend a day or two in Lake Tekapo.

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
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Love Game – The “ELIGIBLE BACHELOR” and the “NUBILE MAIDEN” – A Flirty Romance Story

February 3, 2016

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: The “ELIGIBLE BACHELOR” and the “NUBILE MAIDEN” : A Love Story

The “ELIGIBLE BACHELOR” and the “NUBILE MAIDEN” : A Love Story By VIKRAM KARVE

Setting: An Office

Dramatis Personae: The CEO (“Eligible Bachelor”) and The Front Office Executive (“Nubile Maiden”)

Part 1

Inside the Mind of the “ELIGIBLE BACHELOR”

He is in the habit of flirting with women – and now – the “eligible bachelor” has his ‘glad eye’ on the “nubile maiden” – who is the “front office executive” (a glorified term for what was called “receptionist” in earlier days).

The results are encouraging.

From her demeanor – it is clear that the girl is passionately in love with him – yes – she has completely fallen for him – “head over heels” – as they say.

And why shouldn’t she?

He is a most “eligible bachelor”.

Any girl would fall for a suave successful debonair and dashing young man like him.

An “IIT IIM type” – he is already the CEO of his company – though he is only 45.

He looks at himself in the office mirror – and – he likes what he sees – handsome youthful looks, perfectly sculpted body and superb physique – well – he may be 45 – but he is so good-looking and physically fit that he does not look a day above 30 – in fact – he looks as if he is still in his 20’s.

No wonder all the women in his office give him yearning looks and seductive smiles – especially the front office girl (“nubile maiden”) – she always looks at him in an insistent, suggestive sort of way which is worth a hundred compliments.

The “Eligible Bachelor” is sure that the “Nubile Maiden” thinks that he is a “prize catch”.

He has to make his move soon – and – “strike while the iron is hot”.

Part 2

Inside the Mind of the “NUBILE MAIDEN”

The “nubile maiden” sees the “eligible bachelor” giving her the ‘glad eye’ – and she smiles seductively at him.

Though outwardly – her lips smile – inwardly – in her mind – the “nubile maiden” says to herself:

“Just look at the way he is ‘line maroing’ on me – bloody lecherous scarecrow – can’t he see that he is old enough to be my grandfather – the silly old fool acts as if he were a modern day ‘Adonis’…”

The “nubile maiden” looks at the “eligible bachelor” admiring himself in the mirror – and she feels amused as she muses in her mind:

“It’s pathetic – the way the conceited narcissistic joker preens at himself in the mirror – doesn’t he realize that he is past ‘expiry date’ – does he think that I do not know that he wears a wig over his bald head – and all that fancy cosmetic dentistry can’t disguise his decayed teeth – and no amount of facials can conceal his wrinkles – does he think that all those workouts will mask his sagging muscles – and all those treatments will get back his ‘mojo’ …?”

Watching the “eligible bachelor” smile at her – the “nubile maiden” ponders in her mind:

“The clueless idiot thinks that I have fallen for him – he seems sure that I am ‘head over heels’ in love with him – and he is giving me the ‘glad eye’ – dirty old lecher – he thinks he can have me on a platter – Ha Ha Ha – the stupid dolt does not know that he is not going to get what he wants – but anyway – for now – I am going to play along – titivate and titillate – to keep his hopes alive – so that he gives me what I want – and – the moment I get what I want – I am going to dump him and move on…”

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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Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

 

Humor Mitigates Grief 

February 2, 2016

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve

HUMOR IN UNIFORM

VERY GOOD  VERY GOOD : An Apocryphal Naval Yarn By VIKRAM KARVE

Humor can do wonders.

Genuine humour can dissipate anger and dissolve grief.

Here is a story – maybe apocryphal – narrated to me long back by one of my course-mates.

The Executive Officer (XO) of his ship was quite a character.

The XO was a cheerful, jovial, absent-minded guy who was obsessed with solving crossword-puzzles.

His favourite words were: “very good, very good”.

In the Navy – when your senior gave you an order – you said: “aye aye, sir”

And – when your junior made you a report – you said: “very good” 

Now – since the XO received lots of reports – he seemed to have developed the habit of saying: “very good, very good”.

One day – a young Lieutenant – a Divisional Officer – brought a distraught looking sad faced Sailor to see the XO.

It was just after breakfast – and the XO was sitting in the wardroom – busy with his Times of India Crossword Puzzle.

The Divisional Officer gestured towards the Sailor said: “Sir – we have just received a telegram that his mother has passed away.”

Very Good, Very Good…” the XO said instinctively – without even looking up from the newspaper – and he continued with his crossword puzzle.

There was stunned silence.

No one could believe his ears.

The poor sailor had been bereaved – his mother had died – and the XO was saying: “Very Good, Very Good…” 

For some time there was stunned silence – then – after a moment – the absentminded XO paused – and he put down the newspaper.

Then – the XO looked up at the sailor – and the XO said to the sailor:

“What…? Your mother died…? Very Bad, Very Bad…”

Everyone – including the bereaved sailor – burst out laughing.

Though he was quite a character – in his heart – the XO was a most compassionate and genuine man – he was a True Naval Officer of the “old-mould”.

In true Naval Tradition – the XO did everything humanly and administratively possible to help the bereaved sailor – and made all welfare arrangements to enable the sailor to mitigate his personal grief.

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 article is a 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)

This is a revised version of my article which I had Posted Online Earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/03/very-good-very-good-apocryphal-naval.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/03/very-good-very-good-humor-in-uniform.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/09/humour-in-uniform-very-good-very-good.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/12/humor-in-uniform-very-good-very-good.html

Are Love and Trust the Same Thing…?

January 31, 2016

Source: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/do-you-trust-your-lover.html

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/do-you-trust-your-lover.html

LOVE and TRUST – Short Fiction Story by Vikram Karve

“Good Morning.”

“Good Morning, Sir.”

“Please be seated.”

“Thank you, Sir.”

“As the HR Head – it is my duty to advise you regarding a few matters – I hope it is okay if I ask you a few personal questions.”

“Yes, Sir – it is okay – please freely ask me whatever you want to.”

“You got divorced 6 months ago.”

“Yes.”

“But I see that you have not changed your nomination for provident fund, company group insurance etc – the nominee is still your ex-husband.”

“Yes.”

“I suggest you change the nomination…”

“No.”

“No?”

“I do not wish to change the nomination – I want my ex-husband be the nominee for all my financial affairs…”

“But why…?”

“Because I trust him – I totally trust my ex-husband.”

“You trust your ex-husband even after divorcing him – that’s amazing…”

“Of course I fully trust my ex-husband. He did not cheat me – I was the one who cheated him by having an extramarital affair – that was the reason for our divorce…”

“Oh…”

My ex-husband was always faithful to me – it was I who was unfaithful to him…”

“But…”

I have full faith in my ex-husband – in fact – he still manages all my financial affairs – my bank accounts – my stocks and mutual funds – my investments – he pays all my bills – everything – I don’t even know how much money I have in the bank – I do not have a clue as to what my investments are – or what bills I have to pay – my ex-husband does everything – just like it was before – when we were married…”

“Really…?”

“Yes – our bank accounts remain the same – including my salary account – and my ex-husband does all the banking and he operates all my accounts – he does everything – he keeps the passbooks – does the internet banking – I do not even know the login and passwords…”

“What are you saying…? It is unbelievable…”

“Yes – we have a safe deposit locker with all my jewellery – he handles that too…”

“All that was fine when you were married to him – it may have been okay when you were just divorced – but now…?”

“But now…?”

“Well – I understand that you have remarried…”

“That is right – I got remarried 3 months ago – I submitted the marriage declaration along with the marriage certificate…”

“Yes – that is why I have called you – to advise you – that you should now put your new husband’s name as the nominee for your provident fund, insurance etc…”

“Is it a compulsion…? Is it mandatory for me to nominate my new husband…?”

“No – No – you are free to nominate whoever you wish – but normally – it is advisable to nominate your ‘next-of-kin’ – which happens to be your spouse – your new husband – so it is my duty to advise you to nominate him…”

“I do not wish to nominate my new husband…”

“But why…?”

“I do not trust him…”

“What…? You do not trust your new husband…? Why…?”

“Because he is a cheat…”

“What are you saying – that your new husband is a cheat…?”

“Yes. Like me – my new husband too is a cheat. I cheated on my ex-husband – he cheated on his ex-wife – we had an extramarital affair – we got caught – our spouses divorced us – and then – we two lovers got married…”

“Oh…”

“Tell me – how can I trust a man who was unfaithful to his wife…?”

“If you do not trust him – why did you marry him…?”

“Because I love him…”

“It’s amazing – you love your new husband – but you do not trust him…”

“Yes – I love him – but I do not trust him.”

“So – you do not wish to change your nomination – you wish that your ex-husband is the nominee for all your financial affairs – your provident fund, insurance, bank accounts etc…”

“Yes – I want my ex-husband to be the nominee and look after all my financial affairs…”

“Okay.”

“Sir – I have one request…”

“Yes – go ahead…”

“I hope our conversation will be kept confidential.”

“Of course – you can rest assured that not a word will go outside this room.”

“Thank you, Sir – may I go now…?”
“Yes – thank you for your time – it was a most enlightening conversation…”

“Enlightening conversation…? Sir – what do you mean by that…?”

“I always thought that love and trust meant the same thing. I thought that love implies trust – but now – after talking to you – I have realized that love and trust are not connected with each other – you can love someone  but not trust him – and – you can trust someone  but not love him…”

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)

Revised Version of My Story LOVE AND TRUST posted online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve Blog on September 28, 2015 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/09/love-and-trust.html  and revised and reposted later on October 27, 2015 at url:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/10/do-you-trust-your-ex.html

Double Standards : A Story of Hypocrisy

January 26, 2016

HYPOCRISY : A Story of Double Standards By VIKRAM KARVE

Part 1

DAUGHTER-IN-LAW

“Is everything okay? You don’t look well,” I said.

“I am okay, Sir – I am just feeling tired, that’s all,” she said.

“Tired…? Well – work has just begun…”

“My tiredness is not work-related, Sir…”

“Tell me – what is the matter…?”

“Sir – for me – it’s the long commute to work that wears me out – it takes me nearly 2 hours to get here to Hinjewadi from Kharadi – and in the evening – Sir – you know how bad the rush hour traffic is in Pune – it sometimes takes me 3 hours to get home – and then – even at home – there is so much work to do in the house – cooking, housework – I have to cook in the morning – and then again in the evening – sometimes I feel that I will collapse due to the exhaustion…” she said.

“Why don’t you shift nearby…? There are plenty of flats available in Wakad – just a 10 minute drive from Hinjewadi – you will easily get a good 2 BHK flat on rent well within your HRA – and it will be convenient for your husband too – his factory in Chinchwad is also a 10 minute drive from Wakad – in fact – there are some flats available for rental in my society – I will ask around – or – if you want – you can even buy your own flat in Wakad – I will find out…” I said.

“Thank you, Sir – but my ‘mother-in-law’ will not allow us to stay separately…” she said.

“Really…? Why…?” I said.

“Sir – my mother-in-law says that she believes in the ‘joint family system’…” she said.

Part 2

DAUGHTER

3 years later – I met the same ‘mother-in-law’ – yes – the mother-in-law of my erstwhile “Techie” colleague.

Yes – it was the same woman who believed in the ‘joint family system’.

By the way – I had changed my job – and – I was now working for another “IT Software Company” – also located in Hinjewadi.

Call it coincidence – but the woman’s daughter had recently joined my new company – and – like the ‘daughter-in-law’ – the daughter was also a “Techie”.

It was the company anniversary function – and – along with her husband – the daughter had also brought her mother and father along.

“So – your daughter must be having a tough time commuting to work from the city every day…” I said to the woman.

“No – my daughter lives in Wakad…” the woman said.

“Oh – so your daughter’s ‘in-laws’ live in Wakad…” I said.

“No – her ‘in-laws’ live in their house in Model Colony – it is too far from her office…” she said.

I was baffled.

She made her daughter-in-law commute every day from Kharadi which was much further away from Hinjewadi than Model Colony.

“Model Colony is not that far away from Hinjewadi…” I said.

“Actually – it is not that – I did not want my daughter to stay with her ‘in-laws’ – they are too ‘old-fashioned’ – so I told my daughter and her husband to buy their own flat and stay separately…” she said.

But I thought that you believed in the ‘joint family system’ – didn’t you make your daughter-in-law stay with you…?” I said.

“That is different…” she said.

“Different…? What do you mean ‘different’…? You force your ‘daughter-in-law’ to stay with you – and you tell your daughter to live separately from her ‘in-laws’…?I just don’t understand…” I said to the woman.

“You won’t understand these things…” the woman said – and she walked away.

Yes – I just don’t understand the hypocrisy.

I don’t understand why women have double standards – one yardstick their ‘daughters-in-law’ – and another for their own daughters.

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 fiction story is a 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 Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/hypocrisy.html 

JANUARY 26 : Republic Day Story

January 26, 2016

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

I wrote this story 3 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 2016.

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 army officers 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/2013/01/26-january-2013.html

“Nightie” Story : Humor “Out of Uniform”

January 24, 2016

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal ->  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/nightie.html

Humor “Out of Uniform”

Story of the Nightie

This morning I wanted to give my “Better Half” a surprise gift – a “Nightie.

So – I went to a boutique.

I saw some lovely “half nighties” (short nighties) hanging on a rack (these are the type of “nighties” my wife likes to wear at home).

While I was selecting a suitable “nightie” for my wife – a salesgirl appeared and she asked me: “Sir – can I help you?”

“I want a good ‘nightie’ for my wife…” I said.

“Sir – these are not ‘nighties’ – these are Ladies ‘Kurtas’ – ‘Ladies Long Kurtas’…” the salesgirl said to me.

I beat a hasty retreat.

And – I remembered this story from my Navy Days.

“NIGHTIE” 

Hilarious Memories of my Glorious Navy Days

By

VIKRAM KARVE

I was – and maybe I still am – an old fashioned prude – and a bit puritanical by nature.

Let me tell you a hilarious anecdote – a result of my rather prudish behaviour, which happened long back when I was in the Navy.

It was the evening of the Navy Ball – the much awaited grand finale of the Navy Week in Mumbai (then called Bombay).

It was decided that all ship’s officers who did not live in the Navy Township (NOFRA) would assemble with our wives in the home of a shipmate who lived in NOFRA near the Navy Command Officers Mess – the venue of the Navy Ball.

We could park our scooters/motorcycles near his house.

(Yes – those days most navy officers had scooters/motorcycles – and could not afford cars)

We would then all walk down to the Command Mess Lawns for the Navy Ball.

Accordingly – my wife and I reached my shipmate’s house half an hour before the commencement of the Navy Ball.

Some officers and wives were already there – some trickled in – and our shipmate had generously opened a bottle of rum – and told us to help ourselves while they got dressed.

My shipmate came out of his bedroom smartly dressed in Navy Uniform Dress No. 6 – “monkey jacket” – bow tie – miniature medals and all.

He said his wife was getting ready.

It was almost time for the Navy Ball.

We were anxiously waiting for his wife to get ready.

After some time the bedroom door opened – and my shipmate’s wife stepped out.

I was most disappointed to see that she had still not got ready.

“What is this Ma’am? The Navy Ball is about to start and you are still in your nightie?” I blurted out.

The lady looked at me with an expression of total shock – it seemed as if she was stunned.

Slowly – I could see her shock turn into anger.

She was looking at me with blazing eyes.

She pointed towards the clothes she was wearing – and she shouted at me: “You are calling this a “nightie…? This is a haute couture designer dress. Do you know how much money I spent on this exclusive custom made dress…?”

“Haute Couture…?” I mumbled – I had never heard the term “haute couture” before.

I looked at my shipmate’s wife with regret in my eyes – and a contrite expression on my face.

But I saw the expression on her face change from anger into anxiety – and soon the expression of anxiety changed into one of panic.

My shipmate’s wife looked at my wife – the she looked at the other ladies – and she said: “Tell me – is this dress really looking so bad?”

After that – my shipmate’s wife burst into tears – and she ran back into her bedroom.

The fact of the matter was that my shipmate’s wife was very chic and fashionable.

She had got this most fashionable skimpy western style dress exclusively “made-to-order” from a top designer (“haute couture”) especially for the Navy Ball.

Being an old-fashioned prude – I did not realize that what she was wearing was not a “nightie” – but an exclusive haute couture latest fashion skimpy dress which she had got specially made for her by a leading fashion designer.

My wife gave me a glaring look and told me to disappear – lest I say or do something even more stupid that would further aggravate matters.

Then – my wife and the other ladies went inside to console my shipmate’s wife.

It was decided that all the gentlemen would proceed for the Navy Ball – and the ladies would join later.

I apologized to my shipmate: “I am very sorry – I did not mean to insult your wife.”

“Oh, come on – forget it,” he said, “In fact – after hearing your comments – I almost burst out laughing myself.”

“But your wife must be angry with me?” I said.

“Don’t worry – she’ll be okay – she spent a fortune on that designer dress – that is why she is so upset,” he said.

Later – the ladies joined us in the Navy Ball.

My shipmate’s wife was the centre of attraction in her haute couture skimpy fashionable dress.

I wanted to apologize to her – but my wife had given me strict instructions to keep my mouth shut – lest I put my foot in my mouth again.

EPILOGUE

Many years later – my wife was shopping in the Ladies’ Garments Section of a famous Mall in Pune.

I was just hanging around.

Suddenly I saw the same chic and fashionable lady – my ex-shipmate’s “haute couture” wife – standing near me.

I wished her.

She smiled back.

“My wife is in the trial room…” I said.

“Oh? I must meet her,” she said.

I looked at chic “haute couture” lady – and I said: “Ma’am – I want to ask you a favour…”

“Sure…” she said.

I pointed to the colourful nighties hanging nearby on a rack – and I said to her:

“Ma’am – if you don’t mind – can you please help me select a “nightie” for my wife – she likes “half nighties” – short nighties – like these “nighties” over here on this rack…”

My ex-shipmate’s chic “haute couture” wife burst out laughing – and she said to me:

These are not “Nighties” – these are “Kurties”  or “Tops – they are certainly not “Nighties” – Ha Ha – you are still as clueless as ever – aren’t you…?”

I smiled at her.

She started laughing.

I joined her in her laughter.

I knew that she had forgiven me for my “faux pas on that Navy Ball Evening – many years ago.

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 yarn is a 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)

 

Updated Re-Post of my Story titled FAUX PAS First Posted by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog in April 2014 at 4/26/2014 08:09:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/04/faux-pas-hilarious-memories-of-my.html and in Nov 2014 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/11/my-shipmates-chic-wife-hilarious.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/06/humor-in-uniform-chic-haute-couture.html

The Made-For-Each-Other Couple in the Marriage Bureau

January 23, 2016

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Marriage Bureau

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/marriage-bureau.html

MARRIAGE BUREAU : A Story By VIKRAM KARVE

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 “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

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.

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

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

“Sir – your wife…?” I said.

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

I was stunned.

Seeing my bewilderment – he said: “Don’t feel embarrassed – it happens quite often – many people think that my ‘business partner’ is also my ‘life partner’…”

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)

 

“DUTY WATCH” – Humor in Uniform

January 21, 2016

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform : “DUTY WATCH”

Link to My Original Post in My Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/humor-in-uniform-duty-watch.html

Humor in Uniform

“DUTY WATCH”

A Spoof

By

VIKRAM KARVE 

Way back in the 1970’s – when we were trainees at the Naval Academy Cochin (Kochi) – we used to go for our drill practice to the neighbouring Gunnery School Drill Square.

There would be GIs (Gunnery Instructors) lurking everywhere – prowling at every nook and corner – waiting to yell at us for the smallest of infractions in parade drill.

Once – when the “guard” was being marched in for morning Divisions – a Chief GI bellowed at the top of his voice:

“Is that the guard or the bloody ‘duty watch’…? March smartly – not like the ‘duty watch’…”

He implied that instead of marching smartly like a “guard” – we were walking in a rather slovenly manner like a “duty watch”.

While sailing – and in harbour too – the ship’s company is organized in “watches” to operate a ship 24/7.  Earlier it was the “2 Watch System” (1-in-2) – where half the sailors would be on duty – and the other half would take rest – but now – it is mostly a “3 Watch System” (1-in-3) – where one-third of the crew are on duty and the remainder 2/3rd are off-duty and take rest.

The “watch” on duty is called the “Duty Watch”.

When a ship returns to harbour – everyone wants to rush ashore – the married sailors want to meet their families – and the bachelors want to have a good time and paint the town red.

But – sadly – the “Duty Watch” has to remain on board ship – and – obviously – the sailors in the “Duty Watch” are quite demoralized – and this is reflected in their bearing – as they move around in a rather dispirited manner. This is what the Chief GI was implying when he yelled at us: “March smartly – not like the ‘duty watch’…”

Now – I must tell you a rather amusing “Duty Watch” story which happened more than 36 years ago – in the late 1970’s.

“DUTY WATCH” STORY

Once we joined the Navy – we realized that the slogan “Join the Navy and See the World” applied to the Merchant Navy and not the Indian Navy.

In fact – due to ‘austerity measures’ – even the so-called “cruises” to nearby countries had been curtailed.

We were – therefore – delighted when our ship was sent on a “cruise” to an island nation – an archipelago – in the Indian Ocean.

The sea was quite rough – but then – as we approached the Equator – the sea became calm.

Soon – we crossed the Equator – and had the customary “Crossing the Line Ceremony” – which transformed us from “Pollywogs” into “Shellbacks”.

In due course – we reached our destination – and – the moment land was sighted – the first person to surface was the Ship’s Doctor – who had dived below into the sick-bay the moment we had left our base port Mumbai (then called Bombay).

Now – our Doctor was a “sea sick type” – and he used to hit the bunk the moment the sailing order was received.

But now – he was dressed in the best of “civvies” – a bright red T-Shirt – looking out for his “girlfriend” (his medical college classmate) – who was settled here – and was waiting for him on the jetty.

The moment we came alongside at 10 in the morning – the magnanimous Captain announced a “modified routine” – and “liberty” was piped – and soon – everyone was “ashore” – except the unlucky “Duty Watch” – who haplessly watched their shipmates proceed ashore to have a good time.

Of course – since it was ‘modified routine’ – rather than hold back 1/3rd of the sailors – besides the OOD (Officer of the Day) – a reduced ‘Duty Watch’ was held back on board – in order to let maximum sailors enjoy the ‘liberty’.

By noon – the officers and sailors – were spread all over the island – on the beaches, in the bars and pubs – enjoying themselves to the hilt.

The Captain was enjoying himself in the Yacht Club – where he had been invited for Lunch – by the crème de la crème of society.

At around 3:30 in the afternoon – after plenty of beer and a sumptuous lunch – the satiated Captain was contemplating going back to his ship for a “siesta” – but he was reminded that he was required to proceed to the sports stadium as the “Chief Guest” for the “friendly” football match between the visiting “ship’s company” and local club which was to begin at 4 o’clock.

“Oh, Yes…” he said –  vaguely remembering the invitation for the football match – the message had been delivered to him the moment the ship had come alongside – and he had marked it down to his XO (Executive Officer) for “necessary action”.

The Captain then went ashore – to the Yacht Club – and within seconds – his XO followed him out – and soon – he was swimming away on the best beach – trying to woo the beauties in bikinis.

Everyone had gone ashore – the “Duty Watch” was hanging around morosely – and the OOD (Officer of the Day) was drowning his sorrows in the Wardroom.

At around 3 in the afternoon – a bus arrived on the jetty.

A ‘Liaison Officer’ alighted from the bus – walked up the gangway from the jetty to the ship – and informed the gangway duty quartermaster that he had come to pick-up the ‘football team’.

The duty quartermaster called up the Wardroom to inform the OOD.

“What bloody ‘football team’…?” the OOD muttered annoyingly.

“I don’t know, Sir…” the quartermaster said.

“Okay – I am coming up…” the OOD said – and he downed the remains of his beer – put on his cap – and walked up to the gangway.

After speaking to the ‘Liaison Officer’ – the OOD asked the Quartermaster: “Do you know anything about this…?”

“No, Sir…” he said.

“Okay – call the ‘Duty Signalman’…” the OOD ordered.

The ‘Duty Signalman’ was duly piped for – and he arrived within a minute.

“Yes, Sir…” the ‘Duty Signalman’ said, “there was a message regarding a ‘football match’ – the Captain marked it down to the XO – so I left it on the XO’s table…”

“Bloody Hell – did the XO see the message…?” the OOD asked the ‘Duty Signalman’.

“Sir – I don’t know….”

“You buggers are great – now – go on the double and get the message…” the OOD shouted.

The OOD read the message.

The friendly football match was scheduled at 4 PM.

The time now was 3:15 PM – just 45 minutes to go for the match.

The OOD did some quick thinking.

Recalling the ship’s company was not feasible – the sailors would be all over the island – enjoying themselves – on beaches, in bars and on the streets.

So – the OOD told the Quartermaster: “I want the ‘Duty Watch’ assembled here immediately.”

The Quartermaster piped “Duty Watch Fall-in on Gangway” – and within minutes – the ‘Duty Watch’ had fallen-in on the gangway.

The OOD asked the Quartermaster and the Duty Engine Room Sailor to fall-out.

Around 15 ‘Duty Watch’ sailors remained on deck.

The OOD told the rest of the ‘Duty Watch’ sailors: “You are proceeding to play a football match – 11 of you will play – the rest of you will be substitutes’ – now change into sports rig and do your best…”

With the ‘Duty Watch’ playing the Football Match against a talented local team – you can well imagine the result of the match – thankfully – the referee blew the whistle before the score could reach double figures.

The embarrassed Captain was the only one cheering his Ship’s Team – while his Officers and Sailors were painting the town red.

EPILOGUE

Next morning – the ‘Master-At-Arms’ informed the XO about the Football Match Fiasco and then he asked the XO: “Sir – about liberty today…?”

The XO – who had come back to the ship in a most ‘happy’ state in the wee hours of the morning – and was nursing a terrible hangover – said: “Bloody Hell – after yesterday’s fiasco – the Captain is sure to stop ‘liberty’ today – do one thing – why don’t you ask the Captain directly…?”

“Sir – I was told by the Quartermaster that the Captain has already gone ashore…” the Master-at-Arms said.

“Okay – that means that he hasn’t stopped ‘liberty’ – so announce ‘liberty’ as usual…” the XO said happily.

Later – we met the Captain sunbathing on a beach.

We expected a tongue-lashing.

But the Captain did not utter a single word about the ‘Duty Watch’ Football Match Fiasco – he just said that he was happy the officers and ship’s sailors were enjoying themselves.

As far as the fiasco was concerned – we realized that the Captain’s silence was the most effective reprimand.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

  1. This story is a spoof, 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)

Humor in Uniform – STORY OF THE “INDISPENSABLE” SAILOR

January 18, 2016

HUMOR IN UNIFORM – LIMITS TO “BULLSHIT” – STORY OF THE “INDISPENSABLE” SAILOR – A Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

This story happened almost 30 years ago – in the late 1980’s.

PROLOGUE

There is a saying: “No one is indispensable”.

However – in the 1980’s – with the induction of new ships with modern weapons/equipment and sophisticated propulsion systems – I observed that – on many ships – there were a number of sailors – especially in the Technical Branches – mainly Artificers – who were considered “indispensable”.

Whether these individuals were genuinely indispensable or not – I do not know – and I suspect not.

But the fact of the matter was that the Captain and Head of Department (HOD) wanted that particular “indispensable” sailor on board the ship during his one year tenure – so that their tenures passed without a hiccup – especially on that crucial weapon system handled by the “indispensable” sailor.

In fact – the Captain/HOD often got the transfers of these “indispensable” sailors cancelled – and – I remember a case of “poaching” of an “indispensable” sailor too – which resulted in an ugly exchange of correspondence, including signals, between the two rival ships involved.

Another offshoot was that these “indispensable” sailors acquired immense “expert power” – which sometimes overwhelmed “position power” – and – thanks to their “expert power” – these “indispensable” sailors sometimes developed a tendency to bullshit.

Here is the hilarious story of one such “indispensable” sailor called “P”

STORY OF THE “INDISPENSABLE” SAILOR – A Spoof by Vikram Karve

“P” – THE “INDISPENSABLE” CHIEF PETTY OFFICER (CPO) 

On our ship we had a Chief Petty Officer – let’s call him “P”.

P was a part of the commissioning crew.

P had remained on the ship continuously without break for more than 7 years.

Every time P’s transfer came – the incumbent Captain would get P’s transfer cancelled.

Every Captain wanted P to remain on board during his tenure – since P was “indispensable”.

P was indispensable since he was a specialist on a key weapon system.

With increasing years of experience – P gained more and more expertise – and soon he was the unsurpassed expert on the system.

Every Captain knew that with P on board – it would be “smooth sailing” as far as that crucial weapon system was concerned.

So every new Captain ensured that – during his command tenure – P was kept on board the ship.

It was a Catch-22 situation.

The more P served at sea on board the ship – the more P yearned to go for an appointment ashore.

But conversely – the more P served on board the ship – he acquired more and more specialist expertise – and he became even more “indispensable” – and his chances of going ashore became lesser and lesser.

P was fed up – 7 continuous years at sea were taking its toll on his health – and – also – his family life was adversely affected.

was delighted when he got his transfer order to a training establishment ashore as an instructor.

But unfortunately – the incoming new Captain got P’s transfer cancelled.

represented against the cancellation of his transfer – saying that he had served 7 long years continuously on a frontline warship – and he desperately wanted to go ashore.

I took P to meet the new Captain.

I told the Captain the P had completed 7 years on this ship.

The Captain looked at P and assured him:

“Don’t worry. You just remain on the ship for my tenure. The moment my transfer comes – I will see to it that you are transferred to some good place ashore – in fact – I will get you a choice transfer to the shore establishment of your choice.”

Despite the Captain’s assurance – P seemed dejected.

This meant another year on board this ship – 8 continuous years of sea time away from family – with no hope that it would end after even this sea tenure was over

When I tried to commiserate with him – P said cynically to me:

“Forget it, Sir. Every Captain says the same thing. Captains come and go – all of you officers come and go – but I am destined to remain stuck in this hellhole forever.”

THE BULLSHITTER XO (Executive Officer)

A few days later a new XO (second-in-command) arrived – a hot-shot “spit and polish” Commander who had spent most of his time on training ships and shore establishments (stone frigates).

The new XO boasted that he was going to “kick us into shape”.

On the very first day of sailing – I was summoned to his cabin.

The XO was seated in his chair.

P was standing in front of him – not at attention – but in his usual casual manner – wearing his peak cap at a rakish angle – in the manner of a famous Admiral.

P had the cavalier bearing of a sailor who has been at sea for a long time.

The Master-at-Arms was standing behind P.

The XO shouted at me:

“I was taking rounds of the ship  and your Chief was moving around in a slovenly manner in the alleyway. He was almost nude  he was dressed in a bloody filthy skimpy lungi  – and even his bloody lungi was at half-mast…”

“Sir  I was going for my bath …” P interrupted.

“Shut up!” the XO shouted furiously at P.

Then  the XO turned to me  and he said to me:

“The bugger did not even bother to salute me…”

Again  P interrupted  and he said to the XO:

“Sir  in this ship we don’t salute below decks…”

This infuriated the XO

The XO stood up to his full height – and the XO looked menacingly at P for some time.

Then – the XO shouted at P:

“Don’t you bloody bullshit me – and you don’t try to act smart with me – I have sorted out many funny chaps like you…” the XO said angrily to P.

“Sir  why are you threatening at me? I told you that in this ship we do not salute below decks…” P pleaded.

On hearing this  the XO glowered at P for some time.

Then  the XO roared furiously at P:

“If you misbehave with me – I will throw you out of this ship.”

P (a Chief Petty Officer) looked at the XO (a Commander) squarely in the eye.

Looking straight into the XO’s eyes – P said to the XO:

“Sir  if you get me transferred out of this ship – I will give you a grand party in a 5-Star hotel.”

I almost burst out laughing  but I controlled myself.

In order to prevent the situation from deteriorating further and leading to an aggravated offence  I quickly removed P from the XO’s cabin.

Such juicy “galley news” spreads fast  and in a few hours  the whole ship knew about the incident.

From then on  the XO would scrupulously avoid P.

However – whenever their paths crossed – with tongue-in-cheek  P would taunt the XO:

XO Sir – when are you throwing me out of this ship…?”

EPILOGUE

I learnt 3 lessons from this story:

  1. Some individuals are indispensable– especially those who have “expert power” .
  1. Most military officers resort to “bullshit”– and “bullshitting” is considered officership– an essential part of Officer Like Qualities (OLQ) – but there are limits to “bullshit” – beyond which bullshit can boomerang – yes – if you cross the limit – your “bullshit” can boomerang and fly back into your face. 
  1. If you want to have a comfortable life and long tenures –you must try to become “indispensable” – that is how some officers manage to spend long tenures in choicest stations – and even get their sea-timewaivedYou will find many such indispensable” “experts” sitting comfortably for many years in Delhi and other preferred peace stations while their counterparts keep slogging it out at sea and in the field.

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:

  1. This story is a 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)

 

This is an abridged updated extract of my story FEAR – THE GREATEST MOTIVATOR First Posted in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 29 July 2013 by Vikram Karve at 7/29/2013 12:52:00 PM in this blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/07/fear-is-greatest-motivator.html and revised versions posted by me later at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/02/humor-in-uniform-bullshit-can-boomerang.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/09/humor-in-uniform-indispensable-sailor.html

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