Humor in Uniform – RUM QUOTA

June 29, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – RUM QUOTA AND THE “TEETOTALLER ALCOHOLIC”.

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

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

RUM QUOTA AND THE “TEETOTALLER ALCOHOLIC” 
A Rum Tale
Delightful Memories of my Halcyon Navy Days
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE


TEETOTALLER ALCOHOLIC – a Rum Tale by Vikram Karve

Long back – around 38 years ago – sometime in the late 1970’s – we were young officers just introduced to the pleasures of alcohol during our specialisation course.

We youngsters thoroughly enjoyed our newly found freedom by “topping up to the hilt” in the bar every evening.

Though it was supposed to be a Technical Training Establishment – the atmosphere was more “OG” than Gunnery School.

And to make matters worse – we were located in a desolate place in the back of beyond.

Apart from playing sports – the only recreation for us bachelors was drinking alcohol. 

Also – in order to sleep soundly in the bedbug infested cabins – one had to imbibe a reasonable amount of alcohol every evening.

So – every evening we would assemble in the wardroom bar – and “top-up” till the last sitting for dinner was announced.

In order to curb our excesses – the PMC set a daily limit of 3 large pegs of Rum for each individual officer. 

Well – during those days – we drank only large pegs – and 3 large pegs total about 180 ml of hard liquor – less than a quarter of a bottle of rum – which has almost 13 large pegs.

Now – for tough young naval officers like us in their early 20’s – only 3 large pegs of rum were just too little – especially for an ardent drinker like me.

So I devised a simple strategy. 

I caught hold of my course-mate “X” who was a strict teetotaller 

Of course – like most teetotallers in uniform – my friend “X” was quite a money-minded “businessman in uniform” too.

I made him a proposition: “If you let me have your rum quota – I will pay your entire wine bill – including whatever soft drinks and snacks you have.”

“You will pay my entire bar bill?” “X” asked me, quite unbelieving.

“Yes,” I said to “X”, “ See – your daily 3 peg “rum quota” is going waste since you are a teetotaller. If you give me your daily rum quota – I will pay your entire bar bill every month.”

“X” readily agreed.

In fact – I am sure that in his heart he jumped with joy. 

So – we instructed the bar steward accordingly. 

Every evening – the steward would put my first 3 large pegs of rum in X’s bar book.

Whatever subsequent pegs I drank beyond the first 3 pegs – would be entered in my bar book. 

Yes – those days – in Navy Wardrooms – we had bar books which we had to sign at the end of the evening – or by next morning.

So every evening as I sat down to drink – my first 3 large pegs of rum would be written in X’s bar book.

In case I drank a fourth or fifth or sixth peg of rum – the steward would write them in my own bar book.

I seldom drank more than 6 large pegs – except on rare occasions like parties – but on such occasions of unrestricted drinking – booze was on the house – and was not subject to any “quota”.

So – thanks to – every evening – I would enjoy a generous amount of booze – which raised my spirits – so my morale was high and I was quite happy.

“X” was delighted with this arrangement. 

“X” sat down with us in the evenings – downing soft drink after soft drink – eating plenty of “small eats” – knowing that I was paying for all his soft drinks and eats too – and calculating the cost in his mind – estimating how much money he was saving – since I was paying his entire bar bill. 

I am sure that in his mind he was wondering what a sucker I was.

A couple of months passed happily.

One morning – the PMC suddenly entered the training hall – and he thundered, “Who the bloody hell is “X”…?” 

The PMC shouted X’s name – and he looked around the hall.

“X” meekly stood up.

The PMC strode up to “X” – and he brandished X’s bar book menacingly – and the PMC shouted at “X”: “Do you want to become a bloody alcoholic? You have been religiously drinking 3 large pegs of rum every day for the last two months. I am stopping your booze. No more drinking. You better sober up.”

And then, as suddenly as he had come – the PMC stormed out of the hall – rendering a hapless “X” dumbstruck and speechless.

Poor “X” – his reputation as a “drinker” spread pretty fast. 

At parties – when “X” had his usual glass of cola in his hand – the PMC would suspect that X’s soft drink was was spiked with rum. 

So “X” started drinking lime juice – but even then – the PMC was sure it was spiked with Gin or Vodka. 

The PMC kept telling the Training Officer that he suspected that “X” was still drinking heavily.

Accordingly – the Training Officer kept warning “X” to stop drinking.

Meanwhile – I had found other sources to replenish my “thirst” for alcohol – like picking up a few rum bottles from married officers.

The biggest joke was that the PMC thought that “X” was taking rum bottles from married officers – and “X” was warned once more by the Training Officer to abstain from drinking.

Soon his reputation as an “alcoholic” was growing.

“X” feared that his appraisal report (OLQ Marks) would be ruined with a remark about his “alcohol dependence” – and he would be branded as an “alcoholic” throughout his naval career.

So – one day – “X” told the Training Officer the whole story. 

The Training Officer told the PMC all about it.

And soon – I found myself being marched up to the PMC.

The PMC had two bar books in his hand – X’s Bar Book and My Bar Book. 

He was turning page after page.

“Is it true?” the PMC asked me, “You seem to drinking 4 to 5 large pegs of Rum every evening. Sometimes even 6 pegs of Rum.”

“Yes, Sir,” I meekly said – trembling inside – expecting to be logged – or be severely admonished by the PMC who was also the XO. 

I surely anticipated that my booze was going to be stopped – so I was thinking in my mind what new arrangements I needed to make to obtain my supply of rum – maybe my friends in the Army or Air Force may help me out.

The PMC held up the bar book of “X” and he asked me: “And what about this officer – your friend “X”  is he telling the truth that he is a teetotaller – or is he also a bloody alcoholic like you?” 

“Sir – he is an alcoholic teetotaller,” I blurted out.

“What? Alcoholic teetotaller? Bloody Hell! This is the first time I am hearing this crazy oxymoron,” the PMC looked at me curiously.

“Sir – I meant that “X” is an teetotaller alcoholic,” I mumbled sheepishly.

Suddenly – the PMC burst out laughing and said, “Come over to my house for a drink this evening. You seem to be an interesting chap.”

Maybe – I reminded him of his youthful days.

I did – that is what he told me after a few drinks – and I could see that the PMC really enjoyed his liquor.

In the evening – as we imbibed peg after peg of the best rum – the PMC – an old sea-dog – was overcome by the Auld Lang Syne Complex – so he harked back to his halcyon navy days – and he excitedly told me about his glorious drinking escapades.

Cheers – That calls for a drink…! 

I hope my good friend the “alcoholic teetotaller” aka “teetotaller alcoholic” is reads this – and has a good laugh.

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, 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 ALCOHOLIC TEETOTALLER Earlier Posted Online by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at urls:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 6/29/2015 09:58:00 PM

Humor in and out of Uniform – Poodlefaking (Navy Style) – The Chic “Haute Couture” Navy Wife

June 28, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – THE CHIC “HAUTE COUTURE” NAVY WIFE.

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

THE CHIC “HAUTE COUTURE” NAVY WIFE
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.

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 – pointing to the colourful nighties hanging nearby on a rack – I said: “ 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” – you are still as clueless as ever – aren’t you?”

I smiled at her – and then 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, 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 at4/26/2014 08:09:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… and in Nov 2014 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 

karvediat.blogspot.in

6/28/2015 10:20:00 AM

Food for Thought – DO DAUGHTERS DESERVE PROPERTY RIGHTS ?

June 27, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: DO DAUGHTERS DESERVE PROPERTY RIGHTS.

Here is an article I wrote a few years ago – in the year 2011

I wonder whether it is still relevant today?

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

DO DAUGHTERS DESERVE PROPERTY RIGHTS
(Rights without Responsibility)

In earlier times, the son was considered the heir to all property and wealth of the parents. 

Also, it was the son who had the responsibility to look after his parents in their old age. 

Thus, the rights came with a concomitant responsibility.

Nowadays, daughters have an equal share in the property of their parents. 

However, it seems that daughters do not want to shoulder the responsibility to look after their parents. 

In prevalent society it still remains the son’s duty to look after his parents. 

Thus, while a son gets rights with responsibility, a daughter enjoys rights without responsibility. 

This is unfair. 

If a daughter want a share in ancestral or parental property she must be prepared to share the responsibility of looking after her parents too.

The fact of the matter is that whereas most daughters are quite vociferous in demanding their equal share in property they are not similarly forthcoming when it comes to looking after their parents. 

This onerous task they expect their brother and his family to do. 

Of course, the worst off is the poor daughter-in-law, who gets no rights but bears the brunt of the responsibility.

You don’t agree? 

Well, here is a recent example.

An 80 year old widowed woman had a serious accident involving multiple fractures and injuries. 

The old woman was in a critical condition when her son rushed her to hospital.

The son’s wife (daughter-in-law) rushed to the hospital from work. 

The old woman has undergone multiple surgeries and is still in hospital and it is her daughter-in-law who is constantly at the bedside of her mother-in-law caring for her and nursing her with dedication and selfless devotion. 

More than 15 days have passed and the son’s and daughter-in-law’s life had turned topsy-turvy. 

They have taken off from work and have to be in constant attendance nursing the serious patient.

The old woman’s daughter was on a holiday abroad when the mishap with her mother took place. 

She was informed of the seriousness of the accident. 

She did not cut short her visit and return immediately. 

In fact, the daughter was thinking of extending her stay when someone put some sense into her head and she returned to India as scheduled a week after the accident, by which time two major surgeries were over, and the stress, tension and brunt of the situation was already borne by the daughter-in-law and son.

When the daughter landed up in hospital to see her mother, the son expected that his sister would now share the hospital duties with his exhausted wife who had spent seven sleepless nights tending to her mother-in-law. 

The son asked his sister to stay for a few days so that his wife and he could recoup their energies, but he was stunned when his sister announced that she would be only staying for a day, and the next day, along with her husband, she went back to her home (which is just a three hours drive away). 

It is now evident that the daughter wants to shirk her responsibility and faced with a fait accompli the hapless daughter-in-law (and son) will have to single-handedly perform the difficult and strenuous task of tending to the old woman 24/7 for a long time till she recovers.

The mother insists on talking to her daughter on mobile phone every day, and the daughter keeps expressing fake emotions of how concerned she is and shedding crocodile tears, but it is the son and his wife who are actually doing the onerous physically demanding and emotionally draining task of nursing the incapacitated woman. 

You will not believe it, but the old woman tells visitors how upset and “concerned” her darling daughter is while ignoring the sterling performance of her daughter-in-law and son, especially the dedication of her daughter-in-law, which she takes for granted.

Of course, when the old woman recovers, the daughter will be back on a visit with lip-sympathy and “overflowing” love, and the son and daughter-in-law will be relegated to second place, as the daughter is the favourite of the old woman.

Tell me, does this daughter deserve a share in her mother’s property?

WILL AND WISH – A CREAKING GATE HANGS LONG

June 27, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Slice of Life – A CREAKING GATE HANGS LONG.

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

A CREAKING GATE HANGS LONG 
Short Fiction – a Slice of Life Story 
By
VIKRAM KARVE

On this warm Saturday Morning – let me delve deep into my Creative Writing Archives and pull out this amusing story A CREAKING GATE HANGS LONG

I wrote this story more than 2 years ago – in the year 2013.

This is a story of tragic humor which exemplifies the dictum: “A Creaking Gate Hangs Long”

A CREAKING GATE HANGS LONG – a story by Vikram Karve

“I am fed up with my father-in-law,” Meera says to me.

“Come on, Meera. It is not the poor old man’s fault that he had a heart attack,” I say.

“It’s not that.”

“Then what is it?”

“This is his third heart attack.”

“Oh. That’s why you are worried for him.

“I am not worried for him. I am worried about us.”

“What … ?”

Suddenly Meera’s mobile phone rings.

She looks at the display of her cell phone.

Meera excuses herself and walks out of the office to take the call.

Ten minutes later Meera returns to office.

She looks very tense.

So I ask her, “I hope your father-in-law is okay?”

“The doctors say he will survive. He is still in the ICU – but he is getting better. He is breathing properly – and he has even started talking now. My husband is in the hospital with him.”

“That’s good. From the look on your face I thought there was some bad news.”

“There is very bad news.”

“Bad news? What?”

“My husband said that my father-in-law is hesitating to sign the will.”

“Will?”

“My father-in-law has not made a will bequeathing his property.”

“He hasn’t made his will?”

“Yes. My father-in-law has not made a will. Just imagine what will happen if he dies. We will lose everything.”

“You will lose everything? How?”

“My father-in-law is a self-made man. All his property is self-earned. The huge bungalow on Prabhat Road where we live is built by him. Everyone has their eyes on our bungalow.”

“Yes. It is prime property. It must be worth a few crores.”

“Just imagine. We – my husband and I – we sacrificed everything. My husband and I stayed back in India so that we could look after him. We could have also gone to America like his other children. When the old man is alive – they don’t bother about him – and we have to do everything for him. But the moment he dies – they will be all here to claim their pound of flesh – like vultures.”

“Really?”

“Of course. The last time my husband’s sister was here – I came to know that she was in discrete talks with a builder for redeveloping the bungalow in exchange for a flat – I hate greedy NRIs like her – they ditch the country, they abandon their parents, and go abroad to have a good life, but they still want to have a flat in Pune.”

“That’s really unfair. If you have looked after the old man all your life – then you must get the bungalow. Why don’t you talk to your father-in-law?”

“We have. Every time we ask him – he says he is going to give his bungalow and all his property to us. He says that he has told everyone about this. But he refuses to put it in writing, in black and white.”

“Really?”

“Yes. We have asked him so many times to make a will – but he refuses every time.”

“Why?”

“He is superstitious.”

“Superstitious?”

“Yes. My father-in-law says that he has a gut-feeling that the moment he makes a will – he may die.”

“How silly?”

“And he has had three heart attacks till now. This time it was really bad. They say that a creaking gate hangs long – but the way his health is failing – I don’t think it is going to be very long before he dies.”

“Yes. This time you must convince him to write his will when he comes home from hospital.”

“Why wait till he comes back from hospital? What is the guarantee that he will come back? I am not going to wait that long. I am going to get the will signed by him right now. ”

“Right now? What do you mean?”

“I told you – didn’t I…? My husband has taken the papers to hospital.”

“The hospital?”

“Yes. I have got a proper will drafted by a lawyer. I have sent the will with my husband to the hospital. I have given an ultimatum to my husband to make sure my father-in-law signs the will today. I have even asked the lawyer to go there as a witness. The moment my father signs the will – the lawyer will get signatures of witnesses – and he will go and get the will registered. I have warned my husband that he should come home only after all this is done. I told him I will not allow him to enter unless he shows me the signed will.”

“Oh!”

“Now all my husband has to do is get the old man’s signature. I have warned my husband that there will be hell to pay if he fails to get his father’s signature on the will. This time I am serious. I have told my husband that if my father-in-law refuses to sign the will – we are going to walk out of his house – and go to live elsewhere. Let the old man’s other children come here and look after him – they all want a share in his property, isn’t it – then let them come here and share some responsibility of looking after him as well … ”

Suddenly I see the head of our boss popping into our office.

Our boss looks at Meera and gives Meera a polite smile.

Then our boss looks at me and says, “Smita, can you please come out for a moment?”

I follow my boss into the lobby. 

When we are alone, the boss says to me, “There is some bad news for Meera.”

“Her father-in-law? He died?”

“No. Her husband. Meera’s husband had a massive heart attack and he died on the spot.”

What a tragedy of fate.

Meera’s old father-in-law came home hale and hearty.

Meera’s young husband died in the hospital.

And do you know what was the tragic irony?

For many years – Meera had been nagging her father-in-law to make a will.

But Meera’s own husband had not made a will.

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 Written by me in April 2013 and Earlier Posted Online by me Vikram Karve at 4/15/2013 12:42:00 PM on this Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 6/27/2015 10:41:00 AM

Humor in Uniform – “NUKTA CHEENI” aka NUKTACHINI (नुक्ताचीनी)

June 26, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – ABRASIVE PERSONALITY.

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

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

EXERCISE “NUKTA CHEENI” aka NUKTACHINI (नुक्ताचीनी)
Unforgettable Memories of my IAT Days
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Long back, at IAT Pune, each Officer-in-Charge of a Training Course was required to conduct an “end of course feedback session” which was called Exercise “Nukta-Cheeni” (नुक्ताचीनी).

In Hindi, the expression “Nukta Cheeni” means “to find fault” – so I guess the trainees were supposed to find some faults with the course they had just attended.

In the navy we were not familiar with such mumbo jumbo, so I guess this expression must have originated from the army, where Hindi is the predominant language.

Also, in the navy, no one gave a damn about things like feedback, especially for training courses – you finished the course, enjoyed chilled beer with the faculty at a PLD and that was that.

But in IAT, which was run on army lines those days, 30 years ago, they took this “Exercise Nukta-Cheeni” quite seriously – yes, they called it an “exercise”.

And as a young Officer-in-Charge of a premier postgraduate course, I decided to conduct “Exercise Nukta-Cheeni” meticulously by the book, as prescribed in the Standing Orders.

It was the last working day of the course, and the student officers were eager to pack their luggage and proceed on transfer to their respective ships/units.

So they wanted to get over this “Nukta-Cheeni” exercise as quickly as possible.

This prestigious two years long course was also awarded the Master of Engineering Degree (ME) by the University of Pune.

Students had just submitted their dissertations, and as per practice, the dissertation viva voce examination would be held a few months later for which the student officers would be summoned on Ty Duty from their units.

Now, I happened to be the only “recognized” University Examiner and Dissertation Guide for that particular course.

So, ipso facto, I would be examining their dissertations as an internal examiner and, thus, I would play vital role in their final grading, since the dissertation carried a huge weightage.

That is why most student officers were quite circumspect in their “nukta-cheeni” and avoided “finding fault” with the course or with the the faculty, since they did not want to annoy me.

Everyone ticked the right answers, wrote glowing reports about the conduct of the course, and praised the faculty, especially me, both as an instructor and as an Officer-in-Charge of the Course, since they wanted to be in my good books when the time came for their dissertation viva voce examination, and, also, I would be writing their course reports too.

Reading the flattering feedback they had given me was a big “ego massage” for me and I was feeling good.

Suddenly I read a feedback form: “The Course OIC has got an abrasive personality”.

Now, this was real “nukta-cheeni”.

My ego punctured, I angrily asked the concerned student officer: “What the hell do you mean by your statement that I have got an abrasive personality?”

Seeing my anger, the contrite student officer backtracked to make amends: “Sir, I meant it in a positive sense.”

“Positive sense? Are you trying to bullshit me? How can ‘abrasive personality’ be a positive attribute?” I thundered.

“Sir, I meant that you are straightforward and outspoken. I am sorry, Sir – I will fill up another feedback form,” the student officer said.

“No. I am going to forward this ‘nukta-cheeni’ form to the Director and Dean as it is – the aim of this feedback exercise is to find fault and that is what you have done – if you feel that I have an abrasive personality, so be it – let everyone know that I have an abrasive personality,” I said.

At night, before going to sleep, I thought about it, and I realized that the “nukta-cheeni” done by the student officer was bang-on accurate.

I did indeed have an “abrasive personality” – and, maybe, I do so even now.

The student officer qualified for his Masters in Engineering (ME) in first class with distinction with top marks in dissertation.

People with “abrasive personality” never harm anybody – in fact, like sandpaper, they give a shine to whoever comes in contact with them.

I have experienced this in my long career in the navy – it is always better to have an “abrasive” boss rather than a “smooth” operator.

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 is a Re-Post of my Story posted by me online earlier in June 2, 2014.
Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 6/26/2015 09:31:00 AM

 

LOVE MARRIAGE DIVORCE HATE – What is the Opposite of Love?

June 26, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: WHAT IS THE OPPOSITE OF LOVE ?.

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

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

MATRIMONIAL STRATEGY FOR WOMEN
How to Find a Suitable Husband
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE


PART 1 – HOW TO FIND A “BABU” HUSBAND

THE STORY OF THE SMART YOUNG WOMAN

This happened around 33 years ago – in the early 1980’s – when I was a“Babu in Uniform” – pushing files in Delhi.

A smart pretty young woman – maybe 20 or 21 – entered my office.

The young woman said that she had been asked to report to me.

“Me?” I asked, pleasantly surprised.

I looked at her appreciatively – since she was very beautiful.

She smiled coyly at the undisguised admiration in my eyes.

Then – demurely – she said, “Sir, you are the administrative officer…?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Sir – I am a new recruit LDC. I have got orders to join this office. I have come for the reporting interview.”

“Oh, please sit down,” I said.

The young woman sat down – and she handed a folder to me.

The folder had her appointment letter and various certificates – educational, sports, dramatics.

I saw that she was a very intelligent, well qualified and talented girl. 

She had done her schooling in a good New Delhi Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) – and she had completed her graduation from a prestigious college in Delhi. 

She seemed overqualified and over-talented for this job of a LDC (Lower Division Clerk).

I looked at the young woman and I asked her: “You have done so well in your graduation – you have a first class with distinction – and you have so many talents – and you have excelled in so many extra-curricular activities. You should study further. Or you should try to become an officer somewhere. Why don’t you give the Civil Services exam or Banking Probationary Officers’ exam or apply for some “Class 1” Officer’s post or try for a job in the Private Sector? Why do want to do this clerical job as an LDC?”

“To improve my marriage prospects,” she said, matter-of-factly.

When I heard this incredulous answer – I was flabbergasted.

I looked at her in silence – not knowing what to say.

The young woman looked at me demurely and said: “Sir, please don’t get angry – I am not joking. It is the truth. This is the real reason that I am taking up this clerical job – I am taking up this job of LDC to improve my marriage prospects.” 

“Can you please explain to me how doing this LDC job is going to help your marriage prospects?” I asked, curious.

“Yes, Sir. I will explain to you. Sir – I am the fourth daughter from a lower middle class family. My father works here in the government secretarial service. He joined as an LDC and now he is a Section Officer now. He is retiring next year. He wants to get me married before he retires. He wants to finish off all his responsibilities before he goes back to his village to settle down there,” she said.

“So?”

“This is a non-transferable job, Sir – and I will remain in Delhi throughout my life. It will be easy for them to find a suitable boy in the same service – some LDC – or maybe an UDC. Both of us will be working in offices here in the secretariat only. We will never be transferred out of Delhi. And we will get quarters in Delhi where we can stay for our entire careers. It is all so convenient,” she said.

“Come on,” I said, “You will easily get an Officer husband.”

She blushed at the disguised compliment – and she said, “I know Sir. But we cannot afford the dowry for a high status match. It is best for us to remain within our class. Here – everyone wants a girl with a secure, easy and non-transferable “9 to 5” five-day-week government job – like this one. Besides – if I get someone from the same service – he will be elder than me and also senior to me – so he will get more pay than me – and there will be no ego problems.”

I looked at her. 

I had never seen so much candidness before.

I smiled at her and I said, “I really appreciate your talking to me so honestly. Welcome to the office. I am sure you will do well.”

Six months later she came to give me the good news.

Her marriage was fixed to a UDC working the neighbouring office.

In fact – it was a love marriage – “love-cum-arranged” – she had liked the boy – and she had told her parents – and they had fixed the match.

Soon she would be married and her father would retire peacefully – all his familial duties done.

Then she and her UDC husband would get a government quarter nearby where they would probably live for the next 40 years – till they both retired – hopefully as Section Officers.

They could look forward to a blissful married life – commuting up and down to office together – and have a stress-free unexciting secure working life – getting slow and steady time bound promotions – and enjoying all the benefits that come with a government job – especially a comfortable white-collar clerical government job in Delhi.

Years passed – I got transferred all over, did so many appointments – I met so many people – and this story went into a remote recess of my memory.

Then – almost 30 years later – after I had retired from the Navy – another interesting incident happened – and suddenly I remembered this story.

I will tell you all about that hilarious incident in Part 2 of this Blog Post.

Meanwhile – ponder over this story – especially if you are a woman – and tell me what you think of the moot question: “Do Women take up a Job to improve their Marriage Prospects?”


PART 2 – HOW TO FIND A “FAUJI” HUSBAND

THE STORY OF THE SMART YOUNG LADY ARMY OFFICER

Around 5 years ago – I was invited to deliver a lecture at my erstwhile institution – an inter-service training institution – where I had spent a considerable part of my career as Faculty on instructional duties.

In the audience – comprising officers of the army, navy and air force – I noticed a familiar face.

She was wearing Army Olive Green (OG) Uniform.

She was the only Lady Officer in the lecture hall.

During the tea break, she came to greet me, and said, “Hello Sir – you have retired?”

“Yes,” I said to her, “what a pleasant surprise to see you in uniform. I did not know you had joined the army.”

“Yes Sir,” she said.

“Tell me, the last time we met, you were doing your computer engineering, weren’t you?” I asked her.

“Yes Sir,” she said.

“I thought you would join some Software Firm, work in the IT Sector – or maybe go abroad for further studies. So I am really surprised to see you in uniform – and that too in OG Uniform. What are you doing here in the Army?”

“I am looking for a husband,” she said.

I almost choked – and the teacup nearly fell out of my hands.

Seeing the expression on my face, she said, “Sir – I will be frank with you. I have no illusions about how I look. There is too much competition in the Software Sector. In an IT firm – where there are so many attractive “Techie” girls – do you think that any decent boy will give me a second look?”

“Don’t say that. You look very pretty – and you are a smart young woman,” I said.

“Beauty is all relative, isn’t it? Out there in the IT Sector – almost 50% are girls – there are so many beauties – there is just too much competition. Here – in an Army unit – I am the only girl. Sir – just look there – see the way all those male officers are eyeing me?”

I looked.

She was right.

She was indeed the centre of attraction.

Most of the male Army Officers were looking at her with undisguised affection. 

Some drooled in anticipation.

I looked at her, smiled, and said, “You have a point.”

“You see – here – in the Army – I have no competition – and I can pick and choose,” she said impishly.

So you joined the army for better marriage prospects?” I asked.

“Yes, Sir – that is exactly why I joined the Army – to find a good husband. You are quite surprised – aren’t you?” she said.

“Yes – at first I was surprised. But now I can understand. Your logic seems perfectly rational to me,” I said.

For some time – we sipped tea silently.

“So – have you found anyone?” I asked, breaking the silence.

“Yes Sir – I have found quite a few prospective “fauji” grooms. Now I am shortlisting the candidates,” she said, with a naughty smile on her face.

“It’s a good career move too – both husband and wife in the Army,” I said.

“Sir – to be frank – I am not a career type of girl. In fact – I want to get married, have children, and settle down to a life of cozy domesticity.”

“What?” I asked, surprised.

“Yes, Sir. Once I get married, I will quit the army the moment my first short service commission tenure of 7 years is over – maybe even before that – if they allow me to leave,” she said. 

“You want to quit the army once you find a husband? So you joined the Army just to find a husband?” I asked in amazement.

“Tell me, Sir – what can be better than being the wife of an Army Officer?” she said.

“You do have a point there. Being an Army Officer may be tough. But anArmy Memsahib really enjoys a good life,” I said.

“I always dreamt of being a fauji memsahib – and living a good life. I love the ambience of the cool tranquil cantonments – the clubs – the parties – the social life – so many perks – and, most importantly – the batmen andsahayaks to do all your work,” she said matter-of-factly.

“Ah – batmen and sahayaks – so that’s why you did not join the Navy.”

“Maybe,” she said tongue-in-cheek, “but there is one more reason.”

“What?”

“The competition is much tougher in the Navy – there are so many women officers are in one place – and besides – you have to compete with the chic and savvy beauties in Mumbai. Sir – unlike male Army Officers – who do not have much choice – male Naval Officers have so much to choose from – and – frankly – I knew that with my looks – I just won’t stand a chance out there in the Navy – and here – in the Army – I am like a Beauty Queen…” she said, most candidly.

Then she looked mischievously at me – gestured with her eyes at all the young male Army Officers ogling hungrily at her – and she said, “Sir – look at all those desperate fauji officers. Almost every guy is looking at me – waiting for me to give them the slightest cue. Here – in the Army – it is me who can pick and choose – isn’t it? As they say – I can have the pick of the litter … !!!”  

I laughed. 

She laughed. 

We laughed together.

Everyone was looking at us. 

It was quite embarrassing.

Mercifully – the tea break was over – and we all went in for the remaining part of my lecture.


EPILOGUE

DO YOU WANT TO BE A “FAUJI MEMSAHIB” ?

Later – while driving home – I thought about it.

There was a ring of truth in what the smart young Lady Army Officer had said.

Most Women Army Officers seem inclined to marry their male colleagues (so-called “brother officers” in service parlance).

There are so many “in-service” marriages – it happens quite a lot in the Army.

And I have seen such “incestuous” relationships between “brother officers” and “sister officers” happening in the Navy and Air Force too – where erstwhile “sister officers” metamorphose into “memsahibs”

Yes – in the Army – today’s “sister officers” stand a good chance of becoming tomorrow’s “memsahibs”.

Maybe the Army can coin new recruitment slogans for attracting young women into the Army:

“ Join the Army for Better Marriage Prospects ” 

“ Join the Army and Find a Husband ” 

or maybe an even better slogan 

JOIN THE ARMY FOR “FAUJI MATRIMONY” – THE EASIEST WAY TO BECOME A “FAUJI MEMSAHIB”

So now you know “How to find a Husband” – especially a “Fauji” Husband…!!!

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

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

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



This is an updated vesrsion of my story LOOKING FOR A HUSBAND first written by me around 3 years ago in 2013 and earlier posted online by me on my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 08 July 2013 titledhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… which featured the above Two Stories –THE SMART YOUNG WOMAN and THE SMART YOUNG LADY ARMY OFFICER at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 6/25/2015 09:01:00 AM

Arranged Love – HOW TO FIND A HUSBAND

June 26, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – HOW TO FIND A HUSBAND.

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

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

MATRIMONIAL STRATEGY FOR WOMEN
How to Find a Suitable Husband
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE


PART 1 – HOW TO FIND A “BABU” HUSBAND

THE STORY OF THE SMART YOUNG WOMAN

This happened around 33 years ago – in the early 1980’s – when I was a“Babu in Uniform” – pushing files in Delhi.

A smart pretty young woman – maybe 20 or 21 – entered my office.

The young woman said that she had been asked to report to me.

“Me?” I asked, pleasantly surprised.

I looked at her appreciatively – since she was very beautiful.

She smiled coyly at the undisguised admiration in my eyes.

Then – demurely – she said, “Sir, you are the administrative officer…?”

“Yes,” I said.

“Sir – I am a new recruit LDC. I have got orders to join this office. I have come for the reporting interview.”

“Oh, please sit down,” I said.

The young woman sat down – and she handed a folder to me.

The folder had her appointment letter and various certificates – educational, sports, dramatics.

I saw that she was a very intelligent, well qualified and talented girl. 

She had done her schooling in a good New Delhi Kendriya Vidyalaya (KV) – and she had completed her graduation from a prestigious college in Delhi. 

She seemed overqualified and over-talented for this job of a LDC (Lower Division Clerk).

I looked at the young woman and I asked her: “You have done so well in your graduation – you have a first class with distinction – and you have so many talents – and you have excelled in so many extra-curricular activities. You should study further. Or you should try to become an officer somewhere. Why don’t you give the Civil Services exam or Banking Probationary Officers’ exam or apply for some “Class 1” Officer’s post or try for a job in the Private Sector? Why do want to do this clerical job as an LDC?”

“To improve my marriage prospects,” she said, matter-of-factly.

When I heard this incredulous answer – I was flabbergasted.

I looked at her in silence – not knowing what to say.

The young woman looked at me demurely and said: “Sir, please don’t get angry – I am not joking. It is the truth. This is the real reason that I am taking up this clerical job – I am taking up this job of LDC to improve my marriage prospects.” 

“Can you please explain to me how doing this LDC job is going to help your marriage prospects?” I asked, curious.

“Yes, Sir. I will explain to you. Sir – I am the fourth daughter from a lower middle class family. My father works here in the government secretarial service. He joined as an LDC and now he is a Section Officer now. He is retiring next year. He wants to get me married before he retires. He wants to finish off all his responsibilities before he goes back to his village to settle down there,” she said.

“So?”

“This is a non-transferable job, Sir – and I will remain in Delhi throughout my life. It will be easy for them to find a suitable boy in the same service – some LDC – or maybe an UDC. Both of us will be working in offices here in the secretariat only. We will never be transferred out of Delhi. And we will get quarters in Delhi where we can stay for our entire careers. It is all so convenient,” she said.

“Come on,” I said, “You will easily get an Officer husband.”

She blushed at the disguised compliment – and she said, “I know Sir. But we cannot afford the dowry for a high status match. It is best for us to remain within our class. Here – everyone wants a girl with a secure, easy and non-transferable “9 to 5” five-day-week government job – like this one. Besides – if I get someone from the same service – he will be elder than me and also senior to me – so he will get more pay than me – and there will be no ego problems.”

I looked at her. 

I had never seen so much candidness before.

I smiled at her and I said, “I really appreciate your talking to me so honestly. Welcome to the office. I am sure you will do well.”

Six months later she came to give me the good news.

Her marriage was fixed to a UDC working the neighbouring office.

In fact – it was a love marriage – “love-cum-arranged” – she had liked the boy – and she had told her parents – and they had fixed the match.

Soon she would be married and her father would retire peacefully – all his familial duties done.

Then she and her UDC husband would get a government quarter nearby where they would probably live for the next 40 years – till they both retired – hopefully as Section Officers.

They could look forward to a blissful married life – commuting up and down to office together – and have a stress-free unexciting secure working life – getting slow and steady time bound promotions – and enjoying all the benefits that come with a government job – especially a comfortable white-collar clerical government job in Delhi.

Years passed – I got transferred all over, did so many appointments – I met so many people – and this story went into a remote recess of my memory.

Then – almost 30 years later – after I had retired from the Navy – another interesting incident happened – and suddenly I remembered this story.

I will tell you all about that hilarious incident in Part 2 of this Blog Post.

Meanwhile – ponder over this story – especially if you are a woman – and tell me what you think of the moot question: “Do Women take up a Job to improve their Marriage Prospects?”


PART 2 – HOW TO FIND A “FAUJI” HUSBAND

THE STORY OF THE SMART YOUNG LADY ARMY OFFICER

Around 5 years ago – I was invited to deliver a lecture at my erstwhile institution – an inter-service training institution – where I had spent a considerable part of my career as Faculty on instructional duties.

In the audience – comprising officers of the army, navy and air force – I noticed a familiar face.

She was wearing Army Olive Green (OG) Uniform.

She was the only Lady Officer in the lecture hall.

During the tea break, she came to greet me, and said, “Hello Sir – you have retired?”

“Yes,” I said to her, “what a pleasant surprise to see you in uniform. I did not know you had joined the army.”

“Yes Sir,” she said.

“Tell me, the last time we met, you were doing your computer engineering, weren’t you?” I asked her.

“Yes Sir,” she said.

“I thought you would join some Software Firm, work in the IT Sector – or maybe go abroad for further studies. So I am really surprised to see you in uniform – and that too in OG Uniform. What are you doing here in the Army?”

“I am looking for a husband,” she said.

I almost choked – and the teacup nearly fell out of my hands.

Seeing the expression on my face, she said, “Sir – I will be frank with you. I have no illusions about how I look. There is too much competition in the Software Sector. In an IT firm – where there are so many attractive “Techie” girls – do you think that any decent boy will give me a second look?”

“Don’t say that. You look very pretty – and you are a smart young woman,” I said.

“Beauty is all relative, isn’t it? Out there in the IT Sector – almost 50% are girls – there are so many beauties – there is just too much competition. Here – in an Army unit – I am the only girl. Sir – just look there – see the way all those male officers are eyeing me?”

I looked.

She was right.

She was indeed the centre of attraction.

Most of the male Army Officers were looking at her with undisguised affection. 

Some drooled in anticipation.

I looked at her, smiled, and said, “You have a point.”

“You see – here – in the Army – I have no competition – and I can pick and choose,” she said impishly.

So you joined the army for better marriage prospects?” I asked.

“Yes, Sir – that is exactly why I joined the Army – to find a good husband. You are quite surprised – aren’t you?” she said.

“Yes – at first I was surprised. But now I can understand. Your logic seems perfectly rational to me,” I said.

For some time – we sipped tea silently.

“So – have you found anyone?” I asked, breaking the silence.

“Yes Sir – I have found quite a few prospective “fauji” grooms. Now I am shortlisting the candidates,” she said, with a naughty smile on her face.

“It’s a good career move too – both husband and wife in the Army,” I said.

“Sir – to be frank – I am not a career type of girl. In fact – I want to get married, have children, and settle down to a life of cozy domesticity.”

“What?” I asked, surprised.

“Yes, Sir. Once I get married, I will quit the army the moment my first short service commission tenure of 7 years is over – maybe even before that – if they allow me to leave,” she said. 

“You want to quit the army once you find a husband? So you joined the Army just to find a husband?” I asked in amazement.

“Tell me, Sir – what can be better than being the wife of an Army Officer?” she said.

“You do have a point there. Being an Army Officer may be tough. But anArmy Memsahib really enjoys a good life,” I said.

“I always dreamt of being a fauji memsahib – and living a good life. I love the ambience of the cool tranquil cantonments – the clubs – the parties – the social life – so many perks – and, most importantly – the batmen andsahayaks to do all your work,” she said matter-of-factly.

“Ah – batmen and sahayaks – so that’s why you did not join the Navy.”

“Maybe,” she said tongue-in-cheek, “but there is one more reason.”

“What?”

“The competition is much tougher in the Navy – there are so many women officers are in one place – and besides – you have to compete with the chic and savvy beauties in Mumbai. Sir – unlike male Army Officers – who do not have much choice – male Naval Officers have so much to choose from – and – frankly – I knew that with my looks – I just won’t stand a chance out there in the Navy – and here – in the Army – I am like a Beauty Queen…” she said, most candidly.

Then she looked mischievously at me – gestured with her eyes at all the young male Army Officers ogling hungrily at her – and she said, “Sir – look at all those desperate fauji officers. Almost every guy is looking at me – waiting for me to give them the slightest cue. Here – in the Army – it is me who can pick and choose – isn’t it? As they say – I can have the pick of the litter … !!!”  

I laughed. 

She laughed. 

We laughed together.

Everyone was looking at us. 

It was quite embarrassing.

Mercifully – the tea break was over – and we all went in for the remaining part of my lecture.


EPILOGUE

DO YOU WANT TO BE A “FAUJI MEMSAHIB” ?

Later – while driving home – I thought about it.

There was a ring of truth in what the smart young Lady Army Officer had said.

Most Women Army Officers seem inclined to marry their male colleagues (so-called “brother officers” in service parlance).

There are so many “in-service” marriages – it happens quite a lot in the Army.

And I have seen such “incestuous” relationships between “brother officers” and “sister officers” happening in the Navy and Air Force too – where erstwhile “sister officers” metamorphose into “memsahibs”

Yes – in the Army – today’s “sister officers” stand a good chance of becoming tomorrow’s “memsahibs”.

Maybe the Army can coin new recruitment slogans for attracting young women into the Army:

“ Join the Army for Better Marriage Prospects ” 

“ Join the Army and Find a Husband ” 

or maybe an even better slogan 

JOIN THE ARMY FOR “FAUJI MATRIMONY” – THE EASIEST WAY TO BECOME A “FAUJI MEMSAHIB”

So now you know “How to find a Husband” – especially a “Fauji” Husband…!!!

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

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

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



This is an updated vesrsion of my story LOOKING FOR A HUSBAND first written by me around 3 years ago in 2013 and earlier posted online by me on my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 08 July 2013 titledhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… which featured the above Two Stories –THE SMART YOUNG WOMAN and THE SMART YOUNG LADY ARMY OFFICER at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 6/25/2015 09:01:00 AM

Humor in Uniforms – PEACOCKS IN MILITARY UNIFORM

June 26, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – PEACOCKS IN UNIFORM.

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

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

“PEACOCKS” IN UNIFORM
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

THE “STAR” VIRUS

Around 6 months ago – in end January 2015 – I was invited to deliver a “guest lecture” at IAT Pune (now renamed MILIT) – a prestigious inter-service training institution.

I was delighted to meet a Commodore – with whom I had served earlier – and who was once a student of mine at this very same institution 30 years ago in the mid 1980’s.

He was wearing blue combat uniform (Dress No. 10) – instead of the customary Navy Whites (Uniform No. 8/8A) – which we normally wore at IAT during our time.

This wearing of combat dress was quite strange – since IAT was an academic training institution far removed from combat.

Probably – the only “combat” that we had seen in IAT were the “ego battles” between defence officers and civilian scientists and the internecine “turf wars“ between the 3 wings of the services.

I looked at the Commodore in blue combat uniform – something seemed odd.

I was startled to see jarring golden stars on his collars.

I had never seen commissioned Naval Officers wear collar tabs.

(Earlier – till the late 1970’s – Master Chief Petty Officers wore collar insignia which were subsequently changed to shoulder tabs).

I was – therefore – quite surprised to see the flashy oversized golden collar tabs – which looked garish and totally incongruous on naval uniform.

In fact – these ostentatious golden collar stars looked most ridiculous and gaudy on blue combat uniform.

When I asked the Commodore about this new piece of jazzy collar accoutrement – he said that golden collar stars for Commodores and Admirals had been recently introduced on the First of January 2015 (01 Jan 2015).

I was happy to note that the LAW OF TRIVIALITY was still very much in action in the Defence Services.

Instead of tackling urgent complex operational and human resource problems faced by the Defence Services – or resolving issues pertaining to military veterans like OROP (One Rank One Pension) and ECHS Healthcare etc – the “top brass” were devoting their energies to trivial issues like embellishing uniforms with “stars” to show off their ranks.

(If you have been following the news – you will know that there is a great obsession with “stars” in the Army – with Generals displaying their “stars” at the most imaginative places – and it looks like this “star virus” has affected the Navy too).

Since independence – if anything has changed the most in the defence services – it is military uniforms.

Yes – the “ornamental” and showy uniforms the defence services wear today bear little resemblance to the simple military-like uniforms of the 1950’s.

This increasing penchant for frequently changing uniforms and enhancing ornamentation of military regalia (by introducing new badges/accoutrements/adornments etc) bears testimony to the fact that “The Law of Triviality” is proliferating in the Armed Forces.

I have discussed The Law of Triviality earlier in my blog and have given the link to the post at the end of this article.

Now – let us talk a bit about “Peacocks” in Uniform.

A few days ago – a veteran army officer remarked that today’s uniforms look most “peacockish”. 

This prompted me to delve into my Humor in Uniform archives and pull out this article on FRIDAY DRESSING which I had written more than one year ago – on 13 June 2014.


“FRIDAY DRESSING” – “CEREMONIAL” COMBAT UNIFORM

When I saw Colonel “X” all decked up in his “combat uniform” I remembered a story from CATCH 22 – the all time classic satirical war novel by Joseph Heller.

A memorandum on “appropriate military attire in combat areas” is issued by General Peckem (who is in charge of “Special Services” which includes everything except combat).

General Peckem recommends that all aircrew be sent into combat in full-dress ceremonial uniform so that they will make a good impression on the enemy when they are shot down.

Seeing Colonel “X” who looked like a riot of colour in his dazzling “combat uniform” – with his red and gold collar tabs – rows of colourful medal ribbons – numerous gaudy badges and emblems of all sizes and shapes adorning both sides of his chest and arms – accoutrements and ornamental regalia embellishing the impressive fabric imprinted with attractive camouflage design – it seemed more of a fashionable ceremonial uniform than a simple combat uniform.

All “decked up” in his “combat uniform” – Colonel “X” looked like a “Peacock”.

“Why are you wearing such a flashy uniform?” I asked Colonel “X”.

“This is our “combat uniform”, Colonel “X” said.

“I know that camouflage dress is your army combat uniform – but why you wearing this “combat uniform” in peaceful place like IAT – there is no combat going on here – except the perpetual “combat” between Uniformed Service Officers and Civilian Scientists,” I quipped.

“We have to wear combat dress on Fridays,” Colonel “X” said.

“Oh – so it is like the “Friday Dressing” they have in the corporate sector,” I said.

Earlier – in some offices like Naval Headquarters (NHQ) and inter-service establishments – we had a “Mufti Day” on Fridays where you could wear “civvies” (civilian clothes) to office.

We used to dress casually – and wear open collar tucked-in shirts – or tucked-out bush shirts or safari suits and feel relaxed.

I believe that later some “killjoy” Admiral (like General Peckem of Catch-22) made wearing of neckties compulsory and destroyed the “casual” joy of Friday dressing.

To get back to the subject of combat uniform – I remember that in the navy we had a simple combat uniform called Dress No. 10 comprising sober looking greyish-khaki coloured shirt and trousers made of cotton.

In order to ensure that the uniform was fire-resistant and non-inflammable – there were no synthetic or metallic accoutrements – no ribbons, no badges, no belt, even no name tallies (the names and action stations were written by black marking ink on the cotton fabric).

Sometime in the 1980’s this simple and most apt khaki coloured pure cotton uniform – suitable for the tropics – was changed to blue colour – light blue shirt and navy blue trouser (maybe to imitate the Royal Navy).

I remember a hilarious episode when our ship returned from a long operational deployment – and everyone on our ship was dressed in Khaki No. 10’s.

Sailors on most alongside ships and shore establishments were dressed in the new Blue No. 10’s about which we did not have a clue.

We were rudely told that we were “out of rig” – and we were asked to get the new pattern Blue No. 10 uniforms stitched fast.

Soon – everyone started using terry-cot fabric instead of pure cotton – and then – accouterments like name tallies, medal ribbons, badges and emblems, blue belts made of synthetic material and metallic crested buckles were added – now the uniform was no longer fire resistant and neither was it non-inflammable.

Soon everyone started wearing this blue uniform everywhere instead of white No. 8/8A, probably because blue was easy to maintain than white which had to be washed daily.

The earlier Khaki Cotton No. 10 Uniform was worn only while working on ships – but now – the new blue terry-cot/polyester uniform is worn ashore – even in comfortable offices ashore.

Someone told me – that like they do in the Army – you now have “Friday Dressing” in the NHQ too with sailors trying to match the pongos in wearing “ceremonial combat uniform”.

It won’t be long before the Air Force joins the bandwagon of “Friday Dressing” too (unless they already have)

By the way – the Indian Air Force too used to wear Khaki uniform till the 1980’s – and then they changed over to Blue – maybe to imitate the RAF.

Can some veteran please enlighten us:

What is the need for “ceremonial combat uniform”?

Shouldn’t combat uniforms be combat-worthy?

Why is there an increasing tendency to “show off” with so much regalia on daily wear working uniform?

Why not keep uniforms simple like the Navy Dress No. 8 (white half-sleeved shirt and shorts without any medal ribbons, badges, emblems and paraphernalia)?

Shouldn’t military uniforms have “utility value” rather than “ornamental value”?

Instead of looking soldierly  why do “Faujis” want to strut around like “Peacocks”?

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

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

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



This blog post is an combined abridged extract of my following blog posts posted online by me in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog:

THE LAW OF TRIVIALITY posted at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

FRIDAY DRESSING posted at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 6/26/2015 11:36:00 AM

Introspective Fiction Story – FREEDOM – a Romance

June 23, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: FREEDOM – a Lazy Story.

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

FREEDOM
A Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

From my Creative Writing Archives:

FREEDOM is a Story from COCKTAIL – my anthology of short stories about relationships.

FREEDOM is one of my “Lazy Mumbai Stories”.

One morning – almost 15 years ago – in the year 2000 to be precise – as I watched the sea of humanity near Churchgate – hurrying to their workplaces like robots – the idea of this story germinated in my mind.

Sometime later – I wrote this “philosophical” introspective story FREEDOM.

I am posting the story below – updated and abridged – once more – for you to read.

I am sure you will enjoy reading it – and feel a sense of “Freedom”…


FREEDOM – a story by Vikram Karve

Anonymity.

That’s what I like about Mumbai.

As I lose myself in the sea of humanity leaving Churchgate station in the morning rush hour – I experience a refreshing sense of solitude.

I notice that I am walking fast – in step with the crowd – as if propelled by the collective momentum.

I experience the tremendous advantages of obscurity as I lose myself in the huge enveloping deluge of people.

That’s Freedom – the power of anonymity

But I am in no hurry.

I have no office, no destination to reach.

I have come here to spend some time with myself.

Here – no one would be watching me.

And – I can do as I please.

That’s Freedom – to be able to do as I please.

I stand outside the subway at Churchgate.

Should I turn right – walk past Asiatic Store, Gaylord Restaurant and Rustoms Ice Cream Parlour towards Marine Drive on the Arabian Sea?

Or should I go straight ahead – past Eros Cinema – to Nariman Point?

Or should I walk to my left – between the Oval and Cross Maidan – towards Hutatma Chowk – Flora Fountain?

I feel good.

I feel as if I were on top of the world.

I am free to go wherever I please.

That’s Freedom – to be able to go wherever I want to.

The essence of travel is to have no destination.

 A good traveller is one who does not know where he is going to reach before he starts his journey.

You decide on the spot – instinctively – intuitively – impulsively – spontaneously.

That’s freedom – to be able to decide on the spot – to do as one likes – to go where one wants.

Yes.

That’s real and true freedom!

I choose the third option.

I turn left and leisurely walk on the pavement – looking at the boys playing cricket on the Oval to my right.

The pavement booksellers near the Central Telegraph Office are setting up shop.

I cross the road – and I stand near Flora Fountain.

I might as well ring up my husband.

Not that he would bother.

He’s not bothered about me – and neither am I bothered about him.

It is mutual – the indifference.

Yes – indifference – that is the essence of our relationship – marital indifference – mutual indifference.

That’s not freedom – indifference is not freedom.

But the mask of caring and sharing – the facade of ‘conjugal conviviality’ – it has to be carefully maintained – at least for the sake of the outside world.

That is what matters – to him, at least – and – maybe for me too; at least till now.

I search for a public telephone.

I am not carrying my cell-phone.

I did not forget to carry my mobile phone.

I purposely did not bring my mobile phone with me.

That’s freedom – unshackling myself from the manacles of my cell-phone.

I find a phone – I insert a coin – and I dial his office number.

“I shall be late today,” I say.

“Okay,” my husband replies, trying to suppress his irritation.

But I can sense his annoyance a hundred miles away – transmitted through the telephonic waves.

He doesn’t like to be disturbed at office – especially by me – for he is always too busy with his affairs.

I wonder who his latest conquest is…?

Last time it was that petite girl at his office.

She looked so innocent, so pristine, so pure – and improbable paramour for a man of 50.

Maybe that’s why she was such a good mistress – and they continued their affair for so many months.

There were many before.

There will be many in future.

Deep down I feel betrayed.

It is terrible to love and not be loved in return.

I don’t know what to do.

I feel a sense of futility and helplessness.

That’s not freedom.

What can I do?

Should I walk out of the marriage?

And do what?

Perhaps I can also have an affair – tit for tat.

I have the looks – but I lack the guts.

That’s the reason why I have no choice but to continue in this futile and meaningless relationship.

That’s not freedom.

That’s cowardice – what they also call compromise.

Everyone looks at us with envy and admiration.

The successful husband – the charming wife – the ideal couple – ‘Made for Each Other’.

And from time to time – I hear myself tell everyone my biggest lie: “I’m so lucky. It’s been a lovely marriage. My life has been such a marvellous success.”

Mendacity, hypocrisy, pretence – that’s not freedom.

I window-shop on MG Road opposite the University till I reach Kalaghoda.

There’s a sale almost everywhere.

I have a glass of refreshing cold sugarcane juice on the roadside stall.

I browse at the Magna Book Store.

I hear the latest music at Rhythm House.

I see the latest paintings at Jehangir Art Gallery.

You can see, feel, browse, and hear whatever you want but need not buy – that’s freedom.

I decide to have lunch.

I eat ‘Stuffed Parathas’ at Café Samovar.

It is heavenly rich tasty stuff with an abundance of calories and cholesterol.

To hell with self-imposed killjoy restrictions – that’s freedom!

I sit alone in the long rectangular restaurant which reminds me of the dining cars on trains of yesteryears.

I eat alone.

I eat unhurriedly and consciously.

It is sacrilege to eat delectable food hastily.

Nobody stares at me as I eat slowly and mindfully, relishing the piping hot stuffed parathas to the fullest – dipping them liberally in the spicy chutneys with my fingers.

I indulge till I am satiated.

Then – I follow up with ice cream.

A delightful delicious meal enjoyed alone.

Epicurean pleasure of the highest order – that’s freedom!

Once again I realize the benefits of anonymity.

Nobody knows me.

Nobody is bothered about me.

The arty restaurant is full – with artists, art-lovers, office-goers, society ladies.

All busy in their own world.

The creative types – preoccupied with their own thoughts.

No one gives a damn.

This is Mumbai.

Not our company township near Pune – where my husband is the undisputed boss – the feudal lord – the ‘King’ – and I – the ‘Queen’ – pampered with all the comforts – fawned and flattered by plenty of sycophants masquerading as friends – but secretly envied by all.

It is like being trapped in a golden cage – that’s pseudo-freedom!

My daughter must have returned from college.

She is independent – on her own trip – having been given all the material comforts she desires.

With every passing year – the distance between us keeps on increasing.

I telephone my daughter from the public phone outside the restaurant.

“I’ll be late,” I tell my daughter.

“So shall I,” she replies. “I am going out with my friends.”

Brevity in communication – the hallmark of our family – but – is it freedom?

 I spend the next few hours doing what I always liked doing.

Aimless loafing on Colaba Causeway – a brief visit to the Museum – gazing at the ships across the Gateway of India – a movie at Regal – a walk across the Oval – invigorating Irani Style Tea at the Stadium restaurant at Churchgate – then sitting on the parapet at Marine Drive and watching the sun being swallowed up by the sea.

I lose myself in my pleasure trip – in a state of timelessness – this is freedom – not the artificial sterile synthetic life I am living.

The sky is overcast and it starts to drizzle.

I walk leisurely on A-Road – enjoying the weather.

Mumbai is at its best in the monsoon season.

I stop before my house – my old house – my parents’ house – the house of my childhood – the house where I grew up – the house my parents had to sell for my dowry – in the hope that I would enjoy a better life.

And yes – my parents were happy – they were so happy – because – for my parents – my marriage to a business tycoon was a social triumph.

I feel a sense of nostalgia.

I reminisce.

There is no greater pain than to remember happier times when one is despondent, depressed and dejected with life.

But it is also true that when one’s intractable desires are thwarted by reality, there is a tendency to hark back to happy memories.

It is indeed at vicious circle.

Yes – it is a vicious circle in which I felt trapped at that moment.

So I turn away from my house of the past – and I walk into the present – back towards Marine Drive.

The sea is rough.

It is windy.

I can smell the rain in the distance.

I look at my watch.

It is almost 7 PM.

It is more than ten hours since I left my house in Pune.

I am enjoying the change of routine.

It is good to have a break.

After a long long time.

Most of us have a preference for some kind of routine or rhythm in our day-to-day life.

But when the rhythm becomes sinusoidal – the routine overwhelms you.

That’s when you’ve got to break it.

Like I did today.

Early in the morning – at precisely 6.30 AM – I had left my house.

As usual.

But – today I wasn’t wearing leotards underneath.

Because – I wasn’t going to the health club.

I went straight to the Pune railway station and caught the Deccan Queen.

To Mumbai.

It’s raining now.

I rush towards Churchgate station.

As I cross my favourite Chinese restaurant – I wonder with whom my husband would be having his “working” dinner.

My husband wouldn’t have missed me.

We never eat together nowadays.

Except breakfast on Sundays – when he buries himself behind the newspaper – nursing a hangover.

On other days – he would be off to office by the time I return from the my health club.

And I would busy myself with my daily routine.

Everything runs like clockwork.

Everyone takes me for granted.

There are no problems.

That is the real problem.

Oh yes!

My problem is that I do not have any problems!

Or do I?

You tell me.

I catch a Volvo bus from Dadar and reach home late at night.

It’s almost 11 PM.

There is no one at home.

The servants ask me if I want anything.

I say “No” – so they go off to sleep.

I too go off to sleep in my lonely bed.

I wake up late in the morning.

My husband gives me a beautiful diamond necklace.

He has got a gift for me – his darling wife – yes – as always – a gift to compensate his guilty conscience for his misdemeanors.

The worse the misdemeanor – the larger the guilt – and the more expensive the gift.

A gift to compensate guilt – that’s not love – that’s not freedom.

We sit at the breakfast table.

I was missing for the whole day yesterday.

But – no one asks me where I was yesterday.

Maybe I have become redundant.

Or have I?              
              
“Be ready at 12. I’ll send the car. We’ve got to go for that business lunch at the Golf Club,” my husband snaps peremptorily.
              
Oh yes.

I’ll go along.

I’ll deck up and go along with my husband – as “Arm Candy”.

“And, Mom – after that you’ve got to come with me to the jeweller,” my daughter commands.

That’s all I am worth these days.

I just have ornamental value.

Soon – I won’t have even that.

The moment they go away – I break into a laugh.

To hell with them!

From now on I am going to be free!

I will do exactly as I want.

I will go wherever I wish.

I will do whatever I please.

Yesterday – it was Mumbai.

Today – where should I go?

Lonavala?

No – it’s too boring.

Mumbai?

Not again!

Bangalore ?

I’ve been there many times.

Delhi?

Maybe!

Why not head for the hills – Ooty, Mussoorie, Darjeeling, Shimla, Nainital, Shillong…?

The possibilities are endless!

Hey!

Why should I tell you?

I am free to do as I please.

I am off on my own trip.

That’s freedom!

I have discovered the true meaning of freedom!

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)

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


This story FREEDOM was written by me Vikram Karve in the year 2000 and posted online earlier by me in my creative writing blogs a number of times including at urls: http://creativekarve.blogspot.in… andhttp://creative.sulekha.com/arm-…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  etc

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 6/23/2015 02:48:00 PM

Humor in and out of Uniform – PONGO and PANI PURI

June 21, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – PONGO and PANI PURI.

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

One of the perils of “jointmanship” is that the numerically smaller services – the Navy and the Air Force – are losing their unique identity and the Army is trying to make everyone a “Pongo” under the guise of standardisation.

Someone told me that that the traditional “Subtle” Navy Parade Drill was changed a few years ago to be in conformance with rather “Brash” Army Drill Practice.

The Navy has introduced Army Style Collar Tabs on its uniforms for senior officers – and made the naval uniforms more “showy” – like the Army – by introducing various accoutrements and badges – and hardly anyone wears the traditional simple No. 8 Navy Shirt and Shorts Uniform (“half-pant”) which is most comfortable and apt for the tropics.

Earlier – you could easily distinguish between a sailor and a “pongo”.

In most cases – a Naval Officer would sport a full-set beard or sideburns till the bottom of the ear-lobe – and have a decent length of hair.

Now – I have observed that most young Naval Officers prefer to have Army Style Crew Cuts – and very few Navy Officers sport traditional flowing full-set beards.

Those days – “pongos” in white uniform were quite rare.

Now – almost every sailor looks like a “pongo”.

Let me delve into my my “Humor in Uniform” Archives and tell you a story of one such “pongo” in white uniform.

But before that – let me tell you why army-men are called “pongos”.

Yes – “Pongo” is naval slang for an army soldier.

Why is an Armyman called a “Pongo”?

Well  there are many apocryphal stories on the origins of the term “Pongo”.

Here is one such yarn that I heard long back from an old sea dog.

He told me that the term “Pongo” originated in the Royal Navy to denote an infantryman. 

As per a myth  the “Pongo” was a unique ape. 

When he sensed danger or felt scared – the “Pongo” did not climb trees like most apes or monkeys normally do.

But the “Pongo” would dig holes in the earth and hide himself in the ground – in the same way as infantrymen dug in and entrenched themselves in the ground when they were under attack in battle.

Another similar yarn says that “Pongo” is derived from the archaic name for the Orangutan  which had the habit of digging holes in the ground for no apparent reason – and then filling the holes back. 

The sailors probably observed army soldiers digging away  and hence the nickname “Pongo” for army soldiers.

Sorry for the digression, Dear Reader – here is the story of a “Pongo” in the Navy.

Have a Laugh !!!

PONGO AND PANI PURI
Story of the OLQ Obsessed Killjoy
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Way back in the 1970’s  when we were trainees  we had a “Colonel Blimp” type Training Officer. 

Though he was only a few years senior to us  he was a pompous snob with rather archaic ultra-conservative conformist views.

This officer was truly a “Relic of the Raj”.

A typical Military “Sainik” School and ex-NDA type  he had seen very less of the civilian world.

As far as he was concerned  like a frog in a well  the military was the “be all and end all” of his life.

In fact – he was so “OG” – that we thought that he was better suited for the Army – rather than for the Navy.

Yes – he was more of a “spit and polish” prim and proper “Pongo” – than a carefree happy-go-lucky Sailor. 

He would have been better off wearing Army Olive Green (OG) rather than donning Navy Whites.

His favourite pastime was to deliver sermons on military conduct – and give us moral lectures on OLQ (Officer Like Qualities) – and pontificate about service etiquette and social graces – and how we must conduct ourselves as officers.

But one thing was sure.

He practiced what he preached.

And – he preached what he practiced. 

His turn-out was spotless – and his “military” bearing was always immaculate – his “officer-like conduct” was unblemished – and he always put “service before self”. 

But for us young happy-go-lucky youngsters who wanted to enjoy life – this “Colonel Blimp” was a big pain in the neck.

One evening while on liberty (shore leave) – we were enjoying eating deliciousPani Puri (Gol Gappa) at a roadside stall.

“Colonel Blimp” who was driving by on his scooter saw us eating Pani Puri – and worse – we were eating at a roadside stall.

He looked totally shocked and appalled.

But he did not say anything there – but just drove by on his scooter. 

Next morning he lined us up – and gave us what in Naval parlance is called a “bottle” – a very severe reprimand and scolding which I can remember even today: 

“How can officers behave like this?” 

“You uncivilized buggers were eating Pani Puri at a roadside stall?”

“It is just not done!” 

“Officers must have proper class. You are no longer college students. As officers – you must dine in good decent restaurants.” 

“Remember that your conduct is being watched at all times.” 

“As Officers – you are expected to conduct yourselves with proper dignity.”

“Officers are not expected to hang out like hooligans in the open – and eat junk food at roadside stalls.”

He went on and on and on.

Then – after he had finished his tirade – he admonished us: “You bloody riff-raff are not fit to go ashore. So I am stopping your liberty as a punishment.”

So – as punishment for our foodie escapades – “Colonel Blimp” stopped our liberty.

Now – we could no longer go out and enjoy the delights the city had to offer. 

Thus – we had no choice but to spend the rest of our training period drowning our sorrows in the bar.


5 YEARS LATER

A few years later – on a winter evening in Delhi – my wife and I walked down from our flat in Curzon Road Apartments on Kasturba Gandhi Marg to Bengali Market for our customary evening “tiffin” snacking.

Suddenly we spotted “Colonel Blimp” at the famous Chaat Stall in Bengali Market. 

Standing next to him was a beautiful woman.

The beautiful woman was eating Pani Puri

“Colonel Blimp” was looking at the gorgeous lady in a rather cold and disapproving sort of way.

But this did not seem to bother the ravishing beauty – and she was thoroughly enjoying herself eating Pani Puri.

She was eating pani puri after pani puri – and slurping her tongue – and smacking her lips in delight.

I could not miss this opportunity – so I walked up to “Colonel Blimp” – and I introduced my wife.

“Colonel Blimp” introduced the gorgeous woman as his fiancée.

“Care for some Pani Puri ?” the lovely lady asked us.

This was an offer I could not refuse – so I said: “Sure – we would love to havePani Puri.” 

And then – all of us (except “Colonel Blimp”) – relished plate after plate of lip-smacking pani puri and chaat

Yes – we gorged on pani puri and all types of delicious chaat 

We all stood on the road and ate pani puri and chaat – except “Colonel Blimp”. 

He looked on with discomfiture.

He staunchly refused our repeated invitations to join us in eating the delicious mouthwatering Pani Puri and chaat

While leaving – “Colonel Blimp” gave me a stern disapproving look.

I knew he was itching to deliver his stock moral lecture – hisstandard sermon on “OLQ”.

But then – in his rule-book – “it was just not done” to bullshit juniors in front of ladies. 

So – I was spared the agony of a public scolding.

On our way back – I told my wife the story of “Colonel Blimp”.

My wife was was sure that the killjoy OLQ obsessed Pongo “Colonel Blimp” would dump his fun-loving “unofficerlike” fiancée – as they seemed to be most incompatible for each other. 

But – to our surprise – we soon got an invitation for their wedding. 

Of course – his wedding reception was held in the service institute – and everything was done in a most “officer like manner

Colonel Blimp’s wedding reception was an extremely decorous and most formal occasion – as if it were an official party. 

His newly wedded wife was conducting herself in a very prim and proper manner.

We were convinced that Pongo “Colonel Blimp” had taken charge of his wife and indoctrinated her on the finer aspects of “OLQ”, social graces and service etiquette – and drilled into her as to what was expected of her as a typical Naval Officer’s wife.

It looked like the fun loving vivacious young girl had been converted into a quintessential “NWWA type Navy Wife”.

A few days later – one evening – my wife and I were walking down from Kota House towards India Gate on Shahjahan Road.

Suddenly we saw Pongo “Colonel Blimp” eating Pani Puri at the famousUPSC Chaat Wala Stall – along with his vivacious wife. 

I could not believe my eyes. 

Yes – Pongo “Colonel Blimp” was actually relishing Pani Puri on a roadside stall.

The moment he saw us – he waved to us and invited us over for some Chaatand Pani Puri 

I was stunned.

This was an invitation we could not refuse. 

It was great to see Pongo “Colonel Blimp” standing on the roadside – smiling and laughing with abandon – while he ate Pani Puri and Chaat at the roadside stall.

The metamorphosis was amazing.

It seemed that Pongo “Colonel Blimp” had lost all his stiff military “OG-ness” – and he was behaving like a normal “civilian” human being.

He was thoroughly enjoying himself – digging into chaat – and then poppingpani puris  into his mouth – eating gol gappa after gol gappa – in a very carefree manner – totally oblivious of the surroundings.

The vivacious girl had succeeded in transforming the spit and polish, prim and proper, OLQ obsessed killjoy Pongo “Colonel Blimp” into a carefree happy-go-lucky Sailor.

I have seen many officers change for the better after marriage.

And – of course – some officers change for the worse after marriage.

Like my carefree “devil-may-care” happy-go-lucky coursemate – who suddenly became ambitious and career conscious after marriage.

But that is another story…

For now – let us enjoy the “Pani Puri” story of OLQ Obsessed Killjoy Pongo “Colonel Blimp” and have a laugh…

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

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This story was written by me in the year 2010 and posted online earlier by me at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 6/21/2015 06:23:00 PM

 

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