Masculinization of Society – “She-Women” are increasingly becoming “He-Women” – But – Are “He-Men” prepared to become “She-Men”…?

September 26, 2016

GENDER EQUILIBRIUM – YIN-YANG IMBALANCE 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/yin-yang-balance-and-gender-equilibrium.html

If “She-Women” become “He-Women” – Will “He-Men” become “She-Men”…?

A Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

“She-Women” are increasingly becoming “He-Women” 

But

Are “He-Men” prepared to become “She-Men”…? 

MASCULINIZATION OF SOCIETY

In modern urban India – at least in modern metropolitan cities of India – I am observing an amusing cultural metamorphosis taking place.

The thrust in professional education for women has done wonders – and opened up increasing opportunities for young women.

Almost all young urban women work – and – they take their careers seriously.

There are hardly any full-time housewives or “homemakers” these days.

Women are achieving financial independence – and – women are no longer dependent on their “breadwinner” husbands.

As women work shoulder-to-shoulder with men – modern women are developing masculine traits.

Yes – in order to achieve gender equality – especially at the workplace – women can no longer act in the quintessential delicate feminine manner of yesteryear India.

In order to succeed in their careers and to break the “glass ceiling” – women have to become more “masculine” in nature – and this transformation is visible in their personality.

“She-Women” are becoming “He-Women.

However – a corresponding reverse transformation is not taking place among men.

Men are not developing “feminine” traits.

“He-Men” are not becoming “She-Men”.

IS SOCIETY BECOMING INCREASINGLY MASCULINE IN NATURE…? 

Yes – “She-Women” are becoming “He-Women(women are developing “masculine” traits)

But – “He-Men” are not becoming “She-Men” (men are not developing “feminine” traits)

This is upsetting the delicate “Yin Yang Balance” (gender equilibrium) in society.

Earlier – we had “She-Women” and “He-Men”.

Now – we have “He-Women” and “He-Men.

Earlier we had one “SHE” and one “HE” (“SHE-women” and “HE-men” – perfect gender balance)

Now we have two “HE” and zero “SHE” (“HE-women” and “HE-men” – gender imbalance)

This metamorphosis is disturbing the “gender equilibrium” in society.

At the macro-level – Society is becoming increasingly “masculine” in nature.

At the micro-level – marriages are becoming increasingly “masculine” in nature (as also all man-woman relationships)

YIN-YANG IMBALANCE

You must have heard of Yin-Yang Balance.

A Woman is Yin.

A Man is Yang.

Yin is passive – oppressed and feminine.

Yang is active – bright and masculine.

“Male Toughness” is balanced by “Female Gentleness”.

Masculine Traits are balanced by Feminine Traits.

Thus – gender balance or gender equilibrium is maintained.

Yin-Yang Balance helps maintain Harmony.

Disturbing the delicately poised “gender equilibrium” may upset Yin-Yang Balance.

Upsetting the Yin-Yang Balance – will – in turn – cause gender related stress, tension, conflict and disharmony in society.

We are already seeing increasing evidence of such disharmony – and its consequent ramifications – which include gender based crime – violence and abuse – and the rise in divorce rates, breakups and marital discord.

What is the solution…?

GENDER EQUILIBRIUM EQUATION

Well – if you are a “mathematician” – or a “scientist”  – you will say:

It is simple – just balance the “gender equilibrium” equation.

If increasing masculinization of women is balanced by corresponding feminization of men – gender balance will be restored – and the problem will be mitigated.

All you have to do is:

Balance the increasing number of “he-women” by a corresponding number of “she-men”.

Counterbalance every new “he-woman” by creating a “she-man”.

But – this is easier said than done.

In today’s urban scenario – owing to compulsions of the workplace – or as a consequence of cultural modernization in society – women are developing masculine traits.

Yes – “she-women” are increasingly becoming “he-women”.

Now – in order to achieve Yin-Yang Balance – and restore gender equilibrium:

Are modern men prepared to imbibe feminine traits…?

Are “He-Men” prepared to become “She-Men” – in order to counterbalance the effect of “She-Women” becoming “He-Women”…?

If this does not happen – Yin-Yang balance will be disturbed.

Society will become increasingly “masculine” in nature.

The consequential ramifications of this “behavioural imbalance” will not augur well for societal harmony in general – and – it will  affect “gender harmony” in particular.

This “masculinization” of society will be visible at the macro-level – at workplaces, politics, business etc.

It will also have ramifications at the micro-level as well.

For example – with women increasingly acquiring “masculine” traits – there will be two “men” in a heterosexual marriage.

Don’t you see this happening already…?

Is this “masculinization” of marital relationships the main reason for increasing disharmony in marriages…?

Does this cause marital discord…?

Observe a few young urban couples around you – and you will understand what I mean.

Is it good to have two “macho” individuals in a marriage…?

Is it desirable to have only “macho” individuals in society…?

Is it good to have only “macho” individuals in society…?

Think about it – the effect of Yin-Yang imbalance on Gender Equilibrium.

Do you find merit in my thoughts…?

Or – do you think this is gobbledygook from a “senile” veteran…?

I look forward to your comments and views – “bouquets” and “brickbats”…

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/yin-yang-balance-and-gender-equilibrium.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised and updated version of my story written by me Vikram Karve more than 5 years ago in the year 2011 and earlier posted online by me in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/02/gender-balance-emergence-of-modern.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/04/when-she-women-become-he-women-but-he.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/04/gender-ambiguity-yin-yang-imbalance.html

Are You an Ambitious Parent…?

September 25, 2016

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/a-story-for-ambitious-parents-iit-jee.html

Are you an overambitious parent who desperately wants your children to succeed…?

I have seen so many overambitious parents who are willing to do anything – go to any extent – make all sorts of “sacrifices” – in order to ensure that their children “succeed” in their academic studies.

In the Defence Services – I have seen parents “sacrifice” their married life for the sake of their children’s education – the “faujan” mother lives separately with her children in a city which has good educational facilities – while the “fauji” father lives as a “married bachelor” at his place of posting.

I remember a case where an officer even quit the military so that he could live in Pune and both parents could concentrate on their children’s education.

I have seen parents remove Television (TV) from their homes (and deprive themselves of their main source of entertainment) – since the parents feel that TV may be a distraction to their children and disturb their studies.

A lady quit her job when her son entered the 9th class – so that she could devote all her time to him and ensure that he studies properly.

Most parents spend huge amounts on Tuitions and Extra “Classes” for their children.

Yesterday – I saw an overly ambitious mother “motivating” her son to study hard and prepare well for the IIT JEE – the Joint Entrance Examination for admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs)

“You have to get into IIT at any cost…” – she exhorted her son.

And – just imagine – her son was only in the 9th class – he still had more than 3 years to go before the IIT JEE.

The mother was telling everyone about all the things she was doing to ensure that her son clears the IIT JEE with high rank and gets admission into a good IIT and gets a choice branch.

The desperation of the overambitious mother reminded me of a story I had written sometime ago.

Here is the story…

IIT JEE 

Fiction Short Story By VIKRAM KARVE 

Pune

May 1972 

At the height of the scorching summer of 1972 – two boys sweated it out in the dilapidated drawing hall of the College of Engineering Pune (COEP).

The two boys were appearing for IIT-JEE – the Joint Entrance Examination for admission to the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

From time to time – the antiquated structure vibrated and reverberated as a train thundered close by on the adjoining railway tracks on the south-east mainline from Pune to Mumbai (then called Bombay).

For two full days – Saturday – the 6th of May 1972 – and – Sunday – the 7th of May 1972 – the two boys sat in the sweltering heat – writing 4 papers – in English, Mathematics, Physics and Chemistry – analytical and subjective – each paper of 3 hours duration – 2 papers per day – one in the morning – one in the afternoon.

The papers were tough – and the two boys thought and thought – till their brains went blank – and they wrote and wrote – till their fingers ached – and finally – when it all ended – they collapsed in agony with the sheer mental and physical exhaustion of it all.

While the boys wrote the IIT-JEE exam inside – their fathers waited outside – for the entire two days.

The fathers had personally escorted the boys to the exam venue at COEP in Shivajinagar from their homes in Sadashiv Peth – and back – hiring auto-rickshaws – which was a luxury for the lower middle-class.

During the exam lunch-break – the boys’ mothers – Asha and Usha – came down from their homes bringing cool buttermilk and freshly cooked hot lunch for the boys.

At the end of the exam – both boys said that they had done well – and the parents were happy.

They all lived in Madiwale Colony – a middle class locality in Sadashiv Peth Pune – where most parents with bright sons had one ambition – their son should get into an IIT – and there he would strive for a 9+ point CGPA – a passport to the “land of opportunity” – for higher studies in a good university – the best way for a middle-class boy to migrate abroad – to realize his American Dream – and then – he would find a suitable “NRI” groom for his sister there – so that she could follow.

But in the story I am narrating – the two boys were the “only child” of their parents – and their parents had left no stone unturned to ensure that their sons successfully cleared the IIT-JEE.

Both the fathers worked as clerks in a government office.

They cycled to their offices every day on their old bicycles.

Both of them had sacrificed their dreams of buying a scooter – using the money to pay for IIT Coaching Classes for their sons.

The two mothers too had done all they could to facilitate the studies of their sons – in fact – for the last two years – as their sons were preparing for the IIT-JEE – both mothers thought of nothing else and they were totally were obsessed with their respective son’s studies.

The two families were next door neighbours – they were best friends and had developed a very close relationship.

Now – after the ordeal was over – the parents were happy – the boys had said that they had done well in the exam – and they all eagerly awaited the IIT-JEE results which would be announced in early June.

Pune 

June 1972

The IIT-JEE results were declared.

Asha’s son successfully cleared the IIT-JEE.

However – Usha’s son did not qualify in the IIT-JEE.

And – this changed the relationship between their parents – especially between the mothers – Asha and Usha.

Asha celebrated her son’s success in lavish style – she held a Puja followed by a lavish dinner – for which the entire neighbourhood was invited.

Asha was ecstatic with joy: “I am so happy my son has got into IIT…” she told everyone.

Asha loudly boasted about her son’s achievement in the presence of Usha – and made certain boastful remarks – which were perceived as sarcastic and insulting by Usha – and this caused a fissure in their relationship which was beyond repair.

in due course – Asha’s son went for counseling to IIT Powai at Mumbai – and soon – he joined the same IIT for the B. Tech. Course in Electrical Engineering.

Usha’s son – who had failed to clear the IIT Entrance Exam – joined the local college for the First Year B. Sc. Course (FY) – and he would try for admission to the local Engineering College after his FY.

Those days – you joined IIT after your Pre-Degree (PD/ Class 11) – for the 5 Year B. Tech. Course.

And – you joined other Engineering Colleges after completing your First Year B. Sc. (FY) for the 4 Year BE Course.

The next year – Usha’s son got admission in the local Engineering College.

After completing his B. Tech. – like most IIT graduates – Asha’s son migrated to the US to complete his MS at a prestigious University – and thereafter – he stayed on in the US to realize his “American Dream”.

After finishing his BE – Usha’s son took a job in the local industry in Pune.

As Asha’s son flourished in America – like most ‘parents of NRIs’ – their lifestyle changed – and after some time – Asha and her husband relocated to a posh apartment in the upmarket locality of Deccan Gymkhana – which was bought by their NRI son.

For Usha and her husband – nothing much changed – and they continued to live in Madiwale Colony in Sadashiv Peth.

The ‘emotional distance’ due to the fissure in their relationship – and the ‘physical distance’ between their homes – resulted in Asha and Usha losing close contact with each other.

Even on rare occasions when their paths crossed – Usha scrupulously avoided Asha – and on seeing this – Asha started doing likewise – so – even when they came across each other – Asha and Usha did not talk to each other.

A few years later – Usha’s son bought a flat in a distant suburb near his factory (those days – decent housing was quite affordable in such remote suburbs of Pune).

Usha and her husband vacated their rented home in Madiwale Colony and moved to live with their son and daughter-in-law as a ‘joint family’.

After this – Asha and Usha totally lost contact with each other.

43 years later

Pune 

June 2015 

By now – both Asha and Usha were old widows in their 80’s.

Asha’s son was now well-settled in America.

Earlier – Asha frequently visited her son and daughter-in-law in America for ‘nanny duties’ – but – after a few years – when her grandchildren grew up – and with her son and daughter-in-law busy in the careers – Asha felt bored and ‘unwelcome’ – and so – she stopped her visits to America.

As I told you earlier – Usha lived with her son and daughter-in-law in a suburb of Pune – and over the years – this once remote suburb had now become a much sought after locality.

Whereas Asha’s ‘American’ son had achieved spectacular material success – Usha’s son had a reasonable career in the industry and would happily retire in a few years – and they all lived together as a ‘joint family’ – Usha – her son and daughter-in-law – and her grandchildren who were now in college.

One evening – Usha ran into Asha at a wedding reception at a hotel near Deccan Gymkhana.

In the presence of the newlyweds – to keep up appearances – Asha and Usha exchanged fake smiles of forced geniality.

After the event was over – Usha’s son saw Asha struggling to walk with the help of a walking stick – so went up to help her.

Usha’s son offered to drop Asha home.

“Thanks – but it is okay – I will go by taxi – the reception will call a cab for me…” Asha said.

“Why call a cab…? I will drop you in my car. You live in the same place in Deccan Gymkhana, isn’t it…?” Usha’s son said.

“No – I don’t live there anymore…” Asha said.

“Oh – so you have shifted to a better house…?” Usha asked.

Asha looked at Usha – then she looked at Usha’s son – and – after a pause – Asha said: “No – I haven’t shifted to a better house – I live in an ‘Old Age Home’…”

“Old Age Home…?” Usha’s son asked, surprised.

“Yes – it is quite far away – please call a cab for me…” Asha said.

“No – No – we will drop you…” Usha said.

They all got into the car – Usha and Asha in the rear – and Usha’s son and his wife in front.

After a long time – Asha and Usha talked – about their sons – their grandchildren – their husbands – and about themselves – about the 43 years gone by.

When they reached the ‘Old Age Home’ – Asha said to Usha: “Do you remember how happy I was when my son had got into IIT…? Now – I sometimes wish that he had not got into IIT…”

“What are you saying…?” Usha said.

Asha said:

“Yes – those days – it was my life’s desire that my son clears the IIT Entrance Exam. 

I wanted him to do well in IIT – and then – go abroad to America for higher studies – and get a good job in the US and permanently settle down there to realize the “Amercian Dream” .

Yes – I was so happy when he was selected for IIT. 

But – nowadays – when I feel lonely – waiting for death in the ‘old age home’ – sometimes – I really feel – that – it would have been better  if my son had not passed the IIT Entrance Exam.

Yes – it would have been much better if my son had not got into IIT…” 

There were tears in Asha’s eyes as she was speaking.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/a-story-for-ambitious-parents-iit-jee.html

This Blog Post is the Revised and Abridged Version of my Story IIT JEE written by me Vikram Karve on November 25, 2015 and and posted online by me Vikram Karve in my blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/11/iit-jee.html

Navy USP – Humor in Uniform

September 24, 2016

Delightful Memories of My Unforgettable Navy Days  

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/humor-in-uniform-how-to-get-your.html

Here is a “memoir” from the happiest days of my life – my early bachelor days in the Navy.

This hilarious story happened many years ago – in the 1970’s …

How to Get Your Posting/Transfer Changed

One aspect of military life is that you live a nomadic life because of frequent “postings” (or “transfers” – as the Navy calls them).

Every 2 or 3 years – sometimes even less – you have to pack your bags, wind up your house and move to a new place.

The plus point of frequent postings/transfers is that you see many places in your miltary career.

The minus point is that there are many ramifications on the family and children due to this unstable life.

In the Navy – you can be at Mumbai (the most sought after station) – or – you may land up in some desolate “back of beyond” place.

Choice of station varies as you progress in service depending on your requirements.

As a bachelor – young Navy Officers want to be in Mumbai – in order to enjoy the delights of “maximum city”

(In this respect – I was lucky – since both the ships during my bachelor days were based in Mumbai).

Later – your criterion for “choice of posting” changes – depending on your priorities – career interest – family life (married accommodation) – children’s education – wife’s career – medical grounds – compassionate grounds etc.

Also – I have seen some officers – if they get posted/transferred to a place they do not like – these officers move heaven and earth – and pull all sorts of strings – to get their posting/transfers changed to a better place – or to their choice station.

I have seen all sorts of reasons why officers get their postings/transfers changed.

But – the reason why Lieutenant “Z” wanted his posting changed was unique.

Since this is a Navy story – I will use the term “Transfer” instead of “Posting” which is used by the Army/Air Force.

Also – maybe the title “Why Lieutenant “Z” got his Transfer Changed” may be more apt than the rather generic How to Get Your Posting Changed

But – all that does not matter.

Read on – and – have a laugh…

The Story of Lieutenant “Z” 

A Fictional Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

Lieutenant “Z” was transferred to Kolkata (or Calcutta – as the city was called in the 1970’s – but I will use the present name Kolkata in this story).

The “powers-that-be” thought Lieutenant “Z” would be very happy with his transfer – since Kolkata was his hometown.

Instead of being happy on seeing his transfer order – surprisingly – Lieutenant “Z” got very upset.

So – Lieutenant “Z” rushed to his ship’s Captain to get his transfer cancelled.

“We thought you would be happy – Kolkata is your hometown,” the Captain said.

“Sir – I don’t want to leave the ship…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

“Oh – it’s good to see that you are a true ‘sea-dog’ – and you like the tough life at sea – but then – you have to go ashore…” the Captain said.

“But – Why – Sir…?” Lieutenant “Z” asked.

“See – you got your ‘watchkeeping ticket’ last year – and you have served for more than one year on board as a sea watch-keeping officer – and you will be due for your ‘Long Course’ after 2 years…” the Captain said to Lieutenant “Z”.

“Sir – I can spend these 2 years on board this ship – or some other ship – but I don’t want to go to Kolkata – especially in that shore appointment…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

The Captain was getting exasperated – so he said a bit angrily to the young officer: “Look here Lieutenant “Z” – there is a bloody shortage of ships and sea billets – and we have plenty of young officers waiting for their watch-keeping tickets – so you will have to cool your heels ashore for 2 years till your ‘Long Course’ comes through…”

“Okay – Sir – if I have to go ashore – then please change my transfer to some other place – I do not wish to go to Kolkata…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

“I just don’t understand you – what’s wrong with Kolkata – it is your hometown – you can be with your parents, family and friends – I personally talked to DOP to get you this appointment – your CO at Kolkata is my friend and he is an excellent officer – he will give you a thumping ACR which will boost your career…” the Captain said.

“Sir – I don’t want to go to Kolkata…” Lieutenant “Z” said firmly.

Getting angry – the Captain looked at Lieutenant “Z” – and – the Captain said threateningly:

Lieutenant “Z” – I am warning you – if you act funny – we will send to ‘Kala Pani’ in the Andaman…”

“Sir – please send me to the Andamans…” “Lieutenant “Z” said happily.

The Captain was taken aback by this retort of Lieutenant “Z” 

So – the Captain asked Lieutenant “Z”:

“Are you crazy…? Why don’t you want to go to Kolkata…? Do you have you some family problems…?”

“Sir – Booze is expensive in Kolkata…” Lieutenant “Z” said, matter-of-factly.

“What…? What do you mean ‘Booze is expensive in Kolkata’…? Is that the reason why you do not want to go there…?” an incredulous Captain asked “Lieutenant “Z”.

“Sir – the only worthwhile perk we get in the Navy is “Concessional Liquor – that is why I want to remain on board ship so that I can enjoy ‘duty-free booze’ – but if I have to go ashore – please send me to a place where ‘Military Booze’ is cheap – Sir – the price of CSD Quota Liquor in Bengal is 3 times more expensive than the price out here in Maharashtra…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

(This story happened in the 1970’s – when CSD Quota Liquor was cheapest in Maharashtra.

However – since tax concessions are given by State Governments – and local taxes/concessions keep changing from time to time – the situation may be quite different now – and it is possible that ‘Military Booze’ may be more expensive in Maharashtra than in other states.

But even now – the prices of CSD Quota Liquor vary widely from state to state – so ‘Military Booze’ is cheaper in some states – and more expensive in other states)

Now – after this brief aside – let us continue with the interesting tête-à-tête between Lieutenant “Z” and his Captain…

“So – you wanted to remain on board this ship so that you can enjoy cheap ‘duty free booze’…?” the Captain asked Lieutenant “Z”.

“Yes – Sir…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

“Are you telling me that you even prefer to go to the Andamans because booze is cheaper there…?” the Captain asked Lieutenant “Z”.

“Yes – Sir…”

“It seems that you joined the Navy to drink Liquor…!”

“Yes – Sir…”

“What nonsense…? Are you crazy…? Are you telling me that you joined the Navy to drink liquor…?” the Captain shouted at Lieutenant “Z”.

“Sir – the main reason I joined the ‘Boozy Navy’ was to enjoy the best of ‘Duty-Free’ Booze – that is the reason why I want to serve on ships for the maximum possible time. But – if I have to go ashore – the least I can do is to enjoy my full quota of CSD ‘Military Liquor’ at the cheapest possible rates…” Lieutenant “Z” said, speaking candidly.

“Are you mad…? Are you saying that the only reason why people should join the Defence Services is to drink alcohol…? That means – according to you – teetotallers should not join the Navy – or the Armed Forces…” the Captain said to Lieutenant “Z”

“Sir – I told you before – the only worthwhile perk we get in the Defence Services is ‘Concessional Liquor’ – so what is the point of wasting your life in the Military if you are not going to enjoy this exclusive ‘Fauji Perk’ of ‘Military Booze’…? And if you don’t drink – if you are a teetotaller – you might as well take up a civilian job  you can live a comfortable life  and – you can earn plenty of money…” Lieutenant “Z” pontificated.

“I am a strict teetotaller – I don’t touch alcohol. Are you saying that I am wasting my time in the Navy…?” the Captain said angrily.

“Sir – just think of all the ‘Duty-Free’ Booze and CSD Quota Liquor you have missed out on in all these 25 years of your service…” Lieutenant “Z” said – with genuine regret in his eyes.

“You are a crazy bugger…! Just get out my cabin…” the Captain shouted at Lieutenant “Z”.

EPILOGUE

Two things happened after this amusing tête-à-tête between Lieutenant “Z” and his Captain.

The Captain picked up the phone and spoke to the DOP (who was his course-mate).

The DOP had a big laugh when the Captain told him the ‘Boozy’ reason why Lieutenant “Z”wanted his transfer changed.

Since there was no billet available in the Andamans (where ‘Military Booze’ was the cheapest in those days) – DOP did the next best thing possible – and – Lieutenant “Z”was transferred as a Divisional Officer to NDA near Pune where the price of CSD Quota Liquor was the same as in Mumbai – since both Pune and Mumbai were in Maharashtra State.

Then – the Captain thought about his conversation with Lieutenant “Z”. 

Lieutenant “Z” had a point.

Every job had its perks – the Railways gave free Rail Passes to its employees – Airlines gave free Air Tickets – Academicians got sabbaticals – the Corporate Sector too gave a variety of perks and freebies to its Executives – and everyone availed of these perks. 

Similarly – the Defence Services too had their perks – and – the most unique ‘Military Perk’ was ‘Concessional Liquor’.

So – what was the point in joining the Navy and not availing of this most Precious Perk of ‘Concessional Liquor’ – especially the ‘Duty-Free Foreign Liquoravailable on board ships…?

Why reliquish and forgo such a valuable perk given to you – and then – regret later – and complain after retirement – that you could not make the most of all the perks given to you by the Navy…?

The Captain thought of the ‘notional loss’ he had incurred during the 25 long ‘teetotalism’ years of abstinence during his long service in the Navy.

Yes – he has incurred a huge ‘notional loss’ just because he had sacrificed this authorised ‘Military Perk’ – by not availing his ‘CSD Liquor Quota’ – and by not enjoying ‘Duty-Free’ Booze on board all the ships on which he had served.

There is a saying: “Better Late than Never.

The Captain asked his steward to get him some chilled Beer.

It was only 11 o’clock in the morning – but that did not matter – the Captain wanted to make up for all these 25 lost years of teetotalism and abstinence and make good as much of the ‘notional loss’ as possible in the remaining years of his service.

At first – the Captain’s Steward was a bit surprised.

But – when the Steward saw the Captain gesturing him to hurry up – the Steward served the Captain a chilled can of Premium Imported Beer (available dirt cheap at ‘duty-free’ rates on board ship).

This was the Captain’s first sip of booze ever since he joined the Navy more than 25 years ago.

Cheers !!!

AFTERTHOUGHT

Instead of wasting money on all those fancy unrealistic military recruitment advertisements – why don’t the Defence Services highlight “CSD Quota Concessional Liquor” as the “USP” of Military Life…?

And – of course – as far as the Navy is concerned – shouldn’t “Duty Free Booze” be highlighted as a special incentive to join the Navy…?

Think about it … !!!

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/humor-in-uniform-how-to-get-your.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Revised version of my story THE BOOZY NAVY written by me Vikram Karve on 25 May 2015 and and posted online in my blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/05/humor-in-uniform-boozy-navy.html  and  revised/reposted on 12 October 2015 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/10/humor-in-uniform-question-of-perks.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/humor-in-uniform-usp-of-military-life.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/yo-ho-ho-and-bottle-of-rum-humor-in.html 

The “Fleet Auxiliary”

September 24, 2016

Story of a “Fleet Auxiliary” 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/one-last-time-love-story.html

ONE LAST TIME  – Short Fiction By VIKRAM KARVE

Circa 1977 – Mumbai (then called Bombay)

“I want to see her one last time…”

“No…”

“Please…”

“No…”

“I really loved her – I still love her…”

“It is called “lust” – not “love”…”

“Even she loves me…”

“Are you crazy…? Can a woman like her love anyone…?”

“I love her. She loves me. We both love each other – our love is a “two-way” love – mutual love…”

“Ha Ha – it was more like “Mutual Lust”…”

“Please don’t say that. Our relationship was above that level – it was love – our friendship was based on a deep love for each other…”

“Ha Ha – “Friendship based on Deep Love” – are you kidding…? You two were just“friends with benefits” – that’s all…”

“That’s not true – “friends with benefits” – how can you say that…? You have not understood the depth of our relationship – our love for each other…”

“Depth of your Relationship…? Love…? Bloody bullshit…!!! It was a simple “quid pro quo” – she gave you what you wanted – you gave her what she wanted – you both got what you wanted – a simple “tradeoff” – and now – the “transaction” is over – and – both of you can move on and go your own ways…”

“Still – I am feeling so guilty that I am dumped her – just like that – “use and throw”…”

“Don’t feel guilty. You haven’t “dumped her” – because – she was wasn’t yours in the first place – and – you said it right – “use and throw” – she’s just a “fleet auxiliary” – and that’s what “fleet auxiliaries” are meant for – you “use and throw” them – and – that’s what they do to us also, isn’t it – they too “use and throw” us – you “use and throw” her – and – she does the same to you – that’s how it works. However – let me tell you one thing – you are still yearning for her – but – for all you know – she may have already found someone else – and – maybe – she is having a “good time” with her new lover right now…”

“Never – she will never do that – she will always love me…”

“Are you crazy…? I told you – she is just a frivolous “fleet auxiliary”…”

AN EXPLANATORY DIGRESSION (for Readers not familiar with Navy Jargon)

Let me digress a bit and tell you the difference between Fleet Auxiliary and “Fleet Auxiliary”

Fleet Auxiliary 

The former Fleet Auxiliary is a support ship – like an oil tanker, a supply vessel, a tug, a depot ship or a hospital ship – a vessel which supports the main fleet.

“Fleet Auxiliary” (in quotation marks)

The latter “Fleet Auxiliary” is a moniker – a sobriquet – a nickname – given to a girl – who – like auxiliaries – “supports” the men who man the Fleet – by giving them a “good time” – and – helping them quench their carnal passions.

This story is about this second type of “Fleet Auxiliary”.

With a “Fleet Auxiliary” – it is a “no-strings-attached” relationship.

Of course – there may be a bit of “give-and-take” – a sort of “barter” or “tradeoff” – for example – where the “Fleet Auxiliary” enjoys the best imported food and drink on board ships – courtesy her “host” – she gets to drink the best booze – and – she gets some precious gifts like an expensive perfume or some exquisite Swiss chocolates – as a “quid pro quo” – in return for her “favours”…

Let me tell you – that in those “Golden Socialist Days” of the “License Quota Permit Raj” – when prized and coveted foreign goodies were not available in the domestic market – and we in the Navy got them duty-free on board ships – a Naval Officer was quite high up on the social ladder.

Regrettably – the advent of liberalization and globalization changed everything – and nowadays – a Naval Officer is no longer the “crème de la crème” of society anymore – because today – money determines your status – and – businessmen, entrepreneurs and celebrities are the new role models.

And – as far as “fleet auxiliaries” are concerned – it looks like they have disappeared from the fleet – and found greener pastures – because – when I asked a young “Subbie” about it a few days ago – he seemed totally clueless – in fact – he did not even know what the term “fleet auxiliary” meant in Navy slang.

DIGRESSION OVER – STORY CONTINUES…

“Please – before I go on leave – I want to see her one last time…”

“No – it’s 7 o’clock now – let’s have a couple of drinks and dinner – then – I’ll tell the OOD to send a sailor to call a taxi – and – you will go straight to Bombay VT (now called Mumbai CST) – and – you will catch the night passenger to Pune…”

“I have to see her one last time – to explain…”

“Explain what…? You met her for the final time last week – didn’t you – before we sailed out…? Haven’t you called off the relationship – didn’t you tell her that it’s all over…? Haven’t you said your final “good-bye”…? By the way – I hope you haven’t you told her that you are going home on leave to see a girl for marriage…”

“Yes – I told her – I told her everything about the girl – I even showed her the photo of the girl I am going to see in Pune…”

“Are you crazy…? What was the need to tell her about your prospective bride…? And tell me – what was her reaction – what did she say…?”

“She was very upset – she started crying – she told me that she probably thought that we would have a long-term relationship…”

“Bloody hell – she is trying to emotionally blackmail you and trap you into marriage – do you realize that repercussions of getting married to a “fleet auxiliary”…?”

“But – I love her…”

“You idiot – try to understand her “game” – your bloody “fleet auxiliary” – she’s been in the business for 10 years now – since our XO’s time…”

“What…?”

“Yes – a few days ago – when our XO saw her with you – he told me that – when they were “Subbies” – one of his course-mates was going around with her…”

“That’s not possible…”

“Of course it is very much possible – you may be only 24 years old – but she is at least 30 – and – she must be going around since she was 20 – and – 10 years back – our XO was a “Subbie” – isn’t it…? You fool – she must have had at least 10 lovers – and – she will have a few more – before – she is “over the hill”…”

“I never asked her about her earlier affairs – but – she categorically told me – that – with me – it was different. She said – she told me – that – she really loved me – and – even if I dumped her – she would not have any more relationships – and – she would always love me forever…”

“Can’t you see…? She knows that she is “over the hill”. She has realized that her days as a “fleet auxiliary” are numbered – so – she is trying to emotionally blackmail you into marrying her…”

“I don’t know – I am feeling terribly confused – I want to go and meet her right now – just for “one last time”…”

“NO – absolutely NO – you are not going to meet her “one last time” – you are going straight to the station to catch the train to Pune. Then – in Pune – you are going to see the girl – I am sure you will like each other – if not – I am sure your parents have lined up some more girls – so – you see the girls – and – you will get engaged to a nice “back-home-type” girl in your one month’s leave – and – when you come back to the ship after your leave – I want to see an engagement ring on your finger – do you understand…?”

“But…?”

“No “ifs and buts” – and – let me tell you what I am going to do – I will talk to the Captain – we will pull some strings – and we will get you transferred to some ship in Vizag – so – the moment you come back from leave after a month – we will have your farewell PLD – and – you will be off to Vizag – “out of sight – out of mind” – that’s the best way for you to forget your “fleet auxiliary” – and – hopefully – you will be engaged by then – so – you can move on and begin a new life with your fiancée…”

“Please… I have to go… Right now…”

“Go…? Right now…? It’s only 7:30 – and – your train is at 11:30…”

“I have to see her “one last time”…”

“But – you saw her “one last time” before we sailed out a week ago – isn’t it…?”

“I am going to meet her tonight. She will be expecting me – I told her that I would have one last dinner with her tonight – before I leave for Pune…”

“You told her…? When…? We just returned from sailing this morning…”

“In the morning – the moment we secured alongside – I called her up in her office from the shore telephone…”

“You fool…”

“I couldn’t help it – I told her I wanted to meet her “one last time” – she said “okay” – she suggested that we have a farewell dinner at our favourite restaurant in Churchgate – and ice cream at the parlour nearby – and then – after our “final goodbye” – and – we could part on a “sweet note”…”

“No… You don’t go…”

“I have to go. She will be waiting for me at 8 o’clock. Please drop me on your bike at Churchgate – I just have one bag. After dinner – I’ll take a cab to VT…”

EPILOGUE

I tried by best to dissuade my friend from meeting his “fleet auxiliary” for “one last time”.

But – he was adamant.

So – I dropped him outside the famous restaurant at Churchgate where he was having his “last rendezvous” with his “fleet auxiliary”.

My friend said “thanks” to me – and – he started walking towards the restaurant carrying his bag in his right hand.

I should have gone back to the ship – but – I was overcome by an urge to have a look inside – to see whether the “fleet auxiliary” was waiting for him.

I parked my bike – and – I followed him to the entrance of the restaurant.

When my friend saw me following him – he said: “You can go back…”

“I just want to see whether she has come – if she is there – I will say “Hi” to her and vamoose – but – if she is not there – you can treat me to dinner – and – I will drop you at VT…”

We entered the restaurant.

She was there.

Yes – my friend’s “fleet auxiliary” was waiting for him.

But – she wasn’t alone.

Sitting next to the “fleet auxiliary” there was a girl.

They were sitting side by side on the same table – the “fleet auxiliary” and the girl – looking at the entrance – as if waiting for my friend to arrive.

I recognized the girl sitting with the “fleet auxiliary”.

It was the same girl in the photo – yes – it was the girl in the photo that my friend had showed me – the very same girl he was going to see in Pune – his “prospective bride”…

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/one-last-time-love-story.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Weekend Partying

September 23, 2016

Humor in Uniform

DO YOU PARTY ON WEEKENDS … ? 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/do-you-party-on-weekends.html

Delightful Memoir from My Wonderful Navy Days A Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

(This happened long back in the 1970s when we worked for 6 days in a week in the Navy and all government offices)

PARTY TIME

“You think you are too damn smart – but I have found out something about you…” said the PMC, the President Mess Committee of our Officers Mess, a Commander.

“What is it, Sir?” I asked.

I was curious – I wondered which ‘secret’ of mine the PMC had discovered.

The PMC looked at me and said: “You avoid having parties on Saturdays…”

“Is it so…?” I said, smiling like a Cheshire Cat.

“Ever since you have taken over as Mess Secretary – you always schedule parties on working days – on weekday evenings. Every time we want to have a party on Saturday evenings – you get the party re-scheduled on a weekday on some pretext or the other. Now you have crossed all limits – you even want a Saturday afternoon Pre-Lunch Drinks (PLD) preponed to Wednesday afternoon…” he said.

“Sir, there is no such word as ‘preponed’…” I said.

“Shut up. Don’t try to change the topic…” he said.

“Sir – but Wednesday is also a make-and-mend (half-day) routine – and the officer whose farewell party it is – he wanted it on Wednesday – he said it was more convenient…”

“Don’t bullshit me – the officer said that it was you who told him that Wednesday would be convenient…” the PMC said.

Now that the cat was out of the bag – I decided to make a clean breast of it.

“Sir, you are right – I don’t like to have parties on Saturdays,” I said.

“Any particular reason for not having a party on Saturdays – something religious – do you fast on Saturdays…?” the PMC asked me.

“No, No, Sir – it is something totally different – nothing religious or spiritual about it, Sir – maybe philosophical – but you won’t believe me if I tell you…” I said.

“I want to know – you have to tell me,” the PMC insisted.

“I work to enjoy my leisure…” I said.

“You work to enjoy your leisure…?” he repeated my words, looking puzzled.

“We all do, don’t we? Don’t we all work so that we can enjoy our leisure? We slog 6 days a week – so that we can enjoy that one Sunday we get off. And – in the Navy – we have to do duties on every third Sunday too – so even some of the few Sunday routines we get are ruined anyway…” I said.

“But – what the hell has all this got to do with not having parties on weekends…?” he asked.

“I don’t like to have a hangover on a Sunday morning – I prefer to have my hangover on a working day and in working hours…” I said.

“What…? You prefer to have your hangover in working hours…? What sort of nonsense talk is this…?” he asked, looking puzzled.

“I drink because I am in the Navy – it is the Navy that taught me how to drink – it is the Navy that motivates me to drink by giving me the choicest top quality duty-free foreign liquor and subsidized CSD liquor – and – doesn’t the Navy have an official party culture that encourages drinking…?” I said.

“How can you say that…?” he asked.

“Sir – I never touched a drop of booze in college. And most probably – I would never have started drinking alcohol if I had not joined the Navy. So – Navy is responsible for my drinking habit – and – since I drink alcohol because I am in the Navy – the effects of drinking alcohol like a hangover must be suffered in working hours. Also – Sir – most Navy parties are official parties – so – the ‘after-effects’ of these ‘official’ parties must be ‘officially’ endured in official working hours – isn’t it, Sir…?” I said.

“You are talking all bullshit…” the PMC said.

“Sir – please try to see it logically – the Navy is responsible for my drinking  so the Navy must bear my hangover. Why should I ruin my valuable leisure hours suffering a hangover on the one beautiful Sunday morning I get for myself…? In fact – I like to get up early on Sundays – so I can enjoy my well deserved holiday to the fullest…” I said.

From the incredulous look on his face – it appeared that the PMC was not convinced by my logical reasoning.

And – just to prove that he was the boss – when the next occasion for an official farewell party arose – the PMC decided that the party was to be held on a Saturday evening.

The weekend party was vetoed by the PMC’s wife – who unequivocally told her husband: “Why are you having an official party on Saturday evening…? Why don’t you have the farewell party on a weekday evening like you normally do…? I am not going to ruin my weekend attending your boring party which goes on and on till the wee hours. Have the party on a weekday evening – and – on Saturday evening – you take me out for shopping and a movie.”

What the PMC did not know was – that a few days ago – I had a discussion on the same subject with his wife – and – she seemed to enthusiastically agree with my views about “No Partying on Weekends.

The PMC’s wife also agreed that there was no point in ruining your weekends by partying and wasting your valuable Sunday morning nursing a hangover – and – it was best to party on weekdays.

EPILOGUE

I tried my best to follow my NO PARTYING ON WEEKENDS dictum throughout my Navy career – so that I could fully enjoy my well-earned Sundays as I pleased.

(A few years later– after the 5-day week was introduced – my “NO PARTY WINDOW” was extended from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening).

Sometimes – my principle of “No Partying on Weekends” did annoy some seniors – who found me missing from Weekend Evening Cocktails/Dinners or afternoon Pre-Lunch Drinks (PLD) on Weekend afternoons.

In one organisation – despite my best efforts to convince them to have parties on weekdays – they insisted on having all parties on weekends.

I avoided most of these weekend parties.

Once when one of my bosses asked me why I was missing from parties – I gave him one of my classic retorts:

“Sir – I do not attend parties because I am an alcoholic.”

What happened after that…?

Well – that’s another story which I will tell you some other time.

Meanwhile – remember the “Moral of the Story” of this article:

The worst way to spend a beautiful Sunday morning is by sleeping in bed – having a splitting headache – suffering from a hangover – due the excesses of late night weekend partying.

Why ruin your valuable leisure hours…?

Why ruin your Sunday…?

Why ruin your weekends by weekend partying…?

Remember – you work on weekdays in order to enjoy your leisure during weekends.

If you must party – why not do it on working days…?

Yes – you can party throughout the week – on working day evenings – from Monday to Thursday – and “enjoy” the hangover in working hours the next morning…

But – remember to keep your weekends free for yourself – and enjoy all your leisure hours perfectly sober – in all your senses – so you can enjoy your leisure to the best.

Why waste your weekend mornings nursing a hangover or recovering from the excesses of late night partying…?

Isn’t it better to do this in office hours…?

You agree with me – don’t you…?

Do remember the essence of partying:

Never Party on Weekends.

Party on Weekdays – and Enjoy your Weekends.

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/do-you-party-on-weekends.html

Revised and Updated Version of my Story First Posted Online by me Vikram Karve at 7/04/2014 12:20:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/07/humor-in-uniform-weekend-blues.html  and later at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/03/leisure-management-contrarian-wisdom.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/do-you-party-on-weekends.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/its-monday-let-party-begin.html

Eating Out in Mumbai – My Favourite “MISAL”

September 22, 2016

MUMBAI FOODIE MEMORIES 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/mumbai-foodie-memories-misal-at-girgaum.html

I enjoyed the 6 Best Years of My Life in Mumbai – six glorious years from the years 2000 to 2006.

During these six best years of my life, I lived in EMPRESS COURT – my all time favourite home – the best house I have ever lived in during my entire life.

I wish I could have had my retirement home in that lovely neighbourhood – or nearby – but then – can an honest Naval Officer afford a house in South Mumbai…?

Maybe a Merchant Navy Officer can afford a house in “So Bo” (South Bombay) – but if you have spent your life honestly serving the nation in the “Fauji” Indian Navy – forget about Mumbai – you will not be able to afford a home in the heart of Pune – and – you would probably have to settle down in some faraway suburb like Wakad or Baner or Kharadi – or in one of those military veteran “fauji ghettos” like Mundhwa, Kondhwa or Mohammadwadi – where most retired service officers have settled down.

But in your mind’s eye – you can always hark back – and relive your “good old days” with nostalgia.

That is what I did on this lovely morning – during my foodwalk – I reminisced about my glorious Sunday Morning “Food Walks” in Mumbai.

A few days ago – I told you about my favourite Non-Veg Morning Foodwalk in Mumbai.

Now – let me tell you about my favourite Vegetarian Morning Foodwalk in Mumbai.

MY FAVOURITE VEG MUMBAI FOOD WALK

MISAL at GIRGAUM (Girgaon) – Mouthwatering Mumbai Memories By VIKRAM KARVE 

Mumbai is in Maharashtra.

You will get all genres and varieties of cuisine in Mumbai.

But tell me – where would you go for an authentic Maharashtrian breakfast…?

My favorite place is Vinay Health Home (aka Vinay Lunch Home) near Thakurdwar in Girgaum in Mumbai.

When I used to stay at Churchgate – I used to walk down Marine Drive towards Chowpatty – cross the road near Taraporewala Aquarium – take the lane between Kaivalyadhama Yoga Centre and Savitribai Phule Ladies Hostel – (the lane is called Income Tax Lane) – cross the railway overbridge at the southern end of Charni Road Station on the Western Railway – walk straight on Thakurdwar Road – cross Girgaum (JSS) Road – and continue walking till I reached Vinay Health Home on my right.

Have you ever tasted a dish called Misal…?

If you want to know what an authentic Misal tastes like – try the Misal at Vinay.

It is the signature dish of the place.

In fact – I will say that – in my opinion – MISAL is the signature dish of Maharashtra.

The Misal at Vinay Health Home is my favourite Misal.

I don’t think anyone else serves a better Misal than Vinay of Girgaum – and – in my opinion – not even the many famous Misals of Pune can surpass the Misal at Vinay Lunch Home.

The place is always crowded and you may have to wait for a seat – but the sight of foodies voraciously eating and the gastronomic ambiance will help build up your appetite.

The moment you sit down in the shiny bright eatery – with mirrors all around – the waiter will appear pretty fast – and you can order a Misal.

The Misal will arrive quickly as service is prompt and efficient.

Don’t delve too much on the contents – or the ingredients – which basically comprise an Usal – a Rassa (the spicy curry) – and a zesty garnish of Shev (Sev), Chiwda, Farsan, onions, fresh corriander and green chillies – arranged in three tiers and served with a wedge of lemon.

There are two bowls and two spoons.

Using both spoons – mix the contents thoroughly – squeeze the lemon – and eat.

It’s hot – lip-smacking – and –  delicious.

Soon your tongue will be on fire – your nose will run – and – your eyes will water – that’s the true test of a genuine Misal.

Bash on Regardless.

Never try to douse the appetizing zesty fire in your insides by sipping water – or – ruin the gastronomic experience by succumbing to a bite of Pav or bread – which they may have the temerity to place alongside your plate of Misal

That’s right – never have Pav or bread with a misal.

Pav with Bhaji or Vada may be fine (Pav-Bhaji or Vada-Pav) – but if you want to savor the genuine taste of Misal – and experience the “proof” of the real stuff – it would be tantamount to sacrilege to have Pav with Pisal.

Vada-Pav – okay

Pav-Bhaji – okay

Misal-Pav – it’s a No, No!

If you like things less spicy try Dahi Misal.

The sweet cool curds (dahi or yoghurt) mixed with fiery chillies, zesty onions and spicy crisp chiwda-shev provide an excellent contrasting symbiosis of tastes and flavours.

And – if you do want to have something with Pav – try the Patal Bhaji or Usal. 

Fresh soft bread (Pav) drenched in those delicious gravies – it’s heavenly.

You’ll find all the Maharashtrian specialties on the menu – including the Upas (Fast) Food like Sabudanyachi Khichadi and Wade – but you must go there and discover for yourself.

There are quite a few exquisite preparations of Pohe too.

But do remember to end your breakfast with chilled Piyush or Mango Lassi to savor a sweet end to a delightful repast.

If you are looking for authentic value-for-money pure vegetarian Maharashtrian cuisine in Mumbai – head for Vinay – and you will carry mouthwatering memories of the place forever.

It has been a long time since I last relished a Misal at Vinay.

I wonder if the place still exists.

If you are a Mumbaikar – and you live nearby – please do visit Vinay Health Home – and let us know whether the place is still going strong – and does it still serve the same high quality Misal and other dishes.

And – Dear Reader – if you know of a place that serves a good Misal – please be so good as to let us know.

Happy Eating!

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/mumbai-foodie-memories-misal-at-girgaum.html

Revised and Updated Version of the Article Written by me Vikram Karve 16 years ago in the year 2000 and First Posted on my Foodie Blog by me Vikram Karve at url: http://food.sulekha.com/delicious-vegetarian-maharashtrian-breakfast-id7471-39386-recipe.htm  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/05/eating-out-in-mumbai-misal.html  and  https://vwkarve.wordpress.com/2007/07/12/a-delicious-day-in-mumbai/  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/12/my-favourite-misal-eating-out-in-mumbai.html

Last Post – Obituary – RIP “Daddy”

September 22, 2016

“Last Post” – Remembering “Daddy”

Remembrance  Brigadier Pratap Dattatraya Joshi (6.3.1932 – 22.9.2008) 

Today is the 22nd of September 2016  the eighth death anniversary of my late father-in-law Brigadier Pratap Dattatraya Joshi who we affectionately called “Daddy“.

How time flies!

He passed away in the early hours of 22 September 2008.

8 years have passed since the inimitable Pratap Dattatraya Joshi left for his heavenly abode.

Lest we forget him  on this day  his 8th death anniversary  let me sound the “Last Post” once again.

As a token of my remembrance  here is the obituary LAST POST I wrote for him when he left us for his heavenly abode on the 22nd of September 2008.

LAST POST

Obituary

Brigadier Pratap Dattatraya Joshi  (6.3.1932 – 22.9.2008)

In the early hours of the 22nd of September 2008, Pratap Dattatraya Joshi, breathed his last, and departed for his heavenly abode, at the Deenanath Mangeshkar Hospital in Pune.

Pratap Joshi was an epitome of simple living and high thinking.

Born on the 6th of March 1932, he imbibed sterling values from his father, DP Joshi, a Teacher and Scout, a legend in his lifetime.

Brigadier PD Joshi was a product of the prestigious First Course of the National Defence Academy (NDA – or 1st JSW, as he liked to call it, then located in Dehradun).

Brigadier PD Joshi was certainly not the archetypal pompous hard-drinking handlebar-moustachioed high-falutin “Colonel Blimp” type of Army Officer.

He was not an elitist snob, but a simple honest patriotic professional who believed in grassroot soldiering.

He was a simple, down-to-earth, Spartan, unassuming, dedicated, sincere, patriotic, scrupulously honest, erudite person possessing a golden heart filled with humility and compassion.

Throughout his distinguished career spanning 37 years, and even thereafter, he spread happiness, benevolence and goodwill owing to his cheerful disposition, kind-hearted nature and inimitable sense of humour.

Forever young at heart  Pratap Joshi did not suffer from the Auld Lang Syne Complex.

After retirement  unlike most retired “faujis”  he never lived in the past, languishing and brooding about the “good old days”  but he moved on with exceptional enthusiasm and childlike zeal to his new loves – music and social work.

Starting from the scratch  he studied classical music with sheer dedication, resolute grit and passionate zest for many years till he was bestowed with the prestigious post graduate degree of Sangeet Alankar.

Then he taught music to one and all, free of cost  making special efforts to teach the needy and underprivileged.

Travelling extensively  and roughing it out in the heart of the mofussil  to rural and far flung regions  he made a significant social contribution to enhancing primary education in backward areas, as the Chief Trustee of the Natu Foundation Educational Trust.

He eagerly contributed his expertise to Jnana Prabodhini and for improving the efficiency of Hospitals.

Pratap Joshi loved animals, especially dogs.

He always had pet dogs, and showered his unconditional love on them and all the dogs that he came across in the neighbourhood, pet and stray.

It was distressing to see Dolly desperately searching for him soon after he had gone away from us forever.

We shall always remember the love with which he snuggled and cuddled Sherry, our pet dog  a “Doberman-X” girl  when she was a baby.

(Sadly – Sherry also passed away to her heavenly abode in December 2014)

Pratap Joshi had a genuine zest for living  and he enjoyed every moment of his life  indulging himself in his favourite foods, movies, travel, music etc

If he liked to do something – he did it – anything he liked – without caring for what others would think.

He laughed  and he made others laugh.

I first met Pratap Joshi in March 1982  and he left such a lasting impression on me that I became his fan ever since.

He was my father-in-law  more like a loving father who I could count on to stand by me, advise and inspire me, in happiness and in adversity  and I shall forever cherish every moment I shared with him.

My son, a seafarer, was his favourite grandchild, the apple of his eye.

It was a pity he could not be with his beloved grandfather during his last moments as he is sailing on the high seas.

Such are the tragedies and travesties of life, and death.

We will miss you dearly “Daddy”.

You lived your life to its fullest and loved all of us from the bottom of your heart.

We are sure you will shower us with your blessings from your heavenly abode.

You were a noble and virtuous man who always did good to everyone you met and wherever you went.

Pratap Dattatraya Joshi  (6.3.1932 – 22.9.2008) – RIP.

May His Soul Rest in Peace.

VIKRAM KARVE

Obituary First Posted on 22 September 2008 in this Blog at url link: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2008/09/pratap-joshi-rip-remembrance.html

Creative Writing Style – Why My Stories Have “Abrupt Endings”

September 21, 2016

“Coup De Grâce” – WHY MY FICTION SHORT STORIES HAVE ABRUPT ENDINGS 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/coup-de-grace-why-my-stories-have.html

If you are a creative writer – you will have your own individual writing style.

I too have my own signature style.

One aspect about my writing style is that my stories always have “abrupt endings”.

I agree.

One of the ramifications of “abrupt endings” is that I most of my stories don’t leave behind the quintessential “and they lived happily ever after” happy ending aftertaste in the mind of the reader.

So – many of my “abrupt ending” stories are not liked by many of my women readers who like happy endings – especially to love stories and romances.

(This category of “and they lived happily ever after” lovey-dovey happy ending readers includes my “Better Half” – who has stopped reading my stories because of their “abrupt endings”)

I am trying to make a conscious effort to correct this aspect.

Dear Reader – Let me tell you how I developed this writing style of having “abrupt endings”.

“TWIST IN THE TAIL”

WHY MY FICTION SHORT STORIES HAVE ABRUPT ENDINGS 

Reminiscences of a Creative Writer By VIKRAM KARVE

A recent “fan” of my creative writing commented: “I like the way you end your stories suddenly with a “twist in the tail”…”

The young lady was being polite.

A “not-so-polite” reader said: “I don’t like the way you suddenly end your stories…”

Another more forthright reader commented on my blogs: “Your stories seem incomplete – as if you are thinking of writing a Part 2 or a sequel to the story…”

What all my 3 readers wanted to know is:

“Why do my stories have abrupt endings…?”

Here is the answer:

“Coup De Grâce” – WHY MY FICTION SHORT STORIES HAVE ABRUPT ENDINGS

If you are a writer – you will have your own individual writing style.

I too have my own signature style.

Many readers have commented that one aspect they do not like about my writing style is that my stories always have abrupt endings.

I agree.

I will make a conscious effort to correct this aspect.

Dear Reader – let me tell you how I developed this writing style of having abrupt endings.

MY EARLY WRITING DAYS

I started writing fiction short stories more than 25 years ago in the early 1990’s – when I lived on the beautiful natural environment of IAT Pune in the hills of Girinagar – a beautiful verdant green forest in the back of beyond below the mighty Sinhagad Fort and overlooking the placid blue waters of the Khadakwasla lake near Pune.

From Monday to Friday – during the daytime – I would be busy with my work.

But even on those working days – every morning and evening – I took long walks in the hills of Girinagar – thinking interesting thoughts – and by Friday – the plot for my next story would be ready in my mind.

Then – on Saturday morning – I would start writing the story.

Yes – I did all my creative writing on weekends.

I would write a short story every weekend in “long hand” – which my darling wife would then type on her portable typewriter during the week.

(Yes – those were the days of the pen and paper – when you actually wrote with your pen on paper – and later your story had to be typed on a typewriter in the prescribed format)

Then I would then send my “double-spaced neatly typed story” by snail-mail (by registered post) to magazines which published short fiction like Citadel – a magazine published monthly from Pune for which I was a regular fiction writer – or to the Indian Express for its Thursday literary magazine called Citizen – or to other magazines like Femina, Savvy, Debonair, Caravan, Women’s Era etc that carried fiction.

I preferred to have an atmosphere of solitude to write on weekends.

So – on every Saturday morning – I would drop my wife and children at the Khadakwasla bus stop – and – my wife and kids would be off to spend the weekend in Pune City with their grannies.

Then – in my glorious solitude – I would to start writing.

WEEKEND WRITING

Yes – the moment my weekend began – on Saturday morning – in my glorious solitude – I would to start writing my story – which was germinating, evolving and perambulating in my mind during the week.

I love writing – so once I start writing – I transcend into a state of timelessness.

I would write the entire Saturday and Sunday.

Time would pass off in a jiffy – as I would be lost to the world – in a state of blissful timelessness.

Suddenly – I would hear the shrill ring of the phone.

And suddenly – I would realize that my two days of “creative bliss” were over.

It was already Sunday evening – and my wife was calling to tell me she was starting from Pune – and they all would be reaching Khadakwasla bus stop in an hour.

(The Bus Journey from Pune to Khadakwasla took one hour)

The moment this dreaded phone call came, for me – panic would set in.

Now – I had just one hour left to finish my story.

(I had to complete the story I was writing otherwise it would spill over to the next weekend – and I did not want to breach my self-imposed target of “one story per week”).

Therefore – I had no choice but to finish off the story with an abrupt ending – coup de grace…!!!

That is why my stories always have “abrupt endings”.

BLOGGING – DO MY BLOG POSTS HAVE “ABRUPT ENDINGS”

Maybe this style of writing “abrupt endings” developed into a habit – and old habits die hard.

I will have to change my writing style.

I will try my best to see that my stories have more unhurried, relaxed, satisfying, happy endings that leave a pleasant smooth aftertaste.

But how can I do this…?

Nowadays – after retirement – I blog.

And – I try to write at least a blog a day.

Yes – I write one blog post per day.

I get up early and go for a long morning walk which ends in the park on the banks of the Mula River in Wakad near Pune.

During my morning walk I think interesting thoughts – about what I am going to write on that day.

Then – I start writing around 9 AM in the morning (an hour after my wife goes to work).

I love writing so much that I lose all sense of time – and sometimes – I do not even have lunch.

Suddenly – I realise that it is 4 PM – and – I know that my wife would be arriving in a half an hour.

Since I am a dedicated “Househusband” – I am required to welcome my “Breadwinner” Wife with a cup of Tea – the moment she arrives home from work.

My “Writing Time” is over – and – my “Quality Time” (with “Better Half”) will soon begin.

So – I have to quickly finish off whatever I am writing – and – I have to post it on my blog immediately.

That is why – like my stories – even my blog posts have “abrupt endings”.

It seems that I just cannot escape from “Abrupt Endings” Trap.

Or – maybe – I will be able to change my “Abrupt Endings” Writing Style if I keep trying…

I will try my best – but till then – Dear Reader – you will have no choice but to “suffer” my “twist in the tail” “abrupt ending” stories and blog posts…

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/coup-de-grace-why-my-stories-have.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Revised Version of Article Written by me Vikram Karve in the year 2011 and Posted Online Earlier many times, including at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/04/why-my-stories-have-abrupt-endings.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/05/abrupt-endings.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/01/my-writing-style-abrupt-endings.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/06/twist-in-tail-why-my-fiction-short.html

Romancing on a Train

September 20, 2016

One good thing about the Navy is that you get an opportunity to spend many years in Mumbai – ashore and afloat on ships based at Mumbai.

And – since I am from Pune – during these Mumbai tenures – I frequently travelled from Mumbai to Pune (and back) by Train – whenever I got leave – and on weekend visits.

Those days there was no Mumbai Pune Expressway and the road journey was arduous and time-consuming.

Also – we did not own cars – so Mumbai Pune had to be done on a motorcycle/scooter.

Hence – we preferred train travel.

These train journeys gave me ideas for many of my stories.

Here is one I wrote around 26 years ago – in the early 1990s – duly abridged updated and revised for the digital screen – and with an explanatory epilogue added.

Do tell me if you like this old fashioned romance…

 

EPILOGUE  

Sometime ago – I received a wedding invitation card.

I wondered who had sent it – as I was clueless – when I read the names.

Soon – a classmate of mine – with whom I had lost contact – with rang me up – and she said that she had found my whereabouts from the internet – and that she had sent me the invitation card of the wedding of her daughter.

I read the bride’s mother’s name from the card – and the lady on the phone confirmed that the name on the card was her new name.

As was the custom in earlier days – she had changed her maiden name after her marriage – and in her new name – there was no trace of her earlier name.

For illustrative purposes – I will give you a fictitious example:

Suppose her earlier name before her marriage was Swati [her maiden name given by her parents] Laxman [her father’s name] Gokhale [her father’s surname]

Now – after her marriage – her new name was transformed into Manisha [new name given by her husband] Vishwas [husband’s name] Bhide [husband’s surname].

Please observe that her new name Manisha Vishwas Bhide has absolutely no trace of her earlier name Swati Laxman Gokhale.

I do not think this happens too often nowadays – as girls retain their earlier identities after marriage – including both the maiden name and surname as well – but here is a story I wrote long ago on the name game.

I think I wrote this story around 26 years ago on a train journey from Mumbai to Pune

By the way this is pure fiction – a figment of my imagination – there are no such persons – and no such thing ever happened – so just sit back and enjoy the story…

 

FLIRTING ON THE TRAIN

Fiction Short Story By VIKRAM KARVE

No matter how many times I begin a train journey – I always have an intriguing interest in seeing who my fellow-passengers are.

I stood on the platform of Mumbai Station in the early morning chill and scanned the reservation chart pasted on the Air-Conditioned Chair-Car of the Indrayani Express.

I was on seat number 30 – a window seat.

A window seat.

The neighbouring seat number 29 was reserved in the name of Avinash Bhide – male – age 10.

A disappointment…!

There was better luck on seat number 28 – Manisha Bhide – female – age 35.

In my mind’s eye – I tried to imagine and visualise what Manisha Bhide would be like.

Surprisingly – Manisha Bhide did not board the train as it left Mumbai CST.

I felt a pang of disappointment.

Maybe she would come at Dadar.

The seats in the air-conditioned chair-car were three abreast – 28 near the aisle – 30 near the window – and 29 in-between.

I sat down on seat number 28.

In 10 minutes the train reached Dadar.

A beautiful woman with vivacious dancing eyes entered the coach – and – she had a young boy in tow.

As she walked towards me – I instinctively knew that she was Manisha Bhide.

“Manisha Bhide?” I asked – as I stood up.

I gave her a smile of forced geniality.

Our eyes met.

She looked into my eyes for that moment longer than may be considered polite greeting.
I felt a sense of elation.

I quickly moved out on the aisle – and I helped her with her luggage.

Meanwhile young Avinash Bhide had occupied the window-seat – seat No. 30 – my seat.

Before Manisha Bhide could say anything – I quickly interjected: “It’s okay. Let the young gentleman sit in the window-seat”.

Now – the beautiful Manisha Bhide would have to sit next to me.

Manisha Bhide smiled in resignation at the fait accompli – and she sat down on seat number 29.

My opening gambit having succeeded – I closed my eyes to savour the sense of delight I was experiencing.

After a long time – I felt young and happy once again.

This was one journey I was going to enjoy.

Suddenly – Manisha Bhide spoke, “Excuse me – but aren’t you Vijay Joshi…?”

I was taken aback – a bit bewildered.

Flabbergasted – I opened my eyes – wondering whether they put up reservation charts at Dadar too – since the one on the coach was on the right-hand side – and – the platform at Dadar was on the left-hand side of the coach.

Before I could recover my wits – Manisha Bhide said: “You are in the Merchant Navy – aren’t you…?”

Stunned and dumbstruck – I just stared at her – vacuously – perplexed into silence.

The silence was grotesque.

Manisha Bhide broke the silence – and she said to me: “You don’t remember me – do you…? But I have recognized you Mr. Joshi – or is it Captain Joshi…? Why are you hiding behind that ghastly beard…? The beard doesn’t suit you. You looked so handsome clean-shaven…”

I caressed my beard lovingly with my right hand – and I said, “No Ma’am – I don’t think we have met – maybe you are mistaking me for someone else – and had we met – I would never have forgotten you…”

That was true.

She was really beautiful – a face one could not forget easily – and her vivacious eyes – if I had seen her I would have certainly remembered her…

“But you are Vijay Joshi – aren’t you…?” she said.

I looked at her.

I felt totally astounded.

She seemed to give me the impression – as if we had known each other very well.

“You are right,” I said, “I am indeed Captain Vijay Joshi, Master Mariner. But I don’t remember ever meeting you.”

“But then – how do you know my new name…?” she snapped.

“New name…?” I said.

“Yes. My new name – Manisha Bhide…” she said.

“I saw it on the reservation chart,” I said sheepishly.

“I was Swati Gokhale before marriage,” she said, “and after marriage – my surname changed to Bhide – and husband changed my maiden name from Swati to Manisha.”

“Manisha Bhide nee Swati Gokhale…!” I joked – and I said to her, “Well – I am quite sure. I don’t think we have ever met before.”

People are always little disconcerted when you do not recognize them.

They are so important to themselves – that it is disheartening for them to discover of what negligible importance they are to others.

I racked my brains – but just could not remember meeting any Swati Gokhale.

“Are you from Pune…?” I asked.

“No. I am from Mumbai,” she answered – then she paused – and she said, “But now I live in Pune. My husband works there.”

She paused for another moment – she looked directly into my eyes – and she asked me, “Do you still live in Nashik…?”

“No…No…” I said, trying to hide my surprise. “I have got a flat in Mumbai. In Colaba. And I have also bought a bungalow in Lonavala. That is where I am going right now.”

“Oh…really…?” she said, raising her eyebrows appreciatively.

But – I did sense that slight tinge of regret in her voice – just a trace mind you – but the nuance did not escape me.

She looked at me with genuine admiration in her eyes – and she said, “You must be a rich man…?”

I smiled. “Well – it is a paying job. And then – one gets paid in dollars.”

“I wish I had married you,” she said, matter-of-factly.

“What…?” I asked totally stunned and taken aback.

“One day my parents showed me two photographs. One was yours – and the other was my husband’s – my present husband that is…” she said wistfully.

Then she looked directly at me – and she said, “I had to choose one – and I think I made the wrong choice. It was a big mistake – a real big mistake. I really wish I had married you, Captain Joshi…!”

It took a while for her words to sink in – and as comprehension dawned on me – I understood the reasons for her interest in me.

People have many reasons for snooping into others people’s lives and affairs.

Everyone has a natural curiosity to know what lies beyond the closed door – especially if they have closed that door themselves.

In my mind’s eye – I tried to imagine what life would have been like had she married me.

I was tempted to probe a bit – so I asked her, “Please tell me. I am curious. Why did you reject me…?”

“Please don’t say that – I never rejected you – I just selected him – actually it all happened so fast – you were away sailing on the high seas – and I had only your photograph to go by – and it was going to be six months before you would return from sea. And the Bhide’s were in a terrible hurry. Vishwas Bhide was in India for precisely one month – to find a bride – to get married – and to go back to America. Actually he was flooded with proposals – but he had liked me – and I too wanted to go abroad – and enjoy the luxury – the high standard of living…” she said.

“When was this…?” I asked.

“15 years ago – when I was exactly 20 years old…” she said.

“I wonder why my mother didn’t tell me about you…?” I said to her, quite confused, “Well – 15 years ago – I was only a Second Officer – and I did not know that my mother was busy finding a bride for me – while I was away at sea. But she should have told me about you…”

“It’s understandable…” Manisha Bhide said nonchalantly, “If a boy rejects a girl – it does not matter – but if the girl rejects the boy – he becomes a laughing stock, an object of ridicule – at least in those days – 15 years ago…”

I smiled to myself at the truth of her statement.

“So you live in America do you…? On a holiday here…?” I asked, trying to change the topic.

“No,” she said. “We came back 7 years ago. My husband took up a professorship in the University. He is so qualified and talented – that he could earn millions – but he is an idealist sort of chap who lacks ambition. A man who values high thinking and simple living – a thrift and frugality type – you know he even lacks the drive to do well in that teaching job too. It’s so sad – his idea of happiness is to wallow in mediocrity in every aspect of life. It’s pathetic – I tell you – it’s just pathetic…!”

“How can you say that?” I interjected, “Teaching is an honourable profession. And surely – the pay must be okay.”

“Maybe – but with his thrift and frugality values – he just does not want to enjoy life – or have a decent standard of living, Mr. Joshi,” she said – with bitterness in her voice, “We live in a dilapidated house in the university campus. And I am ashamed to drive in our small rickety car. All my dreams have been dashed. I too wish I could have a bungalow in Lonavala like you and live in style. I really envy your wife, Captain Joshi…!”

“I don’t have a wife…” I said.

“Good God…! You never got married…?” she asked, confusion writ large on her face.

Then she paused for a moment – and she said tenderly, “Or is it…? Oh… I am so sorry…”

“No… No…” I said, “It’s not what you think. I am not a widower. Nor am I a bachelor. I am a divorcee. One fine day my wife just left me – and she moved in with some school teacher. It happened 3 years ago.”

“Your wife left you for school teacher…? How silly…!”

“It’s ironic isn’t it?” I said, “You wanted a standard of living – she wanted a quality of life.”

“Quality of life…?” Manisha Bhide said.

“That’s what she used to say. She couldn’t stand the separations, the loneliness. She wanted me to give up merchant navy and take up some job ashore – but I had got too used to the sea and did not want to give up the so called ‘standard of living’ as you put it…” I paused for a moment – and then I said wistfully, “I wish I had understood… On the whole  I think an imperfect marriage is better than no marriage at all…”

“I think your wife was very unfair,” Manisha Bhide said.

“On the contrary – I too haven’t been an angel. You see – life at sea is not all fun and frolic. One docks at exotic ports – and one does get lonely at times – and then – one is tempted to sow one’s wild oats…” I said.

I instantly regretted those words – especially the “…sow one’s wild oats…” bit.

On hearing my words – there was a sudden metamorphosis in Manisha Bhide.

She was looking at me now as if I was a lusty lecherous predator on the prowl.

I excused myself – and I went to the toilet.

When I returned – I found Master Avinash Bhide in the centre-seat – with a scowl on his face.

Manisha Bhide had now shifted to the window seat – and was studiously making a pretence of reading a magazine.

I sat down next to the young boy – and the rest of the journey passed in interesting conversation with Master Avinash Bhide.

He wanted to know all about ships…!

As the train approached Lonavala – I pulled down my bag – and I said, “Goodbye Mrs. Bhide. It was nice meeting you – and – of course – your son is a delightful chap…!”

Manisha Bhide turned her face – and she looked at me.

She looked so beautiful – so attractive – that I stood mesmerized – and I was unable to take my eyes off her.

Manisha Bhide smiled – she looked into my eyes – and she said to me, “It was good that I met you Captain Joshi. All these years – I was always tormented by the thought that I had made the wrong choice – that I had selected the wrong photograph – and I wished that I had selected you. But now – I know I made the right choice…!”

As I walked away – I had a canny feeling that I had probably saved her marriage.

I can never forget Manisha Bhide – her mesmerizing beauty – and her vivacious dancing eyes.

And – sometimes – when I feel lonely and melancholic – I wish she had opted for me – and married me – instead of that Vishwas Bhide.

Maybe – we would have had a rocking marriage.

Maybe – I would have been the right choice for her.

Maybe for her – Surely for me.

But – one thing is for sure – I wouldn’t have changed her maiden name – I prefer Swati.

Swati Joshi sounds much better than Manisha Joshi – doesn’t it…?

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 is a revised version of my story THE RIGHT CHOICE written by me Vikram Karve 26 years ago in the year 1990 and earlier posted online by me an number of times in my various creative writing blogs including at urls: http://creative.sulekha.com/the-right-choice-a-story-by-vikram-karve_31342_blog  and  https://vikramwkarve.wordpress.com/2007/03/29/ and https://vikramwkarve.wordpress.com/2007/03/29/a-short-story-by-vikram-karve-the-right-choice/  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2010/09/just-flirting-beautiful-woman-with.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/05/flirting-on-train.html  andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/flirting-on-train-travel-romance.html etc

“Threesome” – Story of a Husband, a Wife and the “Other” Woman

September 17, 2016

THE “THREESOME” 

Story of a Husband, a Wife and the “Other” Woman

Short Fiction By VIKRAM KARVE 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/the-threesome-story-of-husband-wife-and.html

Dramatis Personae

Rohan – The Husband

Lata – The Wife

Nisha – The “Other” Woman (Narrator of the Story)

THE “THREESOME – A Story by Vikram Karve 

I look at myself in the mirror.

I do not like what I see.

My face looks terrible – my skin, my lips, my eyes – they all look haggard.

And my eyebrows, my hair – they look unkempt.

Everything about me looks awful.

To put it bluntly – I look horrible.

I desperately need to go the beauty parlour.

I must have a good makeover to make myself presentable.

Today is Sunday.

I’ll go to that exclusive beauty salon near Churchgate – and I’ll get the full works done – from head to toe.

My mobile phone rings.

It is Rohan.

If it was anyone else – I would have rejected the call – or ignored it.

But since it is Rohan – I pick up my cell phone – and I say, “Hi Rohan. What happened? Calling so early in the morning?”

“It’s 8 o’clock,” Rohan says.

“It’s Sunday – I just woke up – I was about to brush my teeth,” I say.

“Oh – I am sorry – but I wanted to come and see you. Are you free? Can I come now – or should I come later?” Rohan says.

If it was anyone else – I would have told them to come later – because I would not want them to see me in my horrible unsightly state.

But with Rohan it is different – with him – I can be myself.

“Come over,” I say, “I’ll brush my teeth and shower. I should be ready by the time you drive down.”

“I am standing outside your door,” Rohan says.

“What…? You are already here?” I say, surprised.

“Yes – if you want – I’ll go down and wait for you in the lobby,” he says.

I look at myself in the mirror once more.

I really look ghastly.

But it is okay.

As I told you before – with Rohan – I can be myself.

“Hey Nisha – what happened…?” Rohan interrupts my train of thoughts.

“Just wait there – I am coming to open the door,” I say.

I disconnect Rohan’s call on my mobile phone – and I walk towards the door.

I open the door.

Rohan looks all dressed up, freshly bathed, smelling good.

“You look good,” I say.

“You look terrible,” he says, “and you are reeking of rum – in fact – you smell like a distillery.”

“I know – I drank too much rum last night. Rohan – you please sit down – I’ll quickly have a shower and get ready,” I say.

“Hey – I picked up some hot idlis and coffee for you on the way. Why don’t you have some coffee first to cure your hangover?” Rohan says, taking out a parcel and a flask from his ubiquitous backpack.

“No – I haven’t even brushed my teeth – just give me a few minutes to freshen up…” I say.

When I come out of my bedroom – I see that Rohan has already laid out the plates with the idlissambar, chutney.

“Should I pour the coffee?” he asks.

“Not now – we’ll have coffee after we eat,” I say.

“Okay,” he says.

“So – what brings you here so early in the morning?” I ask.

“Nothing – I just felt lonely…” Rohan says.

“Lonely…? Where is Lata…?” I ask.

“She has gone to play golf,” Rohan says.

“Golf…? Here at the club…? Why didn’t you go to play with her…?” I ask.

“No – not here – Lata has gone to some fancy golf course near Pune…”

“Really…? But you could have gone with her…”

“She did not want me to come…”

“What…? Lata did not want you to go with her…?”

“Yes – she did not want me to go with her…”

“But why…?”

“She feels embarrassed by me…”

“Embarrassed…? What are you saying…?”

“She is out of my league now – so she feels embarrassed that I am her husband…”

“Just shut up – you are talking all nonsense…”

“No – it is true – ever since she joined that MNC – my wife is ashamed of my ‘middle class mentality’ – especially in front of her bosses and colleagues…”

“I can’t believe it – ‘middle class mentality’ – what does she mean by that…?

“Well, I don’t know – you better ask her that…”

“So – what happened…?”

“Yesterday afternoon I came back after a long sailing – I wanted to spend some together at home – but Lata had to go for this corporate party – all the top bosses of her company have come over for a review from abroad – so I tagged along – I am sure Lata did not want to take me along – but her boss insisted that she get her ‘sailor’ husband…”

“So you enjoyed the party…?”

“Yes – the party was good – excellent booze and delicious food – but I got into an argument with a drunken ‘firangi’  foreigner who was speaking derogatory things about India – so Lata got miffed because I was rude to him…”

“Rude…? Argument…? Why…?”

“The snobbish bugger was criticizing everything in India – I listened for some time – but when he crossed all limits and continued talking ill of us – I gave it back to him nice and proper…”

“Good…”

“What do you mean ‘good’…? The ‘firangi’  bugger turned out to be a big shot – he is the ‘Top Man’ in Lata’s MNC – so Lata kept apologizing to him for my behaviour…”

“But why has Lata gone outstation to play golf…?”

“Well – all the top bosses of her company have come from Singapore, Hong Kong – from all over the world – and when they learnt the Lata played golf – they invited her to come along with them – they are going to play a round of golf – and then all the company bigwigs will spend the evening partying at the golf resort – I think it is more of corporate networking than golf…”

“But you could have gone with her – doesn’t Lata come for all our Navy parties? It was rude of her boss not to invite you – especially when you play golf so well…”

“Her boss did ask me to come along for the golf trip. But before I could say anything – Lata told him that I was working today…”

“But why should she do that…?”

“I told you – didn’t I …? Why are you asking me again and again…? Lata feels embarrassed of me in front of her office colleagues – she feels that I lack ‘social graces’ – and she is especially angry after what happened last evening when I gave it back to that ‘firangi’ guy – she is scared I may open my big mouth and say something that may offend her top bosses. So she has pushed off to enjoy the weekend with them and left me high and dry. I am feeling terrible…”

“Come on Rohan – cheer up – let Lata play golf with her bosses – we’ll spend the day together.”

“I never thought Lata would become so ambitious – she has become desperate for success – and the way she is behaving nowadays, it looks like she will do anything to get it – she may even sleep with that bloody ‘firangi’ top boss…”

“No – don’t say that – I know her – Lata is a simple girl…”

“Oh, yes – Lata was a simple small town girl – but that was before we got married – now she has changed – especially after joining this MNC. Now – Lata feels that she has overtaken me in status – she feels that she has gone way ahead of me – and now she is out my league…”

“Out of your league…?”

“Tell me Nisha – you know Lata’s background – what was she before marriage? Wasn’t she a bloody rustic ignoramus ‘plain jane’…? Whatever she is today is because of me…”

“Well, that is true, Rohan – Lata was just a nondescript BA from an unknown small town college. Yes – you are right – what Lata is today – it is all because of you…”

“I was the one who encouraged her to do her MBA…”

“I remember…”

“And tell me – had she ever seen an officers’ club in her life – and golf – who taught her golf – would she ever have got an opportunity to play golf had she not married me…?”

“Lata always wanted to marry an officer – and she was desperate to escape from her backward hometown and live in modern society – she told me that…”

“And you fixed her up with me…?”

“Her parents asked me if there was a suitable boy I knew – preferably an officer – and I told them about you – and then all of you arranged the marriage…”

“When I asked you to marry me – you refused…”

“Well – at that time – I did not feel it was right for me to marry a fellow officer – I thought ‘in-service marriage’ would be like fraternization…”

“Ha Ha – ‘in-service marriage’ – that’s a load of bullshit – and what bloody ‘fraternization’ are you talking about? Most of the female officers are marrying male officers. And it’s the same in the army and air force too…”

“I know. No civilian wants to marry a ‘fauji’ female – even my own relationship broke up because of this…”

“You were in a relationship…? We are such good friends and you never told me about this before…”

“It happened much before I met you – even before I joined the academy…”

“So – who was it…?”

“He was my classmate at IIT – in fact – after B. Tech. – both of us were placed at the same IT company at Pune – and we worked in same Software Development Project – they even sent us abroad to the US for a few months for onsite work – that is when we got close – so when we came back to India we started dating each other…”

“So – why didn’t you get married to him…?”

“Because – in a burst of jingoism – I decided to join the Navy…”

“You didn’t tell him…?”

“At first he thought I was joking – then when the SSB call came – he told me not to go – but I said I was just going for fun – but then I got selected – and I decided to join the Navy…”

“So – what happened…?”

“He was furious – and he dumped me…”

“He dumped you – why…?”

“He said that he did not want a ‘gun-toting’ wife – and that having a ‘fauji’ wife did not fit into his life plans. He pleaded with me not to join the navy – he asked me to continue in the Software Firm – he said that he had plans for both of us – we were being sent to the US again in a few months – and then we both would both to stay on in America forever…”

“And then…?”

“I made the biggest mistake of my life – I quit my lucrative and promising software job and joined the navy – and I lost everything…”

“Lost everything…? What do you mean…?”

“On the personal front – my boyfriend dumped me – and on the career front – I was doomed to teaching algebra and geometry to newly recruited sailors…”

“Algebra and geometry…? What are you saying…?”

“Well – after the academy – the first posting they gave me was to the sailors’ basic training unit – and what do Education Officers do anyway – teach sailors – or look after libraries like I am doing now – you know – had I stayed on as a Techie in the IT industry – I would have been working in a top software job in Seattle – happily married and all…”

“Seattle…?”

“Yes – that’s where he is – actually he had discreetly talked to our clients about a job for me too – so that when both of us went to Seattle for our next onsite assignment – we would quietly switch over jobs after a few months – and remain there…”

“Wow…”

“And – suddenly – like an impulsive fool – in a fit of jingoism – I joined the Navy. He was so angry with me – that after dumping me – he got married to one of our colleagues – must be on the rebound – but anyway – both of them are doing well out there. And what did I do…? I screwed up my life nice and proper by joining the Navy. Just imagine – I was doing well as a Techie – I had great career prospects – I was going steady with a boy I liked – I had everything going for me – and now – everything is finished – my life – my career – everything…”

“Come on Nisha – don’t say that – things are not that bad – and you should reduce your drinking – and why do you drink all alone in your cabin – at least you can go and drink in the wardroom bar, or in the club, and make some friends…” Rohan says.

“Friends…? Where can I find friends to drink with in the bar…? All my course-mates are married – and no young bachelor wants to date a 34 year old hag…”

“You are 34…?”

“Yes, Sir – I am 2 years older than you – you joined straight after graduation – I worked for 3 years after my engineering and then I joined the navy…”

“It is surprising – we are so close to each other – but you never told me all this about being dumped before…” Rohan says.

“Maybe I never felt so lonely before…?”

“Lonely – you are feeling lonely – that is exactly how I am feeling – lonely. In fact – it was because I was feeling so lonely that I came here so early in the morning…”

“But why should you feel lonely…? You are married…?”

“What marriage…? Lata is busy with her job – and her obsession to break the glass ceiling. And in any case, Nisha – marriage or no marriage – I am certainly going to be very lonely for the next 2-3 years – and the worst part is that even you won’t be there…”

“Why…? What are you saying…?”

“I have got my first command – but the ship is based in Port Blair…”

“Wow – you have got your command so fast – you should be celebrating…”

“I know – but Lata is refusing to come with me to Port Blair…”

“Her job…?”

“Yes…”

“She can take a few years off – a ‘sabbatical’…”

Rohan starts laughing.

Then – in a sarcastic tone – Rohan says: “Lata taking a ‘Sabbatical’ – are you crazy or something…? Aren’t you hearing what I am saying all this time…?”

“Why – what happened…?” I ask him.

“Forget about taking a few years off – Lata has bigger plans – she is planning to relocate to Singapore – she is desperately lobbying for a prized job at the company headquarters there – and I am sure she is going to get what she wants – why do you think all this ‘golf diplomacy’ and partying is going on…?”

“But what about your family life…?”

“What family life…? First, she postponed having kids till she completed her MBA. Then – she wanted to wait till she settled down in her career. And now – it looks like she will be off to Singapore – while I languish all alone in Port Blair. I don’t think she is interested in having kids – or in family life – in fact, sometimes I feel that Lata has no use for me now – she has used me as a stepping stone – and now she is busy in her career rat-race on her way upwards to break the glass ceiling…”

“Why don’t you talk to her…?” I say.

“I did…”

“And…?”

“Lata asked me to quit the Navy…”

“She asked you to quit the Navy…?”

Yes – Lata told me that she is quite sure she would get that coveted job in Singapore – and then she had the audacity to tell me that she would wangle some job in HR for me out there…”

“So what’s wrong…? At least you two can stay together…”

“But why the hell should I quit the Navy and take up some insignificant nondescript HR job and play second-fiddle to her? I like the Navy – and I have got my ship command so early – I have a bright future here…”

“Yes – at least you have a future in the Navy – but for me – both my personal life and career are screwed up nice and proper…” I say.

“Why…? What happened to your career…?” Rohan asks.

“Don’t you know…? My 10 years of Short Service Commission are getting over soon – and – I will be out of the Navy – left “high and dry” – to fend for myself…”

“You can sign up for 4 years more…”

“And do what…? At least now I am a 34 year old hag – I still have a chance of finding someone to marry me. If I wait for 4 years more – and I will become a 38 year old unmarriageable shrew – and the way things are going – I may land up becoming ‘alcohol dependent’ as well…”

“Maybe you can find someone in the Navy…?” he asks.

“Do you have someone in mind…?” I ask him.

Rohan changes the topic.

“Anyway – let’s talk something better,” Rohan says, “I am leaving for Port Blair on Thursday. Today is the last Sunday we have together – so let us have a good time – you get ready fast – let’s go for the morning show at Eros or Regal – both the movies are good – then we can have lunch wherever you want – and maybe after that we can go to the races…”

In the evening – when we were walking on Marine Drive – Lata called up Rohan to tell him that she would be coming home only the next morning as she had to attend a campfire party with her company bigwigs at the golf resort.

Lata also told Rohan that she was getting the Singapore job which she had desperately wanted.

Lata also told Rohan that she had spoken about his HR job too.

I looked at Rohan.

He looked disappointed – and he said, “See – I told you – this is the last Sunday before I leave for Port Blair – and – instead of spending some time with me – Lata is busy furthering her career.”

I marveled at the metamorphosis in Lata.

The way she had transformed herself from a simple, small-town girl into an ambitious careerist was incredible.

Yes – now – as Rohan was saying – Lata was indeed putting her career before her marriage.

Lata is my friend.

I do not want to steal her husband.

But if Lata wants to throw her husband into my arms – then there is nothing I can do about it.

Yes – I did not intend to be a ‘husband snatcher’ – but if Lata wants to abandon her husband Rohan and drive him into into my arms – then I am quite willing to have him there.

Rohan and me – we were already good friends.

Why not “strike while the iron is hot” – and upgrade our relationship.

From just “good friends” – maybe we could now become “friends with benefits”.

And then – hopefully – our relationship would develop into something more intense.

EPILOGUE 

Next morning – the moment I reach office – I tell my boss that I want to extend my Short Service Commission from 10 years to 14 years and I am ready to sign up for four more years.

“That’s good,” the Commodore says, “but you have already spent 3 years here in Mumbai – and if you sign up for an extension – you may have to go on a transfer.”

“Sir – is it possible to get a choice transfer?” I ask.

“I know the DOP – I’ll speak to him and try to get you a choice transfer – tell me – where do you want to go…?” the Commodore says.

“Port Blair…” I say.

“What…? Port Blair…? Are you sure…?” the Commodore asks, looking surprised.

“Yes, Sir – I want to go to Port Blair…” I say.

“Well – Port Blair shouldn’t be a problem at all – consider it done – I am so happy that lady officers like you are volunteering for tough stations like Port Blair…” the Commodore says – and he picks up the phone to make a call.

One month later – I am on my way to Port Blair.

Of course – I have already called up Rohan and told him to receive me at the airport.

By the way – Rohan’s wife Lata – she has got that coveted job in Singapore and she will be heading there soon.

Believe it or not – when I met Lata to tell her that I had been transferred to Port Blair – do you know what she said?

Lata told me to ‘look after’ her husband Rohan.

Oh yes – I am certainly going to “look after” Rohan very well…!

You can take my word for it.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/the-threesome-story-of-husband-wife-and.html

This is a revised version of my story titled A HUSBAND – A WIFE – AND THE “OTHER WOMAN” was written by me Vikram Karve on March 9, 2015, and posted by me online at at 3/09/2015 06:14:00 PM in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve Blog a number of times at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/03/a-husband-wife-and-other-woman.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/04/stealing-affections-husband-wife-and.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/06/the-other-woman-love-story.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/lonely-hearts-love-in-uniform_0.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/10/friends-with-benefits.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/husband-snatching-story-of-husband-wife.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/04/friends-and-lovers.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/the-other-woman-story-of-friends-with.html

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