The “Perfect” Husband – A “Prize Catch”

February 16, 2017

The “PRIZE CATCH” Husband 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/the-prize-catch-husband.html

The “PRIZE CATCH” Husband (Fiction Short Story) By Vikram Karve

When I returned home from work in the evening – I found everyone waiting for me.

Yes – they were eagerly waiting for me to come home from work – my parents – my elder sister and her husband – my aunty (mother’s sister) and her husband – our neighbors and their daughter – and – of course – our maid – she was eavesdropping as usual for some “hot gossip”…

The moment she saw me – my mother said excitedly: “The Boy’s parents called up in the afternoon – the “Boy” has liked you…”

“I got your SMS…” I said to my mother, rather tersely.

Actually – I called you immediately to give you the good news – but you didn’t answer the phone – so I sent you the SMS…”

“I was busy…”

“I thought you would be happy to see the good news – and – I expected you to call back immediately the moment you saw the SMS…”

“Good News…? What “good news”…?”

“The “Boy” has liked you. You will be getting married soon and going to America. Isn’t that “good news”…? Aren’t you “happy”…?”

“What do you mean by “I am getting married”…? I hope you haven’t…?” I asked my mother.

“Yes. She has…” my father said, “your mother has told the Boy’s mother that you “like” the “Boy”…”

“What…?” I said, shocked.

“We have even fixed up your marriage…” my mother said.

“When…?”

“Next Sunday…”

“Next Sunday…? That’s just 10 days away…”

“It’s a good “Muhurat” – that’s what the Boy’s mother said – and – I checked up on the astrological calendar too – a very auspicious day – and – it’s an ideal day and date – it will be convenient for everyone to attend the wedding ceremony on Sunday – and – we were so lucky – even a good “Marriage Hall” was available at such short notice – so – we have booked the hall too…” my mother said, matter-of-factly.

“You did all this on the phone…?” I asked my mother, feeling flabbergasted.

“Yes. The Boy’s parents are in a hurry – the Boy has to go back to America by the end of this month – so we have got just 15 days for the marriage – a quick honeymoon – and then – the moment your “spouse visa” comes – you can join your husband in the US…”

“Spouse Visa…?”

“You are lucky – the Boy is already an American Citizen – so he said that he will arrange everything so that you can get there quickly – so – you keep your passport ready with you in your purse – the Boy is coming to meet you at 6:30…”

“He is coming to meet me at 6:30 – that’s just half an hour from now…”

“Yes – we have to do things quickly now – you get ready fast – he is going to take you out for dinner – you both can discuss all your marriage plans, honeymoon, going to America, future life etc…”

“What is wrong with you…? When did I ever say that I want to get married to this “Boy”…?”

“Don’t you “like” the “Boy”…?”

“Did I ever say that I “Liked” the “Boy”…? Did I ever say that I wanted to get married to him…?”

“We assumed…”

“How can you assume such things…? I hardly know him…”

“First – you two met at the “Kande Pohe” girl-seeing ceremony here – then – the very next day – you two  went out for coffee to get to know each other better – and – after that – you visited his parents’ house – and – when I asked you about him – you said:“The “Boy is Good”…”

“Yes. The “Boy” may be good – but that doesn’t mean I want to get married to him – and that too – in such a crashing hurry…”

“I told you – the “Boy” has come to India on a month’s vacation – and – he has to go back to America by the end of the month – so – before that we have to finish off your wedding ceremony – in fact – we have agreed to have just a token engagement ceremony at home due to the shortage of time…”

“You don’t worry – we will arrange everything – all of us will do all the wedding work – you just have to be present for the wedding ceremonies – that’s all…” my elder sister said.

“Yes – that Wedding Hall is booked – the Menu has been finalized – I have already paid the advance online – we will go there tomorrow morning to finalize the ceremonies and arrangements and tie up the loose ends…” my sister’s husband said.

“We will finish off all the wedding shopping this weekend – you can visit your parlour too – and – by next Sunday – you will be all set for your wedding…” said my aunty (mother’s sister).

“I will get some sample wedding card samples for you to choose from – so – we can give the printing order…” my mother’s sister’s husband said, “you don’t worry – I will handle that end and see that everyone gets invitations in time – I will email them too – and – your father and mother will take you along to invite the very close relatives…”

“Yes – the wedding will happen smoothly – the Boy’s parents are very decent people – they are not insisting on anything – they said to me: “Whatever you do – we are happy”…” my mother said.

“Okay…” my father said to me, “you go to your room and get ready quickly – the “Boy” will be here in another 20 minutes…”

“And – wear something nice – and do your hair – and touch up your face up a bit also – I’ll come with you and help you get ready for the “Boy”…” my sister said to me.

“Please Please Please Please Please – I am not interested in getting married to this “Boy”…” I shouted, exasperated.

“What…?” everyone said, looking surprised.

“I do not want to get married to this “Boy”…” I said firmly.

“But why…?” my mother asked me.

“I don’t know – but – I don’t want to get married…”

“You are already 27 years old – and – your father is retiring next year…” my mother said.

“You don’t worry – I am financially independent – I will fund my own marriage – I don’t need any money from you…” I said.

“No. No. Your mother didn’t mean it that way…” my father said, “I want you to tell me one thing – you don’t want to get married at all – or – you don’t want to get married to this “Boy”…?”

“I don’t want to get married to this “Boy”…” I said.

“But why…? What’s wrong with this “Boy”…? He is a “perfect match” for you…” my mother said to me.

“Yes – it is such a nice family – and – the “Boy” has such good character – he has no bad habits – he does not smoke or drink – he is a teetotaller – he so well-mannered, polite and soft-spoken – his mother said that he has a very loving and caring nature – he will be best husband for you…” my sister said to me.

“Yes – he is so well qualified – IIT – Ivy League University – excellent career – well settled – and he is already an American Citizen too…” my sister’s husband said.

“You are so lucky that the “Boy” has liked you…” my neighbour said, “if I would had got such a “prize catch” NRI boy for my daughter – I would have married off my daughter to him immediately…”

“Then – why don’t you get your daughter married to him…?” I said rudely to my neighbour.

I instantly regretted my words – so I apologized to my neighbour: “I am sorry aunty…”

“It’s okay…” my neighbour said, “it’s your nerves speaking – you are nervous at the speed at which things are happening. You go up and relax for some time and think about it calmly. This “Boy” seems really good – so you don’t let go of the opportunity. You may not get such a good boy again – especially at your age…”

Suddenly – everyone started hounding me.

“Yes – the “Boy” is really good…”

“You will regret all your life if you don’t marry him…”

“A perfect match…”

“Yes – so brilliant – so accomplished – so loving…”

“He looks so handsome – so fair – so smart and debonair – what a smart personality – and – he has such an excellent physique…”

“He is intelligent, well-qualified, doing so well in his career…”

“Yes – and he belongs to such an excellent family – so – he is sure to have good upbringing and values…”

“Didn’t you see how polite, soft-spoken and well-mannered he was – and – the way he talked to his parents and to us – he has such a loving and caring nature…”

“He is an ideal husband…”

“You will not find a boy like him – impeccable credentials – brilliant career prospects – and – exceptional qualities – you name it – and – he has it – intellect, character, personality, elegance, handsome looks, social graces – everything perfect – not a single blemish…”

“Yes – the “Boy” has such excellent character and qualities – he has no faults…”

“Yes. Yes. Yes…” I shouted, “He has no faults. That is the reason I don’t want to marry him…”

“You don’t want to marry him just because he has no faults…? What do you mean…?” my mother asked me.

“He is too good to be true…” I said.

“What do you mean “he is too good to be true”…?”

“I don’t know. But something seems to be wrong…”

“Are you afraid that he may be a “NRI Fraud”…? You don’t worry on that score. We have checked his background thoroughly – he has impeccable credentials…” my sister said.

“Yes – I have checked up with my NRI friends – one works in the same firm – and another friend lives nearby – and – all of them say that he is an excellent guy…” my sister’s husband said.

“I know his family personally – his mother and my mother-in-law are close friends…” my sister said.

(It was my sister who had suggested this “Boy” to my mother as a suitable husband for me)

“So – you are worried that if I “reject” the “Boy” – your mother-in-law will get angry with you…?” I asked my sister in quite a nasty tone.

“Of course everyone will be annoyed – we will have plenty of explaining to do. First – mother says “Yes” to the proposal – and now – we will have to make a U-Turn and say “No” – and all this – just because of your stubborn attitude…” my sister said to me.

“What do you mean by “stubborn attitude”…? I am not going to get married to that “Boy” just because you want me to…”

“But why…? What is wrong with him…?”

“I don’t feel like getting married to him – that’s all…”

“The “Boy” is so good – and – you are already 27…”

“You don’t worry about me – I would rather remain unmarried than marry this “Boy”…”

“You always wanted to go to the US – didn’t you…?  You will not get an opportunity like this again – you will become an American Citizen straightaway…”

“Please. Please. Please. I don’t want to marry this “Boy” – and – that is my final decision…” I said.

“Please try to understand – this is really a good match for you – this “Boy” is most suitable for you…”

“Stop it – just stop it – you are saying the same things again and again…”

“Please try to think rationally…”

“Rationally…? What is there to think rationally…?”

“Give me one good reason why you don’t want to marry this “Boy”…” my mother said.

“My “inner voice” says so…” I said.

“Inner Voice…?”

“Yes – “inner voice” – “gut instinct” – “sixth sense” – call it what you like…”

“What nonsense…”

“It is not “nonsense”. I always listen to my “inner voice”. I am not saying that the “Boy” is bad – but – I don’t feel comfortable in his presence – he generates negative vibes within me…”

“But – you have met him thrice – at the “girl-seeing” ceremony here – then –you two  went out for coffee to get to know each other better – and – after that – you visited his parents’ house…”

“So what – I told you that my “inner voice” tells me that I should not marry that “Boy”…”

“Okay – you get ready – the “Boy” will be here at 6:30 – go out with him – have dinner – spend some time alone with him – talk to him – ask him whatever is bothering you – clear all your apprehensions…”

“I am not going out with that “Boy” – in fact – I do not intend meeting him again…”

“But – what will we tell him…?”

“You fixed up my marriage without asking me – didn’t you…? Now – you tell him that the marriage is cancelled…” I said to my mother.

“How can we do that…? It will be a big humiliation…” my mother said, with tears in her eyes.

“Why are you acting so “hoity-toity”…?  The “Boy” is a “Prize Catch” – and you should be grateful to me for arranging this match. There were so many girls lined up for him but I made sure that he saw you first. There are hundreds of girls who would jump at the opportunity to marry him…” my sister said.

“Then – let them marry him. I am not interested…” I said.

“You have put us in a very embarrassing situation…” my mother said, “Please change your mind – at least – go out with him for dinner…”

“Yes. Yes. You go out with him this evening…” everyone started saying – trying to put pressure on me.

Suddenly – my father intervened: “It is her life – let her decide…”

“What are you saying…?” my mother pleaded with him.

My father turned towards me – and – he said to me: “You go up to your room and stay there. I will tell the “Boy” – in fact – I will call up his parents right now before he comes…?

And so – My Marriage to the “Boy” was cancelled.

Everyone was angry with me.

Relations between me and everyone were spoilt forever.

My mother said that the Boy’s parents were very angry and they insulted my father when he phoned them to call off the marriage.

For my mother – my marriage to that “Boy” would have been a “social triumph” – but now – because of my obstinacy – everything was ruined – and – she thought that she would look like a fool in society.

My father remained silent – but – I could see that he was upset.

My sister stopped speaking to me – she never forgave me for creating a rift between her and her mother-in-law (who was a close friend of the Boy’s mother).

My aunty stopped looking for “Suitable Boys” for me.

Our neighbour told everyone what a big fool I was – and – she prophesied that I would never get married and would remain a spinster for my entire life.

The “Boy” got married to his “second choice” girl – he had “shortlisted” 5 girls in just one week – that will give you an idea of how much he was in demand – a real “prize catch” – who – I had let go…

Sometimes – I too felt pangs of regret – but then – my conscience told me that I had done the right thing by listening to my “inner voice” – my “sixth sense” – “gut feelings” – vibes” – call it what you like – I think you know what I am talking about.

I had sensed something wrong about the “Boy” that I could not put my finger on – a sense of feelings that I could perceive but could not quantify or enumerate.

Yes – I am human – and – I did feel a pang of regret at the “golden opportunity” that I had spurned.

But – I forgot about the episode – and – I got on with my life.

ONE YEAR LATER

Around one year later – a smart girl walked into my office.

I recognized her at once.

She was the “second choice” girl – who had got married to the “Boy” – who I had “rejected”.

How did I know this…?

Simple – I had seen her profile on Facebook.

A few days after “rejecting” the “Boy” – I wondered who he had married – so – I surfed the Social Media – and – I had seen pictures of his grand wedding and his new bride (who had taken my place).

I asked the girl to sit down.

She had come to submit her resume in person for a “walk-in interview”.

As HR Manager – I was supposed to scrutinize her resume – and – take a preliminary interview – and then – if I found her okay – send her for the final interview with our Boss in the next cabin.

I opened the resume folder.

Her name indicated that she was still married to the “Boy”.

“You are married to XXX…?” I asked her.

“Yes…” she said.

“But – your husband lives in New York – isn’t it…? He is an American Citizen – isn’t he…?”

“How do you know…?”

“Well – you just answer my question…”

“Yes – he is in New York…”

“So – why do you want a job here in Pune…?”

“I have come back…”

“You have come back to India…? Oh – so your husband has relocated here to Pune for work – is it…? For how many years…?”

“I have come back alone…” she said, with a slight quiver in her voice.

“Alone…? Why have you come back alone…?” I asked her.

“I’d rather not say – it is personal…” she said.

“Well – you will have to tell me – this is an interview – and – in case you are selected for the job – we will be doing a thorough background check in any case – so – it is best you tell me everything truthfully…” I said firmly.

“I have left my husband – I have applied for divorce – I am not going back to him ever again – I have permanently left him…” she said, choking a bit.

“Oh – what happened – why did you leave him…?” I asked, curious.

“He was a pervert…” she said, with tears appearing in her eyes.

It was cruel of me – but – I pursued the topic – and – I said to her:

“What do you mean he was a “pervert”…? I have met your husband – and – he seemed to be a perfect gentleman…”

“Yes – for the outside world – he was a “goody-goody” well-mannered gentleman – but – behind closed doors – he was a cruel depraved pervert…” she said – and – she broke into tears.

“Oh – so he was a “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde” type personality…?” I said.

She did not answer – because – by now – she had broken down completely – her composure totally shattered – and – she was crying copiously.

I imagined myself in her position – and – I thanked my stars that I had listened to my “inner voice” and not married the “Prize Catch” Boy.

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/2017/02/the-prize-catch-husband.html

 

Immigration – Tall Poppy Syndrome

February 4, 2017

Is the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” one of the reasons for the cultural resentment against “migrants” who are more “successful” than the original inhabitants of a country…?

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/tall-poppy-syndrome.html

The “TALL POPPY SYNDROME”

Ramblings of a Retired Mind By Vikram Karve

In the inimitable war novel  Catch-22  – there is a character called “Major Major Major Major”

(For brevity – let’s call him “Major Major”)

“Major Major” is a simple unassuming amiable officer who is liked by everyone – officers and enlisted men.

One day – the Squadron Commander Major Duluth is killed in action – and – “Major Major” is appointed the Squadron Commander.

Suddenly – everything changes for “Major Major”.

The very same people who earlier loved “Major Major” – now – their attitude towards “Major Major” changes – and – everyone starts resenting his success

Many of his fellow officers have feelings of envy and animosity towards “Major Major” once he is promoted to Squadron Commander.

The most acrimonious and spiteful of them is Captain Black who believes that he himself was the logical choice to replace Major Duluth as Squadron Commander – and – grave injustice has been done by appointing “Major Major” as Squadron Commander.

Captain Black makes every effort to discredit and disparage “Major Major”

Captain Black uses various stratagems to sabotage and humiliate “Major Major” – and – cut him down to size.

This is an example of the “Tall Poppy Syndrome”.

Thanks to his “success” – “Major Major” is a victim of the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” – which results in hostility towards successful people.

The “Tall Poppy Syndrome” is a culture where “successful” people are resented, attacked, cut down or criticized because of their success.

(Successful People are called “Tall Poppies” – and – cutting them down to size is called “Tall Poppying”…)

In an organization – the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” can cause in destructive feelings in work-colleagues of the successful person – which can lead to resentment, hostility and “envy attacks” on the “successful” person.

The “Tall Poppy Syndrome” is visible in personal relationships too – in families, friend-circles and in society – where we often see a tendency to resent and disparage successful people due to envy.

In a nutshell – the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” is hostility towards successful people and manifestations of that resentment.

There are many mythical stories about the origins of the term “Tall Poppy Syndrome”.

In one such apocryphal story – a young son of a King conquers a new land.

The young son asks the King for advice on how to deal with the newly conquered kingdom.

The King – who is strolling in the garden in a grove of poppies – draws his sword – and – with his sword – the King strikes off the heads of the tallest poppies in the grove.

The King’s son gets the message – and he methodically proceeds to kill all the prominent men (the “tallest poppies”) in the newly conquered land.

Once the influential men are eliminated – the son is able to easily govern the conquered land.

The term “Tall Poppy Syndrome” may have been probably derived from this apocryphal story.

Another fable hints that the underlying premise of the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” is that the tallest plants be cut down to the same size of all the others (cutting down to size)

So – in today’s world – “Tall Poppying” successful persons – probably means – trying to “cut them down to size”.

Don’t we see examples of the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” all around us…?

I saw plenty of instances of the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” in the Defence Services – where career prospects are limited due to the pyramidal hierarchy structure – and – it is very difficult to get promoted to high rank – which results in a large number of deserving officers getting “superseded” or “passed over” for promotion.

Many “superseded” officers feel a sense of resentment and envy towards their successful course-mates and try to “Tall Poppy” them.

You will see plenty of examples of the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” everywhere – in politics, in the corporate sector, in society, in families and personal life too.

The “Tall Poppy Syndrome” manifests at the societal level too.

One example of “Tall Poppy Syndrome” is the cultural resentment against “migrants” who are more “successful” than the original inhabitants of a country. 

Information Technology has been a catalyst in proliferation of the “Tall Poppy Syndrome”.

Nowadays – the Social Media has become a ubiquitous medium for “Tall Poppying”

People can easily express their resentment against “successful” persons on the Social Media – and such online “Tall Poppying” of an individual on the Social Media can go “viral” very fast and have a devastating effect on the victim.

What is the root cause of the  “Tall Poppy Syndrome” …?

Is the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” a manifestation of  “Crab Mentality” …?

(If I can’t have it – neither can you)

Or – is it an offshoot of  “The Dog in the Manger” Syndrome …?

(People frequently begrudge something to others that they themselves cannot enjoy. Even if it does them no good – they won’t let others have it – like the mythical dog in fable – the dog in the manger who did not eat grain – but who nevertheless prevented the horse from eating the grain either)

Or – is it just basic human nature…?

Well – I really don’t know – but – I have been on both sides of the fence as far as the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” syndrome is concerned.

Dear Reader:

Have you experienced the “Tall Poppy Syndrome” – as a “victim” – or – as a “perpetrator”…?

Do tell us 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.

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/2017/02/tall-poppy-syndrome.html

Immigration – Dating Romance Marriage

February 3, 2017

“DINNER DATE” in AUCKLAND

Short Fiction Story – A Romance By VIKRAM KARVE  

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/dinner-date-in-auckland.html

DINNER DATE (with my “Girlfriend” at a Pub near CBD Auckland)

“Why can’t people understand that I don’t want to get married…” my “girlfriend” said.

“What happened…?” I asked her.

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

“Here…? In New Zealand…?”

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

“Oh…”

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

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

“But – I don’t want to get married – so – how does my age matter…? What difference does it make whether I am past “marriageable age” or not – when I want to remain single all my life…?”

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

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

“I don’t think your parents feel that way. Maybe your parents feel that now that you are 30 years old – it is high time that you should “settle down” in life…”

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

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

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

“What about…?”

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

“I meant companionship…”

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

“I meant friendship – friends…”

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes – I have seen that. Nowadays – you like to be alone in your spare time…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“No – I’ll go home now…” she says.

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

“I have to go home. But – you wait here…”

“Me…? Wait here…? Why should I wait here all alone…?”

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

“What…? You want me to speak to the “Boy”…?”

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

“Oh yes – you told me – but – I almost forgot. So – your parents have found a “Boy” for you over here in New Zealand. Who is the “Boy”…?”

“You will see the “Boy” in a few minutes…”

“What…? Is he coming here to meet you…?”

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

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

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

“Oh – so that is why you called me here – to do your dirty work. You want me to meet the “Boy” and tell him the bad news that you are not interested in marriage…”

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

“But I don’t even know him…” I said.

“Here – I am sending you his picture and name on your mobile phone…” she said.

The moment I received the picture of the “Boy” on my mobile phone – I looked at it – and I saw that he was quite a smart guy.

Suddenly – my “girlfriend” said to me: “Okay – I’ll go now – you enjoy your “dinner-date” with the “Boy” – and – you please call me up in the morning and tell me what happened…”

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

“Bye…” she said to me.

Then – my “girlfriend” kissed me on the cheek – and – she walked towards door of the pub.

NEXT DAY – MORNING (at my Home in Auckland)

Next morning – I called my “girlfriend” – and – I told her that the “mission” had been accomplished.

Then – I called up my mother in India – and – I said to my mother:

“Ma – you can start looking for a suitable bride for me…”

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

“Yes. I met her…”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AFTERWORD

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

But – as far as I was concerned – I surely had “Anuptaphobia” (Fear of Staying Single).

Yes – I certainly did not want to remain a “chronic bachelor” for all my life.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/dinner-date-in-auckland.html

This is an updated and abridged repost of my story GAMOPHOBIA written by me Vikram Karve around 2 months ago in December 2016 and posted by me online in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve Blog on Friday, December 2, 2016 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/gamophobia-fear-of-marriage.html

Immigration – Pathway Student

February 2, 2017

MIGRATION – THE “STUDENT PATHWAY”

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

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/migration-student-pathway.html

Musings of a Veteran By Vikram Karve

THE “STUDENT PATHWAY”

In the 1970’s – my classmates used the “student pathway” to migrate abroad to the US and settle down there permanently to realize their “American Dream”

Those days – USA was the most sought after destination for youngsters who wanted to migrate away from India for a “better life”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She also told me another shocking fact.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. NZ dream turns to nightmare for international students

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

EDUCATION TRAFFICKING

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

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

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

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

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

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

—————-

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

Here are a few of the URL links:

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

URL:

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

BOMBAY in New Zealand – Travel Tales

URL:

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

Milford Sound is Awesome

URL:

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

WHY DO PEOPLE MIGRATE…?

URL:

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

New Zealand Foodie Memories

URL:

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

NEW ZEALAND FOOD DIARY OF A PURE VEGETARIAN

URL:

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

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

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/migration-student-pathway.html

Repost of my post BEWARE OF “EDUCATION TRAFFICKING” posted online earlier at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/student-pathway-to-migration-beware-of.html

Immigration – For a “Better Life”

February 2, 2017

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

Musings By Vikram Karve

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/migration-for-better-life.html

WHY PEOPLE MIGRATE 

People migrate for multifarious reasons.

In a nutshell – the various reasons for migration can be categorized into “Push Factors” and “Pull Factors”.

Push Factors = Survival Migration

“Push Factor Migration” is “Survival Migration” – where people are “forced” to migrate – due to danger to life/limb because of war/conflict – or – inability to survive due to lack of food and bare necessities of life.

Such migrants who seek asylum in other countries when their life is endangered – or persons who migrate to escape from extreme poverty and deprivation – are called “Refugees”.

The present European Migrant Crisis is an example of “Push Factor” migration where refugees are fleeing from war-torn countries and seeking asylum in peaceful countries.

History is replete with examples of such “push factor survival migration” due to war, religious/political persecution, genocide, ethnic cleansing, safety/security issues, natural disasters/calamities, famines, droughts, floods etc.

Pull Factors = “Better Life” Migration

“Pull Factor Migration” is “Choice Migration” – where people “choose” to migrate for a “better life”.

These people migrate to more developed countries because they want to enjoy a Higher “Standard of Living” and live a Better “Quality of Life” –  to put it “metaphorically” – they migrate to realize their “American Dream”.

In this blog post (and a few more) – I will explore this type of “pull factor migration” from India – where people migrated abroad for a “Better Life”.

MIGRATING ABROAD FOR A “BETTER LIFE”

In the 1970’s – many of my classmates migrated abroad (mainly to the USA) for a “better life”.

They first migrated for “higher studies” – then – they took up jobs – and – they permanently settled down in the US – and later – in due course – they acquired American Citizenship.

A few settled down in England, Europe and other prosperous nations like Australia.

By migrating abroad – they certainly achieved their aim of a “Better Life”.

If not – they would have returned back to India.

But – no one returned – all of them became citizens of their “host” countries and have happily settled down there.

(One classmate did come back to India after a few years to take up a research job – but – he got frustrated by the working culture here and returned back to America. Another came back for the “sake of his children” – but – his children could not adjust in Indian schools – so even he went back to the US after 2 years of “experimenting”…)

Now – all of them are Foreign Citizens –and – of course – since our government is magnanimous to NRIs (Non Resident Indians) and PIO (Persons of Indian Origin) settled abroad – they have all acquired PIO cards – and – they taunt me that – even in India – a PIO with a Foreign Passport is treated better than an Indian Citizen.

When I observe their prosperity – and I hear about their fabulous lifestyle abroad – I too wish I had migrated abroad for a “better life” rather than spending my life “serving the nation” in uniform.

But – that is all in the distant past.

Recently – I visited New Zealand – and – I had the opportunity to interact with many Indian youngsters studying/working in New Zealand.

And yes – just like my “migrant” classmates in the 1970’s – even today – not even a single youngster wanted to return back to India – all of them wanted to settle down in New Zealand for a “Better Life” – or – use New Zealand as a stepping stone to migrate to Australia, America, Europe or other modern developed nations.

This phenomenon seems quite common – once they have got used to the “Better Life” abroad – no one wants to come back to India.

(Only two types of youngsters who go abroad for higher studies want to come back to India – children of politicians – and – children of businessmen – since – they can aspire for a much “Better Life” back home. Of course – there may be an odd “academician” who comes back to teach – but – these are exceptions to the rule)

Today – after “liberalization”, “globalization” and the “IT Boom” – it is even easier to migrate abroad – and – a large number of youngsters are desperate to migrate abroad for a “better life”.

Many developed countries encourage immigration because it helps them both economically and intellectually – economically – due to the huge fees paid by migrant students – and – intellectually – since they get skilled migrants to fill up their own skill shortages and augment high-tech domains with highly qualified/motivated migrants.

So – on the surface – it seems to be a “win-win” situation – especially for youngsters who want to migrate abroad for a “better life”.

MOOT QUESTION:

IS LIFE REALLY “BETTER” ABROAD IN FOREIGN COUNTRIES…?

Is life really “better” abroad – in the place where you are thinking of migrating…?

Are these young migrants really enjoying a “better life” as compared to the life they were living in India…?

Of course – they think so – otherwise – wouldn’t they return home…?

What do I think…?

Well – Dear Reader – in the next few posts I will tell you about my recent interactions with “migrant” youngsters – and – I will leave it for you to decide whether the “grass” is really “greener” on the other side…

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/migration-for-better-life.html

Repost of my post DO YOU WANT TO MIGRATE TO A FOREIGN COUNTRY FOR A “BETTER LIFE” posted online earlier at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/do-you-want-to-migrate-abroad-for.html

A “Niche” Date

February 2, 2017

A “NICHE” DATE 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/the-threesome-date.html

Short Fiction Story – A Love Story By Vikram Karve

After retirement – once in a while – I hark back to my wonderful Navy days – like I did this morning – while on my morning walk – and – I recalled this delightful “memoir” – which happened 40 years ago – in early 1977 to be precise – when I was a raw “Subbie” on my first sea tenure on a frontline warship based at Mumbai

At the time of the story (1977) – “Mumbai” was called “Bombay” – so I shall use the old name “Bombay” in the story – and – so will I use the old city names Madras and Calcutta prevalent at that time – now called Chennai and Kolkata respectively.

So – the moment I returned from my walk – I sat down on my laptop to write this love story – my first piece of creative writing in the year 2017.

Enjoy the Love Story….

Mumbai (then called Bombay) – Circa 1977

I stepped off the ship onto the ship’s gangway – I saluted – and – I walked down to the jetty.

After nearly a month at sea – I stood on solid ground – wondering what to do on my first evening ashore in Mumbai.

I saw Lieutenant “Q” walk down the gangway to the jetty – he was carrying a packet in his left hand.

I saluted Lieutenant “Q”  (Yes – in the Navy – we saluted in “Civvies” too)

Lieutenant “Q” returned my salute – and – he said to me: “So – you’re off to paint the town red…?”

“No, Sir…” I said.

“So – what are your plans for the evening…?” Lieutenant “Q” asked me.

“I don’t know, Sir…” I said.

“If you’ve got nothing better to do – why don’t you come with me…?” Lieutenant “Q”said.

“Thank you, Sir…” I said – and I started walking with Lieutenant “Q” – careful to keep in step with him – since he was the senior officer.

Yes – Lieutenant “Q” was the senior-most in-living officer on our ship – a “specialist” officer who was more than 6 years senior to me.

(Those days – after being commissioned as an Officer in the Navy – it took you 3 years to become a Lieutenant – and then – you remained a Lieutenant for 8 long years – before being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander after a total of 11 years of commissioned service – unlike today – when you see “greenhorns” – who haven’t yet fully grown their whiskers – strutting around wearing “two and a half stripes” of a Lieutenant Commander after just 6 years of commissioned service – thanks to the benevolent Ajai Vikram Singh Cadre Review Report aka AVS 2006 – which has reduced the value of senior ranks to subaltern status…)

Soon – we – Lieutenant “Q” and me – we were out of the Dockyard – and – I kept pace with Lieutenant “Q” as crossed the road and walked towards Kalaghoda.

“Sir – if I may ask – where are you going…?” I hesitatingly asked Lieutenant “Q”.

“I am going to meet my ‘girlfriend’…” Lieutenant “Q” said.

“Oh – you have a “date” with your girlfriend…?” I asked.

“Yes – you can say that – I have a “date” with my girlfriend…” he said.

“Oh – you have a date with your girlfriend – Sir – in that case – I will like to excuse myself…” I said.

“Why…?”

“Sir – I don’t want to be a “Kabab Mein Haddi” – a “Threesome”…” I said.

Lieutenant “Q” burst out laughing: “Ha Ha – “Threesome” – Ha Ha. Your imagination seems to be running wild. Don’t worry – it’s not that type of “date” – you come along – my girlfriend would love to meet you…”

We walked past the Wayside Inn, Rhythm House (opposite the Jehangir Art Gallery) – crossed the road – walked ahead on the street between the Sessions Court and the University – turned right on Mayo Road (adjacent the Oval Maidan) – and soon – we were outside the Bombay University Library below the iconic Rajabai Tower.

From the foyer – a girl waved out to Lieutenant “Q”.

Lieutenant “Q” waved back at the girl.

The girl came running towards us.

The girl was quite pretty – and – she seemed very excited to see Lieutenant “Q”.

“I am so happy to see you after a long time…” she said.

“Yes – it’s been 3 months – we had quite a long stint in the East…” Lieutenant “Q”said to her.

“I was so happy when you called this morning – I was waiting for you – and – I knew you would be dot on time – as always…” the girl said.

“Yes – the moment we tied up alongside and the shore-phone got connected – the first person I called was you – and luckily – you picked up – not your Library In-Charge…”Lieutenant “Q” said to her.

“That’s good – she’s quite a nosey-parker – she would have guessed why I wanted the “half-day” off…”

“It’s good we had a “make and mend” too – we deserved it – returning to harbour after a really long and arduous sailing…”

“Where all did you go…?”

“All over the Indian Ocean and the Bay of Bengal – and we touched Madras (Chennai), Port Blair, Vizag, Calcutta (Kolkata) – even some small ports like Pondicherry, Tuticorin, Paradip etc…”

“Wow – it must have been exciting…?”

“Actually – it is quite a relief to be back in Bombay…” Lieutenant “Q” said.

Then – Lieutenant “Q” gave her the packet he was carrying – and he said to the girl: “I have got your books…”

The girl opened the packet – and – as she saw the books – her face was filled with joy.

The girl held a book in her hand – looked at Lieutenant “Q” with curiosity – and – she asked him: “How did you manage to get this rare “gem”…? It’s an “out of print” book – I never imagined that I would ever get to read this book. Where did you get it…?”

“College Street – Calcutta…” Lieutenant “Q” said, “You can get any book over there – if a book exists – you will find it at ‘College Street’…”

“Wow – look at this…” the girl said excitedly, holding another book, “It’s a “first edition” – I must say that you are really great – thank you so much for getting me all these books that I so desperately wanted…”

“Come on – don’t say “Thank You” and all that – it is the least I could do for my favourite girlfriend – and – this is a gift from me – so…”

“Okay – you are a real darling…” the girl said lovingly to Lieutenant “Q”.

All this while – I was standing like a “mute spectator”.

Lieutenant “Q” must have realized his gaffe – so he quickly introduced us – me and the girl – to each other.

The girl – who had just joined as a Librarian – said to me: “I always loved books – so – after my graduation – I followed my passion – I did my ‘Library Science’ Course – and now – I am among books all day…”

“So – what are the plans for the evening…?” Lieutenant “Q” asked the girl.

“Let’s go “Bookshop Crawling”…” she said.

I had heard of “Pub Crawling” – but this “Bookshop Crawling” was a new experience for me.

But – I quite enjoyed it.

We walked out of the University gate – turned right – passed the resplendent Gothic Style High Court Building – and then – started browsing books on the pavement book-stalls near the Central Telegraph Officer (CTO) on the road from Churchgate to Flora Fountain.

Then – we “bookshop crawled” – from Bookstore to Bookstore – on DN Road, PM Road, opposite VT – till we landed up at the iconic Secondhand Bookshop at Dhobi Talao on Kalbadevi Road.

It was a unique date – and – like the cliché saying – Lieutenant “Q” and his Girlfriend – they “walked” books and they “talked” books – and – I tried to get in a word too – whenever I got a chance.

In one of the book-stores – I noticed that the Girl liked a book – but – when she saw the price – she hesitated.

So – like a chivalrous “Knight in Shining Armour” – with a flourish – I pulled out my wallet – I bought the book – and – I presented it to her.

“No. No. How can I take this…” the girl protested.

“Oh – so you are “bribing” her with a book…? Are you trying to steal my girlfriend…?”Lieutenant “Q” said to me – looking miffed.

I blushed red with embarrassment.

“Ha Ha – it’s okay…” Lieutenant “Q” said to the girl, breaking into a smile, “Take the book – he’s a nice guy – he really wants you to have it…”

Lieutenant Q’s Girlfriend gave me a loving smile and said to me: “Thank you so much…”

We were enjoying “Book Crawling” so much – that – time passed in a jiffy – and – I did not realize that almost 4 hours had passed.

Suddenly the girl looked at her watch and said: “Oh My God – it’s past 8 – I have to go home…”

We walked via Metro – to Marine Lines – turned left – and walked towards Churchgate Station where she would catch a local to her home in Bandra.

“Hey – remember – I told you on the phone – we have got a “date” next week – on Saturday…” the girl said to Lieutenant “Q”.

“Of course I remember – the “Book Fair”…” Lieutenant “Q” said to her.

“We’ll really have a good time…” the girl said – then – she looked at me – and – she said to me: “Why don’t you come along too…? You like books – don’t you…? We all will have a good time at the Book Fair…”

“I would love to come – if…” I hesitated – and I looked at Lieutenant “Q”

“You are most welcome to join us…” Lieutenant “Q” said to me, “I am sure you will enjoy the Book-Fair…”

“Yes, Sir…” I said.

Then – we waved good-bye to Lieutenant Q’s Girlfriend at Churchgate.

After she left – we walked back to our ship.

“So…” Lieutenant “Q” said to me, “did you like my Girlfriend…?”

“Yes…” I said, “She is cute…”

“Ha Ha – ‘cute’…” Lieutenant “Q” laughed.

“She is really passionate about books…” I said.

“Yes – she is a true ‘bibliophile’…” Lieutenant “Q” said.

“Sir – I never imagined that you would be such a ‘booklover’…” I said.

“Really…? Why…?” Lieutenant “Q” asked me.

“You look so ‘rough and tough’…” I said.

“Ha Ha – well – things are not always as they look from the outside…” Lieutenant “Q” said, “There are many facets about me that you do not know…”

For some time – we walked in silence.

Then – as we approached our ship – Lieutenant “Q” said to me: “It was good of you to gift her that book. I hope you remember that we have got a “threesome date”next week…”

“Of course I remember, Sir – we are going to the “Book Fair”…” I said.

To be continued… 

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/2017/01/the-threesome-date.html

“DENTISTS” in UNIFORM – Humor in Military Medicine Part 2

January 21, 2017

Humor in Military Medicine Part 2

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/dentists-in-uniform-humor-in-military.html

Humor in Military Medicine

Sometime ago – I had written a spoof on “DOCTORS” IN UNIFORM 

(I have given the url link at the end of this story so that you can click and open in a new window and read “Doctors” in Uniform after you have read this spoof on “Dentists” in Uniform)

Now – Dear Reader – let me tell you about a few “Dentists” in Uniform who I came across during my long Navy career.

Disclaimer-cum-Warning:

This is a humorous spoof – satire – so read this story only if you have a “sense of humor”

“DENTISTS” in UNIFORM

Dental Memories of a Navy Veteran

A Fictional Spoof

By

VIKRAM KARVE

A few years ago – after I had retired from the Navy – a fellow Navy Veteran learnt that I was visiting a Civilian Dentist for dental treatment – so – he asked me: “Why are you going to a Civilian Dentist…?”

“It’s convenient…” I said.

“But – if you go to a Civilian Dentist – you have to pay from your own pocket. If you go to ECHS (Ex-Service men’s Contributory Health Scheme) – they will send you to a Military Dentist – and – you can get your dental treatment done “free of cost”…” the Navy Veteran said.

“The Civilian Dentist is located near my home – whereas the ECHS Clinic is quite far away – and – the Military Dental Centre is even further – but – convenience is not the only factor – that main reason is that – I like this particular Dentist – I am comfortable with him. In the Military – I cannot choose my Dentist – I will have to go to whomsoever Military Dentist they send me to – whether he is good or not – and – there is no continuity – next time – they may send me to someone else – especially if the earlier Dentist is posted out…”

“But if you go to a Military Dentist – it is free. If you go to a Civilian Dentist – you have to pay…”

“At my age – as a Retired Senior Citizen – for me – my comfort is more important than money…” I said to my fellow Navy Veteran, “and – let me tell you one more reason – the Civilian Dentist is trying his best to restore some of my teeth which were ruined by Military Dentists…”

Dear Reader – before I tell you about the Military Dentists who ruined some of my teeth (or removed them) – let me begin on a positive note – and – let me tell you about the best Military Dentist I came across during my long Navy Career.

Actually – she was wearing Navy Uniform at that time – but then – like all Military Doctors belong to the Army Medical Corps (AMC) – all Military Dentists belong to the Army Dental Corps (ADC) – and – just like Military Doctors are called Medical Officers – Military Dentists are called Dental Officers.

This happened around 15 years ago – when I was appointed in the premier Naval Dockyard at Mumbai.

One afternoon – while having lunch – one tooth chipped off and broke.

This hapless tooth had been “worked-on” by a Military Dentist long ago during an Annual Medical Examination (AME)

Dear Reader – let me digress a bit – and – tell you that – during the AME – we were sent to the Unit Dental Officer to get our teeth examined.

Most Dental Officers delegated this task to their Dental Assistants – called DORA (Dental Operating Room Assistants) in the Navy.

However – some “Eager–Beaver” Dentists who were keen to “hone their skills” by extensive “Hands-On” experience – would personally examine and “treat” every Officer who came for the Annual Medical Examination (AME).

I remember one such “enthusiastic” Military Dentist who probably wanted to become the best “Root Canal Therapist” in the world.

Since uniformed personnel have no choice to select their doctor/dentist – they have to visit their Unit Dentist for Dental Examination/Treatment.

Luckily (for him) – this passionate “Root Canal Therapist” was posted to a prestigious Military Training Academy – and – he was the one and only Dental Officer posted in this huge establishment with a large number of military cadets and staff under his “dental jurisdiction”

This opportunity provided this aspiring “Root Canal Therapist” plenty of “Guinea-Pigs” on whom he could experiment and hone his dental skills before he quit the Army and started a lucrative dental practice in “Civvy Street”

So – he ruthlessly “root-canalled” everyone who entered his dental clinic – and – sadly – I was one of his early “victims” when he “root-canalled” two of my teeth in quick succession when I reported for my Annual Medical Examination.

Both my teeth were ruined.

Later – one of these “experimentally root-canalled” teeth was extracted by another Military Dentist who was aspiring to be an “Extraction Specialist”.

Fortunately – the other tooth was restored by a Civilian Dentist who painstakingly performed a “re-root-canal” – and – it was only then that I realized that Root Canal Therapy was an intricate procedure involving multiple sittings – not the “shoot and scoot” type done on me earlier.

(Military Dentists are lucky – they have plenty of opportunity to “experiment” on hapless gullible “Faujis” – unlike Civilian Dentists – who run the risk of being put out of business – in case their “dental experiments” start going wrong – yes – just a few “mishaps” can affect a dentist’s reputation/practice in the highly competitive field of dental practice in the civilian world)

Coming back to Military Dentists – like “Root-Canalists” and “Extractors” – I came across a few “Drillers and Fillers” and “Cappers and Crowners” too.

Ha Ha – Yes – like the Corps of Engineers has “Sappers and Miners” – in the Army Dental Corps – we have “Cappers and Crowners” and “Drillers and Fillers”…

Maybe – it was a few of these “super-specialists” who seemed to have “worked on” the tooth which had now chipped and broken.

Anyway – I rushed to the Naval Dockyard Dental Centre with the broken tooth-piece in my hand.

There – I had expected to see the Surgeon Commander (D) who was the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Dental Centre – who I feared would probably extract the damaged tooth (since he was famous as an “Extractor”…)

But instead of him – there was a pretty young girl in Naval Uniform wearing Two Stripes with Crimson in-between (a Surgeon Lieutenant)

(In the Navy – for Medical Officers – the term “Surgeon” is prefixed before the Rank – and – for Dental Officers – in addition to the prefix “Surgeon” – there is a suffix (D) in brackets)

Seeing the surprise on my face – the young Lady Surgeon Lieutenant (D) said to me: Sir – the OIC had to suddenly go on leave…”

“Oh…”

“Sir – I am officiating as the OIC Dental Centre now…”

“Have you come on Temporary Duty…?”

“No, Sir – I just reported yesterday – they have appointed me as Deputy OIC – Sir – today is my first actual day at work as a dentist…”

I had no choice but to submit myself the young dentist.

I explained my predicament and showed her my piece of tooth which had chipped off and broken.

She asked me to get onto the dental chair and she examined my damaged tooth.

“Are you going to extract the tooth…?” I asked her, fearfully.

“No, No, Sir – we will save the tooth…” she said – and – she began working on my damaged tooth.

While she was treating my tooth – she kept on talking to me – giving a “running commentary” explaining what she was doing.

Normally – I feel terrified when I sit in a dental chair – but – her “running commentary” had a soothing effect on me.

Though she was young – she was extremely dexterous and skillful – and – she repaired and restored my damaged tooth very well.

Then – she checked all my teeth – and said: “Sir – I think two more of your teeth need a bit of restoration – the fillings seem to be coming off…”

Impressed by her proficiency – I asked her: “When can you give me an appointment…?”

“Sir – you can come anytime – preferably in the afternoons…”

I got those two teeth fixed “ship-shape” by her that week itself.

I was so impressed by the young Lady Surgeon Lieutenant (D) – by her gentle dexterity and her professional skill – that I profusely praised her everywhere – even during our weekly meeting chaired by our boss.

“If the new Lady Dental Officer is really as good as you say – I must get my teeth fixed by her too…” he said.

“Yes, Sir…” I said, “She is a really good dentist – not like our “Extractor”…”

“That’s why I avoid going to the Dental Centre – all the bugger does is to extract teeth at the slightest opportunity. I have to go “out-of-station” this week – and – I will get my teeth fixed by the new Lady Dental Officer next week…” the boss said.

Sadly – he was too late.

When the boss reported to the Dental Centre – the Surgeon Commander (D) had reported back from leave and assumed duties as OIC – and – the young Lady Surgeon Lieutenant (D) was relegated back to her position as Deputy OIC.

Now – in the military – seniority is sacrosanct.

Yes – in the military – everything depends on seniority – even competence – so – ipso facto – it is assumed that the Senior is more professionally competent that the Junior (though facts may be otherwise).

So – the senior Surgeon Commander (D) – the “Extractor” – attended to Officers – whereas – the junior Lady Surgeon Lieutenant (D) – the “Restorer” – had to take care of Sailors.

So – when the boss – who was a Senior Officer – reported to the Dental Centre for treatment – he was ushered into the office of the Surgeon Commander (D) (the “Extractor)

The boss pleaded that he would like to be treated by the young “Restorer” Surgeon Lieutenant (D) – but the “Extractor” Surgeon Commander (D) refused to listen – and he said to the boss: “Sir – you are a very Senior Officer – how can I hand you over to that young inexperienced Dentist – she is only a Lieutenant – meant for junior ranks.  Sir – I will personally treat you myself…”

In the Military – the moment you enter a Clinic/Hospital – the Doctor’s word is final – so – the boss had no option but to submit himself to the “Extractor”.

One hour later – the boss emerged from the Dental Centre with one tooth less – and – a One Day “SIQ” (Sick-in-Quarter) Chit in his hand.

Yes – in the Military – visiting a Dental Centre is like playing “Roulette” – if you are lucky – you may get a “Restorer” – but – if you are not that lucky – you may land up with someone else – a “Driller and Filler” – a “Capper and Crowner” – a “Root-Canaller” – an “Extractor”– or maybe – an even more deadly “super-specialist”…

Also – when you are in military uniform – you have no choice – and – you have to report to the assigned Military Dental Centre if you have a dental problem (and for your Annual Dental Examination)

At least – after retirement – you can choose your own dentist – if you are willing to pay 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:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/dentists-in-uniform-humor-in-military.html

(Dear Reader:

Hope you enjoyed this story. I am sure you will enjoy DOCTORS IN UNIFORM even more.

Here is the url link -> http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/humor-in-uniform-military-medicine.html  )

“DOCTORS” IN UNIFORM – Humor in Military Medicine Part 1

January 21, 2017

Humor in Military Medicine Part 1 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Everything is allotted.

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

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

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

I have digressed.

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

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

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

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

Humor in Uniform

MILITARY MEDICINE (Military Style Health Care)

DOCTORS IN UNIFORM

A Fictional Spoof

By

VIKRAM KARVE

“DOC DANEEKA” STYLE MILITARY HEALTHCARE

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

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

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

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

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

His style of diagnosis and treatment is simple.

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

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

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

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

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

  1. Those with body temperatures above 102 degrees Fahrenheit are rushed to the hospital in an ambulance.
  1. Those having temperatures below 102 degrees Fahrenheit have their gums and throats painted with gentian violet (throat paint) and are given a dose of laxative to clear their stomachs and digestive systems.
  1. Those who have a temperature of exactly 102 degrees Fahrenheit are told to come after one hour to have their temperature taken again so that the line of treatment could be decided as follows:

(a) Temperature more than 102 – rush to hospital

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  1. The patient drops dead.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

THE DOC DANEEKA PRINCIPLE : Make Patients Disappear 

(Ultimate Goal = Zero Patients)

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

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

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

A “DOC DANEEKA” PEDIATRICIAN IN UNIFORM

THE CHILD-SPECIALIST WHO HATED CHILDREN  

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

AN EXCEPTION TO THE RULE 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Suppose there a two surgeons.

The first surgeon does 100 surgeries per month.

The second surgeon does only 10 surgeries per month.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Now let me ask you the moot question:

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

Ha Ha Ha

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

Yes…?

Do tell us about your experiences.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

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

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

Electrophoresis – Sci Fi Fiction

January 17, 2017

Link to my original post HIGH-TECH “WIFE SWAPPING” in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/high-tech-wife-swapping.html

Short Fiction Story – A Sci Fi Romance  By Vikram Karve

From my Creative Writing Archives:

Science Fiction – Sci Fi – an experimental story.

I wrote this story long ago – more than 20 years ago – in the mid 1990s. This story also features in my short fiction anthology COCKTAIL 

Do let me know whether you liked the story.

HIGH-TECH “WIFE SWAPPING” – A Romance By VIKRAM KARVE

Failures avoid school reunions.

It is painful, and shameful, for a loser to be in midst of winners.

But this time I decided to go.

Sucheta would be there.

She had rung up from New York.

And of course her husband Anand was also coming with her.

Maybe that was the real reason I wanted to go.

It was fifteen years since we passed out from school and the reunion was a grand affair in the best hotel at this picturesque ‘queen’ of hill stations on the slopes of the awesome mighty Himalayas where our school was located.

As I said the reunion was followed a lavish dinner and dance party for ours was an elite and famous boarding school, valued more for its snob appeal rather than for its academic excellence.

‘Bookworm’ was an exception.

He had topped the board exams and had become a distinguished scientist, always inventing something mysterious and experimenting something esoteric.

“Hi, Bookworm,” I said. I was genuinely happy to see him.

“Moushumi,” he said angrily, “my name is not bookworm. My name is Doctor Kedarnath Joshi.  So don’t call me Bookworm. I don’t like it. I am a full-fledged Professor.”

“Okay, I’ll call you Professor Bookworm,” I teased him.

“That’s better,” he said, with smug look on his face.

“So, Professor, what are you inventing nowadays?” I asked.

“I’m researching in the frontiers of Psycho-cybernetics.”

“Pyscho-what…? Stop the mumbo jumbo, Bookworm. Tell me in simple language. Who are you and what do you do?”

“Okay. I am a neurologist. A psychiatrist.  A psychologist. And I also hold a doctorate in Electrical Engineering. Currently I am researching in mind-transference,” Bookworm said proudly.

“Mind-transference…?” I asked confused.

“You have seen star-trek haven’t you?”

“Yes.”

“There they transfer persons in space. H G Wells’ time machine transferred entire persons in time,” he said.

“Time Machine…you’re making a time machine…?” I asked incredulously.

“No..No… I am working on something more complicated…Brain Transfer…I can put your mind into someone else’s body and vice-versa – that is, someone else’s brain into your body!”

“It sounds very spooky to me.  Is it ESP…?  Or some kind of occult stuff…?”

“Not at all,” Bookworm said, “Nothing supernatural, esoteric or mystical.  It’s a purely scientific technique.  I’ve developed a pilot system for trials. The machine is upstairs in my hotel room.  Why don’t you give it a try?”

A strange curious wicked thought crossed my mind. I surveyed the expanse of the majestic ballroom with my eyes and soon my eyes found Anand.

His dashing physique and his magnificent beard made him look prominent in the crowd.

He looked a decisive, hot-blooded and dangerous man, but he also looked vulnerable.

He wore a lonely and rather perplexed expression, as though he were at the party but not enjoying it.

And beside him stood his wife Sucheta radiating the natural pride of possession that any woman feels when she has the ownership and company of a man that other women desire.

I reminisced. There were four of us who grew up together. The same group of classmates and friends – in school and in college – Anand, Mohan, Sucheta and Moushumi (that’s me) – the famous four – inseparable friends. All of us loved each other.

I had the first choice since both Anand and Mohan were desperately in love with me and both had proposed to me.

I chose Mohan, leaving Anand for Sucheta.

And since that moment I kept tormenting myself wondering if I had made the wrong choice.

Physically I lived with Mohan but longed for Anand, repenting, and trying to imagine what my life would have been like if I had married Anand instead of Mohan.

I looked at Anand, and then at Bookworm.

Serendipity…! Yes. It was indeed Serendipity… pure luck…

I felt the adrenalin rush.

This was my golden chance to find out what life would have been like if I had married Anand… and I was going to seize the opportunity.

I waved out to Sucheta and five minutes later both of us were lying side by side on the double-bed in Bookworm’s hotel room.

There was a mesh of wires with electrode-transducers connected to our heads (like an EEG), a laptop-like special computer and a briefcase-size electronic device which Bookworm described as the ‘Electrophoresis Signal Processor’.

“Good,” Bookworm said, “both your brainwave frequencies are in ‘beta’ state around 15 hertz.  I’ll give you both a high frequency burst to momentarily raise your brain-states to ‘K-Complex’ and instantaneously commence the electrophoresis.”

Looking at me, he said, “Moushumi, you will be Sucheta as far as the outside world is concerned. So when you wake up, go straight to Anand.  Let’s see if he suspects.” And then to Sucheta he said, “Sucheta, you go straight to Mohan. He will think you are Moushumi.”

“It’s dangerous. I’m scared,” Sucheta said.

“Come on, Sucheta. Be a sport. It’s just for fun,” I said.

“It’s not fun. We’re doing this experiment to validate my research – in vivo – to see if the concept of mind-transference it works. Just for half-an-hour,” Bookworm said, “then both of you come back and I’ll reverse the process, everything will be the same as before, and you can leave as your own total selves – your same mind in your own same body.”

I closed my eyes in trepidation wondering whether I was doing the right thing. Suddenly I felt my brain go blank and then there were vivid flashes in a void.

Half an hour later, when I was in a state of ecstasy, in seventh heaven, gliding in Anand’s strong arms, enjoying the dance, in blissful trance.

Bookworm suddenly appeared by my side, started tugging my arm and telling me with urgency in his voice, “It’s time. Let’s go, Moushumi.”

“Moushumi…? Why are you calling her Moushumi…?” an incredulous Anand asked Bookworm.

“She is Moushumi,” Bookworm said pointing at me.

“Are you drunk or stoned or something…?” Anand snapped angrily. “Can’t you see she’s Sucheta, my wife…? Moushumi must be with her husband Mohan.  I last saw them having a drink near the bar.”

Instinctively I turned and looked towards the bar.

I could not spot Sucheta.

Nor was Mohan there.

I hurriedly scanned the room.

There was no sign of them.

They had disappeared.

Bookworm was in a state of panic and he started shouting incoherently:

“Anand…Anand…Try to understand…Your wife Sucheta has gone away with Mohan.  And this lady here in front of you is Moushumi – Mohan’s wife. This is only Sucheta’s body. Inside her is Moushumi’s brain. Moushumi’s mind is in Sucheta’s body. My in vivo experiment was successful – my psycho-cybernetics discovery is validated – the mind-transference has been achieved…!”

“Psychocybernetics …? Mind-transference …? Stop talking nonsense …!” Anand shouted angrily at Bookworm and taking my arm he said to me, “Come on Sucheta. Let’s go. Bookworm has gone crazy. And it’s getting late. We’ll drive straight down to Delhi. I’ve got a busy day tomorrow before we catch our flight back home to New York.”

As we walked through the parking lot towards the luxury limousine Anand had hired for his visit I noticed that ‘our’ car was missing.

It was cold and I glanced at ‘our’ small cottage on the hill slope for the last time.

‘They’ were probably cuddling up in ‘our’ bedroom by now.

I thought I was smart, but it was Sucheta who played the double game.

For me it was only a half-hour experiment, but Sucheta had upped the ante and turned the tables on me.

Will Mohan ever find out?

And what about Anand?

Will he continue to think I am his wife Sucheta?

Will this psycho-cybernetic mind-transference last forever? Am I beyond the point of no return?

As I think of my future, I shiver with tremors of trepidation.

From now on life is going to be a tightrope walk.

Every moment I’ll have to be on my toes.

I’m excited…very excited…and a bit terrified and scared too.

It’s going to be dangerous fun.

But one thing is sure.

Now I will really know what life would have been like if had I married Anand instead of Mohan.

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
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© 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.

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my original post HIGH-TECH “WIFE SWAPPING” in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/high-tech-wife-swapping.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Updated Version of my Story written by memore than 20 years ago – in the mid 1990s – and earlier Posted Online by me a number of times in my various blogs including at urls: http://creative.sulekha.com/double-game-fiction-short-story-by-vikram-karve_32021_blog  and  https://karve.wordpress.com/2005/12/24/  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/02/electrophoresis-virtual-wife-swapping.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/09/wife-swapping.html andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/01/wife-swapping-by-signal-processing.html  etc

 

Vikram Karve shared a post on Quora with you

January 14, 2017

My @Quora post: WHY DOES ONLY THE ARMY OFFICER NEED A SAHAYAK (BATMAN)?
“SAHAYAK” aka “BATMAN” aka “ORDERLY” aka “R… https://www.quora.com/profile/Vikram-Karve/Writing-by-VIKRAM-KARVE/WHY-DOES-ONLY-THE-ARMY-OFFICER-NEED-A-SAHAYAK-BATMAN?srid=5Hkq&share=7a93e7d8

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