Alcohol Tolerance Test – “Flash Point” and “Fire Point” Method

August 28, 2016

HOW TO DISCOVER YOUR DRINKING CAPACITY (ALCOHOL TOLERANCE LEVEL)

“Flash Point” and “Fire Point” Method  

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/drinking-capacity-alcohol-tolerance.html

There is a saying in the Navy:

“If you want to know the true characteristics of a officer – ask his coursemates and shipmates.”

If you ask my coursemates and shipmates about me – one thing they will tell you is that – in my heyday – I drank a lot of booze.

But – they will also tell you that I had enormous drinking capacity.

So – depsite drinking generous quantities of alcohol – I was never seen drunk.

Yes – I was often seen in “high spirits” – but – not drunk.

(I remember only one occasion on which it can be said that I was drunk – and – I never let that happen again)

The Navy taught me many things.

One of the things I learnt in the Navy was how to drink alcohol.

After around 25 years of enjoyable drinking – I quit drinking around 15 years ago.

For the benefit of posterity – I wrote a series on HOW TO DRINK ALCOHOL and posted it online on my blogs in the year 2011 – and revised versions later – in 2012 and 2013.

Nowadays – many youngsters – boys and girls – drink alcohol.

Sadly – I observe that – many youngsters do not know how to enjoy drinking – and – how to get the best from alcohol.

The evidence of this is the increased propensity towards drunkenness – which can lead to all sorts of consequences – including – personal harm, misbehaviour, violence, brawls, inappropriate behaviour, date rape, drunk driving, accidents etc

Sometime ago – during a “Cocktail Party” – which was more of a drunken spree with wild dancing – I observed many persons who got terribly drunk and made a spectacle of themselves.

From time to time – you hear of the increasing number of drunken driving accidents.

All this prompts me to delve into my “alcoholic archives” and post – once again – Part 4 of my series on How to Drink Alcohol on the topic HOW TO FIND OUT YOUR DRINKING CAPACITY (Alcohol Tolerance Level)

Every individual has a different drinking capacity – and if you want to avoid getting drunk – you must know your alcohol tolerance level.

Below this article – I am giving the links to my posts (Part 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6) of my series on HOW TO DRINK ALCOHOL.

Cheers – Enjoy !!!

HOW TO DRINK ALCOHOL – Part 4

HOW TO DISCOVER YOUR DRINKING CAPACITY or ALCOHOL TOLERANCE LEVEL

( “Flash Point” and “Fire Point” Method )

By

VIKRAM KARVE

HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU DRINK

It is best not to drink alcohol.

But if you do drink then you must ask yourself: “Why do I drink?”

You drink because you want to “feel good”.

If you drink too much you will get drunk.

When you get drunk you hardly feel or remember anything – since your senses are dulled.

But if you get inebriated – in your intoxicated and drunken state – you will make a fool of yourself – and you may embarrass your near and dear ones.

And on the morning after your alcoholic binge – you will certainly feel miserable when you come to your senses from your drunken stupor – and suffer the pains of a terrible hangover.

The Moot Question is: “HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU DRINK…?

If you drink too little – well then – there is no point in drinking alcohol at all.

You might as well have some fruit juice – or a soft drink – or a glass of milk.

You may find it laughable – but at some parties – I have seen some persons just holding a drink in their hands just for keeping up appearances to show others that they drink.

They do this because they want to project a “proper” image before their hard drinking bosses and colleagues – and – they don’t want their hard-drinking colleagues and friends to call them a “sissy”.

There is no shame in being a Teetotaller – in fact you should be proud of it.

By the way – after over 25 years of “work hard – play hard – drink hard” – Navy Style Living – I too am living a life of sobriety for the last 15 years.

I write this series as I wish to share my drinking experiences with you – and enable you to take more out of alcohol than alcohol takes out of you.

So – if you want to truly enjoy drinking  you must drink just the right amount of alcohol that makes you feel good.

The Aim of drinking alcohol is to feel HIGH  not to get Drunk

And – of course – the aim of drinking is not to remain dead sober as a teetotaller – in which case – it is a waste of good liquor.

So – here is the answer to the question “How Much Should You Drink:

You must never drink just to keep up appearances” to avoid being called a “prude” or a “sissy”.

If you drink too little – well then – there is no point in drinking alcohol at all – besides it a waste of good liquor (and your money).

You must drink enough  just that much so that you feel high – but you must not get drunk.

And – for achieving this delightful “high” state – you must know your drinking capacity which depends on your alcohol tolerance level” 

 

HOW TO DISCOVER YOUR DRINKING CAPACITY 

Well – it was through sheer serendipity that I discovered my drinking capacity.

This method worked for me.

I named it the  “FLASH POINT” and “FIRE POINT” Test

To find out whether it works for you – do try it out – at your own risk – and tell us how it worked for you.

Ingredients Required for “FLASH POINT” and “FIRE POINT” Test

You will need the following which you must keep handy on a table next to your chair:

  1. A Bottle of Rum or Whiskyor adequate quantity of your regular drink (If you drink shots, line enough of them up). It is best to start with a full bottle so you can measure (estimate) the amount of liquor you are drinking.
  1. A Book (with comfortable font size)
  1. Water

 

“FLASH POINT” and “FIRE POINT” TEST METHODOLOGY

Before I describe the technique – let me impart to you some “theory”.

If you were a science student – you must have performed a chemistry laboratory experiment to find out the FLASH POINT and FIRE POINT of a fuel.

You start heating the volatile liquid.

The flash point occurs when the fuel exhibits a flash.

The fuel is heated further – and the fire point occurs when the volatile material catches fire and starts burning and continues to burn.

Applying the same analogy to drinking alcohol – you can say that your “flash point” occurs when you are “high”

Yes – at your “flash point” you have reached your drinking capacity.

If you keep on drinking after your “flash point” – then you will reach your “fire point” – which is an inebriated state of drunkenness.

Your aim is to remain happily high around your “flash point” – and in no circumstances must you cross your “fire point”.

But – how do you find out your “flash point”…?

DRINKING CAPACITY TEST PROCEDURE – 10 SIMPLE STEPS

Here is the technique of how to “measure” your “flash point” or drinking capacity in 10 simple steps:

  1. Drink a glass of water.

This is to stabilize you in case you are dehydrated – and to get you ready for the experiment.

  1. Pour your normal drink.
  1. Pick up the book – and start reading.
  1. Keep drinking at your normal pace – and also keep reading the book continuously.

Take your time – sip your drink – and focus on the book.

If you finish your drink – pour another one.

Keep on drinking – as long as you can read easily and comprehend clearly what you are reading.

  1. The moment you reach a state where your concentration starts wavering – you are reaching your “flash point”.

As you drink and read – a point will come when  you can read the words  but you realize that you are not clearly registering what you are reading in your mind. 

This is your “FLASH POINT”.

At your “flash point” you will be in that delightful state of alcohol induced emotional flux which makes you feel “high”.

  1. If you continue drinking alcohol beyond your “flash point”you will reach a hazy state where the words in the book will appear blurred  and  you have difficulty in reading  as your eyes may not focus properly.

You have now reached your “FIRE POINT” (alcohol induced intoxication).

  1. Once you reach your “fire point” – you must stop drinking alcohol immediately.

Now drink a glass of water and relax. 

Soon – you will gravitate back from your “fire point” towards your “flash point” – and feel less drunk.

However – if you continue drinking beyond your “fire point” – you will get inebriated and become drunk.

  1. Measure (estimate) the amount of liquor you have drunk to reach your “FLASH POINT”. 

This is your “drinking capacity” or alcohol tolerance level (as on that day).

  1. Repeat this experiment a number of times (on different days) – yes – do the “FLASH POINT”“FIRE POINT” experiment at least 10 times.
  1. By successive iteration –fine tune the results –and soon  you will know your drinking capacity (alcohol tolerance level).

 

ALCOHOL TOLERANCE LEVEL

There is a saying: “First you drink alcohol – and then alcohol drinks you”.

Similarly – till you reach your “flash point” – you are the one drinking alcohol.

At your “flash point” – you have reached the limit of your control – but you still have control.

Near your “flash point” you will experience the “high” feeling which alcohol gives you.

When you get this “high” feeling – you must stop drinking at once.

You will remain “high” for sometime – enjoying the euphoric sensation – and then you will have a pleasant relaxing feeling as the “high” gradually tapers off – and – this is the best time to drift off into a nice sleep.

However – if you continue drinking beyond your “flash point” – you will reach your “fire point”.

Once you reach your “fire point” – you will lose control – and – alcohol will take charge of you.

Now – it is the alcohol which will “drink” you – and you will get drunk.

Let me sound a note of caution.

If you drink frequently – your alcohol tolerance will increase.

Increased Alcohol Tolerance means that after continued drinking – consumption of a constant amount of alcohol produces a lesser effect – which means that larger amounts of alcohol are necessary to produce the same effect.

Thus – you will need to drink more alcohol to reach your “flash point” to get a “high”.

In effect – if you drink regularly – your “drinking capacity” increases.

As you continue drinking – this has a snowballing effect.

Having a great drinking capacity may be a “macho” thing to boast about – and may win the admiration of your friends and colleagues.

However – high alcohol tolerance indicates a propensity towards alcoholism in later years.

So – you better watch out.

High alcohol tolerance level (good drinking capacity) is not necessarily something to be proud of or boast about.

Regular consumption of alcohol will raise your drinking capacity – which in turn will tempt you drink more to reach your “flash point”.

And – if you continue this habit of drinking – you may develop alcohol dependence – and you may eventually slip into the abyss of alcoholism.

So – if you realize that your “flash point” has increased – it is best to abstain from drinking for a few days – till your “flash point” falls to a reasonable level.

The less you drink – the better it is for your body – so – in fact – it is advantageous to have a low drinking capacity.

But then – you must remember never to cross your “flash point”.

Avoid binge drinking and competitive drinking – as this can damage your health.

Like I said in the beginning – it is best not to drink alcohol – but if you do drink – remember – as Winston Churchill once said – that:

You must take more out of Alcohol – than Alcohol takes out of You.

And – how do you do that…?

Well – that I will tell you in my series on the golden rules of drinking alcohol.

Happy “FLASH POINT”.

And

May you never reach your “FIRE POINT”.

Remember:

The Aim of Drinking Alcohol is to feel HIGH – Not to get DRUNK

Do let me know if this “Flash Point” and “Fire Point” method helped you discover your drinking capacity.

Here are some other posts in my Series HOW TO DRINK ALCOHOL (links open in new window):

  1. DOES ALCOHOL BRING OUT THE BEST IN YOU?

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/10/how-to-drink-alcohol-part-1-does.html

  1. NEVER DRINK WHEN YOU “NEED” A DRINK

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/10/how-to-drink-alcohol-part-2-never-drink.html

  1. DRINK TO FEEL NICE – NOT TO GET DRUNK

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/10/how-to-drink-alcohol-part-3-drink-to.html

  1. BOOZE WISDOM – ARE YOU A BORN ALCOHOLIC

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/09/booze-wisdom-are-you-born-alcoholic.html

  1. THE HIGHER YOU GO THE MORE YOU DRINK

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/03/humor-in-uniform-olq-alcohol-tolerance.html

  1. HOW TO QUIT DRINKING

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/06/how-to-quit-drinking-easy-way-alcohol.html

Cheers !!!

Have you found out your drinking capacity…?

Did this method work for you…?

I look forward to your feedback.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

  1. This article is based on my personal experience. It may or may not work for you. So please do due diligence before trying out this technique.
  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/2016/08/drinking-capacity-alcohol-tolerance.html

This series on HOW TO DRINK ALCOHOL was first written by me Vikram Karve in Oct 2011 and Posted Online by me Vikram Karve a number of times on my blogs since 2011 including at urls http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/10/drinking-alcohol-golden-rule-no-1.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/10/drinking-alcohol-golden-rule-no-2-how.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/04/drinking-capacity-or-alcohol-tolerance.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/06/how-to-quit-drinking-easy-way-alcohol.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/06/self-help-do-you-know-your-drinking.html etc

The Ultimate Anti-Ageing Formula – Zest for Living and Passion for Learning

August 25, 2016

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/do-you-want-to-be-young-senior-citizen.html

I WANT TO BE A YOUNG SENIOR CITIZEN 

I am almost 60 years old – in a few days – on the 12th of September 2016 – it will be my 60th Birthday – and – I will enter the 61st year of my life.

Am I old…?

Or – am I young?

Well – you may say that I am old – but – I still feel that I am a young boy.

You may not agree with me – but – I feel that it is better to be “immature” rather than “mature”

There is a saying:

“YOU ARE AS OLD AS YOU FEEL” 

That is why there are “young senior citizens” and “old senior citizens

Soon – I will be officially a Senior Citizen.

Surely – I would like to be a “young senior citizen.

How about you…?

Here is a piece I wrote around 6 years ago in my blog on the subject titled HOW TO REMAIN YOUNG AND YOUTHFUL FOREVER

Do tell me if you like it – I look forward to your comments.

And hey – don’t forget to wish me a Happy Birthday on the 12th of September when I cross the threshold of senior citizenship.

HOW TO BE A YOUNG SENIOR CITIZEN 

The Ultimate Anti-Ageing Formula

Zest for Living and Passion for Learning
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

Part 1 – DO WANT TO BE A “YOUNG” SENIOR CITIZEN…?

There are a number of retired senior citizens in the colony where I live in Pune.

Yes – there are still large numbers of pensioners living all over Pune – though Pune is no longer a pensioners’ paradise.

I have noticed one intriguing thing.

Though most are of these persons are of the same chronological age – some are “young” – and – some are “old”

Yes – some senior citizens appear young – and – some seem old.

Ater all – your age is what you feel.

Part 2 – ANTI AGEING FORMULA
By observing senior citizens for many years I have discovered this anti ageing formula for remaining young:

ZEST FOR LIVING and PASSION FOR LEARNING is the best “anti-ageing recipe” that keeps you young forever.

This is the true elixir of life.

Look around you – and you will see what I mean.

There are many “oldie-goldies” who are living life to the fullest and are always eager to learn new things.

On the other hand – there are many old people who have no “juice” left in them – as seem to have lost the spirit to enjoy learning – and do not have the enthusiasm to relish the pleasures of life to their utmost.
I know a “young” senior citizen who – after retirement from the Army – started learning classical music from the scratch.

He enjoyed studying for 10 years till he completed his sangeet alankar.

He lived life to the fullest in true epicurean style – good food, music, concerts, plays, movies, travel, tourism, picnics, swimming, trekking, playing with his dogs, social work etc.

You name it – he did it.

This young-at-heart senior citizen lived a delightfully active life – he loved the company of youngsters and he had the enthusiasm and energy of a child.

Even in his late 70’s he seemed “younger” than those senior citizens who were chronologically many years his junior.

His zest for life and passion for knowledge that kept him healthy, happy and youthful.

When he passed away nearing the age 80 – I am sure he was still feeling “young”.

Nowadays – technology has made it easier for senior citizens to remain “young”

With the proliferation of internet and smartphones – you can enjoy moments exploring the mysteries of the web, learning new things and latest technologies.

You can actively blog with passionate fervour.

You can engage with with gusto in all sorts of learning activites, creative writing, surfing, social networking, making virtual friends, teaching music.

Yes – you can experience the truism: “variety is the spice of life

Remember – you are as old as you feel – not as old as you look – and certainly not as “old” as your chronologically age says you are.

It is in your hands to forever remain a “young” senior citizen.

I will end this part with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi:

Live as if you are going to die tomorrow

Learn as if you are going to live forever

It is breathtakingly simple to remain young forever.

It is all in the mind.

Part 3 – HOW TO FEEL YOUNG AND YOUTHFUL 

For feeling youthful and yound – it is your “mental age” that matters – and – you should feel “mentally young” even if you are “physically old”.

Here are some tips on how to feel mental young and forget your chronological age.  

  1. SPEND TIME IN THE COMPANY OF YOUNG HAPPY PEOPLE

It is better to spend your time with cheerful younsters – who are enjoying life in the present.

Why make yourself miserable in the company of pessimistic, gloomy, cynical “old-fogies” – who keep living in the past – carping and complaining about the present – and – speculating and worrying about the future.

In today’s world – if your children (and youngsters of the next generation) have migrated abroad – or – live elsewhere – you may not have younsters around you.

In such cases – the best substitute is to have young online friends in the virtual world – so why not interact with young people on the internet – by being active on the Social Media (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/WhatsApp etc) – and – engaging in activities like Blogging etc.

Of course – face-to-face relationships are better – but when these are not feasible – the best alternative is to have good online relationships.

Also – many online friendships with youngsters may transform into offline interactions – and – you can have enjoyable meets with youngsters with common interests like food, literature, blogging etc.

I love attending blogger meets and literary fests where I can interact with my online friends.

I boast to my wife that in my “old age” – I have more “girlfriends” than I had in my younger days – of course – now – all my “girlfriends” are “online girlfriends”…

At my age – it is difficult for me to have young “offline girlfriends”.

Also – many of my “online girlfriends” are quite hesitant to come out with me on “offline dates”.

Maybe – the young girls feel embarassed to be seen in public dating an “old fogie” like me – and they feel more comfortable having an online “friendship” with me.

But – that doesn’t matter.

Even interacting with youngsters on the social media makes you feel young and cheerful.

Teaching and mentoring youngsters (never give unsolicited advice or moral lectures) – offline and online – is rewarding and good too – I love to teach – as I enjoy the company of cheerful motivated young students and this keeps me young and enthisuastic about learning too.

  1. GET A PET DOG 

Another useful anti-aging technique is to get a pet dog and enjoy playing with your dog.

Pet parenting and your pet dog’s antics and will keep you happily occupied, cheerful and healthy, besides ensuring regular exercise as your pet dog will ensure you take him out on walks at least twice a day.

There is nothing more joyful than playing with your dog and talking to him.

A dog always remains young at heart, and if you play and talk to your dog, you too will remain young at heart.

Playing with my dog Sherry made me feel really young and energetic.

A dog will bring out the child in you.

A pet will keep you active, happy, young and youthful.

(Sadly – my pet dog Sherry passed away one and a half years ago. She had really kept me mentally young and physically fit)

  1. RE-DISCOVER YOUR “CHILDLIKE ENTHUSIASM”

Get rid of the “Auld Lang Syne” complex.

Stop reminiscing about the “good old days”.

Start living it up every day doing whatever you like with zest and a passion to learn new things like Blogging, Tweeting, Social Networking – making real friends and virtual friends with common interests and passions – exploring the mysteries internet and enjoying the benefits of information technology.

Yes – keeping yourself uptodate and abreast of the latest technologies keeps you mentally stimulated.

Use technology effectively to keep young – you must have the latest smartphone, good laptop and modern gadgets.

You must Blog – you must Tweet – you must engage on WhatsApp – you must upload pictures on Instagram – and – you must be active on Social Networking sites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn etc.

  1. RE-DISCOVER YOUR YOUTHFUL ROMANTIC MISCHIEVOUS SIDE

Become “naughty” once again.

Have fun and discover the beauty and romance of life.

Why not harmlessfly flirt a bit…?

Remember that the moment you stop appreciating and being attracted to beauty – you have become “old” – and life is not worth living.

Yes – there is a saying that – the day you lose interest in good food and stop appreciating beautiful women (or handsome men) – you become an old man (woman).

  1. LEARN NEW THINGS, DEVELOP NEW HOBBIES AND NURTURE YOUR CREATIVE INTERESTS

Try to have a positive attitude and optimistic temperament – keep learning new things – nurture your creative interests, hobbies – exercise, play games/ports, travel, eat out, see movies – do whatever you enjoy doing and have a ball.

Explore your creative side.

Discovering new aspects of your creativity – and passionately nurturing your talents/interests – it works wonders for your health and happiness.

Keep learning new things – imbibe the latest technologies – and avoid becoming obsolescent or obsolete.

  1. TRY TO BE IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF “POSITIVE VIBES”

Try your best to be in an environment of feel-good happy “Positive Vibes”.

Avoid people, places and activities which generate “Negative Vibes” in you.

Do not waste your time reminiscing and regretting the past – or – speculating and worrying about the future.

In fact – never think of the past or future.

You must live in the present – one day at a time – and – think only of TODAY.

And – most importantly – you must ensure that the present moment is a happy one

For this – positive “vibes” are the key to making you feel good, cheerful and happy, here and now.

ANTI-AGEING FORMULA IN A NUTSHELL

To sum up – if you want to remain young and youthful forever – all you have got to do is that  – you must have a ZEST FOR LIVING and PASSION FOR LEARNING
First thing in the morning – the moment you get up – recite your new Art of Living Motto:

“Live as if you are going to die tomorrow  Learn as if you are going to live forever…”

Dear Reader: I wish you eternal youth – may you remain young forever with a Zest for Living and a Passion for Learning.

(Well – I am trying my best to practice what I preach – and – I am sure you will try too)

So Cheer Up and Live it Up…!!!

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. These are my personal views.Please do your own due diligence while applying these tips.
  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/2016/08/do-you-want-to-be-young-senior-citizen.html

This is a updated and revised repost of my article FOREVER YOUNG written by me 6 years ago in 2010 and posted by me Vikram Karve online earlier at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2010/12/forever-young-tried-and-tested-anti.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/12/how-to-feel-young.html  and http://creative.sulekha.com/old-in-age-but-young-at-heart_541304_blog  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/04/how-to-be-young-senior-citizen-anti.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/09/birthday-blog-how-to-feel-young-and.html

Pseudo-Ethics – Misplaced Loyalty

August 25, 2016

MISPLACED LOYALTY

“Keep it in the Family” Syndrome 

A Garb for Pseudo-Ethics

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/keep-it-in-family-syndrome-misplaced.html

Musings of a Navy Veteran By VIKRAM KARVE

RUSTOM

Recently – I saw the movie RUSTOM

The film is based on the famous 1959 Nanavati Case 

(Commander K. M. Nanavati vs. State of Maharashtra)

I am sure you are aware of this landmark murder case in which Commander Kawas Manekshaw Nanavati – a Navy Commander – was tried for the murder of Prem Ahuja – his wife’s lover.

NANAVATI CASE 

As per information on the Nanavati Case on the Internet – it appears that – Commander Nanavati fired 3 shots at his wife’s lover who dropped dead – and then – Commander Nanavati headed straight to confess to the Provost Marshal of the Western Naval Command – and – on his advice – Nanavati surrendered himself to the Deputy Commissioner of Police.

The murder case received unprecedented media coverage and inspired several books and movies.

Commander Nanavati – accused under section 302 – was initially declared “Not Guilty” by a Jury under section 302 – but – the verdict was dismissed by the Bombay High Court – and – the case was re-tried as a bench trial.

The High Court sentenced Nanavati to life imprisonment for culpable homicide amounting to murder – and subsequently – the Supreme Court of India upheld the conviction.

Nanavati was granted pardon after spending 3 years in prison – and – after his release – Nanavati – his wife Sylvia – and – their 3 children – all migrated to Canada – and – settled in Toronto.

Nanavati died in 2003.

The Nanavati case was the last to be heard as a Jury Trial in India – as the government abolished jury trials after this landmark case.

RUSTOM (Movie) – Twist in the Tail

The movie ending is different – with a “Twist in the Tail”.

The protagonist Commander Rustom Pavri walks free after the jury declares him “not guilty”.

On the eve of the judgement – while talking to the Investigating Officer (Police Inspector Lobo) – Commander Rustom Pavri justifies killing his wife’s lover (Vikram Makhija)

Rustom says that the real reason he shot dead his wife’s lover (Vikram Makhija) was to prevent India Navy from acquiring a “sub-standard” Aircraft Carrier which would have compromised national security.

Vikram Makhija was an “Arms Agent” – and – he had entered into a conspiracy with “Bigwigs” (including high ranking Naval Officers and Bureaucrats) – to siphon off money by importing a “sub-standard” warship.

Rustom is deputed abroad to a foreign country to inspect the ship – and – he discovers the “scam”.

He is shocked to learn that his friend Vikram Makhija is the main conspirator and his own senior officers are involved neck-deep in the scam.

The corrupt “scamsters” try to “persuade” Rustom to give a “favourable” report to accept the “sub-standard” ship.

The corrupt “scamsters” try to bribe Rustom – and – later they threaten him – but – Rustom – who is a patriotic and honest officer – refuses to compromise his integrity.

On his return to India – Rustom he telephonically informs the Defence Secretary about the scam – and – Rustom tells him that he will not spare the main conspirator Vikram Makhija (who – Rustom has coincidentally learnt is having an affair with his wife Sylvia).

(It later transpires that the Defence Secretary is also involved in the scam).

Rustom proceeds to Vikram Makhija’s house and puts three bullets into his chest.

Vikram Makhija drops dead.

Everyone (including the investigating officer Inspector Lobo) thinks that Rustom killed Makhija because he caught him having an affair with his wife.

However – at the end of the movie – while talking to Inspector Lobo – Rustom reveals that real reason why he killed Vikram Makhija.

Rustom says the he killed Vikram Makhija since he was the key conspirator in the shady deal to import the sub-standard aircraft carrier warship.

Thereby – he managed foil the shady deal and prevented the import of a sub-standard warship whose acquisition would have compromised national security.

Inspector Lobo asks Commander Rustom Pavri: “What about the other conspirators like the Senior Navy Officers, Defence Secretary etc…? Why didn’t you expose them and ensure that they got punished…?”

Rustom says: “If I had exposed them – the “image” of the Navy and Government would have got tarnished – so – I did not expose those persons in “high places” to protect the reputation of the nation…”

Does the movie want to give a “message” that it is okay to condone high-level corruption in shady Defence deals – on the specious logic that – exposing high-ranking perpetrators will tarnish the “good image” of the Armed Forces, spoil the reputation of the Defence Establishment and embarrass the Government…?

In the Movie – Rustom displays “Misplaced Patriotism” by his misguided belief – that – he is defending the honour of the Navy and the Nation – by concealing the extent of the scam and withholding the names corrupt senior officers – due to which high-ranking perpetrators of the scam escape punishment and get away scot-free.

Hence – the “moral message” is that – for the “greater good” – it is justified to let wrongdoers get away scot-free just to protect the reputation of the organization.

Bizarre logic – isn’t it…?

Or maybe – it is not so bizarre.

Don’t we see such cases of “misplaced loyalty” in real life…?

This phenomenon is visible at work – at the organizational level – and – in personal life – at the familial level.

MISPLACED LOYALTY (The “Keep it in the Family” Syndrome)

Misplaced loyalty makes you remain silent when you know you should speak up – at work – and – in personal life – especially when it comes to personal friendships and close family relationships.

We see this phenomenon of “misplaced loyalty” in organizations – in the military (under the garb of “izzat”) – and – in “civvy street” too – in civilian bureaucracy – in business houses and the corporate sector – and – of course – in political parties.

Engaging in misplaced loyalty in professional life entails complying with a “code of silence” about the internal affairs of your organization.

In the Military – “Regimental Loyalties” (keep it within the unit) – and “Ship Loyalties” (keep it within the ship) – are examples of such misplaced organizational loyalties.

At the family/personal level – incidents of Incest, Sexual Abuse, Inappropriate Behaviour, Adultery, Pedophilia and Domestic Violence that happen within a “family” – these incidents may be “hushed up” to avoid “washing dirty linen in public” – because of the fallacious fear –  that exposing the wrongdoers may bring a “bad name” to the family and tarnish the reputation of the entire family.

I call it the “keep it in the family” syndrome.

The term “family” is used literally to mean personal family comprising relatives – as well as metaphorically – to refer to organizations (workplace “family”).

“Misplaced Loyalty” due to the “Keep it in the Family” syndrome sometimes makes you condone unethical acts of individuals/organizations who you feel are a “part of the family” and towards whom you feel a sense of “loyalty”.

“Misplaced Loyalty” attitudes of – “Keep it in the Family” – “Don’t Wash Dirty Linen in Public” – result in a “pseudo-ethical” tendency to “brush misdemeanors under the carpet” and “hush up” wrongdoings – due to which culprits get away scot-free.

Owing to these “Misplaced Loyalty” Mindsets in Organizations – Frauds and Scams are “hushed-up” – Corruption and Wrongdoings are not exposed – and – Scandals are swept under the carpet.

In extremis – even heinous crimes are “hushed up” due to the propensity to “cover up” criminal activities due to “Keep it in the Family” Syndrome.

Both at the macro-level and micro-level – in organizational environments – and – in family settings – “misplaced loyalty” due to “keep it in family” syndrome may have deleterious consequences.

Wrongdoers will get emboldened to commit misdemeanors even more brazenly with disastrous consequences.

The widespread corruption, various scams/scandals and proliferation of crime bear testimony to this fact.

Due to the “keep it in the family” mindset – in workplaces and in family settings – if sexual perverts who indulge in “inappropriate behavior” are allowed to go scot-free – they may get emboldened to commit worse misdemeanors like sexual harassment, sexual assault, rape etc.

“Misplaced Loyalty” is dangerous – for the “family” – and for society at large.

Even if it means “embarrassment” to the “family” – isn’t it better to “name and shame” wrongdoers and punish these malefactors at the very first instance…?

Exposing transgressors in the very first instance will help “nip things in the bud” – and – will deter these wrongdoers from committing graver misdemeanors – which may prove to be even more detrimental to the family/organization.

During my long career in the Navy – I did come across a few instances of attempts to “cover up” due to “keep it in the family” syndrome (“Misplaced Loyalty” arising from “fear of reputation damage” or so-called pseudo “honor codes”) – but – by and large – instances of misconduct were duly reported and the offenders were punished.

CONCLUSION

Coming back to the movie RUSTOM – it is one thing for a Naval Officer to commit an “honor killing” by shooting his wife’s illicit lover – but – it is quite another thing for a Naval Officer to kill a civilian conspirator in a defence scam while “protecting” high-ranking officers involved in the same scam and justifying the “hush up” on the bizarre logic that exposing these high-ranking officers will tarnish the image of the service.

I wish the movie had stuck to the original story – and – not twisted the story by a hotchpotch sub-plot about corruption in defence deals – and – ended up with the protagonist justifying his “Misplaced Patriotism” – due to which he does not expose corruption in the shady defence deal – on the specious logic that “naming and shaming” corrupt high-ranking officers involved in the scam would “tarnish the image” of the Navy (and Nation) – and – thereby allows the conspirators to get away scot-free.

To sum up:

Misplaced Loyalty (due to “keep it in the family” syndrome) is a garb for pseudo-ethics and proves detrimental to the greater good in the long run.

 

VIKRAM KARVE

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Disclaimer:

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

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/2016/08/keep-it-in-family-syndrome-misplaced.html

The Sapiosexual

August 25, 2016

The SAPIOSEXUAL 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/sapiosexual.html

Romance – A Love Story By VIKRAM KARVE

“She hasn’t come…?” the “pretty girl” asks the “handsome hulk”.

“No. She hasn’t turned up. I had specially invited her – I personally spoke to her and I asked her to come…” the “handsome hulk” says.

“And – she ditched you…?”

“I have been wooing her for the last few months – but – she always gives me the “cold shoulder” – she just ignores me…”

“Maybe – she is not interested in you…”

“Of course she is interested in me. Tell me – which girl is not interested in me…? Aren’t you interested in me…?”

“Well yes – I am interested in you – most girls may be interested in you – but – she may be an exception – she may not be interested in you…”

“I think that she is just playing “hard to get”…”

“Oh – so it is your ego that is hurt…?”

“Maybe – but – I am really attracted to her – I have asked her out on a date so many times – but – she always refused me – I thought that maybe she didn’t want to come out with me alone – so – I organized this class picnic – and – I personally invited her – but – she hasn’t come…”

“Are you saying that you organized this picnic just for her…?”

“Yes – I thought that she would come if I said it was a “class-picnic” – so – I invited everyone in the class – and – everyone has come – except her…”

“Bookworm hasn’t come…”

“I am least interested in why “Bookworm” hasn’t come – to hell with him – I am feeling upset that “She” hasn’t come…”

“Why don’t you just forget her…? You are rich and handsome – with such awesome looks and magnificent physique – a true hunk – the most “eligible” bachelor around. There are so many girls who desire you – in fact – any girl in our class will “die” for you…”

“Except her…”

“You can keep trying – but – you will never get her…” a new feminine voice says.

“What do you mean…?”

“You need to do some “research” – have you seen her profile…?”

“Yes. I have seen her Facebook profile… ”

“Have a look at her Twitter profile…”

“Why…?”

“She seems to be a kinky type – she has written a funny word to describe herself – “sapphosexual”…”

“What – “sapphosexual” – don’t tell me that she is….”

“No, No – she’s not into girls….” another feminine voice says.

“How do you know…?”

“I know – but – don’t ask me how I know…”

“Hey – let’s see her Twitter profile…” the “pretty girl” says.

The “handsome hulk” takes out his smartphone.

“Ah – the word is not “sapphosexual” – it is “sapiosexual”…”

“Sapiosexual…? What does it mean…?”

“I don’t know…”

“Just “Google” it…”

“Ah – “sapiosexual” – it means “a person who is attracted to intelligence”…”

“No wonder she is dating “Bookworm”…” a male voice says.

“She is dating “Bookworm”…?”

“Yes…”

“Who…? The same girl…? How can she date “Bookworm” – that nerdy geek…?”

“Well – “Bookworm” may be a “Nerdy Geek. But – Yes – it is true – the object of your desire – the girl you are so desperately pursuing – I have seen her with “Bookworm” so many times – hanging out in the library – browsing in bookstores – Ha Ha – she really seems to be true “sapiosexual” – just like she mentioned in her profile…”

The “pretty girl” looks at the “handsome hulk” – and – she says to him:

“I think you should forget about her – you may be a rich and handsome hunk – but – tell me – “intelligence-wise” – do you think you will be able to match “Bookworm” intellectually…?”

 

 

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
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Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/sapiosexual.html

Musings on Military Officer Like Qualities (OLQ)

August 19, 2016

MILITARY OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES (OLQ) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/10/military-olq-officer-like-qualities.html

PHYSICAL FITNESS versus MENTAL ROBUSTNESS

Ramblings of a Navy Veteran By VIKRAM KARVE

“ARTHRITIS” IN THE HEAD IS WORSE THAN ARTHRITIS IN THE KNEE

In his autobiography  A SOLDIER’S STORY  General Omar Nelson Bradley (the renowned American General who commanded the 12th Army, the largest army in World War II, during the invasion of Europe) recounts an incident.

During the war, one of the best Corps Commanders,  General Troy H Middleton  suffered an arthritic disability in the knee and it was suggested to General Marshall (the US Army Chief) that Middleton be sent home rather than be given command of a army corps in the field which was engaged in active combat.

General Marshall retorted, “I would rather have a man with arthritis in the knee than one with arthritis in the head. Keep Middleton there.”

General Marshall was proved right.

In Europe, as a part of Patton’s 3rd Army, Middleton commanded VIII Corps with distinction and successfully led it throughout the European Invasion all the way from Normandy to the Elbe.

Middleton was a seasoned campaigner, having commanded 45th Infantry Division in the Sicilian Campaign in II Corps (commanded by Patton and later by Bradley).

He was then promoted to command VIII Corps in Patton’s Third Army during the invasion in Europe, when he was struck by an attack of Arthritis.

Marshall’s insistence that “I would rather have a man with arthritis in the knee than one with arthritis in the head”  was proved right as Middleton performed brilliantly as a leader especially in the  Battle of the Bulge   (described below):

“Had not Middleton, egged-on by Patton, ordered unrelenting attacks against the assaulting Nazis, and had not his infantrymen and tankers risen to highest levels of gallantry, the Germans certainly would have overcome the 101st’s resistance and been able to re-establish their supply lines leading to Bastogne”

Following this battle, Middleton led VIII Corps in its relentless push across Germany right into Czechoslovakia when Germany surrendered and the war ended.

Before the Battle of the Bulge, his leadership in Operation Cobra led to the capture of the important port city of Brest, France, and for his success he was awarded a second Distinguished Service Medal by General George Patton.

Middleton was recognized by both the Supreme Allied Commander Eisenhower and Army Commander Patton as being a corps commander of extraordinary abilities.

General Patton had recommended that if he became a battle casualty, then General Middleton should succeed him as commander of the 3rd Army.

Despite being “physically unfit” due to arthritis, General Middleton spent over 1200 days in war conditions in the field, since departing from America in January 1942.

Middleton logged 480 days in actual combat during World War II, more than any other American General Officer.

General Troy H Middleton achieved this remarkable and most spectacular military success despite have been stricken by arthritis in the knee.

(In India, he would have probably been declared a low medical category and he would have been invalided out of the army on medical grounds – so powerful are our army doctors – they can ruin career prospects of competent officers by the dreaded “weapon” of medical category)

This true story, of the arthritis afflicted General Middleton narrated above, exemplifies the importance of mental fitness for a military officer, especially in senior ranks.

Mental fitness is certainly as important as physical fitness, if not more.

In some cases, especially for senior officers, mental fitness is more important than physical fitness.

The importance of mental fitness over physical fitness is exemplified in the words of General Eisenhower (when it was repeatedly recommended to him by doctors that General Middleton should be sent back to America after his success in Africa and the Sicilian Campaign, as he was not physically fit for the forthcoming Invasion of Europe): “I don’t give a damn about his knees; I want his head and his heart. And I’ll take him into battle on a stretcher if we have to.”

Military history is replete with examples of this – during World War II, Fredendall  was replaced by  Patton  after American Forces suffered a reverse at  Kasserine Pass,  Auchinleck was replaced by Montgomery after defeat in the first battle of El Alamein,  and even during the 1962 Sino-Indian conflict, a move was made to replace Kaul with Harbaksh Singh (decision reversed with disastrous consequences) but, finally, Kaul was replaced by Sam Manekshaw, but by then it was too late as the war was over.

Will it not be apt for the Indian Armed Forces, obsessed with “medical categories”, to mull over these words on the importance of mental fitness in senior officers.

PHYSICAL FITNESS AND MENTAL FITNESS EVALUATION IN THE INDIAN ARMED FORCES

Do we regard mental fitness to be as important as physical fitness in our armed forces (army, navy and air force)?

In the beginning (at the time of recruitment): Yes (For Officers, both Physical and Mental Fitness are evaluated in the initial selection process).

In India, the selection process for an officer in the armed forces (army, navy and air force) includes assessment of both physical fitness and mental fitness.

Physical fitness is tested at the Services Selection Board (SSB) followed by a thorough medical examination at the Military Hospital (MH).

Mental fitness is analyzed by various psychological tests, group tasks and interviews at the SSB.

Thus, both physical and mental fitness are confirmed before selection.

Thereafter, physical fitness is evaluated and confirmed every year by an Annual Medical Examination (AME) and Physical Evaluation Test (PET).

If an officer does not meet the specified standards, the officer’s medical category is downgraded and his career is adversely affected as the officer is considered unfit for combat duties.

Physical fitness is not taken for granted.

This is because it is felt that physical fitness of a person can change over the years depending on one’s health and the attention one pays to maintaining oneself.

However, mental fitness is never evaluated during your entire military career once you have been commissioned as an officer.

Mental fitness is taken for granted.

It is assumed that mental fitness does not change and there is no need to “examine” and confirm an officer’s mental fitness every year.

However, like physical fitness can change with time, similarly, mental fitness can also change over the years depending on life experiences.

PHYSICAL TOUGHNESS versus MENTAL ROBUSTNESS

Physical toughness and mental robustness are two different attributes.

Physical toughness does not automatically guarantee mental robustness.

Yes, it may not always be true that all physically tough persons will necessarily be mentally robust as well.

In the army, physical toughness may be more important for junior officers, but for senior leadership it is mental robustness that matters.

In his book  The Unfought War of 1962”  the author JR Saigal cites the example of his Brigade Commander who was physically tough but mentally weak-willed.

As a junior officer, he had suffered harrowing experiences as a prisoner of war during the Second World War and was determined not to become a prisoner again.

The Brigade Commander became so jittery when he heard of the advancing enemy that he abandoned his troops and fled from the battlefield even before the attack was launched by the enemy.

The author says that a person with such a vulnerable mental make-up should not have been posted anywhere near an operational area.

Yet such a shaky and mentally unfit officer was posted to a crucial command appointment – and that too in war.

DOES ACR SYNDROME CONVERT “LIONS IN ACTION” INTO “DOGS IN OBEDIENCE”…?

In the Navy too, I have seen many officers, who were mentally robust in their younger days, become mentally soft and lose their boldness as they become senior due to their fervent ambition and fanatical obsession to get promoted to higher rank.

In their quest for promotion at any cost, these officers fall victim to the “ACR Syndrome” since promotion is solely dependent on the all important ACR (Annual Confidential Report).

I once saw a Commanding Officer become a nervous wreck in his quest to earn an “outstanding” ACR – there were 10 other highly ambitious Commanding Officers in the Fleet of the same rank competing with him for promotion, and, he knew that the vacancies were very few, so the cut-throat competition was very tough.

I was astonished by the change in the mental makeup of this officer, since the same officer had been a robust happy-go-lucky carefree individual in his younger days.

It seemed that “zero error syndrome” coupled with his extreme ambition had made him fearful and lose his mental robustness.

Instead of enjoying his command, he was stressed out, since, due to his obsession for an “outstanding” ACR, he was doing a few things which he knew were wrong.

It is quite ironical, that instead of becoming more and more mentally forceful as they become senior, some highly ambitious officers start becoming spineless, due to their servility to the powers-that-be, as they crave for career-success and even yearn for post-retirement sops.

Thus, by the time they reach high rank, long years of submissiveness severely compromises their mental robustness and this may affect their command capability, especially in a crisis.

You cannot expect an officer to be a “dog in obedience” and “lion in action” at the same time.

Similarly, once an officer who was a “lion in action” gets slowly converted into a “dog in obedience” – it is very difficult to instantly re-convert the “dog in obedience” back into a “lion in action”.

ANNUAL MENTAL FITNESS ASSESSMENT

WHY NOT HAVE ANNUAL PSYCHOLOGICAL EXAMINATION (APE)

One solution to alleviate this problem is to have an Annual Psychological Examination (APE) to assess the current “Mental and Emotional Fitness” of an officer and ascertain his suitability for leadership in combat situations.

In today’s world, modern tools and techniques are available to conduct such psychological tests.

All that needs to be done is to include an Annual Psychological Examination (APE)along with the Annual Medical Examination (AME).

It is as simple as that.

The APE will ensure that the military will have officers at the top who are as mentally robust as they are physically tough.

And those with “arthritis in the head” will be weeded out.

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
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Disclaimer:

  1. These are my personal views based on my observations and life experiences and the stories and examples quoted may be apocryphal.
  2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved) 

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/10/military-olq-officer-like-qualities.html

This post is a Revised and Updated Version of my Article First Posted by me Vikram Karve on 22 Oct 2013 at 10/22/2013 11:59:00 PM in my blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/10/military-musings-is-mental-fitness-most.html

Do You Want to Marry a Defence Officer – Military Matrimony – Story of 4 Military Wives

August 18, 2016

Are you thinking of marrying an Defence Officer…?

Do you feel you will be happy marrying a Military Man – or will you regret your decision later…?

Here is a Story of Four Quintessential Army Brides (aka “Fauji Memsahibs”) over a span of 60 years from 1948 to 2008 – in 1948, 1968, 1988 and 2008

It is a fiction short story.

Do read the story.

I will appreciate if you could please comment – and let us know your views.

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/military-wife-then-and-now-story-of-4.html

MILITARY WIFE – THEN AND NOW 

Story of Four Quintessential Army Wives aka “Fauji Memsahibs

A Fictional Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

Story of Four “Fauji Memsahibs” – A Spoof by Vikram Karve 

Circa 1948   Army Bride

ARMY WIFE NO. 1 – SHE HAD NO REGRET MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER 

“There is a marriage proposal for you,” her parents say – the moment she returns home from college.

“I don’t want to get married,” she says.

“Do you want to remain a spinster all your life?” her mother asks.

“No. But let me finish my graduation. Then I’ll see,” she says.

“She has a point. Let her finish her graduation. It’s just a question of one year,” her father says.

“Yes – let me finish my graduation,” the girl says.

“What graduation? Your whole aim is to get married – isn’t it? The boy and his parents are not insisting on graduation. They saw you at the club last evening, they have liked you, the boy has liked you, and the proposal has come. And let me tell you one thing – you won’t find a more eligible bachelor than him. It will be top status match. He is an Army Officer and you know that Army Officers are in highest demand – he can get any girl he wants – and you will be very lucky to get a husband like him. We will all regret it if we let go an opportunity like this,” the mother says.

“Please don’t hurry me up. Let me meet the boy. I will talk to him. Maybe he will wait for one year till I finish my B.A. – maybe we can get engaged now – and marry later,” the girl says.

“No. The boy cannot wait for one year. He has been selected to go abroad for a long training course in England. He is leaving next month and they want to get him married before he leaves so that he can take his wife along with him to England,” the mother says.

Her father interjects: “I have found out everything about the boy from my army friends. The boy is a fine officer and has a very bright future in the army. The family is very respectable and decent too. I think you should consider this proposal.”

Seeing the daughter confused – the mother says firmly: “Listen carefully. They want our answer by tonight – YES or NO. There is bevy of girls lined up for him – yes – he is an Army Officer – a “Prize Catch” – there are so many girls are desperate to get married to him – I am telling you – if you let this boy go – you will regret it all you life.”

The girl nodded her acceptance.

He mother rang up the boy’s mother.

Next day – the boy and his parents came over to “see” the girl.

Notionally – the boy’s side still had the prerogative to “reject” the girl – but then they had already seen the girl and liked her.

The girl got married to the Army Officer the next week.

They went on a whirlwind honeymoon to Darjeeling – then to the army cantonment where the boy was posted – where there was a flurry of parties for the newlyweds.

Then – the newly wedded Army Wife set sail for England along with her Army Officer Husband.

The girl did not complete her graduation.

There was no need for so much education – because she was going to be a full-time army wife – a “memsahib”.

The girl did not regret her decision.

Even many years later – she realised that marrying an army officer was the best thing that had happened to her.

Where else would she get the high status in society – top quality lifestyle – and the comforts that she enjoyed as the wife of a General…?

Yes – her husband had become a General – and she was the “first lady” – and she was proud to have contributed to his success as a perfect army wife.

She felt absolutely no regret that she had married an army officer.

In fact – Marrying an Army Officer was the best decision of her life.

20 Years Later…

Circa 1968   Army Bride

ARMY WIFE NO. 2 – SHE HAD A LITTLE BIT OF REGRET MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER

The young girl was a budding lawyer with a lot of promise.

After her LL.B. she had begun her practice under the tutelage of a top-notch lawyer.

One day  she submitted her resignation to her boss  and she told him that she was giving up her law practice.

Her boss was aghast  and he demanded to know the reason for her inexplicable decision.

“Sir  I am getting married to an army officer,” she said.

“But why resign and give up your practice? You can continue to practice law even after marriage. You are so talented – you have a very bright future ahead of you – I am sure you will become a very successful lawyer  and  who knows  you even may get the opportunity of being elevated as a judge,” he said.

“Sir  my husband will be posted all over as an army officer  and I don’t want to live separately from him – in fact  the boy has made it quite clear that he wants me to accompany him wherever he goes,” she said  and  she quit her law career and became a full-time housewife.

She enjoyed being an army wife  supporting her husband in his career  taking part in various social duties  the nomadic way of life  and cozy existence of cantonment life.

Many years later  she saw the professional achievements of some of her classmates and erstwhile lawyer colleagues.

Some of them  who were much less accomplished than her – had become successful lawyers – and – a few had even become judges.

She felt a tinge of regret – because she had no identity of her own – except that of being the wife of an army officer.

Yes – she did feel a bit of regret that she had married an Army Officer – because of which  she had to sacrifice her own career ambitions.

20 Years Later… 

Circa 1988   Army Bride

ARMY WIFE NO. 3 – SHE HAD PLENTY OF REGRET FOR MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER 

The girl was a qualified engineer who had specialized in computer and software engineering.

From Campus Placement – she had got a job in the top pioneer software company – and she had settled down quickly in her career.

She got married to an Army Officer.

She had two choices:

Option 1 – GIVE UP HER FULL-TIME PROFESSIONAL CAREER

  1. She could give up her career as a “Techie” – and join her husband in the remote place where he was posted and then accompany him wherever he was posted. 

She realized that if she wanted to always live together with her husband – as an army wife – she would have to be either a homemaker – or a teacher – the only feasible two “careers” in a military cantonment.

Option 2 – LONG DISTANCE MARRIAGE

  1. She could continue her professional career as a Techie”–but have a “long distance marriage” with her army husband – as he got posted all over.

She chose the second option. 

Yes – the girl chose Option 2 – she decided to pursue her career as a “Techie” and have a “long distance marriage”.

She did extremely well in her career.

Soon  she was way ahead of her “fauji” husband  who was plodding along in the Army with moderate salary and modest career prospects.

In their entire married life – they spent just 3 years together – when her husband managed a posting to her place of work.

Often  the army wife felt lonely  as she missed her husband.

When she saw her fellow “techie couples” enjoy the bliss of married life – she was filled with regret that she was married to the army officer “only on paper” – and she had spent most of her married life living alone – away from her husband.

Yes  she was married only on paper – in practice – her life was as if she was not married.

Loneliness proved corrosive for her army officer husband too  who took solace in alcohol.

Worse – the army officer husband developed an inferiority complex – because his wife had done much better than him in life – “career-success wise” and “money wise” – as the prospects in the army were limited as compared to the software industry.

All this – the conjugal separation – her work pressures – compounded by her husband’s increasing melancholic attitude – all these factors took their toll on her mental and physical health too.

She Regretted Marrying an Army Officer.

20 Years Later… 

Circa 2008   Not-to-be Army Bride

ARMY NOT-TO-BE-WIFE NO. 4 – SHE DID NOT WANT TO REGRET BY MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER 

The girl was the ambitious daughter of an army officer – she was an “army brat”.

She studied economics from a premier college – and then followed it up with an MBA from a top Business School – topping in both courses.

She had got a top-notch placement as an investment banker.

The girl was taken aback when her classmate from school suddenly proposed to her.

He was also an “army brat” – who had joined the NDA as a cadet after school – and was now an Army Officer.

The Army Officer told the Investment Banker that he was secretly in love with her since their school-days.

Her Army Officer classmate told her that he was waiting for her to finish her studies before he proposed marriage to her.

“But – I treated you as a friend…” she said.

“But – for me you are much more than a friend – tell me – what’s wrong if we get married – we know each other since school…” he said.

“Are you crazy…?” she said.

“Crazy…? Why…? Why do you think I am crazy…?” he asked.

“Why don’t you understand? You are just an Army Officer and I am an Investment Banker. I am out of your league now. Do you know the package I have been offered? In the Army – I doubt you get even one-tenth of the salary and perks I get. See – don’t feel bad – but I have my dreams – my ambitions of making it real big – now I am heading for Hong Kong – after that I don’t know where I will go – so – marrying an Army Officer just does not fit into my career plans – I hope you understand what I am saying. Well – let me make it clear – I do not want to regret later by marrying an Army Officer….” she said to him.

The Investment Banker Girl looked at the dejected Army Officer and she said to him: “Will you mind if I give you some advice?”

“Go ahead,” the army officer said.

“If you want to be happy – you better find a wife within the Army…” she said.

“What do you mean?” the army officer asked.

You should marry a Lady Army Officer. There are so many Girls joining the Army nowadays. So – why don’t you find a “Bride in Uniform” – some suitable Woman Army Officer colleague – it will best for both of you.”

With these words – the Investment Banker Girl walked out of the Army Officer’s life.

So – the investment banker – the ambitious daughter of an army officer – the “army brat” – she did not marry the Army Officer – because – she did not want to sacrifice her personal goals and career ambitions by marrying an Army Officer  and then regret later.

Yes – She Did Not Want to Regret Marrying an Army Officer.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/military-wife-then-and-now-story-of-4.html

Updated and Revised Version of my Article “THE CHANGING FACE OF THE ARMY WIFE” posted online by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 22 Jan 2014 by me Vikram Karve at 01/22/2014 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/01/the-changing-face-of-army-wife.html  and posted by me many times later including at urls:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/05/humor-in-uniform-army-wife-then-and-now.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/08/army-wife-then-and-now-tale-of-four.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/04/army-bride-fauji-memsahib-then-and-now.html  etc

Short Fiction – DEAD MAN’S WHISKY

August 18, 2016

DEAD MAN’S WHISKY

Short Fiction Story By VIKRAM KARVE 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/dead-mans-whisky-short-story.html

DEAD MAN’S WHISKY – A Story By VIKRAM KARVE

Part 1 – A DEAD BODY

I looked at the dead body – at the dead man’s face.

Even in death – he had the stamp of defeat on his face.

“Yes – it is him…” I said to the cop.

They covered the dead body.

We walked out of the morgue.

“The doctors will have to do a post mortem. They’ll do it straightaway – at night – and – we will get the body in the morning…” the cop said.

“Okay…” I said.

“If his family comes tomorrow – we can cremate him and complete the last rites tomorrow itself…” the cop said.

“That’s the problem – how do we inform his wife – his family…?”

“Sir – you don’t have their address – phone numbers – anything…?”

“No. His children have settled down abroad – in the US – and – his wife lives with them in America. I don’t have any contact details of his wife or his children. Tell me – did you not find anything on him – his wallet – mobile – some ID…?”

“No, Sir – I told you – the only thing we found was a piece of paper with a mobile number written on it…” the cop said.

“That’s funny…” I said.

“Looks like he has been robbed…” the cop said.

“Oh – so the robbers may have killed him…?” I said.

“I don’t think so, Sir – most probably he was dead before he was robbed – but – we will wait for the post-mortem report to confirm that…” the inspector said to me.

Part 2 – DEATH REPORT

Well – Dear Reader – this was what had happened exactly one hour ago.

Around midnight – at 2330 Hours  – or 11:30 PM – to be precise – a police patrol saw a man lying unconscious on the street in a sleazy “red light area”.

Actually – the man had fallen into a filthy gutter by the street.

They thought it was a drunkard – it was quite common to see intoxicated men wallowing dead-drunk on the streets in that squalid area.

However – on a closer look – than man appeared to be dead – so the cops called an ambulance.

The man was declared “brought in dead” by the doctors at the hospital.

On searching the dead man – the cops found nothing – except a piece of paper in his trouser pocket with a 10 digits – which the inspector correctly assumed to be a mobile number.

The inspector called that number – and – my mobile cell-phone rang.

I picked up my mobile phone.

“I am Inspector ‘XXX’ speaking from ‘YYY’ Police Station. A man was found dead and we found your mobile number on a chit in his pocket – you will have to come to the police station…” a voice said curtly.

“It is past midnight…” I said.

“So what – it is a police case…” the cop said rudely.

I identified myself – I told the Police Inspector who I was.

There was a remarkable change in his tone – and – the cop said politely: “I am sorry, Sir – I didn’t know…”

“That’s okay – where do you want me to come…?” I asked.

“Sir – we are in the civil hospital – I will send my jeep to pick you up…”

“Don’t take the trouble – I will come down myself to the civil hospital – you just give me the directions and tell me where exactly…”

“No, Sir – I will personally come and pick you up – please tell me your address…”

Outside – it was pitch dark – and – it was raining heavily – and – I didn’t quite fancy driving on that harsh night in the torrential rain – so – I accepted the inspector’s offer to pick me up.

I told the police inspector my address.

I changed my clothes – and – I waited for the cop to arrive.

Soon – we – the Police Inspector and I – we were driving in the police jeep towards the hospital to identify the body.

The cop looked at me – and – he said to me: “Sir – the place where his body was found – Sir – it is a “red light area” – that area is notorious for crime – vagabonds and urchins must have looted everything – there was nothing on him – no wallet, no watch, no mobile phone – nothing – only his clothes – and – this chit with your mobile number written on it…”

I looked at the piece of paper on which I had written my mobile number – and – I said: “I met him in my club – he wanted to have a drink with me – but – I was in a hurry – so – I told him that I would have a drink with him some other time – he told me that he had got a bottle of my favourite single-malt whisky…”

“Single-Malt Whisky…? Imported…?”

“Yes – he told me that he had recently returned from the US after visiting his children and wife there – and – he had got a bottle of my favourite whisky from the duty-free store at the airport…”

“Oh – he must have really liked you…”

“Yes – we were good friends when we were in the Air Force – and – later too – I kept contact with him after he retired long ago – and – after I retired 6 months ago – I met him once at his house – just before he flew down to America…”

“Oh – Sir – what happened at the club…? How did you give him the chit with your mobile number…?”

“Oh, Yes – I told you – I met him in the foyer of the club – near the reception area – he said that he had misplaced the visiting card I had given him a few months ago – and – he asked for my mobile number so – I asked the receptionist for a piece of paper – I wrote my mobile number on it – and – I gave it to him…”

“Sir – you could have given him your visiting card…”

“Actually – I was in a hurry to get home – and – he was totally drunk…”

“He was already drunk – at what time – Sir…?”

“Around 9:30…”

“Sir – you must have seen him drinking in the bar…?”

No – I was attending a private party in the blue room – and – when I was walking towards the foyer of the club on my way out – he suddenly came lurching towards me – he asked for my mobile number – I could have given him my card – but – I was so disgusted seeing him in a drunken condition – that – I just wrote my number on a piece of paper – and – I gave it to him – and then – I walked to my car and drove off…”

“What surprises me is why he went all the way to the filthy “red light area” which is quite far away from your club…”

“Yes – that’s surprising…”

“Or – maybe – the dead body is not your “friend” – oh – I am sorry, Sir…” the cop said.

“It’s okay – I told you – he was a good friend…” I said.

“Sir – I hope the dead body is your friend – the same man who we think it is…” the cop said.

“What do you mean…?”

“Sir – it is possible some other man “mugged” your friend – and – he took the “chit” with your number on it – and – the dead man is that man who mugged your friend and took the chit from him. But – that is a remote possibility – as I said – most likely he died before he was robbed – but – the post-mortem will give us a clue…” the cop said.

It was obvious that the cop hoped that I would identify the dead man – so that – the police could close the case.

Soon – we reached the hospital.

The doctors took us to the morgue.

I identified the body – it was him – yes – the “Dead Body” was that of my “Friend”…

They covered the body – and – we walked out of the morgue.

“We will have to do a post mortem. They’ll do the post-mortem straightaway – at night – and we will get the body early in the morning…” the cop said.

“Okay…” I said.

“Sir – I have already put my men on the job to enquire with our informers in the area – so that we can rule out any foul play – and we can give clearance to cremate him once the doctors give their “all okay” report…”

“That’s a good thing you have done…” I complimented the inspector.

“If his family comes tomorrow – we can cremate him and complete the last rites tomorrow itself…” the cop said.

“That’s the problem – how do we inform his wife – his family…?”

“Sir – you don’t have their address – phone numbers – anything…?”

“No. I don’t know the contact details of his wife or children. Tell me – did you not find anything on him – his wallet – mobile – some ID…?”

“No, Sir – I told you – the only thing we found was a piece of paper with a mobile number written on it…” the cop said.

“Okay – let’s go to his house – maybe we will find some clue about the contact details of his family there…” I said.

“You know his house…?” the cop asked me.

“Yes – he had a bungalow in Deccan Gymkhana…”

“A Bungalow…? In Deccan Gymkhana…?”

“Yes – the Bungalow built by his father – and – since he was the only son – he inherited it…”

“Oh – let’s hope he hasn’t sold it off and gone to live somewhere else – he seems to have been an alcoholic – and – alcoholics are always short of money…”

“I don’t think he would have sold the bungalow – he was quite well-off financially – and – he was getting a decent pension…”

“Oh…”

“Well – I had been to his house around 6 months ago – he was living all alone – his wife had gone to live with his children who are settled abroad in America…”

“Sir – you knew him well…?”

“Of course – we joined the Air Force together as cadets – that was 45 years ago – we were ‘course-mates’ at the Academy – he was an ace fighter pilot – he stood first in our course – he won all the flying trophies – we all thought that he would reach high rank…”

“And just see what happened to him, Sir – what a sad end…”

“Yes – a very pitiful end to a good man…”

A doctor gestured to the Police Inspector.

The Inspector excused himself – and – he went across to talk to the doctor.

After some time – the Police Inspector returned – and – he said to me: “Sir – the doctors say that – prima facie – they don’t suspect any foul play – and – the cause of death seems to be cirrhosis of the liver due to excessive consumption of alcohol – but – they will give a full proper post-mortem report in the morning – then – we can get the death certificate – and – hand over the body for cremation…”

“Shall we go to his house and try to find out contact details of his families…?” I asked.

“Yes – Yes – Sir – let’s go. I will tell them to send some force to break the lock and force the door open…” the cop said, “Sir – can you tell me the address of his bungalow…?”

I told him the location of the bungalow.

The Police Inspector spoke for some time on his mobile – repeating the location that I had told him.

Then – he said to me: “Sir – let’s go…”

So – we drove to the Dead Man’s House in Deccan Gymkhana.

Part 3 – DEAD MAN’S WHISKY

One hour later – we – the police inspector and me – both of us were sitting in the drawing room of the bungalow – while a constable sat in the police jeep parked outside. The rest of the police party had been sent back to the police station.

The door had been forced open – and after a brief search – we found a diary with the addresses and phone numbers of the dead man’s wife and children living in America.

I called the dead man’s wife.

In Pune (India) – it was the unearthly hour of 2 AM.

In America – it must have been afternoon.

The dead man’s wife picked up the phone.

I identified myself.

She recognized me – though it was more than 15 years since we had met – after all – I was her husband’s course-mate and squadron-mate – and – I had kept contact even after her husband had prematurely left the Air Force.

“Is everything okay…?” she asked me.

I gave her the sad news that her husband was dead.

“Oh – it was bound to happen – the way he was drinking himself to death…” she said.

“We will get his body in the morning – I will arrange to keep his body in the morgue till you come…” I said to her.

“Why should I come…?” the dead man’s wife said.

“For his cremation – don’t you – your children – don’t you want to perform the last rites of your husband…?”

“No – you cremate him – I will send you whatever money is required for the expenses…”

“It is not a question of money…” I said to her, “won’t you like to see your husband for one last time…? Or – at least – the children would like to see their father for one last time…?”

“No – No – we are not interested in seeing his dead body – for us – he “died” long back…” the dead man’s wife said.

For a moment – I was dumbstruck.

Before I could recover my wits – the dead man’s wife said on the phone: “Please cremate him – we really don’t have time to come to India now – but – we will try and come next month during the Christmas Vacations to ‘settle matters’ – please get his death certificate – and – just see that our bungalow is cleaned and locked up properly…”

I smiled to myself at the way the dead man’s wife had said “our bungalow”

She had abandoned her husband – but – she had not abandoned his bungalow.

Yes – it was “his” bungalow – given to him by his father – but his wife called it “our” bungalow.

I did not wish to speak anything further with the dead man’s wife.

Also – it seemed that she too did not want to speak anything to me – so – I said: “Don’t worry – I am in your bungalow right now – I will do the needful…”

Then – I disconnected the phone.

We looked around the house.

We found empty liquor bottles lying all around – and – there were a few full bottles of Rum – and – some cheap country liquor bottles – but – conspicuous in his drawing room display case – there was a bottle of Single Malt Scotch Whisky.

“This must have been the bottle he bought for you, Sir…” the cop said.

“Yes…” I said – and – I took out the big one litre bottle of Highland Malt Whisky out of the display case.

I noticed that the inspector was looking at the bottle with a look of genuine desire – so – I said to him: “Come on – let’s “kill” the bottle…”

“Sir…?” he said, confused.

“Well – my friend had got this bottle for me – so why not have a drink and talk – anyway we have to kill a few hours till morning – you like “Single Malt” don’t you…?”

“Yes, Sir – I tasted it once – at a party…” he said, “Sir – I will get some glasses from the kitchen…”

We sat on the sofa – sipping the Dead Man’s Whisky.

“Sir, what is the exact story of the “Dead Man”…?” the cop asked me.

“I told you – we were together in the Air Force – and – he was an ace fighter pilot – doing very well in his career – we were sure he would reach high rank – and then – one day – he suddenly resigned and left the Air Force…”

“Resigned…? Why…?”

“Yes – he quit when he was at his best – just when his career was taking off – for the sake of his children’s education…”

“He quit the Air Force for his “children’s education”…?”

“Yes. He had two sons – I think one was in the 9th and the younger in the 7th – and – he wanted them to be in the best school in Pune and prepare for IIT – those days – airbases were quite desolate – and – did not have good schooling facilities…”

“Sir – he could have sent his wife and kids to Pune – and – he could have lived alone wherever he was posted…”

“He did that – his lived as a “bachelor” in the officers’ mess for some time – but – once you get used to family life – it is difficult to live alone – and – his wife kept nagging him to quit the Air Force and come and stay with them – as she was finding it difficult to manage the two teenage boys alone – and – she wanted him to take their children’s studies – as I told you – his main aim was that both his sons get into IIT – so – he was willing to do anything to achieve this…”

“So – he quit the Air Force at the prime of his career…?”

“Yes – in a nutshell – he gave up his career for the sake of his kids…”

“And – his kids…?”

“His kids did well – both got into IIT. His efforts had borne fruit – he had totally dedicated his life for his children – for 5 years – till his younger son finished his 12thand gave the IIT exam – he did not take up a job – but – focused full-time on his children’s studies…”

“A doting father…”

“Yes – he was more than a “doting” father – then – as most IIT graduates do – both his kids went abroad to America for higher studies and then settled down permanently in the US…”

“And him…? What did he do…?”

“He tried to get a job – but couldn’t get a decent job…”

“You said that he was an ace pilot – surely – he could have joined the airlines…”

“Sadly – there was a glut of civil pilots at that time – besides – he was a fighter pilot – and – the civil airlines prefer transport pilots…”

“That’s sad…”

“Yes – that is the time he started regretting leaving the Air Force – he was unemployed – treated as “good for nothing” in the civilian world – whereas he saw all of us doing well in our Air Force careers and reaching high rank…”

“It must have been depressing – you said he was a trophy winner – the best in his batch – it must have been terrible for him – he must have felt like a man in a gutter watching others climbing mountains…”

I smiled at the metaphor – alcohol seemed to be unleashing creativity in the cop.

I wondered whether it was a coincidence that he had used the metaphoric example of a “gutter” – because – my friend – the dead man – he had been found lying in a gutter.

I decided to cut the story short – why speak ill about a dead man…?

“Well – to put it in a nutshell – things went downhill after that – maybe because of his frustration – he started drinking heavily. Meanwhile his sons got married and had kids – and – his wife kept going to her children in America for long durations abroad for “nanny” duties – and – maybe because of loneliness – he started drinking even more…”

“Sir – he could have gone to America…”

“He did – but then – maybe because of his drinking – his children did not want him there for long – so – he would come back – and – his wife would stay on for months…”

“Sad – to be unwanted by the same children for whom he had sacrificed his career…”

“Yes – and then – things got even worse – there were all sorts of sordid rumours that he was seen in unsavoury company…”

“Oh – so that explains why he was found in the “red light area”…”

“His wife must have heard about his sordid affairs – so – she abandoned him here – and – she went to live permanently live with her children in the US…”

“It must have broken him – poor man – it must have been very sad…” the cop said.

“A sad end to a good man…” I said.

I finished off the whisky in my glass.

It looked at my watch – it was almost 5 AM.

So – I said to the inspector: “Shall we go…? It’s almost morning…”

“Yes, Sir…” the cop said, “I will just check up with the doctors…”

The police inspector made a call – spoke for some time – and then – he said to me: “Sir – everything is okay – death was due to “cirrhosis of liver” – we can take the body now…”

“That’s good…”

“Sir – “Vaikunth” or “Kailas” – which crematorium do you prefer – I will tell them to make the cremation pass accordingly…”

“Wherever you want – and – I don’t want any rituals – let’s keep it to the bare minimum – I want to get it over with as fast as possible…” I said.

“You are right, Sir – if his own wife and children are not even interested in seeing him one last time – why should we bother about having rituals and ceremonies…?” the cop said – and – he once again – spoke on the phone.

“Sir – shall we go…?” the cop said.

I got up from the sofa.

The cop picked up the Whisky Bottle – and – he said to me: “Sir – the “Dead Man’s Whisky” – there is still plenty of whisky left in the bottle…”

“You keep it…” I said.

“No, Sir – I think you should keep the “Dead Man’s Whisky” – as a token of remembrance of your friend…” the cop said to me.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/dead-mans-whisky-short-story.html

Musings of a Veteran on Independence Day – Jingoism and Patriotism

August 15, 2016

JINGOISM and PATRIOTISM

Musings of a Veteran on Independence Day By VIKRAM KARVE 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/musings-of-veteran-on-eve-of.html

NB: The generic term “soldier” covers all uniformed personnel of the Armed Forces (Army, Navy and Air Force)

Musings of a Veteran on Independence Day – Jingoism and Patriotism

Nowadays – we see plenty of jingoism.

Many individuals – especially politicians – feel that jingoism is a substitute for patriotism.

How many politicians have their children serving in the Armed Forces…?

What about rich industrialists and businessmen – civil servants and corporate executives – or the urban middle-class – are any of their children serving in the Defence Services…?

Nowadays – even Defence Officers are not motivating their children to don military uniform.

And it is mostly these persons – especially politicians – who keep making jingoistic statements about war and teaching our adversaries a lesson.

Jingoists want the soldier to risk his life and limb – while they themselves will remain safe and secure.

Haven’t you seen some politicians – who want layers of security to protect them – but expect the soldier to sacrifice his life for the nation.

Are there any politicians who are willing to risk their own lives for the nation – or motivate their children to the join the defence services?

If you see today’s self-serving politicians – you won’t believe it – but long ago – there were exceptional politicians who were genuinely patriotic – who ready to risk their own lives for the nation – and led by personal example.

One shining example is the inimitable Biju Patnaik (05 Mar 1916 – 17 Apr 1997).

His heroic exploits as a pilot in the Royal Indian Air Force in the early 1940’s during World War II were legendary.

Later – after independence – when he had become a politician – he took to the skies again and undertook daredevil flights to airlift army troops into Kashmir during the 1947 War Operations.

He was always ready to work shoulder-to-shoulder with the soldier.

Biju Patnaik demonstrated that he was a true “soldier” and politician.

He was prepared to put his life in danger for the sake of the nation when required.

Is there any politician today who can emulate such stalwarts…?

Times have changed.

Politics is no longer a profession of sacrifice.

Politicians do not want to put their lives in danger.

Politicians are no longer prepared to suffer physical discomfort.

That is why they politicians like to monitor things from a safe distance – while the soldier slogs it out in the field.

Will politicians change for the better…?

Let us hope so.

Till such time that happens:

Soldiers will slog incessantly in war and peace.

Soldiers will do the dangerous work and risk their lives.

On the other hand – politicians will indulge in jingoism and rhetoric.

And – shameless politicians will fight with each other to claim credit for the soldier’s achievements.

Before you resort to jingoistic rhetoric – you must remember that:

Jingoism is not a substitute for Patriotism.

Genuine Patriotism is far superior to a show of Jingoism.

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. 

This is a revised repost of my article first published by me under the title SOLDIER AND POLITICIAN on June 2013 and this article was first posted online by me Vikram Karve on 26 June 2013 in my blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/06/soldier-and-politician.html and reposted later at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/jingoism-is-not-substitute-for.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/musings-of-veteran-on-eve-of.html

Should a Career Woman Marry a Defence Officer…?

August 11, 2016

A “FAUJI” and a “FAUJAN”

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/a-fauji-and-faujan.html

THE NEW AGE “FAUJI” COUPLE
A Spoof on Military Matrimony
By
VIKRAM KARVE

EPILOGUE

A few years ago – I heard that a girl had turned down a marriage proposal from an Army Officer.

Everyone said that the boy was good.

“Yes, the boy is good – I like him – but I do not want to marry an army officer and get stuck throughout my life roaming around all over in small cantonments. I want to pursue my career as a Software Engineer in the IT Industry – in fact – I am thinking of going abroad to the US for better career prospects and settling down there in America. Will all this be possible if I marry an army officer…?” she said.

Last month – I attended the girl’s wedding.

The girl had done exactly what she had wanted – she got married to a NRI boy from the US and she too has migrated and joined her husband in America where both are pursuing their careers in the Computer Industry.

This would not have been possible had she married a “fauji” officer.

If the girl had married a military officer (“fauji”) – as a “fauji” wife (“faujan”) – she would either be languishing in some remote cantonment after quitting her job – or – if she had decided to keep working – she and her “fauji” husband would be enduring a long-distance marriage.

And – with a “fauji” husband – in all probability – her “American Dream” would have remained unrealised.

This real life episode reminded me of a story (a playlet) I had written 3 years ago – in June 2013 – on modern military marriage titled THE NEW AGE FAUJI WIFE

I am posting this story – once more – for you read and mull over – especially if you are an military wife – or – if you are thinking of marrying a military officer:

THE NEW AGE “FAUJI” COUPLE – a playlet by Vikram Karve

Cast of Characters

H – Husband [An Army Officer – a Major (33)]

W – Wife (The Army Officer’s “Fauji” Wife (30) – an MBA from a leading B-School – she is a career woman working for a top FMCG MNC)

[Scene – Major “H” and his wife “W” are at home sitting on the dining table, having dinner]

H: How was the day?

W: Hectic. Very Hectic. We are running against the clock preparing for this sudden top level meeting. And how about you? How was your day?

H: Terrible. My day was terrible. We are just wasting time preparing for the Raising Day celebrations. The Old Man is all hyper – he is sweating for his ACR and is driving us crazy with his micromanagement. He wants Officers to do the job of NCOs. Today he made me stand all day to supervise the placing of flower pots in the officers’ mess garden – and he personally came there ten times to shout at me. It’s bloody humiliating. This peacetime soldiering gets on my nerves – it’s much better to be fighting in the field.

W: Anyway – keep your Saturday evening free.

H: Saturday evening?

W: Yes. We are having a big office party at the Taj. The ‘Head Honcho’ and all the big shots are coming over from our Head Office and overseas branches. My boss has told me to bring you along – the ‘Head Honcho’ wants to meet all the spouses. So get your best suit ready.

H: Are you crazy?

W: Why? What happened?

H: Our ‘Raising Day’ Party is on Saturday evening. It is the main function of the raising day celebrations and all the top brass is coming. I told you that long back – didn’t I…?

W: Yes – you did tell me. But now – this has suddenly come up. As far as I am concerned – this office party at the Taj is an official function – you can say that it is a ‘working dinner’ – an essential part of my work – and I have to attend. And you better come too.

H: How can I come…? I have to be present at the Raising Day party. Attendance is compulsory for all officers – it is like being on duty. And remember – as an army wife – you are expected to accompany me to unit functions and social occasions. The CO has ordered that all wives are to be present for the Raising Day function. As it is – the CO’s wife is annoyed at your absence from the rehearsals.

W: The CO has “ordered”…? The bloody cheek…! Who the hell is your CO to order me around…? You are in the army. Not me. Do you understand…? I am not in the army. I am free to do as I please. You just tell your CO that. And as far as rehearsals are concerned – please make it clear to his wife – that so-called “First Lady” of yours – that I have better things to do than parading myself on the stage displaying my physical assets – and – I am not interested in prancing around on stage – in front of everyone – lip-syncing those vulgar Bollywood numbers.

H: Okay. Okay. Don’t take part in the entertainment show. But you have to be there as a hostess.

W: Hostess?

H: Well – all lady wives are required to stand at the entrance to welcome the guests. And then – you have to usher and look after the ‘senior ladies’. I think you have been especially allocated to look after the wife of the GOC. The 2 I/C said that you were the most polished and smart ‘lady wife’ in the unit.

W: Hey – I think you are missing the point. I am not coming for your party. You are coming for my party.

H: No. You will have to come for the ‘Raising Day’ Party. It is your duty as an ‘Army Wife’.

W: Well – when I married you – I made it clear that my career was important to me. Maybe other army wives like being “eye candy” appendages of their husbands – but I do not intend playing “second fiddle” to you. I am an independent career woman – not your “arm candy” army wife.

H: Please understand. The CO will spoil my ACR if you don’t come. He specifically told me that you are to be present for the Raising Day function. As it is – the CO is angry that you don’t take part in AWWA and Ladies Club activities.

W: So how does it matter if he spoils your ACR. In any case – your army promotions are by time scale and seniority – you just have to pass time and wait patiently in the queue for your turn – and when your time comes – you will be promoted in due course. For me – in the corporate world – I have to slog hard against cutthroat competition and deliver results to earn every promotion. That is why I am a ‘Senior Manager’ today at such a young age – because of sheer performance and merit. And – that is the reason why I earn more than double the salary than what you get in the army. And – I have much better career prospects than you. My boss says that they consider me a ‘high-flyer’.

H: I know all that. There is no need to boast. If you do not want to come for the ‘Raising Day’ Party – you don’t come. I will make up some excuse and say that you are not feeling well or something.

W: I am not coming for your ‘Raising Day’ Party – that is sure. But – you just tell me one thing – suppose you don’t attend your ‘Raising Day’ Party – what will happen to you…?

H: Are you crazy? They will take action against me. They are sure to give me an adverse ACR.

W: They can spoil your ACR – but they can’t throw you out of the army – can they? Can they throw you out of the army – just for not attending a party?

H: No. I don’t think they can.

W: In my case they can – my boss will fire me if I am missing when the ‘Head Honcho’ wants to meet me. And – if I make a good impression – then – the sky is the limit. There is a position open in Singapore – and I have been short-listed. There are three others – but I stand a good chance. That is why my boss wants you to come for the party – so that the ‘Head Honcho’ can size you up.

H: Size me up…? Why does your ‘Head Honcho’ want to size me up…?

W: I told my boss about you – that you were a highly qualified and talented Engineer – an M. Tech. from an IIT – and that you were frustrated in the army doing mundane jobs.

H: Frustrated…? Who told you that I was frustrated in the army…?

W: Didn’t you tell me how humiliated you felt when you were told to stand all day and supervise the placing of flower pots in the officers’ mess garden? And – don’t they make you run the canteen? And – aren’t you fed up doing all sorts of odd jobs in the unit? Are these ‘run-of-the-mill’ jobs worthy of an M. Tech. from an IIT…? A brilliant guy like you is just wasting his time and withering away his life in the army – and your talent is unappreciated and unrewarded.

H: But what can I do?

W: You come with me for my office party on Saturday and meet the ‘Head Honcho’. Maybe he has something in mind for you. They may even make you an offer.

EPILOGUE

THIS STORY CAN HAVE THREE POSSIBLE ENDINGS

Let me give you 3 apocryphal endings to this story.

ENDING 1

Like a dutiful “fauji wife” – W skipped her office party – and W accompanied her Army husband H to the unit ‘Raising Day’ Party.

Her gesture was much appreciated by her husband H

With her poise and polish – W succeeded in impressing the top brass and their wives – and the CO was delighted with H.

In W’s office – her boss was furious with W for being absent from the office party – which – for her boss – was a most important event.

The ‘Head Honcho’ expressed his disappointment at not meeting W.

Though the boss did not fire her from her job – W was sidelined for the lucrative and coveted Singapore assignment – and soon – W was passed over for promotion.

Frustrated at being marginalized – W quit her job and took up a new one – but now as far as her career was concerned – W decided to play “second-fiddle” to her husband’s army career – and she put in all her best efforts as a typical ambitious “fauji wife” to boost her husband’s career.

When her husband H was posted out of Delhi to a new station in a small town – W quit her job – and she gave up her career to become a full-time ‘homemaker’.

W now accompanies her husband wherever he is posted.

As an ideal “fauji wife” – W is playing a great role in bolstering and promoting her husband’s army career by her stellar participation in AWWA, Ladies Clubs and other social activities.

H and W live happily ever after.

ENDING 2

H did not attend the ‘Raising Day’ Party.

H accompanied his wife W to her office event at the Taj.

The CO was livid at H – for his “un-officer-like” conduct of being wilfully absent from the ‘Raising Day’ Party (an official social function).

H was admonished by his CO who vowed to finish him off and ruin his career.

At the corporate office party – W introduced her husband H to the ‘Head Honcho’.

Everyone was impressed by H.

There was a sudden announcement – W was promoted and she given the coveted Singapore assignment.

And then – there was even more surprise – the ‘Head Honcho’ offered H a very lucrative position – also in Singapore – so that W and H could live together.

W would be head of marketing – and H would be head of technology.

H quit the army (helped by the adverse ACR his CO had given him).

H took up the job offer – and joined W in Singapore.

W and H live happily ever after.

ENDING 3 (Suggested by a reader – a fellow “fauji” officer)

W goes for her office party – and H goes for his ‘Raising Day’ Party.

W’s civilian boss understands the circumstances in which W’s husband H could not attend the crucial office party.

But – H’s CO gets furious because H’s wife W did not attend the unit’s raising day party

H’s CO duly spoils H’s ACR (Annual Confidential Report) – and – to teach H a lesson – H’s CO gets H posted out to an insignificant appointment in a hardship non-family station in the field.

Since H has been posted to a field non-family station – W realises that she will not be able to manage the children all alone in Singapore – so she turns down the Singapore assignment.

Then – W moves to a house in a civilian area in the city – and with her husband H away in the field – she struggles all alone to manage her home, the children’s school and her career in the office.

After some time – H gets frustrated at having to live all alone without his wife and children.

H also knows that his career prospects in the Army are now quite bleak – due to the adverse ACR.

So – H wants to leave the Army – but his request is turned down.

H is told to wait for a few years till he is finally superseded for promotion.

So both H and W live miserably ever after.

Yes – H and W live separated and miserable – at least for the next few years – till H is finally superseded for promotion – and he is able to quit the Army.

But – by then – H has missed out on the Singapore job opportunity offered to him a few years earlier.

Now – with the stigma of supersession – H is not able to get a good job.

W too missed out on the Singapore opportunity since she stayed back in India to look after the kids when H was posted to the field – but W does well at work and gets promoted to Higher Management – since – unlike in the Military where you are “written off” permanently – the corporate sector gives you enough opportunity to “bounce back” and make a success of your career.

Meanwhile – after having quit the Army – and unable to get a good job – H becomes increasingly frustrated while watching his wife W achieve great success in her corporate career – while H himself has fallen by the wayside.

H is unable to cope with his wife’s success (and his own failure) – and H keeps blaming his wife W for not quitting her job and helping him in his Army career.

Soon – their marriage is on the rocks.

 

Dear Reader: Tell us – What do you think happened?

Ending 1 or Ending 2 or Ending 3 – which one do you think is more likely?

Which ending do you think is most likely…?

Most of my “Fauji” friends think that ENDING 3 is most likely.

You tell me Dear Reader: – Which ending do you think is most likely…?

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 playlet is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. This story is a work of fiction, not a substitute for self-help advice, so please do your own due diligence in your own life, relationships, marriage and career.
3. 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/2016/06/a-fauji-and-faujan.html

What is Your “Retirement Goal”…?

August 10, 2016

Retirement Planning 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/retirement-planning-do-you-have.html

DO YOU HAVE A RETIREMENT GOAL … ?

Musings of a Military Veteran By VIKRAM KARVE

A few days ago – a friend called up – and – he said to me: “I want to meet you. I am retiring soon – and – I want your tips on “how to enjoy retirement”…”

“Why me…?” I asked.

“Ever since you retired – I have been observing you – and – I have observed other retired people too. I have seen that you are enjoying retirement the most…” he said.

Well – that is his perception – but – though I have my “blue moments” – by and large – yes – I am enjoying my retirement.

So – since my friend had solicited my “advice” – I asked him: “What is your “Retirement Goal”…?”

“Retirement Goal…?” he asked.

“See – all your life you have various “goals” – as a student – doing well in your studies and getting good marks/grades was your goal – then – getting a good job was your goal – later – you kept having many “goals” from time to time – like – doing well in your career – getting married – having children – material “goals” – like making money and acquiring possessions like a car, a house, various utility/entertainment items – travel goals like going on vacations – in a nutshell – you keep having various personal goals, familial goals, career goals, and, “standard of living” and “quality of life” goals – am I right…?” I asked him.

“Yes…” he said.

“Later you had “goals” for your children as well – their education, career success, marriage…”

“Yes…”

“Now – all that is over – you have “achieved” all your “goals” – and – you are on the verge of retirement – in the last phase of your life – so – is “waiting for death” your only “goal”…?” I asked him.

“Why are you being so “pessimistic” and gloomy…?” he asked me.

“So – if you don’t want to become “pessimistic” – tell me – like you always had “goals” in your life – what is your “retirement goal”…?

“I’ll think about it…” he said, “and we will have a long walk and talk on the subject when I come to Pune…”

“Remember – make sure your “Retirement Goal” is SMART – Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, Timely…” I said.

Let me give you a few examples:

My “Retirement Goal” is to “Write One Blog Post Every Day”.

SMART – isn’t it…?

Yes – my “Retirement Goal” is SMART:

It is “Specific” (Write) – “Measurable” (One Blog Post) – “Achievable” (Write Only One Blog Post a Day – not Ten Blog Posts Daily) – “Realistic” (I have the resources, time, physical/mental attributes and necessary talent/interest/creative-capacity to realize this goal) – “Timely” (this is certainly the “right time” for me to write and to blog)

My late father-in-law decided to learn music after he retired from the Army.

He went about pursuing his “retirement goal” in a SMART manner – attending music classes every day – giving various music examinations – attaining a hierarchy of qualifications in music – then – he began teaching music.

Having “achieved” his first “retirement goal” – he pursued “social work” as his second retirement goal – and – he “bashed on regardless” – till he passed away.

He never felt “empty” in his life.

Yes – “EMPTINESS” – that is the emotion you will feel in retirement if you do not have a “retirement goal”

If you have a “retirement goal” – you will have an important job to do at – which will keep you busy all the time – and – you will have something to look forward to – every day.

If you do not have a “retirement goal” – you will have no important job to do – and you will start complaining: “There is nothing to do” “Life has no purpose” “Life is not worthwhile” – and – your only “goal” will be to “wait for your death”.

So – unless you are a person who never retires – like politicians, businessmen, doctors and some bureaucrats – you must have a “retirement goal”.

Your “retirement goal” can be anything – personal, familial, social – but make sure that your goal is “SMART” – so that you can easily achieve your goal.

(Avoid choosing unrealistic “NON-SMART” goals which are difficult to achieve at your age, in your state of health, in your environment and with the resources you have).

It is best to start thinking about your “retirement goal” well before your retirement – so that you can prepare well for retirement.

Now – tell me – “What is your Retirement Goal…?”

 

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. These are my personal views.Please do your own due diligence while selecting a retirement philosophy.
  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/2016/08/retirement-planning-do-you-have.html

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