NAVY DAY : A Sailor’s Point of View

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: NAVY DAY MUSINGS

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

Humor in Uniform

NAVY DAY and NAVY WEEK
(Navy Perspective versus Sailor’s Perspective)
Ramblings of a Retired Navy Veteran
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

NAVY DAY and NAVY WEEK – The Navy Perspective

Every year – the 4th of December – is observed as NAVY DAY by the Indian Navy.

In the Indian Navy – the Navy Day celebrations actually extend across the entire week in which the Navy Day falls – and this week is called the NAVY WEEK.

The Navy Week celebrations are held mainly at Mumbai – and on a smaller scale in other Naval Stations like Visakhapatnam, Kochi, Goa etc – and in landlocked New Delhi too.

In Mumbai – the Navy Week Celebrations culminate with “Beating the Retreat” Ceremony at Gateway of India – and the grand finale is the spectacular Navy Ball at the end of the week on Saturday.

During the Navy Week the Navy tries to showcase its capabilities to the civilian public by holding a series of combat demonstrations, live displays, parade drills and events like band concerts.

Sometimes – Naval Families, Navy Veterans and prominent citizens are taken out for a day at sea to observe “shop window” exercises which demonstrate salient aspects of the navy at sea.

In a nutshell – as far as the Navy is concerned – the Aim of Navy Day and Navy Week is to showcase the Navy to Civilian Citizens (and VIPs/VVIPs)

NAVY DAY and NAVY WEEK – A Sailor’s Perspective

This happened many years ago – in the 1970’s.

A few weeks before Navy Week – responsibilities were allocated to various ships – and our ship was required to present the “continuity drill” display to be held at the Gateway of India

The sailors on our ship started their drill practice one month earlier – and they practised very hard at least twice a day – even when the ship was at sea.

As Navy Day approached – the sailors rehearsed day and night for the “continuity drill” display to be held at the Gateway of India during Navy Week.

A “continuity drill” is a most precise and difficult parade drill since the entire parade drill sequence and movements are to be performed without any words of command.

That is why it requires rigorous practice and repeated rehearsals before it can be perfected.

The sailors were practising without break for over a month – during working hours – and also in off-working hours – including on Sundays and holidays – in order to perfect the continuity drill.

The sailors’ long hours of painstaking efforts paid off.

The “continuity drill” event was a great success.

The Navy Top Brass congratulated our Captain on the excellent performance of our ship’s sailors.

After the event – I came across one of my newly recruited sailors who had taken part in the continuity drill.

I congratulated the young sailor on his performance and I asked him:

“Do you know why Navy Day and Navy Week are celebrated…?”

“To impress the civilians…” the sailor said, “Sir – this whole Navy WeekTamasha is just to impress civilians – and they make us sailors slog so much for it – we have been practising this continuity drill day and night – even our shore leave had been stopped because of Navy Week Continuity Drill practice – I am so happy the whole Navy Day and Navy WeekTamasha is over…”

At first – I was surprised – and taken aback by the sailor’s answer.

Then – I saw that there was wisdom in what the raw young sailor had said.

The entire Navy – all of us – were slogging away for weeks – to put up a show for civilians.

Yes – we uniformed Navy officers and sailors were desperately trying to impress the civilians who frankly did not give a tinker’s damn about us – although they seemed to be enjoying the spectacle we were putting up for them.

I remember a friend of mine – who was in-charge of organizing Navy Week Activities – heave a sigh of relief once it was all over.

The Naval Officer remarked in disgust: “This Navy Week “Tamasha” must be scrapped. We screw ourselves for weeks to put up a show for these bloody civilians who just don’t care for us.”

Sometimes I wonder whether it is worth in putting in so much extra effort to try and impress civilians who don’t care two hoots about the Navy and Naval Sailors.

I wonder whether civilians understand the sanctity of Navy Day and similar Military Occasions, Parades, Combat Demonstrations, Ceremonial Events and Displays – or whether they treat them as spectacular extravaganzas and gala spectacles for entertainment and enjoyment.

Be that as it may – do spare a thought for our Navy Personnel on Navy Day – and during the Navy Week.

Today – on the occasion of NAVY DAY – do think of all the Navy Sailors slogging it out on Ships and Submarines guarding the Oceans, Seas and Coastlines – so that you can sleep in peace.

HAPPY NAVY DAY

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

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

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised version of my story posted online earlier by me Vikram Karve on November 28, 2014 in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve Blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

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