Archive for August 2016

Musings of a Navy Veteran – “Burning Bridges” with the Navy

August 30, 2016


Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

“Burning Bridges” with the Navy

Before retirement – when I was in the Navy – there was no dearth of friends.

After retirement – I have zero friends.

I am talking of “offline” friends.

Yes – I do have a large number of online friends – and – even my erstwhile Navy Friends have now become online friends.

In Pune – all my Navy Friends – after retirement – live in remote military veteran “ghettos” (so-called “exlusive” residential projects for retired defence personnel) – and – these elite “ghettos” are located in the suburbs of Pune – on the opposite side of town from where I live – and – in view of the terrible Pune traffic – I don’t have the energy to drive 30 kms across town and back – except on special occasions.

And – one such special occasion is the Navy Foundation Pune Charter (NFPC) Meet – which is held once in 3 months.

I make sure I attend all NFPC Meets – of course – to meet my Navy buddies – and also – to enjoy the delicious lunch.

Sadly – I missed the last meet in June – since there was a family function which I had to attend.

Now – I look forward to the September meet.

Meanwhile – here is a piece I wrote on the Navy Foundation a few years ago.

NAVY FOUNDATION PUNE  – The “Alumni Association” for Navy Veterans in Pune


If you are a Naval Officer – after retirement – it is best to settle down in Mumbai – which is the premier Navy Station – or – in a coastal city like Visakhapatnam (Vizag), Kochi, Chennai, Kolkata, Goa etc where there is a Naval presence – or – even in Delhi/NCR – where the mighty “Northern Naval Command” is located.

This is because if you settle down in a landlocked place like Pune after you retire from the Navy – you tend to “burn your bridges” with your erstwhile service.

The only redeeming grace is the Indian Navy Foundation – a purely social organization set up to facilitate fraternal relations between retired naval officers.

Luckily – the Navy Foundation has a “chapter” (aka “charter”) at Pune

Membership is voluntary – and I am glad I became a member, because the quarterly Navy Foundation Pune Chapter (NFPC) meetings are the best occasions for meeting and renewing bonds with my former navy buddies.

Whenever I go for these NFPC get-togethers I feel something like a “Yossarian” of Catch-22 who is one of the most frequent visitors to the officers’ club that he had not help build.

I am sure you have read Catch-22.

Let me “jog” your memory about this hilarious yet insightful episode about Yossarian and the Officers’ Club in Pianosa.

In something akin to “Shramdan” (familiar to those who have served in our military), officers are encouraged to build their own clubs.

However, Yossarian, who is proud of his ability to avoid work, contributes nothing to help build the club – he does not go for even a single day to work on building the officers’ club.

But once the officers’ club is ready, Yossarian visits the club almost every day and makes maximum use of the facilities, which he had not helped build.

Let me quote a paragraph from Catch-22 which encapsulates this sentiment (emphasis mine):

“Actually there were many officers’ clubs that Yossarian had not helped build, but he was proudest of the one on Pianosa. It was a sturdy and complex monument to his powers of determination. Yossarian never went there to help until it was finished; then he went there often, so pleased was he with the large, fine, rambling shingled building. It was a truly splendid building, and Yossarian throbbed with a mighty sense of accomplishment each time he gazed at it and reflected that none of the work that had gone into it was his.”

For me, it is a similar equation with the NFPC – effort-wise, I contribute nothing, but I participate in all get-togethers most enthusiastically.

Two years ago, on the 28th of September 2014, we had a memorable NFPC get-together in Lonavala – a wonderful day – like a picnic – a nostalgic walk down memory lane for many navy veterans who reminisced about their halcyon training days at this picturesque location.

Last year – in January – we had a memorable meet at Peacock Bay on the shores of Khadakvasla Lake near the National Defence Academy (NDA) – hosted by Commandant NDA.

At both these meets – the distinctive naval efficiency, superlative hospitality and caring courtesy shown to us during the visit demonstrated how much young naval officers and sailors genuinely care for its veterans.

When I was in service, I remember us hosting a get-together of Navy Foundation at IAT Pune at the Naval Jetty (Sailing Club), sometime in the 1990’s.

In Pune – the favourite venue for NFPC Meets is Atlantis

There is no Navy Wardroom (Officers Mess) or Navy Institute in Pune.

And – in the past – officer-bearers of NFPC have had harrowing experiences running from pillar to post trying to negotiate the red tape while dealing with the Army to get other Military Venues for NFPC Meets.

So – thanks to “jointmanship” demonstrated by the “pongos” – the officebearers found it more convenient to organise Navy Foundation Meetings in Pune at ATLANTIS – which is conveniently located – and much more flexible to deal with – with zero red tape – and better off in all respects – especially food-wise and ambience-wise.

Of course – some officers of the “old-mould” insisted that the meets be held in a Service Mess – so – a meet was held in the Army Sub Area Officers Mess – but – the ambience and food was not as good as Atlantis.

The best thing about these Navy Veteran Meets is the egalitarian atmosphere – with a total absence of the rank consciousness one sees while in service – since – after retirement – all veterans are civilians – equal in status – and now – instead of rank – it is age that is respected.

As I said earlier – after retirement – our only connection with the Navy is the Navy Foundation – and Navy Veterans look forward to NFPC meetings where you can bond, interact and network with your erstwhile navy buddies while regaling each other with delightful anecdotes of the “good old days”.

So now – we Navy Veteran Officers of Pune look forward to the next Navy Foundation Pune Charter Lunch Meet in September 2016 (I am waiting for the announcement)

If you are an Indian Navy Veteran Officer – in or around Pune – be there.

NAVY FOUNDATION – How the Indian Navy Foundation for Veteran Navy Officers was Born
Maybe – for the benefit of Navy Veterans who do not know about the genesis of Navy Foundation – it would be a good idea to share an interesting article by a distinguished erstwhile Navy Chief Admiral JG Nadkarni on the Navy Foundation for Veteran Indian Navy Officers.
I came across this article on the website of the Navy Foundation Mumbai Charter at url: and I am posting it below for your convenience to read.

Birth of The Foundation by Adm JG Nadkarni

The idea was Ram Tahiliani’s. He had just returned from an official trip to the United States. Whilst there, he had been greatly impressed by the Veterans’ organisation in that country. I was his Vice Chief. After returning he asked me if a similar organisation could be started for the Indian Navy in India. I was told to look into it and come up with a proposal.

We examined it from all angles. To be effective it would have to be a Naval Headquarters’ baby. It would have to be fully supported by the Navy in all aspects. At the same time each Unit would have to be totally autonomous. Naval Ex-servicemen are notoriously touchy. Having been subjected to orders all their lives they are averse to be dictated again now that they have retired. Moreover some of the officers were very senior and had to be handled and treated with respect. Anyway, we decided to go ahead and institute an organisation for all Ex-servicemen under the patronage of Naval Headquarters.

We considered many options for a suitable name. It had to be unique and easily acceptable. Such names like “Navy League”, “Navy Association” were considered and rejected for one reason or another. Finally, we hit upon the idea of “Navy Foundation”, which was unanimously accepted.

Various models lay before us. The Indian Air Force has an “Air Force Association” which is open to all Air Force personnel. Somehow we felt that this would not be suitable for us. The class system is still prevalent in India and we had seen what happened in some of the Air Force-Navy housing schemes. We decided that the Navy Foundation should be only for the retired officers of the Indian Navy.

It is one thing to start a body and quite another to make it work. There were already in existence various well established organisations started by retired naval officers. There was the “Navy League” in New Delhi, another body called the “Anchor Hold” in Bombay. In Pune there was the “Retired Naval Officers’ Association”. These were thriving organisations, who met regularly, had activities, bank accounts, Presidents and Chairmen who were reluctant to give up their positions, dissolve the bodies and join the Navy Foundation.

During the next two months I visited various places, held meetings with their members and tried to convince them that joining the Navy Foundation would be beneficial. Most bodies were reluctant at first. Their biggest worry was that Naval Headquarters would start dictating terms and they would end up being one more directorate of NHQ. I convinced them that each body would be totally autonomous and except for one annual meeting there would not be any interference by the Navy in their day to day functioning. Moreover, NHQ would act as the go between with the Government for various problems faced by Ex-servicemen.

One by one the organisations started seeing reason and decided to merge themselves with the Navy Foundation. Some refused and exist even today as parallel organisations. In Pune Admiral Soman headed the Retired Naval Officers’ Association. He readily agreed and was very enthusiastic. In Bombay the association was headed by Commodore Chatterji. He was reluctant at first and took a lot of persuasion but agreed eventually. I am really happy that the original assurance given by us has been meticulously observed by the Navy. There has been no interference, dictating or coercion on these groups.

The next phase was to start “Charters” in various areas where retired naval officers had settled in large numbers. Such Charters were started in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Kochi and Calcutta. Later more Charters were added.

I realized that to really get the Charters going, some assistance from Naval Headquarters would be necessary. Commands were persuaded to make a room available as offices for each Charter. In November 1987, I took over as CNS. I decided that the funds raised in the Navy Ball of 1987 would be distributed to various Charters as seed money for initial financial assistance. We raised nearly Rs. 7 lakhs in that Navy Ball and this money was distributed. Rs 1.5 lakh each to big Charters and Rs. 1 lakh to small Charters.

In 1987, when I was the VCNS we started a magazine called “Quarterdeck” for Ex-servicemen. We roped in then Commander Uday Bhaskar, the Navy PRO and the late Tappi Koppikar to be the first joint editors. Its first issue was a roaring success. It won a prize for the best magazine in its category. On the establishment of the Navy Foundation it became official magazine. Successive editors have improved and embellished it. It is distributed far and wide and veterans look forward to each issue.

During my travels around the country and meetings with naval veterans, I had realized that all servicemen have problems about their welfare, pay, pensions etc. Many of these had landed on my desk when I was COP and a full time body was required to deal with these. When I decided to establish a full time directorate to deal with ex-servicemen’s problems and feed them with current happenings in the Navy. Each year we held a get-together of ex-CNSs and other officers and gave them briefings on operations, personnel and other aspects of the Navy. Today the Directorate of Ex-servicemen’s Affairs is doing excellent work and acts as a conduit between the veterans and NHQ.

The first annual meeting was held in NHQ under my chairmanship and a constitution was approved. We were able to clear many apprehensions and doubts about the Foundation.

Today, the Navy Foundation is a going body and Charters are well established.

Today, the Navy Foundation is a successful and dynamic organisation. Various Charters are doing excellent work in keeping alive the bonds and camaraderie established during our time in the Navy. There is a total absence of rank consciousness or hierarchy. They have regular get-togethers, illuminating lectures and picnics. Many establish bodies to help widows. The Mumbai Charter has even got a marriage bureau for children of Ex-servicemen!

Ram Tahiliani would be happy that his dream of 1987 has now become a reality!!!


Well – the title of this post – “Burning Bridges” with the Navy – may be a bit of a misnomer.

I am sure – like me – Navy Veterans want to keep connected.

If you are a Navy Veteran – and wish to locate your shipmates and Navy buddies – here is the link to the Retired Naval Officers Directory :

Bye for now.

If you are a Navy Veteran Officer in Pune – I look forward to the next Navy Foundation Pune Charter Lunch Meet in September 2016.

If you are an Indian Navy Veteran Officer – in or around Pune – please be there.

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

Workaholic Boss with a Vivacious Wife

August 30, 2016


Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

Unforgettable Memories of My Delightful Navy Days


When I was in the Navy  – I used to jokingly say:

There are two types of Senior Naval Officers – “Alcoholics and Workaholics”.

I had my share of both.

But – going by my own experience – I prefer an alcoholic boss any day – rather than a workaholic boss.

Let me tell you a hilarious story of one such workaholic boss and his vivacious wife.

This happened long back – almost 39 years ago – in the late 1970’s.

Now – Dear Reader – you must try to transport yourself back in time almost 40 years to the Mumbai of the 1970’s – and remember – that there were no mobile phones those days.

On my ship – I had an “alcoholic” boss.

Like most “alcoholic” bosses – he was a good guy.

He had quite a laissez-faire approach and he gave us a free hand.

So – we had an enjoyable time on board this ship.

Sadly – after completing his “sea time” of one year – this amiable “alcoholic” boss was transferred out.

The “alcoholic” boss was replaced by a “workaholic” boss.

Now – this new workaholic boss was a terrible chap.

He could not tolerate the department being run in our informal laissez-faire style – and he decided to “crack down”.

He told us that he did not appreciate the hands-off approach of his predecessor – and he warned us that he was going to whip things into shape.

At sea – he made our life hell by his constant interference.

Even in harbour – he would remain on board ship till late evening – sometimes even into the night – even if there was no work.

The problem was that – even on a ship in harbour – in the navy – there was a tradition that a junior officer was required to take permission to proceed ashore – if the Captain or HOD is on board – irrespective of working hours.

This was the practice in the old Navy of those days – but things may have changed now – with the advent of a more permissive atmosphere in the navy.

Those days – even an HOD would seek permission from the Captain to proceed ashore.

Seeking permission to proceed ashore was okay in working hours.

But – unfortunately for us – “working hours” for our workaholic boss would extend till late evening – sometimes even into the night.

If we went to ask him for permission to proceed ashore to enjoy the delights of Mumbai – our painful killjoy workaholic boss would start asking us all sorts of questions – and – in fact – he would create work for us and ensure that we stayed on board ship.

Apart from being a workaholic – our boss had one more weakness – “Bridge”

(By the term “Bridge” – I am referring to the card game – also called “Contract Bridge”)

Like many officers of those days – our workaholic boss was addicted to playing Bridge.

After our boss finished his work on board – he would go to CCI or US Club to play a few rubbers of Bridge – and he would return home late in the night.

Even on Sundays and Holidays – or whenever he got time – our boss would play bridge in his club.

Our boss spent all his time doing only two things – he “worked” or he played “Bridge.

Once – we had returned to harbour after a long sailing.

We were eagerly waiting to go ashore on “liberty” – but unfortunately – our boss remained on board.

All married officers had rushed home the moment the ship arrived in harbour.

But – our boss was “busy” on board – and he was showing no inclination of going home to his wife.

We dared not ask him permission to proceed ashore – as he would create some infructuous work for us – like making a defect list for a refit that was many months away.

We decided to teach our “workaholic” boss a lesson.

In the evening – we changed into civvies – and quietly left the ship – without taking his permission.

We had picked up a bottle of perfume and some chocolates from the ship’s canteen.

We went straight to the home of our boss on Marine Drive.

Our boss’s wife opened the door.

She was quite surprised to see us.

She welcomed us in.

She was delighted when we gave her the perfume and chocolates.

Then – we told our boss’s wife that her husband had invited us for dinner.

Our boss’s wife seemed surprised – and she looked quite bewildered on hearing this.

“My husband hasn’t come home yet – I thought he was still working on board the ship,” she said, looking confused.

“No, Ma’am – your husband left the ship in the afternoon the moment we arrived in port,” my friend said.

“Maybe – he has gone to CCI to play a game of Bridge,” I added, nonchalantly.

The moment she heard me – our boss’s wife seemed to be getting angry.

She hated her husband’s Bridge addiction.

Like there are “Golf Widows” – our boss’s wife was a “Bridge Widow”.

“I think we have come at a wrong time…” I said.

“Sorry, Ma’am – when he left the ship – we thought your husband was coming straight home in the afternoon – and he would inform you that he has invited us for dinner,” my friend commiserated.

Our boss’s wife looked at us and she said, “That is very strange of him – the ship came back in the afternoon – and now it is late evening – I wonder why he hasn’t come home yet – and he should have told me that he has invited you for dinner.”

“It is okay Ma’am – we know that Bridge is his first love. But we did not know that he would get so engrossed in his Bridge game – that he would forget to come home after so many days of sailing.” I said.

“Ma’am – sorry for disturbing you – we will come some other time,” my friend said.

Our boss’s wife looked at us – and then she said: “No, No. You two sit down and pour yourself a drink – I will rustle up some dinner for you.”

“Ma’am – why not go out for dinner – to someplace nearby in Churchgate – say – to Gaylord – or to Kamling,” I said.

She looked at us – a bit hesitant.

“Please Ma’am – don’t say ‘No’ – tonight we will treat you – and you can cook us a nice dinner some other time,” my friend said.

Her face lit up – and she said, “Okay. That sounds good. I’ll go inside and get ready.”

So – we took our boss’s wife for a lovely “dinner date” at Gaylord – followed by Ice Cream at Yankee Doodle Ice Cream Parlour – and then we had a nice stroll down Marine Drive in the cool sea breeze.

It was 11 PM by the time we returned to her place for coffee.

I cannot describe the expression of shock on our boss’s face when he opened the door.

“Where were you guys? I was looking for you all over the ship,” he shouted at us.

Our boss’s wife looked at her husband sternly for some time – and then she said to her husband: “You don’t shout at them. And you don’t lie to me and tell me that you were working on your ship. I know that you were at CCI playing Bridge…” the boss’s wife said.

Our boss looked stunned.

After some time he recovered – and he said to his wife: “What are you saying…? CCI…? Bridge…? Who told you that…? I was on the ship doing some important work. I have just returned half an hour ago – and I find you missing from home…”

“Please don’t tell me lies. I know you left the ship in the afternoon and you were playing bridge at CCI…” our boss’s wife said angrily to him.

“That is not true – who told you that…?” our boss asked his wife.

“Let’s not argue – I don’t want to spoil the lovely evening I have enjoyed after so many years…” our boss’s wife said firmly to her husband, our boss.

Our boss looked at his wife – then he looked at us – and he had a queer look on his face.

We quickly excused ourselves and we quickly left the scene – leaving it to our boss and his wife to fight it out.

It was best not to get into a fight between husband and wife.

Next morning – our workaholic boss summoned us to his cabin.

Our boss seemed quite demoralized.

It seemed that – after the previous evening’s fiasco – his wife had hauled him over the coals and given it to him nice and proper.

Our Boss looked at us – and he said to us:

“From now on – you can go ashore whenever you want to – you need not take my permission before proceeding ashore on liberty…”


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

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Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

This Story is a Revised Version of My StoryOUR WORKAHOLIC BOSS AND HIS VIVACIOUS WIFE earlier posted on 17 Feb 2014 and 28 May 2014 and 18 Jan 2015 by me Vikram Karve at 6/05/2013 04:58:00 PM and 5/28/2014 10:04:00 AM  in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal blog – url links to My Original Posts: and and and

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

August 28, 2016


“Flash Point” and “Fire Point” Method  

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

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 !!!



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




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” 



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



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”…?


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).



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.



May you never reach your “FIRE POINT”.


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):







Cheers !!!

Have you found out your drinking capacity…?

Did this method work for you…?

I look forward to your feedback.


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.


  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:

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 and  and and and 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:


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:


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.


The Ultimate Anti-Ageing Formula

Zest for Living and Passion for Learning


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.

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.


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.  


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.


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)


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.


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).


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.


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.


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…!!!


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. 


  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:

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:  and  and  and  and

Pseudo-Ethics – Misplaced Loyalty

August 25, 2016


“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:

Musings of a Navy Veteran By VIKRAM KARVE


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.


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.


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.



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.


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:

The Sapiosexual

August 25, 2016


Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

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…”


“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”…?”


“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…?”




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.


  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:

Musings on Military Officer Like Qualities (OLQ)

August 19, 2016


Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:


Ramblings of a Navy Veteran By VIKRAM KARVE


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.


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 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.


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”.



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.


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.


  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:

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:

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:


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


“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


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


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:


  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.


  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


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.


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.


  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:

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:  and posted by me many times later including at urls:  and and  etc

Short Fiction – DEAD MAN’S WHISKY

August 18, 2016


Short Fiction Story By VIKRAM KARVE 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal 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.


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…”


“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.


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.


Copyright © Vikram Karve
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2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


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.

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Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

Musings of a Veteran on Independence Day – Jingoism and Patriotism

August 15, 2016


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:

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.


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: and reposted later at url:  and

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