Archive for September 8th, 2016

Come September – My Very Own Love Story

September 8, 2016

SEPTEMBER 12 – Seven Pages from the Diary of My Life 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/my-very-own-love-story-september-12.html

Come September – My Very Own Love Story – By Vikram Karve

I wrote this story around 3 years ago –  on my birthday  12 September 2013.

And  I posted the story on my blog.

I think it is one of my good stories.

Surprisingly –  this story went unnoticed and unappreciated.

So –  I am posting my “Birthday Story” once more  for you to read.

Do tell me if you like it.

And don’t forget to wish me a Happy Birthday on the 12th of September … !!!

SEPTEMBER 12

7 Pages from the Diary of My Life

My Very Own Love Story

Short Fiction

By

VIKRAM KARVE

12 SEPTEMBER – A Love Story by Vikram Karve

12 September 1977

Shivalik Hostel IIT Delhi

VIJAY  and  ME

It is our 21st Birthday.

Yes – we are both 21 years old today.

Vijay and Me were born on the same day.

Our hostel-mates brought a specially ordered birthday cake all the way from CP from the famous Wenger’s Bakery for Vijay and me – and we celebrated our birthday in our hostel canteen at tea time.

We have been celebrating our birthday together for the last 12 years – for 7 years in our boarding school at Lovedale near Ooty.

And then for 5 years here at IIT Delhi.

But – this is a special occasion for two reasons.

We are 21 years old.

And – this may be our last birthday together.

Who knows where we will be next year – after we finish our B. Tech. engineering course – and each of us go our own ways pursuing our own careers in the journey of our lives.

To celebrate this special occasion we decide to booze – for the first time in our lives.

So – we get a bottle of Whisky from the booze shop in Green Park.

And we get lots of Tandoori Chicken and Kebabs from the Essex Farms shop in Hauz Khas.

Then we sit on the terrace and drink and talk – reminisce about our childhood and the good times we had together.

By the time we kill the bottle of whisky – we are gloriously drunk.

In that glorious drunken state we make a promise to each other – Vijay and Me – we promise each other – that we will meet every year on the 12th of September to celebrate our birthdays together.

12 September 1978

Bangalore

VIJAY  and  ME

As promised – we meet on our birthday.

This is our first birthday after we passed out with our B.Tech. degrees.

Vijay comes down from Ahmedabad – where he is studying Management at the elite IIM-A.

I pick him up from the railway station – and I drive him down on my scooter to my room in the trainee hostel.

In the morning I show him my workplace – my impressive factory – and then my boss gives me the day off to celebrate my birthday.

We scooter down to heart of town – and we spend a few hours loafing, window-shopping and ogling at the PYTs strolling on Brigade Road and MG Road.

Later – after a few beers – we enjoy a “Cabaret” (our first) at a restaurant called “Three Aces”.

Emboldened by “Dutch Courage” fuelled by the alcohol in our veins – we want to do something more “adventurous”.

But – the moment I see those “sexy females” – I chicken out.

I do not want to admit that I am feeling scared.

So – I say that I am experiencing “pangs of conscience” in doing such “sinful” things.

Vijay instantly agrees.

He looks relieved.

I think – that like me – Vijay too is feeling anxious – and is “shit scared” about the whole sordid thing.

We beat a hasty retreat.

And so – we end our 22nd Birthday with our virtue unspoiled – and our virginity intact.

12 September 1982

Visakhapatnam (Vizag)

VIJAY  USHA  and  ME

I really like Usha – Vijay’s brand new wife.

Usha is a plump, graceful girl with a very pretty face.

She has a sincere, friendly smile which radiates a charming innocence.

They were married just a month ago – and I could not attend their wedding as I was sent abroad for more than 3 years for advanced training and on-the-job work experience.

That is why I am so happy that I could keep our 12th September birthday date after a gap of four years.

(We met last on 12 September 1978 in Bangalore, remember!)

They say that when a woman finds her way into a group of men friends – especially two close friends like Vijay and me – the friendship among men sometimes disintegrates.

But after meeting Usha – I know that is not going to happen.

Usha is a “back-home-type” small town girl.

She has a certain innocent charm about her.

Usha welcomes me into her home with honest warmth and genuine affection – and I instantly know that we are going to get along very well – and the bonds of my friendship with Vijay are going to be strengthened.

“How come you landed up in Vizag?” I ask Vijay.

“You have to prove yourself in the field before they take you to the company headquarters in Mumbai,” Vijay says.

Vijay has specialized in Marketing at IIM and has landed up a lucrative job at a famous FMCG company and he has been given the most challenging assignment.

Vijay cribs about Vizag being quite a boring place.

But his wife Usha says, “I wish we stay here. I love Visakhapatnam. It is such a nice place, the people are so good here and we are very happy here. I don’t want to go to big city like Mumbai.”

Vijay has taken the day off so we drive down the East Coast Road to Rishikonda Beach and swim in the sea.

Vijay keeps calling Usha to join us in the water for a swim but she seems quite shy.

Usha sits on the beach in her sari and watches Vijay and me enjoy ourselves frolicking in the cool blue water of the Bay of Bengal.

In the evening, Vijay and I sip chilled beer on the lush green lawns of the Waltair Club.

We both want Usha to come with us to the club, but Usha remains at home.

Usha tells us to enjoy ourselves but she insists that we come home for dinner as she will be cooking something special for the occasion.

Vijay starts talking about his newly wedded wife, “Sorry about Usha, yaar, she is quite a prudish type. Usha likes to remain home most of the time. She just does not want to go out anywhere. You saw how shy she was at the beach.”

“Hey, don’t say that. Usha is the best thing that happened to you. You are lucky to get such a good wife,” I say.

When we get home I am impressed by the awesome way in which Usha has decorated the house for our birthday.

Usha has baked a birthday cake for both of us.

We cut the freshly baked birthday cake and then all of us enjoy a sumptuous dinner.

For both of us, Vijay and me, it was a memorable birthday indeed.

Early next morning I say goodbye.

We promise to meet next year.

And then I catch the morning flight out of Vizag.

12 September 1984

Mumbai

VIJAY  USHA  NISHA  and  ME

Well – I could not make it last year – on the 12th of September 1983 – as I was again sent abroad on a project – so we meet after a gap of 2 years.

Vijay has moved up the ladder pretty fast.

Just recently – he has been posted to the Head Office of his FMCG Company.

That is the beauty of being an IIM graduate – you move up very fast.

I wish that – like Vijay – I too had had taken the IIM route – instead of deciding to be a hard-core engineer – where you have to slog it out in the field – especially if you land up in “projects”.

I sit with Vijay’s wife Usha sipping tea in the balcony of their 3rd floor sea facing company flat on Marine Drive in Mumbai.

We watch the sunset – it is a spectacular sight – the interplay of colours in the sky and the sun is being swallowed by the placid blue waters of the Arabian Sea.

After the sun sets – the lights on the Queen’s Necklace come on – it looks fascinating.

The phone rings – and Usha goes inside to pick it up.

“You have a shower and get ready,” Usha says, “I’ll get ready too. Vijay said he’ll be here in half an hour – and we will go straightaway to the club.”

“Club? Why club? Let’s sit at home. You cook something simple. We’ll just sit and chat,” I say.

“Vijay said we’ll all go to the club,” Usha says with finality.

When Vijay arrives – there is a woman with him.

She looks beautiful, chic and very elegant.

Vijay introduces us to each other.

The woman’s name is Nisha – and she is Vijay’s colleague in his office.

Nisha has an MBA in finance.

She was working abroad for some years.

Recently – Nisha has joined Vijay’s company as Finance Manager.

Vijay introduces Nisha as his office colleague.

But my sixth sense tells me that this woman Nisha is much more than a mere colleague.

Nisha goes in to freshen up.

“I hope you don’t mind if Nisha comes with us,” Vijay says to me.

“Of course I do mind if she comes with us,” I say, “we don’t want outsiders in our get-together, do we?”

“Let her come,” Usha pleads with me, “Poor thing. Nisha has just come back to India after getting out of a bad marriage. She has no one else in Mumbai – and Vijay is helping her settle down.”

“She’ll be good company,” Vijay says.

“I hope you are not trying to set me up with Nisha…?” I ask, tongue-in-cheek.

We start laughing – but suddenly Nisha comes in.

We drive to the club.

Usha sits beside Vijay in front.

Nisha sits with me in the rear of Vijay’s new Maruti 800 car.

Way back in 1984 – a Maruti Car was a prized possession – and Vijay is one of the lucky guys to get a much sought after Maruti Car from the first lot.

The smallness of the car creates a forced intimacy between Nisha and me.

Nisha sits close to me – the aroma of her perfume is enticing – our bodies touch – and I feel aroused by her tantalizing sensuousness.

Nisha is indeed a very alluring woman.

We sit by the sea – watching lights of ships at a distance in the darkness – and we enjoy our drinks in a most pleasant ambience.

We – Vijay and Me – we drink Scotch Whisky.

Nisha gets high on Martini – while Usha has fruit juice.

It is a lovely evening.

On the way back – we drop Nisha at a working women’s hostel in Colaba – her temporary home till she finds a good apartment.

“Poor thing – it must be tough for Nisha to live in a hostel. Vijay, you must find her a good apartment fast,” Usha says, as we drive towards Marine Drive.

“I am trying to get Nisha a flat near our office in Churchgate,” Vijay says.

We drive down to Chowpatty – and walk on the sands by the sea – eating ice cream – a delightful end to a pleasurable evening.

12 September 1987

New Delhi

VIJAY  NISHA  and  ME

Last time – 3 years ago – it was Vijay, Usha, Nisha and Me – four of us together.

Now – Usha is missing – and it is Vijay, Nisha and Me.

Yes – now Usha has gone – and in her place there is Nisha.

Vijay divorced Usha and married Nisha.

Then both of them – Nisha and Vijay – relocated abroad to America.

Now they both work in New York.

And me – after slogging for many years in the field – I have finally been posted to our Delhi office.

It is great to be back in Delhi, after so many years.

We spend a nostalgic day visiting all our haunts in IIT Delhi – our hostel rooms, the canteens, the classrooms – walk round the campus.

Then – we spend the evening in my bungalow in Saket – drinking late into the night.

Later – when we are alone – Vijay says to me, “I have looked after Usha well. I have bought her a luxurious 3 BHK flat in Pune – and I have given her plenty of money. Yes – I have given her so much money that she can live well …”

“Hey, Vijay, why are you telling me all this? It is your personal matter. Are you feeling guilty? Don’t feel guilty – just forget it – whatever happened, has happened – and it is past history now. So don’t feel sorry. Come on – it is well past midnight. You have a flight to catch tomorrow. Let’s go to sleep.” I say.

And we go to sleep.

12 September 1989

Pune

USHA  and  ME

“Are you sure Vijay is not coming?” Usha, my wife, asks me.

(Yes – Vijay’s ex-wife Usha and I got married in 1988)

I look at my wife Usha and say: “No. I rang up Vijay twice today – but he is making all sorts of excuses.”

“Last year – Vijay was abroad on the 12th of September – but this time – he is in Mumbai on work – and he can surely make it – it’s just a 3 hour drive to Pune,” Usha says.

“Well – Usha – I really don’t know. Maybe – Vijay has got a guilty conscience for ditching you. Maybe – he can’t bear to see us together. Or maybe – Nisha has told him not to come…” I say.

“Okay, let’s celebrate your birthday – just you and me,” Usha says – and we go out for dinner.

12 September 2012

Khadakwasla near Pune

USHA  ME  and  VIJAY

I sit with Vijay on the lawns of my farmhouse – and we sip our sundowners – as we watch the sun set behind the hills across the lake.

We meet after a gap of 25 years.

The last time Vijay and me got together was on 12 September 1987 – in New Delhi – when Vijay had come with his new wife Nisha – after divorcing Usha.

Like me – I am sure he is thinking about the twists and turns in the journey of our lives.

I think of all the birthdays – the 12th of September – we have spent together.

It is like a merry-go-round of relationships.

First – it was VIJAY and ME.

Then – it was VIJAY USHA and ME.

After that – it was VIJAY USHA NISHA and ME.

Later – it was VIJAY NISHA and ME.

Even later – it was USHA and ME.

Now – it is USHA ME and VIJAY.

Yes, you guessed right – Nisha divorced Vijay – and now Vijay is all alone.

Next morning I drop Vijay to the Mumbai airport – and he catches the flight back home to America.

EPILOGUE

12 September 2013

Pune

USHA  ME  and  ???

I hope Vijay will come.

But – I know he will not come.

I could see it in his eyes last time.

Maybe Vijay will never come.

Maybe Vijay and I will never meet again.

So – maybe this birthday – the 12th of September 2013 – and all my future birthdays – all the 12th’s of September – I will have to celebrate with my “much married wife” Usha.

Of course – it was thanks to Vijay – that I first met Usha – in Vizag – 31 years ago – on 12 September 1982 – when she was newly married to Vijay.

But – on every 12th of September – I will always wait for Vijay – who was born on the same day as I was born – on the exact date and year – as if he were my twin brother.

EPILOGUE:

Dear Reader:

Vijay did not come.

Yes – as you guessed – Vijay did not come on September 12, 2013.

He did not come the next year too – on September 12, 2014.

And – he did not come the next year too – on September 12, 2015.

Soon – in a few days from now – it will be September 12, 2016 – my 60th birthday – and it will be Vijay’s 60th birthday too.

Like always – I will wait for Vijay to come.

Tell me – Dear Reader – Do you think Vijay will come?

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/my-very-own-love-story-september-12.html

I wrote this story in Sep 2013 and this story was first posted online by me Vikram Karve on 12 September 2013 in my blog at 9/12/2013 02:16:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/09/september-12.html and later re-posted at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/05/my-love-story-7-pages-from-diary-of-my.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/11/my-love-story-vignettes-from-diary-of.htmland  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/09/12-september-my-birthday-story.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/12-september-7-pages-from-diary-of-my.html

A Story for Military Wives – How Navy “Saved” My Marriage

September 8, 2016

HOW NAVY “SAVED” MY MARRIAGE 

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

HOW NAVY “SAVED” MY MARRIAGE – A Fictional Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE 

This is a hilarious “memoir” from my Vizag Navy Days – a story that happened around 27 years ago – sometime in the late 1980’s.

But – before I tell you the story – let me tell you a bit about Navy Wives – in Part 1 of this Blog Post.

Part 1

NOWA  SODA  NWWA  LOHA  (The Navy Ladies)

In the 1970’s – it was a  delightful laissez-faire Navy – especially in Mumbai (then called Bombay)

And – like me – if you were carefree Navy Bachelor serving on a ship based in Mumbai – there was so much fun and life outside in “Maximum City” – that you barely knew what Naval Wives did – except for the occasional social interaction during one of those rare ship’s wardroom parties where ladies were invited.

Of course – you had probably heard of an organisation called Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA) – especially if your Captain’s wife was one those active “Social Bees”.

But – if you were a smart career conscious “upwardly-mobile” single Naval Officer – it made sense to hobnob with SODA.

No – I don’t mean the “soda” you mix with whisky.

I am referring to Senior Officers Daughters Association (SODA).

Needless to say – acquiring a SODA wife had great advantages – because you suddenly acquired lots of influential “uncles” and “aunties” in the service.

Now – once a “SODA” daughter married a Naval Officer – she also became a “NOWA” wife.

A double benefit wife – “SODA + NOWA” wife – she was an unbeatable winning combination guaranteed to propel you to high rank.

Now – with the entry of Lady Officers in the Navy – maybe it would be a good idea to start a Lady Officers Husbands Association (LOHA) for the Husbands of Lady Naval Officers to bond together.

Unfortunately – I did not have the honour of becoming a member of any of these exalted organisations.

  1. I was not the wife of a Naval Officer –so I was not eligible for NOWA
  1. I was not the daughter of a senior Naval Officer –so SODA was out of the reckoning.
  1. I was not the husband of a Lady Naval Officer –so no LOHA for me.

I was just a mere Naval Officer

But – I am still confused about one thing.

Suppose a Female Naval Officer marries a Male Naval Officer.

Does the Lady Naval Officer become a member of NOWA?

Or – does the Naval Officer Husband of the Lady Naval Officer become a member of LOHA?

Can you wear uniform and still be a member of these “social” organisations by virtue of your marriage…?

I am sure some knowledgeable veteran will clear this doubt and educate us – and – tell us – if so – why so – and – if not – why not.

When I got married in 1982 my newly wedded wife automatically became a member of NOWA.

I discovered this when I saw my monthly mess bill – and – I found that my NOWA contribution had been duly deducted.

In the Navy you have no choice in these matters.

Whether you like it or not – the moment you get married – your wife becomes a member of NOWA – and – the subscription is compulsorily deducted.

However – at that time – the Chief of the Naval Staff was a lifelong Confirmed Bachelor.

He was a true devoted “Sea Dog” – “married to the navy” – and – he probably didn’t care much for NOWA (and other such wives’ associations).

So – in the absence of a “first lady” – it seemed that NOWA was adrift and defunct – at least in New Delhi – where I was posted at that time.

Meanwhile – my wife started working – and – I do not recall her going to any NOWA event.

In fact – except for the “Ladies Club” at IAT Pune (an inter-service institution) which my wife regularly attended – I don’t think she participated in NOWA at Mumbai – since – we lived in Vasant Sagar in Churchgate – quite far away from the Navy Township – and – while I was busy on a ship – my wife was busy with our small son.

The only time my wife actively participated in NWWA was when we were posted to Vizag (Visakhapatnam).

Yes – you read right.

Yes – NOWA had become NWWA – sometime in the mid 1980’s – NOWA was renamed as NWWA.

We love changing names – names of roads are changed – names of cities have been changed.

In the Navy too – “Supply and Secretariat” (S&S) became “Logistics” – TAS (Torpedo Anti-Submarine) became ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) – inter-service training “schools” became “colleges” and “institutes” – and even Naval Headquarters (NHQ) has become IHQ (Integrated Headquarters).

Similarly – “Naval Officers Wives Association” (NOWA) was re-christened “Navy Wives Welfare Association” (NWWA)

Those were halcyon NWWA days in Vizag – which was jokingly called the “Entertainment Naval Command” (ENC) – the others being the “Working Naval Command” (WNC) – and – “Sleeping Naval Command” (SNC).

My son had started going to school – I was away sailing most of the time – and my “homemaker” wife thoroughly enjoyed NWWA activities – and – she made lots of friends.

Besides social events like those grand “husbands’ night” parties with magnificent entertainment and delicious food –  NWWA did a lot of genuine welfare and education activities too – in which my wife loved to participate.

Once our daughter arrived – my wife had to taper off from NWWA activities to bring up the baby.

The story I am about to narrate occurred during this period.

Part 2

“MADE FOR EACH OTHER” COUPLE

The most eagerly awaited event of Naval Social Calendar is the annual Navy Ball held in December.

And the two highlights of the Navy Ball are the Fashion Show and the Navy Queen Contest.

We were surprised to see that the Vizag Navy Ball was much more grandiose than the Mumbai Navy Ball – the fashion show had top models walking the ramp – and the Navy Queen Contest had the best of gorgeous beauties participating since this prestigious beauty pageant was a stepping stone for a career in showbiz and the glamour world.

Then things changed.

There was a new C-in-C.

His wife automatically became the ex officio Head of NWWA by virtue of her husband’s appointment.

NWWA is the acronym for Navy Wives Welfare Association – earlier known as Naval Officers Wives Association (NOWA).

The new Head of NWWA (C-in-C’s wife) was a “charismatic” and forceful personality (she even dominated her hubby – the C-in-C’s – who wisely focused on professional affairs and let his wife run social affairs)

Also – the new C-in-C’s wife was a staunch “feminist” – and she had “progressive” ideas.

She decreed that there would be no “commodification” of women.

So – the Navy Queen Contest was scrapped.

Instead of the Navy Queen Pageant – there would be a “made-for-each-other couple” contest.

The “feminist” NWWA Head-Honcho also scrapped the Fashion Show by Female Models – because – as I told you earlier – the “activist” NWWA Boss was against the “commodification” of women.

Now – the Navy Queen Contest and Fashion Show were the highlights of the Navy Ball.

So – with the scrapping of the Navy Queen Contest and Fashion Show – all interest in the Navy Ball waned.

The sale of tickets for the Navy Ball fell sharply.

This problem was solved by compulsory sale of tickets to all officers.

All Officers were ordered to attend the Navy Ball.

The second problem was that there were no entries for the “made-for-each-other couple” contest.

The high profile Navy Queen Pageant was an open competition – and –the Navy Queen contest used to attract a large number of entries from young ladies – from Vizag – and – even from places as far away as Calcutta (now Kolkata) Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar and Madras (now Chennai).

However – it seemed that no married couple wanted to “sashay on the ramp” for the “made-for-each-other couple” contest.

Yes – only married couples were eligible for the “made-for-each-other couple” contest – well – the NWWA head-honcho may have been a self-styled feminist – but apparently she was not a “liberated” feminist.

Civilian couples of Vizag did not fancy parading on the ramp – and – it seemed that the Navy Couples too were not keen on participating in the “made-for-each-other couple” contest.

After many years of Navy Queen Contests – people were quite skeptical about this new “made-for-each-other couple” contest.

So – there was not even a single entry for the “made-for-each-other couple” contest.

The “powers-that-be” were disappointed with the poor response.

So – NWWA was pressed into action.

All “young” wives were told to “report” with their husbands for the preliminary round of the “made-for-each-other couple” contest in the ENC Officers Mess.

My wife ignored the missive.

She did not even tell me about it.

In fact – most naval wives did the same.

The result was that just 3 couples turned up for the preliminary round.

They could have crowned the 3 couples then and there – as the winner “made-for-each-other couple” – and first and second runners up.

But – this did not happen.

The “head honcho” of NWWA was furious.

She was determined to make a grand success of her “trailblazer” idea – the “made-for-each-other couple” contest – which was being held for the first time in the Navy Ball.

Her prestige was at stake.

Yes – for her – the success of the “made-for-each-other couple” contest became a “prestige issue”.

So – she pressed her cohorts into action.

Qualitative Requirements (QRs) were drawn up – and “target couples” were identified for the “made-for-each-other couple” contest.

Lists of “target couples” were sent to ships and units – and commanding officers were ordered to “direct” those officers and their lady wives to “volunteer” – and be present for the preliminary round of the “made-for-each-other couple” contest that evening.

Simultaneously – similar parallel “directives” were passed on to the wives via NWWA channels.

Unfortunately – we – my wife and I – were identified as a “target couple”.

A message was accordingly passed on to me – that my wife and I should be present for the preliminary round of the contest at 7 in the evening – my wife in a Sari – and me – in Red Sea Rig uniform.

I decided to ignore the “order”.

When I reached home – before I could speak – my agitated wife told me about the visit of some NWWA “office-bearer” ladies.

She was upset.

She had told the NWWA flunkies that she could not leave our baby daughter alone at home – and hence – she could not participate in the “made-for-each-other couple” contest.

But – the NWWA gang refused to listen to her pleas – and – they said that NWWA had made Baby Care arrangements at the Navy Ball.

When my wife bluntly told them that she was not interested in taking part in the “made-for-each-other couple” contest – subtle hints were dropped – that her “negative” attitude may not be good for my career.

Remember – this was ENC – the “Entertainment Naval Command”.

We had earlier been posted in WNC – the “Working Naval Command” – where the culture was different – and – for my wife – this was the first time NWWA was exerting pressure and compelling her to do something she did not want to do.

I did not want to force my wife to do anything against her will – especially participate in such a “made-for-each-other couple” contest – which I thought was quite ludicrous.

We decided not to participate in the “made-for-each-other couple” contest.

So – we – my wife and I – we did not go for the preliminary round for the “made-for-each-other couple” contest.

We were duly marked “absent”.

Part 3

MY MARRIAGE IS “ON THE ROCKS”

Next morning – my boss – a Commodore – summoned me to his office.

He looked at me and said to me: “Look here. You know me. I never interfere in the personal lives of my officers. But – I beg you – please take your wife and go for that bloody preliminary round of the “made-for-each-other” couple contest in the evening…”

“Sir, the preliminary round was last evening,” I said.

“Well – last evening – only 5 couples landed up. So the preliminary round of the “made-for-each-other couple” contest is re-scheduled at 7 this evening. You buggers don’t go for events – and we are being asked explanations from the top. Please make sure you go. I know you have a small son and a baby daughter. My wife will look after them. But you and your wife – please go for the preliminary round of the “made-for-each-other” couple contest – for heaven’s sake – please go – otherwise…” he pleaded with me.

“Sir, my wife …” I tried to reason with him.

“No excuses. I don’t want to hear any excuses…” my boss said.

“Sir, please listen …” I pleaded.

“What …?” my boss asked.

My marriage is on the rocks. My wife and I – we are not on speaking terms. There is so much marital discord that it looks like my marriage is going to break up – it seems that we are heading for a divorce…” I said, with a sad face.

“What…? Divorce…? Your marriage is on the rocks…? You never told me all this…!” my boss said – with a surprised look on his face.

“I am sorry, Sir – but under these circumstances of marital discord – I don’t think it is appropriate for us to take part in the “made-for-each-other couple” contest…” I said sheepishly.

“Okay. I can understand. I will tell them. But you must sort out things with your wife. You have small children. You may have some marital discord – but divorce is not a solution. You must try and make your marriage work. You must take some help in these matters. I will try and see what I can do. You can go now…” my boss said to me – with a worried look on his face.

Back in my office – I congratulated myself for my quick thinking – which had extricated us from the “made-for-each-other couple” contest.

Then – I had a good laugh to myself.

While I was laughing – my boss was acting.

He made a two calls.

First – he called up the NWWA “powers-that-be”.

Then – he called up his wife.

The result was that NWWA was asked to intervene – to try to “save” our marriage – which was “on-the-rocks”.

Now – ladies love to gossip – so – the rumor mill was instantaneously abuzz – and various theories were floated by “know-it-all” gossip-mongers.

“They are incompatible…” the more charitable ladies said about us.

But – most ladies agreed that it was me – as the husband – who was fully to blame for the “breakdown” of our marriage.

Some ladies let their imagination run wild – and they even painted me as a “drunkard” and “wife-beater”.

All the ladies gave me “terrible looks” – while they sympathetically looked at my wife with knowing “looks of empathy”.

Things were getting serious – everyone had actually started believing the rumor that I had started.

Luckily – the NWWA “marriage counsellor” lived directly above our house in Naval Park – and she knew us well.

She got a call from the NWWA “head honcho” asking her to talk to us.

The NWWA “head honcho” wanted to be “briefed” on our “marital discord case”.

The “marriage counsellor” had a hearty laugh.

The NWWA “marriage counsellor” said to the NWWA “head-honcho” :

“Ma’am – I know them well. Nothing is wrong with their marriage. In fact – I had a chat with the wife just a few moments ago on the way up to my house. It looks like her naughty husband is up to some mischief. I will tell her – and she will straighten him out.”

“Are you sure?” the NWWA “head honcho” asked the NWWA “marriage counsellor”.

“I have seen so many marriages. My marriage may break up – your marriage may break up – but they are not going to split – that’s for sure…” the NWWA “marriage counsellor” remarked about us.

The “marriage counsellor” felt – that – we – my wife and I – were in fact – a genuine “made-for-each-other couple”.

In her opinion – we were not a fake “made-for-each-other couple” – like many others.

(Well – that was her opinion)

When I reached home in the evening – I saw that the “marriage counsellor” neighbour and my wife – both of them – were waiting for me.

I told them everything – and we had a big laugh.

And yes – thereafter – no one asked us to take part in the “made-for-each-other couple” contest – which was won by a truly “made-for-each-other couple” – who were good friends of ours.

After this – for the rest of our tenure in Vizag – my embarrassed wife steered clear of NWWA – in order to avoid the “knowing looks” of pity and sympathy for having such terrible husband like me (since rumors never die).

By the way – the “made-for-each-other couple” contest was scrapped and discarded – the moment the C-in-C was posted out along with his “feminist” wife.

The new C-in-C made sure that the traditional Navy Queen Pageant in the Navy Ball was started once again.

And – I hope – that the Navy Ball with its unique Navy Queen Pageant continues to this day (unless – someone has again changed things again just to suit his/her “whims and fancies”).

As they say in the Navy: “Normal Service Resumed”

VIKRAM KARVE

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Disclaimer:

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

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

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

Abridged Extract of my Story Earlier Posted Online by me Vikram Karve at 6/19/2013 04:18:00 PM in my blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/06/humor-in-uniform-case-of-marital-discord.html and re-posted by me a number of times in my blogs including at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/08/humor-in-uniform-how-nwwa-saved-my.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/04/humor-in-uniform-case-of-marital.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/04/humor-in-uniform-marriage-on-rocks.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/my-marriage-is-on-rocks-humor-in-uniform.html  etc

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