Archive for September 24th, 2016

Navy USP – Humor in Uniform

September 24, 2016

Delightful Memories of My Unforgettable Navy Days  

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-to-get-your.html

Here is a “memoir” from the happiest days of my life – my early bachelor days in the Navy.

This hilarious story happened many years ago – in the 1970’s …

How to Get Your Posting/Transfer Changed

One aspect of military life is that you live a nomadic life because of frequent “postings” (or “transfers” – as the Navy calls them).

Every 2 or 3 years – sometimes even less – you have to pack your bags, wind up your house and move to a new place.

The plus point of frequent postings/transfers is that you see many places in your miltary career.

The minus point is that there are many ramifications on the family and children due to this unstable life.

In the Navy – you can be at Mumbai (the most sought after station) – or – you may land up in some desolate “back of beyond” place.

Choice of station varies as you progress in service depending on your requirements.

As a bachelor – young Navy Officers want to be in Mumbai – in order to enjoy the delights of “maximum city”

(In this respect – I was lucky – since both the ships during my bachelor days were based in Mumbai).

Later – your criterion for “choice of posting” changes – depending on your priorities – career interest – family life (married accommodation) – children’s education – wife’s career – medical grounds – compassionate grounds etc.

Also – I have seen some officers – if they get posted/transferred to a place they do not like – these officers move heaven and earth – and pull all sorts of strings – to get their posting/transfers changed to a better place – or to their choice station.

I have seen all sorts of reasons why officers get their postings/transfers changed.

But – the reason why Lieutenant “Z” wanted his posting changed was unique.

Since this is a Navy story – I will use the term “Transfer” instead of “Posting” which is used by the Army/Air Force.

Also – maybe the title “Why Lieutenant “Z” got his Transfer Changed” may be more apt than the rather generic How to Get Your Posting Changed

But – all that does not matter.

Read on – and – have a laugh…

The Story of Lieutenant “Z” 

A Fictional Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

Lieutenant “Z” was transferred to Kolkata (or Calcutta – as the city was called in the 1970’s – but I will use the present name Kolkata in this story).

The “powers-that-be” thought Lieutenant “Z” would be very happy with his transfer – since Kolkata was his hometown.

Instead of being happy on seeing his transfer order – surprisingly – Lieutenant “Z” got very upset.

So – Lieutenant “Z” rushed to his ship’s Captain to get his transfer cancelled.

“We thought you would be happy – Kolkata is your hometown,” the Captain said.

“Sir – I don’t want to leave the ship…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

“Oh – it’s good to see that you are a true ‘sea-dog’ – and you like the tough life at sea – but then – you have to go ashore…” the Captain said.

“But – Why – Sir…?” Lieutenant “Z” asked.

“See – you got your ‘watchkeeping ticket’ last year – and you have served for more than one year on board as a sea watch-keeping officer – and you will be due for your ‘Long Course’ after 2 years…” the Captain said to Lieutenant “Z”.

“Sir – I can spend these 2 years on board this ship – or some other ship – but I don’t want to go to Kolkata – especially in that shore appointment…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

The Captain was getting exasperated – so he said a bit angrily to the young officer: “Look here Lieutenant “Z” – there is a bloody shortage of ships and sea billets – and we have plenty of young officers waiting for their watch-keeping tickets – so you will have to cool your heels ashore for 2 years till your ‘Long Course’ comes through…”

“Okay – Sir – if I have to go ashore – then please change my transfer to some other place – I do not wish to go to Kolkata…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

“I just don’t understand you – what’s wrong with Kolkata – it is your hometown – you can be with your parents, family and friends – I personally talked to DOP to get you this appointment – your CO at Kolkata is my friend and he is an excellent officer – he will give you a thumping ACR which will boost your career…” the Captain said.

“Sir – I don’t want to go to Kolkata…” Lieutenant “Z” said firmly.

Getting angry – the Captain looked at Lieutenant “Z” – and – the Captain said threateningly:

Lieutenant “Z” – I am warning you – if you act funny – we will send to ‘Kala Pani’ in the Andaman…”

“Sir – please send me to the Andamans…” “Lieutenant “Z” said happily.

The Captain was taken aback by this retort of Lieutenant “Z” 

So – the Captain asked Lieutenant “Z”:

“Are you crazy…? Why don’t you want to go to Kolkata…? Do you have you some family problems…?”

“Sir – Booze is expensive in Kolkata…” Lieutenant “Z” said, matter-of-factly.

“What…? What do you mean ‘Booze is expensive in Kolkata’…? Is that the reason why you do not want to go there…?” an incredulous Captain asked “Lieutenant “Z”.

“Sir – the only worthwhile perk we get in the Navy is “Concessional Liquor – that is why I want to remain on board ship so that I can enjoy ‘duty-free booze’ – but if I have to go ashore – please send me to a place where ‘Military Booze’ is cheap – Sir – the price of CSD Quota Liquor in Bengal is 3 times more expensive than the price out here in Maharashtra…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

(This story happened in the 1970’s – when CSD Quota Liquor was cheapest in Maharashtra.

However – since tax concessions are given by State Governments – and local taxes/concessions keep changing from time to time – the situation may be quite different now – and it is possible that ‘Military Booze’ may be more expensive in Maharashtra than in other states.

But even now – the prices of CSD Quota Liquor vary widely from state to state – so ‘Military Booze’ is cheaper in some states – and more expensive in other states)

Now – after this brief aside – let us continue with the interesting tête-à-tête between Lieutenant “Z” and his Captain…

“So – you wanted to remain on board this ship so that you can enjoy cheap ‘duty free booze’…?” the Captain asked Lieutenant “Z”.

“Yes – Sir…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

“Are you telling me that you even prefer to go to the Andamans because booze is cheaper there…?” the Captain asked Lieutenant “Z”.

“Yes – Sir…”

“It seems that you joined the Navy to drink Liquor…!”

“Yes – Sir…”

“What nonsense…? Are you crazy…? Are you telling me that you joined the Navy to drink liquor…?” the Captain shouted at Lieutenant “Z”.

“Sir – the main reason I joined the ‘Boozy Navy’ was to enjoy the best of ‘Duty-Free’ Booze – that is the reason why I want to serve on ships for the maximum possible time. But – if I have to go ashore – the least I can do is to enjoy my full quota of CSD ‘Military Liquor’ at the cheapest possible rates…” Lieutenant “Z” said, speaking candidly.

“Are you mad…? Are you saying that the only reason why people should join the Defence Services is to drink alcohol…? That means – according to you – teetotallers should not join the Navy – or the Armed Forces…” the Captain said to Lieutenant “Z”

“Sir – I told you before – the only worthwhile perk we get in the Defence Services is ‘Concessional Liquor’ – so what is the point of wasting your life in the Military if you are not going to enjoy this exclusive ‘Fauji Perk’ of ‘Military Booze’…? And if you don’t drink – if you are a teetotaller – you might as well take up a civilian job  you can live a comfortable life  and – you can earn plenty of money…” Lieutenant “Z” pontificated.

“I am a strict teetotaller – I don’t touch alcohol. Are you saying that I am wasting my time in the Navy…?” the Captain said angrily.

“Sir – just think of all the ‘Duty-Free’ Booze and CSD Quota Liquor you have missed out on in all these 25 years of your service…” Lieutenant “Z” said – with genuine regret in his eyes.

“You are a crazy bugger…! Just get out my cabin…” the Captain shouted at Lieutenant “Z”.

EPILOGUE

Two things happened after this amusing tête-à-tête between Lieutenant “Z” and his Captain.

The Captain picked up the phone and spoke to the DOP (who was his course-mate).

The DOP had a big laugh when the Captain told him the ‘Boozy’ reason why Lieutenant “Z”wanted his transfer changed.

Since there was no billet available in the Andamans (where ‘Military Booze’ was the cheapest in those days) – DOP did the next best thing possible – and – Lieutenant “Z”was transferred as a Divisional Officer to NDA near Pune where the price of CSD Quota Liquor was the same as in Mumbai – since both Pune and Mumbai were in Maharashtra State.

Then – the Captain thought about his conversation with Lieutenant “Z”. 

Lieutenant “Z” had a point.

Every job had its perks – the Railways gave free Rail Passes to its employees – Airlines gave free Air Tickets – Academicians got sabbaticals – the Corporate Sector too gave a variety of perks and freebies to its Executives – and everyone availed of these perks. 

Similarly – the Defence Services too had their perks – and – the most unique ‘Military Perk’ was ‘Concessional Liquor’.

So – what was the point in joining the Navy and not availing of this most Precious Perk of ‘Concessional Liquor’ – especially the ‘Duty-Free Foreign Liquoravailable on board ships…?

Why reliquish and forgo such a valuable perk given to you – and then – regret later – and complain after retirement – that you could not make the most of all the perks given to you by the Navy…?

The Captain thought of the ‘notional loss’ he had incurred during the 25 long ‘teetotalism’ years of abstinence during his long service in the Navy.

Yes – he has incurred a huge ‘notional loss’ just because he had sacrificed this authorised ‘Military Perk’ – by not availing his ‘CSD Liquor Quota’ – and by not enjoying ‘Duty-Free’ Booze on board all the ships on which he had served.

There is a saying: “Better Late than Never.

The Captain asked his steward to get him some chilled Beer.

It was only 11 o’clock in the morning – but that did not matter – the Captain wanted to make up for all these 25 lost years of teetotalism and abstinence and make good as much of the ‘notional loss’ as possible in the remaining years of his service.

At first – the Captain’s Steward was a bit surprised.

But – when the Steward saw the Captain gesturing him to hurry up – the Steward served the Captain a chilled can of Premium Imported Beer (available dirt cheap at ‘duty-free’ rates on board ship).

This was the Captain’s first sip of booze ever since he joined the Navy more than 25 years ago.

Cheers !!!

AFTERTHOUGHT

Instead of wasting money on all those fancy unrealistic military recruitment advertisements – why don’t the Defence Services highlight “CSD Quota Concessional Liquor” as the “USP” of Military Life…?

And – of course – as far as the Navy is concerned – shouldn’t “Duty Free Booze” be highlighted as a special incentive to join the Navy…?

Think about it … !!!

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Revised version of my story THE BOOZY NAVY written by me Vikram Karve on 25 May 2015 and and posted online in my blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/05/humor-in-uniform-boozy-navy.html  and  revised/reposted on 12 October 2015 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/10/humor-in-uniform-question-of-perks.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/humor-in-uniform-usp-of-military-life.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/yo-ho-ho-and-bottle-of-rum-humor-in.html 

The “Fleet Auxiliary”

September 24, 2016

Story of a “Fleet Auxiliary” 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/one-last-time-love-story.html

ONE LAST TIME  – Short Fiction By VIKRAM KARVE

Circa 1977 – Mumbai (then called Bombay)

“I want to see her one last time…”

“No…”

“Please…”

“No…”

“I really loved her – I still love her…”

“It is called “lust” – not “love”…”

“Even she loves me…”

“Are you crazy…? Can a woman like her love anyone…?”

“I love her. She loves me. We both love each other – our love is a “two-way” love – mutual love…”

“Ha Ha – it was more like “Mutual Lust”…”

“Please don’t say that. Our relationship was above that level – it was love – our friendship was based on a deep love for each other…”

“Ha Ha – “Friendship based on Deep Love” – are you kidding…? You two were just“friends with benefits” – that’s all…”

“That’s not true – “friends with benefits” – how can you say that…? You have not understood the depth of our relationship – our love for each other…”

“Depth of your Relationship…? Love…? Bloody bullshit…!!! It was a simple “quid pro quo” – she gave you what you wanted – you gave her what she wanted – you both got what you wanted – a simple “tradeoff” – and now – the “transaction” is over – and – both of you can move on and go your own ways…”

“Still – I am feeling so guilty that I am dumped her – just like that – “use and throw”…”

“Don’t feel guilty. You haven’t “dumped her” – because – she was wasn’t yours in the first place – and – you said it right – “use and throw” – she’s just a “fleet auxiliary” – and that’s what “fleet auxiliaries” are meant for – you “use and throw” them – and – that’s what they do to us also, isn’t it – they too “use and throw” us – you “use and throw” her – and – she does the same to you – that’s how it works. However – let me tell you one thing – you are still yearning for her – but – for all you know – she may have already found someone else – and – maybe – she is having a “good time” with her new lover right now…”

“Never – she will never do that – she will always love me…”

“Are you crazy…? I told you – she is just a frivolous “fleet auxiliary”…”

AN EXPLANATORY DIGRESSION (for Readers not familiar with Navy Jargon)

Let me digress a bit and tell you the difference between Fleet Auxiliary and “Fleet Auxiliary”

Fleet Auxiliary 

The former Fleet Auxiliary is a support ship – like an oil tanker, a supply vessel, a tug, a depot ship or a hospital ship – a vessel which supports the main fleet.

“Fleet Auxiliary” (in quotation marks)

The latter “Fleet Auxiliary” is a moniker – a sobriquet – a nickname – given to a girl – who – like auxiliaries – “supports” the men who man the Fleet – by giving them a “good time” – and – helping them quench their carnal passions.

This story is about this second type of “Fleet Auxiliary”.

With a “Fleet Auxiliary” – it is a “no-strings-attached” relationship.

Of course – there may be a bit of “give-and-take” – a sort of “barter” or “tradeoff” – for example – where the “Fleet Auxiliary” enjoys the best imported food and drink on board ships – courtesy her “host” – she gets to drink the best booze – and – she gets some precious gifts like an expensive perfume or some exquisite Swiss chocolates – as a “quid pro quo” – in return for her “favours”…

Let me tell you – that in those “Golden Socialist Days” of the “License Quota Permit Raj” – when prized and coveted foreign goodies were not available in the domestic market – and we in the Navy got them duty-free on board ships – a Naval Officer was quite high up on the social ladder.

Regrettably – the advent of liberalization and globalization changed everything – and nowadays – a Naval Officer is no longer the “crème de la crème” of society anymore – because today – money determines your status – and – businessmen, entrepreneurs and celebrities are the new role models.

And – as far as “fleet auxiliaries” are concerned – it looks like they have disappeared from the fleet – and found greener pastures – because – when I asked a young “Subbie” about it a few days ago – he seemed totally clueless – in fact – he did not even know what the term “fleet auxiliary” meant in Navy slang.

DIGRESSION OVER – STORY CONTINUES…

“Please – before I go on leave – I want to see her one last time…”

“No – it’s 7 o’clock now – let’s have a couple of drinks and dinner – then – I’ll tell the OOD to send a sailor to call a taxi – and – you will go straight to Bombay VT (now called Mumbai CST) – and – you will catch the night passenger to Pune…”

“I have to see her one last time – to explain…”

“Explain what…? You met her for the final time last week – didn’t you – before we sailed out…? Haven’t you called off the relationship – didn’t you tell her that it’s all over…? Haven’t you said your final “good-bye”…? By the way – I hope you haven’t you told her that you are going home on leave to see a girl for marriage…”

“Yes – I told her – I told her everything about the girl – I even showed her the photo of the girl I am going to see in Pune…”

“Are you crazy…? What was the need to tell her about your prospective bride…? And tell me – what was her reaction – what did she say…?”

“She was very upset – she started crying – she told me that she probably thought that we would have a long-term relationship…”

“Bloody hell – she is trying to emotionally blackmail you and trap you into marriage – do you realize that repercussions of getting married to a “fleet auxiliary”…?”

“But – I love her…”

“You idiot – try to understand her “game” – your bloody “fleet auxiliary” – she’s been in the business for 10 years now – since our XO’s time…”

“What…?”

“Yes – a few days ago – when our XO saw her with you – he told me that – when they were “Subbies” – one of his course-mates was going around with her…”

“That’s not possible…”

“Of course it is very much possible – you may be only 24 years old – but she is at least 30 – and – she must be going around since she was 20 – and – 10 years back – our XO was a “Subbie” – isn’t it…? You fool – she must have had at least 10 lovers – and – she will have a few more – before – she is “over the hill”…”

“I never asked her about her earlier affairs – but – she categorically told me – that – with me – it was different. She said – she told me – that – she really loved me – and – even if I dumped her – she would not have any more relationships – and – she would always love me forever…”

“Can’t you see…? She knows that she is “over the hill”. She has realized that her days as a “fleet auxiliary” are numbered – so – she is trying to emotionally blackmail you into marrying her…”

“I don’t know – I am feeling terribly confused – I want to go and meet her right now – just for “one last time”…”

“NO – absolutely NO – you are not going to meet her “one last time” – you are going straight to the station to catch the train to Pune. Then – in Pune – you are going to see the girl – I am sure you will like each other – if not – I am sure your parents have lined up some more girls – so – you see the girls – and – you will get engaged to a nice “back-home-type” girl in your one month’s leave – and – when you come back to the ship after your leave – I want to see an engagement ring on your finger – do you understand…?”

“But…?”

“No “ifs and buts” – and – let me tell you what I am going to do – I will talk to the Captain – we will pull some strings – and we will get you transferred to some ship in Vizag – so – the moment you come back from leave after a month – we will have your farewell PLD – and – you will be off to Vizag – “out of sight – out of mind” – that’s the best way for you to forget your “fleet auxiliary” – and – hopefully – you will be engaged by then – so – you can move on and begin a new life with your fiancée…”

“Please… I have to go… Right now…”

“Go…? Right now…? It’s only 7:30 – and – your train is at 11:30…”

“I have to see her “one last time”…”

“But – you saw her “one last time” before we sailed out a week ago – isn’t it…?”

“I am going to meet her tonight. She will be expecting me – I told her that I would have one last dinner with her tonight – before I leave for Pune…”

“You told her…? When…? We just returned from sailing this morning…”

“In the morning – the moment we secured alongside – I called her up in her office from the shore telephone…”

“You fool…”

“I couldn’t help it – I told her I wanted to meet her “one last time” – she said “okay” – she suggested that we have a farewell dinner at our favourite restaurant in Churchgate – and ice cream at the parlour nearby – and then – after our “final goodbye” – and – we could part on a “sweet note”…”

“No… You don’t go…”

“I have to go. She will be waiting for me at 8 o’clock. Please drop me on your bike at Churchgate – I just have one bag. After dinner – I’ll take a cab to VT…”

EPILOGUE

I tried by best to dissuade my friend from meeting his “fleet auxiliary” for “one last time”.

But – he was adamant.

So – I dropped him outside the famous restaurant at Churchgate where he was having his “last rendezvous” with his “fleet auxiliary”.

My friend said “thanks” to me – and – he started walking towards the restaurant carrying his bag in his right hand.

I should have gone back to the ship – but – I was overcome by an urge to have a look inside – to see whether the “fleet auxiliary” was waiting for him.

I parked my bike – and – I followed him to the entrance of the restaurant.

When my friend saw me following him – he said: “You can go back…”

“I just want to see whether she has come – if she is there – I will say “Hi” to her and vamoose – but – if she is not there – you can treat me to dinner – and – I will drop you at VT…”

We entered the restaurant.

She was there.

Yes – my friend’s “fleet auxiliary” was waiting for him.

But – she wasn’t alone.

Sitting next to the “fleet auxiliary” there was a girl.

They were sitting side by side on the same table – the “fleet auxiliary” and the girl – looking at the entrance – as if waiting for my friend to arrive.

I recognized the girl sitting with the “fleet auxiliary”.

It was the same girl in the photo – yes – it was the girl in the photo that my friend had showed me – the very same girl he was going to see in Pune – his “prospective bride”…

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/one-last-time-love-story.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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