How to Reminisce : Forget the Grief – Remember the Fun

Some friends ask me why I always write about (and talk about) only my happy memories in the Navy.

Here is my answer:


Navy Philosophy


Ramblings of a Retired Navy Veteran By Vikram Karve 

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


Long back – many years ago – I watched an old Black and White Movie called:  ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC

The film – ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC – produced in 1943 – stars the inimitable Humphrey Bogart – and is a story of the war at sea during the World War II.

The thrilling movie depicts the bravery and adventure of Naval Officers and Sailors on a Merchant Navy Ship during World War 2.

The merchant ships – sailing in a convoy – are sailing from Halifax in Canada – to Murmansk in Russia – carrying vital war material.

The convoy of merchant ships is pursued by German Submarines (a Wolf-pack).

There is one dialogue in this movie that attracted my attention – and this quote remained etched in my memory even after the movie was over.

The quote was:

“The difference between you and me – Skipper – is that – You Remember the Grief but I Remember the Fun”

After I saw the movie, for a long time that evening, during my evening walk – I let the quote perambulate in my mind.

“You Remember the GRIEF –  but –  I Remember the FUN

The more I thought about it – the more it made sense – and the more meaningful and insightful these simple words seemed to me.

In the movie – there is a scene on a dark and gloomy night – as the warship sails on treacherous seas with the dangerous enemy lurking below.

Humphrey Bogart – who is the Chief Officer of the Merchant Ship – and his Captain – are standing in the Bridge-Wings – reminiscing and discussing their time on an earlier ship which was sunk by enemy torpedoes.

The Captain keeps talking about the tough hazardous times they had when their convoys were attacked – and he keeps recalling various tragedies and misfortunes.

On the other hand – the Chief Officer talks about all the fun, frolic, flirting and enjoyment he has had during his tenure on the same ship – and he describes his delightful amorous peccadilloes and escapades in various ports.

The Captain berates the Chief Officer.

The Captain asks the Chief Officer how he can be so frivolous and merry in a dangerous and grim wartime situation.

The Chief Officer (Humphrey Bogart) replies:

“The difference between you and me, Skipper, is that you remember the grief but I remember the fun.”

Tell me – Dear Reader:

When you recollect your past:

Are the recollections happy and pleasing…?

Or – are your recollections of the past sad and unpleasant…?


Let’s do an experiment.

Close your eyes and think of your childhood – what comes to your mind – what predominates – happy memories – or sad moments?

Reminisce about each phase of your past life – your early years, school, college, career, marriage, your middle age, until now – and examine your recollections – pleasant memories – and the not-so-pleasant memories.

Yes – you will have Two Types of Memories:

  1. Pleasant (Happy) Memories
  1. Not-so-pleasant (unhappy) Memories

(When I hark back to my Childhood, my school and college days, my Navy Days – I too have both types of memories – Happy Memories and Not-so-happy Memories)

Now remember the dialogue from the movie (Action in the North Atlantic) spoken by the Chief Officer (Humphrey Bogart) to his Captain:

“The difference between you and me, Skipper, is that you remember the grief but I remember the fun.” 

“You Remember the GRIEF –  but –  I Remember the FUN…”

Now – you know how to handle your memories.

Like Humphrey Bogart said – REMEMBER THE FUN.

So – just forget and blank out all the sad and unpleasant memories of your past – and remember the joyful pleasant moments.

Hark back to happy memories and joyful reminiscences which evoke a smile on your lips.

Erase from your brain all traces of your past grief.

Forget the “bad guys” – who harmed you and caused you misery.

Remember the “good guys” – who added value to your life and gave you joy.

Forget all unpleasant memories.

Remember all happy memories.

Yes – from now on let this be your leitmotif:


Yes – whenever you think about your past and reminisce:

Forget the Grief – Remember the Fun


Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
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© 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:

Updated Version of my Article First Posted by me Vikram Karve in this blog at 6/30/2012 11:59:00 PM at url:  and   etc

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