Do all “Military Wives” display “Lady Like Qualities”…?

This morning I was shocked to read a news report about the boorish unladylike conduct of a Military Wife a so-called Senior Lady”.

I do not know whether the incident is true or not – I have just read the news report – but then – as they say – “there is no smoke without fire”

Dear Reader: You can read the news report and decide for yourself the url link of the news report is given below:

Army top brass left red-faced as matter of squabbling wives reaches PMO

This news report reminded me of a story I had written long ago titled The Perfect Navy Wife with Lady Like Qualities (LLQ)…


Hilarious Memories of My Wonderful Navy Life

A Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve

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

Officers of the Defence Services (Army, Navy and Air Force) are required to be Gentlemen.

Accordingly Military Wives Wives of Defence Service Officers are expected to be Ladies – hence the term “Lady Wife” for Wives of Military Officers.

All “Military Officers” are required to possess OLQ (OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES)

But – do all “Military Wives” display LLQ (LADY LIKE QUALITIES)…?

Let me delve deep into my Humor in Uniform archives and pull out this story for you to enjoy and ponder over:



“Can you carry a small packet and deliver it to my wife…?” the officer asked me.

“Sure, Sir…” I said.

“Thanks. Just some Ayurvedic Medicines, that’s all. I’ll come on board your ship tomorrow and give it to you,” he said.

“Sure Sir, no hurry, we are leaving day after tomorrow morning…” I said.

The officer was a friend of my ex-shipmate who had been posted to Cochin a few months ago and with whom I was having a drink in the Navy Club at Cochin (now Kochi).

The officer had joined us for a drink – my ex-shipmate had introduced me – and when the officer came to know that my ship was going to Bombay (now Mumbai) he requested to me to carry a packet and deliver it to his wife in Bombay.

Since my ex-shipmate was calling him “Sir” – I too addressed him as “Sir” – and when he came on board the next day – I noticed that though he wore two stripes of a Lieutenant like me – he had the green coloured 9 year long service ribbon.

(Those days it took 3 years to become a Lieutenant – and then one remained a Lieutenant for 8 long years – so there were “junior” Lieutenants like me – and “senior” Lieutenants like him)

Next afternoon just before lunchtime – the officer came to my cabin onboard my ship and gave me the packet.

He also gave me a slip of paper on which was written his home address in NOFRA.

“I am stuck here in Cochin for the next 3 months doing a bloody course…” he complained, sipping his beer.

“Cochin is a lovely place…” I said.

“I know – but my wife is in Bombay – and, as they say, there is no life without wife…” he remarked.

“Sir, we are stopping over for two days at Goa and we plan to reach Bombay by Friday, so I will deliver your packet on Saturday or Sunday…” I said.

“No problem – I have already posted a letter to my wife in the morning about the packet…” he said.

(40 years ago – when this story happened – writing letters was the common mode of communication – because junior officers did not have landline phones at home – so – going to the post office to make a “trunk call” was inconvenient – telegrams were for emergencies – and – of course – mobile phones had not yet been invented)


On Saturday evening – I rang the bell of a flat on the 6th floor of a high-rise building that housed Married Accommodation for Lieutenants.

A beautiful young lady opened the door.

I introduced myself.

“Yes, yes, do come in…” she said in a mellifluous voice, “I got my husband’s letter two days ago – I have been expecting you today.”

“Sorry Ma’am, I could not come in the morning…” I said.

I handed her the packet her husband had sent from Cochin.

“Oh, come on – it was so nice of you to get the packet – do sit down – I will get you something to drink – what will you have…?” she said.

“Just a glass of water…” I said – and I sat down on the sofa.

I looked at the lady as she opened the fridge – took out a bottle of water – poured some in a glass – and brought the glass in a tray towards me.

I was impressed by the way she carried herself – she had so much élan, grace and poise.

She excused herself, went into the kitchen and then she came out and asked me:

“Come on – have a drink – the bar is over there – and then we will have dinner – you like chicken, don’t you – or are you a vegetarian…?”

“Ma’am – please don’t take the trouble…”

“What trouble…? There’s no trouble at all – my maid will do the cooking while we talk – in fact it is you who have taken the trouble to deliver the packet – and the least I can do – is to offer you a meal…” she said.

I felt uncomfortable having a hard drink alone in her company – so I asked for a soft drink – and she had one too.

I think she realized that I was feeling a bit awkward – so she tried to put me at ease.

We talked – we had dinner – and the evening passed in a haze of delight.

As I rode my scooter back to ship I thought about her – she was a “Perfect Navy Wife” – her social graces, her etiquette, her polish, her refinement, her poise…

Well – it is difficult for me to describe everything about her in words – so I will just say that she had all the Lady Like Qualities.


A few months later – I ran into her in the US Club Library.

Yes – it was the same “Perfect Navy Wife” with “Lady Like Qualities”.

“Good evening, Ma’am…” I wished her.

“Oh, hello – how are you…?” she said politely.

Suddenly – her husband came in.

He looked at me – he recognized me – and he smiled and said to me:

“Hi – How are you…?”

“Hello, Sir – welcome back to Mumbai…” I said.

“Come – why don’t you join us for a drink – let’s go to the bar…” he said.

“Sure, Sir…” I said.

I walked down to the bar with the Naval Officer and his wife.

We sat down in the club bar.

Those days – it was the custom that the senior officer signs for the drinks – so the officer signed the bar chit to order drinks.

I noticed that his lady wife was giving me a rather curious look.

I smiled at her.

“Why are you calling my husband “Sir” – you are senior to him – aren’t you…?” she asked me.

“No Ma’am – your husband is senior to me…” I said.

“Really…? Are you sure…? I thought that you are senior to my husband…” she said.

“Of course I am sure – your husband is senior to me,” I said.

“That is surprising. You look so old and mature – that is why – when you came home the other day – I thought that you were senior to my husband…” she said.

I did not know what to say.

I certainly did not look that “old” – as if I were an elderly senior citizen.

But – with my copious beard – bulky body size – and rather podgy physique – I certainly looked older than my age.

So – I said to her:

“Yes, Ma’am – you are right – I do look a bit older than my age – and many persons do think that I am more senior than I actually am. In fact – once a senior Lieutenant mistook me for a Lieutenant Commander – and he was surprised when he saw me in uniform next morning.”

“Oh – all that doesn’t matter…” remarked her husband, the senior Lieutenant.

My inter-se seniority may not have mattered to officer – but it did matter to his wife.

Yes – as far as his wife was concerned – it was obvious that my inter-se seniority with her husband did matter to her.

The moment she realized that I was junior to her husband – her demeanor towards me changed drastically.

Earlier – she had treated me with courteous obsequiousness – on the day I had visited her home when she thought that I was senior to her husband.

But now – the moment she realized that I was junior to her husband – her behaviour changed totally – and she was cold and frosty towards me.

The disdain with which she ignored my presence – her scornful vibes – all this made me feel uncomfortable – and I excused myself from their company after a drink – saying that I had to go somewhere.

On my way back to the ship – I had a big laugh.

It was evident that her “Lady Like Qualities” – her LLQ – was quite selective.

Yes – she certainly had “Selective LLQ

In fact – to put it bluntly – this Naval Officer’s Wife was lacking in “Lady Like Qualities(LLQ)

Her Naval Officer husband may have been a “Gentleman” – but she certainly did not display the attributes of a “Lady”.



(Hope this is applicable to Army/Air Force Officer’s Wives as well)

Here is quote from a NWWA (Navy Wives Welfare Association) booklet which encapsulates some prudent advice for a Naval Officer’s Wife:

“You dont wear his (your husband’s) stripes…

There is no such thing as a Senior Wife

There are Senior Officers – and most of them have wives.

There are Junior Officers – and some of them have wives.

All wives are Ladies…

You will not fawn over others and not expect others to fawn over you.

You will be yourself.

And – your own manners, breeding and natural charm will shine through – leaving you with no need for any borrowed stripes – or other borrowed plumage…”

I have seen many such elegant Navy Wives who were perfect ladies – Military Wives who had excellent LADY LIKE QUALITIES or LLQ

Do tell us if you have seen Military Wives with perfect LLQ…?

Also – do tell us some hilarious episodes about “Military Wives” sans LLQ – stories of Military Officers’ Wives who are not “Ladies”…


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.


  1. This blog post is a fictional spoof, pure fiction, satire, 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:

Revised, Updated and Collated Version of My Humor in Uniform Stories Posted by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at 6/10/2014 12:09:00 PM at url: and at urls: and and and etc


  1. 1

    Had a great laugh… I can totally understand every bit of what you have said, being a serving naval Officer’s wife myself. I have encountered wives who’s demeanor changes even towards me after they come to know of the husbands rank. In my case, I was snubbed initially by a lady, however realising later that the man by my side wore the Captains stripes, she became totally nice. All wives indeed are ladies . We don’t wear our husbands stripes.

    And yet I hear women addressing wives of senior officer in the most hilarious way. Heard this? – ” She is Mrs. CO” or “I am going out with Mrs.XO”……. I laugh out loud when I hear something like this.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. 3
    dr. karthik Says:

    well presented. now, with the it boom in the last 2 decades this has spilt over 2 other jobs but the charm of the services,,, a legacy of the british culture gives nostalgic reminders whenever i visit several govt. guest houses, campuses across the country. a spoof on mixed campuses of civilian and the uniformed employees of mother india will b gr8 2 read from u.glimpses of this r strongly prevalent in the lady employees as well when they show different colours with males with their seniors and juniors.the losers r the modern male officers across civilian jobs accdng 2 me as these lady employees have best of both the worlds. india shining more n more. no pun intended only fun, but some clever ladies have shown the path to growth in career and manoevring technologies

    Liked by 1 person

  3. […] posts in my Creative Writing Blog and my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: […]


  4. […] posts in my Creative Writing Blog and my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: and  […]


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