Archive for September 27th, 2018

“Literary” Cadets – “Shanghaied” and “Shipped” to the Literary Festival – Memories of Pune International Literary Festival

September 27, 2018

Tomorrow – on September 28, 2018 – I am going to attend the Pune International Literary Festival 

This evokes memories of the same event I have attended every year since inception 10 years ago.

Wonder if I will meet any “Literary” Cadets at the Literary Festival…

PROLOGUE

In Nautical Parlance “Shanghai” means to enroll or obtain (a sailor) for the crew of a ship by unscrupulous means, as by force or the use of liquor or drugs.

The practice of Shanghaiing dates back to the 1800s and the age of sailing ships.  Ships needed crews – but working conditions on ships were so bad that crews were often obtained by trickery, bribery, force and outright kidnapping – or by getting a man drunk till he passed out or by drugging him to sleep – and then – abducting him on board the ship. When the man woke up after a few hours the ship would be sailing on the high seas  – and the hapless “Shanghaied” sailor could do nothing except complete the voyage.

The nautical term “To Shanghai”  may have its origins in view of the fact that Shanghai (China) was the most common destination of the ships for which such abducted sailors were forcibly conscripted by unscrupulous methods to collect crews for ships sailing from England/America to Shanghai which was considered the most long, risky and difficult sea voyage for which it was difficult to assemble crews since sailors were not willing to sail for such and long, hard and dangerous voyage.

The meaning of the has since become more generic and in broad terms the word “Shanghai” means to induce or compel someone to do something by trickery.

Story of “Literary” Cadets – “Shanghaied” and “Shipped” to the Literary Festival 

Humor in Uniform at the Literary Festival

I am looking forward to attending PILF2018 – the Pune International Literary Festival – scheduled on 28, 29 and 30 September 2018.

This evoked memories of a hilarious episode which happened at the Pune International Literary Festival three years ago in the year 2015 at PILF 2015.

Here is the story for you to read and have a laugh… 

THE STORY OF THE LITERARY “FAUJIS” – SHANGHAIED AND SHIPPED TO THE LITERARY FESTIVAL – AND  ORDERED TO HAVE A GOOD TIME

A Spoof By Vikram Karve 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/humor-in-uniform-ordered-to-have-good.html

MILITARY LIFE – A CRAZY AFFAIR

Many years ago – much before I joined the Navy – when I was in school – I read a book called CATCH-22 

I am glad I read this inimitable war novel – which marvelously brought out the rather bizarre aspects of military life.

“Catch-22” helped me understand military life – and it saved me from going crazy during my long navy career.

While I was in the Navy – almost every moment – I saw similar characters – and parallel situations – like those in Catch-22.

Life in the military is a crazy affair – universally – and I marvel at the ingenious way in which Joseph Heller has portrayed this “craziness in uniform” in his all-time classic World War II novel “Catch-22”.

Now – even after my retirement – whenever I come across “Faujis” and “Faujans” – I realize that nothing much has changed in the military – and – in fact – things in the “Fauj” are going even crazier day-by-day.

Well – in Military Parlance – “Fauj” is a generic term for the Military – Army, Navy and Air Force – and hence – a “Fauji” is a Military Man – and a “Faujan” is a Military Wife.

(By the way – it was an Army Wife who introduced me to the term “Faujan”…).

Coming back to “Catch-22” – let me tell you about a hilarious vignette that I witnessed last year at the Pune International Literary Festival 2015 aka PILF 2015 

ORDERED TO HAVE A GOOD TIME

But – before I do that – I shall briefly summon up an amusing anecdote from Chapter 3 of “Catch-22” – which has a remarkable similarity to the incident I am going to describe.

A “pen-pusher” Colonel from Rear-Headquarters comes to a frontline airbase – and the Colonel peremptorily orders Combat Officers to attend USO entertainment shows.

The Military Bureaucracy back home has organized these USO shows to raise the morale of the officers fighting the war.

However – the combat-weary officers are least interested in watching these boring USO shows.

The officers just want to survive the war – complete their required combat missions – and go home in one piece at the end of their tour of duty.

The only thing that will “raise the morale” of these warfighting officers is “orders shipping them home” – not USO entertainment shows.

So – in a “role reversal” – as per directives of higher-ups who have arranged these USO Troupes – the Colonel orders all Officers to attend these USO shows in full strength in order to “boost the morale of the artists” of the USO troupes.

The Colonel assembles all officers and gives them a “pep talk”.

Referring to the USO troupe artists – the Colonel says:

“…these people are your guests – they have traveled over three thousand miles to entertain you. How will they feel if nobody wants to go out and watch them…? What’s going to happen to their morale? … I want every one of you who isn’t sick enough to be in a hospital to go to that USO show right now and have a good time – and that’s an order

The Officers were not interested in attending the USO show.

But – they were being “ordered” by the Colonel to go to the USO show and have a “good time”

Yes – the Colonel was ordering his officers to “enjoy a boring event” – like the USO show – just to boost the morale of the artists.

Ha Ha Ha – what an irony:

Instead of the entertainers boosting the morale of officers – the officers are asked to boost the morale of the entertainers.

The Colonel was not concerned about the morale of his own troops.

He was more interested in the morale of the artists (who had come all the way to boost the morale of the soldiers by entertaining them by a USO show in which the troops were least interested).

Ha Ha – the demoralized Officers were being ordered to boost the “morale” of those who had come to raise the Officers’ morale.

It is true – in the Military – you can be “ordered” to have a “good time”.

Such incidents happened many times during my Navy days – when we were ordered to attend events which we were least interested in watching – just to boost the “morale” of those who had come to raise our morale.

It must have been in similar style that:

Cadets were ordered to go to the literary festival–  to boost the “morale” of the Author – who had written a book – to boost the “morale” of the Cadets.

SHANGHAIED AND SHIPPED TO THE LITERARY FESTIVAL

As I told you earlier – 3 years ago – I attended the Pune International Literary Festival 2015 – a truly delightful event.

On the last day of the Literary Festival – a Sunday afternoon – there was a book launch of a “Military Novel” on Cadet Life.

The author is an accomplished creative writer – a successful novelist – and – in her earlier days – she was a prolific writer of short fiction – and I loved reading her stories published in many magazines.

Also – the author is a “Faujan” (Military Wife – or rather – a Veteran Military Wife).

So – who better than a “Fauji” Army General to launch her book (a “Literary” General).

Oh yes – for the book launch – along with the “Literary” General – there was a “Creative” Police Officer too – who regaled the audience with yarns from his police academy days.

Well – the book launch was at 3 PM in the afternoon – and we sat eagerly in the hall – waiting for the event to start.

Suddenly – we saw one of the organizers going berserk – a young girl – who frantically asked us to move forward as she screamed crazily:

“We need 300 chairs – the cadets are coming – the cadets are coming – 300 NDA cadets are coming…”

I am sure you know that “NDA” is the acronym for the elite “National Defence Academy” located at Khadakwasla near Pune.

The panicky shouts of the girl:

“NDA Cadets are coming – NDA Cadets are coming…”

this reminded me of the Hollywood Comedy Movie that I had seen 50 years ago in the 1960’s:

“The Russians Are Coming – The Russians Are Coming…”

I was flabbergasted.

NDA Cadets – in a Literary Festival – it was unbelievable.

Why on earth would NDA Cadets want to waste a precious Sunday afternoon at a Literary Festival – when they could enjoy their well-earned “liberty” – gallivanting on Main Street (MG Road) or Fergusson College (FC) Road – or “birdwatching” in a Mall – or watching a movie in a Multiplex…?

NDA Cadets on a Sunday afternoon at a Literary Festival…?

It was baffling.

There could be two possible explanations for this.

Version 1: (Highly Unlikely)

Nowadays – things have changed from yesteryear – and – NDA is full of “literary” cadets.

Now – these budding “litterateurs” were extremely keen to spend their Sunday afternoon liberty time attending a Literary Festival rather than having a good time hanging out in Pune or sleeping in their cabins.

Version 2: (Most Likely)

The “Literary” General had “desired” that he wanted to see a “house-full” – he wanted the entire hall packed with “captive” audience – when he launched the book.

So all Cadets enjoying their Sunday afternoon siesta in their cabins were rudely woken up – and – they were rounded up – and “shanghaied” into a bus – which brought them straight to the Literary Festival venue in time for the book launch – to fill up the hall with a “captive audience”

A witty young “faujan” sitting next to me commented that cadets were being given a taste of the “fauji” life they were going to face later as officers – when they would be on duty 24/7 – even in salubrious peacetime stations – and most of their Sundays would be ruined

We waited with trepidation for the onslaught of cadets – but there were no cadets visible even till 3:15 PM.

It seems that punctuality is no longer the hallmark of the defence services.

The organizers waited for some time – and – at 3:20 – they decided to start the event.

However – the “Literary” General and “Faujan” Author wanted the NDA Cadets to be present when they launched the book.

So – the “Faujan” Author spent time in “small talk” about how her “Fauji” husband had inspired her to write about Cadet Life.

It was quite clear who was the “protagonist” in her novel – maybe the “Fauji” husband wanted vicarious creative fulfilment – and he had asked his accomplished “Faujan” wife to write his “slice of life” story.

Around 15 minutes later – well past 3:30 PM – the NDA cadets arrived.

When asked why NDA Cadets had arrived more than 30 minutes late – we were told a “Tall Story” that the NDA bus had broken down midway.

Maybe the NDA bus had really broken down – but this was quite unlikely in view of the high standards of vehicle maintenance in the Military – especially NDA.

Or – more likely – it had taken a considerable amount of time to search and round up “volunteers” – to have a “good time” at the literary event – since most cadets must have gone into hiding – trying to escape from being “shanghaied” to the literary festival.

This second explanation seems more likely – since – instead of the much touted figure of 300 cadets – there were just around 50 “literary” cadets – who the NDA authorities had finally managed to “capture” and “shanghai” to the literary event.

(It is also possible that some cadets may have “escaped” to Pune City when the bus broke down midway on its journey to the literary festival).

The noisy cadets – dressed in the prescribed “mufti” civil uniform – soon settled down – and the book launch began in right earnest – and the book was released from its gift wrapping.

The “Faujan” Author spoke about her book – and her earlier one – both stories based on cadet life in the premier military academies – NDA and IMA.

The “Literary” General narrated “memoirs” of his NDA days.

Not to be left behind – the “Creative” Cop harked back to his Police Academy days.

It seemed that these reminiscences certainly struck a chord with the “captive” audience – who were probably “enjoying” similar experiences during cadet training at the academy.

Suddenly – the “Faujan” Author saw a “celebrated” novelist sitting in the audience.

The “Faujan” Author invited the “celebrated” writer on stage.

The “celebrated” Writer told us that – many years ago – he too had been selected for NDA by the Services Selection Board (SSB) – but – he was rejected on medical grounds.

The Writer lamented that had he been medically fit – he would have joined the “XXX” course of NDA – and – he wondered what rank would he have achieved had he joined the NDA.

A smart young man in the audience stood up and he said that he was from the same “XXX” course – and he informed us that was a Lieutenant Colonel.

The “Literary” General commented to the “Celebrated” Novelist that – maybe his getting medically rejected was a “blessing in disguise”.

I wonder what the “Literary” General implied…?

Was the “Literary” General saying that the Writer would not have been able to achieve much in the Army (“Fauj”)…?

Or – was the “Literary” General saying that – being a Published Author is much better – than being a run-of-the-mill “Fauji” Army Officer…?

The cadets were listening intently.

Or – at least – the cadets were making a pretence of attentiveness – because:

When you are a Cadet – you even learn to sleep with your eyes wide open.

The “Faujan” Author read out interesting excerpts from her novel on cadet life.

Then – there was a quiz for the cadets – and winners were given autographed copies of the book.

And – all of a sudden – the organizers announced that time was up – and the next event was about to begin in the same hall.

And so – the literary event ended.

All’s well that ends well.

THE EX-NDA NAVY VETERAN AUTHOR 

I walked down to the lawns to attend another event of interest to “Faujis” – a book reading by a Retired Naval Officer who was the first Indian to circumnavigate the world solo under sail.

Yes – this redoubtable Navy Officer had achieved this awesome maritime conquest of sailing around the globe in a sailboat all alone – solo – and the Navy Commander had written a fascinating account of his adventures on the high seas during his solo circumnavigation of the earth in a boat.

I thought the NDA cadets would be interested in hearing the Navy Veteran narrate his nautical adventures first-hand from his book – especially since the Veteran Naval Officer was an ex-NDA cadet.

But – the NDA cadets were nowhere to be seen.

The NDA Cadets had attended the book launch of a “Faujan” Military Wife Author.

But – these same NDA Cadets were conspicuous by their absence at the Book Reading by an ex-NDA Navy Veteran – who was narrating his fascinating experiences at Sea – while circumnavigating the globe solo under sail.

Maybe – the NDA Cadets were not attending this ex-NDA Navy Veteran’s book reading – because they had not been “ordered” to do so.

But – the NDA Cadets had attended the Military Wife’s book launch because they had been “ordered” to do so.

In the Military – you blindly obey “orders” – you never use your discretion – even in literary matters.

Since the NDA Cadets were not “ordered” to attend the ex-NDA Navy Veteran’s book reading – most probably – the NDA Cadets had rushed to Pune City to enjoy what was left of the Sunday “liberty”.

Or – maybe – the NDA Cadets had been “shanghaied” right back into the bus – and transported back to NDA – now that their “Mission Book Launch” was over.

Also – I had expected the “Literary” General to attend the book reading session of his “brother” ex-NDA Navy Officer and listen to his fantastic seafaring exploits.

However – I saw “Literary General” driving off arrogantly in his “staff car”.

The ex-NDA General had no time for his fellow ex-NDA Officer who had written a fascinating book on his Navy adventure sailing alone on the high seas circumnavigating the globe.

Maybe – the “Literary General” had to attend to his more pressing Sunday Evening “Duties”.

Introspecting of the conspicuous absence of the ex-NDA General, NDA Cadets and ex-NDA Officers at their fellow ex-NDA Naval Officer’s book reading – and that too – a book on a Real Life Naval Adventure – I wondered:

What has happened to all that “camaraderie” – that ex-NDA officers boast about…?

Hey – I am digressing.

This story was about military life – “humor in uniform” – about how you are “ordered” to “volunteer” – like the NDA cadets who apparently had been commandeered and transported to the Pune International Literary Festival –“shanghaied” and “shipped” – to the book launch – and – “ordered” to have a “good time”.

In the Literary Festival – on the one hand – I observed the languid NDA cadets – and in contrast – I looked at the lively College Students of the same age group.

And – I realized – that – though the world has moved on ahead – the Military is still stuck in the past

Yes – the Defence Services seem to be stuck in an antiquated “time warp” – at least culturally.

I was reminded of many such episodes in my Navy life – when we too were “detailed” to “volunteer” – and I must tell you about them – but not now – maybe some other time – right here – in my blog.

That’s the beauty of Military Life – you learn to have a “good time” – even when you are “ordered” to do so.

And – if you are thinking of joining the Armed Forces and having a life in uniform – do read “Catch-22” – it will save you from going crazy.

EPILOGUE

I wonder whether NDA Cadets are being “Ordered” to have a “Good Time” at the Literary Festival this year…?

That – we will come to know tomorrow – at the Pune International Literary Festival 2018

See you there…!!!

Dear Reader:

I hope you are coming for the Pune Literary Festival.

 Or – do you want me to “Order” you to have a “Good Time” at the Literary Festival…!!!

VIKRAM KARVE

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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.

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Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/humor-in-uniform-ordered-to-have-good.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised re-post of my story SHANGHAIED TO THE LITERARY FESTIVAL posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier in my blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal on Sep 10, 2015 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/09/humor-in-uniform-shanghaied-to-literary.html  and revised and reposted at url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/08/17/humor-in-uniform-how-to-shanghai-and-ship/ and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/humor-in-uniform-literary-faujis.html

The “Ghostwriter” – Memories of the Pune International Literary Festival 

September 27, 2018

Tomorrow – on September 28, 2018 – I am going to attend the Pune International Literary Festival 

This evokes memories of the same event I have attended every year since inception 10 years ago.

Maybe – I will meet my friend – The “Ghostwriter”…

THE GHOSTWRITER

A Story By Vikram Karve

Circa August 2015 – At a Literary Festival 

Unforgettable tête-à-tête at the Literary Festival

“Is it you…?” I asked.

“Of course – it is ‘Me’…” she said.

“It is so nice to meet you after so many years…” I said.

“Yes – it’s great to meet you too after so many years – it’s been 15 years – isn’t it…?” she said.

15 years ago – in the year 2000 – we had met at a Creative Writers’ Workshop in Mumbai.

In the workshop – at 45 – I must have been the “oldest” participant – and – she – barely 20 – still a college student – was surely the youngest.

During the workshop we were asked to read out our creative writing – the fiction short stories we had written – and – I remembered her the most among all participants – because she had a unique ‘peppy’ writing style – she wrote a lot of ‘dialogue’ – in fact – some of her stories were entirely in dialogue – and this made her writing very lively and a joy to read.

Once – when we were asked to form ‘pairs’ – to evaluate each other’s writing – she chose me as her ‘partner’.

“Why did you choose an ‘old fogey’ like me…?” I said to her, surprised.

“Well – you seem genuinely interested in my writing – the others seem to be more interested in me than my writing…” she said, pithily.

As it happens most of the time – after the workshop – all of us participants promised to keep in touch with each other – but – soon – we got busy in our day-to-day affairs and we lost contact with each other.

But – I always remembered my young ‘partner’ – especially her lively writing style – and – in fact – I tried to emulate her sprightly storytelling style in my own writing – and I wrote plenty of ‘dialogue’ in my stories.

Now – 15 years later – it was a pleasant surprise to run into her at a Literary Festival in Pune.

“I am really delighted to see you…” I said.

“Me too…” she said.

I looked at her and said:

“I don’t know whether it is a coincidence – or serendipity – but just last week – I was browsing in a bookstore in Mumbai – and there was a book-launch – a celebrity ‘autobiography’…”

Celebrity ‘autobiography’…?” she interrupted.

“Yes – a book authored by ‘XXX’ – I am sure you have heard of her…” I said.

“Of course – I have heard of ‘XXX’ – who doesn’t know her…?” she said.

“Yes – it was the book-launch of the autobiography written by ‘XXX’ – and – I don’t know why – but they gave away free copies of the book to all of us who attended the book-launch…” I said.

“Really…? That is quite generous of them. Maybe the book isn’t selling…” she commented.

“Not at all – the book is selling very well. In fact – this book has become a highly successful ‘bestseller’…” I said.

“Wow – but what was the ‘coincidence’ you were talking about…?” she asked.

“Oh yes – about the ‘coincidence’. Well – I read the book on the Deccan Queen that evening on the way back to Pune. And while reading it – do you know what I discovered…?” I said.

“What…?” she asked me.

“Her writing style is exactly like your unique writing style. This celebrity – ‘XXX’ – she writes exactly like you used to write – plenty of ‘dialogue’. Just imagine – it is an ‘autobiography’ – but instead of ‘description’ – the ‘celebrity’ has written plenty of ‘dialogue’ – just like you used to write – and this makes his life-story so ‘lively’ – just like your writing style – like you used to write during those Creative Writers’ Workshop days…” I said.

“Really…? Are you trying to say that this ‘celebrity author’ is trying to imitate me…?” she asked with a naughty smile.

“Come – I will show you – the book is for sale at the bookshop they have set up in the literary festival near the entrance to the main hall…” I said.

I took her to the bookshop display – and I pointed out the book to her.

“Oh – that book …” she said, with a wry smile.

“Yes – the way it is written – it is so much like your distinctive style – when I read it – I almost thought that you have written the book…” I said.

“I have written that book…” she said, nonchalantly.

“What…” I asked, bewildered.

“Yes – I have written the book…” she repeated, coolly.

“You have written the book…? How is that possible…? It is the ‘autobiography’ of a ‘celebrity’…” I said, puzzled.

“I have ‘ghostwritten’ the book…” she said.

“Ghostwritten…?” I said, perplexed.

“Yes – the entire book was written by me – and the ‘celebrity’ ‘XXX’ is credited as the author…” she said.

“Really…? Well – the ‘celebrity’ has expressed her gratitude to so many persons – but I did not see your name anywhere – she hasn’t even bothered to mention your name in the acknowledgements…” I said.

“Why should she take the risk mentioning my name anywhere in the book…? Surely – she doesn’t want to let the cat out of the bag – if the truth gets known – she will be exposed as a ‘fake’ author. Just imagine – if people come to know that her ‘autobiography’ has been ‘ghostwritten’ – what will happen to her carefully cultivated image as an ‘accomplished author’…?”

“But you can always tell the world that it is you who wrote the book. Why don’t you tell everyone that you are the actual author of the book – and not ‘XXX – why should she take credit for your work…?” I asked her.

“I have signed a nondisclosure contract that legally forbids me to mention my role in the writing project…” she said.

“A contract…? For writing a book in someone else’s name…?” I asked.

“Yes – there is a ‘confidentiality clause’ in the contract that obligates me to remain ‘anonymous’. Well – the ‘XXX’ is the ‘credited author’ and I have signed off all my rights to her – this is what all ghostwriters have to do – a ‘ghostwriter’ has to give away all her rights and copyrights to the ‘credited author’…” she said.

“But – don’t you feel bad about it – someone else taking credit for your creative work…” I asked.

“I need the money…” she said.

“Money…” I asked her.

“Do you how much money “XXX” paid me for ghostwriting her ‘autobiography’…?” she said.

“How much…?” I asked her.

She told me the amount.

I was stunned when I heard the figure.

It was a staggering amount of money – well beyond my imagination – she was paid more money for ghostwriting the book than I earned in an entire year.

“I know what you are thinking…” she said.

“What…?” I asked.

She looked at me – and she said to me:

“You are wondering why I am ‘selling my soul’ for easy money – aren’t you…?”

“You must be feeling terrible, isn’t it – someone else taking full credit for your creative efforts…” I said.

“Of course it feels bad – after all – creative recognition has its own intrinsic value…” she said, “but then – I told you that I need the money…”

I looked at her – confused – wondering whether I should despise her for her unethical conduct – or admire her for her pragmatic attitude.

For sometime – we sat in silence.

Then – suddenly – she said to me:

“Hey – when is your session…?”

“Session…” I asked.

“Have you become ‘absent minded’ or what…?” she said, “It is already 3 o’clock and you are supposed to conduct a workshop on ‘Blogging’ at 3:30…”

She opened the program schedule – and pointed it out to me:

“Here it is – ‘Workshop on Blogging’ – by you – at 3:30 – in Hall No. 3…”

“Oh yes…” I said, “in fact – I have come to the literary festival mainly for that…”

“Even I have come to the literary festival today mainly for your ‘Blogging Workshop’…” she said.

“Really – I can’t believe it – I am no great writer…” I said.

“Well – you are a top ‘Blogger’ – you are so prolific – you write on so many topics – fiction – ‘non-fiction’ – technology – management – food – book reviews – self-help – philosophy – education – so many varied genres – and you post a blog every day – do you even know the huge number of ‘page-views’ your blog gets every day…?” she asked.

“No – I just blog and forget about it…” I said.

She looked at her watch and said:

“Hey – let’s go – you don’t want to be late for your session – do you…?”

After the workshop – we went to the café for a cup of tea.

“Well – you landing up at the book-launch of my ‘ghostwritten’ book may have been serendipity – but my meeting you here is no coincidence – as I told you – I came here to the Literary Festival specifically to meet you…” she said.

“Really…” I asked.

She pulled out a business card from her purse – and she gave it to me.

“Wow – you are the ‘Director’ of a ‘PR Consultancy Firm’…” I said.

“Well – I can’t call it a ‘Ghostwriting Consultancy’ – can I…?” she said, “…PR is a ‘catch-all’ euphemism for everything – ‘ethical’ and ‘not so ethical’…”

I looked at the business card and said:

“So – you do all types of ‘ghostwriting’ – even ‘professional articles’, ‘research papers’, ‘dissertations’ and ‘thesis’…”

She said to me:

“You name it – and we ‘ghostwrite’ it.

Well – I look after the ‘creative writing’ assignments.

But – for other more specialized technical ‘projects’ we commission appropriately qualified ‘ghostwriters’ – or – ‘researchers’ – as we call them. 

Let me tell you that there are many persons in the corporate sector and industry who want to masquerade as “experts” – but they do not have the requisite professional knowledge – nor do they possess good writing skills – so they come to us to do ‘research’ and ‘ghostwrite’ – for articles and books – which are published under their names to build up their professional credibility.

And – of course – there are the “rich and famous” celebrities who want to build a façade of a “literary image” and wish “show off” their “literary achievements” as “successful authors” by “writing” bestseller books which are hailed as “literary classics…”

I listened awestruck – and then I said to her:

“Hey – you didn’t tell me why you wanted to meet me…?”

“I have been following your blog for quite some time now – and I really admire the way you blog so passionately – and now – after I saw the way you conducted the ‘Blogging Workshop’ – I am really impressed…” she said.

“Thanks…” I said.

Then – she looked at me – directly into my eyes – and she said to me:

“Well – if you want to ‘sell your soul’ – do give me a call…”

“Sell my soul…?” I asked, puzzled.

“We need a ‘Blog Ghostwriter’ – and who better to ‘ghostwrite’ blogs than you…?” she said.

“But…” I stammered.

“Think about it…” she interrupted, “you can earn a substantial amount of money if you ‘encash’ your talent…”

“…‘encash’ my talent…” I mumbled, incoherently.

She looked at her watch – and said to me:

“Hey – it is already 5:30 – time for me to go…”

She typed out an SMS on her jazzy ‘Smartphone’ – and sent it.

“Come…” she said, “I have called my car…”

We walked to the foyer.

A chauffeur driven SUV car appeared at the foyer – and stopped before us.

Before I could react – the smartly dressed chauffeur got out and opened the door for her.

Before she got into her luxury car – she said to me:

“I will wait for your call. There is a tremendous market for ‘Blog Ghostwriting” – and – with your talent – the sky’s the limit – you cannot even imagine the amount of money you will be able to earn – your life will change…”

After she drove off in style – I trudged towards the bus stop.

I stood in the queue waiting for a bus – and I thought about the eventful day at the literary festival – especially the unforgettable tête-à-tête with the ‘Ghostwriter’.

EPILOGUE

At night – I sat in front of my laptop – to write a blog post about my day at the literary festival.

I took out the business card my ‘Ghostwriter’ friend had given me – and I looked at it.

I asked myself – what did I want in life…?

What was more important for me – ‘intrinsic satisfaction’ and ‘creative recognition’ by writing under my own name – or – ‘extrinsic reward’ by ‘selling my soul’ and ‘ghostwriting’ in anonymity…

My ‘inner voice’ spoke to me – clearly and distinctly.

I was not going to “sell my soul”.

I was not going to sell my creativity.

So – I tore up the business card – and I threw it in the dustbin.

Then – I started writing this blog post – under my very own name.

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:

This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in this 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/2016/07/creativity-on-sale-ghostwriter.html

Repost of my Story GHOST WRITER posted online by me Vikram Karve around three years ago in Dec 2015 (and reposted a few times) at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/12/ghost-writer.html  and  https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/08/12/how-to-sell-your-soul/and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/pr-girl-in-corporate-communications.html

Section 497 Scrapped – Effect on the Military – Will “Stealing the Affection of a Brother Officer’s Wife” be okay…? 

September 27, 2018

ADULTERY in UNIFORM

Section 497 Scrapped – Ramifications for Armed Forces

A Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer: I am not a “legal eagle” – nor am I a “Sea Lawyer”. This article is a spoof, a piece of humor, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.

Today’s “Section 497 Verdict” has struck down Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code (IPC).

Section 497 of the Indian Penal Code is given below:

  1. Adultery.—Whoever has sexual intercourse with a person who is and whom he knows or has reason to believe to be the wife of another man, without the consent or connivance of that man, such sexual intercourse not amounting to the offence of rape, is guilty of the offence of adultery, and shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to five years, or with fine, or with both. In such case the wife shall not be punishable as an abettor.

With the above Section 497 scrapped – henceforth – it is not a crime for married persons to indulge in consensual extramarital sexual activities (although it may be a ground for divorce).

Will there be any ramifications of the “Section 497 Verdict” on the Defence Services…?

One wonders whether the Armed Forces will treat “consensual extramarital sex” between Married Military Personnel as acceptable and lawful…?

By the way – the term “stealing affections” is the military euphemism for “adultery”.

So – will adultery or “stealing affections” of wives/husbands of fellow military personnel no longer be an “offence”…?

(Before I attempt to answer the question – Dear Reader – let me remind you once again that I am no “legal eagle” – nor am I a “Sea Lawyer” – and – being a Naval Veteran – I shall let my imagination run wild in the context of the Navy with the hope that some “expert” Army /Air Veterans will like to “pontificate” on the implications of the “Section 497 Verdict” on their respective services…)

Will Navy treat “consensual extramarital sex” between Married Naval Personnel as lawful…?

Will adultery and extra-marital affairs become acceptable in the naval environment…?

Will “Stealing the Affection” of a Brother Officer’s Wife not be considered an “offence”…?

If YES – it is fine.

If NO – how will the Navy tackle adultery, extramarital affairs and “Stealing Affection” cases in the Naval Environment…?

Prior to the “Section 497 Verdict” that has decriminalized Adultery – Navy could use Section 77 of the Navy Act to punish Naval Personnel committing adultery which was then an offence under Section 497 of IPC.

(Section 77 of the Navy Act provides for punishment of Naval Personnel for Civil Offences)

Now – after the scrapping of Section 497 – adultery is no longer a punishable offence under the IPC – so – Naval Personnel indulging in extramarital sexual affairs (including “Stealing Affections” of Brother Officers’ Wives) – they do not commit any “civil” offence – hence – Section 77 of the Navy Act is not applicable.

So – in case the Navy wishes to punish extramarital sex among Naval Personnel/Families – will the Navy take recourse to the “catch all” provisions of The Navy Act, 1957 which can be used to label almost anything as an “offence”…?

One wonders whether these provisions were deliberately made ambiguous so that they become “all encompassing” and can be “interpreted” as convenient by senior officers.

Let us have a look at these three sections of the Navy Act (Sections 53, 54 and 74 in Chapter VIII – Articles of War)

(The “Articles of War” are a set of regulations – the statutory provisions in the Navy Act that regulate and govern the conduct of Officers and Sailors of the Navy)

SECTION 54 of THE NAVY ACT, 1957

Cruelty and conduct unbecoming the character of an officer

Section 54

(1) Every officer subject to naval law who is guilty of cruelty shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to seven years or such other punishment as is hereinafter mentioned.

(2) Every officer subject to naval law who is guilty of any scandalous or fraudulent conduct or of any conduct unbecoming the character of an officer shall be punished with imprisonment for a term, which may extend to two years or such other punishment as is hereinafter mentioned.

Firstly – this section applies to officers only. So – sailors cannot be punished under this section.

Secondly – “consensual sex” cannot be treated as “cruelty” – so Section 54 (1) is not applicable.

Now – as far as Section 54 (2) is concerned – the “moot question” is:

Can “stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife” be deemed to be “scandalous or fraudulent conduct or conduct “unbecoming” the character of an officer”…?

SECTION 74 of THE NAVY ACT, 1957

Offences against good order and naval discipline

Section 74

Every person subject to naval law who is guilty of an act, disorder, or neglect to the prejudice of good order and naval discipline, not hereinbefore specified, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to three years or such other punishment as is hereinafter mentioned.

Whereas Section 54 was applicable only to Naval Officers – Section 74 applies to all Naval Personnel.

The “moot question” is:

Can adultery or “extramarital sex” between Naval Personnel/Families be deemed an act “to the prejudice of good order and naval discipline”…?

As I said earlier – the phrase “to the prejudice of good order and naval discipline” is quite subjective in nature since the exact meaning of the term “to the prejudice of good order and naval discipline” has not been precisely defined and interpretation may depend on the perception of the senior officer.

A conservative “prudish” officer may feel that consensual extramarital sex is an act “to the prejudice of good order and naval discipline” – whereas a liberal “broad-minded” officer may think otherwise.

SECTION 53 of THE NAVY ACT, 1957

Uncleanness or indecent acts

Section 53

Every person subject to naval law who is guilty of, –

(a) uncleanness; or

(b) any indecent act;

shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may be extend to two years or such other punishment as is hereinafter mentioned.

Here – the “moot question” is:

Can “consensual sex” be deemed an “unclean” or “indecent” act…?

Or – does sex become “unclean” or “indecent” only when sex is “extramarital”…?

Is it valid to say that “intra-marital” sex is “clean” and “decent” – but – “extra-marital” sex is “unclean” and “indecent”…?

What is “clean” and what is “unclean” – what is “decent” and what is “indecent” – it depends on the perception of the senior officer.

Of course – in the Naval Environment – Public Display of Extra-Marital “Affection” by Naval Personnel may be deemed “indecent” – but can “Private Sexual Activity” be deemed “indecent”…?

(During my long Naval Career – I had not come across anyone being punished for an “unclean” act or “indecent” act – so – I wondered if Section 53 had ever been used to punish a Naval Officer/Sailor. So – I searched on the internet – and I found a News Report which said that a sailor had been found guilty under Section 53(b) of the Navy Act)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

What will be the ramifications of the “Section 497 Verdict” on the Armed Forces…?

Will adultery no longer be taboo in the military environment…?

Will “Stealing the Affection of a Brother Officer’s Wife” no longer be an “offence” in the Armed Forces…?

Or – will the Armed Forces use “catch all” rules/regulations (like Sections 53, 54 and 74 of Navy Act) to punish Adultery…?

(I am not sure but I feel that Army and Air Force Acts too have similar provisions like Sections 53, 54 and 74 of Navy Act…)

Will there be a Fraternization Policy for consensual sex among Military Personnel/Families…?

Dear Reader – please comment and tell us – what do you think will happen…?

After the “Section 497 Verdict” – how will the Armed Forces treat “Adultery” in the Military Environment…?

Will “Stealing the Affection of a Brother Officer’s Wife” be treated as lawful and acceptable…?

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 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 is 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)

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