Archive for October 2018

Military Musings – The Officers’ Mess – Genesis and Ethos

October 31, 2018

The Officers’ Mess 

I participated in an interesting discussion on the Social Media regarding the increasing “VIP Culture” in Officers Messes, Institutes and Clubs.

This reminded me of an article I had written a few years ago.

Dear Reader: Here is the article for your perusal and comments:

MESS = MAINTENANCE OF EQUAL SOCIAL STATUS
Musings on the “Military Class System”
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Owing to the nature of their warfighting role – since ancient history – and right till the present day – military forces throughout the world are “class based” organisations.

Hence – the “Military Class System” is still prevalent in Indian Armed Forces – and indeed this military class system exists in armed forces throughout the world.

Military Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force) have 2 Classes:

1. Officers

and

2. PBOR

PBOR is an acronym for “Personnel Below Officer Rank” which includes Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen)

In various nations – PBOR are also called by other names like “enlisted men” etc.

Since Officers and PBOR are two distinct classes – in order to maintain hierarchy and discipline – fraternisation is prohibited between Officers and PBOR.

That is why there are separate messes for Officers and PBOR.

(Also – in the Indian Army – there is a peculiar class called Junior Commissioned Officer (JCO) which is a colonial legacy of the British Raj)

But – since this is a generic article which deals with all Defence Officers of the 3 Armed Forces – this aspect is not quite relevant here.

All Officers belong to one class.

That is why I was quite surprised to hear some Army Officers say that someone had proposed a bizarre idea to divide Officers into two classes (“Colonels and Below” & “Brigadiers and above”) and have separate Officers Messes for the two classes.

It is laughable that some top-brass feel that Colonels are “Junior” Officers – whereas in earlier days even Lieutenant Colonels were considered “Senior” Officers.

Maybe this is a result of devaluation of rank due to repeated Cadre Reviews – especially AVS Cadre Review.

Hey – I have digressed.

We were talking about the bizarre idea of having separate Officers Messes for “Senior Officers” and “Junior Officers”.

This prompts me to delve into my “Humor in Uniform” archives and pull out this article I had written almost 7 years ago on “DEFINITION AND MEANING OF OFFICERS MESS (Maintenance of Equal Social Status)”

Read on – and do tell me if you agree with my views – or you think that my views are “antiquated gibberish” of an old fogey – Ha Ha…

ARMY OFFICERS MESS and NAVY WARDROOM
MAINTENANCE OF EQUAL SOCIAL STATUS – NO PLACE FOR VIP CULTURE
Ramblings of a Navy Veteran
By
VIKRAM KARVE

WARDROOM

Sometime ago – a young Army Officer asked me why a Navy Officers’ Mess is called a Wardroom 

I had asked the same question to a senior Naval Officer long ago – in the 1970’s – when I joined the Navy.

Here is the answer:

The Genesis of the term WARDROOM
(“Wardroom” is a “Navy Officers’ Mess”)

In the 18th Century – in the British Royal Navy – warships had a large compartment called “WARDROBE”.

This compartment – the “Wardrobe” – was used for storing “prizes of war”, booty and valuables, plundered from foreign ships at sea and looted in conquests on shores of other countries.

The wardrobe was generally located near the officers’ accommodation (cabins).

When the wardrobe was empty, especially during the outward voyage, the officers began using this “wardrobe” compartment for dining and lounging, to have their meals and to congregate and pass time together.

As the days of plundering and looting ended – the wardrobe was used exclusively by officers as a lounge and for eating meals.

Gradually – the wardrobe became the officers’ mess and lounge, and having been elevated from a “closet” to a “room”, instead of “Ward Robe” it was now called the “Ward Room”.

Whereas – Officers dined in the Wardroom – Sailors dined in “Messes” on board Warships.

When it first appeared in English, “mess” meant a portion of food (from the Old French word “mes” which means “a dish”).

Later – “mess” came to refer to a group of people, who sat together at a meal and were served from the same dishes.

In warships – a group of sailors would sit together at one table and were served from the same dishes – in a “mess”, and those who habitually sat together were messmates.

There is one “wardroom” for officers on a warship – but – depending on the size of the ship – there may be many separate department-wise “mess-rooms” for junior sailors – and – one or two senior sailors’ mess-rooms.

Soon – the term “mess-room” was itself later contracted to “mess”.

So now – in the Navy – a modern warship has a “wardroom” for Officers – and – “messes” for Sailors.

In the Navy – even commissioned establishments ashore (Stone Frigates) are referred to as “ships” – and therefore – even Naval Shore Establishments have “Wardrooms”.

The Army and Air Force have Officers’ Messes.

To put it in a nutshell – let us say that – a “Wardroom” is a “Navy Officers’ Mess”.

I told you, above – the genesis of the term “MESS”.

However – in the article below – I shall give a completely different connotation to the term “MESS”.

Dear Reader – especially Military Officers and Veterans – do let me know your views on this meaning of “MESS”:

OFFICERS’ MESS

WHAT IS AN OFFICERS’ MESS…?

If you have served in the Army, Navy or Air Force – or are familiar with Military Life – I am sure you know what is an OFFICERS MESS

In the Navy – an Officers Mess is called WARDROOM or Wardroom Mess.

(I have explained the genesis of the Naval term WARDROOM above).

There are two words in the term OFFICERS MESS

The first word OFFICERS is the plural of Officer – and surely you know what the term“OFFICER” means – especially in the context of the Military.

But – do you know what the word MESS stands for…?

Maybe you know.

But – in case you don’t know – then let me tell you what the term MESS means.

Actually – the word MESS is an acronym.

The acronym MESS is the short form for Maintenance of Equal Social Status.

Yes:

MESS = MAINTENANCE OF EQUAL SOCIAL STATUS

The very aim of an Officers Mess’ is to maintain Equal Social Status among all its members – irrespective of their ranks.

Long back – during a party – I heard an Admiral once say:

“All Officers have equal social status.

Ranks are for administrative purposes only…”

If I recall correctly – he attributed this maxim to Field Marshal Cariappa.

Field Marshal Cariappa probably felt that excessive rank consciousness among officers and their families at social functions would adversely affect camaraderie among officers.

As a consequence – such blatant display of rank discrimination would damage cohesion of the officer cadre.

The “Military Class System” is still prevalent in Indian Armed Forces – and indeed this “military class system” exists in Armed Forces throughout the world.

In the Armed Forces (Army, Navy, Air Force) there are two classes:

1. Officers

and

2. PBOR (Personnel Below Officer Rank which includes Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen)

Hence – all officers belong to one class.

That is why – in an Officers Mess – all members are equal – and all officers who are members of the mess have the same social status – irrespective of the ranks and positions they hold outside the Mess.

ALL MILITARY OFFICERS HAVE EQUAL SOCIAL STATUS

In the Army – there is a saying:

“Rank Has Its Privileges” (acronym RHIP).

But – RHIP is outside the Officers Mess.

Yes – Rank may give you privileges outside the Officers Mess – but inside the Mess – all Officers enjoy Equal Social Status.

Hence – all Officers – especially the Senior Officers – must remember that RHIP operates outside the Mess or Wardroom.

Inside the Mess – it is all about comradeship, friendship and fellowship – and that is why all members enjoy equal social status.

Since all Officers enjoy“Equal Social Status”:

There is no place for “VIP Culture” inside the Officers’ Mess.

Hence – the increasing “VIP Culture” is against the ethos of an Officers’ Mess.

FUNCTIONS OF AN OFFICERS MESS

An Officers’ Mess has 3 main functions:

1. It serves as a home for single officers (in-living members) where they live, eat and can entertain friends.

2. For married officers and their families  the officers’ mess serves as a social club where they can gather for moments of relaxation and recreation and bonhomie with fellow officers and their families. A good mess has many facilities for sports and pastimes.

3. For a ship or unit  the wardroom or officers mess is the centre of social life.

CUSTOMS AND TRADITIONS

Each Defence Service has its own unique customs and traditions pertaining to wardrooms and officers messes.

In the Navy – the Captain is not a member of the Ship’s Wardroom – and customarily – the Captain messes separately.

The Captain or Admiral customarily enters the wardroom by invitation only.

The senior-most member of the mess on board a ship is designated PMC (President Mess Committee) – and – the PMC is the Head of the Wardroom.

The Mess is a place for Officers to let their hair down and relax in a cosy atmosphere and foster bonhomie.

While it is courteous to show respect in a subtle manner to your seniors – the disgusting spectacle of junior officers fawning upon senior officers – or appearing obsequious – needs to be avoided in an Officers Mess.

In an Officers Mess – there must be absolutely no tension due to rank-consciousness.

All members of the Officers Mess must interact freely and without inhibitions.

A good wardroom or officers mess has a stress-free happy high-spirited lively atmosphere which is conducive for promoting camaraderie and esprit de corps among officers.

In the Navy – there is a saying:

“A Happy Wardroom is a Happy Ship…”

Maybe it is the same in the Army and Air Force too – and – a Happy Officers’ Mess indicates a Happy Unit.

THERE IS NO PLACE FOR “VIP CULTURE” IN MILITARY OFFICERS MESSES

Unfortunately – a medieval feudal culture – a legacy of our colonial past – still prevails in our armed forces – particularly in the army.

This Feudal Mindset breeds a “VIP Culture”

This “VIP Culture” manifests itself in various forms in Military Officers Messes.

There is separate luxurious“VIP” accommodation – separate extravagant food and exclusive booze for the so-called “VIPs”

Also – there is a tendency for some Senior Officers to “freeload” – they want their juniors to subsidise their food and drink and lavish extravagances.

Just like “Feudal Lords” – some Senior Officers mistakenly believe that:

Freeloading is a privilege of High Rank 

As I said earlier – all officers belong to the same class and enjoy equal status.

So – at least in Military Officers Messes – there is no place for such “VIP Culture”

All Officers – irrespective of rank – must eat the same food and enjoy the same facilities.

The next time you go to an Officers Mess – please do not forget that the abbreviation “MESS” stands for “MAINTENANCE OF EQUAL SOCIAL STATUS”

An Officers Mess is a happy place where you can forget about rank differences and interact freely and informally with your fellow officers.

I have had the best of times and made the best of friends in Navy Wardrooms and Army Officers Messes.

From time to time – I have been telling you about my glorious days in the Navy – and I am sure you have read a few of those “humor in uniform” nostalgic yarns I keep writing – right here in my blog.

Till next time – Cheers and Godspeed !!!

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. 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 surce post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/03/what-is-officers-mess.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Revised and updated version of my article earlier posted online by me Vikram Karve more than 6 years ago on Saturday, March 17, 2012 in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog – details of urls below:

Posted by Vikram Karve at 3/17/2012 10:50:00 PM at url:

http://karvediat.blogspot.com/20… and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… and What is an Officers’ Mess …? and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/11/18/wardroom-is-a-navy-officers-mess/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/the-officers-mess-a-military-institution/ etc

Humor in Uniform – Unforgettable Characters I Met in the Navy – Sub Lieutenant “M”

October 31, 2018

At our recent Navy Foundation get-together – I was pleasantly surprised to meet an old  Navy.

We were coursemates at the prestigious Naval Academy – more than 42 years ago – in the 1970’s.

I was delighted meet him after a long time (we had last met 16 years ago in 2002 at Mumbai).

We talked for a long time – about our Navy Days – about Retired Life.

My coursemate and I reminisced about our Naval Academy Days in Cochin (Kochi) – more than 42 years ago – in the 1970’s – and we remembered this story…

THE UNFORGETTABLE SUB LIEUTENANT “M” 

A Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve

WHY DID YOU JOIN THE NAVY…? 

PART 1

Naval Academy Cochin (Kochi) : Circa – 1970’s

The moment we reported to Naval Academy (NAVAC) Cochin (Kochi) – we were asked the quintessential question:

“Why did you join the Navy…?”

Most of us gave unimaginative stereotyped answers which everyone had heard before.

Acting Sub Lieutenant “M” was different.

Sub Lieutenant “M” said:

“I joined the Navy to drink good Booze…” 

An Explanatory Digression:

Those days – the Junior-most Officer Rank in the Army/Navy/Air Force was Second Lieutenant (2nd/Lt), Acting Sub Lieutenant (Ag Sub Lt) and Pilot Officer (P/O) respectively. 

In the year 2006 – thanks to the AVS Cadre Review Bonanza – this junior-most officer rank was abolished – and Defence Officers were commissioned directly as Lieutenants/Sub Lieutenants/Flying Officers in the Army/Navy/Air Force respectively – which were the ranks above the erstwhile “2nd Lt”/“Ag Sub Lt”/“Pilot Officer” respectively – the lowest officer ranks earlier. 

Dear Reader: After this digression – let me start telling you the story from the beginning once again: 

The moment we reported to Naval Academy (NAVAC) Cochin (Kochi) – we were asked the quintessential question:

“Why did you join the Navy…?”

Most of us gave unimaginative stereotyped answers which everyone had heard before.

Acting Sub Lieutenant “M” was different.

Sub Lieutenant “M” said:

“I joined the Navy to drink good Booze…”

“What did you say…?” the Officer-in-charge bellowed at Acting Sub Lieutenant “M”

Acting Sub Lieutenant “M” nonchalantly said:

“Sir – I said that I joined the Navy to drink good booze.” 

The Officer-in-charge and Staff Officers of NAVAC thought “M” was joking – but “M” was dead serious – he had indeed joined the Navy to drink.

We were “University Entry Officers”.

We were selected via the “University Entry Scheme” (UES) – an “Earn while you Learn” Recruitment Scheme – which was highly successful in attracting the best Engineering Talent.

Under the UES – Navy Selection Teams visited premier Engineering Colleges/IITs/RECs (NITs) at the beginning of our pre-final year – and they interviewed and shortlisted suitable candidates – who had to appear before a Services Selection Board (SSB) at Allahabad, Bhopal or Bangalore.

Those selected by the SSB – and found medically fit – were offered a commission as an Officer in the Navy from the beginning of their final year of Engineering.

So – we were Naval Officers drawing handsome pay during our final year of Engineering – owing to which we enjoyed great prestige and relative affluence as compared to our fellow student classmates.

On completion of our B. Tech. / BE courses – we joined the Naval Academy for Basic and Divisional (B&D) Training.

We had heard that during his final year in Engineering College – “M” had taken his appointment letter (as an officer in the Indian Navy) to a Military Unit near his college – and he had managed to get a Liquor Card from the Unit CSD Canteen which enabled him to enjoy his full “Booze Quota” of “Military Rum” during his final year of Engineering.

Coming back to the Naval Academy – on our very first “liberty” a month after joining training – while we headed for Movie Halls and Restaurants in Ernakulam – Acting Sub Lieutenant “M” rushed to nearest Bar to get gloriously drunk.

In fact – “M” enjoyed himself so much – downing peg after peg of Rum – to “cure” his “thirst” – that he passed out ‘dead drunk’ in the Bar.

Luckily for “M” – a ‘Good Samaritan’ saw his Navy ID Card.

The ‘Good Samaritan’ carried the blissfully ‘comatose’ unconscious “M” into his car – then he drove down to the Naval Base – and deposited “M” outside the OOD’s Office.

This episode resulted in some heavy “punishments” and “restrictions” for “M” – including cancellation of his “liberty” – “shore leave” in Navy Jargon – till the end of the term.

The “powers-that-be” realized that “M” meant business – as far as his reason for joining the Navy was concerned.

However – “M” was not to be deterred from his sole aim – his very purpose for joining the Navy – and – within a few days – “M” used his initiative to get access to booze.

As I told you – we were already Officers when we joined the Naval Academy (NAVAC) – and we were drawing full pay and allowances.

So – we dined in the Officers’ Wardroom – the Southern Naval Area (SNA) Wardroom Officers Mess.

[Yes – those days the Southern Seaboard was a Naval “Area” – not a Naval “Command”. In due course –  a few years later – SNA was upgraded to SNC (Southern Naval Command)]

Of course – since we were not allowed to wear stripes during training – we dined in a separate “Gun Room” – but – we were full-fledged members of the Wardroom Officers Mess.

There were no “free” authorized rations those days – so – as Officers – we paid for our food – unlike Cadets – who dined in the Cadet Dining Hall in the Academy and got free food.

During Basic Training – we were not officially allowed to drink liquor – but we were permitted to smoke – and we bought our cigarettes at the Wardroom Bar by signing chits – since we were full-fledged members of the Wardroom Mess.

On working day evenings – we dined in “Red Sea Rig” uniform (Navy Black/White Evening Dress with Cummerband).

On Weekends/Sundays/Holidays – we were permitted to wear “Civvies” (civilian clothes).

One Sunday evening – while we were buying cigarettes at the Bar – “M” asked the steward for a Large Peg of Rum – and – with confident flourish – “M” signed a chit for the Rum.

The steward served “M” a Large Peg of Rum.

It was as simple as that.

From then on – every evening – “M” would sneak out from his cabin during the pre-dinner “Study Hour” – and head for the Wardroom Bar for his daily quota of Rum – and then – after quickly downing a few pegs of Rum “down-the-hatch” – “M” would  join us for dinner in the “Gun Room”.

Once our Basic Training was over – and we passed out of the Naval Academy – we could officially drink all the liquor we wanted to – especially top class premium “duty free” foreign liquor on ships.

For “M” – the choicest “duty free” foreign liquor was a bonanza – the very raison d’être – for which he had joined the Navy.

PART 2

10 Years Later

IAT Pune – Circa: Mid 1980’s

“M” enjoyed his bachelor days “soaked in alcohol” – imbibing all the booze he could lay his hands on.

For “M” – it was the happiest time of his life – and the Navy was the best thing that had happened to him.

Sadly – one day – “M” got married.

And – even worse – “M” got a “tough cookie” wife – who cracked down heavily on his drinking.

In fact – his redoubtable wife banned alcohol in the house – and she kept an “eagle eye” on her husband at parties.

So – “M” would surreptitiously gulp a few quick “down-the-hatch” pegs of Rum whenever he got an opportunity – followed by some cardamom (Elaichi) to mask the smell of alcohol.

A few years later – “M” landed up as a “student” for an advanced specialization course at IAT Girinagar Pune – where I was his instructor.

Every evening – “M” would tell his wife that he wanted to “clear some doubts” about the subject I was teaching him – and he would land up in my house.

Of course – there were no “doubts” he wanted cleared.

“M” would have 3 quick pegs of Rum at my place.

And then – “M” would head home feeling “high” and “happy”.

When his wife questioned him on his “happy” state – “M” would plead that I was his instructor – and I had offered him a drink.

“M” told his wife I would get annoyed if he refused my generous offer of a drink – and this may affect his grades in the course.

M’s wife blamed me for “spoiling” her husband.

One day – M’s wife had her revenge on me.

It happened during the festival of HOLI.

On HOLI evening – when I was taking a long evening walk to sober up from the boisterous morning celebrations – M’s wife waved out to me and she called me to her lawn.

“M” was probably sleeping inside.

While celebrating HOLI with full gusto – “M” had “passed out” inebriated – dead-drunk – in the morning – totally intoxicated after surreptitiously downing huge amounts of a deadly cocktail of  “Rum and Beer”

(“M” had taken advantage of the fact that his “beloved” wife had magnanimously permitted “M” to have one bottle of Beer – as a special case for the occasion of HOLI – so – “M” had heavily fortified his Beer with plenty of Rum – and soon – “M” got totally drunk – yes – “M” collapsed into drunken stupor and had to be carried home). 

Coming back to the story… 

M’s wife looked charmingly at me.

“You drank too much in the morning. I will give you something really good to cure your hangover…” she said with a tender smile.

I accepted her kind invitation.

M’s wife asked me to sit on a chair in the verandah – and then – she went inside.

After some time – M’s wife emerged from kitchen – and – with an innocent smile – she served me a glass of Khus “Sherbet”.

What I did not know was that M’s wife had laced the cool green Khus “Sherbet” with a heavy dose of “Bhang”.

Yes – she had spiked my cool drink with the deadly intoxicating Bhang (cannabis)

M’s wife had slipped me a potent “Mickey Finn”.

And – I naively drank the “Bhang” spiked cool drink.

Yes – I unsuspectingly drank the intoxicating “Bhang” fortified “Sherbet”.

I wondered why M’s wife was giving me such a “curious” smile…?

Was she smiling because she had successfully “Mickey Finned” me…? 

Or – was she…???

Dear Reader: 

What do you think happened thereafter…?

Well – that’s another story…

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 is a fictional spoof, 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: https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/06/humor-in-uniform-mickey-finn.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Updated, Abridged and Revised Version of My Story WHY DID YOU JOIN THE NAVY posted online by me on November 16, 2015 in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/11/why-did-you-join-navy-humor-in-uniform.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/humor-in-uniform-why-acting-sub.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/humor-in-uniform-why-did-you-join-navy.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/09/18/why-did-you-join-the-navy/   and http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2018/03/a-humor-in-uniform-story-on-occasion-of.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/03/humor-in-uniform-my-coursemate-m.html

Phone Etiquette – Phubbing

October 29, 2018

PHUBBING (Phone + Snubbing)

Musings By Vikram Karve

First – let me tell you a story from my Navy Days.

This story around 40 years ago – in the end 1970’s – much before the advent of Mobile Phones.

Yes – those days – the only phones available were “Landline” Phones.

I was busy working in my office.

As was my habit – whenever I was doing something important – I had kept the phone off the hook.

My deputy knocked and entered my office.

I gave him an angry look.

He looked at me apologetically – and said to me:

“Sir – I am sorry. You told us not to disturb you – but – Boss has gone crazy…”

“So – what’s new in that…? The bugger is “crazy”…” I said.

“Sir – he wants you in his office immediately. He was trying to call you for the last 10 minutes – and your phone is dead…” my deputy said.

“My phone is not “dead” – I have deliberately kept it off the hook because I don’t want to be disturbed…” I said.

“Sir – the Boss said to tell you that he wants to see you in his office immediately…” my deputy said.

“Okay – Okay – you sit down…” I motioned to my deputy.

I put the phone on the hook – picked it up again – and – checked the dial tone.

Then – I dialled my Boss’s number.

“Come to my office immediately…” my Boss barked at me via the phone.

“Sir, I am very busy right now. Can I come later – in the afternoon – after lunch…?” I asked him.

“No. You come right now. I want to discuss “XXX” project – I need some clarifications…” my Boss shouted – and he banged down the phone.

At first – I thought that I would first complete the work I was doing.

And then – after finishing the urgent work in hand – I would go to my Boss’s Office.

That was the sensible thing to do.

But then – my Boss was a most rank-conscious authoritarian megalomaniac.

Though I wasn’t a “Yes Sir, Yes Sir, Three Bags Full Sir” type of Officer – the Navy is a military service – and – there is a limit to which one can reason with a Senior Officer – especially if he was like my conceited egotistical autocratic Boss.

So – I stopped whatever I was doing – and – I took out the Project “XXX” file from my drawer.

Then – I put on my cap – and – I started walking down to the Main Building of the Dockyard – where my Boss’s Office was located.

It was a hot and humid day in Mumbai – the main building was around 500 meters away from my workplace – and – by the time I reached my Boss’s Office – I was sweating profusely.

I entered my Boss’s Office.

My Boss was sitting at his desk – leaning back on his chair – talking on the phone.

I saluted him.

My boss ignored me.

Maybe he was so engrossed in the telephonic conversation – that he probably hadn’t noticed my salute.

I stood in front of him for around one minute.

I thought that he would terminate his telephonic conversation – and speak to me – at least ask me to sit down.

But – no such luck.

He was very much absorbed in the telephonic conversation.

I could overhear that he was speaking about shares and the stock market.

Suddenly – he leaned forward – picked up a pencil – and – he made some notes on a pad in front of him on the desk.

I felt humiliated.

My Boss was treating me as if I did not exist.

I turned around – and I walked out of his office.

My Boss’s pretty PA asked me: “Sir – you’ve finished so fast…?”

“He is so busy talking on the phone that he doesn’t seem to have time for me…” I said.

“Yes, Sir – his “Broker” just called – the stock market is going crazy since morning – so – he must be discussing about which stocks and shares to trade in…” she said.

“Oh…” I said – and – I started walking away.

“Sir, please wait – he has been asking for you since morning…” my Boss’s PA said.

On hearing this – I said to my Boss’s PA:

“I was busy with some important work. Despite this – I came walking all the way in the hot sun because he insisted. And now – he just ignores me – and – he keeps talking on the phone…? This is not acceptable to me – so – I am going back to my office…”

I walked back to my office.

I took the phone off the hook – told my staff that I was not to be disturbed – and – I got on with the unfinished task of completing the urgent work.

One hour later – my Boss stormed into my office.

He started shouting at me:

“What’s wrong with you…? You did you walk away rudely from my office…?”

I said softly but firmly:

“Sir – I am an Officer. Since you insisted – I walked all the way to your office. You had called me – I was standing in front of you – but – you ignored me – and you gave more importance to person on the phone…”

My Boss yelled at me:

“Stop bullshitting me. I will march you up to the Admiral…”

I picked up my cap and said:

“Okay, Sir – let’s go – I am going to ask the Admiral what was the right thing for you to do – talk to your Officer who is standing in front of you – or – talk to your “Stock Broker” on the phone…?”

My Boss did not march me up to the Admiral.

He just uttered a few threats and walked away.

In the afternoon – I called up my Boss’s PA – took a proper appointment – walked down to his office – and I explained details of Project “XXX” – for which he had summoned me in the morning.

His phone was quiet for the 15 minutes I was with him.

On my way out – I commented on this to his PA – who told me that the Boss had instructed her to see that he was not disturbed by phone calls when I was inside.

Dear Reader:

Do you believe that this is a true story…?

Could I have really bullshitted my Boss…?

Am I one of those crazy mavericks…?

Maybe my course-mates and erstwhile colleagues can give you the answers.

Meanwhile – let’s just say that this is a “Fiction Short Story”.

It does not matter whether the above story is true or not.

What matters is the moral of the story:

It is always rude to pay more attention to a phone than a person standing in front of you in flesh and blood.

First – talk to the person who is physically with you – then – talk to the person on the phone.

This “moral of the story” is even more applicable after the advent of mobile phones – and especially today – in the context of smartphones.

I try to practice what I preach (and preach what I practice) – though I do slip up sometimes – but – at least – I try my best.

Sometime ago – a blogger wanted to meet me in person to discuss blogging.

We were sitting in a Café and talking.

My mobile phone rang.

I ignored the phone.

The Blogger said:

“Your mobile is ringing…”

I said:

“I know. Let it ring. I am talking to you…”

The Blogger said:

“It may be something important…”

I said:

“Right now – you are the most important thing for me. I will see the missed call later – and – if I feel it is necessary – I will call the person. In any case – I don’t work for an emergency services agency where I have to attend every call and act instantly…”

In order to make the Blogger feel comfortable – I switched off my mobile phone – and I asked her to switch off her mobile too – reminding her that it was she who had wanted to meet me.

It was easy during the mobile cellphone days – but with ever since I got a smartphone – and – I became a “Photo Food Blogger” – things have become difficult.

So – now – whenever we go out for food – I first announce that I am going to focus my attention on clicking pictures of the food.

Then – I click my foodie pictures and upload them on social media immediately.

After that – I keep my smartphone away and give my full attention to my friends, and, of course, to the food.

Dear Reader – to summarize “Mobile Etiquette” in a nutshell:

It is always rude to pay more attention to a phone than a person with you in flesh and blood.

If you give priority to your phone and ignore the person in front of you – it is called “Phubbing” (Phone + Snubbing).

Don’t indulge in “Phubbing”.

We do “phubbing” unconsciously – don’t we…?

Suppose you are talking to someone – and your mobile phone rings – don’t you instinctively pick up your mobile…?

And – don’t you tend to give more importance to the person talking on mobile rather than the person physically with you…?

Dear Reader – you may ask me:

“In case your phone rings while you are talking to a person – is it okay to “excuse” yourself and then talk on the smartphone…?”

No – unless you are on duty and are required to attend to emergency/urgent situations as a part of your work.

Remember – you can always see the missed call numbers and call after you have finished talking to the person in front of you.

While you are talking to someone – it is not acceptable to answer phone-calls, do texting, tweeting or engage on social media, or even repeatedly glance at your smartphone screen – yes – all these things are not acceptable.

In case you are expecting calls – isn’t it better to tell the person who is with you that you will be busy attending calls and you can talk to the person later when you are free…?

Or – if you are awaiting an important call when meeting someone socially – isn’t it best to explain at the outset that you will have to take the call – and – apologize in advance – and if the call comes – excuse yourself and take the call privately…?

Dear Reader:

What are your views on “Phubbing”…?

Do comment and tell us. 

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.com/2018/10/phubbing-phone-snubbing.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

 

Is the Military like any other job…?

October 29, 2018

Nowadays – many civilians question:

“Why should Military Personnel and Veterans get special treatment…?

After all – isn’t the Military is like any other job…?

Even other jobs are tough and stressful.

Like “Faujis” – most Civilians too are making a significant contribution to the nation…” 

Civilians comment on the various facilities “Faujis” enjoy – like Service Institutes/Clubs/Canteens etc.

There is a proliferation of such comments on the Social Media too.

In response to these comments – let me repost on my blog – an article I had written a few years ago – titled:

IS THE ARMY LIKE ANY OTHER JOB…?

Let me delve deep into my Blog Archives and pull out this article.

Dear Reader – I had written and posted this article in 2014 – more than 4 years ago – after a visit to my bank…

IS THE ARMY LIKE ANY OTHER JOB…?

TWO FACES OF THE ARMY

Ramblings of a Retired Military Veteran By Vikram Karve

NB:

  1. The generic terms “Fauji” and “Soldier” refer to all Military Personnel (Officers/Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen) and the term “Faujan” refers to all Military Wives.
  2. Also – the generic term “Army” includes all the three Armed Forces – Army, Navy and Air Force 

IS THE ARMY LIKE ANY OTHER JOB…?

“The Army is like any other job…” the lady in the bank said.

We were waiting for our pension certificates.

A gentleman identified himself as a retired Army Officer – as a Defence Pensioner.

The lady at the bank counter thought he was trying to jump the queue.

So  – at first – the lady bank employee looked icily at the Army Veteran.

Then – the lady bank employee said to the Veteran:

“Why do you Army people always want special treatment…?

Everyone here is a pensioner – but you defence pensioners always want special privileges – even after retirement.

As far as I am concerned – the Army is like any other job.

In fact – you Army people have so many facilities and enjoy the best lifestyle – but you “Faujis still want more concessions and special treatment everywhere – even after retirement…”

I smiled to myself.

The civilian lady at the bank was not at fault.

She lived in Pune – a salubrious peacetime Army cantonment.

So she had seen only one face of the Army – what I like to call the “posh” face of the Armed Forces.

TWO FACES OF THE ARMY – Part 1

THE “POSH” FACE OF THE ARMY

The civilian “lady at the bank” had seen the “posh” face of the Army visible all over Pune.

Whenever she went to Pune Camp – she saw Army officers and their families moving around in style – in chauffeur driven Army staff cars and jeeps.

She saw these official Army cars and jeeps parked majestically on MG Road – and – at entrances to Malls and Stores. In fact – she had seen some staff cars parked brazenly in no parking zones – with the police not daring to question the uniformed Army drivers – while the Army officers and their wives and families went around shopping.

One of her classmates was a “Faujan” – a Military Wife – who was married to an Army officer.

The “lady at the bank” often visited her “Faujan” friend and erstwhile school classmate – who was married to an Army officer.

On a few occasions her “Faujan” friend taken her to the CSD canteen for shopping.

Her “Faujan” friend had also taken the civilian “lady at the bank” to the Army Club.

Of course – the “lady at the bank” had often visited her “Faujan” friend’s well-appointed house in the posh cantonment – and – during these visits – her “Faujan” friend boasted of the facilities she enjoyed in the Army.

The “lady at the bank” saw that Army officers and their families had access to the best of facilities – sports, swimming pools, clubs, golf, schools, chauffeur driven cars, subsidized canteens etc

She saw that the Army provided a full time “sahayak” who took care of all household chores and outside errands too – so her “Faujan” friend who was married to an Army officer did not have to do any household work and was free to enjoy social and entertainment activities like ladies club, kitty parties and lead a posh life.

And to top it all – Army officers enjoyed quality time with their families and for various social and sporting activities – because of fewer working hours.

Indeed – the Army provided a good life.

That was the impression created in the mind of the civilian “lady at the bank”.

This is the “posh” face which the Army projects to civilians. 

TWO FACES OF THE ARMY – Part 2

THE “HARSH REALITY” FACE OF THE ARMY 

But – the Army has another face too – which it does not project to civilians.

Does the common citizen in a modern metropolis –like Pune – know – that – a part of the Army is in a constant state of combat on the borders, LOC, LAC and militant infested areas…?

Are they aware of the stress, dangers and hardships that Army officers/soldiers face in conflict zones and field areas…?

Are civilians aware of the trials and tribulations Army wives and families undergo as a consequence of being in a constant state of stress when their husbands are posted in the field…?

Do civilians living in urban India know about the yeoman’s service that the Indian Army renders in the border and remote areas of India…?

First and foremost – the Army provides security – this is well known to all.

But – does the common citizen know that the Army is involved in virtually every aspect of life in these inaccessible and hazard-prone areas…?

Besides providing medical facilities, medical treatment, mercy missions, casualty evacuation, and rescue and relief missions – even running schools and giving education facilities to local population in these inhospitable areas – it is the Army that delivers Social Welfare and is involved in Community Development and gives succour for population of border and remote areas of India where the civilian administration is scant and people depend on the Army for everything.

Do civilians know that it is this yeoman’s service that the Indian Army renders in the border and remote areas of India which keeps these regions united and connected with the rest of nation…?

Whenever there is a calamity – the Armed Forces are the first to rush in for rescue and relief even at danger to their own lives.

The Indian Army does great things which go unnoticed because of inadequate information dissemination to the public and citizens about the Army’s multifarious activities.

This is the challenging and arduous “harsh reality” face of the Army. 

TWO FACES OF THE ARMY – Part 3

Why is the Army projecting only its “POSH FACE to civilians…?

Isn’t it is high time the Army starts projecting the true “HARSH REALITY FACE of military life to civilians….?

There is a need to project the right image of the Army to civilian citizens.

Not only the organisation – but each and every “Fauji” and “Faujan” must understand this aspect – and – they should stop “Showing Off” before Civilians – but – educate civilians about the harsh realities of military life.

Only then will misinformed and naive civilians – living comfortably in urban India – only then – will civilians begin to appreciate the hardships and challenges of military life.

Once they appreciate the true face of Military Life – only then – will civilians think twice before saying “The Army is like any other job”

Army Officers and Military Wives should stop “showing off” before civilians – they should stop projecting the “posh” face – and – they should start projecting the “harsh reality” face 

Only then will civilians appreciate that:

“The Army is not like any other job – it is much more…”

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:

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 posts in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: https://karve.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/is-the-military-like-any-other-job/ and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/10/do-techies-it-nerds-enjoy-better-status.html

This is an Updated and Revised Version of My Article IS THE ARMY LIKE ANY OTHER JOB which was written by me Vikram Karve more than 3 years ago on the year 2014 and First Posted Online by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at 7/02/2014 02:31:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/07/is-army-like-any-other-job.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/07/25/do-civilians-really-respect-the-military-or-is-it-just-lip-service/ and  https://karve.wordpress.com/2016/10/09/is-the-military-like-any-other-job/ and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/10/is-army-life-over-hyped-or-is-army-like.html 

How Sardar Patel Saved Kashmir – Story from History

October 29, 2018

Sharing the link of an interesting article from a Veterans Forum

Sam Manekshaw, the first field marshal in the Indian army, was at the ringside of events when Independent India was being formed. Then a colonel, he was chosen to accompany V P Menon on his historic mission to Kashmir. This is his version of that journey and its aftermath, as recorded in an interview with Prem Shankar Jha

Click the link below and read the article

Jawaharlal, do you want Kashmir,
or do you want to give it away?

http://m.rediff.com/freedom/0710jha.htm?fbclid=IwAR3L7G4igTqDmBNmwNTv2E2UHp1TXPJudaRaU90Rx2-xasNd3aiEkWyRAKg

Jawaharlal, do you want Kashmir,
or do you want to give it away?

Does “Sharing” Mean “Caring”…?

October 28, 2018

Do you believe that Sharing means Caring…?  

Here is a story from my Navy Days…

SHARING CARING LOVE and AFFECTION

A Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve

Part 1 : SHARING

40 Years Ago (Circa 1978)

Our ship was getting ready to leave Cochin (Kochi) harbour.

(Those days – Kochi was called Cochin)

A Lieutenant in uniform came running up the gangway.

He gave me a packet and said:

“Can you please deliver this packet to my coursemate Lieutenant “X” in Bombay…”

(Those days – Mumbai was known as Bombay)

It was a small packet.

“Sure…” I said, “what is inside the packet…?”

“It is just some Ayurvedic Medicines for my coursemate’s wife. The name of my coursemate (Lieutenant “X”) – and his home address – everything is written on the packet…” the Lieutenant said.

On the day we reached Mumbai – in the evening – I stood outside the flat of Lieutenant “X”.

I rang the doorbell.

A chic young woman opened the door.

She was very attractive – and – I had to make an effort to take my eyes off her.

“Good evening, Ma’am – I have got your medicines from Cochin…” I said.

“My medicines…?” she said, looking confused.

Lieutenant “X” lives here – isn’t it…? So – you must be his wife…?” I said.

The beautiful woman smiled at me – and she said:

“Yes – Lieutenant “X” lives here – but  I am not his wife…”

“Oh…” I remarked.

“I am so sorry…” the woman said, “it was so rude of me to keep you waiting outside – please come in and make yourself comfortable. Let me get you a glass of water…”

I entered the drawing room and sat down on the sofa.

The woman got me a glass of water and sat down opposite me.

I placed the packet I had got from Cochin on the table – and I said to the woman: “Here are the Ayurvedic Medicines for Mrs. “X” – is she not at home…?”

“No – Mrs. “X” works late – she should be home around 7:30 – but – don’t worry – I will give her the packet…” the woman said.

“Are you her sister…?” I asked.

“No – No…” the woman interrupted me.

The gorgeous women gave me a alluring smile – and she said to me:

“I am Mrs. “Y” – we are still waiting to be allotted our married accomodation – this house has been allotted to Lieutenant “X” – my husband Lieutenant “Y” – and your friend Lieutenant “X” – they are coursemates – so – we are “sharing” accommodation with Lieutenant and Mrs. “X” …”

(In the 1970’s – there was a severe shortage of married accommodation in the Navy – especially in Mumbai – and the waiting time for Lieutenants was more than 2 years – so it was common practice for young Navy couples to share accommodation with their friends who were lucky to have been allotted married accommodation. Also – those days – most Lieutenants were married – since it took 11 years commissioned service to become a Lieutenant Commander – unlike today – after the AVS 2006 Cadre Review Bonanza – when you become a Lieutenant Commander in just 6 years service)

“Are you also a coursemate of Lieutenant “X” and my husband…?” Mrs. “Y” asked me.

“No – No – Ma’am – they must be a few years senior to me…” I said.

“Oh – so you are a friend of Lieutenant “X”…?” she said.

“No – Ma’am – I haven’t even met Lieutenant “X” – a Naval Officer in Cochin came to my ship and asked me to deliver this packet to Lieutenant “X”…” I said.

“Oh…” she said.

I looked at Mrs. “Y”.

Mrs. “Y” looked at me.

Sitting opposite me  Mrs. “Y” looked very gorgeous and alluring – and I felt mesmerized by her tantalizing beauty.

I was unnerved by the attraction I felt towards her – so I thought that it would be best for me to leave the scene…

So – I got up to leave.

“No – wait – it is already 5:30 PM – Lieutenant “X” should be home any minute…” Mrs. “Y” said.

“And – your husband – Lieutenant “Y” – he should be home too…?”

“No – my husband is sailing – he will be back next week…” Mrs. “Y” said.

The doorbell rang.

“Ah – that must be Lieutenant “X”…” said Mrs. “Y” – and – she quickly went to open the door.

Lieutenant “X” was in uniform.

He kept his scooter helmet on the rack.

Then – he looked at me.

I stood up.

I introduced myself.

“Oh yes – thanks a lot for getting the Ayurvedic Medicines from Cochin…” Lieutenant “X” said.

“You are welcome, Sir…” I said.

“Hey – I will just go in and change into ‘civvies’ and freshen up…” Lieutenant “X” said to me.

Then – Lieutenant “X” looked at Mrs. “Y” – and – he said to her:

“Hey – why don’t you make some nice coffee for all of us…?”

“Filter Coffee is already ready for you – and – I have made your favourite upma as ‘tiffin’ too…” Mrs. “Y” said to Lieutenant “X”.

“Wow – that’s great…” Lieutenant “X” said – and he went inside to change.

After eating the delicious upma and drinking the refreshing filter coffee – I got up to leave – but Lieutenant “X” said to me:

“Hey – why don’t you stay for dinner – we’ll go for a walk on the seashore – we will have a drink at the club – by then – my wife should be back – you can meet her – and – we will all have dinner together…”

“Thanks a lot, Sir – but I have to get back to my ship…” I said.

“Come on – stay for dinner…” Lieutenant “X” insisted.

“I would have loved to have dinner with you, Sir – but someone is “holding the deck” for me…” I lied.

“Oh – then you must go back to your ship – but you must come over and have dinner with us sometime…” Lieutenant “X” said.

So – I said goodbye to Lieutenant “X” and Mrs. “Y” – and I went back to my ship.

I could not meet Lieutenant “X” again – and the dinner never materialized – as our ship sailed off on a long deployment to the eastern seas – and midway – I was disembarked at Madras Port (Chennai) – for proceeding on transfer to a shore based instructional appointment in a ‘Stone Frigate’ at Jamnagar.

7 YEARS LATER (Circa 1985)

Part 2 : CARING

Circa 1985

One evening – I was walking on Main Street (MG Road) in Pune – and suddenly – I ran into Lieutenant “X”.

He recognized me and said:

“Hi there – so nice to see you here…”

“Delighted to see you too, Sir…” I said.

“You just disappeared from the Radar…?” Lieutenant “X” said.

“Sir – my ship sailed off to the East – then – I was transferred to Jamnagar – then – I was selected for M. Tech. at IIT Delhi – then – I did an appointment in Delhi – and now – I have been recently appointed as faculty in IAT Pune…” I said.

“That’s great…” Lieutenant “X” said, “I too quit the Navy a few years ago and I now work in the industry…”

He pulled out his wallet – extracted a business card – and gave it to me.

I looked at the business card.

Lieutenant “X” (now Ex-Lieutenant “X”) was a Manager in a prestigious company.

“My home address is written on the reverse of the card – I live in Aundh – and now that you are Pune – you must visit us – especially if you come to Aundh side…” he said.

“Sure, Sir…” I said – and we bid each other ‘goodbye’.

A few days later – one evening – I happened to be in Aundh.

I remembered the brief meeting with Ex-Lieutenant “X” on Main Street.

I pulled out his business card from my wallet – looked at his residential address on the reverse side of the card – and I discovered that I was standing right below his apartment block.

I decided to visit Ex-Lieutenant “X” – and soon – I was standing outside his flat.

I rang the doorbell.

A woman opened the door.

I was stunned.

The woman was Mrs. “Y”.

Seeing the bewildered expression on my face – the woman gave me a mischievous smile – and she naughtily said to me:

“Yes – Lieutenant “X” lives here – and now – I am his wife…”

Part 3 : EPILOGUE

Later – when I reached home – I told my wife about how Mrs. “Y” had become Mrs. “X”

So – thanks to “sharing” and “caring” – Lieutenant “X” and Mrs. “Y” – had now become – Ex-Lieutenant “X” and New Mrs. “X” 

Later – I found out that Lieutenant “X” had not quit the Navy on his own.

But – in fact – Lieutenant “X” had been asked to resign from the Navy for stealing the affection of Mrs. “Y” – who was his brother officer’s wife”.

“Housemates” had become “Actual Mates”

Lieutenant “X” had got married to Mrs. “Y” 

I wondered whether Lieutenant “Y” had got married to Mrs. “X” and the “spouse swap” was complete…?

There is a saying in the Navy:

“Learn from history – or – you are doomed to repeat it…”

And – my wife had certainly learnt a lesson from the story of Lieutenant “X” and Mrs. “Y” 

This was evident from the episode narrated below.

One evening – a young couple came over to meet us – my Navy coursemate and his wife.

“I have come for a 3 month course to IAT – and I brought my wife along – but they are not allowing my wife to stay in the Officers’ Mess…” he said.

“Yes – wives are not allowed for short courses…” I said.

“We were wondering if you could share your accommodation with us – you have got such a big house…” my coursemate said.

“Yes – please let us stay with you – otherwise I will have to go back…” my coursemate’s lovely wife pleaded with me – and she gave me a tender loving beseeching look.

Mesmerized by her seductive gaze – I was about to agree to my coursemate’s wife’s request to share our home with them.

But suddenly – my wife interjected and she said to the lady:

“I am sorry – but – we do not share accommodation…”

“Please let us stay in your home – it is only for 3 months – I promise you that we will not be any trouble…” my coursemate’s wife begged my wife.

“I am sorry – but – as a “matter of principle” – we do not share our home with anyone – we do not want “housemates”…” my wife said firmly with a decisive tone.

Then – my wife excused herself and went inside into the bedroom.

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/2016/10/housemates.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised re-post of my story CARING AND SHARING posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 08 Nov 2015 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/11/sharing-and-caring-humor-in-and-out-of.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/12/humor-in-uniform-lieutenant-x-and-mrs-y.html  and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/12/08/do-you-believe-in-sharing-and-caring/ and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/humor-in-uniform-care-but-dont-share.html

How You Hold Your Smartphone Reveals Your Personality

October 25, 2018

How are you holding your smartphone right now…?

👇

https://daily.lessonslearnedinlife.com/way-holding-phone-personality-hands-thumbs-typing-scrolling?utm_source=wallpost

🖕

How you hold your smartphone reveals your personality

How to Get Healthy Without Exercise

October 25, 2018

Healthy Without Exercise

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Get healthy without exercise

Cooking for “Drunkards” – Recipe – “Drunkard” Mutton Curry

October 25, 2018

Long ago – I was a “Drunkard” 

In fact – I was a “Drunkard” and a “Foodie” 

During those glorious days – I would exercise a lot too – and – my evening exercise would be followed by a generous imbibing of alcohol – which would build up a voracious appetite in me – so I would cook too – improvising recipes to satiate my hunger. 

Let me share with you a recipe I cooked during my Happy “Drunkard” Days – a recipe for “DRUNKARD” MUTTON CURRY

Dear Reader – before you start cooking – please remember – this is a “Try it at Your Own Risk” Recipe 

COOKING FOR “DRUNKARDS” 

“DRUNKARD” MUTTON CURRY

“Try it at Your Own Risk” Recipe By Vikram Karve 

“DRUNKARD” MUTTON CURRY

In my early days of cooking – I cooked with a glass of “Rum–Pani” (Rum and Water) at my side – and – a bottle of Rum nearby.

Those days I loved HERCULES XXX Rum – later – I started drinking Old Monk Rum.

My recipe would have read this way:

  1. Pour ONE LARGE PEG of Rum in a glass (tumbler) – and top up the glass with Water.
  1. Place the cooking pan on the stove.
  1. Have one sip of Rum.
  1. Add oil to the pan.
  1. Have two sips of Rum.
  1. Add chopped onions and sauté.
  1. From time to time keep generously sipping Rum from your glass – and sauté the onions – till you finish your glass of Rum-Pani (Rum with Water).
  1. Add ginger, garlic, chilly paste and mix properly.
  1. Make another drink of Rum-Pani (the Second LARGE PEG of Rum)
  1. Have one sip of Rum
  1. Add the Mutton –blend well in the mixture.
  1. Have one sip of Rum
  1. Cover the vessel and let the Mutton cook on slow fire
  1. After you cover the mutton curry to let it cook –you may relax for some time. During this relaxation period –you must have THREE LARGE PEGS of Rum.

(I hate to count my drinks – but by now – during the cooking process – you would have imbibed FIVE LARGE PEGS of Rum – the first peg filled in the glass – before starting the cooking process – the second peg – after sautéing onions, ginger, garlic, chilly paste etc – then – THREE LARGE PEGS – after you have added the mutton, covered the vessel – and the mutton curry is cooking over slow fire…)

  1. After this – taste the meat.
  1. Then –have ONE MORE LARGE PEG of Rum – till the mutton curry is fully done.
  1. If the mutton is not fully done – have another LARGE PEG of Rum.
  1. By now – the mutton is likely to be properly cooked – and ready to eat.

Then – start Eating the Mutton Curry piping hot – with Bread or Rice (which you can cook on the side in a pressure cooker)

Depending on the quality of the mutton (and your mood) – this “drunkard” mutton curry dish should take around 6 to 7 LARGE PEGS of Rum – for it to be fully ready.

And – after imbibing 6 or 7 large pegs of Rum (half a bottle of Rum) – you will be fully in the mood to relish the delicious “Drunkard” Mutton Curry.

Disclaimer:

  1. This is an “experimental” recipe – so try the recipe at your own risk
  2. Skip this recipe in case you are a Teetotaller.
  3. Vary the Exact Quantity/Proportion of ingredients as per your culinary experience and taste.

Tip:

It is my experience that “Drunkard” Mutton Curry tastes better – after you have downed a generous amount of Rum 

If you have cooked the dish yourself – then you would surely have half a bottle of Rum inside you

But – even if you are a guest – you better be drunk enough to enjoy this dish – after all – it is called “Drunkard” Mutton Curry

Cheers…!!!

Happy Cooking…!!!

Hic…!!!

Happy Eating…!!!

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 is an “experimental” recipe – so try itat your own risk. Skip this recipe in case you are a Teetotaller. Vary the Exact Quantity/Proportion of ingredients as per your culinary experience and taste.
  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/2017/01/cooking-for-drunkards-drunkard-mutton.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Extract from of my Food Blog Post MILITARY FOOD – ARMY STYLE COOKING : FAUJI “LANGAR WALA” MUTTON CURRY posted by me Vikram Karve online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/12/military-food-army-style-cooking-fauji.html  and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/10/03/cooking-for-drunkards-drunkard-mutton-curry/ and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/military-cuisine-langar-wala-mutton.html

The Elusive Telephone

October 25, 2018

The Elusive Telephone

Hilarious “Memoir” from My Glorious Vizag Navy Days

My “Better Half” always says that our delightful Vizag Navy Days was our best time in the Navy – though my favourite Navy Days are my Mumbai Navy Days – as a young bachelor – and much later – as a family man.

Here is a story from my unforgettable Vizag Navy Days.

This story happened more than 30 years ago – in the late 1980’s – when we were in Visakhapatnam (Vizag).

Dear Reader:

Please remember that this story happened more than 30 years ago – in the 1980’s.

Those were the days of landline telephones – much before the advent of mobile cellphones.

And yes – those were the days of the pre-liberalisation “Licence-Permit-Quota Raj” socialist regime – which existed till “liberalisation” happened in 1991 – after which – everything was “liberalised”.

And – in those days of “socialism” – it was difficult to get many things – that we take for granted today – like a simple telephone connection…

In today’s world where everyone has a mobile phone – it is difficult to imagine a life without a phone at home – but that was the reality in the 1970’s/1980’s – and – in the Navy – only Senior Officers had the “luxury” of a residential phone at home.

Read on – and have a laugh…

THE TELEPHONE – A Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve

Part 1 – THE ELUSIVE TELEPHONE

“There was no need for you to come personally all the way to my house so late at night – you could have called up and taken my approval on phone…” my boss, a Commodore, said to me when I went to his office first thing in the morning.

“Sir, I don’t have a phone at home…” I said.

“What…? You don’t have a phone at home…? Why…? I had sanctioned a residential phone for you almost a week ago – on the very same day that you reported for duty…” the Commodore said.

“Sir – the phone has not been installed so far…” I said.

“Have you checked up with Commander ‘X’…?” the Commodore asked me.

Commander ‘X’ was Manager (Technical Services) – the Officer-in-Charge of Telephones.

“Yes, Sir – but Commander ‘X’ told me that there are no spare connections available right now – so – it will take some time to give me phone at home…” I said.

“What nonsense…? I had clearly told him to install the phone surrendered by Commander ‘Y’ at your residence – I wanted you to have the same number – so that it becomes easy to me to remember…” my boss said.

(Commander ‘Y’ was my predecessor – who had handed over charge to me a week ago before proceeding on transfer to his new faraway station. In fact – Commander ‘Y’ had got what was considered a “prize posting”)

“I don’t know, Sir – but the phone has still not been installed at my residence…” I said.

The Commodore pressed the intercom switch – and – the Commodore said to his PA sitting in the next room:

“Call Commander ‘X’ here to my office – I want him to personally report to me immediately.”

Part 2 – A FLASHBACK – THE BACKGROUND STORY

While we wait for Commander ‘X’ to come – let me tell you a bit of the background of this episode.

This story happened more than 30 years ago – in the 1980’s.

Of course – in the 1980’s – there were no mobile phones.

And – in those days – in the Navy – having a landline residential phone was a luxury.

In fact – having a residential phone was considered a big status symbol.

Only very senior officers were given phones at home.

As far as the other officers were concerned – only those in “key” appointments were given residential phones.

Now – it seemed that I was in a “key” appointment – at least as far as my boss was concerned.

So – he had sanctioned a residential phone for me – just like my predecessor Commander ‘Y’ had been given – and – in fact – he had instructed the Manager (Technical Services) Commander ‘X’ – that I was to have the same number as Commander ‘Y’

But – Commander ‘X’ had not installed the phone so far – and it looked like Commander ‘X’ was going to get a severe “bottle” from the Commodore – who seemed quite annoyed that the phone was still not installed in my house.

(In Navy parlance – a “bottle” means a scolding – a full blast Navy style reprimand – in colourful profane language – a severe dressing-down.

Yes – the term  “BOTTLE”  is Naval Slang for a “Reprimand”. 

“Bottle” may have been shortened from “a dose from the foretopman’s bottle”.

This may be connected with the story that – in sailing ship days – bottles of medicine (for common ailments) were labelled according to the “parts of the ship” – and that – when a seaman reported to the sick bay – he was dosed from the bottle belonging to his own part of the ship)

Now to come back to our story…

The Commodore had summoned Commander ‘X’ – and – it looked like Commander ‘X’ was going to get a severe “bottle” from the Commodore – who seemed quite annoyed that the phone was still not installed in my house.

Part 3 – THE MYSTERY OF MY TELEPHONE

After a few minutes – the (Manager Technical Services) Commander ‘X’ arrived in the Commodore’s office.

Commander ‘X’ saluted the Commodore.

(My Boss – the Commodore sitting in front of us – was the Boss of Commander ‘X’ too).

The Commodore did not ask Commander ‘X’ to sit down.

The Commodore pointed his fingers towards me – and he asked Commander ‘X’:

“Why didn’t you install a phone in his house…?”

“Sir, there is no spare connection…” Commander ‘X’ said.

“What bloody spare connection…? I told you shift the same phone that was with Commander ‘Y’ to his house – I want him to have the same number…” my boss said, pointing at me.

“Sir, Commander ‘Y’ has retained accommodation. He has left his wife behind in station…” Commander ‘X’ said.

“So what…? Commander ‘Y’ can retain accommodation – he can leave his wife here – but he has to surrender his residential phone before proceeding on transfer. Why the bloody hell did you sign his “outgoing” clearance if Commander ‘Y’ had not surrendered his telephone…?” my boss asked, raising his voice.

“Sir, I was given instructions…” Commander ‘X’ mumbled.

“Instructions…? What bloody instructions…?” my boss said, looking angrily at Commander ‘X’.

“Sir, I was told not to disconnect the phone from Commander Y’s house – I was told that the same telephone number was to remain there…” Commander ‘X’ mumbled.

“Who the hell told you that…” my boss shouted at Commander ‘X’.

Commander ‘X’ uttered a name – Commodore ‘Z’

“Sir – Commodore ‘Z’ told me to keep the phone in Commander Y’s house till his wife was in station…” Commander ‘X’ said to our boss.

Commodore ‘Z’ was a course-mate of my boss – and – his arch-rival in the promotion game.

On hearing the name of Commodore ‘Z’ – my boss became livid – and he shouted at Commander ‘X’:

So – you are still taking orders from your old boss…? I am your boss now…!!! You remember that…!!! You are being disloyal to me. I hate disloyalty. Now – you listen to me carefully – I want that telephone shifted from Commander Y’s house right now. And – I want the telephone installed in his house within the next one hour…” my boss said, pointing his fingers at me.

“Sir, but…” Commander ‘X’ tried to say.

“You just shut up. If you don’t obey my orders I will make you “sign on your ACR” – I will give you an adverse report for insubordination. Do you understand…?” the furious Commodore shouted at Commander ‘X’ – who was now trembling at the prospect of an adverse remark in his ACR (Annual Confidential Report).

Then my boss turned towards me – and he said to me:

“You go to your house right now and see that Commander ‘X’ installs the telephone properly. The moment the phone is connected – you give me a call – I will be waiting for your call.”

Then the Commodore turned towards Commander ‘X’ and warned him:

“If his call does not come within one hour – you will deeply regret it. I will not tolerate any further insubordination from you.”

The Commodore’s words galvanized Commander ‘X’ into action – and – he personally supervised the shifting of the telephone from Commander Y’s residence to my home.

The phone was installed in my house within 45 minutes.

Part 4 – MY NEIGHBOUR’S WIFE

I may have got a coveted residential phone.

But – the happiest person was my neighbour’s wife.

Yes – the moment the inquisitive lady realised that a phone was being installed in my residence – she was delighted.

She asked me for my telephone number.

Then – she immediately rushed to the solitary STD booth in the market – she rang up her mother – and gave her mother my residence number.

She told her mother to call up at 8 PM at night.

Those days – the only way to make outstation calls was to queue up at 7 PM outside the solitary STD booth in the market – and wait your turn to make your call.

Why 7 PM…?

Well – STD rates were discounted 50% after 7 PM.

If you made an STD call – you had to foot the bill.

But – if you had a phone at home – your relatives could call you – and they would have to foot the bill.

And also – you had better privacy than at the STD booth.

Now that I had a residential phone – and – it was the only phone in our block of 4 houses – we would have to do a bit of “social service” – and let our neighbours use our phone – and also offer them drinks and snacks while they waited for their calls.

So – at around 7:45 PM – my neighbour and his wife arrived at my house – to celebrate our new telephone.

PART 5 – HANKY PANKY

A few minutes before 8 PM – my neighbour’s wife was sitting in anticipation beside the telephone – waiting for her mother’s call from Delhi – while I poured a drink of “Rum-Pani” for her husband.

Suddenly – the phone rang.

My neighbour’s wife picked up the phone and excitedly said:

“Hello, Ma…”

Then – she was quiet for some time – as if listening intently.

Slowly – the expression on her face changed.

Then – my neighbour’s wife gave a puzzled look – and she kept down the phone.

“What happened…?” I asked her.

“It was some strange man – he was calling me Sugar – and – he was saying all sorts of obscene and “dirty” things to me…” my neighbour’s wife said.

Sugar”…?” I asked her.

“Yes – the man on the phone kept saying Sugar” Darling – Sugar” Darling…” my neighbour’s wife said.

“What…? He was saying Sugar” Darling – Sugar” Darling…?” I asked her.

“Yes – and – he was using very romantic intimate “dirty” language…” my neighbour’s wife said, blushing.

Suddenly – the phone rang again.

This time  – I picked up the telephone – and I placed the phone receiver near my ear.

A male voice was speaking:

“Hey – Sugar” Darling – why did you disconnect – I am back in town – it was a terrible trip – I really missed you – I will come over to your house at 9 PM – and then – we will…”

“Excuse me – I think you have dialled the wrong number…” I interrupted him.

“Wrong number…? Isn’t this number ******…?” the male voice at the other end said – repeating the 6 digits of my phone number.

“The phone number is correct – but there is no Sugar” Darling around here…” I said, tongue-in-cheek.

“Who the hell are you…? And what are you doing in Mrs Y’s house…?” the male voice said angrily.

Comprehension began to dawn on me pretty fast.

I remembered the name mentioned by Commander ‘X’ in my boss’s office – Commodore ‘Z’  the name of Commander X’s previous boss – who had asked Commander ‘X’ not to shift the phone from Commander Y’s house.

I decided to have some fun.

“By any chance – are you Commodore ‘Z’ speaking…?” I said into the mouthpiece of the phone.

“That’s right. I am Commodore ‘Z’ speaking – but who the hell are you…?” he said.

I identified myself – and then – I said to Commodore ‘Z’:

“Sir – this phone is now with me – in my house…”

“What…? How…? Who shifted the phone from Commander Y’s house…?” he said, confused.

I wanted to end the conversation – so I wished him “Good Night” – and I disconnected the phone.

I realized that my neighbour’s wife was “all ears” – and – she was listening intently to the conversation.

So – I had no choice but to tell everyone the full story.

I told them everything – about the telephonic conversation with Commodore ‘Z’ – and what had happened earlier in the morning in the office of my Boss.

It was evident – that some “hanky-panky” was going on between Commodore ‘Z’ and Commander Y’s wife – because – Commodore ‘Z’ was affectionately calling Commander Y’s wife as Sugar” Darling

Everyone started laughing.

My neighbour’s wife was a gossipy type.

I knew that juicy gossip of this “telephone affair” would spread like wildfire.

Soon – the NWWA Ladies Network would be abuzz with spicy rumors of this “stealing affections” hanky-panky  the passionate “extramarital” telephonic affair – between Commodore ‘Z’ – and his Sugar” Darling (Commander Y’s wife).

As we laughed – the phone rang again.

This time – it was my neighbour’s wife’s mother from Delhi.

It was the telephone call we had been waiting for.

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/2017/04/sugar-and-spice.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Revised and Spiced Up Version of my Spoof TELEPHONE HANKY-PANKY first posted online by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog more than 4 years ago on 9/02/2014 03:59:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/09/humor-in-uniform-telephone-hanky-panky.html  and reposted at urls:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/10/humor-in-uniform-telephone-affair.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/06/humor-in-uniform-telephonic-hanky-panky.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/11/humor-in-uniform-telephone-affair.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/04/humor-in-uniform-telephone.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/humor-in-uniform-story-of-telephone.html  and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/01/07/humor-in-uniform-the-telephone/ etc

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