Archive for September 11th, 2019

Birthday Story

September 11, 2019
Today is September 12, 2019 – my 63rd Birthday.
Yes – I was born on September 12, 1956 – and now – I am 63 years old.

I wrote this story 6 years ago – on my birthday  September 12,  2013.

I posted the story on my blog.

I think it is one of my good stories.

Surprisingly – this story went unnoticed and unappreciated.

So – I am posting this story once more  for you to read.

Do tell me if you like it.

SEPTEMBER 12

Seven Pages from the Diary of My Life

My Very Own Love Story By Vikram Karve

Part 1

12 September 1977

Shivalik Hostel – IIT Delhi

VIJAY and ME

It is our 21st Birthday.

Yes – we are both 21 years old today.

Vijay and Me were born on the same day.

Our hostel-mates brought a specially ordered birthday cake all the way from CP from the famous Wenger’s Bakery for Vijay and me – and we celebrated our birthday in our hostel canteen at tea time.

We have been celebrating our birthday together for the last 12 years – for 7 years in our boarding school at Lovedale near Ooty.

And then for 5 years here at IIT Delhi.

But – this is a special occasion for two reasons.

We are 21 years old.

And – this may be our last birthday together.

Who knows where we will be next year – after we finish our B. Tech. engineering course – and each of us go our own ways pursuing our own careers in the journey of our lives.

To celebrate this special occasion we decide to booze – for the first time in our lives.

So – we get a bottle of Whisky from the booze shop in Green Park.

And we get lots of Tandoori Chicken and Kebabs from the Essex Farms shop in Hauz Khas.

Then we sit on the terrace and drink and talk – reminisce about our childhood and the good times we had together.

By the time we kill the bottle of whisky – we are gloriously drunk.

In that glorious drunken state we make a promise to each other – Vijay and Me – we promise each other – that we will meet every year on the 12th of September to celebrate our birthdays together.

Part 2

12 September 1978

Bangalore

VIJAY and ME

As promised – we meet on our birthday.

This is our first birthday after we passed out with our B.Tech. degrees.

Vijay comes down from Ahmedabad – where he is studying Management at the elite “IIM-A”.

I pick him up from the railway station – and I drive him down on my scooter to my room in the trainee hostel.

In the morning I show him my workplace – my impressive factory – and then my boss gives me the day off to celebrate my birthday.

We scooter down to heart of town – and we spend a few hours loafing, window-shopping and ogling at the PYTs strolling on Brigade Road and MG Road.

Later – after a few beers – we enjoy a “Cabaret” (our first) at a restaurant called “Three Aces”.

Emboldened by “Dutch Courage” fuelled by the alcohol in our veins – we want to do something more “adventurous”.

But – the moment I see those “sexy females” – I chicken out.

I do not want to admit that I am feeling scared.

So – I say that I am experiencing “pangs of conscience” in doing such “sinful” things.

Vijay instantly agrees.

He looks relieved.

I think – that like me – Vijay too is feeling anxious – and is “shit scared” about the whole sordid thing.

We beat a hasty retreat.

And so – we end our 22nd Birthday with our virtue unspoiled – and our virginity intact.

Part 3

12 September 1982

Visakhapatnam (Vizag)

VIJAY USHA and ME

I really like Usha – Vijay’s brand new wife.

Usha is a plump, graceful girl with a very pretty face.

She has a sincere, friendly smile which radiates a charming innocence.

They were married just a month ago – and I could not attend their wedding as I was sent abroad for more than 3 years for advanced training and on-the-job work experience.

That is why I am so happy that I could keep our 12th September birthday date after a gap of four years.

(We met last on 12 September 1978 in Bangalore – remember…!)

They say that when a woman finds her way into a group of men friends – especially two close friends like Vijay and me – the friendship among men sometimes disintegrates.

But after meeting Usha – I know that is not going to happen.

Usha is a “back-home-type” small town girl.

She has a certain innocent charm about her.

Usha welcomes me into her home with honest warmth and genuine affection – and I instantly know that we are going to get along very well – and the bonds of my friendship with Vijay are going to be strengthened.

“How come you landed up in Vizag?” I ask Vijay.

“You have to prove yourself in the field before they take you to the company headquarters in Mumbai,” Vijay says.

Vijay has specialized in Marketing at IIM and has landed up a lucrative job at a famous FMCG company and he has been given the most challenging assignment.

Vijay cribs about Vizag being quite a boring place.

But his wife Usha says, “I wish we stay here. I love Visakhapatnam. It is such a nice place, the people are so good here and we are very happy here. I don’t want to go to big city like Mumbai.”

Vijay has taken the day off so we drive down the East Coast Road to Rishikonda Beach and swim in the sea.

Vijay keeps calling Usha to join us in the water for a swim but she seems quite shy.

Usha sits on the beach in her sari – and she watches Vijay and Me enjoy ourselves frolicking in the cool blue water of the Bay of Bengal.

In the evening – Vijay and Me – we sip chilled beer on the lush green lawns of the Waltair Club.

We both want Usha to come with us to the club, but Usha remains at home.

Usha tells us to enjoy ourselves but she insists that we come home for dinner as she will be cooking something special for the occasion.

Vijay starts talking about his newly wedded wife, “Sorry about Usha, yaar – she is quite a prudish type. Usha likes to remain home most of the time. She just does not want to go out anywhere. You saw how shy she was at the beach.”

“Hey – don’t say that. Usha is the best thing that happened to you. You are lucky to get such a good wife…” I say.

When we get home – I am impressed by the awesome way in which Usha has decorated the house for our birthday.

Usha has baked a birthday cake for both of us.

We cut the freshly baked birthday cake – and then – all of us enjoy a sumptuous dinner.

For both of us, –Vijay and Me – it was a memorable birthday indeed.

Early next morning – I say goodbye.

We promise to meet next year.

And then – I catch the morning flight out of Vizag.

Part 4

12 September 1984

Mumbai

VIJAY USHA NISHA and ME

Well – I could not make it last year – on the 12th of September 1983 – as I was again sent abroad on a project – so we meet after a gap of 2 years.

Vijay has moved up the ladder pretty fast.

Just recently – he has been posted to the Head Office of his FMCG Company.

That is the beauty of being an IIM graduate – you move up very fast.

I wish that – like Vijay – I too had had taken the IIM route – to a white-collar job in the corporate sector.

Instead – I decided to be a hard-core engineer – where you have to slog it out in the field – especially if you land up in “projects”.

I sit with Vijay’s wife Usha sipping tea in the balcony of their 3rd floor sea facing company flat on Marine Drive in Mumbai.

We watch the sunset – it is a spectacular sight – the interplay of colours in the sky and the sun is being swallowed by the placid blue waters of the Arabian Sea.

After the sun sets – the lights on the Queen’s Necklace come on – it looks fascinating.

The phone rings – and Usha goes inside to pick it up.

“You have a shower and get ready…” Usha says, “I’ll get ready too. Vijay said he will be here in half an hour – and we will go straightaway to the club.”

“Club…? Why club…? Let’s sit at home. You cook something simple. We’ll just sit and chat…” I say.

“Vijay said we’ll all go to the club…” Usha says with finality.

When Vijay arrives – there is a woman with him.

She looks beautiful, chic and very elegant.

Vijay introduces us to each other.

The woman’s name is Nisha – and she is Vijay’s colleague in his office.

Nisha has an MBA in finance.

She was working abroad for some years.

Recently – Nisha has joined Vijay’s company as Finance Manager.

Vijay introduces Nisha as his office colleague.

But my sixth sense tells me that this woman Nisha is much more than a mere colleague.

Nisha goes in to freshen up.

“I hope you don’t mind if Nisha comes with us…” Vijay says to me.

“Of course I do mind if she comes with us…” I say, “we don’t want “outsiders” in our get-together – do we…?”

“Let her come…” Usha pleads with me, “Poor thing. Nisha has just come back to India after getting out of a bad marriage. She has no one else in Mumbai – and Vijay is helping her settle down.”

“She’ll be good company…” Vijay says.

“I hope you are not trying to set me up with Nisha…?” I ask, tongue-in-cheek.

We start laughing – but suddenly Nisha comes in.

We drive to the club.

Usha sits beside Vijay in front.

Nisha sits with me in the rear of Vijay’s new Maruti 800 car.

(Way back in 1984 – a Maruti Car was a prized possession – and Vijay is one of the lucky guys to get a much sought after Maruti Car from the first lot…)

The smallness of the car creates a forced intimacy between Nisha and me.

Nisha sits close to me – the aroma of her perfume is enticing – our bodies touch – and I feel aroused by her tantalizing sensuousness.

Nisha is indeed a very alluring woman.

We sit by the sea – watching lights of ships at a distance in the darkness – and we enjoy our drinks in a most pleasant ambience.

We – Vijay and Me – we drink Scotch Whisky.

Nisha gets high on Martini – while Usha has fruit juice.

It is a lovely evening.

On the way back – we drop Nisha at a working women’s hostel in Colaba – her temporary home till she finds a good apartment.

“Poor thing – it must be tough for Nisha to live in a hostel. Vijay – you must find her a good apartment quickly…” Usha says to her husband Vijay – as we drive towards Marine Drive.

“I am trying to get Nisha a flat near our office in Churchgate…” Vijay says.

We drive down to Chowpatty – and walk on the sands by the sea – eating ice cream – a delightful end to a pleasurable evening.

Part 5

12 September 1987

New Delhi

VIJAY NISHA and ME

Last time – 3 years ago – it was Vijay, Usha, Nisha and Me – four of us together.

Now – Usha is missing – and – it is Vijay, Nisha and Me.

Yes – Usha has gone – and in her place – there is Nisha.

Vijay divorced Usha and married Nisha.

Then both of them – Nisha and Vijay – they relocated abroad to America.

Now –they both work in New York.

And me – after slogging for many years in the field – I have finally been posted to our Delhi office.

It is great to be back in Delhi – after so many years.

We spend a nostalgic day visiting all our haunts in IIT Delhi – our hostel rooms, the canteens, the classrooms – walk round the campus.

Then – we spend the evening in my bungalow in Saket – drinking late into the night.

Later – when we are alone – Vijay says to me: “I have looked after Usha well. I have bought her a luxurious 3 BHK flat in Pune – and I have given her plenty of money. Yes – I have given her so much money that she can live well …”

“Hey Vijay – why are you telling me all this…? It is your personal matter. Are you feeling guilty…? Don’t feel guilty – just forget it – whatever happened, has happened – and it is past history now. So – don’t feel sorry. Come on – it is well past midnight. You have a flight to catch tomorrow. Let’s go to sleep…” I say.

And then – we go to sleep.

Part 6

12 September 1989

Pune

USHA and ME

“Are you sure Vijay is not coming…?” Usha, my wife, asks me.

(Yes – Vijay’s ex-wife Usha and I got married in 1988)

I look at my wife Usha and say: “No. He is not coming. I rang up Vijay twice today – but he is making all sorts of excuses.”

“Last year – Vijay was abroad on the 12th of September – but this time – he is in Mumbai on work – and he can surely make it – it’s just a 3 hour drive to Pune…” Usha says.

“Well – Usha – I really don’t know. Maybe – Vijay has got a guilty conscience for ditching you. Maybe – he can’t bear to see us together. Or maybe – Nisha has told him not to come…” I say.

“Okay – let’s celebrate your birthday – just you and me…” Usha says – and we go out for dinner.

Part 7

12 September 2012

Khadakwasla near Pune

USHA ME and VIJAY

I sit with Vijay on the lawns of my farmhouse – and we sip our sundowners – as we watch the sun set behind the hills across the lake.

We meet after a gap of 25 years.

The last time Vijay and me got together was on 12 September 1987 – in New Delhi – when Vijay had come with his new wife Nisha – after divorcing Usha.

Like me – I am sure he is thinking about the twists and turns in the journey of our lives.

I think of all the birthdays – the 12th of September – we have spent together.

It is like a merry-go-round of relationships.

First – it was VIJAY and ME.

Then – it was VIJAY USHA and ME.

After that – it was VIJAY USHA NISHA and ME.

Later – it was VIJAY NISHA and ME.

Even later – it was USHA and ME.

Now – it is USHA ME and VIJAY.

Yes, Dear Reader – you guessed right.

Nisha divorced Vijay – and now – Vijay is all alone.

Next morning – I drop Vijay to the Mumbai Airport – and he catches the flight back home to America.

EPILOGUE

12 September 2013

Pune

USHA ME and Vijay…???

I hope Vijay will come.

But – I know he will not come.

I could see it in his eyes last time.

Maybe – Vijay will never come.

Maybe – Vijay and I will never meet again.

So – maybe this birthday – the 12th of September 2013 – and all my future birthdays – all the 12th’s of September – I will have to celebrate with my “much married wife” Usha.

Of course – it was thanks to Vijay – that I first met Usha – in Vizag – 31 years ago – on 12 September 1982 – when she was newly married to Vijay.

But – on every 12th of September – I will always wait for Vijay – who was born on the same day as I was born – on the exact date and year – as if he were my twin brother.

Dear Reader:

Vijay did not come.

Yes – as you guessed – Vijay did not come on September 12, 2013.

He did not come the next year too – on September 12, 2014.

He did not come the next year too – on September 12, 2015.

And – Vijay did not come on September 12, 2016.

He did not turn up on September 12, 2017 too.

And he did not come on September 12, 2018.

Since the 12th of September 2012 – Vijay has not come to meet me on my birthday.

But – like always – on every 12th of September – I will wait for Vijay to come.

Tell me – Dear Reader: 

Do you think Vijay will come today – on my birthday  the 12th of September 2019…?

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 the 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.com/2017/09/7-birthdays-september-12.html

I wrote this story 6 years ago in September 2013 and this story was first posted online by me Vikram Karve on 12 September 2013 in my blog at 9/12/2013 02:16:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/09/september-12.html and later re-posted at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/05/my-love-story-7-pages-from-diary-of-my.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/11/my-love-story-vignettes-from-diary-of.htmland http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/09/12-september-my-birthday-story.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/12-september-7-pages-from-diary-of-my.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/my-very-own-love-story-september-12.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/05/seven-pages-from-diary-of-my-life.html  and  https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/08/24/september-12-seven-birthdays/  etc

Birthday Resolution

September 11, 2019
September 12, 2019 – my 63rd Birthday.
Yes – I was born on September 12, 1956 – and now – I am 63 years old.
Here is My Birthday Resolution: 
 
I will try my best to “flower” and “bloom” – wherever I am – with whatever I have…” 
 
Yes – “Wherever God has planted me – I will try to flower and bloom…”
This is my Birthday Resolution.
BIRTHDAY RESOLUTION – ON MY 63rd BIRTHDAY – SEPTEMBER 12,  2019
Introspection by Vikram Karve 

I learnt more about the Art of Living by reading good literature – rather than from hearing sermons and moral lectures – or from high-falutin philosophy or spiritualism.

One thing good about the Navy is that it inculcated and fostered the reading habit in me.

I read a lot of sea stories and novels like The Cruel SeaThe Caine MutinyRun Silent Run DeepHMS UlyssesTales of the South Pacific  and so many more – navy books and sea novels.

One sea novel I like very much is:

THE CAPTAIN by Jan De Hartog

In this story – the protagonist is a Merchant Navy Officer who is frustrated because – owing to reasons beyond his control – he gets stuck in Tugs whereas he wants to sail in the main fleet.

Seeing his frustration – his Tug Captain gives him a maxim:

“Ou Dieu vous a seme  il faut savoir fleurir”

which roughly translated means

You must know how to flower where God has sown you

or

wherever God plants you – there you must learn how to bloom

The young Merchant Navy Officer takes this to heart – he works very hard on the Tug – and then – he works with dedication, sincerity and devotion to duty throughout his career on Tugs.

In due course – he becomes the most famous sea-going Tug Captain – and ultimately the owner of flourishing company with a huge fleet of ocean going tugs.

Inspired by this book – I too tried my best to imbibe this philosophy in my life – especially in my Naval Career – and – I tried my best to “flower” wherever the Navy posted me.

It is good philosophy to apply in your life:

“Wherever God plants you  there you must learn how to flower and bloom…”

NAVY MOTTO

“LIKE IT” OR “LUMP IT”

If you don’t like it – just lump it

If you do not get what you like.

Then – you must learn to like what you get.

And – you must make the most of it

Like they say in the Navy:

If you don’t “like” it – just “lump” it.

Simply stated:

“Like it” or “Lump it”.

There is another saying I read a few years ago:

If life gives you a “Lemon”  make “Lemonade”.

Yes – when life gives you a “lemon” – use that “lemon” and make “lemonade” – instead of cribbing and carping – wallowing in self pity – becoming bitter and spreading bitterness – and making your own life hell and everyone else’s life miserable.

Like they say in (Neurolinguistic Programming (NLP):

There is no such thing as “failure”.

There is only “learning experience”.

So – metaphorically – the “lemon” is the failure – and – the “lemonade” is the learning experience.

And this “learning experience” will enable you to “flower” and “bloom” wherever you are “sown” or “planted”

Well – I have tried to follow this mantra:

“Ou Dieu vous a seme  il faut savoir fleurir”

When I was in the Navy – wherever the Navy transferred me – to whatever job they assigned me – whether they promoted me or not – I tried not to get disillusioned or demoralized.

And – in my own inimitable style:

I tried to “flower” and “bloom” – wherever I was “sown” or “planted”

Yes – I made “lemonade” with all the “lemons” that the Navy gave me.

I am trying to do this after my retirement too – trying to “flower” and “bloom” in the back-of-beyond lonely place called Wakad – on the outskirts of Pune – where God has planted me after my retirement.

That is one of the reasons you are reading this Blog.

Yes – the result of all this “flowering” and “blooming” is this prolific Blog – and the couple of books I have written.

Well – I am going to “flower” and “bloom” away and “bash on regardless” with my Blogging and Writing – since – this is the best thing I can do where God has planted me.

God has given me the “lemon” of loneliness.

And – from this “lemon” of loneliness – I have made the “lemonade” of my blogs – and my books – and all my writing.

Have a good day – whatever “lemons” you get today – just keep making “lemonade” and enjoy every drop of it.

Sometimes you may feel a sense of “failure” – you may feel that you have “failed” in life.

There is no such thing as “failure” – it is all in the mind.

And still – if you feel a sense of “failure” – think of “failure” as a “lemon” – and make “lemonade”.

Talking of the “lemon” of “failure” – let me tell you one thing that I have learnt from my own life experiences.

Sometimes – failure is good.

You can take my word for it.

Remember the maxim:

“Ou Dieu vous a seme  il faut savoir fleurir”

(wherever God plants you – there you must learn how to flower and bloom)

Apply this to your life – and you will “flower and bloom” wherever you are.

Well – I am doing this for a long time – and – on my birthday – I resolve to continue to follow this maxim with even more determination.
I am sure I will succeed.
Dear Reader: 
Please wish me a Happy Birthday 
May you “flower and bloom” wherever God has planted you.

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. These are my personal views. Please do your own due diligence while selecting a philosophy of life.
  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/2017/12/new-years-resolution-2018.html

This article is an abridged version of my article posted online at urls: http://creative.sulekha.com/ou-dieu-vous-a-seme-il-faut-savoir-fleurir_469567_blog andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/2010/10/ou-dieu-vous-seme-il-faut-savoir.html andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/10/learning-art-of-living-from-literature.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/11/navy-philosophy-like-it-or-lump-it.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/10/insipirational-self-help-mantra.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/12/new-years-resolution-2017-i-will-flower.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/05/monday-motivation-inspirational-pep.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/09/navy-motto-like-it-or-lump-it-if-you.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/08/26/monday-motivation-like-it-or-lump-it/ etc

A “Clean” Marriage

September 11, 2019

THE “CLEAN” MARRIAGE

Fiction Short Story By Vikram Karve

Café Samovar Mumbai (circa 2004)

“I want a “clean” marriage…” she says.

“Clean Marriage…?” he asks her, confused.

“A marriage without an “intimate” relationship…” the woman says.

“You want to have a marriage without sex…?” the man asks the woman.

“Yes. A “chaste” relationship – just companionship – no physical relationship…” the woman says.

“Just “platonic” love – no “sexual” love…?” the man says.

“Love…? Well – you can say – a pure and clean “platonic nonsexual relationship”…” the woman says.

The man is puzzled by the woman’s proposal.

Seeing the expression of uncertainty on the man’s face – the woman says to him:

“You think about it. If you think that a “clean marriage” is feasible – and – if you are agreeable for a “clean marriage” – then – please come here tomorrow evening – same time – and we can take it further. I will be waiting for you. But – if you don’t like the idea – please don’t come – I will understand…”

After saying this – the woman smiles at the man – she gets up from her seat – she turns around – and – she walks out of Samovar Café.

Next Evening – Café Samovar Mumbai

When the man enters Café Samovar next evening – he sees the woman sitting on the same table.

He smiles at her – and – he walks towards her.

She smiles back at him.

The woman says to the man: “I knew you would come…”

The man sits down in front of the woman.

They ordered Snacks and Tea – the Samovar Special Pakoda Platter and Pudina Chai (Tea).

The woman speaks first.

“I know there are many questions in your mind. Please speak freely and ask whatever you want. After all – we are thinking of getting married – so – there should be no doubts or confusion at all…” she says to the man.

“You want a completely “sexless” and “sex-free” marriage…?” the man asks the woman.

“Yes…” she says.

“If you are not interested in sex – why get married at all…?

“Is “sex” the only reason why people get married…?”

“No. But it is one of the reasons…”

“But – I don’t want “sex” in my marriage…”

“But why…?”

“I am afraid of having sex…”

“Oh. So – you are not “asexual” – you have “genophobia”…”

“Genophobia…?”

“Yes – genophobia – fear of sex – you are afraid of sexual intimacy…”

“Yes. I have fear of sex. I am afraid of sexual intimacy…”

“May I ask why you are afraid of sexual intimacy..?” the man says.

Seeing the expression of discomfort on the woman’s face – the man feels contrite – and he says to the woman: “I am very sorry…”

“No. No. I will tell you. After all – you are the first man who has shown interest in marrying me despite my precondition for a “clean marriage”. You can ask me whatever you want to ask…” the woman says.

“Your fear of sexual intimacy – is it due to some traumatic incident…?” the man asks the woman.

“Yes. It happened 20 years ago. My uncle tried to brutally rape me. I was only 12 years old. It was a terrifying experience – gruesome and horrific – excruciatingly painful – I suffered unimaginable agony. I was totally shattered…”

“I’m so sorry…”

“And – after that traumatic incident – I haven’t had any form of sexual contact with anyone – I feel terrified by the very thought of sex – I feel frightened if any man comes near me – or touches me….”

“And women…?”

“What do you mean…?”

“Have you been intimate with women…?”

“What are you saying…?” the woman says, looking uncomfortable.

“It’s okay – it’s okay – let’s talk something else…” the man says, trying to comfort the woman.

The woman remains silent for some time.

Then – the woman says:

“Let me make it clear. I am not a lesbian. I like men. I like being friends with of men. I want the companionship of a man. That is why I want to get married. But – I am afraid of having sex with a man. That’s why I want a “clean” marriage…”

“A “clean” marriage…!!!” the man says, “I really wonder…?”

“I am sure we will be able to make it work…” the woman says, “you and me – can’t we have a “pure” and “chaste” relationship – can’t we enjoy each other’s company and live together as best friends…?”

“We can have a “trial marriage” – we can live together…”

“No. No. I want a proper marriage – a commitment – we will have everything that is there is a proper marriage – except sex…”

“Oh. So – no “Ludus”…!”

“Ludus…? What’s “Ludus”…? It sounds obscene…!”

“No. No. Nothing obscene about it…! “Ludus” is playful and uncommitted love – like they have in casual relationships…”

“Oh…! Yes – no “Ludus”…!”

“Well – you want “Philia” – friendship, goodwill, companionship, dependability, trust…”

“Yes. Yes. That is what I want…”

“And maybe – a bit of “Pragma” – and of course – “Storge” – a sort of “familial” love – a long-term relationship where sex may not be that important…”

“I don’t want sex at all…”

“Of course – you made that quite clear right from the beginning – absolutely no “Eros” – no sexual passionate love…”

“I am getting confused by your jargon…”

“It’s not “jargon” – there are seven types of love – Eros, Philia, Storge, Agape, Ludus, Pragma, Philautia – if you’re interested – I’ll tell you more…”

“Of course I’m interested – tell me…”

And so – the man tells the woman all about love.

She listens intently to the man.

And – when he finishes – she says to him:

“You know so much. You are very interesting man. I’d love to get married to you. I think we can have a great “clean” marriage. Let’s get married…”

“I think we should meet one more time…” the man says.

“Okay. Tomorrow evening – over here – same time…?”

“Let’s meet at my place. Unless…”

“Yes. Let’s meet at your place. I’d love to see your house…” the woman says, enthusiastically.

“Okay. I’ll message you my address and exact location…” the man says to the woman.

“That’s great. I’ll come after work in the evening…”

“I’ll wait for you. We can talk – and cook some dinner together…”

“Wow. I’d love that. But tomorrow – we will talk about you. I have told you about myself – my expectations. Now – you have to tell me why you are interested in a “clean” marriage…” the woman says to the man.

“Okay…” the man says.

They – the man and the woman – they get up from their seats – walk out of Samovar Café – into the foyer of Jehangir Art Gallery – they wish each other “Good Bye” – and walk away towards their destinations.

Next Evening – The Man’s Apartment on Marine Drive, Mumbai

The next evening – at 7 PM – the woman rings the doorbell of the man’s sea-facing 3rd floor flat on Marine Drive.

The man opens the door – he smiles at the woman – and he says to the woman:

“Welcome to my home. You found the place easily…?”

“Yes. I walked down from my office…” the woman says.

The woman walks around the spacious living room and goes into the airy balcony with a beautiful view of the Arabian Sea – the sun has just set a few moments ago – it’s twilight – and the spectacle of the grey sky over the tranquil sea is soothing to the soul.

“You have a lovely house…” the woman says.

“Thank you…” the man says – and he asks the woman, “would you like a drink…?”

“I’d love a chilled beer…” she says.

The man pours a glass of beer for her – and – a stiff whisky-soda for himself.

“Let’s sit in the balcony…” the woman says, “the view is lovely and the breeze is cool…”

They sit in the balcony – sip their drinks.

The woman looks at the man – and she says to him:

“Tell me – why do you want a “clean” marriage…?”

“I feel that sex is dirty…” the man says.

“Dirty…? You feel that sex is dirty…? But – I once heard someone say that good sex is supposed to be “dirty”…” the woman says.

“Not that type of “dirty”…” the man says, “I feel that the act of sex is disgusting – repulsive…”

“Oh – so you hate sexual intimacy – you find it dirty and repulsive…”

“Yes…”

“And – may I ask why…?”

“Well. I don’t wish to go into details. So – let’s leave it at that…”

“See. We have to be totally frank with each other. I told you everything yesterday – why I want a “clean” marriage – I told you that I am afraid of sex – I told you the reason why I am afraid of sex – due to that traumatic experience where my uncle tried to brutally rape me. What about you…? Were you sexually abused when you were small…? Is that why you find sex so disgusting and repulsive…?”

“No. No. I was not sexually abused. It is something else…”

“Something else…? Come on – tell me everything – I am going to be your wife…”

“Well – long ago – around 20 years ago – when we were deck cadets – we used to visit lots of ports all over the world – and once – out of curiosity – and – more out of peer pressure – we visited a brothel – a whorehouse…”

“Oh – so you have been to prostitutes…?” the woman asks.

“Only once – and – after that disgusting experience – never afterwards…” the man says.

“What happened…?”

“It was a sleazy place – filthy, smelly and squalid – and the hideous woman – she was so coarse and distasteful – the experience was so repulsive – that I just couldn’t perform…”

“Couldn’t perform…?”

“Yes – I was only 18 – it was my first time – and – I had this horrid experience – and after that – I started feeling that sex is dirty, disgusting and unclean…”

“You never had sex after that…?”

“No…”

“You don’t find women attractive…?”

“Of course, I do – I am not “gay” – I find women attractive – but – when it comes to sex…”

“So – you never tried to have sex with a woman after that tragic first experience…?”

“I tried – a few times – but – let’s not talk about it…” the man says.

“Okay. Just one last thing…” the woman says.

“One last thing…?”

“Don’t you get the “urge” sometimes…?”

“Why are you asking all this..?”

“I am worried that if you suddenly get the “urge” – you may do something to me…”

“Why will I do something to you…? I told you that I find the very idea of sexual intercourse dirty…”

“So – what do you do when you get the “urge”…?”

“You are going into great detail – aren’t you…?”

“Come on – we are going to be husband and wife – no secrets between us. Tell me – what do you do when get the “urge”…”

“I satisfy myself…”

“Me too…” the woman says to the man, “We are in “sync” – aren’t we…? We both hate sex – you find sex “dirty” – and – I am “scared” of sex. We are quite “compatible” – aren’t we – at least as far as sex is concerned…?”

“Yes…” the man says, “I think a “clean” marriage will suit us – no sex – just companionship and love…”

“Love…?”

“Yes – I think I have fallen in love with you…” the man says to the woman.

“Me too…” the woman says, “you were the first one who responded to my “clean marriage” matrimonial ad – and we met the same day – I liked you so much – and I could see that you liked me too – I knew that things would work out – so – I deleted my matrimonial profile from the site that very evening…”

“So – should we go ahead…?”

“Of course – let’s get married…”

“I will be so happy to be married – when I return from sea – I wouldn’t have to come to an empty house – I know you will be waiting for me…” the man says, “and maybe – if things work out – I will take up the Superintendent’s job they are offering me – then my office will be near yours too…”

“Yes. It will be good for me too – to have a friend and companion like you. And – all those lecherous men who prey on single women – they will stop pestering me – once they know I am married…” the woman says.

“Yes. Let’s get married …” they say together.

They clink their glasses and raise a toast:

“Let’s wish ourselves a successful “clean” marriage…

And so – the man and the woman – they got married.

Their “clean” marriage was a great success.

Dear Reader:

You may be wondering:

How do I know that their marriage was a success…?

Well – around 10 years after they got married – I met the couple in Café Samovar at the Jehangir Art Gallery.

They looked so happy – the man – the woman – and their two children – a boy and a girl – “byproducts” of their “clean” marriage.

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
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Disclaimer:

  1. This blog post is a fictional spoof, 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 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.

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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 blog post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2019/02/an-unfinished-love-story-clean-marriage.html

Story continued from my blog post UNFINISHED STORY url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/02/13/inchoate-love-story-a-clean-marriage/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/04/24/unfinished-story-the-clean-marriage/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/06/12/an-unfinished-story-the-clean-marriage/and http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2019/01/unfinished-story-clean-marriage.html

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