Archive for September 17th, 2019

Oriental Stories as Tools in Psychotherapy – Book Review

September 17, 2019

I have read somewhere that Teaching Stories have a special quality – if read in a certain kind of way they enlighten you.

There are three ways to read Teaching Stories:-

1. Read the story once.

Then move on to another.

This manner of reading will give you entertainment – maybe produce a laugh – like jokes.

2. Read the story twice.

Reflect on it.

Apply it to your life.

You will feel enriched.

3. Read the story again – after you have reflected on it.

Carry the story around in your mind all day and allow its fragrance, its melody to haunt you.

Create a silence within you and let the story reveal to you its inner depth and meaning.

Let it speak to your heart – not to your brain.

This will give you a feel for the mystical – and you will develop the art of tasting and feeling the inner meaning of such stories – to the point that they transform you.

BOOK REVIEW

Oriental Stories as Tools in Psychotherapy
Book Review By Vikram Karve 

Book Details 

Title: Oriental Stories as Tools in Psychotherapy

Author: Nossrat Peseschkian

First Published: 1982

ISBN: 81 207 1071 1

Book Review – Oriental Stories as Tools in Psychotherapy

An Eastern Merchant owned a Parrot. 

One day – the Parrot knocked over an oil flask. 

The merchant became very angry – and he hit the Parrot on the back of the head.

From that time on – the Parrot – who had previously appeared to be very intelligent – could not talk any more. 

The Parrot lost the feathers on his head – and soon – the Parrot became bald.

One day – as the Parrot was sitting on the bookshelf in his master’s place of business – a “bald-headed” customer entered the shop.

The sight of the “bald-headed” man made the Parrot very excited. 

Flapping his wings – the Parrot jumped around – squawked –and – to everyone’s surprise – the Parrot suddenly regained his speech – and – the Parrot asked the “bald-headed” man:

“Did you, too – knock down an oil flask – and get hit on the back of the head – so that you don’t have any hair any more…?” 

This is a story called “The Merchant and the Parrot” from a delightfully interesting book in my bookcase called “Oriental Stories as Tools in Psychotherapy” by Nossrat Peseschkian.

I bought this book on 12 October 1998 from the International Book Service at Deccan Gymkhana in Pune – and I love to delve into it from time to time.

The book features a fascinating compilation meaningful oriental Teaching Stories – the psycho-therapeutic function of stories is the theme of this book.

The author, a physician and psychotherapist, emphasizes the fact that – long before the development of modern psychotherapy – stories served as instruments of folk psychotherapy – and he highlights – how stories are effective transmitters of messages.

He avers that stories have a lot in common with medication – and – like medicines – if used at the right time – and in the right form – stories can lead to changes in attitude and behavior – but – given in the wrong dosage – and told in an insincere and moralizing way – the application of stories in therapy can be dangerous.

You can study, scrutinize and critically analyze this book if you are a serious reader and want to go deep into the subject – or like me – you can enjoy and be illuminated by the lovely Teaching Stories in the book.

I have read somewhere that Teaching Stories have a special quality – if read in a certain kind of way they enlighten you.

There are three ways to read teaching stories:-

1. Read the story once. Then move on to another. This manner of reading will give you entertainment – maybe produce a laugh; like jokes.

2. Read the story twice. Reflect on it. Apply it to your life. You will feel enriched.

3. Read the story again, after you have reflected on it. Carry the story around in your mind all day and allow its fragrance, its melody to haunt you. Create a silence within you and let the story reveal to you its inner depth and meaning. Let it speak to your heart, not to your brain. This will give you a feel for the mystical and you will develop the art of tasting and feeling the inner meaning of such stories to the point that they transform you.

A good teaching story has several levels of meaning and interpretation and offers us opportunities to think in new ways.

At first you may just have a good laugh – but as you think and reflect – the significance becomes more and more profound.

Each story veils its knowledge and as you ruminate, the walls of its outer meanings crumble away and the beauty of the previously invisible inner wisdom is revealed, and you begin to identify yourself in the story, and to acknowledge that you too could be as foolish or as lacking in discernment as the characters in these classic tales.

If you read the teaching stories narrated in this book in this way you will most certainly feel the therapeutic effect.

Here is a story called “Fifty Years of Politeness” :

An elderly couple celebrated their golden anniversary.

While eating breakfast together – the wife thought:

“For fifty years – I have always been considerate of my husband – and I have always given him the crusty top of the bread roll.

Today – I want to finally enjoy this delicacy for myself.” 

She spread the top part with butter – and she gave the other part to her husband. 

Contrary to her expectations – he was very pleased.

He kissed her hand – and said:

“My darling – you have just given me the greatest joy of the day.

For over fifty years I haven’t eaten the bottom part of the bread roll – which is the part that I like best.

I always thought you should have it because you like it so much.”

I love and cherish this book – which has enhanced me in all aspects of my life.

I browse through the stories quite often – and as I reflect and interpret – I feel refreshed, enlightened and wiser.

Whether it is your work, you marriage, you relationships, your children – or any situation or facet of your life – there is sure to be an apt story in this book for you – which will put you on the path of self-discovery.

I will conclude by paraphrasing a quote from this exquisite and unique book:

“Occasionally – we cannot avoid Science, Mathematics and erudite discussions which aid development of human consciousness.

But occasionally – we also need poetry … and stories – so our spirit can find joy and refreshment…”

I truly liked this delightfully illuminating book.

I am sure you will like it too…!!!

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.

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/2015/04/oriental-stories-as-tools-in.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This Book Review written by me 19 years ago in the year 2000 and earlier Posted Online by me Vikram Karve in my Book Review Blogs at urls: https://vikramkarve.wordpress.com/2007/02/21/teaching-stories-from-the-orient/  and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/03/29/stories-and-psychotherapy-book-review/  and  http://creative.sulekha.com/bibliotherapy-a-fascinating-book-on-my-bookshelves-by-vikram-karve_181534_blog

Humor in Uniform – Fleet Night – Annual Navy Ship Awards Function

September 17, 2019

Sometime ago – at a Navy Veterans’ Meet – I met a shipmate – and – we remembered this delightful story from our wonderful Navy days…

FLEET NIGHT – Navy Ship Awards Function

A “Memoir” By Vikram Karve

This happened long back – around 33 years ago – in the 1980’s.

It was “Fleet Night” – the Annual Fleet Awards Function.

The Chief Guest for the function was the Chief of the Naval Staff (CNS) – who had come down from Naval Headquarters, New Delhi, to grace the occasion.

The C-in-C – the Fleet Commander – and – the local “Top Brass” – all were present with their families.

Officers and Sailors of various Ships of the Fleet were seated with their families in the grand auditorium.

First – there was a most enjoyable entertainment programme performed by officers and sailors of the fleet and their families.

This was followed by a prize distribution ceremony to present the Fleet Awards.

Various Trophies were being awarded to ships.

Our ship was a frontline warship which had performed exceedingly well in all aspects throughout the previous year.

We were sure that our ship deserved to win most of the Trophies.

Many thought that – maybe – our ship would win all the Trophies.

In fact – even officers from other ships acknowledged that our ship deserved most of the Trophies – due to our superb consistent demonstrated performance.

The prize distribution ceremony started.

The winners of the various Trophies were announced by the Fleet Commander – one by one – and – the respective Captains went up to receive the Trophies from the Navy Chief (CNS) who was the Chief Guest.

As the prize distribution progressed – we were disappointed that our ship had not been awarded even one single trophy so far.

It seemed that our ship was being totally ignored.

The blatant bias was evident to all.

Our XO remarked that maybe this prejudice against our ship was because the Fleet Commander did not like our Captain.

We really did not know the actual reason for Fleet Commander’s dislike of our Captain.

But – someone said that this aversion was because our Captain was a “CW Officer” – who had been promoted from the “Lower Deck” under the “Upper Yardman Scheme”

During his service in the “lower deck as a Sailor – our Captain had been selected as a CW (Commission Worthy) Candidate

Then – he been promoted from the ranks of sailors – to the rank of Acting Sub Lieutenant (he was a “Mustang” – in US Navy parlance)

Our Captain was an officer – who started his career as a sailor – and then – he had come up the hard way – unlike most of his “elitist” counterparts – who had joined the “prestigious” National Defence Academy (NDA) – and had been commissioned as Naval Officers – after training as Cadets and Midshipmen.

It seemed that the ex-NDA Fleet Commander had a dislike for “CW Officers” in general – but – he had a particular dislike towards our Captain.

In fact – many officers felt that the ex-NDA Fleet Commander was also biased against Direct Entry Officers who had graduated from the Naval Academy – and – he seemed to openly favour ex-NDA Officers.

It all seemed very unfair to us.

It was clear that our ship was being discriminated against – because of personal likes and dislikes.

As the award ceremony progressed towards its conclusion – we were reconciled to returning back to our ship empty handed – without even one single trophy.

Suddenly – we were surprised to hear our ship’s name being announced for a Trophy.

The Trophy was for “Maximum Days at Sea”.

“Days at Sea” was a recorded fact.

This could not be manipulated.

And – it was an undisputed fact that our ship had indeed spent the maximum days at sea – as compared to other ships of the fleet.

Our Captain went up to receive the Trophy.

The Navy Chief (CNS) presented the “Maximum Days at Sea Trophy” to our Captain.

And – the witty Navy Chief (CNS) remarked to the Fleet Commander:

“Well – you denied him all the trophies – but – you couldn’t deny him this trophy – could you…?”

Ha Ha – what a succinct parting shot…!!!

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 Writing Blog Vikram Karve: https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/a-delightful-story-from-my-wonderful-navy-days-fleet-night/

Link to my source blog post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/03/humor-in-uniform-fleet-night-navy-ship.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised re-post of my “Humor in Uniform” Story PARTING SHOT posted online by me 5 years ago on June 20, 2014 in my blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/06/humor-in-uniform-parting-shot.html and reposted duly revised at urls: https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/03/26/a-delightful-story-from-my-wonderful-navy-days-fleet-night/ and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/humor-in-uniform-fleet-night.html

If you call me “Uncle” – I will call you “Auntie”

September 17, 2019

Last evening – a “girlfriend” started chatting with me during my evening walk.

She was talking to me about her latest foodie adventures.

She spoke to me in a friendly manner – like a friend talks to a friend – and she was calling me by my first name.

Her husband seemed to be feeling “uncomfortable” with our friendly conversation.

After some time – he scolded her: “You should call him “Uncle”…”

This reminded me of a story I had written sometime ago…

THE AGELESS “UNCLE”

When I joined the Navy as a Sub Lieutenant in the 1970’s – young girls started calling me “uncle”

I was barely 20 years old – and this was the first time someone had called me “uncle”

Today – a “young” grandmother just called me “uncle”

This reminded me of a story. I wrote a few years ago..

A STORY FOR MY “GIRLFRIENDS”

Humble Plea of a “Young-at-Heart” Navy “Veteran” Vikram Karve

When I joined the Navy as a Sub Lieutenant in the mid 1970’s – young girls started calling me “uncle”.

I was barely 20 years old – and this was the first time someone had called me “uncle”.

Of course – the girls who called me “uncle” were senior officers’ daughters.

Yes. The girls who called me uncle were members of SODA aka “Senior Officers’ Daughters Association” – and they were following “fauji” social tradition of addressing all officers as “uncle”.

It did not matter that most of these girls who called me “uncle” were almost my age – or just a few years younger.

After retirement – we live in lovely modern residential society in Pune – where most of the residents are young “IT Nerds” and “Techie Couples” working in the IT/ITES/Software Sector.

Sadly – most of the girls called me “uncle”.

Of course – the “girls” – range from nubile young IT Techies in their 20’s – to beautiful young mothers in their 30’s and 40’s.

Believe it or not – but the other day – a rather “middle aged” woman called me “Kaka” (which colloquially implies a rather “elderly” uncle in Marathi).

A few days ago – a “young” grandmother called me “uncle”

I was devastated.

When I joined the Navy in the 1970’s – girls called me “uncle”.

Now – 45 years later – “girls” still call me “uncle”.

To make matters worse – even some of my Facebook and Twitter “Virtual Girlfriends” have started calling me “Uncle” – and – some “Girlfriends” address me as “Sir” too.

Well – I may be old in age.

But – I am still young at heart.

So – all this “Sir” and “Uncle” business makes me feel old – which is a terrible feeling.

I am terrified.

At this rate – soon – some “Girlfriend” may even call me “Grandfather” (or “Ajoba” in Marathi)

Dear “Girlfriends” – Real and Virtual – offline and online – to all of you – I am making a very humble request from the bottom of my heart:

“Please stop calling me “Uncle”, “Sir”, “Kaka” etc – just call me Vikram…”

My Dear “Girlfriends”:

“It is terrible to be made to feel old.

I am sure you will understand my feelings – and – from now on – you will call me “Vikram” .

And – for those “girlfriends” who still want to make me feel old – I have decided that “enough is enough”…”

If you call me “Uncle” – I will call you “Auntie

If you call me “Sir” – I will call you “Madam”

If you call me “Kaka” – I will call you “Kaku”

(Thankfully – no “Girlfriend” has called me “Grandpa” or “Ajoba” so far)

All this reminds me of this real life story which I had posted online more than 7 years ago in this blog on Aug 28, 2012.

The Story is called:

The Ageless Wonder – The Eternal “Uncle”

I am posting this story – once again – especially for my “girlfriends”…

THE AGELESS WONDER – THE ETERNAL “UNCLE”

Slice of Life Story – Spoof By Vikram Karve

Part 1

CURZON ROAD APARTMENTS NEW DELHI

New Delhi – Circa 1982

In 1982 – as a newly married couple – we lived in Curzon Road Apartments on Kasturba Gandhi Marg near India Gate in New Delhi.

Me – my wife – and our puppy dog (a small Lhasa Apso Puppy Dog Sherry given to us as a wedding gift) – all three of us lived in our neat cosy one room apartment with a small kitchenette and a lovely balcony high up on the top floor.

One evening – while on her way back home from work – my wife went to the convenience store to buy milk.

The shopkeeper told her that her father had already bought milk a few minutes ago.

My wife was delighted to hear of the unexpected visit of her father – so she rushed to our apartment.

She did not see her father around – so my wife asked me:

“Where is Daddy…?”

“Your Daddy…? He must be in Srinagar…” I said.

“No. Daddy has come here. Someone told me that Daddy has come here…” she said.

“Who told you…?” I asked.

“The shopkeeper…” she said.

“Really…? Let’s go down and ask him…” I said.

So we went down – and – we asked the shopkeeper.

The shopkeeper pointed towards me and said:

“He took the milk. I thought he was your father.”

“He is my husband…” my wife said, pointing at me.

The shopkeeper looked at me – he seemed quite embarassed.

“I am sorry, Sir – but I was really mistaken…” the shopkeeper said apologetically to me.

Then the shopkeeper smiled at my wife and said to her:

“Madam – you look so young – you look just like a schoolgirl – and your husband looks so “mature” – so I thought that your husband was your father.”

It was true.

When we were married – my wife looked very young – just like a schoolgirl.

She was 21 – and I was 25.

And though the shopkeeper hadn’t spelt it out in so many words – I did look a bit older than my 25 years – with my “healthy” built – and my formidable full-set Navy beard.

Unlike the so-called “metrosexual” men of today – I like to be who I am – so I don’t believe in “cosmetic engineering”.

I believe in the “old-mould” idea that a man must look like a man – tough and masculine – and though hygiene and grooming are important – there is no need for a man to be excessively obsessed about his looks.

Of course – whereas having an appropriate dress sense and wearing good quality clothes is a must – there is no need for a man to “deck up”.

That’s why – when the first strand of grey hair appeared on my head when I was in my mid 40’s – I never used hair-dye – nor did I colour my copious beard when it started greying.

Of course – I must say here – that my wife too has a natural look – and she hardly uses any cosmetics – and she has never coloured her hair.

The fact of the matter was that my wife did indeed look much younger than me.

And – I did indeed look a bit “mature” – as the shopkeeper had said.

Period.

So – even in those days – when a pretty young girl called me “uncle” – I did not mind it very much.

Maybe – for pretty young girls – I did indeed look like an “uncle”.

Part 2

30 YEARS LATER

Pune – Circa 2012

This happened more than 7 years ago in Pune (in the year 2012).

My wife was getting off an auto-rickshaw.

The fare was 52 rupees.

My wife gave the auto-rickshaw driver a 50 rupee note – and she was desperately searching in her purse for a 2 rupee coin.

The auto-rickshaw driver said magnanimously to my wife:

“Never mind Ajji – it is okay if you don’t give me the two rupees.”

Now – in Marathi – the word “AJJI” means “GRANDMOTHER”…!!!

Ha Ha – the middle-aged auto-rickshaw driver was calling my wife a “Granny”

I cannot describe the emotion I felt when I heard this.

She was being called “Granny”

But – pretty young girls still call me “Uncle”.

Around 45 years ago – when I joined the Navy – in the mid 1970’s – my “Girlfriends” called me “Uncle”

And – even now – in 2018 – my “Girlfriends” call me “Uncle”

Am I an “ageless wonder”…?

And the auto-rickshaw driver called my wife “Grandmother” 😂😂😂

(Disclaimer: Maybe the auto-rickshaw driver needed an eye checkup)

My “Better Half” certainly does not look like a “Granny” in fact – she doesn’t even look like an “Auntie”…

My wife still looks very young – maybe not like a schoolgirl like she did in 1982 – but certainly like a “college girl”…

And me…?

Well – as I told you above – I am an “ageless wonder”.

So – at least now – Dear “Girlfriends”:

“Please don’t call me “Uncle”

Just call me “Vikram”

And – for those “girlfriends” who still want to make me feel old – I have decided that “enough is enough”…”

If you call me “Uncle” – I will call you “Auntie

If you call me “Sir” – I will call you “Madam”

If you call me “Kaka” – I will call you “Kaku”

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:

  1. This story is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. This story isa 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.in/2016/08/a-story-for-my-girlfriends.html

This story was written by me Vikram Karve more than 7 years ago in 2012 and posted by me online earlier at urls http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/08/am-i-ageless-wonder.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/01/the-eternal-uncle.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/05/memories-of-curzon-road-apartments.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/12/04/the-ageless-uncle/ and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/04/ageless-wonder-or-eternal-uncle.html

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