Archive for September 24th, 2019

The Beauty in a “Nightie”

September 24, 2019

Most Naval Officers are Smart and Debonair. 

I am an exception. 

I am a puritanical simpleton and a prudish dope. 

This resulted in some rather amusing incidents. 

Here is one such delightful story from my early Navy Days…


Romantic Memories of my Wonderful Navy Days

A Spoof By Vikram Karve 


I was – I still am – an old fashioned prude – and – I am a bit puritanical by nature.

Let me tell you a hilarious anecdote – a result of my rather prudish behaviour – which happened long back when I was a young officer in the Navy.

It was the evening of the “Navy Ball” – the much awaited grand finale of the Navy Week in Mumbai (then called Bombay).

It was decided that all ship’s officers who did not live in the Navy Township (NOFRA) would assemble with our wives in the home of a shipmate who lived in NOFRA near the Navy Command Officers Mess – the venue of the Navy Ball.

We could park our scooters/motorcycles near his house.

(Yes – those days most Navy officers had scooters/motorcycles – since they could not afford cars)

We would then all walk down to the Navy Command Mess Lawns for the Navy Ball.

Accordingly – my wife and I reached my shipmate’s house half an hour before the commencement of the Navy Ball.

Some officers and wives were already there – some trickled in.

Our shipmate had generously opened a bottle of Rum – and he told us to help ourselves while they got dressed.

My shipmate came out of his bedroom smartly dressed in the distinctive Navy Formal Evening Uniform – Dress No. 6 – “Monkey Jacket” – Bow Tie – Miniature Medals – Cummerbund – and all.

He said that his wife was getting ready.

It was almost time for the Navy Ball.

We were anxiously waiting for his wife to get ready.

After some time the bedroom door opened – and my shipmate’s wife stepped out.

I was most disappointed to see that she had still not got ready.

I observed that she was still in her inner clothes.

So – I blurted out to her:

“What is this – Ma’am…? The Navy Ball is about to start and you are still in your underwear”…?”

“Underwear…? my shipmate’s wife said – looking at me with an expression of total shock.

I realized my mistake – so I said to her:

“Sorry – I meant to say “Lingerie. We are getting late – and you are still in your lingerie”…”

“Lingerie”…? she gasped in astonishment – it seemed as if she was even more stunned.

Maybe – I had used the wrong word again – so I corrected myself – and I said to her:

“Actually – I meant to say “Nightie”…

When she heard the word “Nightie” – I could see her shock turn into anger.

She was looking at me with blazing eyes.

She pointed towards the skimpy dress she was wearing – and she shouted at me:

“Are you calling this dress a “Nightie”…? 

This is a “haute couture” designer dress. 

Do you know how much money I spent on this exclusive custom-made dress…?”

I had never heard the term “haute couture” before.

So – I mumbled in a clueless manner: “Haute Couture…?”

There was a deathly silence all around.

I looked at my shipmate’s wife with regret in my eyes – and – I put on a contrite expression on my face.

She was looking at me in a strange sort of way – as if thinking something in her mind.

After some time – I saw the expression on her face change from anger into anxiety.

And soon – the expression on the face of my shipmate’s wife changed drastically – from anxiety – her expression changed into one of panic.

My shipmate’s wife looked at my wife – then – she looked at the other ladies.

Suddenly – my shipmate’s wife exclaimed in panic:

“Tell me – is this dress really looking so bad…?”

After that – my shipmate’s wife burst into tears – and she ran back into her bedroom.

The fact of the matter was that my shipmate’s wife was very chic, stylish and fashionable.

She had got this most fashionable skimpy western style dress exclusively “made-to-order” from a top designer (“haute couture”) especially for the Navy Ball.

Being an old-fashioned simpleton prude – I thought my shipmate’s wife was wearing a “Nightie”.

I did not realize that it was not a “nightie” that she was wearing – but an exclusive haute couture latest fashion skimpy dress – which she had got specially made for her by a leading fashion designer.

My wife gave me a glaring look and she told me to disappear – lest I say or do something even more stupid – that would further aggravate matters.

Then – my wife and the other ladies went inside to console my shipmate’s wife.

It was decided that all the gentlemen would proceed for the Navy Ball – and – the ladies would join later.

I apologized to my shipmate:

“I am very sorry – I did not mean to insult your wife.”

“Oh, come on – forget it…” my shipmate said, “In fact – after hearing your comments – I almost burst out laughing myself.”

“But your wife must be angry with me…?” I said.

“Don’t worry – she’ll be okay – she spent a fortune on that designer dress – that is why she is so upset…” he said.

Later – the ladies joined us in the Navy Ball.

My shipmate’s wife was the “centre of attraction” in her “haute couture” skimpy fashionable dress.

Indeed – she looked very sexy in her alluring dress.

I wanted to apologize to her for my earlier “faux pas” for calling her lovely “haute couture” dress a “nightie”.

I wanted to tell my shipmate’s wife that she looked very beautiful, very sexy in her exquisite new dress.

But – my wife had given me strict instructions to keep my mouth shut.

So – I kept my mouth shut.

And – I did not compliment my shipmate’s wife on how chic and glamorous she was looking in her gorgeous “haute couture” dress.


Many years later – my wife was shopping in the Ladies’ Garments Section of a famous Mall in Pune.

I was just hanging around.

Suddenly – I saw the same chic and fashionable lady – my ex-shipmate’s glamorous “haute couture” wife – standing near me.

Yes – it was the same lady who had worn the “haute couture” skimpy fashionable dress to the Navy Ball (which I thought was a “Nightie” – and which I had even called “Lingerie…)

She looked very fashionable and “tip-top” as ever.

She recognised me.

I wished her.

She smiled back.

“My wife is in the trial room…” I said.

“Oh…? I must meet her…” she said.

I looked at elegant “haute couture” lady – and I said to her:

“Ma’am – I want to ask you a favour…”

“Sure…” she said.

I pointed to the colourful “nighties” hanging nearby on a rack – and I said to her:

“Ma’am – if you don’t mind – can you please help me select a “Nightie” for my wife…?

My wife likes “half nighties” – short “nighties” – like these “nighties” over here on this rack…”

My ex-shipmate’s stylish “haute couture” wife burst out laughing.

And – she said to me:

“These are not short “Nighties” – these are “Kurties” – or “Tops” – but – they are certainly not “Nighties” 

And – by the way – these are not “Lingerie” either…!!! 

Ha Ha – so many years have passed – but you are still as “clueless” as ever – aren’t you…?”

I smiled at her.

She started laughing.

I joined her in her laughter.

I knew that she had forgiven me for my “faux pas on that Navy Ball Evening – many years ago.


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.


  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:

Updated Re-Post of my Story titled FAUX PAS First Posted by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog in April 2014 at 4/26/2014 08:09:00 PM at url: and in Nov 2014 at url: and and  and and and and  etc

%d bloggers like this: