Archive for October 2019

Humor in Uniform – The “Dapodi” Engineer

October 30, 2019

Last evening – at a Navy Veterans Dinner – I met a shipmate from my INS Valsura, Jamnagar, days.

And – he remembered the story of the “Dapodi Engineer”

HUMOR IN UNIFORM 

Story from My Navy Days by Vikram Karve 

THE “DAPODI ENGINEER” 

Whenever I meet a Sapper Officer (from the Army Corps of Engineers) – I jokingly ask him if he is a “Dapodi Engineer – or is he a Genuine” Engineer…?

Recently – a Navy Veteran (erstwhile shipmate) introduced me to this son-in-law – a Major in the Corps of Engineers.

He told me about himself.

“Oh – so you are a “Dapodi Engineer”…” I remarked.

The young Sapper Officer was curious to know why I called him a “Dapodi Engineer” – so I told him this story – which I have posted earlier in my Blogs.

Here is the story from my “Humor in Uniform” Archives – this happened long back – around 42 years ago – in the 1970’s

Read the spoof and have a laugh – and – if you are a “Fauji” Sapper – I am sure you will have a double laugh…!!!

THE “DAPODI ENGINEER” 

(Unforgettable Characters I Met During My Wonderful Navy Days) 

A Spoof By Vikram Karve

The Training Officer peeped into the classroom.

He looked at me.

I was desperately trying to stay awake after the previous night’s excesses.

The Training Officer shouted at me:

“Hey – You – put on your cap – and report to the XO’s office on the double. Some “Pongo” bigwig is coming – and you are the “Liaison Officer”…”

The Pongo bigwig turned out to be a Brigadier – the Zonal Chief Engineer of the Military Engineering Services (MES).

He happened to be in Jamnagar for some other work – and he had suddenly decided to inspect the progress of civil works under construction in the Naval Base.

The Executive Officer (XO) briefed me.

Accordingly – I received the Brigadier – I took him for a cup of tea with our Captain – and then – we drove in his black army staff car to the construction site.

The Garrison Engineer (a Major) was standing by with his entourage and some display boards with drawings.

The Garrison Engineer (GE) saluted the Brigadier.

Then – the GE introduced his staff.

After that – the GE walked towards the display boards.

The GE picked up a pointer – and he said to the Brigadier:

“Sir – I will explain the project…”

“Wait…” the Brigadier interrupted the GE.

The GE stopped – taken aback – and he asked the Brigadier:

“Yes, Sir…?”

The Brigadier said to the GE:

“You first answer one question.”

“Yes, Sir…?” the GE said.

The Brigadier asked the GE:

“Are you a “Dapodi Engineer” – or – are you a Technical Graduate Engineer…?”

“Sir – I am a Technical Graduate Engineer…” the GE said.

“Very Good. From which Engineering College did you get your Civil Engineering Degree…?” the Brigadier asked the GE.

“Roorkee – Sir…” the GE answered.

“Oh. Roorkee. Excellent. Then there is no need for me to see anything…” the Brigadier said to the GE.

That was the end of the “inspection”.

On the way back – I asked the Brigadier:

“Sir – I did not understand the “Dapodi Engineer” aspect…”

The Brigadier looked at me and said:

“Oh – that. 

You see – there are two types of “Engineers” in the Army. 

The first type comprises Technical Graduates from Civilian Engineering Colleges – like the “GE” over here – who has done his Civil Engineering Degree at Roorkee. 

And – the second type are “in-house” trained engineers – who do the course at the College of Military Engineering (CME) located at Dapodi – that is why they are called “Dapodi Engineers” – they don’t have a B.E. or B.Tech. degree…” he explained.

(NB: Subsequently – sometime from the early 1980’s onwards – these in-house trained “Dapodi Engineers” from CME are being awarded the B. Tech. degree from JNU)

I looked at the distinguished Brigadier from the Corps of Engineers.

Surely – he was from a premier engineering college – maybe – like the GE – the Brigadier too had studied at Roorkee University which was famous for Civil Engineering.

“Sir – have you done your Civil Engineering at Roorkee…?” I asked.

“Me…? From Roorkee…? No – not at all…” he said.

“Sir – where did you study your Civil Engineering – I am sure you must have studied Engineering from some prestigious Engineering College like Banaras, Poona …”

The Brigadier looked at me – and he started laughing.

I looked at him – wondering why he was so amused.

Then – with a naughty smile on his face – the Brigadier said to me:

“Me…? Ha Ha – I am a “DAPODI ENGINEER”…”

We both burst out laughing.

PS: I met the “Dapodi Engineer” many years later in Pune where he had settled down after retirement.

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 source blog post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/04/the-dapodi-engineer-unforgettable.html

This Blog Post is a Revised Re-Post of My Story DAPODI ENGINEER First Posted by me Vikram Karve in my blog at 6/24/2014 03:33:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/06/humor-in-uniform-dapodi-engineer.html  and then reposted at url:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/05/humor-in-uniform-dapodi-engineer.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/04/humor-in-uniform-dapodi-engineer.html and  https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/12/01/memories-of-my-navy-alma-mater-part-1-the-dapodi-engineer/  and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/10/24/humor-in-uniform-the-dapodi-engineer/ and  https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/05/15/unforgettable-characters-i-met-during-my-navy-days-the-dapodi-engineer/ etc

Blogging Tips

October 28, 2019

HOW TO BLOG

Five Blogging Tips By Vikram Karve

If you really want to benefit from blogging here are five tips for you to follow:

1. Blog under your Real Identity

If you are really serious about blogging – you must not hesitate to mention your actual name – make a genuine profile – and upload your proper picture on your blog.

Yes – you must create a proper profile – and – it is desirable to give your complete contact details too.

Be transparent and truthful about identity.

Is there any point in trying to blog “anonymously” – or by using a “fake” identity…?

Who are you trying to fool…?

It is best to avoid using fancy “handles” and exotic nom de plumes.

Also – it does not make any sense to blog “anonymously”…?

For reasons best known to them – many Bloggers hide behind masks of anonymity.

They blog under fictitious identities using fancy nom de plumes or “handles”.

These anonymous bloggers give chic and swanky titles to their blogs which bear no correlation to the content of their blogs.

Some use names of great literary persons and works from history as pseudonyms (handles) and others use catchy monikers which bear no resemblance whatsoever to their actual personalities.

Why are some bloggers reluctant to put their own face on their blogs and give their own “personality” to their blogs…?

What was the need to blog “anonymously”…?

Why hide behind a fake “handle”…?

Why are some bloggers are shy of giving their full details on their blogs…?

Why do they shy away from asserting ownership of their blogs…?

Are they ashamed of what they are writing on their blogs…?

Or – is there some other reason…?

All this lack of transparency results in a sort of trust deficit about the blogger and is certainly not beneficial to the blogger in the long run.

2. The Title of your Blog must reflect the Content of the Blog

Before you name your blog – think about the theme or topics you are going to blog about.

This must be reflected in the title of your blog (and url).

Do not confuse the reader and search engines with vague or fancy titles that have no bearing on the content of your blog.

If it is your personal blog – it is a good idea to include your name in the title of your blog.

3. Blog Regularly

You must blog regularly – the more frequent the better.

You must aim to write one post daily – yes – a blog post a day.

If you cannot blog every day – then – be consistent – and – have a regular schedule and stick to your schedule.

Blogging must become a habit.

4. Avoid lengthy Blog Posts

Typically – it is best to keep your blog posts under 500 words due to the limited span of attention of a reader when reading on a digital screen vis-à-vis reading on paper.

Nowadays – many people read blogs on their smartphones – so avoid long paragraphs – and – write short sentences – this will make your blog easily readable on a digital screen.

5. Ensure Good Quality of Content

Yes – content is the supreme factor that will attract readers to your Blog.

As they say – CONTENT IS KING.

Good content will attract and retain readers.

So – whatever you write – be original – be unique – and – be interesting.

And – NEVER PLAGIARISE

Yes – never never never plagiarise from other blogs/websites – because – you will be easily caught – and – once that happens – you will lose credibility forever in the blogosphere.

PS:

It is easy to preach – but difficult to practice – and – I too struggle daily to adhere to my own suggestions.

You may ask me – why am I giving unsolicited advice to other bloggers…?

Well – I have been blogging for more than 21 years now – and my most popular Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve which I started around 12 years ago will soon reach 3.5 Million (35 Lakh) page-views – my blog gets around 1500 to 2000 hits every day.

Also – I have other blogs like this one you are reading Writing by Vikram Karve which has wide readership.

I am quite active in the Social Media too – on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Quora and other platforms.

HAPPY BLOGGING

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.

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/blogging-tips-for-bloggers.html

Revised and Abridged version of my articles posted online by me earlier at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/02/blogging-tips-for-bloggers.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/04/trust-deficit-and-relationships-are-you.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/social-media-fake-identity-and-bogus.html

The Gangster – Short Story

October 27, 2019

The Story of a Villain – a Gangster – and the terror he spread all around…

THE “GANGSTER”

Short Story By Vikram Karve

“When did this tea stall open…?” the boys asked me.

“I have just opened today morning – you are my first customers…” I said.

“That’s good – we can have a cup of tea before we catch the morning train to go to college…” one of the boys said – there were 5 boys in all.

“Will you all like to have tea…?” I asked.

“Yes – and – have you got cigarettes…?”

“Yes…”

“Give us a cup of tea and a cigarette each…”

The 5 college students drank their tea and smoked their cigarettes.

An attendant came out of the Station Master’s Office and sounded the Bell.

“The train is coming – let’s go…” one of the boys said.

They gave me their tea glasses and they started to walk away.

“50 Rupees…” I said.

“What 50 Rupees…?” one of the boys asked.

“25 for the 5 Teas – and 25 for the 5 Cigarettes…” I said.

“You are new here – aren’t you…?” one of the boys asked me.

“Yes…” I said.

“Do you know who he is…?” the boy said – pointing towards another boy – who seemed to be the leader of the group.

“No…” I said.

He is Durjan Singh’s son – and – we are his friends. Do you understand…?

“Yes…” I said.

My Uncle had told me about “Durjan Singh” – the local “Dada” – the “Big Dad” – the uncrowned “King” of this place.

In fact – it was with Durjan Singh’s “Blessings” that my Uncle (the Station Master) had managed to let me open my Tea Stall at the Railway Station.

It could hardly be called a “Tea Stall” – it was actually just a “Cart” – with a stove, a few pots, a flask, a tray with glasses, and a box for cigarette packets.

As far as the “Railway Station” was concerned – this was the smallest Railway Station I had seen – it was more of a “halt” – just one solitary platform – and – except for the slow passenger trains to the junction nearby – hardly any train stopped here.

The train arrived.

The college students got in.

Three men got out.

They looked at me – they looked at the Tea Stall – and they walked towards me.

“I haven’t seen you here before…?” one of the men said.

“I have just opened today…” I said.

“That’s good – give us some tea…” the man said.

I said to him:

“Yes Sir – do you want cigarettes…?”

“You have cigarettes too…?”

“Yes…”

“Okay give us 3 cups of tea and two cigarettes – he doesn’t smoke…” the man said, pointing towards one of the three men.

The three men drank their tea – and two of them smoked their cigarettes.

They kept their glasses on the cart.

“25 Rupees, Sir…” I said to the man who had ordered the tea.

“25 Rupees…?”

“Sir – 15 Rupees for the 3 Teas – and 10 Rupees for the 2 Cigarettes…” I said.

“How dare you ask for money…? Do you know who we are…?” the man said menacingly.

“No, Sir…” I said, feeling scared at the man’s tone.

“Have you heard of “Durjan Singh”…?” he asked – pointing his finger threateningly at me.

“Yes, Sir…” I said, trembling inside.

“We are his men. We work for “Durjan Singh”. Do you understand…?” the man said to me.

“Yes, Sir…” I said.

The three men walked away.

So – they were gangsters – belonging to the “Durjan Singh Gang”.

My uncle had told me that “Durjan Singh” was the local “Dada” – but I didn’t know that he was such a big “Gangster”.

What a name – “Durjan” – it meant “Rogue” – a “bad character” – an Evil “Scoundrel – a “Villain” – “Gangster”…

How could parents name their child “Durjan” – unless it was a family of “Ancestral Gangsters”…?

This “Durjan Singh” – he must be a really terrible fellow – and – everyone seemed to be working for him – everyone seemed to be a gangster in this horrific place…

I made up my mind to get out of this horrible place at the first opportunity.

I started to wind up my cart.

My uncle had told me to wait till the morning ‘Passenger’ Train which came at 9:30 AM

But – there was no point in waiting.

Even if there was some “customers” wanting tea and cigarettes – no one was going to pay any money – since – everyone out here was related in some way or the other to that all-powerful evil gangster “Durjan Singh”…

While I was washing up – I saw a man dressed in a Safari Suit walking towards me.

He looked like a gentleman.

He seemed to be out of place in this horrid uncivilized place – he was probably a visitor from the town.

“Can I have a cup of tea…?” he asked politely.

“Yes, Sir…” I said, “Will you like a cigarette with your tea…?”

“No – I don’t smoke…” he said, “I’ll just have a some tea…”

I poured tea into a glass from my flask – and – I gave the glass to the man.

“Thank you…” he said with a smile.

He sipped his tea.

I gathered my things.

He asked me:

“You seem to be closing down…?”

“Yes, Sir…” I said.

“It’s only 9 o’clock – why don’t you wait for the 9:30 Passenger Train – you will get plenty of customers. Many people take that train to go to work in town…” the man said.

“Sir – what’s the point of having more customers – in fact – the more customers I have – the more loss I will make…” I said.

“Really…? Why do you say that…? How can “more customers” mean “more loss”…?” the man asked me.

“Sir – it seems that no one pays money over here – everyone seems to be a freeloader…”

“What…? No one pays money…? Everyone is a freeloader…? How did you assume that…?”

“Sir – right since morning – I have had many customers – they had tea and cigarettes. But – not even a single customer paid for the tea and cigarettes – they all want it free…”

“That’s funny…”

“Sir – there is a “Big Dad” called “Durjan Singh” out here…”

The man looked at me and said:

“…“Big Dad”…? You mean a “Gangster”…?”

“I don’t know, Sir. I have never met him. And – I wish I never meet him. He must be really scary – a terrible fellow – some sort of “Mafia Boss”. This whole place seems to be his “fiefdom”…” I said.

Mafia Boss…? Fiefdom…?” he said.

“Yes. This “Durjan Singh” seems to be a dreaded “Mafia Boss”. And – everyone seems to be related to him in some way or the other – so they don’t pay. First his son and his friends came – they had tea and cigarettes – but they refused to pay. Then – his men came – they too refused to pay for the for tea and cigarettes they had – all freeloaders – when I asked them for money – they threatened me with his name…” I said.

“Is that so…? Anyway – I am going to pay. How much for the tea…?” he asked me.

“Five Rupees, Sir…” I said.

The man kept the glass on the cart.

Then – he took out his wallet from his breast pocket and extracted a hundred rupee note.

He held out the 100 Rupee Note towards me.

“Sir – I don’t have change. I told you, Sir – no one has paid me since morning…” I said.

“Open my account – I will be having tea here every morning. Take this 100 Rupees as advance and put it in my account…” he said – and he gave me the 100 Rupee Note.

I took the 100 rupee note from him.

I looked at him and said:

“Sir…?”

“Yes…?” he said.

“Sir – may I know your good name…?”

“Durjan Singh. My name is “Durjan Singh”…” the man said.

The man smiled at me.

Then – he walked away.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in this story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/03/the-big-dad.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised repost of my story THE VILLIAN posted online earlier at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/the-villain-short-story.html

Encounter with the girl who dumped me

October 26, 2019

My love life is a never-ending story of unrequited love and heartbreaks – and repeated “dumpings”.

Sometimes – I do meet a “girl” who had “dumped” me once upon a time – like this enounter at Incheon International Airport Seoul…

ENCOUNTER WITH MY EX

Story by Vikram Karve

PART 1

Port Blair

Circa – December 1980

The weekly mailbag arrived in the afternoon.

There was one letter for me.

The letter was from my fiancée.

I was delighted.

I took the letter – and went into my cabin.

Then – I opened the letter – and I started reading.

Dear Arun,

This is my last letter to you.

I am posting this letter from the airport.

By the time you get this letter – I would have flown far away to a foreign land.

As you know – last month – I had gone to England for a seminar to present a research paper.

There – I met someone – a Lecturer – like me.

He too had come to present a research paper – on the same subject as me.

It was love at first sight – for both of us.

I feel that he will be the right soulmate for me – and – I want to live my life with him.

So – I have decided to go to him – to live with him forever.

I am very sorry – but I am calling off our engagement.

I wish you the best – and I am sure you will find someone better than me.

One more thing – I am taking your engagement ring with me.

I dont know how to send the ring to you on your ship – and I do not want to give the engagement ring to your parents – or my parents – since – I have not told them about all this.

Everyone thinks I am going abroad for an international conference – even my colleagues – and – once I go there – and I do not come back – they will have to accept the situation.

I believe that the country where I am going is quite liberal – and I will be able to stay there – once I get married to him.

Sorry – once again.

Yours sincerely

Smita

I was devastated that my fiancée ‘Smita’ had dumped me.

And – that too – in such a cold impersonal manner.

But – in due course – I recovered from the heartbreak – and – I moved on in life.

PART 2

35 Years Later

Incheon International Airport Seoul

Circa – December 2015

I recognized her at once – it was the same ‘Smita’ who had dumped me.

Our eyes met.

Smita recognized me too.

We smiled at each other.

“What a coincidence – I never expected to run into you over here…” I said.

“I am waiting for a connecting flight to San Francisco…” she said.

“Oh – I am going to Auckland…” I said.

“Auckland…?”

“Tourism – just going on a trip to see New Zealand. And you…?”

“I am returning from a seminar…”

“Oh – you are still in the ‘teaching business’…?”

“Yes – I went on to complete my Ph.D. – and I am a full-fledged Professor for many years now…”

“That’s great…”

“And you…? Still in the Navy…?”

“No. I retired a few years ago…”

“So nice to meet you – my flight will be boarding soon – so I must go now…” Smita said – and she extended her hand.

I was shocked to see that Smita was still wearing the same Engagement Ring that I had given her 35 years ago.

“Hey – you are still wearing my engagement ring…” I said to her.

“Yes – do you want it back…?” she asked me.

“No. No. That is not why I asked. I was surprised to see my engagement ring on your finger – even though you are married to someone else…” I said to her.

“I am not married. I never got married. I am still a “spinster”…” she said.

I was stunned.

I said to Smita:

“What…?

You never got married to that guy you met at the seminar – that lecturer you had mentioned in your letter…?

Why didn’t you marry that “love at first sight” soulmate who you wanted to live your life with…?

You dumped me for him – didn’t you…?

And – you never got married to him…?

Why…?

Tell me Smita – why didn’t you marry him…?

Smita looked at me – and she said to me:

“Well – I dumped you.

And – he dumped me.

It is a long story – and I don’t want to discuss it…”

“I am sorry…” I said.

“You must take back your engagement ring…” Smita said – and she took off the ring.

“No. You keep it. Don’t you like the ring…?” I said.

“I love this ring. It is an exquisite ring. That is why I always wear it…” she said.

“If you like the ring so much – you keep it – the ring looks good on your finger…” I said to her.

“Thanks. Thanks a lot. Anyway – since you have let me keep your ring – I must tell you that – I am still “available”…” she said, with a mischievous smile.

“Ha Ha – thanks for your offer – but – sadly – I am not “available”…” I laughed.

“Are you married…?” she asked me.

“Of course I am very much married – just because you dumped me – did you think I would remain “heartbroken” for my entire life…?” I said.

“I didn’t mean it that way…” she said, looking contrite.

I looked at Smita – and I said to her:

“In fact – I came here to pick up a cup of coffee for my wife.

Why don’t you come with me and meet my wife…?

There is still some time for your flight.

We will have a quick cup of coffee.

Come – let’s go – my wife will be happy to meet you…”

Smita was silent for a moment – and then she asked me:

“Did you tell your wife about me…?

Did you tell her about how I broke the engagement…?”

I looked at Smita and I said to her:

“Of course I told my wife about you.

There are no secrets between me and my wife…”

“Oh…” she said.

“Come – let’s go…” I said.

“No. No. I will go for my flight…” she said.

Smita smiled at me – and she quickly walked away.

I walked to the coffee shop to get the cup of coffee for my wife.

“What took you so long to get a cup of coffee…?” my wife asked me, when I returned to her.

“You won’t believe who I met…” I said.

And – I told my wife the whole story.

“Your imagination is really running wild nowadays – you are becoming a “Walter Mitty” like character…” my wife said.

“What is a “Walter Mitty” like character…?” I asked my wife.

“You keep daydreaming – fantasizing all the time – your imagination runs wild – and you make up all sorts of stories. And for heaven’s sake – at least – please don’t tell me all these fantasy tales – you can write them in your Fiction Blog if you want…” my wife said.

And so – I am writing this “true” story in my Fiction Blog.

Tell me – Dear Reader:

Do you believe that this is a true story…?

Or – do you think I am a “Walter Mitty”…?

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 source post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/my-ex-fiancee-and-engagement-ring.html

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This is a revised repost of my story SHE DUMPED ME which was written by me Vikram Karve more than three years ago in the February 2016 and earlier posted on my creative writing blogs on Feb 16, 2016 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/my-ex-fiancee-and-engagement-ring.htmland http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/she-dumped-me.html

This story also posted in my writing blog at url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/05/18/encounter-with-the-girl-who-dumped-me/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/07/07/the-girl-who-broke-my-heart/

The Diwali Gift – a story

October 25, 2019

Today is the first day of the festival of Diwali.

This reminds me of a story I had written long ago titled DIWALI GIFT

I wrote this story more than 27 years ago in the early 1990’s.

It is a story written in a leisurely old-fashioned style.

Dear Reader:

On the occasion of Diwali – here is the story – suitable revised, updated and abridged – for reading on the digital screen.

Do tell me if you like it.

Wish you a Happy Diwali

THE DIWALI GIFT

Story By Vikram Karve

I do not know how the idea entered my brain in the first place but once conceived it haunted me with such urgency that a strange force took charge of me impelling me to act.

I tucked the packet under my arm and walked towards my destination looking around furtively like someone with a guilty conscience.

I had unexpectedly come across Anjali’s photograph the previous night.

The moment I saw her photograph I knew that I had to see her.

A man’s first love fills an enduring place in his heart.

10 years.

Ten long years.

Anjali had married money.

She had married status.

I was heartbroken.

Yet I bore her no pique or rancour.

I never will.

How can I…?

I had truly loved her.

I still love her.

I will always love her always till my dying day.

I was desperately eager to impress her.

To give her a gift would be too obvious.

I did not know how much she had told her husband about me about us…

Her children should be the same age as mine.

Maybe slightly older.

They say the best route to a married woman’s heart is through her children.

I looked at the packet under my arm.

A gift.

Yes tucked under my arm was the “Diwali Gift” it was the deluxe set of children’s encyclopaedias I had promised my son and my daughter for Diwali year after year for the last three years and I did not buy because it was too expensive.

And now I was going to present the same “expensive” encyclopaedias as a “Diwali Gift” to Anjali’s children just to impress her.

I rang the doorbell.

I felt a tremor of anticipation.

Suddenly I realized that I did not know whether Anjali would be happy to see me.

Or – whether she would pretend that she did not recognize me.

The door opened.

Anjali looked ravishing.

She gave me her sparkling smile and welcomed me with genuine happiness:

“Oh – it is so good to see you Sanjiv – after so many years – what a delightful surprise – how did you manage to find me…?”

We looked at each other.

Anjali had fully blossomed – she looked stunning.

She looked so exquisite so dazzling that I cannot begin to describe the intense emotion I felt – as I looked intently into her radiating eyes – totally mesmerized by her beauty.

“Stop staring at me…” Anjali said her large expressive eyes dancing mischievously.

“You look so beautiful. And so young…”

“But Sanjiv you look old. Even your hair has become grey…” Anjali paused, probably regretting what she had said.

Then suddenly – Anjali held out her hand to me and she said to me:

“I am so happy to see you, Sanjiv. Come inside.”

Her house was extravagant.

Wealth and opulence showed everywhere.

Anjali carried herself majestically with regal poise her demeanour was slick and confident.

No wonder…!!!

To “belong” had always been the driving force of her life.

Money, status, social prestige, success – she had got everything she wanted.

I could not help feeling a pang of envy and failure.

“Do you like my house…?” she said, “Sit down. And why are you looking so lost…?”

I sat down on a sofa.

I kept the gift wrapped packet on the side-table – the “Diwali Gift” I had bought for Anjali’s children – just to impress her.

Anjali sat down opposite.

“How did you know I live here…? We shifted to Mumbai only a month ago…” she said.

I took out the wallet from my pocket – I gave the wallet to Anjali – and I said to her:

“Your husband’s wallet. I saw your photograph in it.”

Anjali opened the wallet – and she started to check the contents.

“You don’t trust cops – do you…?” I smiled.

Anjali blushed.

She kept the wallet on the table.

She looked at me with frank admiration in her eyes.

“IPS…? That’s fantastic. I never thought you would do so well…!!! What are you…? Superintendent…? Deputy Commissioner…?” Anjali asked me.

Now – it was my turn to blush.

“No…” I said sheepishly, “I am only a Sub-Inspector.”

“Oh…” she said, trying to hide her disappointment.

But I had read the language of her eyes.

The nuance wasn’t lost on me.

Suddenly – there was a transformation in her attitude – I could clearly see the change in her demeanour.

“Is your husband – Mr. Joshi – is he at home…?” I asked.

“He is still at the office…” Anjali said.

“Oh I thought he would be home…” I said.

“I’ll make you some tea…” she said and started to get up.

“Please sit down, Anjali. Let’s talk…” I said looking at my watch, “It’s already 6:30 PM. Let’s wait for Mr. Joshi. Maybe he’ll offer me a drink. And dinner…”

“My husband comes home very late…” Anjali said. “After all – he is the Managing Director. There is so much work. And conferences. Important business meetings. He is the Top Boss – a very successful and extremely busy man.”

She couldn’t have spelt it out more clearly.

I got the message loud and clear.

Anjali changed the topic – and – she asked me:

“Where did you find my husband’s wallet…?”

“It was deposited in the “lost-and-found” section last evening…” I lied.

“It’s strange…” Anjali said, “He didn’t mention anything.”

“He may not have noticed…” I said, tongue-in-cheek, “After all – Mr. Joshi is a very busy man to notice such minor things like a missing wallet.”

“Yes…” she said, giving a distant look.

Anjali opened the wallet once more – and she examined his credit cards and driving licence.

At first – she appeared confused.

Then – she gave me a cold hard look.

But – she did not say anything.

There was a long period of silence.

Grotesque silence.

Anjali kept staring at me.

She looked directly into my eyes.

A contemptuous look.

Scornful and dismissive.

I began to feel uneasy.

Suddenly – I remembered the gift wrapped packet – the “Diwali Gift” I had bought for Anjali’s children – and – I exclaimed enthusiastically:

“Anjali – where are your children…? I have got a “Diwali Gift” for them. Just a small present for your kids…”

From the look on her face – I immediately sensed that I had said something terribly wrong.

I saw tears well up in her eyes.

All of a sudden – Anjali looked small, weak and vulnerable.

I felt a sense of deep regret – as comprehension dawned on me.

Poor thing – Anjali had no kids.

And – I had rubbed salt in hr wounds.

I looked at her helplessly – pleading innocence – but it was of no use.

Some day in the future – Anjali might understand my actions.

But – at that moment it was hopeless to try and explain.

The hurt was deep – and I had to let it go in silence.

We just sat there in silence – not knowing what to say.

A deafening silence.

A grotesque silence.

It is strange – how moments you have rehearsed for – end up with a different script.

I could not bear it any longer.

I quickly got up from the sofa.

And – I started walking swiftly towards the door.

Suddenly – I realized that I had forgotten to pick up the gift wrapped packet – the “Diwali Gift” I had bought for Anjali’s non-existent children.

But – I did not turn back.

Why…?

I do not know.

Suudenly – I heard Anjali’s voice behind me.

“Don’t go, Sanjiv. I want to talk to you…” Anjali spoke coldly.

I stopped in my tracks.

I could hear Anjali footsteps behind me.

I turned around to face her.

She seemed a bit composed.

“You lied to me, Sanjiv…” Anjali said, “I want to know where you found my husband’s wallet…?”

I did not know what to say.

I tried to avoid her eyes.

“Tell me, Sanjiv…” Anjali pleaded. “Please tell me where you found found my husband’s wallet…”

When in doubt – I speak the truth.

So – I said to Anjali:

“We raided one of those exclusive classy “joints” last night – a posh call-girl racket…”

I could not continue – so I said apologetically:

“I am sorry – I didn’t know…”

“You didn’t know – but I know – I always suspected – and now – that fact that you found my husband’s wallet in a “whore joint” has confirmed my suspicions…” Anjali said mockingly.

I remained silent – totally at a loss what to say.

Suddenly – Anjali shouted:

“That impotent creep going to “whores” trying to prove his virility to himself…”

With those few words Anjali had bared the secret of her marriage.

I looked at her.

Her manner was relaxed and nonchalant.

But – her fury was visible only in her eyes.

I was nonplussed.

Suddenly I blurted out:

“Don’t worry, Anjali. I have dropped the charges. I will hush it up.”

I still don’t know why I uttered those words but on hearing my words there was a visible metamorphosis in Anjali.

Suddenly Anjali became flaming mad.

Anjali looked so distraught and angry that I felt very frightened.

Terrified that Anjali would go berserk and attack me – that she would slap me or do something violent I instinctively stepped back.

But Anjali suddenly turned and she left the room.

I waited “pole-axed” frozen like a statue for a moment.

After regaining my composure I decided to leave and – I started to move towards the door.

“Wait… ” I heard Anjali’s scream.

I stopped in my tracks.

I turned around.

Anjali quickly walked towards me.

And – she thrust out her right hand.

Anjali held a bundle of five hundred rupee notes and shouted at me:

“So this is what you have come for – isn’t it…? You want a bribe to hush up the case – isn’t it…? Even from me…? You unscrupulous dog – I didn’t expect you to fall so low. Here – just take the money – and you get out of my house. This is all the cash that I have at home. If you want more money – you know where to find my husband – don’t you…?”

“No, Anjali…” I recoiled, “please don’t…”

“Cheap…” Anjali spat out, with contempt in her eyes, “Cheap riffraff – that’s what you always were, Sanjiv. Now you get out of my house – you filthy blackmailer – and – I don’t want to see your face ever again…”

She threw the bundle of currency notes at me.

The bundle hit my chest and fell on the ground – the money scattering near my feet.

“I love you, Anjali…” I said, trying to sound sincere.

“Love…?” she exclaimed, her radiating eyes burning with anger, “so you have come to see how your barren old flame is “flourishing” – isn’t it…?”

Anjali paused – and she said sarcastically to me:

“So you are pleased aren’t you…? You must be so happy to see my “success”…?”

Her vicious and sarcastic suggestion – that I might be happy at her misfortune – it hurt me more than anything else.

I turned around – and I walked out of Anjali’s house.

As I walked towards the gate – something hit me on my back.

I winced with pain.

The 3 volumes of the expensive Children’s Encyclopaedias were scattered on the ground – and – their silver gift wrapping paper was torn.

Yes – the “Diwali Gift” I had bought for Anjali’s non-existent children – just to impress her – 3 volumes of the expensive Children’s Encyclopaedias – all were lying scattered on the ground – their silver gift wrapping paper all torn.

I knew that Anjali was standing in the door looking at me.

But – I did not look back at her.

I gathered the books – and – I walked away into the darkness.

EPILOGUE

As I gradually came into consciousness from my drunken stupor – I realized that I was at home in my bed.

Though sunlight filtered in through the open windows – everything looked blurred.

Slowly things began to come into focus.

My daughter was sitting beside me on the bed.

She touched my arm with tenderness.

There were tears in her eyes.

My son stood aloof on the other side of the bed.

There was fear in his eyes.

My wife looked at me with loving pity and she said to me:

“The children want to thank you for the lovely Diwali gift. They are so happy…”

She was holding the set of encyclopaedias in her hands – the same “expensive” encyclopaedias that I had bought for Anjali’s children as a Diwali Gift just to impress Anjali.

I nodded to my wife.

Then I looked at my children.

My children looked at the encyclopaedias in my wife’s hands.

And then – my children looked at me with love and gratitude.

I smiled and reached out to them.

They held my hands and smiled back.

I looked at the pure unadulterated joy in their eyes.

For the first time in my life – I experienced a deep genuine true love for my wife and children.

It was a love which I had never felt before.

Tears of joy welled up in my eyes.

I had discovered love.

Yes – I had discovered the true meaning of love.

On Diwali Day – I had discovered the gift of love.

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
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© 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.in/2016/10/diwali-gift-story.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This Story written by me more than 27 years ago in 1990 and posted on my creative blog first in 2006 at url: http://creative.sulekha.com/the-gift-by-vikram-karve_32154_blog and I have posted this story online a number of times in my various blogs including at urls http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/05/true-meaning-of-love-gift-of-love.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/01/gift-my-favourite-short-stories.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/10/diwali-gift-gift-of-love.html etc



Poodlefaking

October 23, 2019

As our ship headed towards Mumbai – I was most delighted. 

I was eagerly looking forward to meeting my fiancée after three long months of separation…

POODLEFAKING

A STORY OF LOVE LUST and LUCK

Short Fiction By Vikram Karve

Part 1 – BOMBAY REVOLUTIONS

Mumbai (Bombay) – Circa 1977

There was an unexpected change in our ship’s program – and our ship was ordered to sail back to Mumbai (or Bombay – as it was then called).

We were scheduled to return to Mumbai the next month – but all of a sudden – our ship was detached from the fleet – and we were asked to go to Mumbai.

No one knew what the reason was – but no one was interested in knowing the reason – all we were interested in was that we were returning to Mumbai.

The crew was delighted.

Mumbai was our home port – and we had been out for a long time – first – on a three month deployment to the east – and then – this never-ending exercise in the west.

And suddenly – we were heading home.

The married officers and sailors were looking forward to reuniting with their families.

The bachelors were excited about having a good time in the “maximum city” after a wearying time at sea punctuated by most boring visits to some lackluster ports.

But – I was most delighted of all – because I would be meeting my fiancée after more than three long months.

I stood in the bridge wings watching the fo’c’sle (forecastle) of our ship slice across the cool blue sea.

It was evident that the Engineers were generously adding a few extra “Bombay Revolutions” to the Engine Orders – because the ship was moving much faster than it should have.

I was sure the Captain noticed this – but then – it was all in the game – and he too was keen to get back to Mumbai.

We reached Mumbai just after noon – around 12:30 PM.

I was the first one ashore – the moment the gangway was placed.

It was a Saturday – and though it was a “make and mend” – it would take some time to secure all the sailing gear – and by the time “liberty” would be announced – it may be 2 or even 2:30 in the afternoon.

My fiancée Menaka had a half-day on Saturdays – and I wanted to give her a surprise – before she left her office at 1:30 PM.

So – the moment the gangway was placed – I left the ship in uniform – telling the Officer of the Day (OOD) that I was going for some urgent work in the Dockyard.

I quickly walked to Menaka’s office in Fort – I must have walked the fastest mile of my life.

“Menaka has already left…” the receptionist in Menaka’s office said.

“Already left…?” I asked, “But it is not even 1 o’clock…”

“Menaka said she had some urgent work – and she left around half an hour ago – at 12:30 or so…” the receptionist said.

I noticed that the receptionist was looking at me in a curious sort of way – maybe – because I was in white Navy uniform.

But then – I had come here before in uniform – and she surely knew that Menaka and I were seeing each other.

I thanked her – and I walked down the staircase – into the street.

I called a Taxi – and asked the driver to take me to the Working Women’s Hostel in Colaba.

But – to my disappointment – I did not find Menaka over there too.

“Well – her room key is here – so it seems that Menaka hasn’t come back from office…” the hostel warden said, “but today is Saturday – so she should be back by 1:30 or 2 – why don’t you wait in the visitors’ room…”

I sat in the visitors’ room of the working women’s hostel.

Time passed slowly – as I anxiously waited for Menaka – wondering where she had gone from office.

(Remember – this story happened 42 years ago – in the year 1977 – when there were no mobile phones – and there was no way I could contact Menaka – so I had no option – but to wait patiently for her…) 

The dining hall was next to the visitors’ room – and many girls were staring at me – since I was looking conspicuous in my white Navy uniform – and – I started feeling a sense of irritation and embarrassment.

I waited – it was an excruciating wait.

And then – my patience ran out.

I looked at my watch – it was 2:30 PM.

“I might as well pick up my bike from the Command Mess…” I thought to myself.

Since I would be out at sea on long sailing – I had left my motorcycle in the care of my course-mate and best friend Anand – who was posted ashore – and lived in the Navy Command Mess.

Anand did not have a bike – so he was quite happy to use mine.

Today being a Saturday – Anand too would have had a “make and mend” half-day routine – and he would be back in the Mess by now.

I took a taxi – and I reached the Mess.

I could see my bike in the parking lot.

I looked at my watch – it was nearly 3 o’clock – Anand must have had his lunch – and he would be relaxing in his mess cabin.

Being a fitness fanatic – I briskly walked up the staircase to the 3rd floor – where Anand’s cabin was located.

The corridors were deserted.

I knocked on the door of his cabin.

There was no response.

I knocked again – louder.

Still – no response.

Maybe – Anand was in deep alcohol-induced slumber after some “elbow bending” on Saturday afternoon – guzzling beer.

So – I banged on the door.

“Who is it…? I am sleeping now – come later…” I could hear Anand’s voice – full of irritation.

“It’s me…” I shouted, “I have come for my bike keys…”

There was silence.

After some time – I banged the door again.

“Wait – I am coming…” Anand said.

A few moments later – Anand opened the door.

He did not open the door fully – but just a little bit – and in his hand he had my bike keys.

“You were supposed to come back next week – isn’t it…?” Anand said.

“We came back early…” I said.

“Oh – take the keys – your bike is below…” Anand gave me the bike keys – and he began closing the door.

“Hey – what’s wrong – won’t you call me in…?” I said – surprised at his strange behavior.

“Not now – I will come to your ship in the evening…” Anand said.

I was bewildered at the mysterious way in which he was behaving with me.

Something was wrong.

Yes – my sixth sense told me that something was wrong.

As Anand began to close the door – on a sudden impulse – I pushed open the door.

I looked past Anand – into the room.

I saw the handbag at once – the black shoulder bag that I gifted Menaka.

It was her favourite handbag – the one she always took to office.

Menaka’s black handbag was resting on a chair.

On the ground – there were a pair of high-heels – ladies shoes – I recognized them too.

After all – I had bought them for Menaka when we had gone out shopping in Colaba.

On the peg table there was an empty bottle of beer and two glasses…

Even a blind man could see what was going on – and I was certainly not blind.

“You please go now – I have given you your bike keys…” Anand said – putting his arm on my shoulder and trying to guide me out of the room.

I pushed Anand aside roughly – and I asked him:

“Is Menaka inside…?”

“It is none of your business…” he said.

“It is very much my business…” I interrupted, “Menaka is my fiancée…”

“I told you to go – please leave my cabin…” Anand said – trying to shove me out.

I lost my temper and I hit him hard – a strong right handed punch straight on his nose.

It was a knock-out punch.

Anand staggered – and he collapsed on the ground.

I pushed open the bedroom door.

The bed was crumpled – and – scattered all over the floor – were garments of Menaka’s dress – the same green dress which I had bought for Menaka on her last birthday.

The bathroom door was closed.

I pushed the door – but it was locked from inside.

I kicked open the bathroom door.

Menaka was inside the bathroom – trying to cover her naked body with a towel.

I wanted to kill her.

I raised my hand – and I started moving towards her.

Menaka started screaming hysterically:

“Please…Please…Please don’t hit me – please go away…”

Menaka cowered against the wall – and she was shivering with fear.

It was a disgusting sight – repugnant – horrid – and I was overcome by a sickening sensation.

I could bear it no longer – so I just walked out of the room – and I fled down the stairs.

20 Years Later…

Part 2 – POODLEFAKING

Pune – Circa 1997 

“Hi…” the woman said to me.

I did not recognize her.

So – I said to her:

“Yes – Ma’am…”

“It seems you haven’t recognized me…” she said.

“I am sorry…” I began to say.

But – the woman interrupted me – and she said:

“I am Mala – Arun’s sister – I hope you remember Arun – your NDA course-mate.”

“Oh – I am so sorry – I really didn’t…” I stammered.

“You don’t remember Arun…? Arun Roy…?” she asked.

“Yes – I do remember Arun – he was in my Squadron in the Academy – then he went to the Army – and we lost touch…”

“So – you remember Arun – but you don’t meeting remember me…?”

“Frankly – I really don’t recall…”

“Didn’t we meet at the Ordnance Club in Calcutta – your ship had come to Kolkata – it was called Calcutta those days – don’t you remember…?”

“That must have been long back…”

“So you have forgotten – it doesn’t matter – I have quite a ‘forgettable’ face – so how will you remember a ‘Plain Jane’ like me…? But – how can I forget a handsome face like yours – you look just the same – with your majestic beard…”

I felt most embarrassed.

This meeting must have happened 20 years ago – in early 1977 – during our east coast deployment – before the heartbreaking incident with Menaka.

I remembered the ship visit to Kolkata.

I remembered going to ordnance club – drinking away with my shipmates.

There were so many ‘Pongos’ too.

We met so many people – maybe Arun and his sister were there too.

But it must have been a fleeting meeting – and – I must have been quite drunk – so – I really did not remember her.

“My Dad was in the Army those days – a Brigadier – and Arun had come on leave – so we were all sitting in Ordnance Club playing Tombola – and when I went with Arun to pick up drinks from the bar – he saw you drinking away with your shipmates – so we walked across – and Arun said ‘Hi’ to you – and he introduced me to you – and we even called you to come and sit with us – but you said that you hated Tombola – and when we came to find you after the Tombola was over – you had already left…”

“I must say you have a terrific memory…” I said, “I visited Calcutta in 1977 – 20 years have passed since – and – you remember every detail…”

“Actually – I liked you so much – you looked so handsome with your Navy style beard and all – that I fell for you – it was ‘love at first sight’ – and I told Arun that I wanted to marry you – and he told my Dad and Mom…”

“What…? You wanted to marry me…?”

“Yes. So – my Dad visited your ship the next morning – and he spoke to your Captain – and enquired about you…”

“I can’t believe this…”

“But – your Captain told my Dad that you were already engaged to some girl in Mumbai…”

“He said that…?”

“Yes – your Captain said that you were already hooked to some girl – so my Dad said that ‘stealing affections’ was not a good thing – and he told me that I should forget about you…”

“So…?”

“So – my parents found me a ‘suitable match’ – a nice Army Officer – and I got married to him…”

“Oh – that’s great…”

“My husband was also your NDA course-mate – like Arun…”

“Really…? Who…?”

“Dipankar…”

“Oh – ‘Dippy’ – he was also in the same squadron – so you married ‘Dippy’…?”

“Yes – I married ‘Dippy’…”

“That’s great – I must meet him…”

“I am afraid you can’t…”

“I can’t meet him…? Why…?”

“He passed away 3 years ago…”

“What…?”

“Yes. My husband ‘Dippy’ died 3 years ago…”

“Oh My God – I am very sorry…”

“Actually – that’s why I am here in the bank – to settle some family pension issues…” she said.

“Oh – I am really very sorry…”

“You seem to have lost track of everyone – and everyone seems to have lost track of you. They told me that you suddenly left the Navy – and – you disappeared into thin air…”

“Yes – I quit the Navy in 1977 – and I went abroad – I “burnt my bridges” – so to speak – I worked all over the world – all sorts of jobs – I have earned enough – and now – I have come back after so many years to settle down in Pune – I have invested my money well – and – I am financially quite comfortable – so I intend to enjoy the rest of my life…”

“You quit in 1977…?”

“Yes – I quit the Navy in 1977 – a few months after I had met you in Calcutta…”

“How did they allow you to quit so early…? After just four years of service…?”

“I resigned on compassionate grounds…”

“Oh…”

“Your wife – your kids – all of you live in Pune…?”

“I don’t have a wife…”

“Oh – I am sorry…”

“No – No – I am a bachelor – I never got married…”

“You never got married – why…?”

“I told you – after I left the Navy in 1977 – I had quite a nomadic existence – I was working in all sorts of jobs – all over the world – so it was easy to remain a bachelor…”

“I don’t understand. Your Captain told my father that you were engaged to a girl in Mumbai…”

“We broke up…”

“Oh – is that the reason why you quit the Navy…?”

“Please – let’s not talk about it…”

“Okay – so now – you have decided to settle down in Pune…?”

“Yes…”

“Any marriage plans…?”

“Maybe – if someone is available…”

“I am “available”…” she said, tongue-in-cheek.

I was stunned.

I could never imagine a woman propositioning me so openly.

Mala must have seen the shocked look on my face – so she said to me:

“Hey – I was just joking – I am sorry if I have annoyed you…”

“No – No – it’s okay…”

“I am such a big blabbermouth – we are meeting for the first time – and I am boring you with all my talk…”

“It’s okay – actually – I am enjoying talking to you…” I said.

“Really – so you finish your work in the bank – and we will go somewhere where we can talk – let’s go to RSI – we can have a drink – and then some we’ll have some lunch…”

“Okay…” I said, “I just have to collect a Fixed Deposit Receipt – and then we will go…”

Half an hour later – we – the Mala and Me – we were sitting the cool environs of the RSI club bar – drinking beer – and from her demeanor – I had a distinct impression that Mala was flirting with me.

One Month Later

Part 3 – LOVE AND LUCK

Main Street (MG Road) Pune – Circa 1997

I was loafing on Main Street – and – I suddenly ran into Mala.

Mala looked at me – and she said to me:

“I am very angry with you…”

“Angry…? Why…?”

“You gave me the ‘Royal Ditch’…”

“Royal Ditch…?”

“You were supposed to take me to the course get-together at NDA…”

“Yes. Something urgent came up – so I couldn’t attend the course get-together – but – I had asked Ajay to have you picked up and dropped back…”

“Ajay…?”

“Yes – Ajay – he is posted to NDA – he was the one who organized the course get-together – he is in the Navy…”

“Oh…”

“I had given Ajay your phone number – and – I told him where you live. Didn’t Ajay organize a car to take you for the get-together…?”

“Ajay did call up – but I told him I was going with Arun…”

“Arun…?”

“Yes – ‘Arun’ – my brother – don’t you remember him – he is your NDA course-mate – or – have you forgotten him…? Arun came all the way from Delhi for the course get-together at NDA. And – you were in Pune – but you still didn’t bother to attend…”

“I told you…”

“Everyone was there with their wives. They had come from all over for the ‘silver jubilee get-together’ of your course. When I told them about you – that you had settled down in Pune – they all wondered why you didn’t attend. Yes – I remember that your friend Ajay said that he had informed you – and – you had confirmed that you would be coming – but – you had cancelled at the last minute…”

“Yes – I had to cancel at the last minute – because…”

“You did not come – because – you came to know that Anand would be attending…”

“What…?”

“You did not come – because you came to know that Anand would be attending the course reunion…”

“Who told you that…?”

“Ajay told me…”

“What did he tell you…?”

“Ajay said that he met you at RSI a day before the get-together. Ajay said that he was entering RSI – and you were leaving. And – during the conversation – he told you that Anand had just called him in the morning from Delhi saying that he would be coming for the course get-together…”

“What else did Ajay say…?”

“Ajay said that – the moment you heard that Anand was coming for the get-together – your demeanor changed – and – you told Ajay that you wouldn’t be able to make it for the get-together – and – you asked him to arrange to pick me up from my home – so that I could attend the get-together…”

“Yes…”

“Some Navy guy said that Anand and you were “bum chums” in the Academy – and later in the Navy. But then – something happened between you two – and suddenly – there was bad-blood” between you and Anand…”

“Yes – our friendship broke up…”

“But why…?”

“I don’t want to talk about it…”

“But I want to know the reason why you hate Anand so much…? The moment you knew he was coming – you skipped the course get-together…?”

“Anand stole my girlfriend – he stole my fiancée – and he married her…”

“What…? Anand stole your fiancée…?”

“Her name was Menaka…”

“Menaka…?”

“Yes – my best friend Anand – and – my fiancée Menaka – who I loved so much – both of them – bloody cheats – they made a sucker of me – they cuckolded me – and – they got married – that’s why I quit the Navy – I could not bear seeing them together – I didn’t want to see their faces – ever…”

“Oh…”

“I almost went crazy – I told my Captain everything – he helped me quit the Navy on compassionate grounds – and then – I went abroad – all over the world – and – it was “out of sight – out of mind”…”

“Oh – but why so much hatred – even now…? So many couples break up – but I have never seen so much animosity as you have…”

“If I tell you what they did…”

“Tell me…”

“No…”

“Please – I have to know…”

“You have to know…? Why…?”

“Let’s say that I have a personal interest…”

I was taken aback.

What ‘personal interest’ did Mala have in knowing this…?

Oh…!

Was she was interested in marrying me…?

Is that why she wanted to know about my past…?

“Okay…” I said to Mala, “but not here – let’s go somewhere where we can talk…”

“Shall we go to RSI…? It’s almost 12. We can talk over a beer – and then – you can treat me to lunch and drop me home…” she said.

So – we sat in the RSI bar with glasses of beer in front of us.

And – I told her everything.

Yes – Dear Reader – I told Mala the whole story that I have told you – about how I had caught Anand and Menaka “red-handed” – doing hanky-panky – in flagrante delicto”

Mala heard the whole story with rapt attention – and she said to me:

“Oh – you must have been devastated…”

“I went crazy – I almost became mad – I have still not fully recovered from the shock. Let me tell you that – for a moment – I may be able to tolerate Anand – but – if that treacherous Menaka ever comes in front of me – I may lose control of myself and do something nasty to her. That is why I didn’t come for the get-together…” I said.

“Menaka was not present at the course get-together…” Mala said.

“What…? Menaka did not come…? I thought that all wives were invited…?”

“Yes. Wives were invited. Even widows like me were invited. But – Menaka wasn’t there. Anand had come alone…”

“Oh…”

“Do you know the reason why Menaka was not there at the course get-together…?”

“Menaka must have “dumped” Anand – and she must have found someone else to screw. She is a bloody devious “nympho” bitch…” I said angrily.

“Menaka is dead…” Mala said softly.

“What…?” I exclaimed in surprise.

“She died 3 months ago – cancer…”

“Oh – Ajay did not say anything…”

“He just told you that Anand was coming – isn’t it…?”

“Yes – and I presumed…”

“Anyway – let’s forget all that. I want to tell you something important…” Mala said.

“What…?” I asked her.

“Anand proposed to me…”

“What…? Anand is a bloody shameless fellow. His wife died just 3 months ago – and he proposes marriage to the first “available” woman he meets…” I blurted out unthinkingly.

Then – realizing my faux pas – I said to Mala:

“I am sorry…”

“It’s okay – didn’t I tell you that I am “available” – the last time we met…”

“So – what have you decided about his marriage proposal…?”

“I don’t know – we just talked for some time at the party – and suddenly – Anand calls me up a few days later and he proposes to me – he says he wants to get married to me…”

“And you…?”

“I told him to give me some time to think it over…”

“So – you have thought it over…?”

“If other options close – then I have will have no option but to say Yes” to Anand…”

“Other options…?”

“Well – I have someone else in mind…”

“Someone else…? Me…? It’s me – isn’t it…?”

“How did you guess…?”

I looked lovingly at Mala – and I said to her:

“Call up Anand right now – and tell him that you are no longer “available”…”

“Okay – I’ll call him in the evening when I get home…” Mala said.

“No – call him right now – there is an STD phone booth at the reception…” I said.

I took Mala to the STD phone booth.

And – I made sure Mala called up Anand – and – I made sure that she told him clearly that she was getting married to me.

This time – I did not want to take any chances.

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 source blog post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/no-girl-in-every-port-story-of-love.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

This is a revised and complete version of my story “Bombay Revolutions” and “Stealing Affections” which I had Posted Online Earlier in parts on my Academic and Creative Writing Blog at urls: https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/06/22/stealing-affections-a-story-of-love-lust-and-luck/ and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/no-girl-in-every-port-story-of-love.htmland  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/10/bombay-revolutions-and-stealing.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/bombay-revolutions-love-story.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/11/23/romancing-and-poodlefaking/ and  https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/01/11/humor-bombay-revolutions-and-poodlefaking/  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/love-and-luck-romance.html

Dating – À La Mode

October 23, 2019

A DATE – À La Mode

Story By Vikram Karve

Pune – Monday Morning – 10:30 AM 

A mobile cell-phone vibrates on the office table.

The cell-phone is on silent mode.

The smart young woman executive looks at the display of her cell-phone.

It is her mother-in-law calling.

At first the young woman is confused, then a bit worried.

She wonders why her mother-in-law is calling at this hour.

So the smart young woman picks up the mobile phone.

“Yes, Ma,” the young woman says.

“Am I speaking to Swati?” a male voice asks.

“Who is this?” the puzzled woman asks.

“Am I speaking to Swati?” the man repeats the question.

“Yes. I am Swati. But this is my mother-in-law’s number,” the young woman says.

“I know. I am speaking from Shanta’s phone. Your mother-in-law’s name is Shanta, isn’t it?” the man asks.

“Yes. Her name is Shanta. Where is she? Please give her the phone. Is something wrong?” the young woman says, getting worried.

“Don’t worry. Shanta is absolutely fine. She told me to call you up and tell you that she will not be able to pick up your son Aditya from school this afternoon. So you will have to pick him up. The school ends at 12:30 – so make sure you are there in time.”

“She won’t be able to pick Aditya up? Why? What happened? Where is she?” the anxious young woman asks.

“Don’t worry. Shanta is absolutely okay. She is here with me in ESquare Multiplex. We are going to see a movie – the 11 o’clock show. The movie may finish by 1 or maybe even 1:30. That’s why she won’t be able to make it to the school by 12:30,” the man says.

“Esquare? Movie? What’s all this? Who are you? You please give the phone to my mother-in-law right now. I want to talk to her,” the young woman says angrily.

“She has gone to the ladies toilet to freshen up. Anyway, I have passed on her message to you. Bye,” the man says.

“No, wait. Who are you?” the young woman asks, with desperation in her voice.

“I am Shanta’s boyfriend,” the man says, matter-of-factly.

“Is this some kind of sick joke? I will report …” the young woman shouts.

“Go ahead and report to whoever you want. I have nothing to fear. I have not kidnapped your mother-in-law. We are just watching a movie together. Can’t a girlfriend and boyfriend have a date?”

“Date? What nonsense are you talking?”

“Nonsense? Are you clueless? You do not know what is dating? Don’t tell me you have never gone on a date. How about that dinner date you have planned with your husband tonight? Amod, that’s his name, isn’t it? So you and Amod will be enjoying a romantic candlelight dinner and your mother-in-law will be looking after your kids at home like a nanny,” the man says.

“Please. Listen,” the young woman pleads.

“No. You listen. There is one more thing Shanta told me to tell you.”

“What?”

“You better be home when Anjali comes home from school. Her bus reaches at 3:30. And don’t forget to take Anjali for her skating practice at 5. And you will have to take Aditya for his Karate class at 4:30 sharp. I think you better take the day off. Make sure you leave your office at 11:30 so you reach Aditya’s school in time. It’s quite a long drive from Hinjewadi to Aundh and you know how bad the traffic is,” the man tells the young woman.

“Please stop this. I am very busy today. I have got an important meeting with a client at 12. Then there is a project review meeting at 3 and it will continue till late evening. I have to be in office. I just can’t come,” the young woman says.

“Then maybe you can tell your husband …”

“He works in Magarpatta. You know how far that is. And Amod told me that he has a very tight schedule today. We are both very busy at work. By the time we reach home in the evening it is past 7.”

“Ah, I almost forgot.”

“What?”

“You two better cancel that romantic candle light dinner date tonight.”

“Why?”

“Because, after the movie, we are going out for a lunch date, and then I am taking Shanta for a long drive to Lonavala. I want to show her all the spots, a romantic sunset and then we’ll be spending the evening at my farmhouse. I’ll drop her back at night. And don’t panic if she doesn’t come at night – if it gets too late we will sleepover at the farmhouse and I’ll drop her in the morning.”

“Are you crazy? How is that possible? Please give the phone to my mother-in-law the moment she comes. I want to talk to her,” the young woman says.

“No. I don’t think that is a good idea. Shanta is scared of you. You may bully her or emotionally blackmail her into cancelling all our plans. I don’t want Shanta to talk to you. So I am passing on her message. You better learn to look after your own kids yourself. Can’t you manage your own domestic affairs for even one day?” the man says.

“Listen. You please ask my mother-in-law to call me the moment she comes. I have to speak to her.”

“No. I am switching of the phone. So don’t keep calling. We are going in for the movie now.”

“I have to talk to her. If you don’t let me speak to her I will come to ESquare …” the young woman threatens.

“Maybe we are not in ESquare. Maybe we are at Inox. Or City Pride. Or PVR. Or maybe we are somewhere else. It is just a red herring, so you don’t go on a wild goose chase trying to search for us. You just look after your children for today – and don’t worry – your mother-in-law is in safe hands with me and I will drop her home safe and sound,” the man says.

“Where is she? I want to …” the young woman called Swati says.

“Bye. Take Care…” the man says.

“Please …” a desperate Swati pleads.

But the man interrupts her, and he says:

“Okay, Swati. Have a Nice Day. And remember to tell your husband that I am taking out his mother on a date.”

Then the man disconnects the mobile phone and switches it off.

The man has been speaking to Shanta’s daughter-in-law from Shanta’s cell phone.

So, the man gives the cell phone to Shanta sitting next to him in the car.

Shanta puts her cell phone in her purse.

“You are very naughty,” Shanta says.

“Why?” the man asks.

“You told my daughter-in-law that we were in ESquare – she may land up there and search for me all over the multiplex…” Shanta says.

“Don’t worry – there is hardly any time, so she will go to the school first to pick her son. But if you are so worried, why don’t you send your daughter-in-law an SMS that you are going to Lonavala and will return in the morning?” the man says.

“Yes – I think I will do that,” Shanta says.

“But before you send the SMS, you too have to make a call,” the man says.

“Oh, yes,” Shanta says.

The the man takes out his own mobile phone from his pocket and searches for a number.

The man gives the cell phone to Shanta and he says to her:

“Now you dial that number and speak to my daughter-in-law and tell her what I told you to say.”

Shanta dials the number and starts speaking to the man’s daughter-in-law.

Meanwhile, the man starts the car and they drive towards Lonavala.

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 source blog post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/08/a-curious-date.html

Revised Version of Story First Posted by me Vikram Karve at 2/14/2013 05:36:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/02/14-february-2013-happy-valentines-day.html and https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/11/oldie-goldies-go-on-date-cheeky-romance.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/04/30/an-intriguing-date/  and https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/05/18/a-man-a-woman-on-a-date/   and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/12/a-scandalous-date_1.html etc

Humor – Marriage Counselling

October 22, 2019

WHAT IS GOOD FOR THE “GOOSE” IS NOT GOOD FOR THE “GANDER”

A Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve

PROFESSIONAL COUNSELLING

(Counselling a “Client”)

A young woman is being “counselled” by a lady marriage counsellor.

“I think it will be best for you to divorce your husband…”

“What…?”

“Yes – divorce is the best option…”

“How can you say this…? You are a marriage counsellor – you are supposed to “save” marriages – not “break up” marriages…”

“Yes – in most cases – I try to save the marriage. But – in your case – I will recommend immediate separation from your husband – followed by a quick divorce – that will be best course of action for you. In fact – I will advise you to walk out of your husband’s home today itself – and go to live in your parents’ place…”

“Today…? You want me to leave my husband today…?”

“Yes. Your husband has been cheating on you. How can you stay for even one moment with such a deceitful man…? From whatever you have told me – it is clear that your husband has committed adultery – and – he has admitted his infidelity to you…”

“Yes – my husband confessed to me that he had an “affair” – he said “sorry” – and – he promised he would never do it again…”

“Really…? And – you believe him…?”

“He said he was “committed” to me…”

“If your husband was so “committed” to you – he would have been loyal to you – he wouldn’t have had an “extramarital affair”…”

“But…?”

“Please – no “ifs” and “buts” now – you have to be firm and make up your mind quickly. It is a question of your life – you are young – just 25 – you have no children – so – it is best for you to get out of this marriage as quickly as possible. I know a good divorce lawyer…”

“Divorce Lawyer…? Are you sure…? Do I have to act so fast…?”

“Yes – you have to act fast. Why are you looking so flabbergasted…?”

“I am flabbergasted. I thought you would counsel me to save my marriage – I thought you would convince me to accept my husband’s apology and “patch up” with my husband…”

“Patch-up…? There is no question of “patch-up”…”

“But – my husband says he will do his best to improve our relationship…”

“It is all a fake façade. Remember one thing – a relationship damaged by “breach of trust” is damaged forever and can never be improved – so – such a damaged relationship is best terminated. That is why I strongly believe that – when a relationship is damaged by “distrust” – it is better to “break up” – rather than try to “patch up”…”

“Distrust…?”

“Your husband has broken your trust. By committing adultery – he has violated the sanctity of marriage. He needs to be taught a lesson – in addition to filing for divorce – I will advise you to file a criminal case against him…”

“Criminal case…?”

“Yes – adultery is a criminal offence – if committed by a man. You don’t worry – the divorce lawyer will handle everything – she will “finish off” your husband – she will bring him to his knees – and – she will ensure that you get the best deal – a good alimony, maintenance, compensation, property share, whatever is possible…”

“Please – please – please…”

“What happened…? You look confused…”

“I never expected you to tell me all this – you want me to divorce my husband – you want me to file a criminal case against him for adultery…”

“So – what did you expect me to tell you…?”

“I thought you would advise me to save my marriage – I thought you would advise me to bring along my husband for counselling – for joint counselling together…”

“Well – I would have done all that had there been “compatibility issues” in your marriage – I would have counselled you to save your marriage by making mutual adjustments – but – where “trust issues” are involved – I advise divorce – especially in cases of adultery – which cannot be forgiven or forgotten…”

“Thank you for your frank advice…” the young woman, 25, says to the lady marriage counsellor, who seems to be her late 40’s.

“I am telling you once again – in your case – the best way is to divorce your husband – be firm and decide quickly – don’t waver – your husband will try all sorts of emotional tricks – but you don’t budge. I will refer you to the divorce lawyer – she is the best in town…” the lady counsellor tells the young woman.

The young woman leaves the lady marriage counsellor’s office.

PERSONAL COUNSELLING

(Counselling your own “Daughter”)

The lady marriage counsellor looks at the clock on her desk.

It is 6:15 PM in the evening.

She looks at her diary.

The next appointment is at 6:30 PM – the last appointment of the day – so she has time for a cup of coffee.

She pours a cup of coffee from her flask.

Then – the lady marriage counsellor takes out her smartphone from her purse and switches it on (she always keeps her phone “switched-off” during counselling sessions).

She sees a message from her daughter:

“Call me. It’s urgent…”

The lady marriage counsellor calls her daughter.

The daughter says:

“I am waiting at home. Come home quickly. I want to talk to you urgently…”

“Home…?” her mother – the lady marriage counsellor asks.

“Your home – I am waiting for you inside your flat. You please come home immediately…” her daughter says.

“But – I have an appointment at 6:30…” the lady marriage counsellor says.

“You cancel all appointments – I need you right now…” her daughter says, with desperation in her voice.

Normally – the lady counsellor never cancels appointments – but – she is worried about the desperation in her daughter’s voice – something seems to be terribly wrong.

So – the lady marriage counsellor reschedules the 6:30 appointment for another day – and – she drives home.

When she reaches home – the lady marriage counsellor sees her daughter looking distraught – sitting on the sofa.

The lady marriage counsellor asks her daughter:

“What happened…? Why have you suddenly come here…?”

“I have left my husband – I have decided to divorce him…” the daughter says.

“Divorce…? Have you gone crazy…? What happened…?”

“My husband is having an “affair” – I caught him red-handed with a woman…”

“What…?”

“Yes. My husband is having an “extramarital affair” – bloody adulterous cheat – I can’t stay with him for even one moment now – I have decided to divorce him…”

“Divorce…? Wait. Don’t be so impulsive. We will work it out. You don’t break up a marriage for such a “small thing”…”

“What do you mean by “small thing”…? Is adultery a “small thing”…?”

“Maybe – it is some misunderstanding…”

“I have “evidence” that my husband is having an affair…”

“You have “evidence”…?”

“Yes…” the daughter says – and – she holds her smartphone in front of her mother and shows her mother some pictures.

After seeing the pictures – the lady marriage counsellor says to her daughter: “But – did you ask your husband about this – did you show him these pictures…?”

“Yes – I asked him the moment he came home in the evening – at first – he denied everything – but – when I showed him the pictures – he “confessed” about his “affair”…”

“Then…?”

“Then what…? I just walked out of the house – I took a taxi – and I came here…”

“Did he try to speak to you…?”

“He is continuously trying to call me – but – I am not answering his calls…”

“You should talk to him…”

“You want me to talk to that adulterous cheat…? There is no question of my talking to him – in fact – I want to send him to jail for committing adultery…”

“Cool down. Don’t be so impulsive. What will you achieve by sending your husband to jail…? What will you gain by divorce…? You are only 25. It is a question of your life. I feel that you should talk it out with your husband – I am sure he is “sorry” for what he has done and he will never do it again – and – I am sure that things will become okay between you two. Divorce is an extreme step – so don’t be reckless about it…”

After uttering these words of advice to her daughter – the lady marriage counsellor takes out her mobile phone – and she calls up her “adulterous” son-in-law – to “counsel” him on how to “save” his marriage…

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

In her office – the marriage counsellor advised her client to divorce her husband because he had committed adultery.

At home – the same marriage counsellor advised her own daughter to do exactly the opposite.

Her daughter’s husband had committed adultery.

And – her daughter wanted to divorce her husband.

But – the marriage counsellor told her daughter to “save” her marriage.

In the same situation:

For the client – “divorce is the best option”

But – for her own daughter – “divorce is not a option”.

The counsellor advised the client that when a relationship is damaged by “distrust” – it is better to “break up” – rather than try to “patch up”…”

But – under the same circumstances – the counsellor advised her own daughter to “patch up” the relationship.

Amazing hypocrisy and double-standards – isn’t it…?

Is “professional” counselling different from “personal” counselling…?

Do counsellors have two yardstick…?

One advice for their clients – and another advice for their “near and dear” ones…?

Dear Reader:

Do tell us what you think.

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. 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)

This Story was earlier posted by me in this Blog at url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/04/06/counselling-is-professional-counselling-different-from-personal-counselling/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2019/01/02/couselling-professional-versus-personal-what-is-good-for-the-goose-is-it-good-for-the-gander/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/07/08/marriage-counselling-made-simple/

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/05/what-is-good-for-goose-is-not-good-for.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Humor in Uniform – Prosophobia – “Relics” in Uniform

October 21, 2019

Have you met some veterans who – though they physically live in the modern world – they mentally think that they are still “living” in the “British Raj”…?

Have you seen these “Relics of the Raj” display a “Colonial Mindset”…?

I have seen such “prosophobic” characters during my Navy days.

Here is a story from my Navy Days…

PROSOPHOBIA (and “AULD LANG SYNE” SYNDROME)

A Spoof By Vikram Karve

PROSOPHOBIA

Prosophobia = Fear of Progress

Prosophobia is the Fear of Progress.

I have seen plenty of this during my days in the Navy.

And I still see plenty of it in the Army, Navy and Civilian Bureaucracy even now.

LIVING IN THE GLORIOUS PAST (The “Good Old” Days)

Let me tell you a story.

This happened around 37 years ago – sometime in the early 1980’s – when I was a “Babu” in Uniform pushing files in the “Northern Naval Command” in New Delhi.

A young officer put up a proposal to give residential phones to all Navy Officers posted in New Delhi.

Those days residential phones were given only to senior officers of the rank of Commander and above.

In fact – even some Commanders did not have residential phones.

On the other hand – all Civilian Officers of the rank of Under Secretary and above had residential phones.

This young Communications Officer had done his homework thoroughly.

In his proposal – he clearly explained that – within the existing budget – it was feasible to give residential phones to all Lieutenants and above.

“NO…” bellowed a Senior Naval Officer, “there is no need to give phones to piddly Lieutenants. In my days – I did not have a phone even when I was a Commander…”

I looked at the Ageing Senior Naval Officer of the “Old Mould” – and – tongue-in-cheek – I said:

“Maybe when he was a Lieutenant – telephones did not exist…”

Someone else quipped:

“Yes – it looks like this bloody old-fogie was born before Alexander Graham Bell – when the telephone was not even invented…”

This a typical example of Prosophobia.

One reason for Prosophobia, especially in the Defence Services, is due to what I call – the “Auld Lang Syne Syndrome”.

I saw many such instances of Prosophobia in the Defence Services – especially among Army Officers.

Sometime around 2004 – more than 21 years later after the above “Telephone” incident – I was aghast to see that things had not changed.

There was still a reluctance among senior officers to give official land-line telephone connections and official mobile cellphones to junior officers because of prosophobia.

“Why do Junior Officers need Mobile Phones…?” a Senior Officer said, “Official Mobile Phones should be given to Senior Officers only…

Civil Society had become egalitarian – but – the rigid prosophobic mindset of Senior Officers had not changed – and the Defence Services were still living in the “glorious” past.

Of course – with the advent and proliferation of mobile technology – now every officer/soldier/sailor/airman now had his own personal mobile phone – and no one hankers too much for a landline official phone.

However – there was an attempt by some “oldie-goldie” prosophobic senior officers to ban/restrict mobile phones in some offices – but this failed miserably.

It seems that the latest “target” of the prosophobia afflicted “Auld Lang Syne Syndrome” officers of the “old mould” is Social Networking – and some are even contemplating banning Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp etc for Defence Service Personnel and their Families.

There is a need for prosophobics to realize that it is difficult to stop an idea whose time has come.

WHY IS THERE PROSOPHOBIA IN THE MILITARY…?

The primary reason for Prosophobia in the Defence Services is the “Auld Lang Syne” Syndrome among senior officers – whose favourite logic and reasoning include arguments like:

“In our “good old days” we did not have it – so why do you want it… ???”

(we did not have a telephone at home – so why do you want a phone at home…?)

“We did it this way – so you will also bloody well do it the same way… !!!”

(we managed without a telephone – so you too bloody well manage without a phone)

These retrograde guys have a feudal mindset want to live in “past glory”.

They are not even satisfied with maintaining status quo.

They want status quo ante and want to regress into the past.

Yes:

Adherence to antiquated customs and irrelevant traditions – and maintenance of “precedence” and “status quo” – these are sure signs of “Prosophobia”.

The world may have progressed – but there is great resistance to change.

There is a reluctance to progress and move on – owing to the fixation of “living in the glorious days of the past”.

This results in an irrational obsession with archaic customs and antiquated traditions which have outlived their utility and are not in sync with the modern world.

TECHNOPHOBIA

Technophobia = Fear of Technology

Another reason for Prosophobia is “Technophobia” (fear of technology).

This is prevalent especially among those senior officers who are disinclined and reticent about continual learning – and they are averse to embracing new technology.

They are not keen on updating themselves – and they are unwilling to learn.

These prosophobic officers are afraid of getting out their comfort zones.

Believe it or not – but as late as the year 2006 – I came across a Senior Army Officer who was “computer-illiterate”.

This “Relic of the Raj” believed that it was below his dignity to “Type”

(even on his PC/Laptop)

He thought Personal Computers (PCs) were glorified typewriters.

He believed that as an officer his job was to “dictate” notes – and – it was the job of the lowly stenographers and clerks to type out his dictations.

Another Pongo was even more hilarious.

This typical Colonel Blimp type old-fashioned “officer of the old-mould” prosophobic officer wanted his secretary to take physical hard-copy printouts of all emails.

The secretary would then put the hard-copy printouts of all incoming emails of the previous day in the “Dak Folder” every morning for his “perusal”.

He would then dictate replies to these emails to his secretary or write them out in longhand.

The secretary would then “type” out these replies – take hard-copy printouts on paper – and put up these drafts for approval of the senior officer.

After the officer had approved the hard-copy drafts – the secretary would meticulously “type” the emails and send them (by email).

But – sending emails was not enough.

The secretary would have to take hard-copy printouts of each of the sent emails for perusal of the officer – and then – the secretary would have to file all the hard-copies for record – since the officer did not believe in soft-copy records.

All “papers” were carefully filed and preserved.

Instead of using Information Technology to achieve a Paperless Office – this “Prosophobic” specimen had actually increased the paperwork.

In many places – especially in accounts offices – I have seen that there is a great emphasis on paper-work.

Even today – you can see a marked reluctance and suspicion among senior military officers to embrace Information Technology (IT) and make administration paperless, transparent and speedy.

Surprisingly – once these “prosophobic” senior officers hang up their boots – and shed their uniform after retirement – they change dramatically.

These same “prosophobic” officers are seen adapting pretty well to Information Technology and using the latest gadgets – which is evident from the active presence of military veterans on social networking sites like Twitter, WhatsApp, Facebook and in the blogosphere.

I wonder:

Does wearing Military Uniform makes you prosophobic…?

Is Military Uniform related to Prosophobia…?

ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM and STATUS QUOIST MINDSET

A manifestation of prosophobia is the presence of an anti-intellectual culture in the organisation.

If you observe an undue obsession with maintaining “status quo” – and a celebration of “anti-intellectualism” – you can be sure of the existence of prosophobia in that organisation – especially at the top level.

You see plenty of this in the Army and Navy.

Feudal culture, red tape, rank consciousness, steep hierarchical pyramid and inordinate emphasis on seniority and obsession with preserving the hierarchy are indicators of prosophobia.

And these attributes are seen in plenty even today in the military and many civilian government organisations as well.

Hopefully things are changing for the better – but you still see signs of prosophobia (and technophobia) all around.

A few years ago – I visited a Military Hospital where they were still using paper chits.

Patients were lugging around voluminous paper medical reports despite the easy availability of hospital management software which could make these military hospitals paperless.

Prosophobia is the main reason for resistance to progressive change.

Owing to Auld Lang Syne Syndrome, Prosophobia, Technophobia and Status Quoist Mindset there exists a marked reluctance to change in the military – especially among senior officers.

There is a tendency to hang on to archaic customs, outdated traditions, outmoded culture and redundant ceremonials which have no relevance in modern times.

One example of this prosophobic mindset is the system of providing combat soldiers as Batmen or Personal Orderlies (Sahayaks) to Officers in the Army (and also in the Police/Civil Services where they are called Attendants or Helpers)

Do you think this feudal practice is in sync with the modern society of today…?

Dear Reader:

Do look around you in your organization and in society.

Do you see prosophobia…?

I hear things are changing now.

Technology if forcing everyone to adapt – yes – Technology is a great leveller – if you don’t learn and adapt – you will be left behind.

Also – Technology is making the Military (and Society) more egalitarian – and reducing the gap between officers and soldiers – since everyone has access to technology and its benefits like Social Media.

So – Technology will ensure that “Auld Lang Syne” type “Prosophobics” are rendered obsolete and irrelevant.

EPILOGUE – On a Happy Note

VENUSTRAPHOBIA a Phobia which does not exist in the Navy.

Before I end – on a lighter note – let me tell you about one more interesting phobia.

This phobia is called “Venustraphobia”.

Do you know what “Venustraphobia” means…?

Believe it or not:

Venustraphobia” is the Fear of Beautiful Women.

I wonder who is afraid of beautiful women – men – or women – or both…?

One thing is sure – you may see signs of Prosophobia here and there – but there is absolutely no Venustraphobia in the Navy – yes – there is Zero Venustraphobia in the Navy.

Hey – wait – let me not draw sweeping conclusions.

I know one Navy Veteran who is afraid of his Beautiful “Girlfriend”

Let’s hope she reads this and blushes.

Cheers…!!!

Have a Happy Phobia-Free Day.

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/2017/01/humor-in-uniform-prosophobia-auld-lang.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Updated Version of my Article First Posted by me Vikram Karve on 29 April 2013 at 4/29/2013 02:11:00 PM in my blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/04/humour-in-uniform-old-navy-auld-lang.html and later at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/06/humor-in-uniform-fauji-phobias-and-auld.html andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/humor-in-uniform-prosophobia.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/07/16/prosophobia-in-uniform-the-auld-lang-syne-syndrome/ etc

Himalayan Blunder – Book Review

October 20, 2019

57 years ago – on 20 October 1962 began the Sino Indian War.

Of all the books, references and literature on the 1962 India China War I find the memoir of Brigadier JP Dalvi HIMALAYAN BLUNDER most engrossing.
Here is a brief review of the book that I wrote 7 years ago in Oct 2012.
Meanwhile I shall re-read the other books and literature I have on this subject and tell you about them here in my blog.
HIMALAYAN BLUNDER
Book Review By Vikram Karve
(This is an abridged re-post of my Book Review written in Oct 2012)
While cleaning my bookcase I chanced upon one of my favourite military autobiographies – HIMALAYAN BLUNDER by Brig JP Dalvi
Whenever I start reading Himalayan Blunder, leafing through the pages of the book, I am filled with a sense of déjà vu.
And as I read on further, drawing parallels between what was written in the book and the intriguing happenings of recenti times, I wonder to myself:
“Are we heading for another Himalayan Blunder…?”
Is history going to repeat itself after 57 years…?

I have heard a saying:
THOSE WHO DO NOT LEARN FROM HISTORY ARE CONDEMNED TO REPEAT IT
That is why I feel that Himalayan Blunder is a must read for the “powers-that-be” Political, Civil and Military.
I am sure most politicians, bureaucrats, military officers, students of military history and the intelligentsia have read Himalayan Blunder but – if you have not read the book or even of you have read it it would be worthwhile to read the book carefully once again to draw parallels between what happened in 1962 and what is happening now and learn lessons so that similar mistakes are not repeated again and we do not have another “Himalayan Blunder” in the making.
Himalayan Blunder is a fascinating war memoir of the 1962 Conflict between India and China in which India suffered a humiliating defeat.
Brigadier Dalvi was the Commander of the Indian Army’s 7th Infantry Brigade which was annihilated by the Chinese Army.
I feel that it always better to read history written by those who have actually lived it rather than those who have recorded it merely by academic research.
First person accounts have an air of authenticity about them which lends them credibility.
I have read 6 first-hand accounts of the 1962 India China War:
1. The Untold Story By BM Kaul
2. Himalayan Blunder by JP Dalvi
3. The Unfought War of 1962 By JR Saigal
4. The Fall of Towang By Niranjan Prasad
5. War in the High Himalaya by DK Palit
6. Recollections of the Sela Bomdila Debacle 1962 by Jaidev Singh Datta
(Of course – I have also read many other books/articles on the 1962 India China War including India’s China War by Neville Maxwell and analyses/memoirs of battles in the USI Journal – but – like I said – First Hand Memoirs have a air of authenticity)
Out of all these autobiographical first-hand war memoirs I found Dalvi’s Himalayan Blunder the most illuminating and enthralling.
The writing style is articulate, reasoned, lucid, as well as most soul-searching and analytic, and the book is extremely readable.
In my opinion, Himalayan Blunder is a military masterpiece, arguably the best book by an Indian military author.

Himalayan Blunder tells you of the debacle that happened when ill-equipped, unprepared, confused and demoralized soldiers were rushed into battle against a strong adversary in an ad hoc manner because military decisions were influenced more by political prophecy rather than military strategy.

Dalvi tells his story with remarkable wit and exceptional candour.
His candid storytelling style captivates you and once you start reading you get so engrossed that the book becomes unputdownable.
There is no military jargon or gobbledygook.
Dalvi writes straight from the heart and that is why this book will not only educate you but also will move you emotionally, strike a chord and get you thinking.
From his easy writing style, and the way he narrates the story, it is evident that besides being a soldier, the author was a thinker and a scholar, and like most officers of his generation, he was extremely well-read and well-informed, and possessed a witty, yet biting, sense of humour.
He has interspersed his book with anecdotes, quotes and similes.
Sample this – he writes that a Corps Commander was sacked because:
“He refused to be a dog in obedience and a lion in action…”
Why did we suffer the ignominy of such a crushing defeat in the 1962 war with China?
It seems to be the same story we keep witnessing from time to time – the civil-military divide, the lack of appreciation of ground realities by the Delhi-Centric powers-that-be who call the shots, and the trust deficit between various stakeholders


– like it is happening even till today.

Books like the Himalayan Blunder will make us aware of our mistakes of the past so that we don’t repeat them.
That is why we must read such books and take cognizance of the message they try to convey.
In such matters – let history not repeat itself.
That is why we cannot to afford to ignore the lessons of history – if we do so – it will be to our own peril.
I am going to read HIMALAYAN BLUNDER once again – and – maybe – I will tell you more about this fascinating memoir.
Dear Reader:
Meanwhile on the occasion of the 57th anniversary of the debacle it may be a good idea for you to read this classic book 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.

This Book Review was written by me Vikram Karve in October 2012 and First Posted Online by me in my blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/10/1962-himalayan-blunder-never-again.html and revised/reposted an number of times at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/10/himalayan-blunder-book-review.html and https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/08/let-us-not-repeat-another-himalayan.html etc
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