Archive for the ‘creative’ Category


August 24, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: FLIRTING ON THE TRAIN – A TRAVEL ROMANCE.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:…

One good thing about the Navy is that you get an opportunity to spend many years in Mumbai.

And – since I am from Pune – during these Mumbai tenures – I frequently travelled from Mumbai to Pune (and back) by Train – whenever I got leave – and on weekend visits.

Those days there was no Mumbai Pune Expressway and the road journey was arduous, cumbersome and time-consuming.

Also – those days – we did not own cars – so the journey Mumbai to Pune and back had to be done on a bike – which was quite dicey – especially in the ghats – and hence we preferred train travel.

These train journeys gave me ideas for many of my stories.

Here is one I wrote around 25 years ago – in the early 1990s.

I have duly abridged updated and revised the story for the digital screen – and have added an explanatory epilogue.

Do tell me if you like this old fashioned romance…

The Flirty Woman on the Train
A Love Story


Sometime ago – I received a wedding invitation card.

I wondered who had sent it – as I was clueless – when I read the names.

Soon – a classmate of mine – with whom I had lost contact – with rang me up – and she said that she had found my whereabouts from the internet – and that she had sent me the invitation card of the wedding of her daughter.

I read the bride’s mother’s name from the card – and the lady on the phone confirmed that the name on the card was her new name.

As was the custom in earlier days – she had changed her maiden name after her marriage – and in her new name – there was no trace of her earlier name.

For illustrative purposes – I will give you a fictitious example:

Suppose her earlier name before her marriage was Swati [her maiden name given by her parents] Laxman [her father’s name] Gokhale [her father’s surname] – now – after her marriage – her new name was transformed intoManisha [new name given by her husband] Vishwas [husband’s name]Bhide [husband’s surname].

Please observe that her new name Manisha Vishwas Bhide has absolutely no trace of her earlier name Swati Laxman Gokhale.

I do not think this happens too often nowadays – as girls retain their earlier identities after marriage – including both the maiden name and surname as well – but here is a story I wrote long ago on the name game. 

I think I wrote this story around 25 years ago on a train journey from Mumbai to Pune

By the way this is pure fiction – a figment of my imagination – there are no such persons – and no such thing ever happened – so just sit back and enjoy the story…

Fiction Short Story

No matter how many times I begin a train journey – I always have an intriguing interest in seeing who my fellow-passengers are. 

I stood on the platform of Mumbai Station in the early morning chill and scanned the reservation chart pasted on the Air-Conditioned Chair-Car of the Indrayani Express. 

I was on seat number 30 – a window seat.

A window seat.

The neighbouring seat number 29 was reserved in the name of Avinash Bhide – male – age 10.

A disappointment…!

There was better luck on seat number 28 – Manisha Bhide – female – age 35.

In my mind’s eye – I tried to imagine and visualise what Manisha Bhide would be like.

Surprisingly – Manisha Bhide did not board the train as it left Mumbai CST.

I felt a pang of disappointment.

Maybe she would come at Dadar.

The seats in the air-conditioned chair-car were three abreast – 28 near the aisle – 30 near the window – and 29 in-between.

I sat down on seat number 28.

In 10 minutes the train reached Dadar.

A beautiful woman with vivacious dancing eyes entered the coach – and she had a young boy in tow.

As she walked towards me – I instinctively knew that she was Manisha Bhide.

“Manisha Bhide?” I asked – as I stood up.

I and gave her a smile of forced geniality.

Our eyes met.

She looked into my eyes for that moment longer than may be considered polite greeting.

I felt a sense of elation.

I quickly moved out on the aisle – and I helped her with her luggage.

Meanwhile young Avinash Bhide had occupied the window-seat – seat No. 30 – my seat.

Before Manisha Bhide could say anything – I quickly interjected, “It’s okay. Let the young gentleman sit in the window-seat”. 

Now she would have to sit next to me.

Manisha Bhide smiled in resignation at the fait accompli – and she sat down on seat number 29.

My opening gambit having succeeded – I closed my eyes to savour the sense of delight I was experiencing.

After a long time – I felt young and happy once again.

This was one journey I was going to enjoy. 

Suddenly – Manisha Bhide spoke, “Excuse me – but aren’t you Vijay Joshi…?”

I was taken aback – a bit bewildered.

Flabbergasted – I opened my eyes – wondering whether they put up reservation charts at Dadar too – since the one on the coach was on the right-hand side – and the platform at Dadar was on the left.

Before I could recover my wits – Manisha Bhide said, “You are in the Merchant Navy, aren’t you…?”

Stunned and dumbstruck – I just stared at her – vacuously – perplexed into silence.

The silence was grotesque.

Manisha Bhide broke the silence – and she said to me: “You don’t remember me – do you…? But I have recognized you Mr. Joshi – or is it Captain Joshi…? Why are you hiding behind that ghastly beard…? The beard doesn’t suit you. You looked so handsome clean-shaven…”

I caressed my beard lovingly with my right hand – and I said, “No Ma’am – I don’t think we have met – maybe you are mistaking me for someone else – and had we met – I would never have forgotten you…”

That was true. 

She was really beautiful – a face one could not forget easily – and her vivacious eyes – if I had seen her I would have certainly remembered her…

“But you are Vijay Joshi – aren’t you…?” she said.

I looked at her.

I felt totally astounded. 

She seemed to give me the impression – as if we had known each other very well.

“You are right,” I said, “I am indeed Captain Vijay Joshi, Master Mariner. But I don’t remember ever meeting you.”

“But then – how do you know my new name…?” she snapped.

“New name…?” I said.

“Yes. My new name – Manisha Bhide…” she said.

“I saw it on the reservation chart,” I said sheepishly.

“I was Swati Gokhale before marriage,” she said, “and after marriage – my surname changed to Bhide – and husband changed my maiden name from Swati to Manisha.”

“Manisha Bhide nee Swati Gokhale…!” I joked – and I said to her, “Well – I am quite sure. I don’t think we have ever met before.”

People are always little disconcerted when you do not recognize them. 

They are so important to themselves – that it is disheartening for them to discover of what negligible importance they are to others. 

I racked my brains – but just could not remember meeting any Swati Gokhale.

“Are you from Pune…?” I asked.

“No. I am from Mumbai,” she answered – then she paused – and she said, “But now I live in Pune. My husband works there.”

She paused for another moment – she looked directly into my eyes – and she asked me, “Do you still live in Nashik…?”

“No…No…” I said, trying to hide my surprise. “I have got a flat in Mumbai. In Colaba. And I have also bought a bungalow in Lonavala. That is where I am going right now.”

“Oh…really…?” she said, raising her eyebrows appreciatively.

But – I did sense that slight tinge of regret in her voice – just a trace mind you – but the nuance did not escape me.

She looked at me with genuine admiration in her eyes – and she said, “You must be a rich man…?”

I smiled. “Well – it is a paying job. And then – one gets paid in dollars.”

“I wish I had married you,” she said, matter-of-factly.

“What…?” I asked totally stunned and taken aback.

“One day my parents showed me two photographs. One was yours – and the other was my husband’s – my present husband that is…” she said wistfully.

Then she looked directly at me – and she said, “I had to choose one – and I think I made the wrong choice. It was a big mistake – a real big mistake. I really wish I had married you, Captain Joshi…!”

It took a while for her words to sink in – and as comprehension dawned on me – I understood the reasons for her interest in me.

People have many reasons for snooping into others people’s lives and affairs. 

Everyone has a natural curiosity to know what lies beyond the closed door – especially if they have closed that door themselves.

In my mind’s eye – I tried to imagine what life would have been like had she married me.

I was tempted to probe a bit – so I asked her, “Please tell me. I am curious. Why did you reject me…?”

“Please don’t say that – I never rejected you – I just selected him – actually it all happened so fast – you were away sailing on the high seas – and I had only your photograph to go by – and it was going to be six months before you would return from sea. And the Bhide’s were in a terrible hurry. Vishwas Bhide was in India for precisely one month – to find a bride – to get married – and to go back to America. Actually he was flooded with proposals – but he had liked me – and I too wanted to go abroad – and enjoy the luxury – the high standard of living…” she said.

“When was this…?” I asked.

“15 years ago – when I was exactly 20 years old…” she said.

“I wonder why my mother didn’t tell me about you…?” I said to her, quite confused, “Well – 15 years ago – I was only a Second Officer – and I did not know that my mother was busy finding a bride for me – while I was away at sea. But she should have told me about you…”

“It’s understandable…” Manisha Bhide said nonchalantly, “If a boy rejects a girl – it does not matter – but if the girl rejects the boy – he becomes a laughing stock, an object of ridicule – at least in those days – 15 years ago…”

I smiled to myself at the truth of her statement.

“So you live in America do you…? On a holiday here…?” I asked, trying to change the topic.

“No,” she said. “We came back 7 years ago. My husband took up a professorship in the University. He is so qualified and talented – that he could earn millions – but he is an idealist sort of chap who lacks ambition. A man who values high thinking and simple living – a thrift and frugality type – you know he even lacks the drive to do well in that teaching job too. It’s so sad – his idea of happiness is to wallow in mediocrity in every aspect of life. It’s pathetic – I tell you – it’s just pathetic…!”

“How can you say that?” I interjected, “Teaching is an honourable profession. And surely – the pay must be okay.”

“Maybe – but with his thrift and frugality values – he just does not want to enjoy life – or have a decent standard of living, Mr. Joshi,” she said – with bitterness in her voice, “We live in a dilapidated house in the university campus. And I am ashamed to drive in our small rickety car. All my dreams have been dashed. I too wish I could have a bungalow in Lonavala like you and live in style. I really envy your wife, Captain Joshi…!”

“I don’t have a wife…” I said.

“Good God…! You never got married…?” she asked, confusion writ large on her face.

Then she paused for a moment – and she said tenderly, “Or is it…? Oh… I am so sorry…”

“No… No…” I said, “It’s not what you think. I am not a widower. Nor am I a bachelor. I am a divorcee. One fine day my wife just left me – and she moved in with some school teacher. It happened 3 years ago.”

“Your wife left you for school teacher…? How silly…!”

“It’s ironic – isn’t it?” I said, “You wanted a standard of living – she wanted a quality of life.”

“Quality of life…?” Manisha Bhide said.

“That’s what she used to say. She couldn’t stand the separations, the loneliness. She wanted me to give up merchant navy and take up some job ashore – but I had got too used to the sea and did not want to give up the so called ‘standard of living’ as you put it…” I paused for a moment – and then I said wistfully, “I wish I had understood… On the whole – I think an imperfect marriage is better than no marriage at all…”

“I think your wife was very unfair,” Manisha Bhide said.

“On the contrary – I too haven’t been an angel. You see – life at sea is not all fun and frolic. One docks at exotic ports – and one does get lonely at times – and then – one is tempted to sow one’s wild oats…” I said.

I instantly regretted those words – especially the “…sow one’s wild oats…”bit.

On hearing my words – there was a sudden metamorphosis in Manisha Bhide.

She was looking at me now as if I was a lusty lecherous predator on the prowl.

I excused myself – and I went to the toilet.

When I returned – I found Master Avinash Bhide in the centre-seat – with a scowl on his face.

Manisha Bhide had now shifted to the window seat – and was studiously making a pretence of reading a magazine.

I sat down next to the young boy – and the rest of the journey passed in interesting conversation with Master Avinash Bhide. 

He wanted to know all about ships…!

As the train approached Lonavala – I pulled down my bag – and I said, “Goodbye Mrs. Bhide. It was nice meeting you – and – of course – your son is a delightful chap…!”

Manisha Bhide turned her face – and she looked at me.

She looked so beautiful – so attractive – that I stood mesmerized – and I was unable to take my eyes off her.

Manisha Bhide smiled – she looked into my eyes – and she said to me, “It was good that I met you Captain Joshi. All these years – I was always tormented by the thought that I had made the wrong choice – that I had selected the wrong photograph – and I wished that I had selected you. But now – I know I made the right choice…!”

As I walked away – I had a canny feeling that I had probably saved her marriage.

I can never forget Manisha Bhide – her mesmerizing beauty – and her vivacious dancing eyes – and – sometimes – when I feel lonely and melancholic – I wish she had opted for me – and married me – instead of that Vishwas Bhide.

Maybe – we would have a rocking marriage.

Maybe – I would have been the right choice for her.

Maybe for her – Surely for me.

But – one thing is for sure – I wouldn’t have changed her maiden name – I prefer Swati. 

Swati Joshi sounds much better than Manisha Joshi – doesn’t it…?

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 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)
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised version of my story THE RIGHT CHOICE written by me Vikram Karve 25 years ago in the year 1990 and earlier posted online by me an number of times in my various creative writing blogs including at urls:…  and  https://vikramwkarve.wordpress.c… and https://vikramwkarve.wordpress.c…  and…  and…  etc

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/22/2015 11:55:00 PM

Art of Naval Command – Humor in Uniform – Excerpt from Novel NOBODY’S NAVY by Vikram Karve

August 22, 2015

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:…

Excerpt from NOBODY’S NAVY by Vikram Karve

Every Naval Officer has a book hidden within him.

This is my book – a Novel.

Though apocryphal, this fiction story is based on my first hand experience about life in the Indian Navy.

I have not seen a similar novel written in India which is set on a warship depicting the excitement and trials and tribulations of naval life.

Most people think that the Navy is like any other “job”.

The Navy is not a Job.

The Navy is a Way of Life.

I want to give my readers an authentic taste of the naval life we experienced first-hand in the navy.

Naval life is quite different from the jingoistic mumbo jumbo in recruitment advertisements or the heroic hogwash exhibited in most action movies or the “Colonel Blimp” or “Captain Haddock” type caricatures shown in Bollywood films.
The protagonist of my novel is Sub-Lieutenant Nobody

Yes, his name is “Nobody”.

That is why the novel is called NOBODY’S NAVY

This story covers a one year period in the life of Sub-Lieutenant Nobody.

(If this novel sees the light of day, I intend to write a sequel, maybe a trilogy, or a series of follow-on novels, to cover the hilarious yet poignant adventures of this fictitious naval officer called “Nobody” as he plods his way through naval life and progresses through his naval career).

The theme of my novel is simple: “THE NAVY BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN YOU”

This part was true in my own life – The Navy did bring out the best in me.

Is anyone interested in publishing my novel NOBODY’S NAVY ?

The synopsis and six chapters of Nobody’s Navy are ready.

If you are game (or know publisher who is interested) do let me know. 

We can take it forward from here.

Meanwhile here is an excerpt from NOBODY’S NAVY, my novel about the adventures of Sub-Lieutenant Nobody, which I am posting below on my Blog for you to read and enjoy.

Do tell me if you liked the piece.

Tentative Chapter 3 of  NOBODY’S NAVY – A Navy Novel by VIKRAM KARVE


How Sub Lieutenant NOBODY became a “Somebody”

Calm Blue Sea, Soft Cool Breeze, Sunset, 31st December 1977.

The lights of Mumbai twinkle in the distance as the city gets ready to ring in the New Year.

It was the happiest moment of his life.

Standing on the bridge-wings of the mighty warship INS Bijlee as she entered Mumbai harbour under his command, for the first time in his life, Sub-Lieutenant Nobody felt as if he was a “somebody”.

At this defining moment of his life, he realized the import of the words the distinguished Admiral had uttered while motivating him to join the navy while he was studying at IIT.

“Son,” the recruiting Admiral had said, “The navy is not just another job. The navy is a way of life.”

Ship life seemed good.

Rank, spit and polish and normal naval bullshit did not matter much on a frontline combat ship like INS Bijlee.

Here it was performance that counted.

So everyone was busy doing his job.

As long as you did your job well, you were given a free hand, and after secure was piped, and the day’s work was over, you were free to do what you liked.

Nobody realized that one bothered him since other officers were busy doing his own work and running their departments.

It was much better over here on a combat ship than the Naval Academy where they treated you like dirt and tried to convert you into a brainless obedient robot.

And it was certainly much better than the Naval Technical Officers’ College which boasted of transforming bright young Engineering Graduates into “Technical Zombies”.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody had survived both these ordeals and still retained his sanity.

It all happened so fast.

He had arrived in Mumbai in the morning after a tiresome train journey, and was picked up in a ramshackle truck and dumped at the boat jetty.

There the ship’s boat was waiting for him and after a rough journey on the choppy sea, Sub-Lieutenant Nobody was deposited alongside INS Bijlee anchored far out at sea.

It was almost noon when he clambered with his bag up the accommodation ladder.

He duly saluted the OOD and said, “Sub-Lieutenant Nobody reporting for duty, Sir. Request permission to come on board…”

The ship was rolling and the ladder staggered so he held on to a stanchion. The stanchion gave way, and Sub-Lieutenant Nobody lost his balance and crashed into the arms of the OOD and both of them fell on the deck in a heap.

“Sorry, Sir,” Nobody said as they gathered themselves up.

“You seem to be quite eager to join this ship. What did you say your name was?” the OOD, a two striper Lieutenant asked with a smile.

“My name is Nobody.”

“Nobody?” the OOD asked, incredulous.

“Sir, it’s an anglicised version of …”

“Okay. Okay. You can tell me the story later,” the OOD interrupted, “just give me your appointment letter.”

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody said took his appointment letter from his shirt pocket and gave it to the OOD who looked at it.

“Okay, okay, so you’re the new LO? Welcome on board,” the OOD shook his hand and said, “I’m the TASO. Today is make and mend. Captain is not on board. You can meet him tomorrow. The duty Petty Officer will take you to your cabin. Shower up, change into uniform and meet me in the ward room in ten minutes.”

Ten minutes later, freshly shaved and bathed, dressed in sparkling white shorts and shirt naval uniform, Sub-Lieutenant Nobody entered the ward room to find the TASO, wearing civvies, sitting at the bar sipping a glass of beer.

“Ah…there you are. I am waiting for you,” the TASO said the moment he saw the newly arrived Sub-Lieutenant Nobody.

The TASO swallowed his beer in one go, down the hatch.

Then he gave the OOD’s lanyard with a bunch of keys to Nobody, and said, “Hold the deck. I’m off. Don’t bother to see me off. I’ll see you in the morning.”

And with lightening speed the TASO disappeared ashore on the liberty boat even before Nobody could recover his wits.

“Congratulations,” a voice said from behind.

Nobody turned around to see a Lieutenant Commander sitting on a sofa with a huge tankard of beer before him.

“Good morning, Sir,” Nobody said.

“It is already afternoon, my friend” the Lieutenant Commander said extending his hand, “I’m Schoolie, the ship’s Education Officer. You’re the new LO, aren’t you?”

“Yes, Sir,” Nobody said.

“So you are the OOD, the de facto Commanding Officer of the ship now…”

“OOD…?” Sub-Lieutenant Nobody stammered, bewildered and totally taken aback.

“So you are holding the fort for TASO, aren’t you? Smart bugger that TASO. The horny bastard couldn’t even wait one day to screw his wife…”

Seeing the disorientated expression on Nobody’s face, Schoolie said, “Pick up a glass of beer and come and sit here. I’ll tell you what to do.”

Then with breathtaking simplicity, Schoolie elucidated the art of command:

“In the navy, especially on a ship, command is very simple. The art of command comprises just three words – YESNO and VERY GOOD. From time to time, your duty staff will come and ask you something. It’s a good idea to number their questions. You just reply ‘YES’ to the odd numbered questions, and you reply ‘NO’ to the even numbered questions. And if someone makes a report to you, just say:‘VERY GOOD’. You got it?”

“Yes, Sir – Odd numbered questions I say ‘Yes’. Even numbered questions I say ‘No’. And if someone makes a report I just say ‘Very Good’ – is that correct, Sir,” Sub-Lieutenant Nobody asked Schoolie.

“Correct. That, in a nutshell, is the art of naval command,” Schoolie pronounced with finality.

Just then the duty Petty Officer entered, saluted and asked Sub-Lieutenant Nobody and asked, “Request permission to revert to three watches, Sir.”

First question, odd numbered question, so Nobody answered: “Yes”

“Thank you, Sir,” the duty Petty Officer saluted, and went away quite happy that he could secure half his men from duty.

“Sir,” it was the duty ERA, who came a few minutes later, “request permission to shut down boilers.”

Question number two, even numbered question, so Nobody answered: “No”

The ERA nodded, looking quite perplexed, and went away.

“See, you are learning fast,” Schoolie said as they sat for lunch. 

While going ashore Schoolie gave Nobody a parting shot of advice, “Always remember that it is better to keep your mouth shut and give the impression that you are stupid than to open it and remove all doubt…”

Schoolie, a post graduate, was an Education Officer – the lowest class of officers in the navy who were treated like dirt and who wasted their entire lives teaching basic mathematics to junior sailors who didn’t give a damn, or acting as lackeys to senior officers wives helping them run so-called welfare activities which were more of ego massage and less of welfare.

Once in a while, the brighter among them got posted to ships where they had no work except hang around in the ward room doing nothing and offering unsolicited advice to anyone who cared to listen.

Schoolie enjoyed doing talking to people, pontificating and giving advice on all matters under the sun, to anyone who cared to listen, especially to rookies, like Sub-Lieutenant Nobody, who latched on to each word he said.

It was indeed funny – as far as the officer class was concerned your status and position in the pecking order was inversely proportional to your academic qualifications.

The matriculate cadet entry seamen officers were the prima donnas, the engineering graduate techies and supply guys were the middle rung, and post-graduate schoolies were at the rock bottom of the navy status hierarchy.

“It is port control, Sir,” the Yeoman of Signals woke up Nobody from his beer-induced siesta and asked hesitantly, “they are asking if we want to come alongside.”

Nobody struggled to open his eyes and thought about it.

One, two, three – this was the third question, odd numbered, so he decisively answered: “Yes”

“Thank you, Sir, I will signal them at once,” the delighted Yeoman of Signals said and he rushed towards the bridge to make a signal to port control by Aldis Lamp.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody followed the Yeoman to the bridge wings and watched him exchange visual signals with port control, both lamps frantically flashing. 

“Ballard Pier?” port control asked.

It was the fourth question of the day – an even numbered question, so Sub-Lieutenant Nobody assertively said:  “No”

“Barracks Wharf?”


“Cold move?” port control asked.

“No,” Nobody said decisively.

“Hot move?”


Everyone on the bridge was praising Sub-Lieutenant Nobody’s foresight in not allowing the boilers to be shut down, otherwise the quick hot move would not have been possible at immediate notice and they would have to spend the whole day waiting for the tug to carry out the laborious cold move.

 “Should we call for a harbour pilot?” the duty Midshipman asked.

It was even numbered question, so Sub-Lieutenant Nobody emphatically said: “No”

“Sir, should I prepare the pilotage plan?”


“Shall I chart course between sunk rock and oyster rock?”


“Around Middle Ground?”


“Will you be taking the con, sir?” the Midshipman asked.


“Then I will have the con?”


The Midshipman was filled with happiness and a sense of pride. 

It was the first time that someone had shown so much confidence in him.

The Midshipman smartly saluted Sub-Lieutenant Nobody and said, “I’ll report when ready, Sir.”

This was not a question. 

This was a report. 

So Nobody remembered Schoolie’s advice and said, “Very Good.”

There was no point hanging around the bridge and being exposed, thought Sub-Lieutenant Nobody.

So Sub-Lieutenant Nobody told the Midshipman to take the ship alongside.

He then informed the Midshipman that he would be available in the wardroom for any advice.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody then went down to the wardroom, summoned the bar steward, and ordered a double large scotch whisky and soda.

He needed the alcohol fuelled “Dutch courage”.

His spirits high, fuelled by alcohol inspired courage, and brimming with confidence, from then on, Sub-Lieutenant Nobody religiously followed Schoolie’s odd/even command formula with great success, and soon INS Bijlee was underway, sailing smoothly towards the Wharf.

As he sipped whisky in the wardroom, Sub-Lieutenant Nobody was quite clueless as he heard, on the main broadcast, the Midshipman give the conning orders: “Stand-by Main Engines…Haul Anchor…Anchor off the bottom…Anchor Aweigh…Anchor Coming Home…Anchor Sighted and Clear…Wheel Amidships… Dead Slow…Starboard Ten…”

Everything moved like clockwork, everyone knew their jobs.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody also knew what to do. 

In his mind, he had to keep a count of the questions they asked him and quickly determine the question number – odd or even – and answer according to Schoolie’s formula.

For every odd numbered question, he said: “Yes”.

For the even numbered question. he said: “No”.

And from time to time when someone made him a report, Sub-Lieutenant Nobody he would wisely nod, and say: “Very Good.”

It worked. 

The simple “YES” – “NO” – “VERY GOOD” command formula worked.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody strictly followed the formula, and everything went absolutely right.

The ship secured alongside perfectly.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody realized first-hand that the art of naval command was indeed breathtaking in its simplicity.

“Should I announce liberty, Sir?” asked the Duty Petty Officer hesitantly.

it was an odd numbered question, so Sub-Lieutenant Nobody said: “Yes.”

The broad smile on the Petty Officer’s face and the smartness of his salute said it all.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody had mastered the art of naval command.

The crew were happy to be secured alongside rather than tossing and turning at a faraway anchorage out at sea.

And now, thanks to Sub-Lieutenant Nobody, there would be liberty and the ship’s crew would be able to go ashore to enjoy the delights of “Maximum City” after a long hard time at sea.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody became the hot topic of discussion below the deck in the crew messes.

Each and every sailor admired the guts and initiative of Sub-Lieutenant Nobody.

Despite being a non-seaman officer, he had brought the ship alongside by taking effective charge of the midshipman, and by his prompt and clear decisive commands.

Never before had such a thing happened.  

Never before had they seen a greenhorn Sub-Lieutenant demonstrate so much confidence and guts on his first day on board a ship.

Anyone else would have hesitated, dithered – but here was a decisive officer, a natural leader, they all said with awe and in unison.

On his very first day on board this mighty warship, Sub-Lieutenant Nobody earned the admiration, respect and esteem of the crew of INS Bijlee.

The sailors were happy to have Sub-Lieutenant Nobody on board, and they showed it by their body language, especially in the way they saluted him.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody’s chest swelled with pride.

Nobody had become a “Somebody”.

End of Chapter 3 of Nobody’s Navy by Vikram Karve

To be continued … 

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 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)

Abridged and Updated Version of my two blog posts posted in June 2013 
NOBODY’S NAVY at url:…  



Navy Literature – My Favorite Navy Novels

August 22, 2015

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:…

Literary Musings

The best thing that happened to me was the Navy. 

Way back, in the 1970’s, when I joined the Navy, life was good.

There was never a dull moment. 

Something was always happening, and I came across a variety of unique personalities – yes, exciting situations and inimitable characters.

Those were the best days of my life. 

Even now, whenever I reminisce about my “good old” Navy days and recall the unforgettable characters I met there.

Whenever I hark back to the hilarious incidents (in hindsight), those cherished memories always fill me with cheer, and sometimes bring a smile, maybe a laugh, to my lips. 

I always liked to read, but it was the Navy that gave a real impetus to my reading habit. 

Junior Officers were encouraged to develop the habit of reading.

Reading was considered an Officer Like Quality (OLQ) and officers were expected to be well-informed on various subjects in addition to being proficient and well-versed in professional matters. 

So, in addition to my professional books and technical literature, I was always reading something literary – maybe a biography (say, military or naval biographical literature to inspire me) or war stories or fiction or a classic from literature. 

The Navy had well-stocked libraries, afloat and ashore, which had a wide variety of books ranging from the rare to contemporary on a wide variety of subjects. 

This easy access to the diverse forms of the best literature really facilitated my reading habit. 

I always had a book in hand and reading formed a part of my daily routine. 

For a student who wants to join the Navy, it will be wise to read biographies/autobiographies/memoirs of famous naval personalities.

It will also be apt to read books on naval history, especially naval battles at sea.

And you must read “navy fiction” too,

Here are 10 “sea novels” which are “must reading” for a young naval officer, a navy cadet or a student aspiring to join the navy for a career at sea:


1. The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat…

2. The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk…

3. HMS Ulysses by Alistair MacLean…

4. Run Silent, Run Deep by Edward L. Beach…

5. HMS Leviathan by John Winton…

6. The Captain by Jan de Hartog…

7. Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener…

8. We Joined the Navy by John Winton…

9. Winged Escort by Douglas Reeman…

And last, but not the least, the all time favourite “must read” for anyone who wants to enjoy military life:

10. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller…

Read these books.

There are many other good Navy novels, novellas and stories (like THE HUNT FOR RED OCTOBER by TOM CLANCY and THE SHIP THAN DIED OF SHAME by Nicholas Monsarrat etc), many interesting Navy War Memoirs, Autobiographies/Biographies too.

Do read plenty of Navy Literature.

And then you will get an idea of what life in the Navy is all about.

Blog Fiction on Independence Day : THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD – Story of a Soldier

August 15, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD – Story of a Soldier.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:…

Story of a Soldier
Short Fiction

THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD – A Soldier’s Story by Vikram Karve

The Soldier sat on the footpath near the gate of the Accounts Office.

Abe Langde … Hat Wahan Se (Hey you one-legged cripple … Move from there)Yeh Meri Jagah Hai …(This is my place)…” the food-cart vendor shouted at the soldier.

The soldier winced.

Then – he looked down at his amputated leg.

Yes – he was indeed a cripple – a langda.

When he had joined the army – he had two strong legs.

And now – he had just one leg – and one stump.

The soldier picked up his crutch – pushed his body up – and he slowly hobbled a few steps away.

He was about to sit under a shady canopy near the street corner – when a traffic policeman shouted at him: “Ae Bhikari … Wahan Mat Baith …(Hey Beggar … don’t sit there)…”

Main Bhikari Nahin Hoon … Main Fauji Hoon… (I am not a beggar … I am a soldier)…” protested the soldier.

Phir Border Pe Ja Kar Lad… (Then go and fight on the border)…” the policeman said with sarcasm.

Wahi to kar raha tha… (That is what I was doing)…” the soldier mumbled to himself.

As the soldier tottered on the street on his crutches – he talked to himself. 

The soldier was overcome by regret.

He had been a fool to be brave. 

He should have played safe. 

At least – he would not have lost his leg. 

And – he would not have been discharged from the Army as medically unfit.

Now – he was being made to run from pillar to post for his disability pension – just because some civilian clerk in the accounts office had “misplaced” his documents.

The soldier was exasperated.

In the Army – he was expected to do everything promptly and properly – in double-quick time.

But these civilians were just not bothered.

First – the paperwork was delayed due to red tape.

Then – there were some careless typographical errors in his papers – and his documents had to be sent back to Delhi for the necessary corrections.

And now – his papers had been misplaced.

It was sad.

Nobody was bothered about his plight.

The civilian Babus comfortably cocooned in their secure “9 to 5 five-day-week” jobs were slack and indifferent – and they did not give a damn for the soldiers who they were meant to serve.

Civilians expected soldiers to be loyal unto the grave – but civilians did not reciprocate the same loyalty in return towards the soldiers.

“What is the big deal if you lost a leg?” one cruel clerk had remarked mockingly, “You soldiers are paid to fight. And if you die – or if you get wounded – it is a part of your job. You knew the risks before you joined the Army – didn’t you? If you wanted to live a safe life – why did you become a soldier…? You should have become a chaprassi (peon) – like your friend.”

Tears rolled down the soldier’s cheek as he thought of this.

Others were not so cruel and heartless – but their sympathy was tinged with scorn.

Indeed – he should have become a chaprassi like his friend who was now helping him get his disability pension.

Both he and his friend had been selected for the post of peon in a government office.

But he had been a fool – he told everyone that it was below his dignity to work as a chaprassi – and then he went to recruitment rally – and joined the Army as a soldier.

He made fun of his friend who took up the job of a peon – and he boasted with bloated pride about being a soldier.

And now – the tables had turned – and the peon was having the last laugh on the soldier.

The peon was secure in his job – while the soldier was out on the street – crippled for life – and begging for his pension.

And now – his friend wasn’t even called a chaprassi – they had upgraded all “Class 4” to “Class 3” – and his friend was now designated as “assistant”.

His friend would retire at the age of 60 – after a safe, secure, easy, tension-free career – without any transfers or hardships.

If a soldier got disabled – they would throw him out.

But – if a civilian employee like his friend got disabled – they would never throw him out.

And – by chance – if his civilian friend died – his wife or son or daughter would get a job in his place.

Nothing like that for the soldier. 

A soldier had to fend for himself.

The soldier felt disheartened.

He looked at his amputated leg – and he deeply regretted his decision to join the army.

Indeed he had made a mistake.

He would have been much better off as a peon – a chaprassi – or in some other civilian job.

The soldier also felt a sense of guilt that he had made fun of his friend.

A few years ago – the soldier had laughed at his friend because he was a merechaprassi – a peon.

Today – he was at his friend’s mercy.

The soldier had to live on the kindness of the man he had once ridiculed and scoffed at.

It was a terrible feeling.

More than 6 months had passed – and he was still anxiously waiting for his pension and dues.

His friend had given the soldier – and the soldier’s family – shelter and food. 

And now – the peon friend was trying to help the soldier – by running around from office to office – using the “peon network” to trace the misplaced papers.

The soldier felt sorry for his hapless wife.

His ill-fated wife was at the mercy of his friend’s nasty wife – who openly derided her – and made her displeasure quite clear by making scathing comments about the soldier, his wife and their children.

His friend’s wife kept on complaining and making snide remarks about how the soldier and his family were sponging on her hospitality like parasites.

The soldier’s wife hated the peon’s wife – but she had to suffer the humiliation in silence – and bear the daily insults – and – it was terrible to be at the mercy of someone who detested you.

Today – the peon friend had asked the soldier to stand outside the gate – and the peon had gone into the accounts office alone.

He had gone in alone – because last time – the soldier had spoilt everything by refusing to a pay a bribe to the accounts officer.

The soldier had even threatened the accounts officer that he would report the matter.

The accounts officer was furious: “Go and report. Nothing will happen. Now I will see to it that your papers are not traced until you die. What do you bloody soldiers think? That you can threaten us? This is not the Army. This is the Accounts Office. Haven’t you heard the saying that: ‘THE PEN IS MIGHTIER THAN THE SWORD’…? Now I will show you.”

Today his peon friend had gone inside to negotiate.

The clerks had told him not to bring the soldier inside the office as the egoistic accounts officer may get furious on seeing the soldier – and everything will be spoilt.

They told the peon that once everything was “settled” – they would try and trace the “misplaced” documents – and he could take them out to obtain the soldier’s signature – and re-submit the papers for clearance of the disability pension.

The soldier waited anxiously in the hot sun for his peon friend to come out. 

Angry thoughts buzzed in his mind.

“Ungrateful, corrupt people – all these civilians,” the soldier muttered to himself, “we sacrifice our life and limb for their sake and they humiliate us – they even ask me to pay a bribe to get my own disability pension…”

“Patriotism, heroism, idealism – no one bothers about these things anymore. I made a mistake by joining the army. Yes – I indeed made a mistake by joining the army. But – I made an even bigger mistake trying to be brave. What was the point of showing courage, initiative, daring? What did I gain by going beyond the call of duty to nab those guys? How does it matter if a few militants sneak in? Who is bothered about these things anyway – especially out here in the city? They don’t even know what is happening out there. Had I looked the other way – no one would have known – and I would not be a one-legged cripple – a langda... And even then – I wish they had shot me in the head and I had died. That would have been better…” he mumbled to himself, feeling very bitter, frustrated and helpless.

The soldier thought of his wife, his children, the bleak future awaiting them.

How long would they have to be dependent on the mercy of his friend and his nasty wife?

The soldier felt sad – very sad – as depressing thoughts of despondency and hopelessness filled his brain.

He wondered whether his disability pension problem would be solved today.

It was taking long – his friend had gone in at 10 AM – and it was almost 12 noon now.

The sweltering summer sun was hot – and the soldier felt parched and weak.

He had drunk just a cup of tea – since they started their journey to the accounts office in the city by bus from their friend’s home in the distant suburbs – early in the morning.

Suddenly the soldier felt faint – so he walked towards the compound wall of the accounts office.

He took support from the wall – and he slid down to sit on his haunches.

At 12:30 his friend emerged from the gates of the accounts office. 

He was happy – the bribe had been paid – the documents had been promptly traced. 

Now all he had to do was get the soldier’s signature on the papers – and he had been assured that the soldier’s disability pension and all his dues would be given within a month.

The peon friend began to look around for the soldier – and he saw the soldier sitting strangely – propped against the wall.

The soldier’s eyes were closed – and it seemed that he had fallen asleep.

Something seemed amiss – so the peon briskly walked towards the soldier.

The peon bent down – and he touched the soldier’s shoulder.

The soldier fell down to his side.

The peon friend panicked. 

He thought the soldier had fainted – so he started shouting for help.

The traffic policeman – the food-cart vendor – and some passers-by – all rushed to help.

The policeman told the vendor to sprinkle some water on the soldier’s face – but nothing happened.

The policeman rang up the police control room for an ambulance.

“I hope he is not dead,” the soldier’s peon friend said with trepidation.

“I don’t know. But it looks like he is totally unconscious. What happened? Who is he? He was muttering that he is a fauji – is he really a soldier?” the policeman asked.

The friend told the policeman the soldier’s story – the full story.

“Sad,” the policeman said, “very sad – it is really terrible – the way they treat our soldiers.”

The ambulance arrived.

A paramedic examined the soldier and he said, “I think he is dead. We will take him to the hospital. There the doctors will examine him and officially pronounce him dead.”

“The enemy’s bullets could not do what these Babus did with their red tape. It is so sad. The enemy could not kill this brave soldier – but the these Babus  killed him…” the policeman commented.

“Yes. The accounts officer was right,” the soldier’s distraught peon friend said,“The Pen is indeed Mightier than the Sword.”

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 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)
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This Story was written by me 3 years ago in the year 2012 and first posted online by me Vikram Karve in my blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal onat 1/09/2013 02:09:00 PM (09 Jan 2013) at url:…   and  also at urls:…  and…

Humor in Uniform – A Spoof on Military Matrimony

August 12, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: A MARRIAGE WITH THREE ENDINGS.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:…


A Spoof on Military Matrimony

A few years ago – I heard that a girl had turned down a marriage proposal from an Army Officer.

Everyone said that the boy was good.

“Yes, the boy is good – I like him – but I do not want to marry an army officer and get stuck throughout my life roaming around all over in small cantonments. I want to pursue my career as a Software Engineer in the IT Industry – in fact – I am thinking of going abroad to the US for better career prospects and settling down there in America. Will all this be possible if I marry an army officer…?” she said.

Last month – I attended the girl’s wedding.

The girl had done exactly what she had wanted – she got married to a NRI boy from the US and she too has migrated and joined her husband in America where both are pursuing their careers in the Computer Industry.

This would not have been possible had she married a “fauji” officer.

If the girl had married a “fauji” – as a “fauji” wife (“faujan”) – she would either be languishing in some remote cantonment after quitting her job – or – if she had decided to keep working – she and her “fauji” husband would be enduring a long-distance marriage. And – with a “fauji” husband – in all probability – her “American Dream” would have remained unrealised. 

This real life episode reminded me of a story (a playlet) I had written 2 years ago – in June 2013 – on a modern military marriage titled THE NEW AGE FAUJI WIFE

I am posting this story – once more – for you read and mull over – especially if you are a military wife – or are thinking of marrying a military officer: 

THE NEW AGE “FAUJI” COUPLE  a playlet by Vikram Karve

Cast of Characters

H –  Husband  [An Army Officer – a Major (33)]

W – Wife  (The Army Officer’s “Fauji” Wife (30) – an MBA from a leading B-School – she is a career woman working for a top FMCG MNC)

[Scene: The Major H and his wife W are sitting at the dining table, having dinner]

H: How was the day?

W: Hectic. Very Hectic. We are running against the clock preparing for this sudden top level meeting. And how about you? How was your day?

H: Terrible. My day was terrible. We are just wasting time preparing for the Raising Day celebrations. The Old Man is all hyper – he is sweating for his ACR and is driving us crazy with his micromanagement. He wants Officers to do the job of NCOs. Today he made me stand all day to supervise the placing of flower pots in the officers’ mess garden – and he personally came there ten times to shout at me. It’s bloody humiliating. This peacetime soldiering gets on my nerves – it’s much better to be fighting in the field.

W: Anyway – keep your Saturday evening free.

H: Saturday evening?

W: Yes. We are having a big office party at the Taj. The ‘Head Honcho’ and all the big shots are coming over from our Head Office and overseas branches. My boss has told me to bring you along – the ‘Head Honcho’ wants to meet all the spouses. So get your best suit ready.

H: Are you crazy?

W: Why? What happened?

H: Our ‘Raising Day’ Party is on Saturday evening. It is the main function of the raising day celebrations and all the top brass is coming. I told you that long back – didn’t I…?

W: Yes – you did tell me. But now – this has suddenly come up. As far as I am concerned – this office party at the Taj is an official function – you can say that it is a ‘working dinner’ – an essential part of my work – and I have to attend. And you better come too.

H: How can I come…? I have to be present at the Raising Day party. Attendance is compulsory for all officers – it is like being on duty. And remember – as an army wife – you are expected to accompany me to unit functions and social occasions. The CO has ordered that all wives are to be present for the Raising Day function. As it is – the CO’s wife is annoyed at your absence from the rehearsals.

W: The CO has “ordered”…? The bloody cheek…! Who the hell is your CO to order me around…? You are in the army. Not me. Do you understand…? I am not in the army. I am free to do as I please. You just tell your CO that. And as far as rehearsals are concerned – please make it clear to his wife – that so-called “First Lady” of yours – that I have better things to do than parading myself on the stage displaying my physical assets – and – I am not interested in prancing around on stage – in front of everyone – lip-syncing those vulgar Bollywood numbers.

H: Okay. Okay. Don’t take part in the entertainment show. But you have to be there as a hostess.

W: Hostess?

H: Well – all lady wives are required to stand at the entrance to welcome the guests. And then – you have to usher and look after the ‘senior ladies’. I think you have been especially allocated to look after the wife of the GOC. The 2 I/C said that you were the most polished and smart ‘lady wife’ in the unit.

W: Hey – I think you are missing the point. I am not coming for your party. You are coming for my party. 

H: No. You will have to come for the ‘Raising Day’ Party. It is your duty as an ‘Army Wife’.

W: Well – when I married you – I made it clear that my career was important to me. Maybe other army wives like being “eye candy” appendages of their husbands – but I do not intend playing “second fiddle” to you. I am an independent career woman – not your “arm candy” army wife.

H: Please understand. The CO will spoil my ACR if you don’t come. He specifically told me that you are to be present for the Raising Day function. As it is – the CO is angry that you don’t take part in AWWA and Ladies Club activities.

W: So how does it matter if he spoils your ACR. In any case – your army promotions are by time scale and seniority – you just have to pass time and wait patiently in the queue for your turn – and when your time comes – you will be promoted in due course. For me – in the corporate world – I have to slog hard against cutthroat competition and deliver results to earn every promotion. That is why I am a ‘Senior Manager’ today at such a young age – because of sheer performance and merit. And – that is the reason why I earn more than double the salary than what you get in the army. And – I have much better career prospects than you. My boss says that they consider me a ‘high-flyer’.

H: I know all that. There is no need to boast. If you do not want to come for the ‘Raising Day’ Party – you don’t come. I will make up some excuse and say that you are not feeling well or something.

W: I am not coming for your ‘Raising Day’ Party – that is sure. But – you just tell me one thing – suppose you don’t attend your ‘Raising Day’ Party – what will happen to you…?

H: Are you crazy? They will take action against me. They are sure to give me an adverse ACR.

W: They can spoil your ACR – but they can’t throw you out of the army – can they? Can they throw you out of the army – just for not attending a party?

H: No. I don’t think they can.

W: In my case they can – my boss will fire me if I am missing when the ‘Head Honcho’ wants to meet me. And – if I make a good impression – then – the sky is the limit. There is a position open in Singapore – and I have been short-listed. There are three others – but I stand a good chance. That is why my boss wants you to come for the party – so that the ‘Head Honcho’ can size you up.

H: Size me up…? Why does your ‘Head Honcho’ want to size me up…?

W: I told my boss about you – that you were a highly qualified and talented Engineer – an M. Tech. from an IIT – and that you were frustrated in the army doing mundane jobs.

H: Frustrated…? Who told you that I was frustrated in the army…?

W: Didn’t you tell me how humiliated you felt when you were told to stand all day and supervise the placing of flower pots in the officers’ mess garden? And – don’t they make you run the canteen? And – aren’t you fed up doing all sorts of odd jobs in the unit? Are these ‘run-of-the-mill’ jobs worthy of an M. Tech. from an IIT…? A brilliant guy like you is just wasting his time and withering away his life in the army – and your talent is unappreciated and unrewarded.

H: But what can I do?

W: You come with me for my office party on Saturday and meet the ‘Head Honcho’. Maybe he has something in mind for you. They may even make you an offer.



Let me give you 3 apocryphal endings to this story.


Like a dutiful “fauji wife” – skipped her office party – and accompanied her army husband H to the ‘Raising Day’ Party.

Her gesture was much appreciated by her husband H

With her poise and polish – succeeded in impressing the top brass and their wives – and the CO was delighted with H.

In W’s office – her boss was furious with W for being absent from the office party –  which – for her boss – was a most important event.

The ‘Head Honcho’ expressed his disappointment at not meeting W.

Though the boss did not fire her from her job – was sidelined for the lucrative and coveted Singapore assignment – and soon – W was passed over for promotion.

Frustrated at being marginalized – quit her job and took up a new one – but now as far as her career was concerned – W decided to play “second-fiddle” to her husband’s army career – and she put in all her best efforts as a typical ambitious “fauji wife” to boost her husband’s career.

When her husband H was posted out of Delhi to a new station in a small town – W quit her job – and she gave up her career to become a full-time ‘homemaker’.

now accompanies her husband wherever he is posted.

As an ideal “fauji wife” – is playing a great role in bolstering and promoting her husband’s army career by her stellar participation in AWWA, Ladies Clubs and other social activities.

H and W live happily ever after.


did not attend the ‘Raising Day’ Party.

H accompanied his wife W to her office event at the Taj.

The CO was livid at H – for his “unofficerlike” conduct of being wilfully absent from the ‘Raising Day’ Party (an official social function).

H was admonished by his CO who vowed to finish him off and ruin his career.

At the corporate office party – W introduced her husband to the ‘Head Honcho’.

Everyone was impressed by H.

There was a sudden announcement – W was promoted and she given the coveted Singapore assignment.

And then – there was even more surprise – the ‘Head Honcho’ offered a very lucrative position – also in Singapore – so that W and H could live together.

W would be head of marketing – and H would be head of technology.

H quit the army (helped by the adverse ACR his CO had given him).

H took up the job offer – and joined W in Singapore.

W and H live happily ever after.

ENDING 3 (Suggested by a reader – a fellow “fauji” officer)

W goes for her office party – and H goes for his ‘Raising Day’ Party. 

W’s civilian boss understands the circumstances in which W’s husband Hcould not attend the crucial office party. 

But – H’s CO gets furious because H’s wife W did not attend the unit’s raising day party

H’s CO duly spoils H’s ACR (Annual Confidential Report) – and – to teach Ha lesson – H’s CO gets H posted out to an insignificant appointment in a hardship non-family station in the field.

W moves to a house in a civilian area in the city – and with her husband Haway – W is having a tough time as she struggles all alone to manage her home, the kids’ schools and her career in the office.

After some time – H gets frustrated at having to live all alone without his wife and children.

H also knows that his career prospects in the army are now quite bleak – due to the adverse ACR.

So – H wants to leave the army – but his request is turned down – and H is told to wait for a few years till he is finally superseded for promotion.

So both H and W live miserably ever after.

Dear Reader: Tell us – What do you think happened?

Ending 1 or Ending 2 or Ending 3 – which one do you think is more likely?

Most of my “fauji” friends think that Ending 3 is most likely.

Which ending do you think is most likely?



I once heard a senior officer say that – if a girl marries a military officer – she has only two choices  Homemaker or Teacher.

Yes – a “fauji” wife can either be a Homemaker or a Teacher.

A traditional “fauji” wife carries the identity of husband – and her status depends on his rank.

A modern working woman pursues her own career – she has her own distinct identity – and she is no longer content to be her husband’s arm-candy.

I told you the story of the girl right at the beginning – the girl who turned down the marriage proposal from the army officer because she wanted to pursue her own career ambitions abroad – which would not have been possible had she become a “fauji” wife.

So – we all now know the answer to the moot question:

Should a Career Woman Marry an Army Officer…?

In my opinion – the Answer is a resounding “NO”

Do you agree?

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

1. This playlet is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh. 
2. This story is a work of fiction, not a substitute for self-help advice, so please do your own due diligence in your own life, relationships, marriage and career.
3. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised version of my story THE NEW AGE FAUJI WIFE first Posted Online by me on 05 June 2013 by me Vikram Karve at 6/05/2013 04:58:00 PM in my blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal – url link to My Original Post:…  and later at urls:… and…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at

8/12/2015 03:15:00 PM

Is “Military Intelligence” an “Oxymoron” ?

August 5, 2015

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal: ->

Humor in Uniform

Is “Anti-intellectualism” an OLQ (Officer Like Quality)…?

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:…

Military Thinking

A few days ago – I received an invite for PILF 2015 – Pune International Literary Festival 2015 –  scheduled in the first week of September.

This evoked in me some delightful memories of PILF 2013 – held 2 years ago – in September 2013 – especially the enlightened discussion with a young lady during the Question/Answer Session of the workshop on “Blogging” that I conducted at the Literary Meet.

So – here is the article – comprising the “memoir” and my “reflections” – once more – for you to read, have a laugh and ponder over…  

Reflections of a Navy Veteran
A Spoof

Around two years ago – in September 2013 – I was invited to conduct a workshop on “Blogging” at a Literary Meet (Pune International Literary Festival – PILF 2013).

During the discussions – a smart young lady sitting in the first row asked me a question:

“Sir – I have read your book of short stories and I regularly read your writings on your blogs – especially your fiction stories – and I was wondering –‘…How is it possible that you can think so creatively despite having spent so many years in the Navy?’…”

At first – I was stumped.

But – I quickly recovered my wits – and I said: “Life in the Navy is so eventful – you meet so many unforgettable characters – you have so many interesting experiences – so you get plenty of material to write about.’

“No, Sir – I did not mean life experiences. I am asking about thinking ability. Tell me, Sir – ‘…Doesn’t military life affect the ability to think creatively?’…” she asked.

“I really did not understand your question – could you please elaborate?” I asked her.

“Sir – I was an army officer till recently – and I found the atmosphere quite stifling and restrictive – which inhibits creative thinking…” the smart young lady said.

Now – I was beginning to understand what she was driving at – so I said: “Do you mean the military “anti-intellectualism” – which suppresses intellectual activity – the military regimentation ethos of  ‘…“Don’t use your brain – just do as you are told” army culture?’…”

“Yes, Sir – that is exactly what I mean…” she said.

I smiled to myself.

She was echoing the thoughts of Liddell Hart.

Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart (31 October 1895 – 29 January 1970) – commonly known throughout most of his career as Captain B. H. Liddell Hart – was an English soldier, military historian and military theorist.

Liddell Hart – while highlighting the dangers of “anti-intellectualism” in the army – had pointed out the reason due to which military officers lose their creative thinking abilities.

He opined that:

“…A lifetime of having to curb the expression of original thought culminates so often in there being nothing left to express…”.

There is a saying which applies to the Brain:

“Use it – or you will lose it”

I have read somewhere that there is a relationship between mental activity and cerebral blood-flow – and – like muscles – the brain atrophies from prolonged disuse.

Military Officers (especially Army Officers) are encouraged to do plenty of physical exercise to keep their body fit.

However – the anti-intellectual “just do as you are told – don’t use your brain” military culture inhibits the use of the brain.

The ramification of this regimented blind-obedience military culture is thatmilitary officers keep their bodies fit by constant physical exercise – but they neglect exercising their brain (especially the right hemisphere of the brain).

While a military officer may occasionally use his analytical “left brain” – his creative “right brain” will fall into disuse and atrophy.

And – as the military officer spends more years in service and becomes a senior officer – he will lose the ability to think creatively.

The young smart ex-fauji lady officer had a point and she was implying that:

‘…Living for a prolonged duration in a dogmatic “don’t use your brain – just do as you are told” strait-jacketed “anti-intellectual” insular military environment can certainly affect your creative thinking abilities…’

Obviously – during her days as an army officer – the young lady had experienced this intellectually suffocating feeling.

Maybe – she had also observed the detrimental effect of the prevailing military culture of “anti-intellectualism” on the creative faculties of her peers and seniors.

Obviously – during her days in the army – she had experienced that this “blinkered thinking army culture” was constraining her creativity.

Probably that was the reason why she had quit the army before it was too late – in order to enable her creative juices to flow freely – and – now – as a civilian – her creativity was certainly flourishing – as was evident from the inspired creative writing on her blog.

Well – I told the young lady that the intellectual culture in the navy was certainly more liberal and “broadminded” than what she had experienced in the army – and – in general – the navy milieu was conducive to creative thinking.

In fact – I found navy life quite eventful – and this probably gave my creative thinking ability an impetus – as there was never a dull moment in the navy – with so many curious characters around.


After the workshop was over – I had a delightful discussion with the charming young lady.

“I am sure you have heard of the term OLQ…” I asked her.

“Of course I know what is OLQ – it was drilled into us – OLQ means ‘Officer Like Qualities’…” she said. 

“Well – “Anti-intellectualism” is an important OLQ – yes – “regimented thinking” is a vital “Officer Like Quality” – and – if an officer uses his right brain and thinks creatively or “out of the box” – as they say – then he is doomed…” I told her.

In jest – I told her that during my Navy days – I always carried two brains inside me:

1. A “fauji brain” for regimented military thoughts

2. A “creative brain” for interesting thoughts where I could let my imagination run wild.

Most of the naval officers I met were cerebral types – but I did come across a few anti-intellectual specimens too.

If you are a “fauji” (serving or retired) – or a “faujan” – do tell us if you have come across some “just do as you are told – don’t use your brain”“anti-intellectual” types during your service in the military.

Like I said – the overly regimented Army is certainly more “anti-intellectual” than the Navy –  and most of the naval officers I came across were cerebral types – but I did meet a few “anti-intellectual” types in the Navy too – and about one such hilarious specimen – I will tell you in a subsequent blog post.

And – before I end – let me leave you with a famous saying: 

“Military Intelligence” is an “Oxymoron”

You agree – don’t you – the phrase “Military Intelligence” is a contradiction in terms – isn’t it…?

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

1. This is a spoof, 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)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Abridged Revised and Updated Extract of my article THE CRAZY COMMODORE WITH A PHOBIA FOR “MANAGEMENT THOUGHTS”written by me Vikram Karve on 19 November 2013 and posted online in my various blogs including in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Posted by Vikram Karve at 11/19/2013 12:31:00 PM at url:…  and revised version at url:…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/05/2015 11:12:00 

“Lovey Dovey” Couple in Uniform

August 4, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION (PDA).

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:…

Story of the “Lovey Dovey” Couple 
A Spoof


My first unforgettable memory of Public Display of Affection (PDA) was almost 40 years ago – in the late 1970’s – during my early days in the Navy.

There was a young newly married couple who just could not take their hands off each other.

A Naval Officer is not permitted to get married before the age of 25.

But in this case – the Navy had made an exception.

In a rare gesture – the Navy had shown “compassion” for “passion”.

It was a whirlwind romance – and parental opposition had necessitated a quick “hush-hush” wedding – and the Navy was presented with a fait accompli.

The young Sub Lieutenant bluntly stated that he was prepared to quit the Navy for the sake of his “ladylove”.

So – permission was granted as an exceptional case – and the young couple was allowed to stay in the Wardroom (Officers Mess).

They were allotted a cabin in the old barrack where married officers awaiting allocation of proper married quarters lived temporarily.

The newly married husband and wife were passionately in love.

Their fervent love was visible to one and all – because the handsome husband – and his beautiful wife – demonstrated their obsessive affection for each other quite explicitly in public in a most uninhibited manner.

Dear Reader – remember this was the India of the 1970’s – and this brazenPublic Display of Affection (PDA) was happening in a remote cantonment – in full view of sailors and their families – who were mostly from rural areas – and had rather conservative values.

Now – in the orthodox and conformist environment of a cantonment – an officer and his wife indulging in such titillating physical Public Display Of Affection (PDA) was viewed as scandalous conduct.

The officer was warned to mend his ways.

The wife was “counselled” by ladies.

But there was no effect.

In fact – the “advice” seemed to have the opposite effect.

The young lovey-dovey couple continued their amorous PDA with even greater ardour and passion – which seemed to be attaining new heights.

One evening they were observed kissing and “making out” in the dark corners of the base cinema hall – with their hands all over each other – when the lights suddenly came on.

Next morning – the officer was read the riot act – and threatened with disciplinary action if he did not mend his ways.

“We will throw the book at you…” he was warned.

“We will charge you with Section 53 (indecent behaviour) and Section 54 (conduct unbecoming the character of an officer) of the Navy Act…” they threatened him.

But despite all this – there was no salutary effect of the officer and his wife – who continued their brazen PDA with increasing passion.

Soon everyone turned a blind eye to the PDA – because all realized that the officer and his wife were madly in love with each other.

The officer completed his training a few months later – and was transferred to a ship based at Mumbai.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief – in a cosmopolitan place like Mumbai – PDA was no big deal – even the Navy in Mumbai had a progressive culture as compared to other places.


I saw the officer three years later at an official function.

He looked like a ghost of his earlier self – as if he had gone through a serious bout of illness.

When I commented on his emaciated appearance – someone said to me: “Don’t you know what a terrible tragedy the poor chap has gone through? He has been through a most acrimonious and nasty divorce – and the distressing marital discord and bitter divorce has taken a big toll on his health.”

“Divorce…?” I was stunned.

I could never imagine that such a lovey-dovey couple who publicly demonstrated their intense love for each other would ever get divorced.

How could a husband and wife who were so passionately in love with each other get divorced?

It did not make sense.

The couple had been so much in love – that they did not hesitate to publicly display their affection for each other despite societal disapproval – how could they get divorced?


Twenty years later – I once again met the officer – this time at an airport.

He told me that he had quit the Navy – and that had taken up a job in the industry.

There was a lady standing next to him along with two children.

He introduced his wife and children.

So – he had got remarried.

Looking at his kids – I estimated that he must have got remarried around 10 years ago.

I remembered the officer and his first wife – the lovey-dovey couple – and their passionate, unrestrained and uninhibited Public Display of Affection (PDA).

But – now – there appeared to be a sea change in his demeanor with his new wife.

There was absolutely no Public Display of Affection (PDA) between him and his new wife.

In fact – from the way they were conducting themselves in public – it did not even appear that they were husband and wife.

What an irony?

The “lovey-dovey” marriage with PDA had broken up within one year.

And – the “loveless” marriage without PDA had lasted for more than 10 years – and it looked like this marriage would last forever.

I still cannot fathom the paradox.

A relationship with “100% PDA” is fragile.

But – a relationship with “Zero PDA” is durable.

Such are the mysteries of marriage, romance, love and relationships.

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

1. This story is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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)
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Revised Version of My Story PDA – PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier in this blog on 21 Jan 2015 at url:…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/04/2015 10:10:00 PM

“Perfect” Husband – a story

August 3, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: THE PERFECT HUSBAND – Short Fiction Story.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:…

Short Fiction Story 

Pooja walked out of her marriage because she felt that her husband was a boring and dull man.

One morning – after her husband had left for work – Pooja packed her bags – called a Pune Mumbai Cab – sat in the taxi – and she went straight to her brother-in-law’s house in Mumbai.

Pooja loved her brother-in-law.

He was the man of her dreams.

He was a “perfect husband”.

Yes – for Pooja – her brother-in-law was her “role model” husband.

Actually – for Pooja – he was a double brother-in-law – he was her husband’s elder brother – and he was also Pooja’s sister’s husband.

It was a case of two sisters getting married to two brothers.

After seeing her elder sister married so happily to such a wonderful husband – Pooja had readily agreed to marry his younger brother when her sister had brought the proposal.

And what a big mistake she had made!

How could two brothers be so different?

Pooja’s husband turned out to be a most dull, dreary and uninspiring person – in short – he was a big bore.

In contrast – her brother-in-law was so much fun – he was the type of husband Pooja had always wanted – a fun-loving debonair gentleman.

Pooja’s sister was pleasantly surprised when her younger sister suddenly landed up at her place unannounced.  

But – when Pooja told her that she had walked out on her husband forever because she found him boring – her sister got worried – so she rang up Pooja’s husband – and told him that Pooja had come over to her place in Mumbai.

Pooja’s husband did not betray any emotion. 

He just told Pooja’s sister that it was okay – and that Pooja could come back to Pune whenever she wanted.

Pooja’s sister felt a bit uneasy and hoped all was well – though she knew that Pooja’s husband was a quiet reticent introvert.

But – still – Pooja’s sister sensed that something was wrong.

Pooja’s sister was wondering what to do – maybe she could ask her husband to talk to Pooja’s husband – after all – they were brothers – and her husband was the elder brother.

Meanwhile – knowing Pooja’s temperament – it would be best to remain silent for some time. 

So – they – Pooja and her elder sister – just sat and watched a movie on TV.

In the evening – Pooja’s brother-in-law arrived home from work.

He seemed delighted to see Pooja.

‘What a surprise?” he said to Pooja.

Then – he turned to his wife – Pooja’s sister – and he said, “I have got the cruise tickets.”

He took out a colourful folder from his briefcase – and he gave it to Pooja’s sister, “Everything is in there – the tickets, the programme, all details about the cruise ship.”

“Wow. Are you two going on a cruise ship?” Pooja said.

“Yes, this time we thought that we will take a different type of vacation,” Pooja’s brother-in-law said.

“How lucky you are,” Pooja said wistfully to her sister, “I haven’t had a single vacation since marriage – my husband doesn’t even take me to Mahableshwar or Goa. It is so boring sitting at home. He doesn’t want to go anywhere – not even to a movie.”

“Hey, Pooja – why don’t you come with us?” Pooja’s brother-in-law said.

“On a cruise ship…?” Pooja asked, in disbelief.

“We will have to ask her husband…” Pooja’s sister said.

“I will tell him …” Pooja’s brother-in-law said to his wife.

“But how can we take her? You said the cruise was fully booked,” Pooja’s sister said to her husband.

“I will try and manage something,” Pooja’s brother-in-law said.

Then he turned to Pooja – and he said, “You pack your bags for a fantastic holiday.”

“Thank you so much. I wish I had a husband like you,” Pooja said to her brother-in-law.

“Oh, come on Pooja – your husband is a very nice chap – my brother is a bit serious type – but let me tell you that he is very good guy,” Pooja’s brother-in-law said.

And so – Pooja went for a pleasure voyage on the magnificent cruise liner.

It was the best time of her life – the fun – the food – the entertainment – this was the kind of life she had always wanted to live.

Her sister and brother-in-law had a deluxe ocean view stateroom on the upper deck.

Because of the last minute booking – for Pooja – they could only manage a single bed cabin – deep down below on a lower deck.

Her cabin was not as luxurious as the stateroom – but Pooja was happy – she spent the whole day enjoying herself on the upper decks – swimming, sunbathing, playing games – then wining and dining – savouring exotic wines – and relishing delicious food – dancing at the nightclub – and then trying her luck in the casino – it was like a dream come true.

For Pooja – these 20 days had been the happiest days of her life – the 3 week long luxury cruise on the sea – the shore excursions – and sightseeing visits to exotic places.

On the last evening of the cruise – there was a big entertainment event – it was truly awesome – the spectacular cabaret – the groovy dancing – the bubbly champagne flowing freely – the mind-boggling array of fabulous delicacies  – Pooja had never seen anything like it before.

It was almost midnight – and Pooja was feeling high.

All the champagne drinking and dancing had put Pooja in high spirits.

Pooja felt a bit dizzy so she sat down on their table.

Her sister and brother-in-law were not there – they must be enjoying themselves somewhere – there were so many events going on the gigantic luxury cruise ship.

Pooja sipped more champagne – and as she drank more and more – she began to feel woozy.

Her head felt giddy – her stomach felt queasy – and Pooja felt as if she was going to vomit.

Pooja became anxious – she was terrified that she would make a fool of herself by throwing up here in front of everyone.

So – Pooja got up and started walking unsteadily towards the alleyway.

She felt there were two persons within her – as result of the baleful double personality that comes into being through drunkenness. 

The first persona acted as if without any brain at all – in a mechanical, vacant manner – and the second persona observed the first quite lucidly – but seemed entirely powerless to do anything.

In the alleyway – Pooja yanked open a door.

Though it was dark – Pooja could hazily make out that it was some sort of crew cabin. 

Hopefully – there would be a toilet where she could vomit out and throw up – and then freshen up.

In the darkness – Pooja searched for the light switch – and her hands found it near the door.

She flicked the switch – and the lights came on.

The astounding scene that Pooja saw instantly shook her out of her drunkenness – and shocked her so much – that she stood dumbfounded and dazed – totally stunned into a state of disbelief.

There was a woman. 

She was lying naked on the bunk. 

Garments of her dress were scattered all over the floor.

And there was a man.

He was half-clothed – his head buried in the naked woman’s hair – his arms around her – and the man and woman were in the throes of passion.

The man was her brother-in-law.

The woman was the cabaret dancer she had seen performing on stage in the evening.

Disturbed by the sudden switching on of the lights – the naked woman looked up at Pooja – and she shouted at Pooja: “Who the hell are you? Don’t you have any bloody manners? How dare you barge in like this? Don’t you know that you must knock before opening a door? Now shut the light and get out. And don’t forget to close the door.”

Pooja felt sick – very sick.

She could not believe what she saw. 

Dumbstruck – Pooja looked at the sordid scene before her.

Pooja felt awful.

Her brother-in-law – the man of her dreams – her role model – her ideal as a perfect husband – his image came crashing down – the whole thing was disgusting and nauseating.

Pooja’s head started to spin – her stomach started to churn – and she threw up – retching out her insides – and then she collapsed in a heap – wallowing in her own filthy vomit – and then – Pooja passed out, unconscious.

Next morning – they disembarked – and caught the evening flight to Mumbai.

It was early morning by the time they reached Mumbai – and almost immediately – Pooja caught a taxi to Pune – she was desperate to meet her husband.

By the time Pooja reached her home in Pune – it was afternoon.

Pooja tried to open the door-lock with her key – but the her key would not fit – it seemed that her husband had changed the lock on the door of their house.

Pooja knocked at her neighbour’s door.

Pooja’s neighbour – an old man – who was also the landlord – opened the door.

The old man seemed surprised to see Pooja – and he said to her, “What are you doing here? I thought you had gone abroad with your husband…” 

“Abroad…?” Pooja asked – stunned.

“Your husband said that you both were migrating abroad – and you had gone ahead to Mumbai to your sister’s place to make preparations – and he would be picking you up on his way to Mumbai airport…”

“When did he say all this…?”

“Why are you asking me all this? Don’t you know what your own husband does? Must be around 20 days ago – just after you left for Mumbai. It is surprising that you are asking me all this…”

“What about our luggage – the furniture – our belongings…?”

“What luggage…? He took some bags with him – the rest of the stuff – and the furniture – he sold off…”

“Sold off…?”

“Yes – the second-hand dealer came and took everything – and – of course – your husband was kind enough to give me 3 months rent for not giving me notice – though – strictly – I could have demanded only one month’s rent… ” the old man said.

“Are you saying that he has vacated the apartment…?”

“Of course he vacated the house – he said that he was going abroad for a long time – maybe permanently…”

“Permanently…?” Pooja mumbled mechanically – and her brain started to go blank – and she felt like a zombie.

Pooja does not clearly remember what she did for the next few hours.

Apparently – she was found wandering in a dazed state on the streets of Pune – and some good samaritan called the police – who tracked down her sister from her number in Pooja’s mobile phone.

Later – it became clear that Pooja’s husband had slam-dunked her – nice and proper.

Pooja’s husband had made all the preparations – kept a job offer open abroad – got all paperwork done and documents ready – closed the bank accounts – done everything discreetly – keeping Pooja totally in the dark – and – then – Pooja’s sudden going away without informing him – was the “tipping point” – and – he quit his job in Pune – and he flew away forever – leaving Pooja high and dry.

Yes – Pooja’s husband has truly left Pooja “high and dry”.

Her brother-in-law does not want her in his house any more – after that sordid episode on the cruise ship where Pooja had caught him “in flagrante delicto” with the cabaret dancer.

Pooja’s sister has located Pooja’s husband – but she has not told Pooja – because Pooja’s husband has made it clear that he is not coming back – and he is not interested in Pooja any longer – and – at present – Pooja is in no mental state to bear this tragic news – since she has still not recovered from shock – and is under treatment at an institution – and – the doctors say – that Pooja is in no condition to bear any more distressing news or shocks – which may drive her crazy.

So – it turned out that – Pooja’s “boring” husband may have been dull – but he was not dumb at all…

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 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)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

I had written this story called ROLE MODEL HUSBAND almost 2 years ago in September 2013 and posted it online in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at urls…  and…  and… 
This story had a happy ending which seemed a bit contrived. So I re-wrote this story with a new ending and posting it online again with a new title THE PERFECT HUSBAND

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 7/31/2015 05:05:00 PM

Humor in Uniform – Military Wives – “Lady Like Qualities” (LLQ)

August 1, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: The Navy Wife with “Lady Like Qualities” (LLQ).

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:…

The Navy Wife with “Lady Like Qualities” (LLQ)

It is heartening to see so many “faujans” (Military Wives) in the Blogosphere. 

I am sure there are many talented Bloggers among Defence Wives who write on a variety of subjects. 

I particularly like 3 Blogs which feature interesting posts about the unique life of Army Wives:

1. A Curious Army Wife 

2. Aditi’s Monologue 

3. Half a Cup of Happyness 

I hope to discover more such blogs about “fauji” life as I am sure there are many “faujis” “faujans” and veterans blogging away in the blogosphere.

Browsing through these blogs and reading delightful posts about life of Army Wives evokes memories of some unforgettable Navy Wives I came across in my long Navy Career – so – here is one memoir about The Navy Wife with Lady Like Qualities (LLQ)

Hilarious Memories of My Wonderful Navy Life
A Spoof

Officers of the Defence Services (Army Navy and Air Force) are required to be Gentlemen.

Accordingly  Wives of Defence Service Officers are expected to be Ladies – hence the term “Lady Wife” for Wives of Military Officers.

All Military Officers are required to possess OLQ (OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES)

But do all Wives of all Military Officers display LLQ (LADY LIKE QUALITIES) ?

Let me delve deep into my Humor in Uniform archives and pull out this story for you to enjoy and ponder over:



“Can you carry a small packet and deliver it to my wife?” the officer asked me.

“Sure Sir,” I said.

“Thanks. Just some Ayurvedic Medicines, that’s all. I’ll come on board your ship tomorrow and give it to you,” he said.

“Sure Sir, no hurry, we are leaving day after tomorrow morning,” I said.

The officer was a friend of my ex-shipmate who had been posted to Cochin a few months ago and with whom I was having a drink in the Navy Club at Cochin (now Kochi).

The officer had joined us for a drink – my ex-shipmate had introduced me – and when the officer came to know that my ship was going to Bombay (now Mumbai) he requested to me to carry a packet and deliver it to his wife in Bombay.

Since my ex-shipmate was calling him “Sir” – I too addressed him as “Sir” – and when he came on board the next day – I noticed that though he wore two stripes of a Lieutenant like me, he had the green 9 year long service ribbon.

(Those days it took 3 years to become a Lieutenant – and then one remained a Lieutenant for 8 long years – so there were “junior” Lieutenants like me – and “senior” Lieutenants like him).

Next afternoon just before lunchtime, the officer came to my cabin onboard my ship and gave me the packet.

He also gave me a slip of paper on which was written his home address in NOFRA.

“I am stuck here in Cochin for the next 3 months doing a bloody course,” he complained, sipping his beer.

“Cochin is a lovely place,” I said.

“I know – but my wife is in Bombay – and, as they say, there is no life without wife,” he remarked.

“Sir, we are stopping over for two days at Goa and we plan to reach Bombay by Friday, so I will deliver your packet on Saturday or Sunday,” I said.

“No problem – I have already posted a letter to my wife in the morning about the packet,” he said.

(36 years ago – when this story happened – writing letters was the common mode of communication – because junior officers did not have landline phones at home – so – a “trunk call” was inconvenient – telegrams were for emergencies – and – of course – mobile phones had not yet been invented).


On Saturday evening I rang the bell of a flat on the 6th floor of a high-rise building that housed Married Accommodation for Lieutenants.

A beautiful young lady opened the door.

I introduced myself.

“Yes, yes, do come in,” she said in a mellifluous voice, “I got my husband’s letter two days ago – I have been expecting you today.”

“Sorry Ma’am, I could not come in the morning…” I said – and I handed her the packet her husband had sent from Cochin.

“Oh, come on – it was so nice of you to get the packet – do sit down – I will get you something to drink – what will you have?” she said.

“Just a glass of water…” I said – and I sat down on the sofa.

I looked at the lady as she opened the fridge – took out a bottle of water – poured some in a glass – and brought the glass in a tray towards me.

I was impressed by the way she carried herself – she had so much élan, grace and poise.

She excused herself, went into the kitchen and then she came out and asked me: “Come on – have a drink – the bar is over there – and then we will have dinner – you like chicken, don’t you – or are you a vegetarian?”

“Ma’am – please don’t take the trouble…”

“What trouble? There’s no trouble at all – my maid will do the cooking while we talk – in fact it is you who have taken the trouble to deliver the packet and the least I can do is to offer you a meal,” she said.

I felt uncomfortable having a hard drink alone in her company – so I asked for a soft drink – and she had one too.

I think she realized that I was feeling a bit awkward – so she tried to put me at ease.

We talked – we had dinner – and the evening passed in a haze of delight.

As I rode my scooter back to ship I thought about her – she was a perfect navy wife – her social graces, her etiquette, her polish, her refinement, her poise – well, it is difficult for me to describe everything about her in words – so I will just say that she had all the “Lady Like Qualities”.


A few months later – I ran into her in the US Club Library.

“Good evening, Ma’am,” I wished her.

“Oh, hello – how are you?” she said politely.

Suddenly – her husband came in.

He looked at me – he recognized me – and he smiled and said to me, “Hi – How are you?”

“Hello, Sir – welcome back to Mumbai,” I said.

“Come – why don’t you join us for a drink – let’s go to the bar,” he said.

“Sure Sir,” I said.

I walked down to the bar with the Naval Officer and his wife.

We sat down in the club bar.

Those days – it was the custom that the senior officer signs for the drinks – so the officer signed the bar chit to order drinks.

I noticed that his lady wife was giving me a rather curious look.

I smiled at her.

“Why are you calling my husband “Sir” – you are senior to him – aren’t you?” she asked me.

“No Ma’am – your husband is senior to me,” I said.

“Really? Are you sure? I thought that you are senior to my husband,” she said.

“Of course I am sure – your husband is senior to me,” I said.

“That is surprising. You look so old and mature – that is why – when you came home the other day – I thought that you were senior to my husband,” she said.

I did not know what to say.

I certainly did not look that “old” – as if I were an elderly senior citizen.

But with my copious beard – bulky body size – and rather podgy physique – I certainly looked older than my age.

So – I said, “ Yes, Ma’am – you are right – I do look a bit older than my age – and many persons do think that I am more senior than I actually am – in fact – once a senior Lieutenant mistook me for a Lieutenant Commander – and he was surprised when he saw me in uniform next morning.”

“Oh – all that doesn’t matter,” remarked her husband, the senior Lieutenant.

It may not have mattered to him – but it did matter to his wife.

As far as his wife was concerned – it was obvious that my inter-se seniority with her husband did matter to her.

The moment she realized that I was junior to her husband – her demeanor towards me changed drastically.

Earlier – she had treated me with courteous obsequiousness – on the day I had visited her home when she thought that I was senior to her husband.

But now – the moment she realized that I was junior to her husband – her behaviour changed totally – and she was cold and frosty towards me.

The disdain with which she ignored my presence – her scornful vibes – all this made me feel uncomfortable – and I excused myself from their company after a drink – saying that I had to go somewhere.

On my way back to the ship – I had a big laugh.

It was evident that her “Lady Like Qualities” – her LLQ – was quite selective.

Yes – she certainly had selective LLQ.

In fact – to put it bluntly – this Naval Officer’s Wife was lacking in “Lady Like Qualities(LLQ)

Her Naval Officer husband may have been a “Gentleman” – but she certainly did not display the attributes of a “Lady”.



(Hope this is applicable to Army/Air Force Officer’s Wives as well)

Here is quote from a NWWA (Navy Wives Welfare Association) booklet which encapsulates some prudent advice for a Naval Officer’s Wife:

“You don’t wear his (your husband’s) stripes … there is no such thing as a ‘Senior Wife’. There are Senior Officers. They have wives. There are Junior Officers and some of them have wives. All wives are ladies … You will not fawn over others and not expect others to fawn over you. You will be yourself. And your own manners, breeding and natural charm will shine through leaving you with no need for any borrowed stripes or other borrowed plumage”

I have seen many such elegant navy wives who were perfect ladies – military wives who had excellent LADY LIKE QUALITIES or LLQ

Do tell us if you have seen military wives with perfect LLQ?

And also do tell us some hilarious episodes about “faujans” sans LLQ – stories of military officer’s wives who are not “Ladies”

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

1. This blog post is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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)

Revised, Updated and Collated Version of My Humor in Uniform Stories Posted by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at 6/10/2014 12:09:00 PM at url:…and url:…  and… 

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/01/2015 02:14:00 PM

Amazing Romance – THE MAID – An Awesome Love Story

July 13, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: THE MAID – A Love Story.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:…

Short Fiction – A Love Story
A Spoof


It was a scary night – dark – windy – thunder – lightning – and heavy torrential rain.

After the official ‘cocktail-cum-dinner’ party was over – my friend said to me: “It is raining heavily. Why don’t you stay over for the night in the mess – you can sleep in my cabin if you want.”

“No,” I said, “I will go back to my ship.”

“You have had quite a bit to drink,” my friend said, “Do you really want to drive in this heavy rain…?”

“I am okay – you don’t worry – I will reach safely…” I said.

“Be careful,” my friend said, “Drive slow…”

I put on my black oilskin raincoat over my evening ‘Red Sea Rig’ uniform.

I wore my helmet.

Then – I started my motorcycle – and I drove off in the rain.

A few minutes later – while I was driving through the married accommodation area – there was a sudden ‘cloudburst’ – a huge torrent of rain – a flood of water on the road.

I lost control – my motorcycle skidded – and I fell into a gutter – and I got totally drenched in the deluge of water.

I struggled and got up – hauled up my motorcycle – and dragged the bike into the parking lot of the multistory high-rise married accommodation building nearby.

I was totally drenched – soaked to the skin – and my oilskin raincoat was covered with muck from the gutter.

It was raining very heavily – and – in this torrential rain – it was impossible to drive my motorcycle – yes – in this terrible rain – and the flood of water on the roads – even going back to the mess was out of the question.

And – from the way it was raining – it did not look like the downpour of rain was going to subside very soon.

I stood shivering in the parking lot of the multistory high-rise building – wondering what to do.

My eyes went to the wooden board on the wall – on which the names of occupants of the high-rise building were listed.

I was delighted to spot the name of ‘course-mate’ – against Flat No. 303.

I had not met this ‘course-mate’ after leaving the academy – in fact – I did not know that he was in Mumbai – but then – that was the ‘Bombay Culture’ those days – where everyone was on his own trip.

I took off my stinking oilskin raincoat and helmet – and left them on my bike.

Then – I walked to the lift – and pressed the 3rd floor button.

I stood outside Flat No. 303 and rang the doorbell.

After some time – a young woman opened the door.

It was obvious that this charming young woman was my course-mate’s wife.

She was dressed in her night-clothes – and it was evident that she had been sleeping.

“Sorry for disturbing you, Ma’am…” I said.

She looked at my wet uniform – but she said nothing.

So – I said to her: “I am a course-mate of “X” – he lives here – isn’t it…? I had a small accident on my motorcycle – and I thought I will spend some time here till the rain lessens a bit…”

She smiled – and she said, “He is not here – he is away on duty…”

“Oh – I am sorry – I will go…” I said.

“No…No – it is raining very heavily – please come in…” she said.

“Thanks…” I said.

I walked in – and I sat on the sofa in the drawing room.

“Shall I make you a cup of coffee…?” she asked.

“No – Ma’am – I have already troubled you so much – please go to sleep – I will relax here on the sofa – and I will quietly go away once it stops raining…” I said.

She smiled – and she went away – leaving me alone in the drawing room.

I do not know when I dozed off to sleep on the sofa.

What I know is that when I woke up – and opened my eyes – the first thing I saw was my course-mate’s wife looking at me.

She was freshly bathed – and she looked very beautiful – incredibly alluring – and I could not take my eyes off her.

She gave me a sweet smile.

I felt ashamed of having eyed her so brazenly – so I quickly moved my eyes away.

“Good Morning…” she said.

“Good Morning, Ma’am…” I said.

I looked out of the window.

It has stopped raining – in fact – there was bright sunlight.

“What time is it…?” I asked.

“7:30…” she said.

“Oh – I slept whole night – I am so sorry – I must go…” I said, filled with embarrassment.

“At least wash up – have a cup of tea…” she said.

“No – Ma’am – thanks a lot – but I have already overstayed my welcome – and I have to get back to my ship quickly…” I said.

“Okay…” she said.

“When will “X” be back…?” I asked.

“He should be back by tomorrow evening…” she said.

“Okay – then I will come over – and we will have a proper dinner…” I said.

“Yes…” she said.

“Thank you again, Ma’am…” I said – and I left.


I asked around – and I found out the “X” was posted in an inconsequential appointment in the back of beyond.

No wonder I had not met him all these days.

Three days later – in the morning – I called up his office.

“Yes – “X” had reported back the previous day from outstation duty – and he would be in office by 9:30 AM…” I was told.

I reached his office at 10 AM.

“X” was happy to see me.

I shook hands with him and said: “I have come to thank you for the hospitality when I was stuck in the rain the other night – it was very sweet of your wife to let me stay…”

“Wife…?” he asked – looking confused.

“Yes – I was all drenched in the rain – I took shelter in your building – then I saw your name on the board – and I just barged into your house – and it was very kind of your wife to let me stay all night…”

“Wife…? How could she be there…?” he asked.

“Of course your wife was there…” I said.

“Impossible…” he said.

“Then who was that charming lady…?” I asked.

“She was my ‘Maid’ – not my wife…” he said.

“What…? She was your ‘Maid’ – she was not your wife…?” I blurted out – totally bewildered.

“Yes – the woman who you met is my ‘Maid’ – she told me that some ‘course-mate’ of mine had got stuck in the rain and slept on the sofa – she didn’t remember your name – so it was you…?” he said.

“Oh – I am very sorry – your ‘Maid’ is so smart – that I mistook her for your wife – yes – I really thought that she was your wife…” I said.

“Ha Ha – I must tell my wife this…” he said, laughing.

“No – please don’t tell her – it will be very embarrassing…” I said.

Tea arrived – and we sipped our tea.

I noticed that “X” wasn’t telling me anything about his wife – so I asked him: “By the way – your wife – is she out of station…?”

“She is an ‘air-hostess’ in an international airline – so she is out on duty for around 15 days in a month…” he said.

“Oh – that’s great – we must meet sometime in the club – I owe you a dinner…” I said.

“Sure – my wife should be back by weekend…” he said.

“One more thing – please don’t tell anyone about my faux pas – it was a stupid blunder on my part in thinking that your ‘Maid’ was your wife…” I said.

“X” laughed – and said, “okay…”

But – alas – “X” told everyone about my stupid goof-up – and I became a laughing stock.

This angered me – and I did not visit “X” again.


I was flying abroad for some work.

An air-hostess came to me – and she asked me my name.

I told her my name.

Then – she said, “Come – we’ll upgrade you to ‘business class’…”

When I was comfortable in my new luxurious seat – the air-hostess came over to me and said, “You didn’t recognize me – of course – we have never met – I saw your name on the passenger manifest – and I guessed it must be you – well – I am your course-mate X’s wife – remember – the ‘Maid’ episode…”

“Oh – yes – how can I forget – your husband “X” told everyone about it – and I became a laughing stock…” I said.

“He told our ‘Maid’ too…” she said.

“What…? Did your husband “X” tell your ‘Maid’ that I thought that she was you…?” I asked.

“Well – my ‘Maid’ did have some inkling – she told us that you kept addressing her as ‘Ma’am’…”

“I wanted to come over to your place – but I was so embarrassed to face your ‘Maid’ again – after my faux pas…”

“Well – you can meet her when you are in Delhi – the same ‘Maid’ is still with us…”

“You’ve got the same ‘Maid’ even now…?”

“Yes – we took her along when we were posted to Delhi – she is a big boon – it is because of her that I am able to do this job which requires me to be out for so many days…” she said.

“Yes – I saw that your ‘Maid’ was very good…” I said.

“She looks after everything at home – in fact – I have handed over all ‘homemaker’ duties to her – she manages each and every thing – she even looks after my husband so well – and she is so good – that I just don’t have to bother about anything…” she said.

There was a call for her – so X’s wife smiled a ‘good-bye’ – and she left to attend to her duties.


Ten years later – one morning – while driving down from Mumbai to Pune by the Expressway – I stopped at the ‘Food Court’ for a cup of tea.

A car entered the ‘food court’ parking lot.

I could not believe my eyes.

My course-mate “X” was in the Driver’s Seat – and sitting next to him was his‘Maid’.

Both of them got out of the car – they walked to a vacant table and sat down.

Obviously – “X” hadn’t seen me – or if he had seen me – then “X” probably did not want to meet me.

But I was curious to meet “X” – and yes – I was quite intrigued by his rather intimate demeanor towards his ‘Maid’.

I wondered why “X” had seated his ‘Maid’ beside him on the front seat of the car – and even now – they seemed to be talking in a rather friendly manner.

I picked up my cup of tea – and I walked towards their table.

“Hello…” I said to my course-mate “X”.

“Oh – Hi…” my course-mate “X” said with a smile.

“May I join you…?” I asked.

“Of course…” he said.

“I’ll just freshen up and come…” the ‘Maid’ said – and she left for the washroom.

“So – I heard that you suddenly quit the Navy…” I said.

“Yes – I quit 5 years ago – I am in the Merchant Navy now…” he said.

“That’s great…” I said.

“Yes – the Merchant Navy is much better – especially moneywise…” he said.

“So – are you going to Pune…?” I asked “X”.

“No – I am driving down to Mahabaleshwar…” he said.

“You’re going to Mahabaleshwar – with your ‘Maid’…?” I asked, shocked.

“She is no longer my ‘Maid’….” he said.

“What…? She is no longer your ‘Maid’…? Don’t tell me that you have married her…!” I said, totally baffled.

“Not yet…” he said, nonchalantly.

“Not yet…! What do you mean by ‘Not Yet’…? Are you saying that you intend marrying your ‘Maid’…? So that means that you two are living together…?” I blurted out, baffled out of my wits.

“X” did not say anything – he looked down at the table.

His silence spoke volumes.

For me – the whole thing was unbelievable – most bizarre.

Then – after I recovered my wits – I looked at “X”  and I said to him, “Have you gone crazy…? You have dumped your wife for your ‘Maid’…?”

“X” did not answer – he just looked away.

I followed his gaze – and I saw the ‘Maid’ come out of the washroom and walk towards us.

I got up from my seat.

“Okay – Bye – it is time for me to move on…” I said to “X”.

Meanwhile the ‘Maid’ had reached our table and was smiling at me – so – I looked at the ‘Maid’ – and I said to her: “All the Best, Ma’am…”

Last time – calling her “Ma’am” was a faux pas on my part – but – now – as my course-mate’s consort – she had earned the right to be called “Ma’am”.

Then – I turned – and I walked towards my car.

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

1. This story is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. This story is 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)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Posted by Vikram Karve at 7/13/2015 01:14:00 PM

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