Archive for the ‘happiness’ Category

Stop “Counting” – Enjoy Life

January 11, 2017

“COUNTING” KILLS ENJOYMENT – PRECISION DESTROYS PLEASURE 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/qualitative-living.html

A money-conscious friend asked me: “How much money did you spend on your recent New Zealand trip…?”

“I really don’t know the amount of money I spent…” I said, “but I enjoyed my New Zealand trip immensely…”

“Didn’t you calculate the precise amount you spent…? Don’t you keep accounts…?” he asked.

“No – I never keep precise accounts. I generally ensure that I don’t spend beyond my means – so – a rough idea is enough…” I said to him.

One thing I learnt in the Navy is that – if you want to enjoy life – never “count” too much.

“Counting” Kills Enjoyment

Precision destroys Pleasure

If you want to enjoy “Quality of Life” – it is better to live a “Qualitative Life” – rather than a “Quantitative Life”

Here is an article I wrote a few years ago on the topic.

Read on…

QUALITATIVE LIVING 

Experiential Wisdom from a Navy Veteran By Vikram Karve

It was a grand Navy party on our ship.

There was lots of bonhomie and spirits were high.

Booze was flowing freely – and the stewards were offering drink after drink to officers, especially the guests.

“Come on Sir – your glass is empty – here is a drink for you…” the steward said, offering a glass of whisky to a guest officer.

“No – No – I have had 3 pegs already…” the officer said.

“Sir – you have had 5 pegs of Whisky – but who is counting…?” the steward said.

I laughed.

The wizened steward had a point – if you are going to count your drinks – then why drink at all…?

The aim of drinking alcohol is to feel happy – so you must drink till you feel happy.

Why “count” your drinks…?

Happiness depends on your drinking mood – not on the number of drinks you consume.

It is the same with eating good food.

The moment you start counting calories – you lose the enjoyment of food – you keep focusing on calories in a dish – instead of its taste.

At buffets – I have seen “figure conscious” beauties looking wistfully at the lavish spread of delicious food – counting the calories in every dish – and then settling for just a little bit of salad – and even skipping the enticing “calorie laden” desserts.

Later – I am sure they wish they had eaten to their heart’s content.

Why go to a Feast it you want to Count your Calories…?

In this “digital” age – people “count” everything.

Long ago – during my glorious Mumbai days – one Sunday morning – I took a friend on one of my enjoyable Sunday special super-long walks in Mumbai.

Let me give you an idea of the route.

We started early – at dawn – from my house in Empress Court – opposite the Oval near Churchgate – admiring, in the early morning pre-sunrise light, the impressive silhouettes of the magnificent Gothic structures of the High Court and Mumbai University across the Oval – we heard the clock on Rajabai Tower strike 6 – then we walked briskly past Oxford Bookstore, KC College, CCI, Marine Plaza Hotel till Marine Drive.

We crossed the Marine Drive, turned right and started off towards Chowpatty, greeting with a smile the morning joggers and walkers, rinsing my lungs with the fresh invigorating sea breeze, and soon we were past Marine Lines, Taraporewala Aquarium, Charni Road, Chowpatty, Wilson College and at the end of Marine Drive.

Here we turned left up the Walkeshwar Road to Teen Batti – we did not go towards Banganga – but turned right towards Hanging Gardens on Malabar Hill – took a round of garden atop the water tank near Kamala Nehru Park (is it called Phirozeshah Mehta Udyan?) – cantered down to Kemp’s Corner where we turned right – a U-turn really – past Crossword Bookstore – down Hughes Road – left past Gamdevi, Nana Chowk and crossed the railway over-bridge – and we kept going onto Grant Road past Novelty Cinema – turned right at Delhi Durbar on Falkland Road – kept walking till we reached VP Road – walked past Gol Deval, Alankar cinema and there we were at Bhendi Bazar – looking at the inimitable Noor Mohammadi Hotel in front of us across Mohamedali Road – our first “halt” – for rest and replenishment.

Around 3 hours of brisk walking had built up in me a voracious appetite – and I was ready to devour a sumptuous breakfast.

I was hungry – and I eat only when I am hungry.

(Even here – I do not “count” – I do not look at the clock and eat my meals – I do not eat lunch just because it is “lunchtime” – whenever I feel hungry – I eat – I have had my lunch anywhere between 11 and 3).

Coming back to our story – we enteredr the Spartan no-nonsense eatery – and I ordered Nalli Nihari and Roti for both of us.

Within a minute a bowl of piping hot gravy – with a generous chunk of succulent meat floating in it – and a fluffy khaboosh roti was placed in front of me – and one in front of my friend.

I dipped a piece of the soft roti in the spicy rich gravy – let it soak for a while – put it in my mouth – and closed my eyes to luxuriate in and relish the gastronomic experience in its entirety.

I felt the juicy gravy soaked roti melting on my tongue – releasing its delicious flavours and spicy aroma which permeated into my soul.

I was in seventh heaven – savouring the luscious taste of the delicious Nalli Nihari – epicurean pleasure of the highest order – sheer bliss – when I opened my eyes – and I noticed that my friend had not started eating.

“Come on – eat up – or the roti and nihari will get cold…” I said.

“Look at the amount of oil floating in this greasy gravy – there must be so many calories in there…” he said.

“Come on – we have walked so much to build up an appetite…” I said.

“How much did we walk – we walked for nearly 3 hours – so if our walking speed was…?”

I could see he was “calculating” the distance in his mind – so I interrupted him – and I said to him: “How the hell does it matter how much we walked…?”

“I am just trying to calculate whether the calories in this dish are more than the calories we spent walking…”

“Why are you “counting” so much…? You enjoyed the walk – didn’t you…? Now – you enjoy the food…” I said.

It is crazy – the way people “count” while exercising.

The aim of exercise is to make you feel healthy – and more importantly – exercise must make you feel good.

In our school and college days – and later in the Navy – we played team games like football, hockey, basketball, water-polo etc.

No one kept time – no one counted the goals – no one bothered who won or lost – we just enjoyed playing the game.

Later – I used to swim.

As I grew older – I started walking.

I always like to listen to my body while exercising– one day I may exercise more – one day it may be less – I never “count” – it all depends on my mood.

Recently – I came across some crazy “counting” types who put up updates on Social Media (Facebook/Twitter) about the exact distance they have walked

(I believe there is a device that measures the precise distance you have walked – even the number of steps you have walked).

Instead of enjoying the walking experience – these “quantitative” types are obsessed with distance/speed/heart-rate/pulse-rate/calories expended while walking/jogging/exercising.

The aim of exercise is to make you feel good – and all this “counting” ruins the enjoyment of exercise – and – in fact – may even cause stress in you if you do not meet your “targets”.

Exercise should be a pleasure – not a pain.

Yes – the root cause of this “counting” disease is the all-pervasive competitive environment – and everyone’s desire to “set goals” and “meet targets”.

I remember an incident at work.

Our team was working on an intricate design problem and we were nearing the solution – when suddenly the siren sounded for “lunch break”.

“Sir – it is 12:30 – should we break for lunch…” someone said.

“Are you so hungry that you will drop dead if you don’t eat right now…?” I asked him.

“No, Sir…” he said.

“See – we are in the mood now – so let’s finish off what we are doing – if we break off now we will lose our mood and synergy by the time we assemble again after lunch – also we won’t be able to enjoy our lunch because this unresolved problem will still be on our minds – so let’s finish this off first and then we can have a relaxed lunch…” I said.

By the time we finished – it was 1:30 PM – and we were enjoying our lunch – when my boss paid a surprise visit to my office.

Since he was a “clock-watcher” type – he was annoyed that we were having lunch outside the “prescribed lunchtime”.

Next morning – I felt hungry at 11 AM – so I opened up my lunchbox and was enjoying eating my lunch – when my boss made an appearance.

“You are a crazy chap – yesterday – you were eating lunch at 1:30 – and today you are eating at lunch at 11 in the morning…,” my boss remarked.

“Sir – I eat when I am hungry…” I retorted – but my stickler boss did not seem quite convinced.

Also – I sleep when I feel sleepy – not just because it is “bedtime”.

Well – I can go on and on till the cows come home – but I am sure you have got the gist of what I want to say.

Counting Kills Enjoyment

So – Dear Reader:

Stop Counting.

Stop Measuring.

Stop Clock-Watching.

Precision destroys Pleasure.

Counting Kills Enjoyment.

So why not live a more “Qualitative Life” – rather than the “Quantitative Life” you are living now…? 

PS: Whenever I head for a party – especially a get-together of ex-Navy Buddies – I do not take my watch and I switch off my mobile phone.

I am not going to count anything – no counting drinks – no counting calories – no clock-watching – just unrestrained “qualitative” enjoyment – yes – “Qualitative Enjoyment” – that is the way to have a jolly good time…

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/qualitative-living.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a re-post of my self-help article COUNTING KILLS ENJOYMENT posted by me online earlier at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/04/counting-kills-enjoyment-self-help.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/precision-destroys-pleasure-counting.html

The Ultimate Anti-Ageing Formula – Zest for Living and Passion for Learning

August 25, 2016

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/do-you-want-to-be-young-senior-citizen.html

I WANT TO BE A YOUNG SENIOR CITIZEN 

I am almost 60 years old – in a few days – on the 12th of September 2016 – it will be my 60th Birthday – and – I will enter the 61st year of my life.

Am I old…?

Or – am I young?

Well – you may say that I am old – but – I still feel that I am a young boy.

You may not agree with me – but – I feel that it is better to be “immature” rather than “mature”

There is a saying:

“YOU ARE AS OLD AS YOU FEEL” 

That is why there are “young senior citizens” and “old senior citizens

Soon – I will be officially a Senior Citizen.

Surely – I would like to be a “young senior citizen.

How about you…?

Here is a piece I wrote around 6 years ago in my blog on the subject titled HOW TO REMAIN YOUNG AND YOUTHFUL FOREVER

Do tell me if you like it – I look forward to your comments.

And hey – don’t forget to wish me a Happy Birthday on the 12th of September when I cross the threshold of senior citizenship.

HOW TO BE A YOUNG SENIOR CITIZEN 

The Ultimate Anti-Ageing Formula

Zest for Living and Passion for Learning
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

Part 1 – DO WANT TO BE A “YOUNG” SENIOR CITIZEN…?

There are a number of retired senior citizens in the colony where I live in Pune.

Yes – there are still large numbers of pensioners living all over Pune – though Pune is no longer a pensioners’ paradise.

I have noticed one intriguing thing.

Though most are of these persons are of the same chronological age – some are “young” – and – some are “old”

Yes – some senior citizens appear young – and – some seem old.

Ater all – your age is what you feel.

Part 2 – ANTI AGEING FORMULA
By observing senior citizens for many years I have discovered this anti ageing formula for remaining young:

ZEST FOR LIVING and PASSION FOR LEARNING is the best “anti-ageing recipe” that keeps you young forever.

This is the true elixir of life.

Look around you – and you will see what I mean.

There are many “oldie-goldies” who are living life to the fullest and are always eager to learn new things.

On the other hand – there are many old people who have no “juice” left in them – as seem to have lost the spirit to enjoy learning – and do not have the enthusiasm to relish the pleasures of life to their utmost.
I know a “young” senior citizen who – after retirement from the Army – started learning classical music from the scratch.

He enjoyed studying for 10 years till he completed his sangeet alankar.

He lived life to the fullest in true epicurean style – good food, music, concerts, plays, movies, travel, tourism, picnics, swimming, trekking, playing with his dogs, social work etc.

You name it – he did it.

This young-at-heart senior citizen lived a delightfully active life – he loved the company of youngsters and he had the enthusiasm and energy of a child.

Even in his late 70’s he seemed “younger” than those senior citizens who were chronologically many years his junior.

His zest for life and passion for knowledge that kept him healthy, happy and youthful.

When he passed away nearing the age 80 – I am sure he was still feeling “young”.

Nowadays – technology has made it easier for senior citizens to remain “young”

With the proliferation of internet and smartphones – you can enjoy moments exploring the mysteries of the web, learning new things and latest technologies.

You can actively blog with passionate fervour.

You can engage with with gusto in all sorts of learning activites, creative writing, surfing, social networking, making virtual friends, teaching music.

Yes – you can experience the truism: “variety is the spice of life

Remember – you are as old as you feel – not as old as you look – and certainly not as “old” as your chronologically age says you are.

It is in your hands to forever remain a “young” senior citizen.

I will end this part with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi:

Live as if you are going to die tomorrow

Learn as if you are going to live forever

It is breathtakingly simple to remain young forever.

It is all in the mind.

Part 3 – HOW TO FEEL YOUNG AND YOUTHFUL 

For feeling youthful and yound – it is your “mental age” that matters – and – you should feel “mentally young” even if you are “physically old”.

Here are some tips on how to feel mental young and forget your chronological age.  

  1. SPEND TIME IN THE COMPANY OF YOUNG HAPPY PEOPLE

It is better to spend your time with cheerful younsters – who are enjoying life in the present.

Why make yourself miserable in the company of pessimistic, gloomy, cynical “old-fogies” – who keep living in the past – carping and complaining about the present – and – speculating and worrying about the future.

In today’s world – if your children (and youngsters of the next generation) have migrated abroad – or – live elsewhere – you may not have younsters around you.

In such cases – the best substitute is to have young online friends in the virtual world – so why not interact with young people on the internet – by being active on the Social Media (Facebook/Twitter/Instagram/WhatsApp etc) – and – engaging in activities like Blogging etc.

Of course – face-to-face relationships are better – but when these are not feasible – the best alternative is to have good online relationships.

Also – many online friendships with youngsters may transform into offline interactions – and – you can have enjoyable meets with youngsters with common interests like food, literature, blogging etc.

I love attending blogger meets and literary fests where I can interact with my online friends.

I boast to my wife that in my “old age” – I have more “girlfriends” than I had in my younger days – of course – now – all my “girlfriends” are “online girlfriends”…

At my age – it is difficult for me to have young “offline girlfriends”.

Also – many of my “online girlfriends” are quite hesitant to come out with me on “offline dates”.

Maybe – the young girls feel embarassed to be seen in public dating an “old fogie” like me – and they feel more comfortable having an online “friendship” with me.

But – that doesn’t matter.

Even interacting with youngsters on the social media makes you feel young and cheerful.

Teaching and mentoring youngsters (never give unsolicited advice or moral lectures) – offline and online – is rewarding and good too – I love to teach – as I enjoy the company of cheerful motivated young students and this keeps me young and enthisuastic about learning too.

  1. GET A PET DOG 

Another useful anti-aging technique is to get a pet dog and enjoy playing with your dog.

Pet parenting and your pet dog’s antics and will keep you happily occupied, cheerful and healthy, besides ensuring regular exercise as your pet dog will ensure you take him out on walks at least twice a day.

There is nothing more joyful than playing with your dog and talking to him.

A dog always remains young at heart, and if you play and talk to your dog, you too will remain young at heart.

Playing with my dog Sherry made me feel really young and energetic.

A dog will bring out the child in you.

A pet will keep you active, happy, young and youthful.

(Sadly – my pet dog Sherry passed away one and a half years ago. She had really kept me mentally young and physically fit)

  1. RE-DISCOVER YOUR “CHILDLIKE ENTHUSIASM”

Get rid of the “Auld Lang Syne” complex.

Stop reminiscing about the “good old days”.

Start living it up every day doing whatever you like with zest and a passion to learn new things like Blogging, Tweeting, Social Networking – making real friends and virtual friends with common interests and passions – exploring the mysteries internet and enjoying the benefits of information technology.

Yes – keeping yourself uptodate and abreast of the latest technologies keeps you mentally stimulated.

Use technology effectively to keep young – you must have the latest smartphone, good laptop and modern gadgets.

You must Blog – you must Tweet – you must engage on WhatsApp – you must upload pictures on Instagram – and – you must be active on Social Networking sites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn etc.

  1. RE-DISCOVER YOUR YOUTHFUL ROMANTIC MISCHIEVOUS SIDE

Become “naughty” once again.

Have fun and discover the beauty and romance of life.

Why not harmlessfly flirt a bit…?

Remember that the moment you stop appreciating and being attracted to beauty – you have become “old” – and life is not worth living.

Yes – there is a saying that – the day you lose interest in good food and stop appreciating beautiful women (or handsome men) – you become an old man (woman).

  1. LEARN NEW THINGS, DEVELOP NEW HOBBIES AND NURTURE YOUR CREATIVE INTERESTS

Try to have a positive attitude and optimistic temperament – keep learning new things – nurture your creative interests, hobbies – exercise, play games/ports, travel, eat out, see movies – do whatever you enjoy doing and have a ball.

Explore your creative side.

Discovering new aspects of your creativity – and passionately nurturing your talents/interests – it works wonders for your health and happiness.

Keep learning new things – imbibe the latest technologies – and avoid becoming obsolescent or obsolete.

  1. TRY TO BE IN AN ATMOSPHERE OF “POSITIVE VIBES”

Try your best to be in an environment of feel-good happy “Positive Vibes”.

Avoid people, places and activities which generate “Negative Vibes” in you.

Do not waste your time reminiscing and regretting the past – or – speculating and worrying about the future.

In fact – never think of the past or future.

You must live in the present – one day at a time – and – think only of TODAY.

And – most importantly – you must ensure that the present moment is a happy one

For this – positive “vibes” are the key to making you feel good, cheerful and happy, here and now.

ANTI-AGEING FORMULA IN A NUTSHELL

To sum up – if you want to remain young and youthful forever – all you have got to do is that  – you must have a ZEST FOR LIVING and PASSION FOR LEARNING
First thing in the morning – the moment you get up – recite your new Art of Living Motto:

“Live as if you are going to die tomorrow  Learn as if you are going to live forever…”

Dear Reader: I wish you eternal youth – may you remain young forever with a Zest for Living and a Passion for Learning.

(Well – I am trying my best to practice what I preach – and – I am sure you will try too)

So Cheer Up and Live it Up…!!!

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

  1. These are my personal views.Please do your own due diligence while applying these tips.
  2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/do-you-want-to-be-young-senior-citizen.html

This is a updated and revised repost of my article FOREVER YOUNG written by me 6 years ago in 2010 and posted by me Vikram Karve online earlier at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2010/12/forever-young-tried-and-tested-anti.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/12/how-to-feel-young.html  and http://creative.sulekha.com/old-in-age-but-young-at-heart_541304_blog  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/04/how-to-be-young-senior-citizen-anti.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/09/birthday-blog-how-to-feel-young-and.html

How to be Happy : Inspirational Wisdom

March 17, 2016

HOW TO BE HAPPY
Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/inspirational-tonic-from-swami.html

INSPIRATIONAL GEM OF WISDOM FROM SWAMI VIVEKANANDA

I first learnt about Swami Vivekananda, sometime in the 1960’s, when I was a small boy, and my father had taken us to visit Belur Math near Kolkata.

At Belur Math I acquired a tiny pocket book called “Thus Spake Vivekananda”. Whenever the chips were down, or I felt dejected, I referred to the inspiring gems of wisdom, distilled from the complete works of Swami Vivekananda, for instant motivation and strength.

Let me tell you about my favourite saying of Swami Vivekananda which inspired me and I try to implement in my day to day living.

AN INSPIRATIONAL GEM OF WISDOM FROM SWAMI VIVEKANANDA

Here is an inspirational gem of wisdom, a phrase from the sayings of Swami Vivekananda:

Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually, and spiritually, reject as poison

I feel that the word “weak” is all encompassing.

The term “weak” embraces anything that creates in you a stressful situation.

Thus “weakness” includes all negative emotions and feelings like anger, irritation, fury, worry, anxiety, frustration, despondency, depression, demoralization etc, which, in a nutshell, cause unhappiness.

These negative emotions disturb your inner tranquility and equanimity, drain you emotionally and intellectually, and make you feel “weak” just like physical weakness.

UNHAPPINESS IS WEAKNESS

Unhappiness is a negative emotion which drains you.

Hence, Unhappiness is Weakness.

Unhappiness is Poison for the soul.

Conversely, Happiness is Strength.

Happiness is Tonic for the soul.

Now, how do you “reject as poison” the “weakness” of unhappiness?

The first step is to identify your “Unhappiness Creators”.

IDENTIFY YOUR UNHAPPINESS CREATORS

Now sit down in a quiet tranquil place, close your eyes, introspect, and try to think of all the things that make you feel negative,

Reflect and introspect on all your unhappiness-creators and unhappy situations.

Now sit down in a quiet tranquil place, close your eyes, introspect, and try to think of all the things that make you feel negative,

Reflect and introspect on all your unhappiness-creators and unhappy situations.

These unhappiness creators can be anything – tangible and intangible – things, activities, persons etc.

Unhappiness Creators include:

  1. Toxic individuals andincompatible persons, who irritate, annoy and hassle you
  1. Foodsand Beverages(like Alcohol) which do not suit you and are physically detrimental to your health and well-being
  1. Activities, social and personal, which may appear pleasurable, but which actually drain you out
  1. Technology and Gadgets, like your cell-phone, which disturb your peace of mind
  1. Strained Relationships, which are a source of unhappiness and cause stress in you
  1. Any activity or thing that causes a guilty consciencewithin you
  1. Disagreeable personsand unpleasant activitieswhich are a stimulus for negative emotions like anger, worry, fear, etc and create negative vibes within you.

Close your eyes, introspect and think about all aspects of your life – your work life, your home life, your social life.

Think about all the persons, activities and things that generate negative vibes, create stress and unhappiness in you, things that make you feel “weak”.

Then, follow Swami Vivekananda’s advice:

Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually, and spiritually, reject as poison

Yes, you can do it in actual life.

Just “reject” all these “poisonous” things and people by avoiding them as far as possible.

Make an exhaustive list of all your “unhappiness creators”  all the things and people that make you “weak” – and try to reject them as “poison”. 

At first you may be a bit skeptical about this approach.

But when you start implementing, you will be surprised how much of it is in your own control to prevent unhappiness.

SAY NO TO UNHAPPINESS CREATORS and WELCOME HAPPINESS CREATORS

While, on the one hand:

  1. You reject the things that make you “weak”and unhappy

simultaneously, on the other hand:

  1. You must reinforce the things that make you feel “strong”and happy

 

Say NO to unhappiness creators

Say YES to happiness creators  

Yes, if unhappiness is weakness” then happiness is strength.

So simultaneously, reflect and contemplate.

Make a list of things and persons that give you strength and joy and make you happy and productive.

Include all the things and people that create positive feelings in you.

Then try to devote as much time and energy to doing these positive things and interacting with these morale boosting people that give you strength and make you feel good and happy.

MANTRA FOR HAPPINESS (and UNHAPPINESS) – IN A NUTSHELL

To put it in a nutshell, if you want to be happy:

  1. Try your best to generate happiness vibes by doing things which make you “strong” and happy
  1. Try to reduce or even eliminate negative unhappiness vibes by “rejecting”things which make you “weak” and unhappy.

(Conversely – if you want to be unhappy – just do the opposite – keep wallowing in negative vibes by encouraging your unhappiness creators and avoiding your happiness creators).

HOW TO CREATE HAPPINESS and HOW TO CREATE UNHAPPINESS

Whenever I feel unhappy, I realize that it is because I have allowed myself to be overwhelmed by my unhappiness creators.

And the moment I envelop myself with my happiness creators, I start feeling happy.

Remember this saying of Swami Vivekananda:

Anything that makes you weak physically, intellectually, and spiritually, reject as poison

(Conversely, I say: Anything that makes you feel strong, imbibe as nectar)

Implementing this inspiring gem of wisdom from Swami Vivekananda is breathtaking in its simplicity.

Try it – experiment – discover your happiness creators and unhappiness creators.

Start making your two lists and then you know what to do.

This works for me and I am sure it will work for you.

I do feel stressed out and unhappy at times, but I know why – and I know what to do – so I try my best to make my unhappiness creators disappear and overwhelm myself with happiness creators.

Wish you a stress-free life filled with happiness.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

 

Disclaimer:

  1. This is based on my personal experience. It may or may not work for you. So please do due diligence before trying out this technique.
  2. All stories in this blog area 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.

Updated, Abridged and Revised version of my article written more than 20 years ago and Posted by me Vikram Karve at 9/26/2009 03:50:00 PM in this blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2009/09/stress-management-made-simple.html  and http://creative.sulekha.com/wisdom-from-swami-vivekananda_561671_blog  and   http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/01/inspirational-wisdom-from-swami.html  etc

Do You Want to Live in an Old Age Home ?

August 27, 2015

Source: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/old-age-woes-do-you-depend-on-kindness.html

DO YOU WANT TO LIVE IN AN OLD AGE HOME ?

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

OLD AGE WOES
Do You Depend on the Kindness of Strangers ?
Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Sometime ago – during my early morning walk – I passed by Mrs. J’s house.

I saw J – an 84 year old widow – struggling to walk in her garden.

I wished J good morning – and I asked her how she was.

She answered: “I depend on the kindness of strangers.”

For a moment – I was speechless.

Then – slowly – I let her words sink in – and perambulate in my mind – “I depend on the kindness of strangers” – and – these words struck a chord.

I was transported back in time – almost 35 years ago – to the year 1981 – if my memory serves me right – when I had seen the play called A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE which had a lasting impression on me.

I witnessed a performance of the indigenous Indian Production of this 1948 Pulitzer Prize winning masterpiece by Tennessee Williams at the Kamani Auditorium in New Delhi directed by Alyque Padamsee with terrific performances by Dalip Tahil as Stanley Kowalski and Sabira Merchant as Blanche DuBois.

I still remember the heart-rending scene – when – after being totally destroyed by Stanley, while being taken away to a mental asylum, a shattered Blanche holds onto the doctor’s hand and says: “Whoever you are – I have always depended on the kindness of strangers”.

Though the context in the play is different – I realized the universal all-encompassing truth encapsulated in those profound words – which were spontaneously uttered by the old lady J – who I am sure has not read or seen the play “A Streetcar Named Desire”.

As I observe in Pune – I realize that there are so many senior citizens living alone – so many old people who “depend on the kindness of strangers” – especially in the middle-class.

In most cases – their children live abroad in the USA pursuing their American Dream – while their parents live a life of loneliness awaiting their deaths back home in India.

Also – I notice that the longevity of women seems to be more then men – since there are far more senior citizen widows who heavily outnumber the widowers.

Before you blame the “ungrateful and selfish children” for “abandoning” their “hapless” parents – I think you must consider the fact that there are always two sides to a coin (or two “points of view” in every story).

MIDDLE CLASS DREAMS

Let me give you a bit of a background.

In the 1960’s and 1970’s – I lived in a “middle-class” locality in Pune – where parents had two dreams:

1. First – their son must get into an IIT and go abroad to USA to realize the American dream and achieve “success”.

2. Second – they must get their daughters married to a “successful” American NRI so that she too could go the USA to live a life of prosperity and happiness there.

Many such parents – like the old lady J – achieved their dreams.

And – they are paying the price today.

Even today – I see so many parents who are desperate to send their kids abroad for higher studies and to settle down there.

In the earlier “pre-globalization pre-liberalization” days prior to 1991 – it was difficult to go to America unless you graduated from an IIT or topped from a premier University.

Today – it is much easier to go abroad for studies or for work.

Post liberalization – in the globalized world of today – if you are willing to spend your money – you can easily go for higher studies abroad – or you can go there via the “IT Route” – by first going abroad to work onsite – and then sidestepping into a job over there in America.

This is the main reason why there is a beeline for jobs in the IT/ITES industry – it is the easiest way to migrate overseas.

Then or now – the fact of the matter is that it is the parents themselves who encourage and monetarily facilitate their children to go abroad.

Parents inculcate ambitious values that create in the minds of their children the urge to migrate to America or some other prosperous country for a “better life”.

So who is to blame – the parents or the children?

I ask the old lady J – “Why don’t you go and live with your son or daughter in America? Have they refused to take you there? Are your children unwilling to have you live with them?”

“No – not at all. Far from it,” the old lady says, “my children want me to live with them over there and keep calling me to relocate permanently to America and stay with them in the US. I have gone there so many times – but I don’t want to live there with them in America. I don’t like it over there.”

I am puzzled.

It seems very strange.

Why should the old lady prefer to live a difficult lonely life out here in India – full of hardship – when she can live a comfortable life of luxury in America with the best of facilities and healthcare – and in the company of her children and grandchildren?

Why do so many senior citizens prefer to live alone in India and depend on “the kindness of strangers” – when they can enjoy the evening of their lives by migrating abroad to live with their NRI children and exulting in the love and care of their near and dear ones?

Is it ego?

Is it something else?

Is there some other reason?

I don’t know.

I don’t have the answer.

Do you?

If you do have the answer – or wish to share your views on this subject, please comment and let us know.

And – you better start thinking – about the evening of your life – when you become 70 or 80.

You have to decide from these 3 Choices:

1. Do you want to live with your children…?

2. Do you want to live alone…?

3. Do you want to live in an old age home (retirement community) which has assisted living facilities and where you will be well cared for and looked after…?

Remember – if you choose the second or third choice above – you will be dependent on the kindness of strangers.

Think about it.

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

Disclaimer:
1. This article is just “food for thought”, my musings, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt.
2. While planning your old age – please do your own due diligence.
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 and updated version of my article first written by me Vikram Karve more than 3 years ago in the year 2012 and posted online earlier by me in this blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/27/2015 11:01:00 AM

PET DOG PARENTING – Care of Companion Dogs – My Experiences

August 7, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: PET DOG – PARENTING versus OWNERSHIP – Tips on Care of Companion Dogs.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

PET DOG CARE
PARENTING versus OWNERSHIP
Tips on Care of Companion Dogs
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:
1. These are my personal views based on my own experience. They may or may not be applicable in your circumstances. You may please do your own due diligence before adopting a dog.
2. There are two ways of looking after babies and children. Most parents look after their children themselves. Some parents “outsource” parenting duties to “nannies”. It is similar with dogs – you can either look after your own dog personally or you can “outsource” dog care to a “nanny” who looks after your dog. This article is meant for pet parents who intend to personally look after their dogs. 

ARE YOU READY TO BE A PET DOG PARENT ?

Before you adopt a dog, or any other pet, you must ask yourself:

Do you want to be a ‘pet parent’ or ‘pet owner’ ?

There is huge difference between the two.

Ask yourself:

1. Are you going to look after your dog like your own child?

Or

2. Are you going to “outsource” this “task” of looking after your dog to someone else.

Of course, even in the case of human children, there are two types of parents:

1. Parents who do genuine parenting and look after their children personally

2. Parents who “outsource” their core parenting duties to someone else, like a “nanny”, or to “surrogate parents” like grandparents or relatives, or send their children away to boarding schools to be looked after by strangers.

It is the same with pet dog parenting – those who parent pets like in the first category above are “pet parents” and those who emulate the second category are akin to “dog owners”.

As far as our pet dog Sherry is concerned, we are in the first category – we are pet dog parents.

Parenting Sherry has been an enjoyable but challenging experience.

I will not call it “sacrifices”, but we certainly have made many compromises in order to be good pet parents – be it in our careers or in our social lives or in travel, recreation and leisure.

Today, Sherry is a “senior citizen” – and like any senior citizen she has a share of her ailments.

Sadly, she is blind, and she has diabetes.

Looking after a blind diabetic dog is a demanding task and places restrictions on the pet parents.

For example, it has become difficult for both of us, my wife and me, to go out together.

Since Sherry has diabetes, someone has to be at home to ensure she gets her correct food diet and medicines (insulin) at the proper time, and has her regular walks under leash, since she cannot see and cannot be left free.

Since Sherry is blind, she cannot be left alone at home for long, as she has developed separation anxiety due to her blindness; nor can we take her out with us like we did earlier since she gets confused and anxious in unfamiliar surroundings.

Last weekend, there was a social function, and my wife attended alone.

This weekend, we have a Navy Foundation Get-together, and I will be going alone, while my wife looks after Sherry at home.

The bottom-line is, that, like all “pet parents”, we will have to accept that these restrictions since we decided to adopt a dog many years ago.

That is why, in the beginning, I said that before you adopt a dog, or any other pet, you must ask yourself: “Do you want to be a ‘pet parent’ or do you want to be just a ‘pet owner’?”

It is easy to adopt a dog, but it is a challenging long term commitment to be a genuine ‘pet parent’ and look after your companion dog for its entire lifetime.

Over the past few months I had written a few articles on DOG CARE and posted them on my blogs.

I thought it would be a good idea to abridge and consolidate all these articles in one blog post for convenience of dog lovers.

DOG CARE – Part 1
ARE YOU READY FOR PET PARENTING?
THREE QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GET A COMPANION DOG
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

3 QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GET A COMPANION DOG

1. WHO IS GOING TO BE THE PET PARENT?

Are you thinking of getting a pet dog?

Wait.

Before you get that pet dog into your life, answer this question:

“Who is going to look after the dog?”

The person who is going to look after the dog must be clearly identified.

He or she must be ready to take on the responsibility and lifelong commitment required to look after a dog.

Let us assume that you are the person who is going to look after your dog (of course, your spouse, your children may share this responsibility, but if you are the person who is getting the dog into your home, you must be clear that looking after your dog is your primarily your responsibility).

You will have to allocate around 3 hours of you time to your dog every day – for feeding the dog at the stipulated time, for regular outdoor exercising and long walks, at least twice a day, morning and evening, for playing, training, grooming and bathing your dog.

Can your existing lifestyle cater to the demands of dog parenting?

Are you willing to change and curtail your lifestyle for the sake of your dog?

Are you willing to make “sacrifices” in your career and social life for the sake of your dog?

Are you willing to forego travel, vacations and holidays for the sake of your dog?

Dogs like routine, and once you establish the routine, you will have to follow that routine.

And, in order to follow your dog’s routine, you may have to forego many activities and events, and adjust your lifestyle and career commitments.

Remember, whoever is going to look after the dog will have to make “sacrifices” and should be prepared for it.

That is why, before you get a dog, you must have the answer to the question:“Who is going to look after the dog?” and that person must be clear about what this onerous dog-parenting responsibility entails.


2. ARE YOU PREPARED FOR A LONG TERM COMMITMENT TO LOOK AFTER YOUR DOG FOR ITS ENTIRE LIFETIME?

You must think carefully before adopting a dog, because you are making a commitment to that dog for its lifetime.

Looking after a dog is similar to raising a child.

But there is one big difference.

Your children will grow up and one day they will become independent and then they will leave you and go away to live their own lives, to pursue their own careers.

But your dog will remain a child forever, dependent on you for its entire life.

Yes, unlike your human children, your pet dog will remain dependent on you for its entire life and will never go away.

Getting a dog is a long-term commitment because most dogs
live for about 10 years.

When you bring a dog into your family, that dog is yours for life.

They say that one dog year is equal to seven human years.

So, a 10 year old dog is equal to a 70 year old human being.

Thus, you will have to look after your dog for its entire lifecycle – as a small baby puppy, as a naughty youngster, in its middle age, and you will have to take care of your dog in its old age.

The normal lifespan of a dog is around 10 to 12 years.

In the normal course, your dog will die in your lifetime.

This is one more big difference between human children and pet dogs – unless you are an old person, in your 70’s or 80’s, barring accidents, in the normal course, your dog will die in your lifetime, whereas your human children are expected to outlive you.

Thus, when you get a companion dog, you must be mentally prepared for this sad eventuality, in addition to the long-term commitment to lifelong care for your dog.

When you bring a dog into your family, that dog is yours for life.

Your dog’s life depends on you.

So, before you get your dog, keep in mind that you are responsible for the dog’s entire lifetime of 10-12 years and your dog will need your extra care when the dog gets old and is not so healthy, right until its death.

A dog’s illness and death can be a very emotionally draining experience and you may not be able to cope up with it.

Before you get a dog, you must be clear that you will have to look after your dog for its entire lifecycle and you must be mentally and emotionally prepared for the fact that your dog will die in your lifetime so that you will be able to cope up with the grief at the loss of your pet dog.

So the second question you must ask yourself before you get a dog is:

Are you prepared to make a long term pet parenting commitment to look after your dog for its entire lifetime of 10-12 years?


3. DO YOU HAVE THE RESOURCES TO LOOK AFTER A DOG ?

Are your present living conditions conducive for the entry of a dog into your life and home?

Is your house suitable for a dog?

Do you have a bungalow with enough space in the compound for the dog to play?

If you have a flat in a high rise residential apartment building, you should think twice before you get a dog.

Your dog will feel “cooped up” in the flat, especially when you leave it alone inside.

You will have to frequently take your dog down for its ablutions.

Also, many high rise residential societies are not dog friendly and discourage pets.

Keeping a dog also entails expenses on food and health care.

Medical expenses can be quite heavy, especially in the dog’s old age.

It required emotional and physical resources on your part too.

Can you afford veterinary care and food for your dog?

Do you have the financial, physical and emotional resources to look after your dog for its entire lifetime?

So the third question you must ask yourself before you get a dog is:

“Do you have the resources to look after a dog?”


THREE QUESTIONS YOU MUST ASK YOURSELF BEFORE YOU GET A COMPANION DOG

So, before you bring a dog into your life, you must ask yourself these 3 questions:

1. Who is going to look after the dog?

2. Are you prepared to make a long term commitment to look after your dog for its entire lifetime of 10-12 years?

3. Do you have the resources to look after a dog?

Once the answers are clear, go ahead and adopt a dog.

Pet parenting a dog is a joyful and fulfilling experience.

You will never find a more loyal and devoted friend than a dog who loves you unconditionally.


DOG CARE – Part 2
ADOPTING A DOG
TYPES OF DOG CARE and HUMAN-CANINE RELATIONSHIPS
(4 ways of “adopting” a dog)
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

ADOPTING A DOG
4 TYPES OF DOG CARE and HUMAN-CANINE RELATIONSHIPS

There are 4 ways of “adopting” a dog.

In each case the degree of human-canine relationship varies quite a large extent.

Most importantly, in each case, the degree of attachment to the dog varies greatly.

Let me illustrate this point by giving you some examples.

FIRST DEGREE of DOG CARE

When I was in Mumbai, every morning at 6 AM, I would start from my home opposite the Oval near Churchgate, walk down to Marine Drive via CCI, and then go for a brisk walk cum jog to Chowpatty.

Then I would turn back, and walk down to “land’s end” at Nariman Point at the southern end of Marine Drive to do some light exercises.

I noticed that every day a woman would come there in a car.

The moment she got out of the car, a large number of stray dogs would come running to greet her.

She would then sit on the parapet by the sea and feed the dogs biscuits which she had carried with her.

The lady would sit for half an hour, “talking” to the dogs, while the dogs frolicked around her, and after that the lady would leave in her car.

This was her routine every morning.

I will call this the “first degree” of dog care (or human-dog relationship).

SECOND DEGREE of DOG CARE

In the 1970’s, when we were undergoing training near Jamnagar, a female dog gave birth to a litter of 5 pups in the garage of our bachelors’ accommodation.

After a few days, the mother and puppies wandered away, but one puppy remained and could be seen in hanging around the corridor.

We bachelors “adopted” the small puppy.

We fed the dog every day, and soon it started following us around.

We called a vet from town and got the dog inoculated.

In jest, we had named the dog after our hard taskmaster training officer.

The dog started responding to the name.

The dog used to come with us on our jogs, hang around while we played a game, and sit with us in the evenings when we had a drink.

But we never allowed the dog inside our cabins – the dog used to sleep outside in the corridor where we had made a place for him with a blanket and water and food bowls.

When we proceeded to sea for our competency training, we “handed over” the dog to our junior batch, and when we came back a few months later for our second phase of training, the dog was very much there.

We left for sea a few months later and I am sure the dog was looked after by the bachelor officers who came to live in the block after us.

This is the “second degree” of dog care.

THIRD DEGREE of DOG CARE

We saw that in the first and second degrees of human-dog relationships, the dog is not allowed inside the house.

The dog lives outside, either on the street and or in your compound, and you give it minimal care.

I have seen many persons keep rescued dogs below their buildings, either on the street or in the building compound, and they feed the dogs and keep water for them, and, in some cases, ensure vaccinations and minimal veterinary care too.

In the third and fourth degree of dog care, the dog lives in your house.

Let me give you an example of the “third degree” of dog care.

I had a friend in the army who had a dog.

He had entrusted “dog care” to his batman (also called sahayak).

The sahayak was the de-facto master of the dog.

Yes, the sahayak would look after all requirements of the dog – food, water, grooming, walks, exercise etc.

The officer and his family would play with the dog whenever they got time.

But in the same manner as some parents delegate their parenting duties to a “nanny”, the officer had delegated dog care to his sahayak.

Even when the officer and his family went to their hometown on leave or on a vacation, the dog would stay behind with the sahayak.

Like the army, many other organizations like the police or some civil services provide you with attendants who can look after your dog.

If you can afford it, you can hire servants to look after your dog.

In this “third degree” of dog care, your dog is like a child looked after by a “nanny” where you delegate pet-parenting to someone else.

FOURTH DEGREE of DOG CARE

This is the highest form of dog care where the owner treats the dog like his own child.

You look after your dog personally.

You treat your dog as a member of your family, just like your human children, and you do everything possible for your dog like you do for your human children.

You are ready to make sacrifices in your career and personal life for the sake of your dog.

You forgo travel, vacations and holidays, and you cheerfully curtail your social life and make lifestyle changes for the sake of your dog.

You are deeply attached to your dog because you love your dog very much.

This highest “fourth degree” of dog care is very demanding and you should be prepared for a long term lifelong commitment of full time parenting.

Remember, your human children will grow up and go away but your dog will remain a perpetual child.

Your dog will be with you forever for his entire life till his death.

You will have to care for your dog through his entire lifecycle of 10-15 years, including caring for your dog in his old age and you will have to undergo the agony of seeing your dog die before your eyes.

You will have to bear your dog’s medical expenses, which can be quite substantial since veterinary care is costly.

Most importantly, you will get emotionally attached to your dog and your dog will become a very important part of your life.

Are you ready for this highest “fourth degree” of human-canine relationship?

Do you have the time, commitment, temperament and resources to look after your dog?

This highest form of dog care is very demanding – you can take my word for it.

This is genuine pet parenting.


SHOULD YOU ADOPT A DOG?

If you want to adopt a dog, especially a rescued dog, by all means do so.

But please be very clear about the type of dog care you will be able to provide to your dog.

The worst thing you can do is to get your dog used to the “fourth degree” of dog care where the dog gets deeply attached to you and becomes totally dependent on you, and then you “abandon” the dog because you realize that you cannot bear the commitment and responsibilities of looking after your dog or you are reluctant to make sacrifices in your career and lifestyle for the sake of your dog.

So, think properly before you adopt a dog – make sure you do not land up in a situation where you adopt a dog in haste and make the dog suffer later.


DOG CARE – Part 3
LOOKING AFTER YOUR PET DOGS IN THEIR OLD AGE AND ILLNESS
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

LOOKING AFTER YOUR PET DOG IN HER OLD AGE AND ILLNESS

On 05 May 2014, more than four months ago, when my pet dog Sherry was in a critical condition, dangerously ill with a life-threatening illness, in the veterinary hospital, we had two choices:

1. Put her to sleep (Euthanasia)

2. Try our best to save her life and put in all our efforts to nurse her out of her severe illness

We chose the second option.

We decided to look after Sherry in her old age and give her our loving care in her illness, to the best of our ability

Sherry was diagnosed with diabetes and then developed pyometra.

The last one month has passed in a daze – twice a day visits to the veterinary clinic for Sherry’s treatment, her diet, her medicines, her twice a day injections of insulin, sitting with Sherry, feeding her, talking to her and comforting her.

All of us, my wife, my son, daughter-in-law, and daughter, even my old mother and mother-in-law, and, most importantly, the veterinary doctors, we are all contributing, trying our best to save Sherry.

My wife is putting in tremendous efforts caring for Sherry, getting up early in the morning to make food for Sherry, give her the insulin shot, and then in the evenings too, after returning from work.

I try to be with Sherry 24/7 and comfort her, take her for her walks – in her illness, Sherry always wants my company.

On 02 June 2014, the veterinary surgeon had planned to operate Sherry for pyometra, but she was in such poor shape that she was unfit for the operation.

Since the risk of the operation was great, and she had open pyometra, it was decided not to operate but let her be as it is.

Sherry is bravely pulling along, but it seems the diabetes is affecting her eyesight and her vision is getting impaired, and she is showing symptoms of blindness, especially at night.

For us, Sherry is not a dog – she is a member of our family – and we will try and do everything possible for her like we would do for our own children, for Sherry is just like a human daughter to us.

Let us see how things go along. 

Sherry is old now, and ill too, with diabetes and pyometra, and losing her vision.

We will look after Sherry to the best of our ability, give her good loving care, and hope for the best.

For more than 8 long years, Sherry has given us her unconditional love and devoted loyalty.

Now, it is time for us to give her the same love and loyalty in return.

For those who are thinking of adopting a dog, I would like to say one thing:

Before you adopt a dog, ask yourself whether you are fully prepared to look after the dog in its old age and take care of your dog in case it falls ill.

So, before you get your dog, keep in mind that you are responsible for the dog’s entire lifetime of 10-12 years and your dog will need your extra care when the dog gets old and is not so healthy, right until your dog’s death.

A dog’s illness can be a very emotionally draining experience and you may not be able to cope up with it.

Before you get a dog, you must be clear that you will have to look after your dog for its entire lifecycle and you must be mentally and emotionally prepared for the fact that your dog will die in your lifetime so that you will be able to cope up with the grief at the loss of your pet dog.


DOG CARE – PART 4
Human – Canine Relationship
EMOTIONAL ATTACHMENT versus “UTILITY VALUE”
Poignant Love of a Pet Parent
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

MY DOG AND ME
Poignant Ponderings of a Pet Parent

MY DOG AND ME

Till Sherry came into my life, I did not know that a human could get so deeply emotionally attached to an animal.

I never imagined that I would start loving my pet dog Sherry so dearly.

And I never expected that Sherry would love me so devotedly and become an inseparable part of my life.

For over 8 years, Sherry had been a tough healthy high-spirited dog.

And suddenly, Sherry fell ill, very ill, and as she lay in a critical condition on the examination table in the veterinary clinic, a frail skeleton, almost a lifeless shadow of her former self, the veterinary doctors painted quite a dismal picture – her blood reports were haywire, she had severe pancreatitis, her abnormal sugar levels indicated she had diabetes, so she could not be operated upon for her severe pyometra – things looked bad, very bad – it seemed that her chances of survival were quite bleak.

They gave us two choices:

1. Put her to sleep (Euthanasia or “mercy killing”)

2. Try our best to save her life and put in all our efforts and resources to nurse her out of her severe illness

While the first choice was being contemplated, I looked at Sherry.

Sherry looked at me.

I cannot forget the poignant loving look in her eyes.

I could read through the language of her eyes that Sherry wanted to live – the yearning look in her eyes indicated that she wanted to be with us.

We too wanted Sherry to be with us for as long as possible.

So we chose the second option, to try our best to save her life and nurse her back to health, and the next few days passed in a daze – daily visits to the veterinary clinic for Sherry’s treatment, her strict diet, her medicines, her twice a day injections of insulin, constantly sitting with Sherry, feeding her, talking to her and comforting her.

It was on one of these days, late at night, while comforting Sherry who seemed to be in agony, sitting with her and cuddling her, I switched on the TV, and what I saw was incredible – a fantastic coincidence.

The scene in the movie on TV was a mirror image of what I was doing at that moment.

Here, Sherry had put her head on my lap and I was lovingly caressing her neck.

And on the screen, there was an old man and a dog sitting in exactly the same manner, and the man was lovingly fondling the dog exactly as I was fondling Sherry.

Was it sheer coincidence, a quirk of serendipity – or was it an enigmatic message for me?

The scene on the TV screen before me was the episode of “Candy and his Dog” from the movie “Of Mice and Men”. 


OF MICE AND MEN

One of the most poignant books I have read is “Of Mice and Men” – a novella written by John Steinbeck, winner of the Nobel Prize.

OF MICE AND MEN was published in 1937 and it was John Steinbeck’s first successful book that brought him fame as an author.

The novel “Of Mice and Men” has been enacted as a play on stage and also has been made into a movie (which I was watching that evening on TV).

The setting of the story is a ranch in California during the Great Depression.

The narrative describes the volatile life on the ranch and the precarious relationships between human beings on the ranch – friendships and tensions between the migrant ranch workers (farmhands) themselves and also between the farmhands and the owners.

One of the book’s major themes, and its most poignant sub plot, revolve around Candy and his dog.


CANDY AND HIS DOG

It is said that a dog is a man’s best friend.

This statement aptly describes the relationship between Candy and his dog.

Candy has had his dog since he was a pup.

It is his only friend and companion. 

Candy has been alongside his dog for all of the dog’s life and has had a close relationship with his dog.

Candy remembers the time when he first got the dog.

He always proudly tells everyone that his dog was the best sheepdog.

Unfortunately, Candy’s dog, once a tough healthy impressive sheep herder, has now become blind, toothless, rheumatic, weak, and is in frail health due to old age.

A dominant ranch worker says to the ranch boss, and to the other ranch-hands present, that Candy’s dog is so old that he can hardly walk, the dog has no teeth, the dog is blind and deaf, the dog cannot chew, so Candy feeds him milk, and he asks the ranch boss to tell Candy to shoot his old dog.

All of them tell Candy that his dog is of no good to Candy, and the dog isn’t any good to itself too, since the animal is in misery due its old age infirmities – so why doesn’t Candy shoot the dog and relieve the dog of his suffering?

The ranch boss says that the dog is no good and remarks sarcastically: “…I wish someone would shoot me if I got old and (became) a cripple…”

All the ranch workers suggest that it would be best to shoot Candy’s old dog.

After hearing everyone, the ranch boss decides that since the sick old dog is a useless burden, it would be best to end its suffering by shooting it dead.

Candy is unable to “let go” and tries his best to hold on to his old blind, deaf and disabled dog for as long as possible.

Candy reminisces and tells everyone about the dog.

He describes the time when he first got the dog and mentions that it was the best sheepdog he has ever seen.

Candy harks back to the time when both he and the dog were useful and of great value to the ranch – he was the best ranch handyman and his dog was the best sheepherder.

Now Candy is crippled, as he has lost a hand in an accident, and he has become too old for vigorous work on the farm.

And Candy’s dog is in a similar situation – blind, deaf, disabled and too old to be of any use.

Candy has had his dog since he was a pup.

His dog is his only friend and companion on the ranch, especially after Candy is crippled after losing his hand the accident.

Candy pleads with everyone not to shoot the dog and begs to save the dog’s life: “…I am so used to him…I had him for so long…I had him since he was a pup…I herded sheep with him…You wouldn’t imagine if you look at him now, but he was the best sheep dog I have ever seen…”

But no one listens to his pleas, and the dominant worker called Carlson takes Candy’s dog outside to be shot and buried.

Candy’s dog is “put to sleep” and Candy is heartbroken when he hears the gunshot.


UTILITY VALUE – FATE OF THE “USELESS” WHO HAVE OUTLIVED THEIR USEFULNESS

The “mercy killing” of Candy’s Dog symbolizes the helplessness of valueless persons.

The dog is a metaphor for Candy himself – old and crippled and not of much use to anyone.

Maybe, for Candy, the fear he feels for his dog’s death is parallel to his own fear that when he has fulfilled his purpose and he is no long effectual, when he has outlived his utility, he too will be disposed of as readily as his dog.

The story of Candy’s dog serves as a harsh reminder of the fate that awaits anyone who outlives his usefulness.

To summarize, in the novel “Of Mice and Men” John Steinbeck has portrayed a poignant situation – the hapless ageing ranch worker Candy realizes that both he and his dog have “outlived their utility” when he helplessly watches the cruel way in which his beloved dog is treated.

Candy’s dog was once a great sheepherder.

But now the dog has become blind, deaf and disabled due to old age.

The dog can no longer herd sheep.

Candy’s dog has lost its usefulness – the dog no longer has “utility value”.

So, since the dog has become “useless” – the dog is shot dead.

Candy finds himself in the same position as the dog.

Candy realizes that just like his dog has lost its “utility value”, Candy himself has lost his “utility value.

Candy is anxious, and he is worried about his own future, and he speculates whether he would be fired from his job – if they could get rid of a “useless” dog, what prevents them from getting rid of a “useless” worker?


ME AND MY DOG

There was a time when I was the sole breadwinner for my family.

I provided for my family and I was “useful” to them.

I worked as a Naval Officer and I was “useful” to the Navy.

Today, after my retirement, as far as the Navy is concerned, I am a retired “veteran”, and I am not “useful” to the Navy anymore.

Also, now, after my retirement, I am no longer the “breadwinner”, and my wife and children are financially independent.

So, as far as my family is concerned, in the “material sense”, I am “useless”.

As I told you earlier, I have a dog called Sherry.

Once upon a time, Sherry was a great guard dog (and for me, a loving companion).

Unfortunately, Sherry has been ill for the past few months.

Today, Sherry is a blind diabetic dog – she has diabetes and has lost her vision due to her diabetes.

Like Candy’s Dog, Sherry too has lost her “utility value”.

So, aren’t we in the same situation as “Candy and his Dog” so poignantly described in John Steinbeck’s masterpiece novel “Of Mice and Men”?

I am “useless” thanks to my retirement.

Sherry is “useless” owing to her illness.

Me and my Dog – both of us have lost our “utility value” and have become “useless”.

Is that why we are holding on to each other?


DOG CARE – Part 5
LOOKING AFTER A DIABETIC DOG – LIFESTYLE CHANGES
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

LOOKING AFTER A DIABETIC DOG – LIFESTYLE CHANGES

I had brought out above in Part 2 of this series on DOG CARE(http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… ) that if you get a dog into your home, there are two basic types of “Pet Parenting”.


BASIC TWO TYPES OF PET DOG PARENTING:

1. You can personally look after your dog

2. You can “outsource” dog care to someone else

(This is akin to human parenting where either the mother looks after her own child or the mother “outsources” childcare to a “nanny”)


PERSONAL PET PARENTING – DIABETIC DOG CARE

We, my wife and me, belong to the first category of pet parents and we look after our pet dog Sherry personally.

That is why we have had to change our lifestyle when our pet dog Sherry got diabetes.

From morning to night, our lives now revolve around Sherry.

Our lifestyle and our routine are now governed by Sherry’s routine of her strict diet and timely insulin injections twice a day.

(We never imagined that we would have to administer injections and that too for Sherry)

We have to make sure we feed Sherry the prescribed diet in a timely manner.

We have to be careful Sherry does not injure herself and keep an eye on her in case she becomes sluggish due to blood sugar levels.

One of us, either my wife or me, have to remain at home during her food and insulin time, twice a day, in the morning and in the evening.

This can affect social life – for example, if there is a social event in the evening, only one of us will be able to attend.

To make matters worse, our pet dog Sherry became blind (this happens to most diabetic dogs).

Looking after a blind diabetic dog is now an even greater responsibility.

We are working on helping Sherry acclimatize to her loss of vision and the results are encouraging.

I think we have been able to keep Sherry in good cheer despite her tragedy and trauma of sudden blindness.

I will write about it in Part 6 of this series on “Dog Care”.


DON’T ADOPT A DOG UNLESS YOU ARE PREPARED TO LOOK AFTER YOUR DOG FOR HIS ENTIRE LIFETIME

It sounds romantic to adopt a dog, especially a rescued dog.

But it is an onerous responsibility to look after the dog, especially when your dog becomes old and ailing with infirmities.

Once you adopt a dog, you will have to look after the dog for his entire lifetime.

If you want to adopt a dog, especially a rescued dog, by all means do so.

But please be very clear about the long term commitment, the resources required (time and costs) and responsibilities of looking after your dog and make sure you are ready for the career sacrifices and lifestyle changes you may have to make for the sake of your dog.

The worst thing you can do is to adopt a dog and then “abandon” the dog because you realize that you cannot look after your dog.

It is most cruel to abandon a dog which has become deeply attached to you and is totally dependent on you.

Unfortunately, nowadays, especially in urban cities, we see that many people are abandoning their dogs once they realize the onerous nature of pet parenting duties and are not willing to change their lifestyle, bear the responsibilities and costs, or make sacrifices for the sake of their dogs.

So, think properly before you adopt a dog – make sure you don’t land up in a situation where you adopt a dog in haste and make the dog suffer later by neglecting or abandoning your pet dog.


DOG CARE – Part 6
BLIND DOG PARENTING – HOW TO LOOK AFTER A BLIND DOG
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

LOOKING AFTER A BLIND DOG

A dog can become blind due to many reasons.

Diabetes is a major reason for loss of vision in dogs – dogs with diabetes develop cataracts which may result in blindness.

Whatever the reason, losing vision and becoming blind is traumatic for the dog and distressing for the owner (pet parent).

A vet once told me that a dog got so traumatized and depressed after becoming blind that the dog had to be put to sleep.

Unlike human beings dogs cannot speak and nor can you explain things to them like you can do to human beings.

Dogs get confused and disoriented when they suddenly become blind.

Pet parents become distressed and anxious when their dogs become blind.

A pet dog’s blindness will necessitate lifestyle changes in both the pet parents and the dog.

As a pet parent, you have to overcome your own personal grief, and you will have to help your dog cope with blindness.

Here are a few things dog owners (pet parents) can do to help their dogs mitigate the effects of blindness and with cope up with the tragic situation of losing vision.


COMFORT YOUR BLIND DOG

You must constantly comfort your blind dog.

Try to always be at your dog’s side, touch your dog, and talk to your dog in a loving reassuring voice.

You must “talk” to your dog much more.

Speak to your blind dog in your normal, cheery voice.

Your voice will be very soothing for your blind dog.

In fact, in the initial stages of your dog’s blindness, lovingly caressing and cheerfully talking to your dog will relieve your dog of the distress, agony and sense of isolation due to sudden loss of vision.

Talking to your dog will provide comfort and lessen the dog’s sense of isolation.

Your voice and your touch will assure your dog of your companionship.

The most important factor in how well a dog copes with blindness is the love and reassurance you give your dog, as a pet parent.

You must remember that despite becoming blind, your dog can continue to be a loving companion – in fact, the bonding between you and your dog will become stronger.


HELP YOUR BLIND DOG RE-ORIENT TO THE ENVIRONMENT

Sudden onset blindness can be much harder for both the dog and pet parent, than a gradual loss of vision.

A dog with sudden onset blindness is plunged into darkness without warning will become disoriented due to which the dog will experience trauma and anxiety.

As a loving pet parent, you must help your dog overcome this disorientation caused by sudden blindness.

One mitigating factor is that dogs do not rely on their sense of vision to the same extent as do humans.

Your dog depends on other senses like hearing and smell

Of all your dog’s senses, eyesight is third in order of importance after hearing and smell.

You can help your blind dog re-orient by facilitating your dog in using these senses of smell and hearing, along with the sense of touch.

It is best to start re-orienting your dog in a known environment – like your home.

Then, gradually extend to other familiar environments, like your dog’s regular walking routes and play area in your compound.

Be patient when you guide your dog in his familiar surroundings.

Let the dog sniff around, recognize familiar smells – and if you are outside – let the dog “mark” familiar spots.

Help your dog “map-out” his surroundings in his mind, both inside your house and outside.

To help your blind dog negotiate his way around, teach your dog “key words” such as “1-2” for climbing stairs, “walkie-walkie” for the dog to follow you, “stop” for your dog to stop whenever there is some obstruction/hazard etc etc.

You will see that within a few days, your blind dog will re-discover and map-out your house and his familiar surroundings.

You must facilitate your blind dog to overcome the disorientation caused by sudden blindness and re-orient himself by allowing your dog plenty of opportunity to explore and sniff around.

Soon, your blind dog will start enjoying going out on walks with you as before.

However, you should be very careful to ensure that your dog does not injure himself, so keep an eagle eye and a tight leash.

As time passes, you will notice that your blind dog’s sense of smell, touch and hearing will become more sensitive and, to a certain extent, this will compensate for the loss of vision.


TAKE PRECAUTIONS TO AVOID INJURIES TO YOUR BLIND DOG

You must take precautions, both indoors and outdoors, to ensure that your bind dog does not injure himself due to his lack of vision.

Remember, a blind dog cannot see things like before – the blind dog can only smell, hear and sense things.

Inside your home, remove all potential hazards, like tables with sharp edges and other obstructions, by rearranging your furniture in order to make your home safe to move around for your blind dog (you must do this quickly, before you start re-orienting your dog to your house).

A blind dog may have a tendency to walk close to the walls in order to avoid obstacles in the middle of the room so ensure you close cupboard doors, slide in all drawers and keep areas near the wall clear of objects so your dog does not bump into them.

Outside, you must keep your dog on a tight leash and be very alert to ensure your dog does not injure himself by stepping onto sharp objects or banging his head or nose into walls or things.

Preventing injuries is particularly important for blind dogs who have diabetes, since curing of injuries is difficult in diabetic dogs.

Do not scare your blind dog by suddenly touching him or by moving objects (like his food bowl) towards him.

Talk to your dog before you extend your hand.

Tap your dog’s food bowl and call out “Food” or “Mum Mum” to your dog and let your blind dog slowly sniff and approach so that he does not injure nose by banging it against the bowl.

Avoid taking your dog to unfamiliar places where the dog will get disoriented and is likely to injure himself.

As I said before, preventing injuries is particularly important for blind dogs who have diabetes, since curing of injuries is difficult in diabetic dogs.


MAKE LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO CARE FOR YOUR BLIND DOG

You will have to keep the “morale” of your blind dog in high spirits at all times in order to prevent your dog sinking into despondency and depression due to his blindness.

For achieving this, you will have to make changes in your lifestyle.

When your dog becomes blind, you will notice that the dog’s personality may change and your dog may become more affectionate as he becomes totally dependent on you.

A blind dog’s constant need for love and companionship may create “separation anxiety” in your dog.

Your blind dog will always want you in close proximity and will hate to be left alone.

Your blind dog may howl in a heart rending manner if he senses you are going out and leaving him alone.

This means, that if you have a blind dog, you or someone from your family will always have to be at home.

You will not be able to go out together.

You will not be able to leave your blind dog at a boarding kennel and go outstation on vacations.

Even if you have to go out on work, someone will have to be at home to look after the dog.

Many people are ready to look after a healthy dog.

But it is difficult to look after a blind dog.

This is particularly so if your dog is diabetic in addition to being blind, since you have to give him the prescribed diet and medicines at the proper times.

So, you will have to give maximum companionship to your blind dog, both indoors and outdoors.

Talk to your blind dog in a cheerful manner, play with him, take him out for walks, and establish your dog’s routines.

In order to help your blind dog adjust better, it is good to take your dog for a walk on the same route where the smells, sounds and feel of the ground are familiar.

Walk slowly and let your blind dog sniff around and help him become comfortable and re-assured.

You will not be able to take your blind dog with you on visits to other places, to avoid disorientation and injury.

In a nutshell, in order to keep your blind dog in good cheer and high morale, you will have to give him constant companionship and spend more time with your dog.

This will entail lifestyle changes involving curtailment of your social life, and may necessitate compromises in your work life too.


BLIND DOG CARE

Looking after a blind dog is a challenging and stressful task.

Words cannot describe the agony a pet parent feels when he sees his beloved dog suddenly become blind and helpless.

Most loving pet parents get terribly distressed when their dog becomes blind and loses his vision.

Remember that your pet dog can sense your emotions, so it is best that you maintain a calm, upbeat, positive and cheerful attitude and do not transmit negative vibes to your blind dog.

You must help your blind dog adjust to vision loss as quickly as possible, and restore your dog’s confidence and keep him in high morale.

Here are some words of sage advice to pet parents whose dogs have become blind:

“What I say to people is, look, your dog couldn’t read, write or drive a car, anyway. He’s already got four other senses that are better than yours. As long as you take good care of him, he’ll be okay.”

~ Nick Whelan, Canine Ophthalmologist, Ontario Veterinary College

When your dog becomes blind, you must lovingly help your dog adapt his lifestyle to compensate for his blindness.

You must bond closely with your dog and develop the dog’s self-confidence so that your dog remains cheerful despite his tragic loss of vision.

When people get dogs they never imagine that their dog can become blind, or develop some other serious disease or disability.

Let me post a poem (I discovered on the internet) in which a blind dog speaks to its “parents”:

I cannot see you Mommy, when you cuddle me so near.
And yet I know you love me, it’s in the words I hear.

I cannot see you Daddy, when you hold me by your side
But still I know you love me when you tell me so with pride.

I cannot see to run and play out in the sun so bright
For here inside my tiny head it’s always dark as night.

I cannot see the treats you give when I am extra good
But I can wag my tail in “Thanks” just like a good dog should.

“She cannot see. The dog is no good” is what some folks might say
“She can’t be trained, she will never learn, She must be put away.”

But not you, Mom and Daddy, You know that it is alright
Because I love you just as much as any dog with sight.

You took me in, you gave me love and we will never part
Because I am blind with just my eyes, I see you in my heart.

~ Sherrill Wardrip


BLIND DOG PARENTING

If you are a genuine dog lover, pet parenting may turn out to be more difficult than parenting your human children.

Your human children will grow up, leave the “nest” and fly away to their careers and to pursue their own lives.

But your dog will be dependent on you for his entire life – you will have to bring him up in his childhood, look after your dog in his old age, and, you will have to endure the pain of your dog dying before your eyes, for dogs only live for around 10 years.

Adopting a dog is a challenging long term commitment – you are committing yourself to look after the dog for the dog’s entire lifetime of about 10 years and care for the dog in its illness and old age.

Remember – it is easy to get a dog, but it is difficult to look after the dog for its entire lifetime.

And, by a twist of misfortune, if your dog becomes blind, let me summarize the essence of Blind Dog Parenting, and recap the 4 points I told you on how to look after a blind dog:

1. Comfort your blind dog

2. Help your blind dog re-orient to the environment

3. Take precautions to avoid injuries to your blind dog

4. Make lifestyle changes to care for your blind dog


Dear Dog Lover:

Remember: It is easy to adopt a dog, but it is a challenging long term commitment to be a genuine ‘pet parent’ and look after your companion dog for its entire lifetime.

Do comment and tell us about your Dog Care and Pet Parenting Experiences and Views.

EPILOGUE

I wrote this blog post on 24 September 2014 when our pet dog Sherry was alive – coping well with her vision loss – and fighting valiantly with her multiple illnesses – her worsening pyometra, severe diabetes, acute pancreatitis, cataract, total blindness etc.

Though we tried our very best to keep her alive – giving her twice-a-day doses of insulin – ensuring her strict diet and timely medication and treatment – and keeping her spirits high by personal love and care – our pet dog Sherry passed away to her heavenly abode on 17 December 2014. 

I wrote an obituary for her on 18 December 2014 – SHERRY KARVE (09 April 2006 – 17 December 2014) : RIP

I trust my experiences on pet dog care will prove useful to you.

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

Disclaimer:
1. These are my personal views based on my own experience. These pet parenting tips may or may not be applicable in your circumstances. You may please do your own due diligence before adopting a dog and develop your own ways of looking after your pet dog.
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)

Compatibility Issues in Arranged Marriage – Does Your Spouse “LIKE” You

August 6, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: DOES YOUR WIFE “LIKE” YOU.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

DOES YOUR WIFE “LIKE” YOU ?
(or – Does Your Husband “Like” You ?)
Incoherent Gobbledygook of a Veteran on Mystery of Marriage
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE


DOES YOUR SPOUSE “LIKE” YOU ?

In a “Love Marriage” – the question “Does your spouse like you…?” – is irrelevant.

In a love marriage – the husband and wife marry because they are in love.

And – the very fact that they are in “love” – means that the husband and wife “like” each other – “ipso facto” – because – if you do not “like” a person – how can you fall in “love” with that person?

So – in a “Love Marriage” – it is obvious that the husband and wife like each other.

However – in “Arranged Marriages” – the situation is entirely different.

When I was in the Navy – I saw many marriages where the wife did not seem to “like” the husband – or vice versa.

Of course – these were all “arranged marriages”.

Why go further – even in my case – after more than 33 years of marriage – I still cannot accurately fathom whether my wife actually “likes” me – though – over the years – I seem to have developed a liking for her.

There can be countless reasons why your spouse may not “like” you.

Every husband and wife may have their own unique reasons why they do not like their partner.

However – recently – I heard a phrase which encapsulates all these myriad reasons in a nutshell – “compatibility issues”.


COMPATIBILITY ISSUES

Let me tell you how I heard of this term – “compatibility issues”.

A few years ago – I attended the wedding of a “Techie” Boy – and “IT Nerd”.

Last week – while strolling on Main Street – I suddenly ran into him.

The “Techie” boy was with his wife.

He introduced me to his wife.

His wife gave me a courteous smile – and said that she was glad to meet me.

She behaved as if this was the first time she was seeing me.

I was surprised – since I had attended their marriage just a few years ago – and generally – no one forgets my face – thanks to my handsome beard – and my rather “abrasive personality”.

“Don’t you remember me?” I asked the young lady.

“No – I don’t think we have met before,” she said to me.

“Well – I attended your wedding reception…” I said.

“How is that possible? We had a very private marriage ceremony…” she said.

I noticed a strange expression on my “Techie” friend’s face – as if he was non-verbally telling me not to ask these questions – so I did not pursue the conversation further – and – instead – I suggested that we have some rolls, sandwiches and cold coffee at one of my favourite places just opposite the road.

Once inside the eatery – when the wife was seated – and we were standing near the self-service counter – the young “Techie” told me that this lady was his second wife – he had divorced his first wife (whose wedding I had attended 3 years ago) – and he got remarried to this woman (his second wife) just one month ago.

“Oh – I am sorry – but – what happened – why did your first marriage breakup so quickly – you got divorced within 3 years of your wedding…?” I asked.

“Actually – we got divorced within 2 years – but the marriage had broken down much earlier – within a year…” he said.

“What happened…? What was the reason for your divorce…?” I asked.

“Compatibility Issues,” he said.

What a simple all-encompassing expression for breakup of a marital relationship – “compatibility issues”.

Call it a coincidence – but the very next morning – I read on ‘Page 3’ of a tabloid that a small-time celebrity had said that her marriage broke up due to “compatibility issues”.

I laughed to myself – if “compatibility” had been an “issue” – my wife and I would have been divorced at least a thousand times by now.

But – jokes apart – I seem to have digressed from the moot question:

Does your spouse “like” you…?

As I have said – there can be umpteen reasons why a wife does not like her husband – or vice versa – there may be even more reasons why a husband does like his wife.


WHY DOESN’T YOUR SPOUSE “LIKE” YOU ?

In literature – many stories, novels and plays have been written on this theme.

One notable story I remember on this theme of a wife who does not like her husband is THE WREATH by Luigi Pirandello

I read the English translation of this story in the short fiction anthology GREAT SHORT STORIES OF THE WORLD published by Reader’s Digest.

In this story – a young woman who is 22 years old is married to a 40 year old man – the husband is 18 years older than the wife.

The youthful wife does not like her middle-aged husband.

And – why does she not “like” her husband – who is a kindhearted doctor…?

When the woman was an 18 year old girl – she had fallen in love with a boy.

But – sadly – the boy suddenly died due to typhus.

The same doctor had been called to treat the boy and was by the boy’s bedside when he died.

Stricken by grief – the girl almost lost her mind – and became a recluse.

She refused to get married – and declined many good matrimonial offers.

Sometime later – the doctor proposed to her – and – surprisingly – the girl accepted.

Everyone else was surprised too – since the doctor was 18 years older than the girl.

Soon – the doctor realized that his young wife did not like him.

The doctor loved his young wife – but she did not like him.

In her heart – she still yearned for her first love – the young boy – her dead lover – and she secretly placed a wreath at his grave on every anniversary of his death.

One day – the doctor accidentally discovered this.

What happened next – for that – you will have to read the story.

But – the moot question is:

Why did the young wife not “like” her husband…?

Was it because of the age difference – because her husband was much older than her…?

Was it because of her love affair with the boy – her first lover – who she was unable to forget – although he was dead…?

Or – to use my newly learnt clichéd phrase – was it due to “compatibility issues”…?


CONCLUSION – LIKES, DISLIKES, AND MARRIAGE

In conclusion – Dear Friends – if you are “enduring” an arranged marriage – and if you feel that your spouse does not “like” you – just put it down to “compatibility issues” – and do not bother too much about it – and get on with your “happy” married life…

If you want to enjoy your “Arranged Marriage” – don’t delve too much…

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

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

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

 

How to Choose a Career without Falling into the “Monkey Trap”

July 24, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: BEWARE OF THE “MONKEY TRAP”.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

MONKEY TRAP
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Whenever I see ambitious people burning themselves out at work in the rat race for “success” – I remember this story I wrote more than 21 years ago – in the early part of the year 1994

This story was written for children (and adults too).

Dear Reader: Do read the story and tell me if you think it is relevant today. 

And if you do feel this story is relevant – please ask your kids to read the story too…

MONKEY TRAP  a story by VIKRAM KARVE for children (and adults too)

“What are we doing tomorrow?” I asked my uncle.

“Let’s catch some monkeys,” he said.

“Monkeys?” I asked excitedly.

“Yes,” my uncle said and smiled,” And if you catch one you can take him home as a pet.”

“A monkey! As a pet?” I asked in astonishment.

“Why not?” my uncle said.

“But monkeys? Aren’t they dangerous?” I asked.

“The monkeys here are quite small and very cute. And once you train them, they become very friendly and obedient – ideal pets.”

And so, next morning, at the crack of dawn we sailed off from Haddo Wharf in Port Blair in a large motorboat. 

Soon we were crossing the Duncan Passage, moving due south; the densely forested Little Andaman Island to our right, the sea calm like a mirror.

I began to feel seasick, so I stood on the foc’sle deck, right at the front end sea-sick, enjoying the refreshing sea-spray, occasionally tasting my salty lips.

I looked in admiration, almost in awe, at uncle who stood rock-steady on the bridge, truly a majestic figure. He signaled to me and I rushed up to the bridge.

“Vijay, it’s time to prepare the Monkey Traps,” he said.

“Monkey-Traps?” I asked confused.

“Tito will show you,” he said. “You must learn to make them yourself.”

Tito, my uncle’s odd-job-man, was sitting on the deck, seaman’s knife in hand, amidst a heap of green coconuts. 

He punctured a coconut, put it to his lips, drank the coconut water, and then began scooping out a small hollow.

I took out my seaman’s knife and joined in enthusiastically with the other coconuts. The coconut water tasted sweet.

“Keep the hole small,” my uncle shouted over my shoulder, “and hollow the coconut well.”

“But how will we catch monkeys with this?” I asked.

“You will see in the evening,” he said. “Now get on with the job.”

We reached a densely forested island at five in the evening. 

It was almost dark. The sun sets early in these eastern longitudes.

And soon we set up our monkey-traps.

Each hollowed-out coconut was filled with a mixture of boiled rice and jaggery (gur) through the small hole. 

Then the coconut was chained to a stake, which was driven firmly into the ground.

And then we hid in the bushes in pin-drop silence.

Suddenly there was rattling sound. 

My uncle switched on his torch. 

A monkey was struggling, one hand trapped inside the coconut. 

In an instant, Tito threw a gunny-bag over the monkey and within minutes we had the monkey nicely secured inside.

By the time we lit the campfire on the cool soft sands of the beach, we had captured three monkeys.

My uncle put his arm around my shoulder and, “Vijay, you know why the monkey gets trapped? The monkey gets trapped because of its greed.”

My uncle picked up a hollowed-out coconut and he explained to me: “Look at this hole. It is just big enough so that the monkey’s hand can go in, but too small for full fist filled with rice to come out. Because his greed won’t allow him to let go of the rice and take out his hand, the monkey remains trapped, a victim of his own greed, until he is captured; forever a captive of his greed.”

“The monkey cannot see that freedom without rice is more valuable that capture with it!” he said.

My uncle looked at Tito and commanded: “Free the monkeys.”

And, one by one, the monkeys jumped out of their gunny bags and started running, with one hand still stuck in a coconut. 

It was a really funny sight.

“There is a lesson for us to learn from this,” my uncle said. “That’s why I brought you here to show you all this.”

I looked at my uncle. His name was Ranjit Singh. And true to his name he was indeed a magnificent man! Over six feet tall, well-built, redoubtable; a truly striking personality! 

He stood erect in his khaki uniform, stroking his handsome beard with his left hand, his right hand gripping a swagger stick, which he gently tapped on his thigh.

As he surveyed the scenic surroundings – the moonlight sea, the swaying Casuarina trees, the silver sands of the beach in between – he looked majestic, like a king cherishing his domain. 

Indeed he was like a king here – after all he was the Chief Forest Officer, in-charge of the entire islands – and this was his domain.

Uncle Ranjit was an exception in our family – the odd-man out. 

My father always said that he was the most intelligent of all brothers. 

But whereas all of them were busy achieving success and earning money in Mumbai and Delhi – Uncle Ranjit had chosen to be different.

To the surprise of everybody else, uncle Ranjit had joined the Forest Service when he could have easily become an engineer, doctor or even a business executive, for he had always topped all examinations – first class first in merit, whether it be the school or the university.

“So, Vijay, you like it here?” he asked.

“It’s lovely, uncle,” I answered. “And thank you so much for the lovely holiday, spending so much time with me. In Mumbai no one has any time for me. I feel so lonely.”

“Why?” he asked, with curiosity.

“Mummy and Daddy both come late from office. Then there are parties, business dinners, and tours. And on Sundays they sleep, exhausted, unless there is a business-meeting in the club or golf with the boss.”

Uncle Ranjit laughed, “Ha. Ha. The Monkey Trap. They are all caught in monkey traps of their own making. Slaves of their greed! Trapped by their desires,caught in the rat race, wallowing in their golden cages, rattling their jewellery, their golden chains – monkey-trapped, all of them, isn’t it?”

As I thought over Ranjit uncle’s words I realized how right he was. Most of the people I knew in Mumbai were just like that – trapped by their greed, chasing rainbows, in search of an ever elusive happiness.

“Happiness is to like what you do as well as to do what you like,” uncle Ranjit said, as if he were reading my thoughts. “Happiness is not a station which never arrives, but the manner you travel in life.” 
 
He paused, and asked me, “Tell me Vijay, tell me, what do you want to do in life?”

“I don’t know.”

“Come on, Vijay. You are fifteen now. By next year you have to decide, tell me what your plans are.”

“It depends on my percentage,” I said truthfully.

“I am sure you will get around ninety percent marks in your board exams,” he said. “Assume you top the exams. Secure a place in the merit list. Then what will you do?”

“I’ll go in for Engineering. Computers, Software, IT,” I said.

“Computers? Software? IT? Why? Why not something more interesting – like Arts, Literature, Philosophy, History, Humanities?” he asked.

“Job prospects,” I answered.

“Oh!”  He exclaimed. “And then?”

“Management…an MBA… Or I may even go abroad for higher studies.”

“Why?”

“Qualifications.”

“And why do you want so many qualifications?”

“To get the best job,” I answered.

“And earn a lot of money?” uncle Ranjit prompted.

“Of course,” I said. “I want to earn plenty of money so that I can enjoy life.”

Uncle Ranjit laughed, “My dear Vijay. Aren’t you enjoying life right now, at this very moment? What about me? Am I am not enjoying life? Remember – if you do not find happiness as you are, where you are, you will never find it.”

He smiled and asked me,” Vijay, you know what Maxim Gorky once said…?

“What?”

“When work is a pleasure – life is a joy. When work is a duty – life is slavery” 

“Slavery!” I exclaimed, understanding the message he was trying to give me. 
 
“Slavery to one’s elusive material desires, one’s greed, slavery to the rat race, chasing rainbows. And then live a life perpetually trapped in a Monkey Trap of your own making.”

“The Monkey Trap!” we both said in unison, in chorus.

It was the defining moment in my life – my Minerva Moment…!

And so – I decided that I will choose a career I loved – I decided to do something I liked – which would enable me to experience an inner freedom.

And guess what I am today?
 
Well – I am a teacher – I teach philosophy.

And – let me tell you – I enjoy every moment of it. 

It is a life of sheer joy and delight – being with my students, their respect and adulation, my innate quest for knowledge – and a sense of achievement that I am contributing my bit to society.

I shall never forget uncle Ranjit – and that crucial visit to the forests of the Andamans – the turning point – or indeed – the defining moment of my life.

Well – I avoided the monkey trap. 

What about you?

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

Disclaimer:
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 Vikram Karve in the year 1994 and first posted online by me on my creative writing blog in the year 2006 at url :http://creative.sulekha.com/the-…  and subsequently many times on my various blogs including at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… andhttp://creative.sulekha.com/the-…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 

karvediat.blogspot.in

7/24/2015 08:10:00 PM

Self Help : HAPPINESS MADE SIMPLE

July 10, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Self Help : IF YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY – KEEP YOUR PLEASURES MILD.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

“MILD” PLEASURES GIVE YOU MAXIMUM HAPPINESS

This afternoon I relaxed on my bed while hearing melodious old songs on Vividh Bharati Radio.

I felt happy.

And – I remembered an article I had written 15 years ago based on this philosophical quote by Taoist Philosopher Mingliaotse:

“The art of attaining happiness consists in keeping your pleasures mild”


So – let me delve deep into my “SELF HELP” Archives and dig out this article for you to read:

IF YOU WANT TO BE HAPPY – KEEP YOUR PLEASURES MILD
Self Help Musings 
By
VIKRAM KARVE


HAPPINESS  a Philosophical Approach

The primary aim of philosophy and spirituality is to help ordinary people live a life of happiness, fulfillment, inner peace and tranquility.

Every day you ask yourself:

How do I live a happy life? 

Is it simple to be happy? 

What is the art of happiness?


PLEASURE and HAPPINESS

Let us see what the Taoist philosopher Mingliaotse has to say:

“The art of attaining happiness consists in keeping your pleasures mild”

You know that whenever pleasure is present you are happy – this is a fact that cannot be denied.

A pleasure is an enjoyable event or delightful emotion which is bound to make you happy – at least for that moment.

Highfalutin philosophers and spiritual gurus may prescribe various impracticable esoteric paths of renunciation, asceticism or sectarian precepts eschewing enjoyment and pleasure as the sine qua non of happiness.

Yes – many “Gurus” prescribe living a staid ascetic life which entails eschewing of all enjoyment and pleasure as a prerequisite for attaining happiness and enlightenment.

But the fact of the matter is – that to the ordinary person  happiness and pleasure are inextricably intertwined

Yes – pleasures make you happy – and you know it.

Discovering simple enduring pleasures which you can easily and regularly achieve, realize and enjoy in your day-to-day life will produce contentment, fulfillment and happiness.

Pleasure is certainly not a bad thing in itself.

But wanton pursuit of pleasures is counterproductive – as it leads to over-indulgence and excesses – which bring with them disturbances which are detrimental to our health, happiness and well-being.

In your search for happiness you tend to indulge in lavish parties, unrestrained extravagance, conspicuous consumption, compulsive shopping, thoughtless profligacy, limitless spending, expensive entertainments etc.

You try to enjoy everything at once.

You want instant gratification by over-indulgence in drinking, eating, revelry and sensual pleasures – stretching yourself to the maximum limits possible.

At first – you enjoy yourself – and feel happy.

Then – you come to the point of satiety – and you begin to feel a sense of repulsion.

And – if you overdo yourself – next morning you wake up sick and feeling miserable with a sense of sadness and depression rather than happiness.

You may think that grandiose, ostentatious, lavish, unrestrained and intemperate indulgences will ostensibly make you happy.

But – in actual fact – these over-indulgences may render you stressed-out and unhappy – and cause you harm and misery in the long run.

There is no need to overdo things in order to be happy.

Just keep your pleasures mild.

Enjoying a simple, tasty and healthy meal with your loved ones and friends – or just sitting quietly in solitude and leisurely reading a good book or enjoying melodious music – or taking a walk observing nature – or enjoying your work, leisure, hobbies – are some mild pleasures which will make you happy and keep you healthy too.


HOW TO KEEP YOUR PLEASURES MILD


Step 1 – IDENTIFY ALL YOUR PLEASURES AND MAKE A HAPPINESS LIST

It is simple to be happy.

The first thing you must do is to introspect and list your most pleasurable activities.

Yes – make a HAPPINESS LIST including all the things, activities, places and people that give you true joy, happiness and satisfaction.

Your happiness list must cover all aspects of your life

Make your “happiness list” as exhaustive as possible.


Step 2 – IDENTIFY “MILD PLEASURES” FROM YOUR HAPPINESS LIST

From this comprehensive HAPPINESS LIST – select those “mild pleasures” that you can enjoy every day – or very frequently – or very often – and which are feasible and viable for you to enjoy

Then – incorporate these pleasures in your routine  and fit them into your daily life.

See what happens.

Some “pleasures” that you thought would make you happy – actually do the opposite, don’t they?

Delete those “pleasures” that you first thought would give you happiness  but actually made you feel stressed-out or depressed.

Yes – remove those things that you thought would be satisfying but actually turned out to be unrewarding.

Experiment  make changes  be watchful  be dynamic

Do not hesitate to add new items to your list.

You can always remove them – if they fail to produce the desired results.

Fine tune your HAPPINESS LIST – and religiously put into daily practice your happiness list – and experience happiness every day.


BE HAPPY
 
This prescription of keeping your pleasures mild will enable you to structure your life in way where your happiness will be in your control – and you will find greater joy in your life.

It will be feasible and within your control to ensure that you enjoy these mild pleasures daily – or at least fairly regularly.

With only limited waking hours during the day – these enjoyable events will begin to crowd out the unpleasant activities in your daily life.

This will make you feel fulfilled and happy.

Dear Reader – start today – keep your pleasures mild so that you can enjoy these simple pleasures every day – and discover the true art of happiness – the art of living.

Discover your mild pleasures that make you truly happy and joyful

And do let me know your experience – did this simple philosophy of keeping your pleasures mild make you happier?

It is easy to be happy – isn’t it?

Remember:

The art of attaining happiness consists in keeping your pleasures mild  

So Dear Reader – Take the first step towards becoming Happy – and start making your HAPPINESS LIST right now.

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

Disclaimer:
1. This is based on my personal experience. It may or may not work for you. So please do due diligence before trying out this technique.
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)


I wrote this 15 years ago, in the year 2000, and have posted it online in my blogs a number of times including in 2005 at url: http://creative.sulekha.com/the-…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 

karvediat.blogspot.in

7/10/2015 08:53:00 PM

Humor in Uniform – THE HAPPY NAVY – Hilarious “Memoir” from My Wonderful Navy Life

May 25, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – THE BOOZY NAVY.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

Here is a “memoir” from the happiest days of my life – my early days in the Navy.

This hilarious story happened more than 37 years ago – in the 1970’s …

THE BOOZY NAVY
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE


TÊTE-À-TÊTE

Lieutenant “Z” was transferred to Kolkata (or Calcutta – as the city was called in the 1970’s – but I will use the present name Kolkata in this story).

The “powers-that-be” thought Lieutenant “Z” would be very happy since Kolkata was his hometown.

But Lieutenant “Z” seemed very upset and he rushed to his ship’s Captain to get his transfer cancelled.

“We thought you would be happy – Kolkata is your hometown,” the Captain said.

“Sir – I don’t want to leave the ship…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

“Oh – it’s good to see that you are a true ‘sea-dog’ and you like the tough life at sea – but then – you have to go ashore…” the Captain said.

“But – Why – Sir…?” Lieutenant “Z” asked.

“See – you got your ‘watch-keeping ticket’ last year – and you have served for more than one year on board as a sea watch-keeping officer – and you will be due for your ‘Long Course’ after 2 years…” the Captain said to Lieutenant “Z”.

“Sir – I can spend these 2 years on board this ship – or some other ship – but I don’t want to go to Kolkata – especially in that shore appointment…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

The Captain was getting exasperated – so he said a bit angrily: “Look here Lieutenant “Z” – there is a bloody shortage of ships and sea billets – and we have plenty of young officers waiting for their watch-keeping tickets – so you will have to cool your heels ashore for 2 years till your ‘Long Course’ comes through…”

“Okay – Sir – if I have to go ashore – then please change my transfer to some other place – I do not wish to go to Kolkata…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

“I just don’t understand you – what’s wrong with Kolkata – it is your hometown – you can be with your parents, family and friends – I personally talked to DOP to get you this appointment – your CO at Kolkata is my friend and he is an excellent officer – he will give you a thumping ACR…” the Captain said.

“Sir – I don’t want to go to Kolkata…”

“Lieutenant “Z” – I am warning you – if you act funny – we will send to ‘Kala Pani’ in the Andaman…” the Captain said threateningly.

“Sir – please send me to the Andamans…”

“Are you crazy…? Why don’t you want to go to Kolkata…? Have you some family problems…?” the Captain asked.

“Sir – Booze is expensive in Kolkata…” Lieutenant “Z” said, matter-of-factly.

“What…? What do you mean ‘Booze is expensive in Kolkata’…? Is that the reason why you do not want to go there…?”

“Sir – the only worthwhile perk we get is ‘concessional liquor’ – that is why I want to remain on board ship so that I can enjoy ‘duty-free booze’ – but if I have to go ashore – please send me to a place where ‘Military Booze’ is cheap – Sir – the price of CSD Quota Liquor in Bengal is 3 times more expensive than the price out here in Maharashtra…” Lieutenant “Z” said.


(This story happened in the 1970’s – when CSD Quota Liquor was cheapest in Maharashtra. However – since tax concessions are given by State Governments – and local taxes/concessions keep changing from time to time – the situation may be quite different now – but even now – the prices of CSD Quota Liquor vary from state to state – so ‘Military Booze’ is cheaper in some states – and more expensive in others)

Now – after this brief aside – let us continue with the interesting tête-à-tête between Lieutenant “Z” and his Captain…


“So – you wanted to remain on board this ship so that you can enjoy cheap ‘duty-free booze’…?” the Captain asked.

“Yes – Sir…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

“And you even prefer to go to the Andamans because booze is cheaper there…?”

“Yes – Sir…”

“It seems that you joined the Navy to drink liquor…!”

“Yes – Sir…”

“What nonsense…? Are you crazy…?”

“Sir – the main reason I joined the ‘Boozy Navy’ was to enjoy the best of ‘duty-free’ booze – that is why I want to be on ships – but if I have to go ashore – the least I can do is to enjoy my full quota of CSD ‘Military Liquor’ at the cheapest possible rates…”

“Are you mad…? Are you saying that the only reason why people should join the defence services is to drink alcohol…? That means – according to you – teetotallers should not join the Navy – or the Military…?”

“Sir – I told you before – the only worthwhile perk we get in the defence services is ‘concessional liquor’ – so what is the point of wasting your life in the military if you are not going to enjoy this exclusive ‘Fauji Perk’ of ‘Military Booze’…? And if you don’t drink – if you are a teetotaller – you might as well take up a civilian job, live a comfortable life, and earn plenty of money…” Lieutenant “Z” pontificated.

“I am a strict teetotaller – I don’t touch alcohol…” the Captain said, “…are you saying that I am wasting my time in the Navy…?”

“Sir – just think of all the ‘Duty-Free’ Booze and CSD Quota Liquor you have missed out on in all these 25 years of your service…” Lieutenant “Z” said – with genuine regret in his eyes.

“You are a crazy bugger…! Just get out my cabin…” the Captain shouted at Lieutenant “Z”.


EPILOGUE

Two things happened after this amusing tête-à-tête between Lieutenant “Z” and his Captain.

Firstly – the Captain picked up the phone and spoke to the DOP who was his course-mate.

The DOP had a big laugh when the Captain told him the reason why Lieutenant “Z” wanted his transfer changed.

Since there was no billet available in the Andamans (where booze was the cheapest those days) – DOP did the next best thing possible – and – Lieutenant “Z” was transferred as a Divisional Officer to NDA near Pune where the price of CSD Quota Liquor was the same as in Mumbai since both were in Maharashtra State.

Secondly – the Captain asked his steward to serve him a chilled can of premium imported beer (available dirt cheap at ‘duty-free’ rates on board ship).

This was his first sip of booze ever since he joined the Navy more than 25 years ago.

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

Disclaimer:
1. This story is a spoof, 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 and 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)

 

MY LOVE STORY – THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE

May 9, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: MY VERY OWN LOVE STORY – THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE.

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

MY VERY OWN LOVE STORY

Do you want to read an old fashioned romance?

Here is a love story from my creative writing archives, once more, for you to read:

THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE
My Very Own Love Story
Short Fiction
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Part 1 – THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE
(Mumbai – Thursday, 14 October 1976)
  
Do you remember the happiest day of your life…?

I do…!

Yes, 39 years may have passed, but I clearly remember what happened on the happiest day of my life.

Here’s how it began…

“Excuse me,” a feminine voice said from behind me. 

I turned around.

“Mr. Avinash…?” she asked.

I stared blankly at the smart young woman, tongue-tied. 

“I’m Sheetal…” she said with a lovely smile.

“Oh, Hi…” I stammered, quickly gathering my wits.

I looked at her. 

Avinash had been terribly wrong in describing how Sheetal looked like.

The Sheetal standing in front of me was no podgy pedestrian suburban unpretentious “back-home-type behenji female” as he had imagined.

She was a real beauty, chic, smart, ravishing, a stunner, and I could not take my eyes off her.

Her eyes were extremely beautiful – enormous, dark, expressive eyes. 

And suddenly her eyes began to dance.

Sheetal must have seen the frank look of genuine admiration in my eyes.

So she gave me smile so captivating that I experienced a delightful twinge in my heart.

“You are Mr. Avinash, aren’t you…?” she asked mischievously.

“Yes…” I lied, “How did you recognize me…?”

“You were the only person looking lost and out of place out here…the odd man out…” she laughed vivaciously.

“Oh…” I said unconsciously.

I stood still, mesmerized by her gorgeousness, and by my natural instinct, I let my eyes linger, travel all over her exquisite body.  

“Hey – are you going to stare at me all day or should we grab a bite? I am hungry,” she said playfully.

“Yes…Yes…” I said.

“Okay…come…let’s go to Samovar…we can talk there in peace too…” she said.

Sheetal led me from the art gallery to Samovar, the restaurant in the veranda.

Thus began the happiest day of my life.


Part 2 – LIFE IN THOSE “GOOD OLD” DAYS
(Pune – 1976)

Dear Reader, please permit me to tell you a little bit about how it all started.

In order to tell you this story, I am going to transport you back into time 37 years into the past.

Yes, we are going 37 years back in time to 1976, when Pune was a Pensioners’ Paradise.

Believe it or not, Dear Reader, but, in the 1960s and 1970s, Pune, the Queen of the Deccan, with its lovely climate, pure fresh air, lush green environs, salubrious, spacious and friendly laid back atmosphere, was indeed a “paradise”.

Yes, those days, Pune was indeed the best city to live in.

In fact, 37 years ago, in 1976, Pune was not even a “city” in the literal sense.

Imagine a Pune without Malls and the Multiplexes, with hardly any traffic on the roads, when the bicycle was the popular mode of travel.

The nearest “city” was Mumbai (those days, in the 1970’s, Mumbai was called Bombay – and much earlier in the 1960’s, Pune was called Poona).

The best way of going to Mumbai was to travel by the Indian Railways, by charming trains like the Deccan Queen, enjoying the scenic beauty of the lush green Sahayadri Ghats while savouring the delicious piping hot breakfast served by the restaurant car.

There was no expressway, and the “Bombay – Poona Road”, as it was called, was quite terrible, and it took around six hours to drive down, as the winding road through the Khandala Ghats was quite treacherous.

Just imagine – there were no mobile cell-phones, no internet, no PCs, no STD.

You had to book trunk-calls on a landline telephone and wait for hours for the call to materialize, or if you were in a hurry, then you had to make expensive “lightening” calls.

Black and White Television had just arrived and was a novelty which very few lucky prosperous people possessed.

And everyone in the neighborhood barged into their homes to watch popular TV programmes like chitrahaar, chayyageet, or a cricket match. 

The main thing was that there was no internet, and hence there was no email, and one had to write letters and send them via post as there were no courier services either.

Of course, gadgets like mobiles were a long way off, so you could not even imagine things like SMS and applications like “whatsapp”.

Social interaction was face to face, relishing yummy bhel in the numerous picturesque parks, or over tea, in the Amrutatulayas, Irani cafes and Kattas, as there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no Google, no Blogging, no cell phones, no blackberry, no iphones, no smartphones, no SMS, no MMS, no nothing, and as I said, way back then, the concepts of “cyberspace” and wireless mobile technology just did not exist.

Those days, a B. Tech. from an IIT did not get you a huge pay packet – yes, an IIT degree surely ensured that you got a good job, but once you were in the job you were on par with the other guys from various Engineering Colleges. 

Yes, only guys did engineering then, maybe there were a few gals, the rare exceptions, but I hardly met any pursuing a career as an engineer, maybe most of them got married, or shifted to softer professions.

Both of us, my IIT Classmate Avinash and I, joined a leading engineering company located in the suburbs of Pune.

Well that was the trend at IITs those days.

Either you went abroad, to America, to pursue higher studies.

Or you got a good job in the campus interview in a prestigious engineering firm, unless you were one of those few who preferred to be a white-collared manager via the MBA route.

Way back then there were hardly any management institutes, I think maybe there was just one IIM, at Ahmedabad, or maybe there were two, and there was FMS at Delhi and Jamnalal Bajaj at Mumbai.

The majority of engineers studied engineering to practice engineering, so we were quite happy to hit the shop floor doing hard core engineering.

We worked hard, for six days a week including Sundays, and we had our weekly off on Thursdays – the industrial holiday in Pune.

We rented a house near Deccan Gymkhana from where we commuted to work and back by the company bus.

Life was good. 

It was easy to be happy. 

The threshold of happiness was so low that small things made us happy.

Yes, simple things like a relaxed chat over a cup of tea made you happy.

I can never forget those happy moments.

Yes, every evening after work, we would get down from the bus at Deccan Gymkhana bus stop, relax over a Bun-Maska and Chai at Café Good Luck or Lucky, and then walk down to our rented apartment on Bhandarkar Road nearby.

One of our most enjoyable highlights was our weekly Thursday visit to Pune Camp – to see the latest Hollywood Movie in royal style relaxing on those unique easy chairs at the inimitable West End Cinema, relishing tasty mouth-watering bites and soothing thirst-quenching sips at the Soda Fountain during the interval, followed by delectable Mutton Samosas, Bun Maska and refreshing Irani style Chai at Naaz, then a leisurely stroll on Main Street (now called MG Road) and East Street, window-shopping, bird-watching and snacking, sandwiches, chicken rolls and cold coffee at Marz-o-rin, maybe a browse at Manney’s bookstore, and then a hearty Chinese meal at Kamling or Chung Fa, or a Mughlai repast at Latif, or Punjabi Food at Kwality, Biryani at Dorabjee or George, or Sizzlers at The Place (which boasts of being the first Sizzler Place in India) next to Manney’s.

And then we would end the day with a Meetha Masala Paan at George to carry home the lingering flavour and fragrance of the delightful evening.


Part 3 – AVINASH ASKS ME A FAVOUR
(Pune – Wednesday Evening, 13 October 1976)

When there are two close friends, one assumes the role of a leader and the other becomes a de facto follower. 

Amongst the two of us, Avinash, a tall, strapping, confident, flamboyant, handsome man endowed with an excellent physique with a dominating personality, was the natural leader. 

“Shekhar, can you do me a favour?” Avinash said to me one Wednesday evening while we were sipping chai at Good Luck cafe in Deccan.

“Favour?” I asked.

“Go down to Mumbai tomorrow and see a girl in my place,” he said nonchalantly.

“See a girl…?” I looked at him, confused.

“Let me explain to you. There is some back-home-type behenji girl.”

“Back-home-type behenji girl?”

“Yes. Someone visited my parents in my hometown with a marriage proposal for me. They want me to marry their daughter. She works in Mumbai. My parents want me to see her, but I am least interested in getting involved with any back-home-type behenjifemale.”

“So?”

“So, you go to Mumbai and see her and come back. And I will tell my parents that I did not like the girl,” Avinash said.

“You want me to go and meet her? Are you crazy! Tell me, why don’t you go to Mumbai and meet her?” I asked.

“Listen yaar – I have managed to patao a solid cheez – I met her during that management seminar which I attended last week…” he said.

“But you didn’t tell me…” I said.

Arre Bhai … first let something happen … kuch hone to do … but uske liye you will have to help me out. I have fixed up a solid date with her tomorrow taking her for a drive on my bike around Lonavala and Khandala – we planned it during the seminar, she agreed after lots of my pleading. And, suddenly this morning, my mom calls up in the office and tells me to go to Mumbai tomorrow to meet this marriage proposal girl. I told my mother that I was not interested, but she said that she had given her word, so I had to go and meet the girl tomorrow as a formality. Please Shekhar. Help me out. Just go to Mumbai tomorrow and see the girl. I told you that it is just a formality. Then we can all forget about it,” Avinash said.

“But how…?” I protested.

“I have already booked your ticket both ways by Deccan Queen. Just go in the morning and come back in the evening. This girl I am supposed to see is called Sheetal and she will meet you in the Jehangir Art Gallery at 11 o’clock. It’s a working day for her and she told my mother that she would take some time off and be there to meet me at Jehangir Art Gallery which is near her office.”

“But how can I masquerade as you? She must be having your photo. I will get caught and it will be very embarrassing,” I said.

“There is no photo, nothing – she doesn’t know how I look like and I even don’t know how she looks like. It all happened so suddenly. Our parents got talking back home last evening, my mother spoke to the girl by trunk-call. My mother knows I have Thursday off, so she fixed up the meeting with the girl and then my mother rang me up this morning to go and see the girl tomorrow.”

“But what is the crashing hurry? You can meet next Thursday.” I said.

“It seems that the girl is going back to her hometown near our place, in themofussil, by the Friday evening train. She is going away for a month’s leave and there are some boys lined up there for her to see – apparently my mother is quite keen on this girl, her family is good, she is the only child, so maybe they promised plenty of dowry. But I am just not interested. She is seeing so many boys back home, I am sure she will like someone and she will forget about me; I mean – you, she’ll forget you” he said.

“No…No. I am not going…the whole thing is preposterous…I can’t do this…” I protested.

Yaar please – don’t ditch me – I have already told my mother that I will meet the girl at 11 tomorrow in Jehangir Art Gallery,” he said.

“I don’t understand all this…” I said.

“I have told you all this before. My mother said her office is in Kalaghoda – so Jehangir Art Gallery is the nearest and best place – there in Mumbai. She works on Thursdays – only we here in Pune have industrial off on Thursdays – so they fixed up tomorrow as the girl has to leave for her place on Friday evening on a holiday. Don’t argue – just get it over with. You have to meet her for 10-15 minutes, that’s all. Then she will go back to her office. You loaf around in Colaba, have some biryani at Olympia or Delhi Darbar, and see a movie at Regal, Eros or Sterling, New Empire, Metro or somewhere – there is so much to do there. Then catch the Deccan Queen at 5 o’clock in the evening. I will come to pick you up at Pune railway station. And, after you come back, from the STD booth there I’ll ring up my mom tomorrow night and I will tell her I did not like the girl and the whole thing will be a closed chapter,” Avinash said.

“No. I don’t like all this,” I protested.

Then Avinash put his arm around my shoulder and pleaded, “Please Shekhar – I have to go for this Lonavala date – the female is too good yaar and it is a solid opportunity. I promise you Shekhar – agar woh pat gayee – if things work out and my Lonavala romance succeeds – I will give you a big treat – whatever you want.”

So, for the sake of friendship, early next morning, I boarded the Deccan Queen to Mumbai masquerading as Avinash for my rendezvous with Sheetal.


Part 4 – RENDEZVOUS IN JEHANGIR ART GALLERY
(Mumbai – Thursday Morning, 14 October 1976)

The Deccan Queen reached Mumbai at 10:30.

I walked down DN Road, past Hutatma Chowk (or Flora Fountain as it is polpularly known), and by the time I reached Jehangir Art Gallery at Kalaghoda it was almost 11.

For a few moments I stood in the foyer, looking around at all the girls, searching for someone looking like a back-home-type behenji female who may be Sheetal.

Dear Reader, I know it will be difficult for you to imagine how different and archaic things were in those days, 37 years ago.

Today if you want to find out about someone, you can just Google their name, and, presto, so many details will show up about that person – you can easily see everything about her, her present, her past, her family and friends, the places she has visited, where she has studied, worked, you can even see her pictures, her entire web identity.

Today, pictures can be instantly clicked and sent on mobile phones; even photos can be scanned and sent instantly on mobiles and by email.

In the 1970’s, the only way to send a photograph was by post and a letter took many days to reach.

That is why it was not possible for Avinash and Sheetal to exchange photos.

That is why I could masquerade as Avinash.

And that is why, at 11 AM on the 14th of October 1976, I was standing in Jehangir Art Gallery waiting to meet a girl called Sheetal but I was totally clueless about how Sheetal looked like.

After a few moments, I went into the exhibition hall and started admiring the paintings.

“Excuse me,” a feminine voice said from behind me. 

I turned around.

“Mr. Avinash…?” she asked.

I stared blankly at the smart young woman, tongue-tied. 

“I’m Sheetal…” she said with a lovely smile.

“Oh, Hi…” I stammered, quickly gathering my wits.

I looked at her. 

Avinash had been terribly wrong in describing how Sheetal looked like.

The Sheetal standing in front of me was no podgy pedestrian suburban unpretentious “back-home-type behenji female”.

She was a real beauty, chic, smart, ravishing, a stunner, and I could not take my eyes off her.

Her eyes were extremely beautiful – enormous, dark, expressive eyes. 

And suddenly her eyes began to dance.

Sheetal must have seen the frank look of genuine admiration in my eyes.

Yes, I was genuinely admiring her beauty with the unspoken language of the eyes which was worth more than a thousand spoken compliments.

Sheetal must have felt it, so she gave me smile so captivating that I experienced a delightful twinge in my heart.

“You are Mr. Avinash, aren’t you…?” she asked mischievously.

“Yes…” I lied, “How did you recognize me…?”

“You were the only person looking totally lost and out of place over here – like the odd man out,” she laughed vivaciously.

“Oh…” I said unconsciously.

I stood still, mesmerized by her gorgeousness, and following my natural instinct, I let my eyes linger on her, travel all over her exquisite body.  

“Hey – are you going to stare at me all day or should we grab a bite? I am hungry,” she said playfully.

“Yes…Yes…” I said.

“Okay…come…let’s go to Samovar…we can talk there in peace too…” she said.

Sheetal led me from the art gallery to Samovar, the restaurant in the veranda.


Part 5 – A ROMANTIC DATE WITH THE “BACK-HOME-TYPEFEMALE”
(Mumbai – Thursday Afternoon, 14 October 1976)

Samovar restaurant was situated next to the art gallery in a long rectangular veranda and resembling a Railway Dining Car.

We sat down opposite each other, on the comfortable cane chairs, and I looked at the expansive green lawns of adjoining Museum.

The moment we sat down a waiter came and asked us what we wanted to eat.

“I am hungry,” she said, and she ordered stuffed Parathas and Dahi Wada.

“I’ll have a cutlet,” I said, “and some Pudina Chai after that.”

“You’ve come here before,” she asked.

“Just once, a few years ago, when I was at IIT,” I said.

“Oh yes, you studied at IIT Powai – but that’s quite far away.”

“We sometimes came down on Sundays, to have a loaf around Fort, Colaba and Churchgate, and see movie once in a while.”

“I come here quite often. My office is nearby. That’s why I suggested this place – we can sit here and talk undisturbed for as long as we want and get to know each other better. This is a nice place for a relaxed chat over lunch.” she said.

I was in no mood for a relaxed chat over lunch.

In fact I was feeling nervous.

The more I talked to her, the more was the chance of me being unmasked – suppose I slipped up, and what if she came to know that I was not the Avinash she was expecting, but a phony masquerading as Avinash – it would be terrible – I could not even imagine the consequences.

I also felt qualms of conscience.

I had taken a liking to this girl Sheetal, sitting in front of me, and I felt I was not doing the right thing by pretending to be Avinash.

I could not bear the mendacity – telling a blatant lie and cheating this decent girl.

So, I blurted out, “Hey, Sheetal. I think I need to go. I cannot do this any longer. Bye, I must go now.”

“Go now? Is anything wrong? Are you feeling okay?”

“No, I am not okay. And, everything is wrong.”

“What happened?” she asked looking surprised, and worried.

“I want to tell you something. I want to confess…” I said.

“Confess? What?” she asked.

“I am not who you think. I am not Avinash. My name is Shekhar,” I said.

She gave me a puzzled look, and then she said, “Why don’t you tell me everything.”

I told her everything.

Yes, I told her everything – from the beginning to the end – each and every thing.

I felt relieved once I had got it off my chest.

I thought she would get angry.

But she smiled and said, “So you are Shekhar who has come to see the marriage proposal for Avinash – that is me – the prospective bride.”

“Yes,” I said sheepishly.

“And the real Avinash is having a good time with the hot-chick in Lonavala.”

“Yes.”

“So you will make a fool of me by masquerading as Avinash and pass some time with me and go back to Pune.”

“Yes.”

“And the moment you reach Pune, Avinash will ring up his mother and tell her that he did not like the girl – that is me.”

“Yes.”

“What was the need to for this charade?”

“I don’t know – Avinash said it has something to do with your conservative families – if he refuses to see you then relations may get spoiled. But please, I don’t want to discuss all this – I am feeling very bad doing this to you – I am very sorry.”

“You don’t be sorry – it is your friend Avinash who should be sorry.”

“I’ll go now?”

“You are booked by the evening Deccan Queen, isn’t it?”

“Yes.”

“So, now that we are stuck with each other, why don’t we make the most of it?” she said.

“I don’t know…”

“Don’t worry – I am not going to eat you up. We’ll do whatever time-pass you were planning to do after getting rid of me.”

“But you have got office – that is what Avinash told me.”

“I have taken the day off. Come, let’s spend some time together – then you can catch the Deccan Queen and I will go back to my hostel on Marine Drive.”

Our food order arrived.

Sheetal asked for extra plates and we shared the stuffed parathas and the cutlet.

“Now what?” Sheetal asked, after we had finished eating.

“Let’s see the Museum,” I said, looking out towards the imposing Museum building.

“The Museum?” she asked, looking surprised.

“You don’t want to go – okay, whatever you say.”

“No. No. Today you are taking me out on a date. I will come with you wherever take me,” she smiled and said, “come to think of it, I have been in Mumbai for 6 months, work so close by, and have not seen the Museum.”

I must say that Sheetal was really beautiful, and as we walked side by side, I realized that all the men were looking appreciatively at her; in fact some men were giving her quite yearning looks.

For the first time in my life, I felt the natural pride of possession that any man feels when he has the company of a woman that other men desire.

After we came out the Museum, she asked me, “Now what?”

“Let’s walk down Colaba Causeway. We can go to Olympia for a Biryani, and then have Gulab Jamun at Kailas Parbat.”

“Okay.”

“Now what?” she asked.

“Let’s browse books.”

“Browse books?”

“Yes, on the pavement bookstalls near the CTO – sometimes you get good books there quite cheap.”

“And how are we going there? I hope you are not going to march me down!”

“Yes – I was thinking it will be a good walk.”

“Please – I am feeling quite tired – and my legs are aching – the high heels I am wearing are not exactly made for cross country walking!”

“Okay – let’s take the bus.”

“Bus? You want to take your date in a bus?”

“Why? Is something wrong? I have no experience in these sorts of things.”

“You haven’t dated a girl before?”

“No.”

“Okay, let’s go by bus.”

We browsed books.

Then we went to a quaint Maharashtrian restaurant opposite VT called Kelkar Vishranti Gruha and had Sabudana UsalKanda Thalipith washed down by a delicious Piyush.

Sheetal looked at me and said, “I have gone out with so many boys, but you are different.”

“Different?”

“No one has made marched me down in the hot sun, no one had has made me browse books on pavement stalls – and no one has taken me to these food joints which I didn’t know even existed.”

“You didn’t enjoy?”

“Of course I did – but what I am saying is that I have never seen anyone like you – you are different from the rest – you are so simple, you act so natural – I have met all kinds of men, but you are truly an original,” she said.

I felt good, blushed – but maybe she was just being kind.

We strolled in Fort, window shopping.

I lost all track of time.

The day had passed in a haze of delight – for the first time in my life I had experienced the joy the company of a girl can bring in a man’s life.

We passed a shop selling clocks.

Sheetal looked at the clocks and said, “Hey it is already 4:45 – you have to catch the Deccan Queen, isn’t it – I think we better head to the station.”

“Okay, bye…” I said.

“What do you mean, bye – I am coming to see you off,” she said.

I did not refuse.

I longed for a few more moments of her delightful company.


Part 6 – THE CLIMAX OF THE STORY
(Mumbai – Thursday Evening, 14 October 1976)

It was 5 o’clock in the evening.

The blue-and-cream Deccan Queen stood beside the platform waiting to start its evening journey from Mumbai to Pune.

We, Sheetal and me, stood on platform outside my coach.

“You are the first boy I have met who did not try to impress me,” Sheetal said.

“I know. But what can I do? I told you that I have no experience of dating girls. But I should have tried and treated you better. I am sorry,” I said.

“Hey, why are you sorry? You are really nice decent guy. I really enjoyed your company.”

“You are just saying that to console me. I am such a bore, and such a cheapie. I am sure I ruined your day.”

“No. No. I really enjoyed your company. I have never gone a date like this before. It was real fun.”

“Thank you, Sheetal. I am feeling so good that you said that.”

“It is true, Shekhar. You make me feel good. No one has made me feel so good before. I really enjoy your company. You are one person with whom I can be myself – yes with you I can be my own self. I don’t have to fake it. I don’t have to put on an act. I don’t have to wear a mask. I don’t have to be someone else. I can just be myself and forget about all those social graces.”

“Me too…” I said.

“Maybe we should see more of each other. I think I will come down to Pune next weekend.”

“What? You want to come to Pune?”

“Why? Don’t you like my company?”

“No. No. Of course I like you. But Avinash will be there in Pune. It will be very awkward.”

“Avinash? To hell with him! In any case, I am not getting married to Avinash now. In fact, by tomorrow he would have told his parents that he has rejected me. That is what he told you, isn’t it?”

“Yes. In fact, Avinash told me that he would call up his parents tonight only, the moment I reach Pune.”

“Shekhar, you make sure Avinash calls up his parents tonight. Because I am going to call up my parents from the STD booth over there the moment the Deccan Queen leaves and tell them that I don’t want to marry such a dope.”

“Dope? But Avinash is not a dope. He is not like me,” I said.

“And suppose I told you that Sheetal is not like me,” she said, looking at me directly in the eye.

“Sheetal is not like you? What do you mean? You are Sheetal aren’t you?”

“You still think I am Sheetal, don’t you?” she looked at me mischievously.

“Yes,” I said, a bit bewildered.

“You know, Shekhar – I like you so much – you make me feel so good – and you were so frank and honest with me – I can’t cheat you any longer,” she said.

“Cheat me…?”

“Yes. I have been deceiving you and making a fool of you. But you are such a good guy that I have to be honest with you. I am going to come clean.”

“Come clean?”

“Shekhar, in the morning you told me the truth that you are not Avinash – now it is my turn to tell you the truth. I want to confess…”

“Confess …?”

“I am not Sheetal …” she said.

“What? You are not Sheetal? You are not the girl Avinash was supposed to see?” I asked – I was totally taken aback, feeling puzzled and perplexed.

“Yes, Shekhar – I am not Sheetal,” she repeated.

Then who are you…?” I asked her, trying to recover my wits.

“Shweta – my name is Shweta. I am the girl Avinash he was supposed to meet in Lonavala,” she said.

“Lonavala? Don’t tell me that you are that hot-chick who Avinash was so crazy about. He was desperate to patao you…!” I blurted out, instantly regretting my words.

She laughed.

She really gave a hearty laugh.

I looked at her dumbstruck, feeling embarrassed.

Then she said, “Yes, I am the hot-chick your friend Avinash met last week at the management seminar.”

“Why have you not gone to Lonavala to meet him as planned? Poor Avinash. He must have waited for you all day. Why did you ditch him?”

“Don’t worry. I have sent Sheetal to Lonavala to meet Avinash.”

“What? Sheetal? You have sent Sheetal to Lonavala to meet Avinash?”

“Yes, the same Sheetal – well, she happens to be my best friend.”

“Oh?”

“Sheetal told me that her mother was forcing her to see a boy called Avinash who was coming down from Pune. She told me that she did not want to see any boy – in fact, Sheetal is not that interested in getting married so fast.”

“So?”

“When she told me details of the boy I got a bit suspicious – could it be the same Avinash who had called me to Lonavala? How could he be in Lonavala and Mumbai at the same time? Was he two-timing me? Or was he going to stand her up? I was curious, very curious.”

“So you decided to swap dates?”

“And we wanted to get to the bottom of things – to find out who is who and what is what – doodh ka doodh aur paani ka paani – as they say in Hindi.”

“So you came to meet me masquerading as Sheetal,” I said.

“Yes, and the actual Sheetal has gone to Lonavala by the same morning train on which I was supposed to travel. Sheetal must have been there on time at the rendezvous point where Avinash was going to meet me. I am sure they have met each other.”

“Oh, My God…”

“Why? How do you know that they won’t like each other? We liked each other didn’t we? I am sure they are spending some quality time together. You never know – they may even decide to get married,” Shweta said, with a mischievous smile and twinkle in her eyes.

Suddenly I heard the guard blow his whistle.

It was almost 5:10 – time for the Deccan Queen to leave.

“The train is going to start. I have to go now…” I said to Shweta.

“Let the train go,” she said.

“What?”

“I want to spend some more time with you. Let’s walk on Marine Drive. Watch sunset. Then we’ll go to Chowpatty. Let’s walk on the sand by the sea, having some yummy bhel. And then you can treat me to that green chilly ice cream you were telling me so much about…” she said.

Suddenly the train jerked and started moving.

“Hey, the train is leaving.”

“Let it go,” Shweta said, and she pressed my hand.

I pressed her hand back as I watched the Deccan Queen leave without me.

The evening passed in a haze of delight.

Never before had I enjoyed the company of someone so much.

For the first time in my life I experienced a new emotion – a kind of thrilling happiness and blissful joy that the right girl can bring in your life.

And Shweta was certainly the right girl for me.

I realized the meaning of love – I knew what it was like to be in love.

We sat on the parapet enjoying the cool night sea breeze on Marine Drive opposite the working women’s hostel where Shweta lived.

Time flew.

I looked at my watch – it was 11:15.

The last train for Pune, the overnight Passenger, left at 11:45.

It was time to say good bye, at least for now.

I called a Taxi.

“Bye,” I said to Shweta.

“Bye,” she said.

“I want to ask you something,” I said.

“I know what you want to ask me and my answer is YES,” she said.

My heart ached as the taxi moved and the distance between us kept on increasing till she disappeared into the distance.

But I knew that this was the beginning of a long and lovely relationship.


EPILOGUE

Shweta and I got married.

And, by the way, Sheetal and Avinash got married too.

Two best friends married two best friends.

What an irony of life – the conservative me, I got married to the mod-chick Shweta – and the mod-guy Shekhar got married to the “back-home-typebehenji” Sheetal.

We got married in 1977 and it has been a long time since, more than 36 years, and till this day, we all live happily ever after.

All is well that that ends well.

We always taunt them, Avinash and Sheetal, that ours is a “Love” Marriage and theirs is an “Arranged” Marriage.

We have all relocated to Mumbai.                                                                    

Do you want to meet us?

Okay, try your luck on Sunday evenings at Bachellor’s opposite Chowpatty and you may chance upon us enjoying Green Chilly Ice Cream.

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

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First Posted by me Vikram Karve in my blog at 10/14/2013 08:19:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

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