Archive for the ‘iit’ Category

APRIL FOOL – All Fools Day Story

March 31, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: APRIL FOOL – Humor in Uniform.

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

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

“APRIL FOOL”
Delightful Memories of My Navy Life
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Tomorrow is the 1st of April – April Fool’s Day

April Fool’s Day (also known as All Fools’ Day) is celebrated annually on the first day of April. 

It is a time for the traditional playing of pranks on unsuspecting people – the victim of such a prank being called an April Fool.

One of my weaknesses is my trusting nature – I easily trust people.

Because of my simple trusting nature it is easy for anyone to take me for a ride – yes – you can easily make a fool of me – and – I have been made an “April Fool” so many times right from my childhood.

In fact – owing to my trusting nature I a simpleton – quite a gullible person – and therefore – a prime target for April Fool Pranks.

When I hark back and think of the occasions when I was made an unsuspecting victim of April Fool Jokes – and when I recall all the April Fool Pranks I was subjected to – I can never forget how I was made a total “April Fool” – 32 years ago – on the 1st of April 1983.

Here is my “April Fool” story – have a laugh…

HOW I WAS MADE AN “APRIL FOOL”
(a “Memoir” by Vikram Karve)

01 April 1983   (New Delhi)

It was 10 AM (1000 Hrs in Navy Parlance) on the 1st of April 1983 – and I busy with my research work in IIT Delhi.

(Yes – after slogging for 5 years in the Navy – afloat and ashore – I was selected to undergo the prestigious 2 year M. Tech. post graduate course in Engineering at the Indian Institute of Technology New Delhi aka IIT Delhi from July 1981 to July 1983)

It was the last (4th) semester of my 2 year M.Tech. Course – and I was busy with my dissertation work.

My ex-shipmate entered the Tropo Lab.

He was also doing M. Tech. at IIT Delhi – but in a different specialization.

He said excitedly, “Hey Vikram – congratulations – your appointment has come – you will be going to IAT Pune after your M. Tech.”

I was very happy and joyfully excited to hear this.

Pune is my hometown.

I had never expected a posting to Pune in my naval career – as I thought that – except for a few billets at NDA – there were hardly any billets for naval officers in Pune – especially for technical officers.

In fact – I was worried that they may transfer me back to INS Valsura Jamnagar – where I had spent less than one year (1980-81) on instructional duties – before escaping from there as I was selected for my M. Tech. at IIT Delhi – and I had no desire of going back to that godforsaken place again.

“You don’t seem to be happy?” my friend said.

“I am very happy,” I said, “but how do you know about my appointment?”

“I had gone to INS India Supply Office for some work. I saw your name in a NA List over there. I have just come from there and I came straight here to tell you the good news.”

[Those days Naval Headquarters (NHQ) published a weekly Navy Appointments (NA) List which listed all appointments (transfers/postings) issued during that week]

“What about you? Is your name in the NA list? Has your new appointment come too?” I asked him.

“No – I saw only your name in the NA list. Why don’t you go down to NHQ and personally get your appointment letter?” he prompted.

As I said – I was really delighted to be transferred to Pune – my hometown.

So – so I immediately drove down on my scooter to NHQ.

First – I went to INS India Supply Office – and I checked the NA List folder.

Yes – my name was very much there – at Serial No. 12 of the list of 20 names – and entry in the NA list said that I was appointed on instructional duties to IAT Pune July DTBR.

I wrote down the relevant details of the NA list.

Then – I went to the Base Supply Officer – and I asked him if my appointment letter had come.

The Base Supply Officer called for the NA List folder – he looked at the NA List – and he said, “This NA list has just been issued. It will take some time for the letter to reach here. They take their own sweet time to dispatch the letters. Why don’t you go across to DOP and get your personal copy?”

(DOP was the acronym for Director of Personnel)

Those days we were very scared to go anywhere near DOP – because they were always on the prowl looking for “murgas” to transfer to “kala pani” – and other such remote places.

But I was so excited – that I drew up courage – and I walked into the office of the DDOP who looked after our appointments.

I was delighted to see an officer who I knew very well sitting in the chair of DDOP – he was a course-mate of my previous ship’s XO.

He used to visit our ship often – and we had spent many evenings drinking together.

The DDOP too was happy to see me.

He told me that he had just taken over as DDOP just a day earlier on the 31st of March.

He enquired about me – about my M. Tech. course – and then he asked me what I wanted.

I told him the story – gave him details of the NA List – and asked him if I could have a copy of my appointment letter.

He called his deputy – handed him the chit with NA List details – and told him to give me a copy of my appointment letter.

The officer looked at the NA list – and looking confused, he said, “Sir, we haven’t yet issued any appointment letters for officers doing M. Tech. at IITs – anyway I will just check and get back to you, Sir.”

After a few minutes he came back and said, “The NA list with this number has still not been issued.”

“What? How can that be?” the DDOP said.

Then the DDOP looked at me – and he said, “Are you sure you saw the NA list in the INS India Supply Office?”

“Yes,” I said, “it is right on top in the NA list folder in the base supply office.”

The DDOP picked up the phone and he dialled a number.

He seemed to be speaking to the Base Supply Officer. 

The DDOP read out the number of the NA list – then waited for some time – then he listened to the voice on the other side – and then he said to me, “Just go down to the Base Supply Office and get the NA list folder – I want to get to the bottom of this.”

As I was leaving – I could hear him speak on the phone, “I am sending the officer to you…”

The moment I reached the hutments where the Base Supply Office was located – I found a big gang of my friends waiting outside for me with broad smiles on their faces.

Among my friends – standing prominently with a big smile on his face – was the Captain of my previous ship (now a Commodore posted in NHQ) – and it was he who had orchestrated the whole practical joke.

I knew I had been made an “April Fool”.

That afternoon – I had to treat everyone to beer in the INS India wardroom – and the DDOP and Base Supply Officer (who were also parties to the “April Fool” prank) also joined in the “elbow bending” PLD session for a glass of chilled beer.


EPILOGUE

During the PLD beer session – I put on a mask of cheerfulness – but deep inside I was feeling terrible.

I think the Commodore (my ex ship’s CO) and the DDOP noticed this – so they asked me for my choice of transfer on completion of my M. Tech.

“IAT Pune,” I said tongue-in-cheek, “but if that is not possible then anywhere except Jamnagar.”

Three months later – I was transferred to a billet in New Delhi as an Asst Director in R&D.

Two years later – in June 1985 – one day – out of the blue – I saw an appointment letter placed on my table.

I had been appointed for instructional duties to IAT Pune July DTBR.

Was it as a recompense for the “April Fool” prank – from the DDOP and my ex ship’s CO – and all those who had played the “April Fool” joke on me?

All is well that ends well.

HAPPY ALL FOOLS’ DAY

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

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

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



Earlier Posted by me Vikram Karve on 01 April 2014 in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at 4/01/2014 11:39:00 AM at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

SHOULD PAY BE KEPT SECRET – IS SALARY CONFIDENTIALITY GOOD ETHICS ?

April 4, 2013

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: PAY SECRECY – Is it Ethical – SHOULD SALARY BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL.

Click the link above to read the article in my journal

The article is also posted below for your convenience

SHOULD PAY BE KEPT SECRET

Link to my original article in my journal :
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/04/pay-secrecy-is-it-ethical-should-salary.html

PAY SECRECY – Is it Ethical?
SHOULD SALARY BE KEPT CONFIDENTIAL
Musings on Business Ethics
By
VIKRAM KARVE
A few days ago, at a social gathering, I met a young man who works as an investment banker.
I had heard that investment banking is a lucrative profession.
In my usual loud voice I asked him how much salary he got.
He looked at me aghast as if I had committed sacrilege.
Everyone around us looked at me in disbelief as if I had committed a great faux pas.
To whet my curiosity, I repeated the “indiscretion” by asking whoever I met his or her salary.
I was surprised to see that today’s youngsters are very secretive and unwilling to disclose how much they earn.
I observed this secretive nature, and reluctance to disclose salaries and compensation packages, across professions – ranging from nerdy IT “Techies” to Street Smart MBAs of all hues.
I just do not understand this “cloak-and-dagger” obsession with pay secrecy.
In the 1970’s, after getting our B. Tech degrees in Engineering, all of us in our class took up a variety of jobs, in the government and in the industry, in public and private sectors, in MNCs and PSUs.
Whenever we met we discussed our new jobs – and we freely discussed our pay, our salaries and what perks we got in our respective jobs. There was nothing to hide.
In those glorious “pre-liberalization” days of “socialism” it was considered ethical to be equitable and that is why salaries were comparable whether you worked in the private sector or public sector.
Yes, though the private sector paid more, there was no excessively disproportionate disparity in pay for the same type of work and level of posts between one place and another.
How things have radically changed with the advent of liberalisation and globalisation!
Today the concept of “equal pay for equal work” seems to have been forgotten and we see an obscene imbalance in compensation packages.
Those days, in the 1970’s, Salary Structures were simple – you got a basic pay, dearness allowance, some well-defined perks and, in some cases, publicly declared incentives and bonuses.
Everything was transparent and, to the best of my knowledge, such Machiavellian concepts like “Cost To Company” (CTC), ESOPs, and other “secret” allowances and “hush-hush” incentives and bonuses did not exist.
I feel that “pay secrecy” is a concept which is alien to conventional Indian ethos.
It looks like this “secretive” Human Resource Management Philosophy (comprising elements like “confidential salaries”) has become prevalent in India after 1991, post-liberalization, with the entry of foreign companies who have brought along with them their own distinct organizational cultures.
Can somebody please tell me what is the need for you to keep your pay secret or for your employer to keep confidential the salaries of employees?
Even today, as far as government jobs are concerned, pay, salaries and allowances are public knowledge. There is total transparency in pay scales, increments, and all payments made to employees in government and public sector jobs. I think that there is pay transparency in some large industries and traditional Indian organizations of the “old mould” as well.
Then why have this obsession with pay secrecy in some firms, especially in companies with foreign organizational cultures like MNCs and IT Companies?
It is said that an Ethical Human Resource (HR) Management System must have three attributes:
1. It must be FAIR
2. It must be JUST
3. It must be TRANSPARENT
The concept of pay secrecy violates all these three tenets.
Let me give you an example.
I have a friend whose son migrated abroad to the USA many years ago for his studies and continued to live and work in America.
He was “posted” to India by his company (an MNC).
Though the boy is of Indian origin, since he is based in America, he is considered to be an Expatriate (expat).
I was told that because he is an “expat” he gets a much higher salary and attractive compensation package for doing the same job as compared to his Indian counterparts.
In fact, he also joked that had he remained in India like his brother, or come back toIndia after his studies abroad, and joined the same firm, he would have been paid much less for doing the same job.
(Whereas in India, foreign expats are paid more than Indians, the reverse may be true in America for Indian “expats” who probably are paid much less than their local counterparts)
Is this fair?
A fair system will ensure equitable compensation and will provide equal pay for equal work.
What is the justification for paying different salaries to employees of the same company for doing the same work?
Is this discrimination based on nationality just and moral?
In such a scenario you may have a ridiculous situation where a junior gets more salary than his senior just because they belong to different countries.
Is this absurdity not akin to racial discrimination?
I feel that openness is always better than secrecy, particularly in HR Management Systems which must be Transparent.
It has been my personal experience that a Transparent and Honest HR Policy nurtures a sense of Trust and Loyalty in employees.
Secrecy breeds distrust and creates an negative atmosphere of intrigue and suspicion in the workplace.
Such unhealthy and undesirable vibes create a sense of insecurity and disloyalty which in turn cause a feeling of stress in employees.
If there is workplace stress, people may not enjoy working in such an insalubrious environment and this is not conducive to friendly and open interpersonal relationships as well.
I feel that Pay Systems must be ethical and non-discriminatory.
A candid, sincere, fair and transparent HR Management System will inspire a sense of justice and harmony by ensuring equitable, fair and transparent compensation mechanisms for all employees.
Do you agree? What are your views on pay secrecy? Should salary be kept confidential? What are the pros and cons? Why has pay secrecy become the norm in most organizations?
Please comment. I eagerly look forward to your views.
VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
Did you like this article?

I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
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COCKTAIL ebook
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:
AMAZON
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SMASHWORDS
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87925

Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll
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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse – his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramkarve@hotmail.com
      

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
Posted by Vikram Karve

RETIREMENT – A Guide for Military Officers of the Army Navy and Air Force

January 21, 2013

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: HOW TO ENJOY RETIREMENT – A Guide for Military Officers of the Army Navy and Air Force.

Click the link above and read the original article in my journal.

Also posted below for your convenience:

HOW TO ENJOY RETIREMENT 

A Guide for Military Officers of the Army Navy and Air Force who want to Enjoy a Blissful Retired Life

Original Post Link: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/01/how-to-enjoy-retirement.html


WHY ARE YOU DOING NOTHING AFTER RETIREMENT

Are You Asked the Quintessential Question:
“What are you doing after Retirement?” or What to do after Retirement?
Musings on Retirement and the Military Officer
By
VIKRAM KARVE
Last Saturday, on the 19th of January 2013, I was delighted to be in the beautiful pristine environs of Girinagar near Pune in the sublime campus of DIAT Deemed University to attend the Raising Day Function of MILIT (Military Institute of Training) which is the new name for IAT (Institute of Armament Technology).
I have spent many fulfilling years of my career as Teaching Faculty at IAT which was indeed the premier institution in its domain.
The best thing about IAT is its lovely verdant campus at Girinagar on the densely forested green slopes of the Sinhagad Mountain Range overlooking the tranquil blue waters of the vast Khadakvasla Lake.
It has a “hill station” like atmosphere and Girinagar is easily the most pristine and picturesque place nearest to the city of Pune.
The beautiful sunset scene viewed from Girinagar Hill is a most enthralling sight.
I was fortunate that I got an opportunity to live so many years of my life in this enchanting place.
In the highest traditions of service the Commandant and Director of MILIT had invited all former and retired faculty of the erstwhile IAT (the precursor and earlier avatar of the newly formed MILIT) – the invitations were personally delivered at home, followed up on phone and we “senior citizens” were picked up and dropped after the function.
The excellent hospitality and courtesy shown to us was indeed praiseworthy and warmed the cockles of our hearts.
It felt good to be back in my “alma mater” and it was great meeting so many old friends, faculty and alumni, and I also enjoyed interacting with young trainee officers.
“Why are you doing nothing after retirement?” asked AP Valavade, an ex Air Force Officer, my erstwhile senior and mentor at IAT, who continues to work, after a successful first, second and third innings, at the ripe age of 72.
Like many others at the function, serving and retired, he had earlier asked me the quintessential question: “What are you doing after retirement?”
And I had truthfully answered: “I am doing nothing.”
This answer led to the admonishment: “Why are you doing nothing after retirement?”
I retired on superannuation from the Navy more than 2 years ago and since then I am leading a truly retired life “doing nothing”.
What is the definition and meaning of retirement?
“Retirement” means “Doing Nothing” – isn’t it?
Many don’t seem to understand this.
So whenever I meet my erstwhile colleagues, and young officers too, they all ask me what I am doing after my retirement and they seem perplexed when I honestly answer that I am “doing nothing” after my retirement.
(Of course, many of my retired colleagues who are actually doing nothing try to put on a pretence as if they are very busy and try to masquerade as if they are doing something important after retirement. Maybe they indulge in this charade as they feel embarrassed to speak the truth and think they will lose face if they say that they are doing nothing).
Now let me talk a bit about the topic – RETIREMENT  and discuss some tips on retirement for Military Officers belonging to the Army, Navy and Air Force.
In most jobs you retire at the age of 60, sometimes even at 65 or 70 if you are a Professor or a Judge or you are a Bureaucrat who has managed an “extension” or a cushy post retirement job.
In some vocations, like business and politics, you never retire and keep on working incessantly till your death.
However, if you happen to serve in the defence services, in the army, navy or air force, you retire early.
If you are an officer, it is most likely you will retire on superannuation at the age of 54 – a few lucky ones may pull on to 56.
Only those who attain Flag Rank (and become Generals, Admirals or Air Marshals) can remain in service beyond that age and retire at 58 or 60 like their civilian counterparts.
However, owing to the steep pyramidal hierarchical organisational structure a very small percentage get promoted to flag rank (I do not have the exact figures but from what I have observed it looks like hardly 1% of the officers who join finally get promoted to flag rank).
Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen retire much earlier – most retire after 15 years service at the prime of their life, in their mid thirties at around 35 years of age. It is not feasible to “settle” your children and complete your familial responsibilities at this young age, so they have no choice and have to take up a second career in the “civvy street”.
Officers are caught midway.
If you want to truly “retire” on your superannuation date, then you must ensure that all your domestic commitments and familial obligations are complete well before you are 54 years of age.
You must have your own “retirement home” to live in and you must have enough savings to lead a decent retired life in these days of burgeoning inflation.
And of course, most importantly, your children should have completed their studies and must be settled in life.
If you can achieve all this before you retire, then you can indulge in the luxury of “doing nothing” after retirement and lead a truly blissful retired life.
If you are in the Navy (or Army or Air Force) it is best not to marry.
If you are a bachelor you will be well looked after by the service.
But if you do want to get married, please marry early and have all your children as early as possible.
Calculating backwards, all your children must be settled in life by the time you reach the retirement age of 54.
This means that you must have all your kids before you reach the age of 30 (assuming that your youngest kid will complete his or her education and get a job by the age of 24).
So you must get married at the stipulated age of 25 (or even earlier if possible).
This is the best case optimistic scenario assuming that your children study well and are good at academics.
Remember that for every child you have after you are 30 you are putting pressure on your retired life and you may not be able to afford the luxury of “doing nothing” after retirement.
Some officers marry late or have children late in life.
I have seen a situation where children were still in school when an officer retired at the age of 54.
The poor guy had no choice but to take up a job and spend many years of his retired life slogging it out in the “civvy street”.
Of course, if you are married to a “career woman” then it is really great and you can enjoy your retirement “doing nothing” while your “breadwinner” wife “brings home the bacon” and “puts bread on the table” to speak metaphorically.
In this respect, Lady Officers are luckier.
At least in the contemporary societal context in India where the concept of a “homemaker husband” is yet to take root, a lady officer is likely to be married to a “career man” and has the luxury of choosing when to “retire” and start “doing nothing”.
The moral of the story is that military officers are at a disadvantage vis-à-vis their civilian counterparts as far as retirement age is concerned.
(If you are a civilian you will retire at 60, or later, and by that age all your familial commitments are likely to be over and you can look forward to a blissful retired life with a higher pension too, due to the additional years of service you enjoy vis-à-vis your disadvantaged military counterpart).
There is great advantage for a military service officer to marry a civil services lady officer so that he can continue to enjoy benefits and perks of his spouse for a number of years after his own retirement.
Dear Reader, if you are a military officer, or are planning to join the army, navy or air force, remember that you are going to retire early.
It will be good if you can plan your life accordingly so that you can enjoy the indulgence of “doing nothing” after your retirement.
And when people have the audacity to ask you the quintessential question: “What are you doing after retirement?” you can nonchalantly and matter-of-factly say: “I am doing nothing”.
AFTERTHOUGHT
There are some retired officers who are “financially secure” and who have completed all their familial obligations.
But they continue to work even after retirement.
Why is this?
There are three reasons:
1. They are workaholics and are incapable of “doing nothing”.
2. They are greedy and do not know when to say “enough is enough” as far as money is concerned. They are never happy with whatever material possessions they have got.
3. They are not content with what they have achieved in life and want to keep chasing elusive dreams and keep aspiring for more and more “success”. These persons are forever in the rat race constantly comparing with others and either they have unrealistic expectations of themselves or they suffer from an “inferiority complex”.
The conclusion from this afterthought is that to be able to “do nothing” after retirement you must be happy wherever you are and be content with whatever you have got.
Wish You a Happy Retired Life “Doing Nothing” – let Every Day of your Retired Life be a Blissful Holiday.
VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

Did you like reading this article? 
I am sure you will like all the 27 stories in my recently published book of short stories COCKTAIL
To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:
http://www.flipkart.com/cocktail-vikram-karve-short-stories-book-8191091844?affid=nme
http://www.indiaplaza.in/cocktail-vikram-karve/books/9788191091847.htm
http://www.apkpublishers.com/books/short-stories/cocktail-by-vikram-karve.html
COCKTAIL ebook
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:
AMAZON
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005MGERZ6
SMASHWORDS
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87925

Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll (a Book of Foodie Adventures)
http://www.flipkart.com/appetite-stroll-vikram-karve/8190690094-gw23f9mr2o

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a large number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse – his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramwamankarve@gmail.com

 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
Posted by Vikram Karve

 

 

RETIREMENT BLUES – RANDOM GRUMBLINGS OF A RETIRED NAVAL OFFICER – Part 1

December 4, 2012

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: RETIREMENT BLUES – GRUMBLINGS OF A RETIRED NAVAL OFFICER Part 1.

Click the link given above or below to read the original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal.

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/12/retirement-blues-grumblings-of-retired.html

The article is also posted below for your convenience.

RETIREMENT BLUES – GRUMBLINGS OF A RETIRED NAVAL OFFICER Part 1

Most people retire at 60.

Some retire even later at 65 or 70.

And some people do not retire at all.

But in the Navy (and the Army and Air Force) they pack you off on superannuation much earlier.
You have to retire in your early fifties if you are an Officer, or even earlier in your thirties if you are a sailor (aka PBOR).

Now what do you do when you retire so early?Either you take up a second career and keep slogging.

Or you sit at home and rumble and grumble. 

Well, that is what I have chosen to do – sit at home and carp, complain and grumble.

Let me share with you, dear reader, some of my grumblings … 

RETIREMENT BLUES 
GRUMBLINGS OF A RETIRED NAVAL OFFICER
Part 1
By
VIKRAM KARVE

According to my wife, work means physical effort.
In her parlance, work is associated with physical labour. 
 
There must be some visible physical effort, some movement involved.
 
Yes, physical movement is the key attribute defining work.
That’s why when I was in the Navy my wife was very happy, since, according to her, I was “working” very hard. 
 
In the Navy there is a lot of physical movement, everyone and everything is moving all the time, and so was I.
There is a saying in the Navy:
 
If it moves, salute it
 
If it doesn’t move, pick it up
 
If you can’t pick it up, paint it
In the Navy (and the Army too): Work is associated with Movement
 
The more you were seen moving, the more hardworking you were considered. 
 
It did not matter whether you were achieving anything or not.
 
So, since everyone wanted to appear hardworking, everyone was on the move all the time – saluting people, picking up things and painting things they could not pick up.
 
My wife loved to see me on the move all the time and when I returned home physically exhausted after a hard day of “work” she was convinced that I was working very hard. 
 
“I wish you had never retired,” my wife moans, “you just don’t do any work now-a-days. 
 
All you do is sit at home in front of your laptop whole day.”
“What about those techies – those IT Nerds?” I ask, “they sit on their backsides all day in comfortable air-conditioned offices, are transported back and forth to office in company buses, have a relaxed five day week and all the perks – they don’t even have to lift a finger.”
“They earn loads of money,” my sister-in-law says.
Oh, so that’s the second definition of work.
Work is associated with earning money
 
The more money you earn, the more you are working – the amount of work you do is directly proportional to the amount of money you earn.
That’s funny.
Whereas physical effort counts as work, whether you earn money or not, intellectual effort does not count as work, unless it earns you a lot of money.
To put it in gobbledygook:
Physical Work and Money may be mutually independent of each other; whereas Intellectual Work and Money are mutually interdependent, in fact, the quantum of intellectual work is measured the amount of money you earn for doing that work.
Now-a-days I am a wannabe writer. 
 
I spend my whole day reading, writing, surfing the internet and blogging and in doing these activities there is hardly any visible physical effort involved. 
 
So in my wife’s parlance I do not do any work.
Also, at present, my writing does not earn me any money. 
 
Yes, I have published a couple of books.
 
(My books have not earned me much money, at least till now). 
 
I am an avid blogger and write a blog post almost every day.
 
(Blogging does not earn me any money since I have not monetized my blog). 
 
And the novel I am trying to write (my wife wonders whether it will ever see the light of day) – I don’t know whether or when it will earn me any money. 
 
So, as per the second definition too, I don’t do any work.
Yes, it is so simple – while I engage in creative writing and blogging:
 
1. I am not seen making any physical effort
 
and 
 
2. I don’t make any money from my writing and blogging
 
So, as per the two definitions of work, I don’t do any work – QED. 
 
I am a lazy good-for-nothing guy who is wasting my time and doing nothing.
Maybe the novel I am writing will become a bestseller and earn me some money. 
 
Maybe someone may buy the movie rights of my novel and I may rake in the moolah.
 
Maybe my Blog may become famous and someone will offer me an attractive proposition or lucrative job.
 
Then the “effort” I am putting in my writing will qualify as “work”.
Till then, as far as my darling “hard working” wife and “money making” sister-in-law are concerned, the only “work” I do is to take my pet dog Sherry for long walks in the morning and in the evening!
“You are such a qualified, experienced and talented guy. Why are you not working? 
 
 Why do you sit at home whole day doing nothing? I am sure you can get a good job. 
 
As an Engineer, Designer, Manager, Consultant, even as a Professor – you don’t know your true worth – you can earn lots of money. So why are you wasting your time? Why don’t you do something instead of sitting at home all day?
 
Even if you want to write, the least you can do is write some professional stuff instead of writing fiction.”
I have to hear all these taunts all the time from all sorts of people.
Yes, it is true:
 
I have got many lucrative job offers. 
 
I can easily get a good job and “work” whole day.
But why don’t they understand? 
 
I don’t want a “job”. 
 
I want to write fiction. 
 
I want to write a novel. 
 
I want to write stories.
 
I want to Blog.
 
I have found my “calling” – I have discovered my metier, my true vocation – creative writing and Blogging.
I want to spend the rest of life writing, surrounded by my books and my diaries in which I have made notes all these years, in front of my laptop, researching on the internet, hammering away at the keyboard, writing fiction and Blogging away.
Yes, I am going to write.
 
I will write my novel.
 
I will write on my blog.
 
I will write short stories.
 
I will write whatever I want to write – but I am going to write, and I am going to focus on writing what I like best – fiction.
Well, if you think I am wasting my time doing nothing – so be it.
To those who say that I don’t do any work, good luck to you – I just don’t care what you say.
Because I am going to be busy writing. 
 
I know that this is hard work and I am working harder than I ever worked in my whole life, though it is not visible to you – either by way of physical effort or earning money.
And whenever I get the writer’s block, I’ll go off on a walk thinking creative thoughts with my pet dog Sherry who seems to be the only person who understands me.
I’ll end with an anecdote, a true story, narrated by a famous writer.
The writer’s wife scolded him: You say that you are a writer but I hardly see you writing. Most of the time you relax in your chair with your eyes closed.”
“Yes, I am “writing” all the time,” the writer said, “do you know what creative writing is? Writing is 90% creative thinking and only 10% is the physical process of writing.”
 
And to those of you who think I am doing nothing after my retirement and I am wasting my time, I will tell you this – just Google my name VIKRAM KARVE and you will be surprised to see how much I have “worked” after my retirement.
 
VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Did you like reading this blog post?
I am sure you will like all the 27 stories in my book  COCKTAIL an anthology of Short Fiction.
To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:
http://www.flipkart.com/cocktail-vikram-karve-short-stories-book-8191091844?affid=nme
http://www.indiaplaza.in/cocktail-vikram-karve/books/9788191091847.htm
http://www.apkpublishers.com/books/short-stories/cocktail-by-vikram-karve.html
COCKTAIL ebook
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:
AMAZON
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005MGERZ6
SMASHWORDS
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87925

 
Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll
If your are a Foodie you will like my book of Food Adventures APPETITE FOR A STROLL. Do order a copy from FLIPKART:
http://www.flipkart.com/appetite-stroll-vikram-karve/8190690094-gw23f9mr2o
About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse – his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramwamankarve@gmail.com

      

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 
 

INQUIRY BASED LEARNING SYSTEM – Student Centric Education Model

June 20, 2012

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: INQUIRY BASED LEARNING SYSTEM – Student Centric Education Model.

Click the link above and read original post in my journal.

Also posted below for your convenience

INQUIRY BASED LEARNING SYSTEM – Student Centric Education Model

ROTE LEARNING KILLS CREATIVE THINKING – The Need for INQUIRY BASED LEARNING SYSTEM which is more STUDENT-CENTRIC in design
Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE
Here is quote from Liddel Hart (quoted by Norman Dixon on page 162 of his book On The Psychology of Military Incompetence)
A lifetime of having to curb the expression of original thought culminates so often in there being nothing left to express
Think about it.
Isn’t the present day rote learning type education system doing exactly this?
And so is the “do as you are told” management philosophy prevalent in most organisations. 
There is a saying:
If You Don’t “Use” It, Then You Will “Lose” It
It is the same with your brain, especially the right side of your brain. If you keep restraining your creativity from realizing its full potential, if you curb your imagination and suppress your original thinking, a time will come when you will lose the ability to think imaginatively and ingeniously.
After some time, you will become like a mechanical “robot” and you will unthinkingly and unquestioningly do what you are told.
That is what the prevalent teacher centric rote learning education system and “do as you are told” work culture will achieve.
Do we want our children to become “robots”?
Or should we not introduce a more student centric Inquiry Based Learning System?
Remember the saying:
Tell me and I Forget
Show me and I Remember
Involve me and I Understand
Involvement is the sine qua non of holistic learning.
Mere “Telling” and “Showing” is not enough as this will not encourage development of creativity and stimulate imagination – it is “involvement” that will kindle and inspire original thinking which in turn will facilitate realization of one’s full potential.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this article?
I am sure you will like all the 27 stories in my anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL – Stories About Relationships. 

To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:
http://www.flipkart.com/cocktail-vikram-karve-short-stories-book-8191091844?affid=nme
http://www.indiaplaza.in/cocktail-vikram-karve/books/9788191091847.htm
http://www.apkpublishers.com/books/short-stories/cocktail-by-vikram-karve.html
COCKTAIL ebook
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:
AMAZON
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005MGERZ6
SMASHWORDS
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87925

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse – his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramkarve@sify.com     


© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

IIT BHU – IIT Tag for IT-BHU – MEMORIES OF MY ALMA MATER – From BENCO to ITBHU to IIT BHU Varanasi

May 2, 2012

Click the link below and read a nostalgic piece on ITBHU

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: IIT BHU – IIT Tag for IT-BHU – MEMORIES OF MY ALMA MATER.

Click the link above to read the original blog post in my journal (also posted below for your convenience)

IIT BHU – IIT Tag for ITBHU – MEMORIES OF MY ALMA MATER

Parliament has finally passed the Institute of Technology (Amendment) Bill and my alma mater Institute of Technology Banaras Hindu University (ITBHU) will get the IIT tag and may be renamed IIT BHU.
Only time will tell to what extent this change will benefit the institution. 
The oldest engineering college in India, Roorkee University too got the IIT tag a few years ago. 
ITBHU (then called BENCO) was probably the second oldest engineering college in India and it is the engineering graduates from Roorkee and BHU that not only helped set up the IITs but played a stellar role in the development of India’s Infrastructure and Industry. 
Roorkee and ITBHU pioneered Engineering Education in India and it would have been befitting if IT-BHU and Roorkee University were made the first IITs the moment India got Independence in 1947.
Someone said that the IIT tag will enhance the status” of the Institution. 
I asked him what he exactly meant, so he explained that the market value”  of the degree will increase. 
Yes, today’s world is all about brand image” and that is why “branded” goods are in great demand and sell more – brand value enhances status and hence matters more than utility value.
ITBHU enjoyed a great advantage being a part of BHU which is a unique university, centre of excellence with a great heritage and I trust that the synergy continues. 
We are pioneers in a sense, as we belong to the first IIT JEE Batch (1972 – 1977) – the first batch to receive B. Tech. degrees [the earlier batches received the B. Sc. (Engineering) degree – of course it doesn’t matter much whether one gets the BE or B.Sc.(Engg) or B. Tech. degree as all are on par]. 
I wish my alma mater and all members of the IIT BHU family (faculty, students and alumni) the best of success and Godspeed and on this Red Letter Day permit me to post, once again, an “ode” to my alma mater which I wrote a few years ago after an alumni reunion of our batch. 
(By the way, this proposal to rename ITBHU as IIT BHU or IIT Varanasi was envisaged quite some time back, many years ago, and has finally borne fruit. I only hope that the change will be for the better and the glorious heritage and traditions of the institution are not forgotten)


MEMORIES OF MY ALMA MATER
By
VIKRAM KARVE


One of my ITBHU classmates told me that soon ITBHU is going to be designated as an IIT. 
 


Change is inevitable. First it was BENCO, then ITBHU and now IIT.

Well, I have studied at an IIT (IIT Delhi) too, but let me tell you I still cherish fond memories of our Banaras Days, our student life at ITBHU Varanasi, living to our fullest, playing sports, enjoying life, relishing delicious food in delightful company and studying in a truly academic ambience. 

Also, we were pioneers of change, the first batch selected through the IIT JEE Entrance Exam, who joined in 1972 and passed out with our B.Tech. degrees in 1977.  [Earlier the degree awarded was B.Sc. (Engineering)].

In retrospection, here is my nostalgic piece on my alma mater.

ITBHU [Erstwhile BENCO – Banaras Engineering College]
Institute of Technology
Banaras Hindu University
Varanasi
India

Let’s begin with the college song :

IT BHU Chorus

HAND IN HAND WE GO TOGETHER,
HAND IN HAND WE ARE SINGING ALONG.

SIDE BY SIDE WE FACE THE MUSIC,
WIN OR LOSE WE ALWAYS SING A SONG.

WAVE THE FLAG, WE’LL KEEP IT FLYING,
TILL THE SUN SHINES O’ER THE LAND.

IF THE LUCK IS GOOD WE’LL ALWAYS SHARE THE CHEERS,
IF THE LUCK IS BAD, WE’LL GLADLY BEAR THE TEARS.

TILL THE DAY WE TURN THE CORNER,
WE’LL KEEP ON AS LONG AS WE ARE HAND IN HAND.

IF YOU KEEP ON SMILING AT THE RAINBOW,
YOU WILL NEVER MIND A SHOWER OF RAIN.

KEEP YOUR HEAD ON THE CLOUDS,
DON’T GET LOST IN THE CROWDS.

ALWAYS KEEP THE SONG IN YOUR HEART,
AND SHOUT HIP-HIP HURRAH.


Composed by:
Prof. Charles. A. King
The First Principal of the
Banaras Engineering College (BENCO)

On what basis do you judge an educational institution, especially an Engineering College or a B-School…?

In today’s world there is just one criterion – market value – the starting salaries and campus placement the students get – the more outrageously astronomical the pay packets, and the greater the percentage of lucrative campus placements – the better the institution.

And with the increasing commercialization of education, many institutes blatantly compete, advertise, and focus on these materialistic aspects to attract students – it’s a highly competitive rat race.

I feel the cardinal yardstick for appraising the true merit of an educational institution is the value-addition it instills in its alumni – and I’m not talking of utility and materialistic values alone; but more importantly the inculcation and enhancement of intrinsic and intangible higher values.

The student should feel he or she has changed for the better, professionally and personally; and so should other stakeholders observing the student from the outside be able to discern the value enhancement.

I studied for my B.Tech. Bachelor’s Degree in Electronics Engineering at ITBHU from 1972 to 1977 (first batch IIT JEE) and I experienced the well-rounded value addition I have mentioned above.

Later in life, being academically inclined, I continued studying, and have completed many courses, a Post Graduate Diploma in Management, an Engineering and Technology Post Graduation at a premier IIT (M. Tech. – IIT Delhi) and have worked in multifarious capacities and even taught for many years as a Professor at prestigious academic institutions of higher learning, but I shall always cherish my days at ITBHU the most.

I knew I was a better man, in my entirety, having passed through the portals of ITBHU, and I am sure those scrutinizing me from the outside felt the same way.

ITBHU was amalgamated by integrating three of the country’s oldest and best engineering colleges: BENCO (Banaras Engineering College) – the first in the Orient, and certainly in India, to introduce the disciplines of Electrical and Mechanical Engineering, MINMET – the pioneer in Mining and Metallurgy in India, and College of Technology – the first to start Chemical and Ceramic Engineering in India.

Indeed these three institutions pioneered engineering education in India and were the harbingers of industrialization in our country.

Now, like Roorkee, the first Engineering College of India, I understand that they want to rename our celebrated alma mater as an IIT.  I really wonder why – maybe in today’s world brand value is more in vogue rather than heritage value. 

In my time ITBHU was indeed a center of excellence, an apt institution to study in, and a lovely place to live in.

The vast verdant lush green semi-circular campus at the southern end of Varanasi, the largest university campus I have ever seen, with its pleasant and relaxed atmosphere was ideal for student life.

And being a part of a premier university afforded one a consummate multidisciplinary experience.

It was a delightful and fulfilling experience I will always cherish – learning from erudite and totally dedicated Professors, who were authorities in their fields of specialization, amidst excellent academic facilities and ambience, elaborate labs and workshops, lush green campus, well-designed comfortable hostels, delicious food, expansive sports fields and facilities for all types of sports, the beautiful swimming pool, the unique well-stocked and intellectually inspiring Gaekwad library, and the exquisite temple that added a spiritual dimension to the scholarly ambiance.

One could learn heritage and foreign languages, fine arts, music, indology, philosophy, yoga, pursue hobbies like numismatics – the avenues for learning were mind-boggling.

Many of us learnt music and foreign languages at this sanctum of learning.

We had a truly holistic education and the idyllic environs of BHU helped one develop a philosophical attitude to life.

Like all premier institutes ITBHU was fully residential, which fostered camaraderie and facilitated lifelong friendships amongst the alumni. I can never forget those delightful moments in Dhanrajgiri, Morvi, Vishwakarma, Vishveswarayya and CV Raman hostels, mouthwatering memories of the Lavang Lata and Lassi at Pehelwan’s in Lanka, the Lal Peda opposite Sankat Mochan, Chinese at La Bella in Lanka, and the delicious wholesome cuisine of Banaras, watching movies at the quaint and unique cinema halls, strolling on the holy ghats, and the cycle trips all over Varanasi, Sarnath, and even across the holy and sacred Ganga on the pontoon bridge to watch the Ram Lila at Ramnagar.
 
 
We, the batch who passed out in 1977, the first IIT JEE batch, still meet regularly to relive our glorious days. 

Way back then, in the 1970s, ITBHU was a wonderful place to study engineering and live one’s formative years in.

I wonder what my dear alma mater is like now…! 

VIKRAM KARVE 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this post?
I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL 
To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:
http://www.flipkart.com/cocktail-vikram-karve-short-stories-book-8191091844?affid=nme
http://www.indiaplaza.in/cocktail-vikram-karve/books/9788191091847.htm
http://www.apkpublishers.com/books/short-stories/cocktail-by-vikram-karve.html


COCKTAIL ebook
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:
AMAZON
http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005MGERZ6
SMASHWORDS
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87925

Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll
If your are a Foodie you will like my book of Food Adventures APPETITE FOR A STROLL. Do order a copy from FLIPKART:
http://www.flipkart.com/appetite-stroll-vikram-karve/8190690094-gw23f9mr2o

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse – his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramkarve@sify.com

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve – YOUR BLOG IS YOUR BEST RESUME

April 17, 2012

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: YOUR BLOG IS YOUR BEST RESUME.

Click the link above and read in my journal my Musings on CV RESUME and ONLINE PROFILE

DEAD END – Short Fiction Story

February 29, 2012

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: DEAD END – Short Fiction Story.

DEAD END – Short Fiction Story


DEAD END
Short Fiction Story 
By
VIKRAM KARVE
 
From my Creative Writing Archives:
I wrote this short story sometime in the mid 1990s. 
Then, it was highly appreciated.  
I think this story is quite relevant even today.
Manjunath was a contended man.
He was the proud owner of a coconut grove, more than a hundred trees, located on the most picturesque stretch of the western coast, skirting the Arabian Sea. The land was fertile and the yield was excellent.
Every morning, along with his wife and two sons, Manjunath would cast his fishing nets into the gentle waters of Baicol Bay, and in the evening, when he pulled in his nets with the receding tide, the catch would be adequate, if not substantial.
I loved Baicol Bay. It was a most beautiful and pristine place by the sea and sunset, on the western coast, was a special event.
So every evening, I went for a jog on the soft unspoilt beach, and after a swim in the crystal-clear waters, I relaxed on the sands, beholding the fascinating, yet soothing, spectacle of the mighty orange sun being devoured under the horizon of the sea.
As darkness enveloped, Manjunath would gently appear by my side with a tender coconut in hand.
At that moment, there was nothing more refreshing than sweet coconut water.
The year was 1980 and I was a fresh, young and idealistic Indian Police Service (IPS) Officer, on my first posting, as Assistant Superintendent of Police (ASP) of this lovely coastal district.

 

The air was fresh and unpolluted and the weather was temperate. There was no railway line, no industries, and no noise. The district headquarters was a one-street town. Everybody knew everybody, the people were peace-loving, and in the prevailing climate of contentment, it was no surprise that the crime-rate was almost zero.
One day, my boss, the Superintendent of Police (SP) took me to an important meeting in the District Collector’s office.
As I heard the words of the Collector, I experienced a deep sense of distress. A notification had been issued and a mammoth Steel Plant had been sanctioned in the Baicol Bay area. Land Acquisition was the immediate top priority. The police were to ensure that there was no law and order problem.
“But why can’t they locate the Steel Plant somewhere else?” I protested. “This lovely palace will be ruined. And where will the people go?”
At first, the Collector appeared dumbstruck by my interruption. Then he glowered at me with a fierce and threatening stare. I avoided his gaze and looked around the room. Everyone was looking at me in a curious manner. My boss, the SP, was desperately gesturing to me to keep quiet.
“I wonder whose side you are on?” the Collector snapped angrily, still giving me an intimidating glare.
“Don’t worry, Sir,” the SP spoke, addressing the Collector. “There will be no problems. The people here are a docile lot. Everything shall proceed smoothly.”
When we were driving back to our office, the SP said, “Joshi, you better tame your tongue and watch what you say, especially in front of others.”
“Sir, you please tell me. Isn’t this injustice? We pay them a pittance for their fertile land. And then evict them from their habitat, and destroy the beauty of this place, just because someone decides to set up a set up a Steel Plant here.”
“It’s in the national interest, Joshi. Why don’t you try and understand. Everyone shall be properly rehabilitated with a job and a house and also get a compensation.”
“Come on, sir,” I argued. “You know where we are going to relocate them. The rehabilitation camp is more than twenty kilometres away from the sea front. And we are putting them into small overcrowded multi-storeyed tenements, which are at complete variance from their ethos. These people are used to open spaces, fresh air, and most important – the waterfront, the sea.”
“That’s enough, Joshi,” the SP said angrily. “Your job is to carry out my orders. I want you to take personal charge of this operation. The task must be completed smoothly and on schedule. Is that clear?”
“Yes, sir,” I replied meekly.
That evening I held a meeting with the affected villagers. Manjunath was sitting in the first row, right in front of me. I spoke of patriotism, sacrifice for the “national cause” and the prosperity the Steel Plant would bring into their lives.
To my utter surprise, there was no resistance. Everyone seemed convinced, I think because they where simple people who believed every word I said, but to my own self, my own words sounded insincere and I felt acutely uncomfortable.
And so the operation began.
Awe-struck, Manjunath saw the might of the government on display. He watched with tears in his eyes, columns of police standing by, while bulldozers destroyed his beloved coconut grove.
A few days later Manjunath stood before the employment officer. The employment officer was in a foul mood. “These illiterate buggers get jobs on a platter while my matriculate brother-in-law rots unemployed in city,” he complained, “I had promised my wife that I would wrangle at least a Class Four job for him out here.”
“Hold your tongue,” said the rehabilitation officer. “These so-called ‘illiterate buggers’, as you call them, were land-owners, displaced from their own land.”
“Okay, okay. Don’t get hot,” the employment officer said to the rehabilitation officer. Then he looked at Manjunath and curtly asked him, “Do you posses any special skills?”
Manjunath could not comprehend, so he just stood silent.
In an exasperated manner, the employment officer snapped, “We haven’t got all day. Tell me. What can you do?”
“Coconuts,” Manjunath answered.
“Coconuts?”
“Yes, Sir. Coconuts.”
“What else?”
“Fish.”
“Fish and Coconuts, eh! You’ll see plenty of them,” the employment officer said. He wrote the word ‘cook’ beside Manjunath’s name in the register.
And so, at one stroke, Manjunath was transformed, from a land-owner into a cook, first in the ramshackle canteen for construction workers and later in the huge industrial canteen of the Steel Plant.
But Manjunath was lucky. At least he had become a cook. Most others became Unskilled Labourers because the skills they possessed, like farming and fishing, were not relevant as far as the Steel Plant was concerned.
And so almost all the “skilled” workers – the tradesmen, all the welders, fitters, machinists, electricians etc. – they all came from outside, from faraway places, the cities and the urban areas. And the complexion of the place began to change.

 

Soon I stooped going for my daily evening jog to Baicol beach, for now it was littered with debris from the construction work and the air was no longer pure, but polluted by fumes and dust and the noise was unbearable.
 
And, of course, now there would be no Manjunath waiting for me with a tender coconut in hand.
 
So when my transfer came, I felt relieved and happy, for I no longer loved the place and, more so, because it was getting painful to see the beginning of the systematic metamorphosis of a beautiful natural paradise into a huge monster of concrete and steel.
 
When I returned after fifteen long years, the place had change beyond recognition. The gigantic steel plant, the railway line, the new port, the industries, the ‘fruits’ of liberalization and the signs of prosperity, modern buildings adorned by adjoining slums, filth and polluted air, all types of vehicles clogging the roads, restaurants and bars, the noise and even most of the people looked alien.
 
As we drove down to the police headquarters, the SP said, “It’s not the same place when you were here, sir.”
 
“The crime-rate was zero then,” I said. “What has gone wrong?”
 
“There are two types of people now, Sir – the liberalised Indian and the marginalised Indian.”
 
“And us!”
 
“And us,” he laughed, “yes, sir, and us trying to sort the whole thing out.”
 
I was head of the crime branch at the state police headquarters and had been sent down to investigate a series of bizarre murders. A few bigwigs were waylaid, had their heads chopped off and their headless bodies dumped outside their houses. It had created such a scare that my boss had rushed me down.
 
The car stopped. I recognized the place at once.
 
“The common thread, sir,” the SP said. “All the victims lived in this luxury residential enclave.”
 
“I knew this place,” I said, feeling a tinge of nostalgia. “There used to be a coconut grove here. This place was acquired for the steel plant. But now I see that it is just outside the perimeter wall. I wonder why they excluded this area.”
 
“Must be the environment stipulations, sir,” the SP mumbled, “the two hundred meter zone or something. They must have de-notified it.”
 
“Don’t give me bullshit!” I shouted. “Then how the hell has this posh residential complex come up here? And if they didn’t want the land for the steel plant then why wasn’t this land returned back to the original owners?”
         
“Sir, land which was sold by the acre in your time, fifteen years ago, is now priced the same per square foot.”
 
“The fruits of progress, is it?” I snapped.
 
I could see that the SP was getting confused by my unexpected line of investigation, and he was getting a bit scared too, for I was a DIG. So I decided to put him at ease.
 
“Tell me, Pandey,” I said patronizingly. “What were you before joining the IPS?”
 
“An Engineer, Sir. From IIT, Delhi.”
 
I wasn’t surprised. Engineers, even doctors, were joining the IAS and IPS nowadays. I looked at the SP and said, “Let me explain in a way you will understand.”
 
Pandey was looking at me intently.
 
I paused, and asked him. “Do you know what’s a system?”
 
“Yes, sir,” he answered.
 
“Every system has a natural rhythm,” I said, “take this place for example. All the people here in this system, farmers, fishermen, everyone, they all had a natural rhythm of life which perfectly matched the rhythm of this place. And there was harmony. Then suddenly we disturb the system. We drastically change the rhythm of the place. Create a mismatch. And when the people can’t cope up, we call them ‘marginalised Indians’ – as you put it.”
 
Pandey looked thoroughly confused, so I avoided further rhetoric and came straight to the point, “You are looking for a motive, isn’t it, Pandey?”
 
“Yes, Sir,” he said.
 
“Okay, consider this. You own some fertile land. We forcibly acquire it, mouthing platitudes like ‘national interest’, ‘patriotism’ etc. Then we sit on your land for fifteen long years while you are reduced from an owner to a labourer. And then, one fine day, you find that your beloved land been grabbed by some land-sharks from the city. What would you do?”
 
The SP did not reply.
 
“Do one thing, Pandey,” I said. “There’s a man called Manjunath. He probably works as a cook in the Steel Plant canteen. Bring him to me. He may have some clue and maybe he will give us a lead.”
 
In my mind’s eye I was thinking of ways of how to get Manjunath off the hook.
 
An hour later the SP came rushing into the police headquarters. He looked dazed, as if he had been pole-axed. “The guy went crazy,” he stammered. “When the police party approached him, he was chopping coconuts with a sharp sickle. Suddenly he slashed his own neck. He died on the way to hospital. There’s blood everywhere.”
 
In the morgue, looking at Manjunath’s dead body the SP commented, “Look at the expression on his face, sir. He looks so content.”
 
“Yes,” I said. “He’s reached the dead end.”
 

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse – his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramkarve@sify.com
Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll
http://www.flipkart.com/appetite-stroll-vikram-karve/8190690094-gw23f9mr2o


© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

OUTSOURCING – My Favourite Short Stories Revisited Part 50

February 19, 2012

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: OUTSOURCING – My Favourite Short Stories Revisited Part 50.

Click the link above and read the story in my journal

A LAZY HOT AFTERNOON IN MUMBAI

February 7, 2012

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: A LAZY HOT AFTERNOON IN MUMBAI – My Favourite Short Stories Part 90.

Click the link above and read the short story in my creative writing journal

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