Archive for the ‘leisure’ Category

How to Find Your Perfect Marriage Partner – Numerology and Compatibility

August 21, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: MARRIAGE COMPATIBILITY GUIDE – How to Find Your Perfect Match.

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

HOW TO FIND YOUR PERFECT MATCH – MARRIAGE COMPATIBILITY GUIDE

NUMEROLOGY and COMPATIBILITY
A Spoof
(Just for Fun)
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Most people say that my wife and I are the most incompatible couple they have ever met. 

Many of our friends and relatives wonder how we have managed to stay married together for more than 33 years.

Even our children are surprised as to how two individuals with such contrasting temperaments can remain together for so long. 

The fact that my wife and I have lived together for over 33 years implies that – though outwardly it may not seem so – inwardly – there must be some“mysterious hidden compatibility“ between me and my wife.

Sometimes – you have a fact of life before you that defies rational logic – like the fact that we remain married for more than 33 years – whereas – logically – a terribly incompatible couple like us should have split-up long back.

So – you have to work backwards – to try to find some reason to substantiate and “validate” this incomprehensible fact – and try to justify the “inconsistency”

I call this reverse logic or ex post facto justification

As I said – we – my wife and I – are a terribly incompatible couple.

Yet – our marriage has lasted for more than 33 years. 

Therefore – I had to find some reason for this mystery.

That is why I took solace in numerology. 

And – hey presto – I was able to “prove” that we – my wife and I – are indeed “compatible” (at least on paper).

Dear Reader: Have a look at the Pythagorean Numerology Table below:


Now let us use this Pythagorean Numerological Table.

Let’s calculate the numerological value of my name VIKRAM 

(4+9+2+9+1+4 = 29 = 2+9 = 11 = 1+1 = 2

My numerological value is 2

Now – let’s compute the numerological value of my wife’s name POORNIMA 

(7+6+6+9+5+9+4+1 = 47 = 4+7 = 11 = 1+1 = 2)

Hey – my wife’s numerological value is also 2

The numerological values of both our names is the same. 

My number is 2 

My wife’s number is also 2

It is a “Perfect Match” 

No wonder we are such a “perfect match” – at least from the numerology point of view – so now we can “justify” our long married life.


WHAT TO DO ON YOUR FIRST DATE

Are you married..? 

Are you planning to get married..? 

Are you in love..? 

Are you in a relationship..? 

Are you dating someone..? 

Are you thinking of getting into a relationship with someone…?

Just check out your mutual numerological compatibility. 

Now you know what to do on your first date now – don’t you…?

Maybe it is a good idea to have some fun.

Check out your numerological compatibility – with your spouse – your friends – your loved ones – your boss – your colleagues – or anyone with whom you are planning a close relationship. 

Just use the simple Pythagorean Table above – and compute the numerological value of your names. 


NUMEROLOGICAL HARMONY

If you have a “perfect match” – it’s great. 

But suppose you do not have a “perfect match”.

No problem.

Do not worry if your numerological values are not identical (perfect match).

You can always hope for harmony in numerological values.

Even if the numerological values are in harmony (one value divisible by the other) – it is a sign of excellent compatibility. 

For example – if the husband’s numerological value is 3 – and the wife’s value comes out to be a multiple of 3 like 6 or 9 (or vice versa) – then they are in “harmony”. 

So – if you find out that your marriage “rocks” – be happy – tell your spouse and celebrate.

And – if your numerological values just do not match (inharmonious combinations like 2 and 7 or 3 and 8 or 4 and 9) – just don’t worry.

When in doubt – there is no harm in using means to justify the end.

Try out some other numerology system – like Chaldean, Indian, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, African, even Abracadabra – there are so many numerology tables, charts and calculators available. 

Keep trying all permutations and combinations – till you “discover” your mutual compatibility. 

And then – you can “validate” your marital compatibility – and be happy. 

That is the trick scientists do while doing “research”.

You just keep on trying all permutations and combinations – till you find a “justification” for your “hypothesis”.


DISCOVER YOUR MUTUAL COMPATIBILITY

Dear Reader: You can easily “discover” your “compatibility” with any person you want to by using this simple numerological method. 

Use this technique to convince your loved one about how “mutually compatible” you two are. 

Maybe – this will enhance your romance. 

Try it with your boss and colleagues too. 

Maybe – it will improve interpersonal relationships at work.

But here is a caveat.

Please do not use numerology as an excuse to “dump” someone.

Now – that is unethical – and just not done. 

And – Hey – please do not take this too seriously – I told you right at the beginning that all this is just for fun…!

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 a 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. While you can use numerology for fun – please do your due diligence in real life – since – to the best of my knowledge – numerology has no scientific basis. 
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 in the year 2008 and posted online earlier by me in this blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/200…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… etc

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/21/2015 12:17:00 PM

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)

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

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)

 

Changing Face of the “FAUJAN” (Military Wife) – Story of 4 “Fauji Memsahibs”

April 22, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: ARMY WIFE – THEN AND NOW : A TALE OF FOUR FAUJI MEMSAHIBS.

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

THE NEW AGE “FAUJI MEMSAHIB”

Sometime back the Social Media was abuzz with news of a curious contretemps pertaining to AWWA (Army Wives Welfare Association) and this issue was reported in the media too (Link to report below):

Major’s wife threatens action for being forced to rehearse for a show

If you read the news report and peruse the numerous comments and views on the incident expressed by young army wives on the social media, especially twitter, it is evident the archaic feudal army social culture is not in sync with the aspirations of the new age army wife.

All this “humor out of uniform” reminded me of a blog post I had written a few months ago about the changing face of the “Fauji Memsahib”

I am posting the story once more for you to read:

ARMY WIFE – THEN AND NOW : A Tale of 4 “Fauji Memsahibs
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Story of 4 “Fauji Memsahibs”

ARMY WIFE NO. 1 – SHE HAD NO REGRET MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER

1948   Army Bride

“There is a marriage proposal for you,” her parents say, the moment she returns home from college.

“I don’t want to get married,” she says.

“Do you want to remain a spinster all your life?” her mother asks.

“No. But let me finish my graduation. Then I’ll see,” she says.

“She has a point. Let her finish her graduation. It’s just a question of one year,” her father says.

“Yes, let me finish my graduation,” the girl says.

“What graduation? Your whole aim is to get married, isn’t it? The boy and his parents are not insisting on graduation. They saw you at the club last evening, they have liked you, the boy has liked you, and the proposal has come. And let me tell you one thing – you won’t find a more eligible bachelor than him. It will be top status match. He is an army officer and you know that army officers are in highest demand – he can get any girl he wants, and you will be very lucky to get a husband like him. We will all regret it if we let go an opportunity like this,” the mother says.

“Please don’t hurry me up. Let me meet the boy. I will talk to him. Maybe he will wait for one year till I finish my B.A. – maybe we can get engaged now and marry later,” the girl says.

“No. The boy cannot wait for one year. He has been selected to go abroad for a long training course in England. He is leaving next month and they want to get him married before he leaves so that he can take his wife along with him to England,” the mother says.

Her father interjects, “I have found out everything about the boy from my army friends. The boy is a fine officer and has a very bright future in the army. The family is very respectable and decent too. I think you should consider this proposal.”

Seeing the daughter confused, the mother says firmly, “Listen carefully. They want our answer by tonight – yes or no. There is bevy of girls lined up for him, so may girls are desperate to get married to him, and you will regret it all you life if you let this boy go.”

The girl nodded her acceptance.

He mother rang up the boy’s mother.

Next day, the boy and his parents came over to “see” the girl – notionally, the boy’s side still had the prerogative to “reject” the girl but then they had already seen her and liked her.

The girl got married to the army officer the next week. They went on a whirlwind honeymoon to Darjeeling, then to the army cantonment where the boy was posted, where there was a flurry of parties, and then they set sail for England.

The girl did not complete her graduation. There was no need for so much education – for she was going to be a full time army wife – a “memsahib”.

The girl did not regret her decision.

In fact, marrying an army officer was the best thing that happened to her.

Where else would she get the high status in society, the top quality lifestyle, and the comforts that she enjoyed as the wife of a General?

Yes, her husband had become a General and she was the “first lady” and she was proud to have contributed to his success as a perfect army wife.

She felt absolutely no regret that she had married an army officer.

In fact, marrying an army officer was the best decision of her life.


20 Years Later…


ARMY WIFE NO. 2 – SHE HAD A LITTLE BIT OF REGRET MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER

1968   Army Bride

She was a budding lawyer with a lot of promise.

After her LL.B. she had begun her practice under the tutelage of a top-notch lawyer.

One day, she submitted her resignation and told him that she was giving up her law practice.

Her boss was aghast and demanded to know the reason for her inexplicable decision.

“Sir, I am getting married to an army officer,” she said.

“But why resign and give up your practice? You can continue to practice law even after marriage. You are so talented – you have a very bright future ahead of you – I am sure you will become a very successful lawyer and, who knows, you even may get the opportunity of being elevated as a judge,” he said.

“Sir, my husband will be posted all over as an army officer and I don’t want to live separately from him – in fact, he has made it quite clear that he wants me to accompany him wherever he goes,” she said, and quit her law career.

She enjoyed being an army wife, supporting her husband in his career, taking part in various social duties, the nomadic way of life, and cozy existence of cantonment life.

Later, as she saw that some of her classmates and erstwhile lawyer colleagues, who were much less accomplished than her, had become successful lawyers, and some had even become judges, and she felt a tinge of regret, for she had no identity of her own except that of being the wife of an army officer.

Yes, she did feel a bit of regret that she had married an army officer and sacrificed her own career.


20 Years Later…


ARMY WIFE NO. 3 – SHE HAD PLENTY OF REGRET FOR MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER

1988   Army Bride

She was a qualified engineer who had specialized in computer and software engineering.

She got a job in the top pioneer software company and had settled down quickly in her career.

She got married to an army officer.

She had two choices:

Option 1

1. She could give up her career as a “Techie” and join her husband in the remote place where he was posted and then accompany him wherever he was posted. She realized that if she wanted to always be with her husband, as an army wife she would have to be either a homemaker or a teacher, the only feasible career in a cantonment.

Option 2

2. She could continue her career but have a “long distance marriage” with her army husband as he got posted all over.

She chose the second option. 

Yes, she chose Option 2 – she decided to pursue her career as a “Techie” and have a “long distance marriage”.

She did extremely well in her career.

Soon, she was way ahead of her “fauji” husband who was plodding along in the army.

In their entire married life, they spent just 3 years together when her husband managed a posting to her place of work.

Often, she felt lonely, as she missed her husband.

As she saw her fellow “techie couples” enjoy the bliss of married life, she was filled with regret that she was married only on paper.

Yes, she was married only on paper – in practice, her life was as if she was not married.

Loneliness proved corrosive for her army officer husband too, who took solace in alcohol.

Worse, the army officer husband developed an inferiority complex because his wife had done much better than him in life, career-success wise and money wise, as the prospects in the army were limited as compared to the software industry.

All this – the conjugal separation, her work pressures, compounded by her husband’s increasing melancholic attitude, took its toll on her too.

She regretted marrying an army officer.


20 Years Later…
                                                          

ARMY NOT-TO-BE-WIFE NO. 4 – SHE DID NOT WANT TO REGRET BY MARRYING AN ARMY OFFICER

2008   Not-to-be Army Bride

She was the ambitious daughter of an army officer – she was an “army brat”.

She studied economics from a premier college and then followed it up with an MBA from a top Business School, topping in both courses.

She had got a top-notch placement as an investment banker.

She was taken aback when her classmate from school suddenly proposed to her.

He was also an “army brat” who had joined the NDA as a cadet after school and was now an army officer.

The army officer told the investment banker that he was secretly in love with her and was waiting for her to finish her studies before he proposed.

“But I treated you as a friend,” she said.

“But for me you are much more than a friend – tell me – what’s wrong if we get married – we know each other since school,” he said.

“Are you crazy?” she said.

“Crazy? Why?” he asked.

“Why don’t you understand? You are just an army officer and I am an investment banker. I am out of your league now. Do you know the package I have been offered? In the army, I doubt you get even one-tenth of the salary and perks I get. See, don’t feel bad, but I have my dreams, my ambitions of making it real big – now I am heading for Hong Kong, after that I don’t know where I will go – so marrying an army officer just does not fit into my career plans – you understand, don’t you?” she told him, “I do not want to regret by marrying an army officer.”

The investment banker girl looked at the dejected army officer and said, “Will you mind if I give you some advice?”

“Go ahead,” the army officer said.

“If you want to be happy, you better find a wife within the army,” she said.

“What do you mean?” the army officer asked.

You should marry a female army officer. There are so many girls joining the army nowadays. So why don’t you find a bride in uniform – it will best for both of you.”

With these words she walked out his life.

So, the investment banker, the ambitious daughter of an army officer, the “army brat” – she did not want to regret by marrying an army officer.

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 blog post is a 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)



Updated and Revised Version of my Article “THE CHANGING FACE OF THE ARMY WIFE” posted in my blog on 22 Jan 2014 First Posted by Vikram Karveat 01/22/2014 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/10/2014 12:08:00 PM

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…

HOW TO IMPRESS GIRLS and BOYS – Impression Management for Long Term Relationships

March 21, 2015

Original Post written by Me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve : HOW TO IMPRESS PEOPLE

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/03/how-to-impress-people.html.

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

IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT

HOW TO IMPRESS GIRLS and BOYS – Impression Management for Long Term Relationships

WORST IMPRESSION IS THE BEST IMPRESSION
Contrarian Wisdom
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Let me tell you an “apocryphal” story.

This happened 33 years ago – in March 1982 – in Pune.

A girl came to see a boy (for arranged marriage).

The girl was accompanied by her mother (the girl’s father, a Brigadier, was serving in a field area).

Normally – in Maharashtra – the boy goes to the girl’s home (for the customary “kande pohe program”).

But – in this case – the boy had requested the girl to come over to his rather Spartan home.

It was around 10 in the morning – the boy was alone at home – as the boy’s mother had gone for work.

The boy (a Naval Officer) had come to Pune on a week’s leave for “girl seeing” for arranged marriage.

Since the boy was not one of those refined “metrosexuals” – he had not “decked up” for the occasion – but he was dressed in a simple cotton white kurta-pyjama – and he was enjoying a smoke and reading a book – while waiting for the girl to arrive.

The girl and her mother arrived at 10:30.

“You are late,” the boy said, and he asked the girl and her mother to sit down.

The boy served Tea (which he had prepared himself).

Then – the boy lit a cigarette – and he said to the girl, “Let me tell you a bit about myself. As you can see – I smoke a lot. I drink regularly too – around 6 large pegs of rum daily – that is about half a bottle of rum every evening. My career prospects in the Navy are not very bright – I am certainly not ‘Admiral Material’. You are a ‘SODA’ – your father is a big shot in the Army – so you may be used to the comforts and facilities of army life – but in the Navy you get nothing – no batman (sahayak), no transport, no proper housing, no facilities – as you can see I am not a rich man – I just have a scooter – and I do not think I will be able to afford a car on the paltry salary we get in the Navy – you will have to live in some temporary make-shift  shanty – and you will have to do all the housework yourself…”

“You don’t get a house in the Navy…?” the girl asked.

“You do – but there is a huge shortage of married accommodation and the waiting period is 2 years – so by the time we get a proper house, it will be time for my transfer – and it is the same story in every new place – so you must be prepared for a nomadic existence shifting from one temporary accommodation to another…”

“What is ‘SODA’…?” the girl asked.

“Senior Officers’ Daughters’ Association – your Dad is a Brigadier so you are a SODA,” the boy said, “but let me tell you one thing – I am an honest, straightforward and outspoken officer – and so – your chances of becoming a member of SOWA are pretty bleak…”

“SOWA – Senior Officers’ Wives’ Association…!” the girl said.

The boy was happy to see that the girl was intelligent.

“You are very intelligent – and highly qualified – and all your good qualities are listed in your matrimonial profile – but I want to know one thing – and I want an honest answer,” the boy said to the girl.

“What…?” the girl asked.

“What are your faults…? Your bad qualities…? Your weaknesses…?” the boy asked.

“I cannot cook…” the girl began opening up – but her mother gave her a stern look – and the girl stopped speaking.

Observing the situation, the boy said to the girl, “Never mind – we will discuss all that in detail when we meet tomorrow…”

“We are meeting tomorrow…?” the girl asked.

“Why not…? After all, we are getting married – and I am here for a week – so we can go out together a few times – and get to know each other better…” the boy said, extinguishing his finished cigarette and lighting another cigarette.

The girl’s mother was getting increasingly uncomfortable at the way things were going, so she asked the boy, “You have a big beard – are you going to shave it off when you get married…?”

The boy looked at the girl’s mother, and he said to the middle-aged woman, “How does it matter to you whether I keep a beard or not…? Are you going to marry me…? Or is your daughter going to marry me…? But since you have asked – No – I am not going to shave off my beard – I like my beard – and a beard is the sign of a true Naval Officer – so I am going to keep my beard even after marriage – forever…”

The boy looked at the girl, and he said, “See – I told you that I drink heavily, I smoke, and that I have no future in the navy – very poor career prospects – and about the poor quality of life in the navy – but you just told me one thing – that you do not know how to cook – please tell me more about your other faults…”

“We have to go somewhere,” the girl’s mother interrupted – and she brought the ‘interview’ to an abrupt end.

In the evening, the girl’s mother made a ‘trunk-call’ to her Brigadier husband and she said, “What a terrible boy? He is himself saying that he drinks half a bottle a day, he smokes, and ….”

She told him everything.

“The boy said all that…?” the Brigadier asked.

“Yes – the boy hasn’t given us even one reason why we should get our daughter married to him.”

“Maybe that is the very reason why we should get our daughter married to him,” the astute Brigadier said.

The Brigadier met the boy – and he liked him – and so – the girl and boy got married.

The girl was expecting the worst.

But after marriage – the girl noticed the following ‘improvements’ in the boy:

1. Her husband did not drink 6 pegs of rum every evening – he drank around 3 or 4 pegs daily – and only rarely – at parties or with friends – did he drink 6 pegs or more.

2. He did not smoke much too – in fact – he smoked very few cigarettes – he preferred smoking his pipe.

3. She had been expecting to stay in a “jhuggi-jhopri” – but first they lived in the officers’ mess for some time – and then they shifted to quite a decent furnished apartment – which though small – the apartment was modern, comfortable, and located in the prime area of the city.

Though he was not an “angel” by any standards – her husband was not all that bad – as she had thought.

Much later – when she had given up all hope – her husband suddenly gave up drinking and smoking one day.

This happened 20 years after her marriage – and she had never imagined that her husband would give up alcohol and tobacco forever.

Of course – her husband has still not shaved off his majestic beard – but then she has got used to it now – after 33 years of married life.

After reading this “fairy-tale” – some persons may think that this is a true story – and they may even “recognize” some of the characters in this story – but let me emphasize that this is an apocryphal story – the characters do not exist and are purely imaginary – and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

What is important – is the MORAL OF THE STORY.

You must have heard the saying: “First Impression is the Best Impression”

But I say: “Worst Impression is the Best Impression”.

If you give your best impression during your first meeting with someone – then you have to live up to the image you have created.

On the other hand – if you give your worst impression during your first meeting – then there is always scope for improvement.

There are many aspects to your personality – the “Best Side” – the “Worst Side” – with shades of grey in between.

At your very first meeting – if you try and impress someone with your “Best Side” – you have projected your best image – and thus you have no scope for improvement.

In fact – you will get all stressed out keeping up appearances trying to live up to the hyped-up expectations you have created in the other person – and slowly the “veneer” will start peeling off – and the goody-goody façade will crumble.

Dear Reader – you just read the “happy ending” story above.

I know a story where exactly the opposite happened.

There was a girl from a civilian academic background (her parents were university professors).

They lived in a town where there was a large cantonment nearby.

Most of her schoolmates and friends were daughters of Army officers – and the girl was enamored by Army social life.

The girl got a proposal from a Naval Officer.

The girl was under the impression that the life of a Navy Wife was the same as the good life of an Army “Memsahib” which she had observed in the peacetime cantonment.

The Navy boy came to meet the girl.

Believing in the “First Impression is the Best Impression” dictum – the boy showed his “Best Side” – and he “boasted” a bit about himself – he painted a rosy picture of Navy life – instead of telling her the ground reality.

All this created a glorified image and high expectations in the newlywed girl.

But – after their honeymoon – when they reached Vizag – everything came crashing down.

The boy sailed off on his ship – leaving the girl to fend for herself – all alone – in their “B Type” hired house – at the other end of town – far away from the Naval Base.

Feeling totally isolated, the girl went into a depression – and summoned her parents – who came rushing to Vizag – to help their daughter settle down and tackle reality.

As their marriage progressed – the “first impression” that the boy had created by showing his “Best Side” – this rosy first impression started to slowly crumble away as his negative qualities began to emerge.

After many years of marriage – the girl still feels that the boy “cheated” her by portraying a goody-goody false impression of himself and hyped rosy image of Navy life.

My hypothesis of “Worst First Impression” worked in my Navy life too.

I was posted as faculty in a prestigious inter-service training establishment.

My boss was a Commodore from a landlubber branch who had never met me before.

However – my “spoken reputation” had somehow reached him via the grapevine.

For a month or so – I noticed that he was quite wary of me – he treated me coldly and he kept me at arm’s length.

Then – one evening – at a party – when he was feeling quite happy after a few drinks – he sidled up to me – and he said, “Actually – I have realized that you are quite a good officer…”

Taken aback, I said to him, “Come on, Sir – of course – I am a good officer – why did you think otherwise…?”

“I had heard so many wicked things about you – that you are a difficult officer – but I actually find you to be so good…” the Commodore said – and later – his wife told me that I was his favourite officer – and he trusted me the most among all officers.

So – Dear Reader – whenever you meet someone for the first time – for matchmaking – for dating – at the workplace – for any long term relationship – beware of the dictum: “First Impression is the Best Impression” – and don’t get too carried away trying to make the “best impression” – since you may find it difficult to live up to such a ‘perfect’ image in later life.

When you meet someone for the first time – never try to “impress” anyone – just be your natural self – in fact – show a bit of your darker side – so that there is always “scope for improvement” later.

And for those of you who are going in for an “arranged marriage” – when you meet your “prospective spouse” for the first time – the first question you must ask him (or her) is: “Tell be about your weaknesses and your faults…”

Remember: “Worst Impression is the Best Impression”.

There is always scope for improvement if you project your “worst” impression

But there is no scope for improvement if you project your “best” impression – in fact, there is always pressure to live up to the “perfect” image you have created – and ultimately, this mismatch will cause stress and distrust in your relationships.

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.


Posted by Vikram Karve at 3/20/2015 04:16:00 PM

HOW TO STEAL YOUR FRIEND’S HUSBAND aka A HUSBAND – A WIFE – AND THE “OTHER WOMAN”

March 18, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: A HUSBAND – A WIFE – AND THE “OTHER WOMAN”.

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

A HUSBAND – A WIFE – AND THE “OTHER WOMAN”
A Love Story
Short Fiction
By
VIKRAM KARVE

DRAMATIS PERSONAE
Rohan – The Husband
Lata – The Wife
Nisha – The “Other Woman” (Narrator of the Story)

A HUSBAND, A WIFE, AND THE “OTHER WOMAN” – Love Story by Vikram Karve

I look at myself in the mirror.

I do not like what I see.

My face looks terrible – my skin, my lips, my eyes – they all look haggard.

And my eyebrows, my hair – they look unkempt.

Everything about me looks awful.

To put it bluntly – I look horrible.

I desperately need to go the beauty parlour.

I must have a good makeover to make myself presentable.

Today is Sunday.

I’ll go to that exclusive beauty salon near Churchgate – and I’ll get the full works done – from head to toe.

My mobile phone rings.

It is Rohan.

If it was anyone else – I would have rejected the call – or ignored it.

But since it is Rohan – I pick up my cell phone – and I say, “Hi Rohan. What happened? Calling so early in the morning?”

“It’s 8 o’clock,” Rohan says.

“It’s Sunday – I just woke up – I was about to brush my teeth,” I say.

“Oh – I am sorry – but I wanted to come and see you. Are you free? Can I come now – or should I come later?” Rohan says.

If it was anyone else – I would have told them to come later – because I would not want them to see me in my horrible unsightly state.

But with Rohan it is different – with him – I can be myself.

“Come over,” I say, “I’ll brush my teeth and shower. I should be ready by the time you drive down.”

“I am standing outside your door,” Rohan says.

“What…? You are already here?” I say, surprised.

“Yes – if you want – I’ll go down and wait for you in the lobby,” he says.

I look at myself in the mirror once more.

I really look ghastly.

But it is okay.

As I told you before – with Rohan – I can be myself.

“Hey Nisha – what happened…?” Rohan interrupts my train of thoughts.

“Just wait there – I am coming to open the door,” I say.

I disconnect Rohan’s call on my mobile phone – and I walk towards the door.

I open the door.

Rohan looks all dressed up, freshly bathed, smelling good.

“You look good,” I say.

“You look terrible,” he says, “and you are reeking of rum – in fact, you smell like a distillery.”

“I know – I drank too much rum last night. Rohan – you please sit down – I’ll quickly have a shower and get ready,” I say.

“Hey – I picked up some hot idlis and coffee for you on the way. Why don’t you have some coffee first to cure your hangover?” Rohan says, taking out a parcel and a flask from his ubiquitous backpack.

“No – I haven’t even brushed my teeth – just give me a few minutes to freshen up…” I say.

When I come out of my bedroom – I see that Rohan has already laid out the plates with the idlissambar and chutney.

“Should I pour the coffee?” he asks.

“Not now – we’ll have coffee after we eat,” I say.

“Okay,” he says.

“So – what brings you here so early in the morning?” I ask.

“Nothing – I just felt lonely…” Rohan says.

“Lonely…? Where is Lata…?” I ask.

“She has gone to play golf,” Rohan says.

“Golf…? Here at the club…? Why didn’t you go to play with her…?” I ask.

“No – not here – Lata has gone to some fancy golf course near Pune…”

“Really…? But you could have gone with her…”

“She did not want me to come…”

“What…? Lata did not want you to go with her…?”

“Yes – she did not want me to go with her…”

“But why…?”

“She feels embarrassed by me…”

“Embarrassed…? What are you saying…?”

“She is out of my league now – so she feels embarrassed that I am her husband…”

“Just shut up – you are talking all nonsense…”

“No – it is true – ever since she joined that MNC – my wife is ashamed of my ‘middle class mentality’ – especially in front of her bosses and colleagues…”

“I can’t believe it – ‘middle class mentality’ – what does she mean by that…?

“Well, I don’t know – you better ask her that…”

“So – what happened…?”

“Yesterday afternoon I came back after a long sailing – I wanted to spend some together at home – but Lata had to go for this corporate party – all the top bosses of her company have come over for a review from abroad – so I tagged along – I am sure Lata did not want to take me along – but her boss insisted that she get her ‘sailor’ husband…”

“So you enjoyed the party…?”

“Yes – the party was good – excellent booze and delicious food – but I got into an argument with a drunken ‘firangi’ who was speaking derogatory things about India – so Lata got miffed because I was rude to him…”

“Rude…? Argument…? Why…?”

“The snobbish bugger was criticizing everything in India – I listened for some time – but when he crossed all limits and continued talking ill of us – I gave it back to him nice and proper…”

“Good…”

“What do you mean ‘good’…? The ‘firangi’ bugger turned out to be a big shot – he is the ‘Top Man’ in Lata’s MNC – so Lata kept apologizing to him for my behaviour…”

“But why has Lata gone outstation to play golf…?”

“Well – all the top bosses of her company have come from Singapore, Hong Kong – from all over the world – and when they learnt the Lata played golf – they invited her to come along with them – they are going to play a round of golf – and then all the company bigwigs will spend the evening partying at the golf resort – I think it is more of corporate networking than golf…”

“But you could have gone with her – doesn’t Lata come for all our Navy parties? It was rude of her boss not to invite you – especially when you play golf so well…”

“Her boss did ask me to come along for the golf trip. But before I could say anything – Lata told him that I was working today…”

“But why should she do that…?”

“I told you – didn’t I …? Why are you asking me again and again…? Lata feels embarrassed of me in front of her office colleagues – she feels that I lack ‘social graces’ – and she is especially angry after what happened last evening when I gave it back to that ‘firangi’ guy – she is scared I may open my big mouth and say something that may offend her top bosses. So she has pushed off to enjoy the weekend with them and left me high and dry. I am feeling terrible…”

“Come on Rohan – cheer up – let Lata play golf with her bosses – we’ll spend the day together… ”

“I never thought Lata would become so ambitious – she has become desperate for success – and the way she is behaving nowadays, it looks like she will do anything to get it – she may even sleep with that bloody ‘firangi’ top boss…”

“No – don’t say that – I know her – Lata is a simple girl…”

“Oh, yes – Lata was a simple small town girl – but that was before we got married – now she has changed – especially after joining this MNC. Now – Lata feels that she has overtaken me in status – she feels that she has gone way ahead of me – and now she is out my league…”

“Out of your league…?”

“Tell me Nisha – you know Lata’s background – what was she before marriage? Wasn’t she a bloody rustic ignoramus ‘plain jane’…? Whatever she is today is because of me…”

“Well, that is true, Rohan – Lata was just a nondescript BA from an unknown small town college. Yes – you are right – what Lata is today – it is all because of you…”

“I was the one who encouraged her to do her MBA…”

“I remember…”

“And tell me – had she ever seen an officers’ club in her life – and golf – who taught her golf – would she ever have got an opportunity to play golf had she not married me…?”

“Lata always wanted to marry an officer – and she was desperate to escape from her backward hometown and live in modern society – she told me that…”

“And you fixed her up with me…?”

“Her parents asked me if there was a suitable boy I knew – preferably an officer – and I told them about you – and then all of you arranged the marriage…”

“When I asked you to marry me – you refused…”

“Well – at that time – I did not feel it was right for me to marry a fellow officer – I thought ‘in-service marriage’ would be like fraternization…”

“Ha Ha – ‘in-service marriage’ – that’s a load of bullshit – and what bloody ‘fraternization’ are you talking about? Most of the female officers are marrying male officers. And it’s the same in the army and air force too…”

“I know. No civilian wants to marry a ‘fauji’ female – even my own relationship broke up because of this…”

“You were in a relationship…? We are such good friends and you never told me about this before…”

“It happened much before I met you – even before I joined the academy…”

“So – who was it…?”

“He was my classmate at IIT – in fact – after B. Tech. – both of us were placed at the same IT company at Pune – and we worked in same Software Development Project – they even sent us abroad to the US for a few months for onsite work – that is when we got close – so when we came back to India we started dating each other…”

“So – why didn’t you get married to him…?”

“Because – in a burst of jingoism – I decided to join the Navy…”

“You didn’t tell him…?”

“At first he thought I was joking – then when the SSB call came – he told me not to go – but I said I was just going for fun – but then I got selected – and I decided to join the Navy…”

“So – what happened…?”

“He was furious – and he dumped me…”

“He dumped you – why…?”

“He said that he did not want a ‘gun-toting’ wife – and that having a ‘fauji’ wife did not fit into his life plans. He pleaded with me not to join the navy – he asked me to continue in the Software Firm – he said that he had plans for both of us – we were being sent to the US again in a few months – and then we both would both to stay on in America forever…”

“And then…?”

“I made the biggest mistake of my life – I quit my lucrative and promising software job and joined the navy – and I lost everything…”

“Lost everything…? What do you mean…?”

“On the personal front – my boyfriend dumped me – and on the career front – I was doomed to teaching algebra and geometry to newly recruited sailors…”

“Algebra and geometry…? What are you saying…?”

“Well – after the academy – the first posting they gave me was to the sailors’ basic training unit – and what do Education Officers do anyway – teach sailors – or look after libraries like I am doing now – you know – had I stayed on as a Techie in the IT industry – I would have been working in a top software job in Seattle – happily married and all…”

“Seattle…?”

“Yes – that’s where he is – actually he had discreetly talked to our clients about a job for me too – so that when both of us went to Seattle for our next onsite assignment – we would quietly switch over jobs after a few months – and remain there…”

“Wow…”

“And – suddenly – like an impulsive fool – in a fit of jingoism – I joined the Navy. He was so angry with me – that after dumping me – he got married to one of our colleagues – must be on the rebound – but anyway – both of them are doing well out there. And what did I do…? I screwed up my life nice and proper by joining the Navy. Just imagine – I was doing well as a Techie – I had great career prospects – I was going steady with a boy I liked – I had everything going for me – and now – everything is finished – my life – my career – everything…”

“Come on Nisha – don’t say that – things are not that bad – and you should reduce your drinking – and why do you drink all alone in your cabin – at least you can go and drink in the wardroom bar, or in the club, and make some friends…” Rohan says.

“Friends…? Where can I find friends to drink with in the bar…? All my course-mates are married – and no young bachelor wants to date a 34 year old hag…”

“You are 34…?”

“Yes, Sir – I am 2 years older than you – you joined straight after graduation – I worked for 3 years after my engineering and then I joined the navy…”

“It is surprising – we are so close to each other – but you never told me all this about being dumped before…” Rohan says.

“Maybe I never felt so lonely before…?”

“Lonely – you are feeling lonely – that is exactly how I am feeling – lonely. In fact – it was because I was feeling so lonely that I came here so early in the morning…”

“But why should you feel lonely…? You are married…?”

“What marriage…? Lata is busy with her job – and her obsession to break the glass ceiling. And in any case, Nisha – marriage or no marriage – I am certainly going to be very lonely for the next 2-3 years – and the worst part is that even you won’t be there…”

“Why…? What are you saying…?”

“I have got my first command – but the ship is based in Port Blair…”

“Wow – you’ve got your command so fast – you should be celebrating…”

“I know – but Lata is refusing to come with me to Port Blair…”

“Her job…?”

“Yes…”

“She can take a few years off – a ‘sabbatical’…”

Rohan starts laughing – and in a sarcastic tone – he says, “Lata taking a ‘Sabbatical’ – are you crazy or something? Aren’t you hearing what I am saying all this time…?”

“Why – what happened…?”

“Forget about taking a few years off – Lata has bigger plans – she is planning to relocate to Singapore – she is desperately lobbying for a prized job at the company headquarters there – and I am sure she is going to get what she wants – why do you think all this ‘golf diplomacy’ and partying is going on…?”

“But what about your family life…?”

“What family life…? First, she postponed having kids till she completed her MBA. Then – she wanted to wait till she settled down in her career. And now – it looks like she will be off to Singapore – while I languish all alone in Port Blair. I don’t think she is interested in having kids – or in family life – in fact, sometimes I feel that Lata has no use for me now – she has used me as a stepping stone – and now she is busy in her career rat-race on her way upwards to break the glass ceiling…”

“Why don’t you talk to her…?” I say.

“I did…”

“And…?”

“Lata asked me to quit the Navy…”

“She asked you to quit the Navy…?”

Yes – Lata told me that she is quite sure she would get that coveted job in Singapore – and then she had the audacity to tell me that she would wangle some job in HR for me out there…”

“So what’s wrong…? At least you two can stay together…”

“But why the hell should I quit the Navy and take up some insignificant nondescript HR job and play second-fiddle to her? I like the Navy – and I have got my ship command so early – I have a bright future here…”

“Yes – at least you have a future in the Navy – but for me – both my personal life and career are screwed up nice and proper…” I say.

“Why…? What happened to your career…?” Rohan asks.

“Don’t you know…? My 10 years are getting over soon – and I will be out of the Navy – high and dry…”

“You can sign up for 4 years more…”

“And do what…? At least now I am a 34 year old hag – I still have a chance of finding someone – 4 years more – and I will become a 38 year old shrew – and the way things are going – I may land up becoming ‘alcohol dependent’ as well…”

“Maybe you can find someone in the Navy…?”

“Do you have someone in mind…?”

“Anyway – let’s talk something better,” Rohan says, “I am leaving for Port Blair on Thursday. Today is the last Sunday we have together – so let us have a good time – you get ready fast – let’s go for the morning show at Eros or Regal – both the movies are good – then we can have lunch wherever you want – and maybe after that we can go to the races…”

In the evening – when we were walking on Marine Drive – Lata called up Rohan to tell him that she would be coming home only the next morning as she had to attend a campfire party with her company bigwigs at the golf resort. Lata also told Rohan that she was getting the Singapore job which she had desperately wanted and she had spoken about his HR job too.

I looked at Rohan.

He looked disappointed – and he said, “See – I told you – this is the last Sunday before I leave for Port Blair – and – instead of spending some time with me – she is busy furthering her career.”

I marveled at the metamorphosis in Lata.

The way she had transformed herself from a simple, small-town girl into an ambitious careerist was incredible.

Yes – now – as Rohan was saying – Lata was indeed putting her career before her marriage.

Lata is my friend.

I do not want to steal her husband.

But if Lata wants to throw her husband into my arms – then there is nothing I can do about it.

Yes – if Lata wants to throw Rohan into my arms – then I am quite willing to have him there.

Next morning – the moment I reach office – I tell my boss that I want to sign up for 4 more years.

“That’s good,” the Commodore says, “but you have already spent 3 years here in Mumbai – and if you sign up for an extension – you may have to go on a transfer.”

“Sir – is it possible to get a choice transfer?” I ask.

“I’ll try – tell me – where do you want to go…?”

“Port Blair…” I say.

“Are you sure…?” the Commodore asks, looking surprised.

“Yes, Sir – I want to go to Port Blair,” I say.

“Well – Port Blair shouldn’t be a problem at all – consider it done – I am so happy that lady officers like you are volunteering for tough stations like Port Blair…” the Commodore says – and he picks up the phone to make a call.

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)


First Posted by Vikram Karve at 

blogspot.in

3/09/2015 06:14:00 PM

MY HUSBAND IS HAVING AN AFFAIR – TETE-A-TETE WITH MY HUSBAND’S GIRLFRIEND

February 21, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: HAPPENSTANCE – TETE-A-TETE WITH MY HUSBAND’S GIRLFRIEND.

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

HAPPENSTANCE
TETE-A-TETE WITH MY HUSBAND’S GIRLFRIEND
Short Fiction – a naughty love story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

From My Creative Writing Archives : 

Here is a zesty Mumbai story I wrote around 15 years ago, in the year 2000, after a browse in the Jehangir Art Gallery at Kalaghoda in Mumbai.

I saw two women in an animated conversation – and suddenly this story was conceived in my mind – so I went home and wrote it.

I am sure you will enjoy this naughty romance…

TETE-A-TETE WITH MY HUSBAND’S GIRLFRIEND – naughty story by Vikram Karve

“Excuse me, are you Urvashi Mukherjee by any chance?” a feminine voice said from my right.

I turned my face and looked at the smart young woman wearing a red top and dark blue jeans.

The woman was not ‘fair and lovely’ in the conventional sense.

But she looked very desirable, in a sensual kind of way.

Chic and sexy, flowing hair, with just the right amount of make-up, she exuded confidence.

And as she looked at me with those wonderfully radiant, large and expressive dancing eyes, I felt a strong attraction for her, even though I too was a woman.

“Yes. I’m Urvashi Mukherjee,” I said.

“Hi… I’m Babita. Babita Khanna,” she said.

“Sorry Ms. Khanna, but I don’t think we’ve met before.”

“Sad isn’t it? But I know everything about you my dear Urvashi,” she gave a vivacious laugh.

Then she reached out to my arm displaying a rather impulsive and gratuitous intimacy and said to me, “I recognized you instantly, the moment I saw you. You look exactly like you do in your photograph…”

“My photograph…?” I asked, pulling away my arm.

“Yes. You look lovely. You look exactly as in the photo Milan keeps in wallet.”

Photo? 

Milan? 

I did not like the way she said “Milan” 

How dare she casually refer to my husband in such a familiar manner, and that too by his first name.

And she had called me Urvashi too …

I was truly flabbergasted. 

Who was this woman? 

Why was she acting so intimate and talking to me on first name terms? 

And how had she seen my photo in Milan’s wallet?

“You know Milan?” I asked

“Of course. We work in the same office. Hasn’t Milan told you about me?”

“No. I don’t think so. At least I don’t remember.”

“That’s surprising. Well, I know everything about you. But you know nothing about me” she said.

“What do you mean?” I asked.

She looked at me, and in a rather patronizing manner, she said: “Milan should have told you about me. He’s told me everything about you.”

“Milan has told you everything about me?” I repeated.

“Yes. He always talks about you,” she said.

I was taken aback, quite bewildered.

I did not want to talk to this woman.

So I turned my face away from her and looked straight ahead at the painting in front of me.

Then I turned towards her and said, “Well, well. Quite intriguing. Milan has told you everything about me. But he hasn’t told me anything about you!”

“Hey, Milan didn’t tell me you were an art-buff. I never imagined I would run into you here – at the Jehangir Art Gallery.”

“I’m no aficionado,” I said, trying to sound sarcastic, “I’m just killing time here till it stops raining.”

“Aficionado? That’s a good one! I never imagined you’d speak such highbrow English considering you’ve studied in a vernacular school,” she said sarcastically.

This insult was too much. 

Anger began to rise inside me.

But the woman persisted, and she said, “You know Urvashi, Milan keeps telling me of your hilarious malapropisms when you were newly married.”

“I’m sure he has told you about our honeymoon too?” I blurted out in anger.

I instantly regretted my words, the moment they left my mouth.

“Of course I know everything about your hilarious honeymoon,” she said with a mischievous smile.

“What?” I asked, stunned.

She smiled and said, “He told me about the way you got all sozzled on your first night on the beach in Goa when he mixed Feni in your juice hoping to remove your inhibitions.”

Now I was really furious.

I did not want to talk with this woman any longer.

So I said, “Good Bye, Ms. Khanna. It must have stopped raining outside. Time for me to go. I’d hate to come in between the beautiful paintings and a true connoisseur of art like you.”

“Hey. Come on. I’m no connoisseur of art. I too ran in here to take shelter from the heavy rain,” the woman laughed.

Then she said, “And listen – don’t call me Ms. Khanna, just call me Babita. I’m calling you Urvashi isn’t it?”

“Okay. Nice talking to you,” I said, and I walked out of the gallery hall into the foyer of Jehangir Art Gallery.

It was still raining.

So I stood at the entrance looking out towards Kalaghoda waiting for the rain to stop.

To my horror I noticed that the woman had followed me and was standing next to me which made me feel quite uneasy and uncomfortable.

She was a real mystery.

How come Milan had never mentioned her?

He always told me everything about his life. 

That’s what I had thought. 

At least till now.

I had plans for the afternoon and did not want this woman clinging to me like a parasite.

“Let’s go shopping,” the woman said, as if reading my mind through clairvoyance. 

“No. I have got some important work,” I said.

She looked at me with a curious expression and said, “Work? What work will you do all alone at home?” 

So she knew.

Milan had told her even that.

I looked at her firmly and said, “I’m really not keen on shopping right now. Besides I have to get home early. We’re going out for a movie and dinner tonight.”

“No, you aren’t,” she said confidently

“What do you mean we aren’t? He’s already bought the tickets.”

“Maybe he has bought the tickets, but Milan is not going to turn up before midnight. You can take my word for it.”

“He promised me,” I said defiantly.

“Promises are meant to be broken. He won’t come. He’ll be busy doing my work since I have taken the day off. And then he has to go to a business dinner.”

“Doing your work? Business Dinner?” I asked, flabbergasted.

“Don’t delve too much,” she said

“What nonsense? I’ll ring him up right now,” I said, and took out my mobile phone.

“No point trying to call Milan now,” she said, “his mobile will be switched off right now. He’ll be in a meeting. But don’t worry. Milan will ring you up at around six to cancel your movie date and dinner programme. He’ll tell you he has to work late. Of course, Milan won’t mention the ‘business dinner’ part though.”

“Business dinner? How do you know all this?” I asked, confused and angry.

She winked and said, “I told you. Milan tells me everything. There are no secrets between true friends.”

Friends? 

True Friends? 

Milan and this woman called Babita Khanna who I had never heard of before?

This was getting murky.

First she was a colleague.

Now she’s suddenly become a friend of my husband … a true friend … just imagine … she is a true friend … and me … what about me?

The whole thing was bizarre. 

It was incredible and unbelievable.

No secrets between Milan and his girl friend.

But plenty of secrets between Milan and me, his lawfully wedded wife.

The rain was down to a drizzle. and she said, “Come let’s go shopping. And then we’ll enjoy ourselves. We’ll go to all your favourite places. And we will do all the things you like.”

I wondered why she was doing this to me? 

Why was she chatting me up? 

What was her motive? 

Was she trying to tell me something?

Was this really a chance meeting, a pure coincidence, happenstance, serendipity?

Or was it a contrived coincidence?

I had to get to the bottom of it all.

So I said to the woman: “Okay Babita. Let’s go on a date. I want to find out whether Milan has really told you everything about me.”

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)


This story written by me in the year 2000 and posted online earlier in June 2006 in my creative writing blogs at urls:
http://creative.sulekha.com/happ… 
and 
http://vikramwamankarve.blogspot…

Posted by Vikram Karve at 2/21/2015 12:17:00 PM

CIVILIAN IN UNIFORM – “SUNDAY ROUTINE” – Unforgettable Memories of My Navy Life

November 23, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: “SUNDAY ROUTINE” – Unforgettable Memories of My Life in the Navy.

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

“SUNDAY ROUTINE”
Unforgettable Memories of My Life in the Navy
By
VIKRAM KARVE

It is a bright Sunday Morning out here in Pune.

So, I think it will be apt to hark back to my halcyon Navy Days and tell you about the Navy “Sunday Routine”.

In the Navy, when you are at sea, you are on duty round-the-clock 24/7, and there is no “holiday” so there is no “Sunday Routine” in the true sense.

But when your ship is in harbour, you have “make-and-mend” (half day) on Wednesdays and Saturdays, and a “Sunday Routine” on Sundays and Holidays.

Unlike the corporate sector and government civilian babus, an operational organisation like the navy does not have the luxury of a “5 Day Week” – so we worked 6 days a week – and a weekly “off” only on Sundays – unless you were on OOD duty.

So, we eagerly waited for and coveted the “Sunday Routine”.

Once you retire, every day is a “Sunday Routine”.

But when we were in the Navy, and our ship was tied alongside in harbour, we looked forward to our Sundays, to enjoy what the Navy calls “Sunday Routine” – our well deserved leisure time.

“Sunday Routine” was our own personal time which we could spend as we liked and do as we pleased.

Aristotle has wisely said: “The end of labour is to gain leisure”

We laboured the whole week to gain our “Sunday Routine” and we were determined to enjoy our well earned leisure to the fullest.

Different individuals spend their leisure in different ways.

How you spend your leisure defines your persona.

If you want to find out the true character of a man, find out how he spends his leisure.

In the defence services, especially in the navy, how you spend your leisure mainly depends on where you are posted.

If you are lucky to be posted in a “maximum city” like Mumbai, there is a plethora of opportunities for enjoying your leisure.

On the other hand, if you are posted to a back-of-beyond remote desolate cantonment, your choices for spending your leisure are limited.

In Mumbai, you can enjoy the life of a “civilian in uniform” whereas military cantonments trap you into the straitjacket of “fauji” life, even on Sundays as avenues for leisure are limited.

Let me describe to you, to compare and contrast, two typical “Sunday Routines”, one in Mumbai, and one in Vizag, almost 10 years apart, both when I was posted on ships, the first in the latter half of the 1970’s and the second in the latter half of the 1980’s.


INS “XXX” (Harbour Sunday Routine – as an “in-living” officer)
Mumbai (then called Bombay) – end 1970’s

This was the happiest time of my life.

It is great to be on a happy ship.

Ours was a frontline warship – the ship was new, the crew was good, we had a delightful wardroom with friendly officers, and the general atmosphere on the ship was harmonious, and the main reason for all this was our Captain, who was a great guy. His credo was simple – all he demanded is that we do our jobs properly; beyond that, we were free to do whatever we pleased.

(I have observed during my long service in the navy and in inter-service establishments, that, particularly in the defence services, much depends on the Commanding Officer or the “Boss”, for creating a harmonious the atmosphere in a ship/unit)

On a Sunday we woke up early (remember I told you in an earlier article that I never had late nights on Saturdays and I preferred to have my hangovers on working days).

Then we embarked on a long Sunday morning walk cum jog – walking out of Lion Gate, past Kalaghoda, crossing the Oval, past CCI, then onto Marine Drive to jog to Chowpatty and back to Churchgate, where we picked up a copy of the Cole (for the day’s races).

Then, in the wardroom, we had a leisurely Sunday breakfast on board ship, of dosas and coffee, while “studying” the Cole and the racing columns in the newspapers.

Ours was a wardroom of “punters”.

At around 10 or 10:30 we were off again, walking down to our favourite Stadium Restaurant Churchgate, for a brunch of sumptuous “Kheema Pav” followed by a cup of invigorating Irani Chai, while discussing our “forecasts” and “predictions” for the day’s races.

Then we caught a local train to Mahalaxmi racecourse, so that we were well in time for the first race of the day, which began at noon, or sometimes a bit later at 12:30 or 1 o’clock in the afternoon.

(We took the precaution of buying a “return ticket” – for obvious reasons)

I loved going to the races. 

The atmosphere was electric – the bookie ring, the tote, the stands, the racecourse, the crowds, the excitement, the thrill – it was a thoroughly enjoyable Sunday afternoon.

In the evening, after a refreshing shower, and fortified with a generous quantity of Scotch and Soda, our hip flasks topped-up, we headed out again, for dinner and a late night movie followed by midnight ice creams or milkshakes.

Where we went for dinner depended on our luck at the races – either Olympia or Bade Miyan – or Gaylord or Kamling.

Even during the off-season, when there were no races, there was so much to do on a Sunday in a “maximum city” like Mumbai.

Like I said, those were the happiest days of my life, and my most enjoyable “Sunday Routines” too.

I thought these happy days would never end, but two years later, I was yanked off the ship, and posted to Jamnagar (as an instructor), and as I said, though I was familiar with the dreary place, it was still a big culture shock for me after my wonderful days in Mumbai.

After enduring a few months in that desolate place, almost becoming alcohol dependent, since the main leisure activity there was drinking Rum (while listening to old Hindi Songs on Urdu Service), I escaped by getting “selected” for a “prestigious” M. Tech. Course at IIT Delhi.

Two years of “paid holiday”, followed by two years in R&D, and then two years teaching at IAT Pune, and I was back on a frontline warship in Mumbai.

“Bombay days were back again”.

It was back to halcyon “Sunday Routine” days – I lived at Vasant Sagar in Churchgate – and for the first few months we had a great life.

As I was living it up, chanting “Happy Days are here again”, our luck ran out, and the base port of our ship was changed from Mumbai to Vizag, and we were off to the Eastern Seaboard.

I had been to Vizag only once on my earlier ship, but I did not see much of the Naval Base, since our ship was berthed on the iron ore jetty in the port trust, and we were there for just a day or so, and we spent our liberty hours ashore in the town.

But it seemed that, as far as the town was concerned, nothing much had changed in the last 10 years.

As compared to Mumbai, Vizag was a big comedown, as you will realize, when you see how I spent my “Sunday Routine” at Vizag (Visakhapatnam)
 

INS “YYY” (Harbour Sunday Routine – as an “MLR” officer)
Vizag (Visakhapatnam) – end 1980’s

I was now married (MLR or “Money in Lieu of Ration” in Naval Jargon) and living with my family in Naval Park Vizag.

Sunrise is early on the eastern seaboard, so I get up at 5:30 on Sunday morning and head for my Sunday morning super-long walk, up Dolphin’s Nose, down to Continental Beach, and then head back straight to the “Sunday Market” in the HSL complex near Scindia, reach there by 7 just as the market (haat) is opening up.

The entire naval community is there, mostly ladies whose husbands are sleeping off their hangover, and some early riser husbands like me.

In Vizag, this Sunday Morning Market is a “must visit” if you live far away from town in Naval Park, to pick up your weekly stock of vegetables, fruit and fish.

At around 8, I return home, I have a bath, we breakfast on the idlis I have brought from the Sunday market, and at 9 o’clock, we all settle down before the TV set to watch the epic serial Ramayan (later when Ramayan was over, we would watch Mahabharat from 9 to 10 every Sunday morning).

Then we (self, wife and son) head to the swimming pool and spend an hour swimming and cooling off and chitchatting with friends.

At 12 noon we are in the makeshift club located in the parking lot of the officers’ mess for the Sunday afternoon Beer Biryani Tombola.

(Yes, in Vizag it is Tombola at the Navy Club in lieu of Horse Racing at the Mahalaxmi Race Course which we enjoyed in Mumbai)

Then, I head back home for a “beer and biryani induced siesta”  which makes me feel groggy.

In the evening, maybe we head for town, full family of 3 on my Bajaj scooter, maybe accompanied by friends, and hang around Ramakrishna Beach, or maybe a movie at Jagdamba followed by dinner at Daspalla.

Then we head back home and hit the sack.

What a comedown from the glorious “Sunday Routines” of Mumbai.

One thing good in the Navy is that nothing is permanent.

So, 10 years later, in the year 2000, I am back in Mumbai, and now I enjoy my “Sunday Routines” even better than before, as the Navy gives me a lovely house in Empress Court, opposite the Oval, in Churchgate.

What better location can you ask for in Mumbai, especially to enjoy your leisure? 


EPILOGUE

I spent my most enjoyable “Sunday Routines” in Mumbai (Bombay) and Delhi.

And the most lackluster and dreary Sunday Routines were in Jamnagar, arguably the worst place to be posted to, during my younger days in the Navy.

The Sunday Routines in places like Vizag, Kochi (Cochin) and Pune were somewhere middle-of-the-road, as I have described above.

How about you? 

How do you like to enjoy your Sundays?

And especially if you are a “fauji”, do tell us how you enjoyed your “Sunday Routines” in the “fauj” – in the army, navy or air force.

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:
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)


This is a re-post of my article First Posted by me Vikram Karve in my academic and creative writing journal blog at 7/08/2014 11:30:00 PM at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 11/23/2014 10:25:00 AM

 

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