Archive for the ‘stories’ Category

Self Help Wisdom : THE “KEY” TO ENLIGHTENMENT

November 17, 2015

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor Wit Wisdom Story : THE “KEY” TO ENLIGHTENMENT

Are You Searching for the Key to Enlightenment…?

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

SEARCHING FOR THE LOST KEY
Inspirational Story of Wit and Wisdom
My Favourite Mulla Nasrudin Teaching Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

A friend of mine asked me which is my favourite Inspirational Teaching Story.

Well, here it is – a Mulla Nasrudin Story “THE KEY” – my all time favourite Inspirational Tale:

THE KEY 

One blistering hot summer afternoon – under the blazing sun – people saw Mulla Nasrudin crawling on his knees in the middle of a road in broad daylight frantically searching for something.

The crowd observed him curiously for some time – and then an inquisitive man asked him, “Nasrudin – What are you searching for…?

“I have lost my key…” replied Mulla Nasrudin.

Being of a helping nature the man joined Mulla Nasrudin in searching for the lost key.

Soon – there were a large number of people on the ground crawling on all fours searching for the elusive key on the road in the scorching hot sun.

An extensive search was carried out but the key was not found – so someone in the crowd asked Nasrudin, “Nasrudin – Do you remember where you lost your key…?

“I lost my key in the basement of my house…” replied Mulla Nasrudin matter-of-factly.

“What…? Are you crazy…? You lost the key in the basement of your house…? Then why are you searching for the key over here in the middle of the road…?” the astonished crowd asked Nasrudin.

“Because there is more light here…” replied the wise Mulla Nasrudin, matter-of-factly.

“But you lost the key in the basement of your house…?” the bewildered people said.

“Yes – but the basement of my house is very dark – but here on the street – there is so much bright light…” Mulla Nasrudin opined.

MORAL OF THE STORY

This short Mulla Nasrudin Teaching Story is symbolic.

The “key” is a metaphor.

Everybody is looking for “keys” they have lost – or “keys” they desire.

The key to happiness – the key to bliss – the key to freedom – the key to God – the key to peace and tranquility – the key to success – the key to good health – the key to self-actualization – the key to enlightenment…

And – everyone seems to be searching for their elusive “key” in the wrong places.

Most of us look for the “key” outside ourselves.

The “key” is sought in Power, Wealth, Fame, Material and Intellectual Achievement, Success – or in relationships like love marriage, parenting, friendship, appreciation, approval of others etc – all of which are outside you.

We search for the “key” outside because there seems to be much “light” outside (just like Nasrudin was searching for his lost key in bright sunlight in broad daylight on the middle of the road on a hot afternoon – even though he had lost his key in the dark basement of his house)

Very few look for the “key” within.

You must remember that you have lost your “key” within you – and so – you must search for your “key” inside you – by reflection and introspection.

The concept of teaching stories is embodied in the tales of the inimitable Mulla Nasrudin narrated by Sufis to illustrate aspects of human behaviour which are relevant to both our personal and professional lives.

The first step to self-growth is to try to identify yourself in these stories.

You must acknowledge that you too could be as foolish or as lacking in discernment as the characters in these classic tales.

Once you do this – it will be easy for you to imbibe the wisdom in these tales.

Now let’s do an exercise.

Close your eyes.

Think of this story.

Then – reflect, ruminate – carry the story in your mind – identify yourself in the story – create a silence within you – and let the story reveal to you its inner depth and meaning.

Which “key” are you looking for…?

The key to happiness, the key to health, the key to bliss, the key to freedom, the key to inner peace and tranquillity, the key to love, the key to God…?

Why are you looking for the “key” outside – when you have lost the “key” deep inside within you…?

Are you searching for the “key” outside because there is more “light” outside than within you…?

How can you find the key outside when you have lost it inside you…?

You have lost your key deep inside within you – so you have to search inwards deep within you…!

Have you lost your “key”…?

Yes…?

Which “key” have you lost…?

Did you search for your lost “key”…?

Have you found your lost “key”…?

No…?

Keep searching.

But – remember to search for your lost “key” in the right place.

Search for your lost “key” within you – and not outside.

All the Best.

May you discover your “key” soon.

Wish you Happiness and Enlightenment.

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

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

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is an extract of my article on Teaching Stories written 25 years ago in 1990 and earlier posted online by me Vikram Karve a number of times in my Blogs including at urls: http://creative.sulekha.com/my-f…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… etc

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 11/17/2015 08:14:00 AM

Daughter versus Daughter-in-law : A Story for “PATRIARCHAL FEMINISTS” 

November 1, 2015

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Story for “PATRIARCHAL FEMINISTS” : Blow Hot Blow Cold

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

A STORY FOR “PATRIARCHAL FEMINISTS

BLOW HOT BLOW COLD
Humor in Family Life
A Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Part 1: “HORRIBLE” DAUGHTER-IN-LAW

It was a hot and humid summer afternoon in a sea facing flat on Marine Drive in Mumbai.

A young woman was unable to bear the stifling hot climate.

So – she switched on the Air-Conditioner in the room to cool off a bit.

Her mother-in-law came into the room.

She hated her daughter-in-law.

The mother-in-law saw her daughter-in-law relaxing in cool comfort.

The old woman could not tolerate the sight of her daughter-in-law sitting in comfort.

So – the mother-in-law shouted at her daughter-in-law sarcastically:

“You think you are a Maharani (Empress) or something? Just look at the way you are sitting in such style – with the Air-Conditioner full blast – all for yourself. Who is going to pay the huge electricity bill – your father..?”

“I am feeling hot,” the daughter-in-law said.

“Hot…? You are feeling hot…? What do you mean you are feeling hot? It is not hot at all – just open the window – and let the cool sea breeze in,” the mother-in-law shouted.

The young woman moved to open the windows.

The mother-in-law looked at the daughter-in-law and commanded her:

“Shut off the Air-Conditioner at once. You should not unnecessarily put on the Air-Conditioner. Electricity costs money. Besides sitting in an Air-Conditioned room is not good for your health. You must get used to the climate and you must learn to adapt with nature!”

Scared of her mother-in-law – the hapless young woman had no choice but to obey her commands.

The young woman switched off the Air-Conditioner.

She sat in the hot room – sweating and sweltering in the oppressive heat.

Part 2: “DARLING” DAUGHTER

Suddenly – the young woman’s sister-in-law (her husband’s sister) arrived on a surprise visit.

The mother-in-law was overjoyed to see her darling daughter whom she adored.

She could not bear to see her own daughter “suffering” in the heat.

So – the woman turned towards her daughter-in-law – and she scolded her daughter-in-law:

“What are you doing just sitting there…? Why have you opened those windows…? Can’t you see that hot air is coming in…? And why is the Air-Conditioner switched off in this oppressive heat…? Close the windows immediately and switch on the Air-Conditioner at once. Do you want my delicate daughter to suffer a heat-stroke…?”

Then – the woman turned to her darling daughter.

She stroked her daughter’s hair – and she said lovingly to her daughter:

“My poor dear it is so hot here and how you suffer in this terrible heat. You must take care and protect yourself from the harsh vagaries of nature…!”

Seething inside – but silently complying with her mother-in-law’s instructions – the bewildered daughter-in-law said to herself:
“What a miracle indeed…? Wonder of wonders…! Have you ever seen a room with such a variable climate…? Yes – the same room – where the wind simultaneously blows hot and blows cold from the windows – yes – a room with a variable climate where it is hot and cold at the same time…!”
VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Disclaimer:
1. This story 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. 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.

Updated version of my story BLOW HOT BLOW COLD written many years ago and earlier posted online in my creative writing blogs at urls:http://creative.sulekha.com/doub… and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… etc

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 11/01/2015 12:26:00 PM

Unforgettable Characters I Met in Uniform – The “Scholar Warrior”

August 31, 2015

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – The “Scholar Warrior”

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

Humor in Uniform

THE “SCHOLAR WARRIOR”
An Unforgettable Character I Met – In and Out of Uniform
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

PROLOGUE

In the Academia – I have seen self-styled “Scholars”

In the Military – I have seen self-styled “Warriors”

And – among Military Veterans – I have seen self-styled “Scholar Warriors”

Let me tell you the story of one such “Scholar Warrior”

Well – actually – it will be more apt to call him a “Warrior Scholar” – since – at first – he was a “Warrior” – and he turned into “Scholar” much later – a ‘warrior-turned-scholar’ to be precise.

But – if you want me to put it bluntly – like most “Scholar Warriors” you see proliferating like hobgoblins and pontificating on TV debates – it would be more accurate to describe him as a “pseudo- warrior” turned “pseudo-scholar” – because – neither had he fought a war – nor had he achieved any earth-shaking scholarly accomplishments.

Let’s skip the semantics and the gobbledygook – we will call him a “Scholar Warrior” – and get on with the story.

THE STORY OF THE “SCHOLAR WARRIOR” – A Spoof by Vikram Karve

Circa 1992 – The “Warrior”

“Sir – you teach very ‘high-funda’ stuff…” the Major said, sidling up to me in the bar.

“Well – military technology is getting high-tech…” I said.

“Sir – that may be for others – but Sir – please but have mercy on me – I am a simple ‘Cavalry’ officer…” he pleaded.

“Cavalry…? Don’t tell me they are sending officers from one of those ceremonial horse regiments for this ‘Technical Staff Course’…” I said.

“No Sir – my ‘cavalry’ regiment has got tanks – but I am a ‘pure warrior’…”

“Ha Ha – ‘Pure Warrior’ – what do you mean by that…?”

“Sir – I am not interested in learning…”

“You are not interested in learning…? Then why have you come for this course…?”

“Sir – this course is good for my career – it is a ‘criteria’ course for promotion and getting good appointments…”

“Oh – so you want to qualify the course without studying….?”

“Exactly, Sir – you have really understood my problem…”

“So what do you want me to do…? I certainly cannot lower the standard of training or evaluation…”

“No Sir – please maintain your standard – many others are keen on learning – but I want to qualify with the ‘bare minimum’ effort…”

“Ha Ha – ‘bare minimum effort’…” I laughed, “Do you know – we have an expression in the Navy – “bare minimum inescapable requirement’…”

“Yes, Sir – you have put it in a nutshell – ‘bare minimum inescapable requirement’…” the Major said.

The ‘Pure Warrior’ qualified the course with the ‘bare minimum inescapable requirement’…

Circa 2002 – The “Scholar”

“Hello, Sir – what a pleasant surprise to see you here…”

I recognized him at once – he was the same ‘Pure Warrior’ – who had been my ‘student’ around 10 years ago.

“Well – I am even more surprised to see you here – on the University Campus…” I said.

“Sir – I am on study leave…”

“What…? You…? You have taken ‘study leave’…? Don’t tell me that you have suddenly developed an interest in ‘learning’…?”

“No Sir – I am least interested in studying – but I was forced to take ‘study leave’…”

“You were forced to take ‘study leave’ – that is amazing – in the Navy it is almost impossible to get ‘study leave’ due to the perpetual shortage of officers – isn’t there a shortage of officers in the Army…?”

“Sir – there is a shortage of junior officers – but there is a surplus of Colonels…”

“Really…? But how can you be forced to take ‘study leave’…?”

“Not really forced at gunpoint, Sir – but I was ‘persuaded’ to volunteer. One day my Boss called me – and he told me to apply for ‘study leave’. When I expressed my reluctance – my Boss said to me:

‘See – you have finished your command tenure and you still have two years to go before your next promotion board. I have found out that – till now – your ACRs are good – so – if you take ‘study leave’ – then – your average will remain the same – since there will be no ACRs rendered during your ‘study leave’ – so you are likely to be promoted. But – if you are adamant – and you refuse to apply for ‘study leave’ – then you may land up getting superseded. Try to understand the situation – since there are surplus Colonels – they may post you anywhere – in some insignificant appointment – under some guy who does not like ‘Cavalry’ Officers – and you may be ‘written off’ – and that will be the end of your career. So – for your own good – it is best for you to go on ‘study leave’. Why don’t you select a course in Pune for your ‘study leave’ – so that you can enjoy a two years paid holiday in your hometown…’

So – I chose this easy course – where I would have to study the least…”

“Bare Minimum Inescapable Requirement…?” I joked.

“Yes, Sir…” he laughed.

Circa 2012 – The “Scholar Warrior”

A few years after I had retired – I was invited to attend a Seminar.

There – I was stunned to see my old friend – my ex-student – the “pure warrior” – who I had taught 20 years ago – and who I had later met 10 years ago when he was a “scholar” – when he was on ‘study leave’ in the University.

He seemed delighted to meet me.

“Hello, Sir – I am so happy to see you here. Sir – it is great honour for me to speak before my ‘Guru’…” he said.

“You are speaking at this seminar…?” I asked, surprised.

“Yes, Sir – I am the 3rd speaker, Sir…” he said – and he handed me a copy of the seminar programme he was carrying in his hand.

“That’s fantastic – it seems the ‘study leave’ has turned you into a ‘scholar’…” I said.

“Not at all, Sir – I joined back after my ‘study leave’ – but – sadly – I was ‘passed over’ for promotion – so I quit the army – and I was looking for a job in the civilian world – when my I met a Professor who had taught me during ‘study leave’ – he suggested that I do my Ph.D. – and join the ‘Academia’ – where I could enjoy a cool life – and could keep ‘working’ till 65 – or even 70…”

“Ph.D…? Don’t tell me you are doing your Ph.D. …?” I said, taken aback.

“Sir – in fact – I have just completed my Ph.D. a few days ago…” he said.

He handed me his visiting card.

I read his visiting card.

He had written his name as: Col (Dr) ***** (Retd)

He had become a “Scholar Warrior”…

EPILOGUE

I laughed to myself at the quirk of fate…

My reluctant student had become a “Scholar Warrior” – and me – well – I have been reduced to being a “Keyboard Warrior”…

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, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. This Story 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.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/31/2015 01:46:00 PM

Why No Women on Navy Ships

August 30, 2015

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Should Women Be Posted on Navy Ships

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

“Should Women be posted on Navy Ships?”

Well – I will not directly answer this rather contentious question.

Instead – I will delve deep into my blog – and pull out one of my favourite Naval Yarns.

This story happened almost 30 years ago – in the mid 1980’s.

Dear Reader – please read this hilarious “memoir” – and you decide for yourself whether the time is ripe for posting women on navy ships.

LIFE AT SEA 
(A Naval Yarn)
Hilarious Memories of My Unforgettable Navy Days
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

WHO IS THE MOST IMPORTANT MAN ON A NAVY WARSHIP ?

Dear Reader – tell me – who do you think is the most important person on a warship?

“The Captain,” you would say, in all probability.

If you were a “technical fanatic” – you may say that the Chief Engineer is the key man on a ship – because it is the engines that move the ship.

Some die-hard branch loyalists would plum for specialist officers of their own branches – the gunnery officer, torpedo officer, navigating officer – or even the most redundant of them all – the communications officer.

“The Ship’s Medical Officer – the Doctor is the most important man on the ship,” the hypochondriacs would probably say.

Some would root for the Quartermaster (or helmsman) who steers the ship.

A Foodie may say that the ship’s cook is the most important individual on the ship – since good food is the sine qua non of high morale.

Aviators think they are prima donnas – especially on aircraft carriers.

Everyone has their own views – and you can debate till the cows come home.

But on this ship – on which I was serving – indisputably – without a doubt –the most important man was the “Fresh Water Tanky”.

Of course – if you are fond of American spellings – you may spell “Tanky” as “Tankey” – like they spell “Whisky” as “Whiskey” – but that is a matter of minor detail.

And since the Indian Navy mostly follows Royal Navy traditions – I will use the British spelling – “Tanky”.

FRESH WATER TANKY

The “fresh-water tanky” is a junior sailor from the engine-room branch responsible for the fresh-water supply in a ship.

In my earlier ships – all steamships – there was an abundance of fresh water – and the “fresh water tanky” was an insignificant cog in the wheel – and most of us did not even know who the “fresh water tanky” was.

But on this ship – which invariably suffered a terrible scarcity of fresh water when we were at sea – the “fresh water tanky” was a VIP – the most sought after individual on the ship – so much so that even the Fleet Commander – a Rear Admiral – personally called the “Fresh Water Tanky” to his cabin at 0010 Hours – yes – at 0010 Hours – which – in civilian parlance means Ten Minutes past Midnight.

WHY DID THE ADMIRAL CALL THE FRESH WATER TANKY AT MIDNIGHT?

The “fresh-water-tanky” was fast asleep on his bunk in the engine-room junior sailors’ mess when he was rudely woken up by the Duty Petty Officer and was told to report to the Admiral immediately in person.

The “fresh-water-tanky” wore his overalls – put on his cap – and rushed up to the Captain’s Cabin – which had been commandeered by the Fleet Commander – as this ship was not designed to be a “Flag Ship” – and did not have separate quarters for the Admiral and his staff.

Also – in this ship – as is the case with most warships – only the Captain’s Cabin had an attached bathroom and toilet.

For all other officers – there was a common bathroom.

Similarly – sailors too had huge common bathrooms – one for senior sailors – and another for junior sailors.

Since the Admiral had moved into the Captain’s Cabin – the Captain had evicted the XO – who had moved into the spare bunk in Cdr (E)’s cabin – and the fleet staff had moved into various spare bunks – and a few junior officers slept in the wardroom.

It was terribly crowded on board – and the water shortage made it worse.

This ship was not designed for the prevailing hot, sultry, humid, sweaty tropical climate – where you needed to bathe at least once or twice a day to keep yourself clean.

The ship was designed for much colder arctic climates where you hardly sweated – and you could go without a bath for many days.

There were cultural aspects, as well, as far as personal hygiene is concerned.

Those people needed much less fresh water than us for daily use – they were not in the habit of bathing every day.

Even for their “ablutions” they used toilet paper.

On the other hand – for us – “Cleanliness was next to Godliness” – and we needed plenty of water for our daily baths and ablutions.

Also – our style of cooking required lots of fresh water.

Thus – this ship catered for far less fresh water than the amount required for our needs – with the result that there was a perpetual water scarcity – though ironically – there was plenty of sea water around us – but we could not use seawater for our daily needs.

Metaphorically – it was a case of “water water everywhere – but not a drop to drink”.

This shortage of fresh water necessitated strict rationing of water – which in turn entailed observance of a strict water routine – and water was opened for bathing only for a few minutes in a day.

But during this long sailing – even this bathing water routine could not be followed – due to some breakdowns – and water was opened only for a few minutes early at dawn for brushing and shaving.

All of us were without a bath for days – which made us feel miserable.

We were all “dry cleaning” ourselves.

And – so was the Admiral.

But now – the Admiral had decided to have the luxury of a bath.

That is why he had summoned the “Fresh-Water-Tanky” at this unearthly hour – well past midnight.

SPECIAL WATER ROUTINE FOR THE ADMIRAL

The “fresh-water-tanky” reached the Captain’s cabin flat on the double.

He knocked – and a loud voice said – “come in”.

The “fresh-water-tanky” entered the cabin – and he saw that the Admiral was standing naked – but for a towel round his waist.

“I want to have a bath – open the fresh water,” the Admiral bellowed.

“Sir – You want to have a bath now…? It is the middle of the night…” the perplexed fresh-water-tanky stammered.

“Yes – I want to have a bath now,” the Admiral said.

“Sir – water routine is from 6 in the morning…” the fresh-water-tanky mumbled.

“I know that. During your water routine timings the water is pressure is so bloody low – that hardly any water climbs up to this deck – as everyone opens up all taps and showers on the lower decks…”

“Sir, there is a problem…”

“Don’t tell me your problems – you just do as you are told – and open the fresh water for 10 minutes – come on – get moving – chop chop…!!!” the Admiral barked at the nonplussed sailor.

The “fresh water tanky” decided to play safe.

He tiptoed down to the Senior Engineer’s cabin.

The Senior Engineer Officer had hit the sack an hour ago – after a hard day’s work slogging away in the bowels of the ship – and he was fast asleep – after imbibing his customary nightcap – a generous swig of rum from the hip flask he always carried in the pocket in his overalls.

The Senior Engineer was in deep sleep – snoring away – on the top bunk – above me.

There was a knock on the cabin door.

I cursed at being woken up from my sleep – and opened the cabin door.

The moment I saw the fresh-water-tanky – I got angry – and told him to get lost.

But – when the fresh-water-tanky told me the reason why he had come – I quickly got up from my bunk – stripped off my lungi and vest – put a towel around my waist – picked up my soap case – and rushed down to the officers’ bathroom.

Meanwhile – the fresh-water-tanky gave the Senior Engineer a “hard shakeup” to wake him up from his deep sleep – and asked for his permission to open the fresh water.

WATER IS A GREAT LEVELLER

Jolted out of his deep sleep – for a few moments – the Senior Engineer Officer appeared to be in a daze.

Then – as he recovered his senses – the Senior Engineer squinted his eyes – and he looked at the clock – it was 12:15 (0015 Hrs in Naval Parlance) – 15 minutes past midnight.

“The Admiral wants to have a bath now?” the puzzled Senior Engineer asked the fresh-water-tanky.

“Yes, Sir. He called me personally to his cabin and ordered me to open the fresh water.”

“What’s the fresh water level?” Senior Engineer asked the fresh-water-tanky.

“Very Low, Sir,” the fresh-water-tanky answered.

“Okay. We will conserve water tomorrow. Now –you just open the water for 5 minutes – strictly 5 minutes – and make sure you don’t tell anyone – let them sleep peacefully,” Senior Engineer said – while he stripped off his overalls, grabbed his towel and made a beeline for the bathroom.

“Aye, Aye, Sir,” the fresh-water-tanky said.

But – before he went to open the fresh water valve – the fresh-water-tanky surreptitiously went down to his mess-deck – quietly stripped off his overalls – picked up his soap – and put on a towel round his waist.

This furtive activity by the fresh-water-tanky was observed by a few engine-room sailors – who had come off watch – and were lying in their bunks trying to sleep.

Seeing the fresh-water-tanky stripping off his clothes, picking up his soap and wearing a towel round his waist – these sailors were roused into a flurry of action – and soon – all of them were seen rushing towards the sailors’ bathroom – clad in their towels.

I don’t know how it happened – but the “secret” news – of fresh water being opened at the midnight hour – spread like wildfire throughout the messdecks.

Soon – everyone was seen rushing in various states of undress to the bathrooms – standing naked under the showers – waiting for water to sprinkle on their bodies.

Yes – on this ship – everyone bathed in his “birthday suit” – even the officers.

On my earlier ships – where there was the luxury of abundant fresh water – it was possible for “OLQ oriented officers” to bathe in an “officer-like manner” – bathrobe, privacy of shower-curtain, et al

But on this ship – water was a great leveler – and things like modesty, etiquette and protocol had no place in the bathroom.

The scene epitomized the famous Hindi proverb – “Is hamam mein sab nange hain” – meaning – “everyone is naked in this bathroom”.

So – whatever your rank – if you happened to be on this ship – you were “nanga” in the “hamam”.

IS HAMAM MEIN SAB NANGE HAIN 

By the time water gushed out of the showers – there were 20 officers standing stark naked under the 4 showers in the officers’ bathroom.

It was a tight squeeze – bodies rubbing against each other – hands with soap moving wildly.

It was a free-for-all – and in the frenzy – you could not even make out who was lathering whose body.

The TASO – an aficionado of sandalwood soap – would emerge from the melee – smelling of the strong heady scent of the aromatic herbal soap used by the Mallu Senior Engineer.

The Gunnery Officer – on middle watch – had handed over the deck to the cute watch-keeping Sub Lieutenant – and rushed down from the bridge without towel or soap – he would “bum” both from someone – as was his habit of “bumming” everything.

The cute watch-keeping Sub Lieutenant would go for his bath later – if he was allowed to leave the bridge – and if there was time enough after the return of the Gunnery Officer – and the water routine was long enough.

Or – the cute watch-keeping Sub Lieutenant would rather skip the collective nude bathing session – he suspected the proclivities of some of the rather bawdy officers who seemed to have a glad-eye on him – and he did not want to risk a repeat of what had happened in the previous free-for-all bathing fracas.

While the officers were enjoying their midnight bath – so were almost all the sailors – with all showers open full blast – and all the ship’s bathrooms filled with bodies chock-a-block.

The result of all of this frenzied full-scale bathing on the lower decks was that not a drop of water climbed up to the Captain’s Cabin – where the Admiral was standing patiently in his “birthday suit” under the shower.

Now – the Admiral was an old sea-dog – who had commanded this very ship – and he realized what was going on.

So – the Admiral wrapped his towel around his waist – and he marched bare-chested down to the officers’ bathroom.

“Bloody, Guns! What the hell are you doing here?” he shouted at the nude Gunnery Officer who should have been on the bridge during middle-watch.

Before the shamefaced Gunnery Officer could reply, the Admiral shouted at him: “Go and sound ‘Action Stations’ – come on, get moving…”

Then – the Admiral looked at the Senior Engineer and commanded: “You make sure the fresh water is pumped in full force till I finish my bath – I want the fresh-water-tanky standing by outside.”

As “Action Stations” were sounded – and everyone began rushing to his action post – the Admiral stripped off his towel and stood under the shower to enjoy a leisurely bath.

As the Admiral was enjoying his bath – his newly appointed “cute and coy” Flag Lieutenant peeped in.

Like most Flag Lieutenants – he was a pretty boy – a “Sea Doll”.

The charming Flag Lieutenant was lucky to have served on comfortable ships.

The coy “Sea Doll” Flag Lieutenant seemed a bit shy and timorous to walk around semi-nude in front of sailors who were rushing up and down in the ship’s alleyways to their action stations in various states of undress.

That is why the demure Flag Lieutenant was dressed up for a bath in an “officer-like” manner – in a full bathrobe covering almost his entire body.

The Flag Lieutenant saw the totally nude brawny “Sea Dog” Admiral standing in his “birthday suit” – stark naked under the shower.

Horrified by the outrageous sight before him – the Flag Lieutenant hesitated and began to retreat.

On seeing his Flag Lieutenant’s coyness – the Admiral shouted at him: “Come on Pretty Boy – hurry up – take off your clothes quickly – take off everything and come here under the shower – Is Hamam Mein Sab Nange Hain…”

EPILOGUE

I will never forget my wonderful time on this glorious frontline warship.

During my long naval career – I have served on many ships and shore establishments.

But – it was on this ship – where we had the best camaraderie among officers – and even our relationships with sailors were most happy.

Despite the tough time we had – and the hardships we faced – this was a “Happy Ship”.

Maybe – it has got something to do with being “Nanga” in the “Hamam” … !!!

Can there be any better bonding than being “Nanga” together in the “Hamam”?

As I told you in the beginning – this incident happened long back – 30 years ago – in the mid-1980’s.

Those were the days of the “all male Navy” – before the Navy started inducting women as officers.

But even now – the Navy does not post women on ships.

Now – after reading this story – what do you feel:

“Should Women be posted on Navy Ships…?”

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 yarn 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 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 Story was written by me 2 years ago in the year 2013 and first posted online by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at 1/28/2014 04:29:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…and later at urls http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/29/2015 10:59:00 PM

THE FLIRTY WOMAN ON THE TRAIN – A TRAVEL ROMANCE

August 24, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do tell me if you like this old fashioned romance…

A TRAVEL ROMANCE
The Flirty Woman on the Train
A Love Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

EPILOGUE

Sometime ago – I received a wedding invitation card.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FLIRTING ON THE TRAIN
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

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

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

I was on seat number 30 – a window seat.

A window seat.

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

A disappointment…!

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

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

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

I felt a pang of disappointment.

Maybe she would come at Dadar.

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

I sat down on seat number 28.

In 10 minutes the train reached Dadar.

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

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

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

I and gave her a smile of forced geniality.

Our eyes met.

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

I felt a sense of elation.

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

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

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

Now she would have to sit next to me.

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

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

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

This was one journey I was going to enjoy. 

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

I was taken aback – a bit bewildered.

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

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

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

The silence was grotesque.

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

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

That was true. 

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

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

I looked at her.

I felt totally astounded. 

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

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

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

“New name…?” I said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Are you from Pune…?” I asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“When was this…?” I asked.

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

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

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

I smiled to myself at the truth of her statement.

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

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

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

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

“I don’t have a wife…” I said.

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

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

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

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

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

“Quality of life…?” Manisha Bhide said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I excused myself – and I went to the toilet.

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

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

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

He wanted to know all about ships…!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe – we would have a rocking marriage.

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

Maybe for her – Surely for me.

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

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

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 is a revised version of my story THE RIGHT CHOICE written by me Vikram Karve 25 years ago in the year 1990 and earlier posted online by me an number of times in my various creative writing blogs including at urls:http://creative.sulekha.com/the-…  and  https://vikramwkarve.wordpress.c… and https://vikramwkarve.wordpress.c…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  etc

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

Stealing the Affection of a Brother Officer’s Wife – Humor in Uniform

August 22, 2015

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/11/humor-in-uniform-stealing-affections.html.

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

An Extract from my Novel – Nobody’s Navy – a Fictional Spoof

Continued from:

1. NOBODY’S NAVY – an Introduction

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve

2. OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES aka OLQ – THE ART OF COMMAND

(How Sub Lieutenant NOBODY became a “Somebody”)

OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES aka OLQ – THE ART OF COMMAND


NOBODY’S NAVY – a Fictional Spoof by VIKRAM KARVE

CHAPTER 1

STEALING AFFECTIONS – A MATTER OF HONOUR

“Stealing the affections of a brother officer’s wife?” thundered the Admiral.

The Admiral looked up from the paper he was reading, glared at Captain standing in front of him, and said, “Kaka, I have tolerated a lot of nonsense from your ship, but I not going to condone sexual misconduct.”

“He is innocent, sir” said the Captain, the Commanding Officer of the mighty warship INS Bijlee, the flagship of the Fleet.

Standing beside the Admiral, a bespectacled Commander with yellow lace between his stripes, the Judge Advocate General, called JAG, noticed that, though the Captain spoke in a soft voice, he looked at the Admiral, his boss, the Fleet Commander, squarely in the eye.

The JAG knew that Kaka, as the Captain was known throughout the navy, was ex-Dufferin, an officer of the old-mould, a tough cookie, unlike some of his more morally pliable counterparts.

The Captain looked a decisive, tenacious and determined man, with his broad square face, heavy-lidded eyes and the deep lines at the sides of his mouth.

The Captain never took things lying down.

And now he was taking on his boss, the Admiral, his own Fleet Commander.

This was going to be difficult.

“What the hell do you mean he is innocent?” shouted the Admiral, “that piddly dope-entry Sub-Lieutenant is caught red-handed screwing a Commander’s wife and you say he is bloody innocent? If he was so frigging horny he could have dipped his bloody wick elsewhere – there are plenty of fleet auxiliaries, so many opportunities all over, the dockside is teeming with sugar girls, come on Kaka, you know all this. If he was so bloody sex-starved he could have rogered a midshipman for all I care – but stealing the affections of a senior officer’s wife? It’s just not acceptable and I won’t tolerate it in my fleet.”

There was silence.

The JAG smiled to himself as he thought of the Admiral’s words.

In the navy it was all a matter of form.

The moral issue was a minor detail.

You could sow your wild oats elsewhere, but stealing the affections of brother officers’ wives was taboo, and if you got caught, you were thrown out of the navy.

“Sir, please listen…” the Captain broke the silence.

“No, Kaka,” interrupted the Admiral, “It’s final. I have spoken to the C-in-C. We are throwing the bugger out.”

He gestured to the JAG who gave him a folder.

The Admiral took out a typewritten sheet from the JAG, looked at it and exclaimed, “Nobody? Sub-Lieutenant Nobody? What sort of name is that? Is he a bloody ding?”

“No Sir. He is a bong. His name is an anglicized version of…”

“Doesn’t matter,” the Fleet Commander interrupted the Captain.

The Admiral gave the sheet of paper to the Captain, and said, “You just get his signature on this and personally give it back to me by closing hours today.”

“Resignation letter? You want him to resign his commission on compassionate grounds?” the Captain said, looking incredulous. 

“That’s the best way,” the JAG spoke for the first time, “the C-in-C doesn’t want a scandal. He’s going to Delhi tomorrow and he’ll get the papers cleared personally. The C-in-C wants this officer out of the navy immediately. And he wants it done discreetly.”

“Yes, Kaka, you get his bloody signature, withdraw his ID card, throw him out of your ship, and put him on a train home today itself. I don’t want to see the filthy bugger on board when we sail out tomorrow,” the Admiral bellowed.

“Nonsense,” the Captain said.

“What?” the Admiral looked stunned.

“I am not a post office. I am the Captain of a warship, the Flag Captain, the Commanding Officer of the Flagship of the Western Fleet. You can’t punish a man without hearing him out. It’s against the principles of naval justice,” the Captain said firmly, raising his voice slightly for the first time.

“Justice my bloody foot,” roared the Admiral, “you get this straight, Kaka. The Commander-in-Chief desires that this officer is thrown out. I am your boss and the C-in-C’s desire is my command. Kaka, don’t be stupid. There is no point jeopardising your career for the sake that dodgy son of a bitch.”

“Sub-Lieutenant Nobody is my officer, Sir, and it is my duty to be fair and just to all officers and men under my command,” the captain said firmly.

“But the C-in-C has desired…”

The Captain interrupted the Admiral, and said bluntly, “The C-in-C is not above naval law. He too is subject to the Navy Act. I respectfully submit, Sir, that due process is followed, and the accused officer be heard, before you take a decision.”

The Admiral winced – he said nothing, and he looked as if he were in deep thought, as if he was weighing his options.

The JAG looked at the two sea-dogs, both tough leaders, but with contrasting styles, the profane hot-tempered volatile Admiral, and the steady soft-spoken Captain, who did not say much, but whatever little he said was sensible and relevant.

“Okay,” the Admiral said, “I will see the officer. Bring him to me as soon as possible.”

“He is waiting outside,” the captain said.

The Admiral smiled, “March him up to me in five minutes.”

“Aye, Aye, Sir,” the Captain put on his peak cap.

The Captain saluted smartly and walked off.

Five minutes later Sub-Lieutenant Nobody stood at attention looking at the Admiral sitting across the polished mahogany table.

His Captain sat on a sofa on the side.

“Where is the JAG?” the Captain asked.

“He’s not required. I don’t want any of C-in-C’s goddam spies eavesdropping,” the Admiral said to the Captain.

Then the Admiral looked at Sub-Lieutenant Nobody, and said, “You are accused of stealing the affections of Commander Kumar’s wife?”

“That’s not true, Sir, I did not steal her affections,” Sub-Lieutenant Nobody said.

“What the hell do you mean it is not true – you were caught red-handed trying to steal her affections,” the Admiral shouted.

“Sir – actually – in fact – it was not me – but it was she – it was she who tried to steal my affections,” Sub-Lieutenant Nobody blurted out.

The Admiral burst out laughing, “Are you some sort of crazy bugger? How the hell can she steal your affections? Tomorrow you will say that a woman can rape a man. Now, don’t give me bullshit. You are up the shit creek, so answer properly.”

“She was drunk, Sir. She wanted me – but I restrained myself.”

“Just tell me one thing, you dirty bugger – why the hell did you stay with her all night? The whole world saw you in there with her – the milkman, the maid, the chowkidar – and, of course, the bloody Flotilla Commander – he has even given a written complaint against you. And, remember, he is a Senior Commodore. It is your word against his – and, in the navy, the senior is always right.”

“Sir, he is the root cause of everything?”

“Root cause – the Commodore?”

“Yes, Sir – he is responsible for what happened.”

“I see – now you are blaming him for your troubles – can you please explain?”

“Sir, I was sitting in Club watching the May Queen Ball when the lady came to me and asked me to dance with her. I told her that I did not know how to dance. In fact I had refused Tanya earlier when she asked me for a dance.”

“Tanya?”

“My daughter, Sir,” the Captain said.

“I see,” the Admiral hid a smile.

Then the Admiral said to Sub-Lieutenant Nobody, “Go on. I am listening.”
“Sir, this lady – she pulled me on the dance floor – and this Commodore tried to cut in – and she told him to go away. The lady – she seemed quite drunk – and she seemed very nervous and frightened – she told me she was not feeling well and asked me to take her to her home on Marine Drive. So I took her in a taxi and dropped her home.”

“It seems a tall story – but suppose I believe you – you dropped her home – so that is when you should have left and come back to your ship. Why the hell did you stay on in her home?”

“Yes, Sir – that is exactly what I wanted to do – but as I was about to leave – the Commodore landed up – and he asked me what I was doing there – and he told me to get out. The lady asked the Commodore to go away – but he insisted on staying – so I asked him to go away – but he didn’t budge – so I pushed him out and I locked the door.”

“You physically pushed him out?”

“Yes, Sir – I had to push him out since he refused to go away on his own, despite the lady asking him to do so.”

“You knew he was a Commodore, a superior officer?”

“Yes, Sir – I know he is the flotilla commander.”

“Then what happened? Why didn’t you leave after that?”

“She asked me to stay. She was scared that he would come back. She said that the Commodore was eyeing her ever since her husband joined the flotilla. And now he had sent her husband away on a course and he was giving her unwelcome attentions – she said he was trying to seduce her – he wanted to sleep with her – she told me that he would come again if I left her alone – so she desperately asked me to stay.”

“So you stayed on to save the ‘damsel in distress’ – come on, young man – tell your story to the marines. You are making all this up to save yourself. I don’t believe any lady would tell a stranger all this.”

“I swear I am telling the truth, Sir – she was drunk, she was very drunk. She told me the Commodore had forced her to drink, maybe even spiked her drinks. I asked her why she went to Club with the Commodore if she knew his intentions and she told me that her own husband was forcing her to sleep with his boss.”

“What nonsense?”

“She said her husband was very ambitious and wanted to get promoted at any cost.”

“I don’t believe all this hogwash.”

“Sir, you will never believe what she told me next.”

“What?”

“She said that her husband is impotent – he is not able to do it.”

“So she wanted you to do it?”

“Yes, Sir…”

“And you did it…?”

“No, Sir. She tried her best – she pulled me towards her – and she kissed me. I did feel tempted for a moment – but I controlled myself immediately. Then we slept, Sir – and I woke up in the morning by the sound of the bell – and when I opened the door I saw the milkman, the chowkidar, the Commodore, and some others standing outside.”

The Admiral stood up, came around the desk, and put his hands around Sub- Lieutenant Nobody’s shoulders.

“Sit down,” the Admiral told Nobody, gesturing towards a chair.

The Admiral himself sat on the desk, and he said, “I have never heard such a tall story in my life, but I like your brutal frankness, and my inner voice tells me that you are speaking the truth. So I will make it easy for you – and for all of us. In the navy we have a thing called honour. We don’t like to wash our dirty linen in public. And the honourable thing for you to do is to put in your papers. I hear you are an IIT type. You will surely get a job – maybe a much better job than the navy. And if you do have any problem, we will help you out.”

The Captain watched in silence, intrigued at the sudden change in the Admiral’s demeanour.

Instead of his normal brash way, in which he treated subordinate officers like dirt, here, he was almost pleading to the Sub-Lieutenant.

He must be under real pressure from the C-in-C to hush up the matter, lest it blow up into a scandal. 

The Admiral reached across his desk, picked up the typewritten resignation letter, and put it in front of Sub-Lieutenant Nobody.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody read the letter, and said: “I will not resign, Sir – I love the navy – and I haven’t done anything wrong.”

“Do you know the alternative?”

“Court Martial, Sir.”

“You will be charged with conduct unbecoming the character of an officer, conduct to the prejudice of good order and naval discipline, maybe even striking a superior officer, and if found guilty, you will be dismissed from the navy with disgrace and locked up in jail for at least three years. And from the evidence at hand – it looks like you will certainly be found guilty. So it is best for you to quit the navy silently, without any fuss, and the honour of the navy remains intact.”

“What about my honour, sir?”

“Your honour – are you crazy – you are up the shit creek – and you are talking of your honour?”

“Yes, my honour, and the lady’s honour. If I resign – it will be an admission of guilt.”

“But you are guilty.”

“I am not guilty, Sir – I did not do anything wrong.”

“Son, don’t be dogmatic. Take the easy choice.”

“Admiral, when they blamed you for that collision at sea accident many years ago, you too could have taken the easy choice, but you elected for a court martial, and you redeemed your honour…”

“Get out of here,” the Admiral shouted, suddenly getting angry.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody saluted the Admiral.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody then looked at his Captain sitting quietly on the sofa.

The Captain indicated with his eyes to Sub-Lieutenant Nobody that he should leave.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody turned and started to walk away – but he stopped in his tracks when he heard the Admiral’s voice.

The Admiral said to Sub-Lieutenant Nobody: “You are up the shit creek. You better choose someone good to defend you at the court martial.”

“I already have, Sir – My Captain will defend me.”

When the Captain heard these words, tears of pride welled up in his eyes.

For a Commanding Officer, this was the ultimate “proof of the pudding” – his officers and men trusted him with their lives.


End of Chapter 1 of Nobody’s Navy by Vikram Karve

To be continued … 

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.

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

August 22, 2015

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/11/officer-like-qualities-aka-olq-art-of.html.

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

Excerpt from NOBODY’S NAVY by Vikram Karve

Every Naval Officer has a book hidden within him.

This is my book – a Novel.

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

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

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

The Navy is not a Job.

The Navy is a Way of Life.

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

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

Yes, his name is “Nobody”.

That is why the novel is called NOBODY’S NAVY

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

We can take it forward from here.

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

Do tell me if you liked the piece.


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

OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES aka OLQ

THE ART OF COMMAND
How Sub Lieutenant NOBODY became a “Somebody”

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

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

It was the happiest moment of his life.

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

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

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

Ship life seemed good.

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

Here it was performance that counted.

So everyone was busy doing his job.

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

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

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

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

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

It all happened so fast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“My name is Nobody.”

“Nobody?” the OOD asked, incredulous.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Congratulations,” a voice said from behind.

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

“Good morning, Sir,” Nobody said.

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

“Yes, Sir,” Nobody said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Nobody struggled to open his eyes and thought about it.

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

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

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

“Ballard Pier?” port control asked.

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

“Barracks Wharf?”

“Yes”

“Cold move?” port control asked.

“No,” Nobody said decisively.

“Hot move?”

“Yes”

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

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

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

“Sir, should I prepare the pilotage plan?”

“Yes”

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

“No”

“Around Middle Ground?”

“Yes”

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

“No”

“Then I will have the con?”

“Yes”

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

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

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

This was not a question. 

This was a report. 

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

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

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

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

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

He needed the alcohol fuelled “Dutch courage”.

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

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

Everything moved like clockwork, everyone knew their jobs.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody also knew what to do. 

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

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

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

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

It worked. 

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

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

The ship secured alongside perfectly.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Never before had such a thing happened.  

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

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

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

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

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody’s chest swelled with pride.

Nobody had become a “Somebody”.

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

To be continued … 

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)
 

Abridged and Updated Version of my two blog posts posted in June 2013 
NOBODY’S NAVY at url:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  
and  NOBODY BECOMES A SOMEBODY – LEARNING THE ART OF NAVAL COMMAND at url: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

 

 

Navy Literature – My Favorite Navy Novels

August 22, 2015

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/04/10-books-you-must-read-before-you-join.html.

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

NAVY FICTION
10 BOOKS YOU MUST READ BEFORE YOU JOIN THE NAVY
Literary Musings
By
VIKRAM KARVE

The best thing that happened to me was the Navy. 

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

There was never a dull moment. 

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

Those were the best days of my life. 

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

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

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

Junior Officers were encouraged to develop the habit of reading.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

And you must read “navy fiction” too,

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

10 “SEA NOVELS” (NAVY FICTION) BOOKS WHICH ARE “MUST READING” FOR EVERY YOUNG NAVAL OFFICER

1. The Cruel Sea by Nicholas Monsarrat
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…

2. The Caine Mutiny by Herman Wouk
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…

3. HMS Ulysses by Alistair MacLean
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/HMS…

4. Run Silent, Run Deep by Edward L. Beach
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Run…

5. HMS Leviathan by John Winton
https://www.goodreads.com/book/s…

6. The Captain by Jan de Hartog
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The…

7. Tales of the South Pacific by James A. Michener
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tal…

8. We Joined the Navy by John Winton
https://www.goodreads.com/book/s…

9. Winged Escort by Douglas Reeman
http://navyfiction.com/winged-es…

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

10. Catch-22 by Joseph Heller
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cat…

Read these books.

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

Do read plenty of Navy Literature.

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

Love and Friendship – Merry-Go-Round Romance Story

August 20, 2015

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/12-september-7-pages-from-diary-of-my.html.

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

12 SEPTEMBER – 7 Pages from the Diary of My Life – A story of merry-go-round relationships by Vikram Karve

I wrote this story around 2 years ago – on my birthday 12 September 2013 and I posted it on my blog.

I think it is one of my good stories. 

Surprisingly – this story went unnoticed and unappreciated.

So – I am posting this story once more for your to read. 

Do tell me if you like it.

SEPTEMBER 12
7 Pages from the Diary of My Life
My Love Story
Short Fiction
By
VIKRAM KARVE


12 SEPTEMBER – A Love Story by Vikram Karve


12 September 1977
Shivalik Hostel IIT Delhi

VIJAY  and  ME

It is our 21st Birthday.

Yes – we are both 21 years old today.

Vijay and Me were born on the same day.

Our hostel-mates brought a specially ordered birthday cake all the way from CP from the famous Wenger’s Bakery for Vijay and me – and we celebrated our birthday in our hostel canteen at tea time.

We have been celebrating our birthday together for the last 12 years – for 7 years in our boarding school at Lovedale near Ooty.

And then for 5 years here at IIT Delhi.

But – this is a special occasion for two reasons.

We are 21 years old.

And – this may be our last birthday together.

Who knows where we will be next year – after we finish our B. Tech. engineering course – and each of us go our own ways pursuing our own careers in the journey of our lives.

To celebrate this special occasion we decide to booze – for the first time in our lives.

So – we get a bottle of Whisky from the booze shop in Green Park.

And we get lots of Tandoori Chicken and Kebabs from the Essex Farms shop in Hauz Khas.

Then we sit on the terrace and drink and talk – reminisce about our childhood and the good times we had together.

By the time we kill the bottle of whisky – we are gloriously drunk.

In that glorious drunken state we make a promise to each other – Vijay and Me – we promise each other – that we will meet every year on the 12th of September to celebrate our birthdays together.


12 September 1978
Bangalore

VIJAY  and  ME

As promised – we meet on our birthday.

This is our first birthday after we passed out with our B.Tech. degrees.

Vijay comes down from Ahmedabad – where he is studying Management at the elite IIM-A.

I pick him up from the railway station – and I drive him down on my scooter to my room in the trainee hostel.

In the morning I show him my workplace – my impressive factory – and then my boss gives me the day off to celebrate my birthday.

We scooter down to heart of town – and we spend a few hours loafing, window-shopping and ogling at the PYTs strolling on Brigade Road and MG Road.

Later – after a few beers – we enjoy a “Cabaret” (our first) at a restaurant called “Three Aces”.

Emboldened by “Dutch Courage” fuelled by the alcohol in our veins – we want to do something more “adventurous”.

But – the moment I see those “sexy females” – I chicken out.

I do not want to admit that I am feeling scared.

So – I say that I am experiencing “pangs of conscience” in doing such “sinful” things.

Vijay instantly agrees. 

He looks relieved. 

I think – that like me – Vijay too is feeling anxious – and is “shit scared” about the whole sordid thing.

We beat a hasty retreat.

And so – we end our 22nd Birthday with our virtue unspoiled – and our virginity intact.


12 September 1982
Visakhapatnam (Vizag)

VIJAY  USHA  and  ME

I really like Usha – Vijay’s brand new wife.

Usha is a plump, graceful girl with a very pretty face.

She has a sincere, friendly smile which radiates a charming innocence.

They were married just a month ago – and I could not attend their wedding as I was sent abroad for more than 3 years for advanced training and on-the-job work experience.

That is why I am so happy that I could keep our 12th September birthday date after a gap of four years. 

(We met last on 12 September 1978 in Bangalore, remember!)

They say that when a woman finds her way into a group of men friends – especially two close friends like Vijay and me – the friendship among men sometimes disintegrates.

But after meeting Usha – I know that is not going to happen.

Usha is a “back-home-type” small town girl.

She has a certain innocent charm about her.

Usha welcomes me into her home with honest warmth and genuine affection – and I instantly know that we are going to get along very well – and the bonds of my friendship with Vijay are going to be strengthened.

“How come you landed up in Vizag?” I ask Vijay.

“You have to prove yourself in the field before they take you to the company headquarters in Mumbai,” Vijay says.

Vijay has specialized in Marketing at IIM and has landed up a lucrative job at a famous FMCG company and he has been given the most challenging assignment.

Vijay cribs about Vizag being quite a boring place.

But his wife Usha says, “I wish we stay here. I love Visakhapatnam. It is such a nice place, the people are so good here and we are very happy here. I don’t want to go to big city like Mumbai.”

Vijay has taken the day off so we drive down the East Coast Road to Rishikonda Beach and swim in the sea.

Vijay keeps calling Usha to join us in the water for a swim but she seems quite shy.

Usha sits on the beach in her sari and watches Vijay and me enjoy ourselves frolicking in the cool blue water of the Bay of Bengal.

In the evening, Vijay and I sip chilled beer on the lush green lawns of the Waltair Club.

We both want Usha to come with us to the club, but Usha remains at home.

Usha tells us to enjoy ourselves but she insists that we come home for dinner as she will be cooking something special for the occasion.

Vijay starts talking about his newly wedded wife, “Sorry about Usha, yaar, she is quite a prudish type. Usha likes to remain home most of the time. She just does not want to go out anywhere. You saw how shy she was at the beach.”

“Hey, don’t say that. Usha is the best thing that happened to you. You are lucky to get such a good wife,” I say.

When we get home I am impressed by the awesome way in which Usha has decorated the house for our birthday.

Usha has baked a birthday cake for both of us.

We cut the freshly baked birthday cake and then all of us enjoy a sumptuous dinner.

For both of us, Vijay and me, it was a memorable birthday indeed.

Early next morning I say goodbye.

We promise to meet next year.

And then I catch the morning flight out of Vizag.


12 September 1984
Mumbai

VIJAY  USHA  NISHA  and  ME

Well – I could not make it last year – on the 12th of September 1983 – as I was again sent abroad on a project – so we meet after a gap of 2 years.

Vijay has moved up the ladder pretty fast.

Just recently – he has been posted to the Head Office of his FMCG Company.

That is the beauty of being an IIM graduate – you move up very fast.

I wish that – like Vijay – I too had had taken the IIM route – instead of deciding to be a hard-core engineer – where you have to slog it out in the field – especially if you land up in “projects”.

I sit with Vijay’s wife Usha sipping tea in the balcony of their 3rd floor sea facing company flat on Marine Drive in Mumbai.

We watch the sunset – it is a spectacular sight – the interplay of colours in the sky and the sun is being swallowed by the placid blue waters of the Arabian Sea.

After the sun sets – the lights on the Queen’s Necklace come on – it looks fascinating.

The phone rings – and Usha goes inside to pick it up.

“You have a shower and get ready,” Usha says, “I’ll get ready too. Vijay said he’ll be here in half an hour – and we will go straightaway to the club.”

“Club? Why club? Let’s sit at home. You cook something simple. We’ll just sit and chat,” I say.

“Vijay said we’ll all go to the club,” Usha says with finality.

When Vijay arrives – there is a woman with him.

She looks beautiful, chic and very elegant.

Vijay introduces us to each other.

The woman’s name is Nisha – and she is Vijay’s colleague in his office. 

Nisha has an MBA in finance.

She was working abroad for some years.

Recently – Nisha has joined Vijay’s company as Finance Manager.

Vijay introduces Nisha as his office colleague.

But my sixth sense tells me that this woman Nisha is much more than a mere colleague.

Nisha goes in to freshen up.

“I hope you don’t mind if Nisha comes with us,” Vijay says to me.

“Of course I do mind if she comes with us,” I say, “we don’t want outsiders in our get-together, do we?”

“Let her come,” Usha pleads with me, “Poor thing. Nisha has just come back to India after getting out of a bad marriage. She has no one else in Mumbai – and Vijay is helping her settle down.”

“She’ll be good company,” Vijay says.

“I hope you are not trying to set me up with Nisha…?” I ask, tongue-in-cheek.

We start laughing – but suddenly Nisha comes in.

We drive to the club.

Usha sits beside Vijay in front.

Nisha sits with me in the rear of Vijay’s new Maruti 800 car.

Way back in 1984 – a Maruti Car was a prized possession – and Vijay is one of the lucky guys to get a much sought after Maruti Car from the first lot.

The smallness of the car creates a forced intimacy between Nisha and me.

Nisha sits close to me – the aroma of her perfume is enticing – our bodies touch – and I feel aroused by her tantalizing sensuousness. 

Nisha is indeed a very alluring woman.

We sit by the sea – watching lights of ships at a distance in the darkness – and we enjoy our drinks in a most pleasant ambience.

We – Vijay and Me – we drink Scotch Whisky.

Nisha gets high on Martini – while Usha has fruit juice.

It is a lovely evening.

On the way back – we drop Nisha at a working women’s hostel in Colaba – her temporary home till she finds a good apartment.

“Poor thing – it must be tough for Nisha to live in a hostel. Vijay, you must find her a good apartment fast,” Usha says, as we drive towards Marine Drive.

“I am trying to get Nisha a flat near our office in Churchgate,” Vijay says.

We drive down to Chowpatty – and walk on the sands by the sea – eating ice cream – a delightful end to a pleasurable evening.


12 September 1987
New Delhi

VIJAY  NISHA  and  ME

Last time – 3 years ago – it was Vijay, Usha, Nisha and Me – four of us together.

Now – Usha is missing – and it is Vijay, Nisha and Me.

Yes – now Usha has gone – and in her place there is Nisha.

Vijay divorced Usha and married Nisha.

Then both of them – Nisha and Vijay – relocated abroad to America.

Now they both work in New York.

And me – after slogging for many years in the field – I have finally been posted to our Delhi office.

It is great to be back in Delhi, after so many years.

We spend a nostalgic day visiting all our haunts in IIT Delhi – our hostel rooms, the canteens, the classrooms – walk round the campus.

Then – we spend the evening in my bungalow in Saket – drinking late into the night.

Later – when we are alone – Vijay says to me, “I have looked after Usha well. I have bought her a luxurious 3 BHK flat in Pune – and I have given her plenty of money. Yes – I have given her so much money that she can live well …”

“Hey, Vijay, why are you telling me all this? It is your personal matter. Are you feeling guilty? Don’t feel guilty – just forget it – whatever happened, has happened – and it is past history now. So don’t feel sorry. Come on – it is well past midnight. You have a flight to catch tomorrow. Let’s go to sleep.” I say.

And we go to sleep.


12 September 1989
Pune

USHA  and  ME

“Are you sure Vijay is not coming?” Usha, my wife, asks me.

(Yes – Vijay’s ex-wife Usha and I got married in 1988)

I look at my wife Usha and say: “No. I rang up Vijay twice today – but he is making all sorts of excuses.”

“Last year – Vijay was abroad on the 12th of September – but this time – he is in Mumbai on work – and he can surely make it – it’s just a 3 hour drive to Pune,” Usha says.

“Well – Usha – I really don’t know. Maybe – Vijay has got a guilty conscience for ditching you. Maybe – he can’t bear to see us together. Or maybe – Nisha has told him not to come…” I say.

“Okay, let’s celebrate your birthday – just you and me,” Usha says – and we go out for dinner.


12 September 2012
Khadakwasla near Pune

USHA  ME  and  VIJAY

I sit with Vijay on the lawns of my farmhouse – and we sip our sundowners – as we watch the sun set behind the hills across the lake.

We meet after a gap of 25 years.

The last time Vijay and me got together was on 12 September 1987 – in New Delhi – when Vijay had come with his new wife Nisha – after divorcing Usha.

Like me – I am sure he is thinking about the twists and turns in the journey of our lives.

I think of all the birthdays – the 12th of September – we have spent together.

It is like a merry-go-round of relationships.

First – it was VIJAY and ME.

Then – it was VIJAY USHA and ME.

After that – it was VIJAY USHA NISHA and ME.

Later – it was VIJAY NISHA and ME.

Even later – it was USHA and ME.

Now – it is USHA ME and VIJAY.

Yes, you guessed right – Nisha divorced Vijay – and now Vijay is all alone.

Next morning I drop Vijay to the Mumbai airport – and he catches the flight back home to America.


EPILOGUE

12 September 2013
Pune

USHA  ME  and  ?

I hope Vijay will come.

But – I know he will not come.

I could see it in his eyes last time.

Maybe Vijay will never come.

Maybe Vijay and I will never meet again.

So – maybe this birthday – the 12th of September 2013 – and all my future birthdays – all the 12th’s of September – I will have to celebrate with my much married wife Usha.

Of course – it was thanks to Vijay that I first met Usha in Vizag 31 years ago – on 12 September 1982 – when she was newly married to Vijay.

But on every 12th of September I will always wait for Vijay – who was born on the same day as me – on the exact date and year – as if he were my twin brother.


PS:

Dear Reader:

As you guessed – Vijay did not come on September 12, 2013.

He did not come the next year too – on September 12, 2014.

Soon – in a few days from now – it will be September 12, 2015 – my 59th birthday – and it will be Vijay’s 59th birthday too. 

Like always – I will wait for Vijay to come. 

Tell me Dear Reader – Do you think Vijay will come?

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)

I wrote this story in Sep 2013 and this story was first posted online by meVikram Karve on 12 September 2013 in my blog at 9/12/2013 02:16:00 PMat url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… and later re-posted at urls:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… 

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/19/2015 11:19:00 AM

Humor in Uniform – “Fauji” Doctor at Sea

August 20, 2015

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/humor-in-uniform-my-hilarious_17.html.

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

HUMOR IN UNIFORM

My Hilarious Encounters with “Fauji” Doctors – Part 2

Continued from Part 1 – DOC DANEEKA IN UNIFORM

DOCTOR AT SEA
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE


In the Defence Services – once you join a particular service – you remain in that service.

If you join the Army – you remain in the Army.

If you join the Navy – you remain in the Navy.

And – if you join the Air Force – you remain in the Air Force.

Yes – I have seen some grounded air force flight cadets – who are unable to fly – being sometimes sent to the navy or army.

But – once you are commissioned as an officer – you cannot change the colour of your uniform.

The only exceptions are Military Doctors – officers of the Army Medical Corps (AMC) – who often change the colour of their uniform – like chameleons.

I have seen doctors being transferred from the Army to the Navy – and vice versa – and maybe it happens with Air Force Doctors too – strictly speaking there are no “Air Force Doctors” or “Navy Doctors” since all doctors belong to the Army Medical Corps (AMC).

Let me tell you a story about a landlubber “pongo” doctor in Olive Green (OG) who was suddenly transferred to the navy and found himself all at sea.

This happened long back – 38 years ago – in the late 1970’s.

Our ship was not a capital ship – but a frigate.

However – she was a “top heavy” ship – since she was designated as “squadron ship”.

Sister ships of her class were commanded by a Commander – and had Lieutenant Commanders as Heads of Executive, Engineering, Electrical and Supply Departments – and young Lieutenants as specialist departmental officers.

However – our ship – being the “squadron ship” – had a senior Captain in command – a Commander (E) and Commander (L) [squadron Engineer Officer (EO) and squadron Electrical Officer (LO)] – and an extra Education Officer (Lieutenant Commander).

However – the second-in-command – the Executive Officer (XO) – was a Lieutenant Commander – and this caused some friction as EO and LO outranked him.

And – we had a young Medical Officer who was a Surgeon Lieutenant.

One day – the young Surgeon Lieutenant was transferred out to do a Post Graduate (PG) course – and for some time – there was no replacement.

A few days later – just as we were about to cast off to sea – a portly middle-aged gentleman arrived at the gangway.

He was in civilian clothes.

He proclaimed to the OOD that he was the new Medical Officer.

The OOD asked a sailor to take the gentleman to the Sick Bay – and – meanwhile – the OOD informed the XO – and he also told the stewards to get the Medical Officer’s Cabin ship shape.

Later – when the ship was underway – the XO approached the Captain on the bridge: “Sir – the new Medical Officer has reported on board.”

“The new Doc has come? I did not see any appointment letter in the mail,” the Captain said.

“Sir – he has brought his appointment letter by hand – he has come from the Army.”

“Army…?”

“Sir – he has been transferred to the Navy on promotion to Surgeon Commander rank.”

“Surgeon Commander…?”

“Sir – have a look at his date of commission – he must have been quite a senior Major – I wonder why they moved him from the Army to the Navy…” the XO said.

The Captain looked at the papers – and he said, “Bloody hell – we have one more headache now – Commander (E) – Commander (L) – and now a bloody Doc who is a Commander. The ship is getting so top-heavy – we may just topple topsy turvy…”

“Yes Sir – as a Squadron Ship – we have too many passengers – all these Commanders – and a ‘Schoolie’ too…” the XO said.

“Where the hell is this new Doc?” the Captain asked.

“Sir – he is violently sea-sick…” the XO said.

“Sea Sick…? In this weather…? The sea is hardly rough…” the Captain remarked.

“Sir – he is a “pongo” – maybe he is not used to it – I think it is his first time on a ship. Shall I get him to your cabin when you go down, Sir…?” the XO asked.

“No. Let him find his bearings. I will see him later…” the Captain said.

Dear Reader – if you are wondering how this “pongo” Doctor got posted to our ship – this is what had happened…

In his previous appointment in a Military Hospital – this Army Medical Officer (let us call him “M”) – who was more of an administrator than a doctor – was considered a “pain in the arse” – and his boss and his colleagues wanted him out.

They repeatedly complained to the “powers-that-be” to post “M” out of the hospital – but M’s reputation was so bad – that no other hospital in the Army wanted him.

So – when the opportunity came – the “powers-that-be” transferred “M” to the Navy – and when he protested – they told him that there was no vacancy of Lt Col in the Army – and – if he wanted to get promoted – he had to go to the Navy.

So – “M”reluctantly came to the navy.

Unfortunately – his reputation had preceded him in Navy medical circles too – so they shunted “M” off to a ship – rather than suffer him in a Navy Hospital.

So – our ship’s new medical officer “M” was extremely unhappy on board the ship.

First – he had the harrowing experience of seasickness.

Secondly – he was very piqued at the way he was being treated on board ship despite his service seniority and rank.

“M” was peeved because the other two Commanders – “E” and “L” – the two Lieutenant Commanders – the XO and the Supply Officer – and even the Navigating Officer (NO) – who was a mere Lieutenant – had better cabins than him – whereas he was consigned to a suffocating cabin in the Lieutenants’ Cabin Flat – which reeked of the nauseating smell of FFO (Furnace Fuel Oil).

His request for a change of cabin to one of the above good cabins was denied – stating that they were marked cabins for respective appointments.

The Captain candidly told “M” that normally a young Surgeon Lieutenant was posted on board this ship as Medical Officer (MO) – and so – a small cabin had been earmarked for the MO – and he could not change it – as cabins for Department Heads were specified.

To add insult to the injury – the XO bluntly remarked that they would have been happier with a younger Medical Officer – but now that “M” was posted on board – “M” would have to make do with the same facilities as the earlier medical officer.

M’s family had not joined him – since he had retained accommodation in previous station – so – “M” had to live on board ship 24/7 – even when the ship was in harbour.

His request for a cabin in the luxurious Navy Officers Mess was turned down since ship’s officers were required to live on board their respective ships.

“M” was also upset that no one gave him any importance on the ship – unlike in the Army – where a medical officer is treated with reverence in the unit.

“M” would vent his frustrations by smoking furiously throughout the day – and drinking sorrowfully in the evenings.

“M” particularly hated the XO – who – despite being a rank lower – tried to boss over him – because – technically – the Medical Officer was subordinate to the XO in the ship’s hierarchy.

Finally – after a long wait – “M” had his revenge.

It was December – time for the Annual Medical Examination (AME).

Earlier – this AME was quite an informal affair.

But “M” – who was a better administrator than doctor – decided to go by the book.

So “M” promulgated the AME roster giving dates for Annual Medical Examination (AME) department-wise.

On the promulgated day – the XO reported to “M” in the sickbay for his Annual Medical Examination.

“M” asked the XO to strip and lie down – and then “M” thoroughly examined the XO with a stethoscope.

“M” then filled up a few forms.

As the XO was buttoning up his uniform – “M” gave him the forms – and said matter-of-factly: “You have got Heart Murmur.”

“Heart Murmur?” the XO asked, bewildered.

“Yes. You will have to get admitted to hospital – get some tests done – and undergo a detailed examination performed by the specialist,” said “M” to the XO.

“You want me to be admitted to hospital…? But – nothing is wrong with me – I am absolutely fit – I just won the navy squash championship…” the XO protested anxiously.

“Why are you getting excited…? It looks like you have hypertension too…!” the doctor “M” said to the bewildered XO.

“Can you please check me again…? I am sure that nothing is wrong with me and I am absolutely fit. I do not want to get admitted to hospital. I am in promotion zone – my promotion board is scheduled in a few months – and you never know – if I get admitted to hospital – those specialist doctors may lower my medical category…” the XO pleaded to “M”.

“M” was happy to see that XO was getting panicky – so to drive home his point – “M”said triumphantly: “Of course – they will lower your medical category – heart murmur is a serious matter – you can even get a heart attack – your health is more important than your career – yes – for a heart condition they will permanently lower your medical category…”

The XO got so rattled and panic-stricken on hearing these words – that it seemed the XO would have an actual heart attack – there and then.

On seeing the XO’s jittery condition – “M” asked him to lie down – and told the Medical Assistant to ask the OOD to summon an ambulance.

And to prove that he was not being vindictive to the XO – his bête noir – and to display his sense of fairness – “M” declared that the other two officers – who had reported for Annual Medical Examination – also had Heart Murmur.

And so – along with the XO – “M” referred these two officers also for hospitalization and further tests and examinations by the specialists.

When the OOD informed the Captain that the XO and two officers were being sent to hospital – he was livid.

“We are under sailing orders. I cannot have my XO and two of my key officers in hospital…” the Captain told “M”.

But “M” threw the book at him – and when the Captain called up some higher-ups to protest – the Captain was firmly told that – in medical matters – the decision of the Medical Officer would prevail.

The Captain was advised to do as his Medical Officer recommended.

They told the Captain that – of course – if the Captain wanted – he could always speak directly to the specialist doctors in the hospital.

So – the XO and the two Lieutenants were on their way in an ambulance to the Naval Hospital to get checked up for Heart Murmur.

The XO had broken out into a sweat – panic-stricken and scared at his uncertain future.

He was terrified that his medical category might be lowered – and Low Medical Category (LMC) would put an end to his dreams of becoming an Admiral – which was his whole and sole aim – ever since he joined the Academy as a Cadet.

The two Lieutenants seemed unconcerned and they tried to cheer up the XO: “Sir, don’t worry. This pongo bugger is a quack. Nothing is wrong with us. What is the harm in getting all the tests done free of cost? We will have a nice time in hospital – we need some relaxation after all this hectic sailing – in the evenings we will enjoy in the club – and after a few days we will come back all refreshed and rejuvenated.”

In fact – the two Lieutenants were looking forward to some R&R in hospital.

But – their hopes were dashed.

While the ambulance was moving towards the hospital – at the same time – phones were ringing – and their Captain was desperately talking to the Medical Specialist, the Heart Specialist and other Medical “powers-that-be”.

When the XO and two Lieutenants reached the hospital for admission – they were instead told to go first to the Medical Specialist.

The Medical Specialist was a classmate of “M” during MBBS.

He knew that although “M” had somehow managed to pass his medical exams – “M” he had absolutely zero acumen to be a good doctor.

The specialist had also heard about “M” on the AMC grapevine.

The specialist smiled to himself.

“M” was truly a “doctor at sea” – literally and figuratively.

Yes –, the Medical Specialist said to himself – “M” was a “Quack” at Sea.

Well aware of the medical incompetence of “M”  the Medical Specialist was inclined to declare all the 3 officers medically fit even without examining them.

The Medical Specialist noticed that whereas the XO seemed anxious – the two Lieutenants looked unconcerned and carefree.

The specialist examined all three officers with his stethoscope.

“Nothing is wrong with you guys,” the specialist said, “take the day off – all of you can go home and relax – then come and see me first thing tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock.”

Next morning – the Medical Specialist took an ECG – and then – he declared all three officers fit.

Other officers on the ship waited till “M” went on leave – and then they got their Annual Medical Examination (AME) done on other ships.

When “M” returned – the ship’s officers made life hell for “M” 

So – “M” spent most of his time sulking in his cabin – while his Medical Assistant ran the show from the sickbay.

Mercifully – “M” was transferred out to the Station Health Organization (SHO) – where he could happily demonstrate his administrative skills supervising hygiene inspections and sanitation management in the cantonment.

His replacement on board ship was a young Surgeon Lieutenant who was an excellent doctor.

As they say: “All’s well that ends well”

To be continued in Part 3…

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, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh. 
2. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the 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 Spoof Written by me Vikram Karve in January 2014 and Earlier Posted Online by me Vikram Karve at 4/25/2014 04:07:00 PM in my blog at urls:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 

karvediat.blogspot.in

8/17/2015 02:43:00 PM

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