Archive for the ‘writing’ Category

“Wardroom” is a “Navy Officers’ Mess”

November 18, 2017

NAVY WARDROOM 

Why a “Navy Officers’ Mess” is called a “Wardroom 
Musings of a Navy Veteran
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/11/why-navy-officers-mess-is-called.html


WARDROOM

Sometime ago – a young Army Officer asked me: 

“Why is a Navy Officers’ Mess called a Wardroom…?

I had asked the same question to a senior Naval Officer long ago – in the 1970’s – when I joined the Navy.

Here is the answer:

The Genesis of the term WARDROOM 

(“Wardroom” is a “Navy Officers’ Mess”) 

In the 18th Century – in the British Royal Navy – warships had a large compartment called “WARDROBE”.

This compartment – the “Wardrobe” – was used for storing “prizes of war” – booty and valuables – plundered from foreign ships at sea – and looted in conquests on shores of other countries.

The “Wardrobe” was generally located near the Officers’ Accommodation (cabins).

When the “Wardrobe” was empty – especially during the outward voyage – the Officers began using this “Wardrobe” compartment for dining and lounging – to have their meals – and to congregate and pass time together.

As the days of plundering and looting ended – the “Wardrobe” was used exclusively by Officers as a lounge and for eating meals.

Gradually – the “Wardrobe” became the Officers’ Mess and Lounge” 

Having been elevated from a “closet” to a “room” – instead of “Ward Robe” – it was now called the “Ward Room”.

Whereas – Officers dined in the “Wardroom” – Sailors dined in “Messes” on board Warships.

The Genesis of the term MESS

When it first appeared in English – “mess” meant a portion of food (from the Old French word “mes which means “a dish”).

Later – “mess” came to refer to a group of people – who sat together at a meal and were served from the same dishes.

In warships – a group of sailors would sit together at one table and were served from the same dishes – in a “mess” – and those who habitually sat together were “messmates”.

There is one “wardroom” for officers on a warship.

But – depending on the size of the ship – there may be many separate department-wise“mess-rooms” for junior sailors – and – one or two – senior sailors’ mess-rooms.

Soon – the term “mess-room” was itself later contracted to mess.

So now – in the Navy – a modern warship has a “Wardroom” for Officers – and – “Messes” for Sailors.

In the Navy – even commissioned establishments ashore (Stone Frigates) are referred to as “ships” – and therefore – even Naval Shore Establishments have “Wardrooms”.

The Army and Air Force have Officers’ Messes.

To put it in a nutshell – let us say that:

A “Wardroom” is a “Navy Officers’ Mess” 

Dear Reader:

To know more about the military institution of  The Officers’ Mess  click the link below: 

https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/07/13/the-officers-mess-a-military-institution/ 

A Wardroom or Officers Mess’ is a happy place where you can forget about rank differences and you can interact freely and informally with your fellow officers.

I have had the best of times and made the best of friends in Navy Wardrooms and Army Officers’ Messes.

From time to time – I have been telling you about my glorious days in the Navy – and I am sure you have read a few of those “humor in uniform” nostalgic yarns I keep writing – right here in my blog.

Till next time – Cheers and Godspeed !!!

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/11/why-navy-officers-mess-is-called.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Extract from My Revised/Updated version of my article earlier posted online by me Vikram Karve more than 5 years ago on Saturday, March 17, 2012 in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog – details below:

Posted by Vikram Karve at 3/17/2012 10:50:00 PM and reposted later at urls:

http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2012/03/mess-maintenance-of-equal-social-status.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/05/mess-maintenance-of-equal-social-status.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/10/army-officers-mess-and-navy-wardroom.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/10/officers-mess-no-place-for-vip-culture.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/06/army-officers-mess-and-navy-wardroom.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/04/officers-mess.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/03/what-is-officers-mess.html etc

How to become a “Gentleman” (or “Lady”)

November 17, 2017

This morning – while tidying my bookcase and bookshelves and cleaning my books – I browsed through my old diaries which I have preserved with great care.

During my student days – and even later – during my Navy days – I always carried around a diary and jotted down anything I found interesting – anything I read or heard or saw that appealed to me.

From time to time – I will share with you in my blog some jottings from my “ancient” diaries.

Today – I will talk about the definition of the word “gentleman” – which I jotted down while attending a lecture during a leadership workshop – more than 25 years ago – in the year 1992…

ARE YOU A GENTLEMAN (or A LADY)…?

Musings of a Veteran By Vikram Karve 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/06/officers-ladies-and-gentlemen.html

DEFINITION OF A GENTLEMAN

(Though written for the masculine gender GENTLEMAN – this article applies to the feminine gender LADY as well)  

Before we get to the definition – let us ponder a bit on the meaning of the word “gentleman”.

As I said earlier – though written for the masculine gender GENTLEMAN – this article applies to the feminine gender LADY as well.

WHO IS A GENTLEMAN…?

If you look at the concept of “gentleman” in an holistic manner – a gentleman comprises two aspects:

  1. Form
  1. Substance   

 

FORM ATTRIBUTES

Form refers to the external “image management” or “personality development” aspects – visible behaviour and outward appearance – traits like poise, grooming, manners, etiquette, dress, accent, diction, speech, smartness, courteousness, elegance, style, refinement, sophistication and polished behaviour.

In the Navy – or in the Army, Air Force, Military and Civil Services – an Officer is trained in these aspects which are called OLQ or “Officer Like Qualities when he joins service at various Training Academies.

In the civilian world – there are Finishing Schools, Image Management Trainers and Personality Development Coaches – who help inculcate in people the “form” attributes of a Gentleman/Lady.

But:

FORM alone does not make a GENTLEMAN.

A true GENTLEMAN/LADY must have both FORM and SUBSTANCE.

FORM is important – but it is the SUBSTANCE – which establishes the true worth of a man/woman.

A man/woman possessing ONLY FORM – but NO SUBSTANCE – such a person is a phoney Gentleman/Lady 

Don’t you see many such fake “charlatans” – masquerading as Gentlemen/Ladies…?

We saw what is meant by “FORM”.

Now – let us see what is meant by “SUBSTANCE”.

SUBSTANCE ATTRIBUTES

FORM consists of external visible attributes.

SUBSTANCE comprises invisible internal virtues.

Here is a definition which defines the substance attibutes of a gentleman.

A Gentleman is:

“An honest man – a man with a sense of duties and obligations of his position – whatever it may be – a man who tells the truth – a man who gives others their due – a man considerate to the weak – a man who has principles and stands by them – a man who is not elated by good fortune and not too depressed by bad luck – a man who is loyal – a man who can be trusted…”

The real virtues of a gentleman are inherent in the above definition.

Whether in Civil Services or Defence Services – an Officer is considered a Gentleman.

But – tell me – in the context of the definition above – how many officers truly possess all the attributes enunciated in the definition above…?

Image Management, Personality Development and Social Standing can give you“FORM”

But – it is your “SUBSTANCE” – which will make you a complete and genuine Gentleman/Lady.

If you look around you in urban society – you will find so many persons who look like Gentlemen/Ladies (as they exhibit the requisite “form”).

But – when you look more closely – when you observe officers (even high ranking officers) – and those way up on the social pecking order – you will discover two types:

  1. Persons who are the Genuine Men/Women of “Substance”

and

  1. Persons who are Masquerading as Gentlemen/Ladies

 

As one of our Navy Training Officers at the Naval Academy used to say:

“We can train you to be Officers  – by inculcating FORM – or – “external visible attributes”

but

We can’t make you Gentlemen – that – you will have to do yourself. 

To become a Gentleman – you will have to self-develop SUBSTANCE – “invisible internal virtues”…

Introspect:

You may be an “Officer” – but are you a “Gentleman”…?

“Image Management” and “Personality Development” will give you FORM

Image Management and Personality Development can make you an Officer

But – to be a Gentleman (or Lady) – in addition to external FORM – you must have “Internal Character Attributes” – to be – a “Man/Woman of SUBSTANCE…” 

Dear Reader: Do you agree…?

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

  1. This blog post is a 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 stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/06/officers-ladies-and-gentlemen.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised and abridged version of my lecture/article written by me more than 25 years ago in the year 1992 and posted by me online earlier a number of times including at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/11/gentleman-officer.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/07/can-image-management-make-you-gentleman.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/01/ladies-and-gentlemen-women-and-men-of.html  and  http://vikramkarve.typepad.com/blog/2012/11/image-management-cannot-make-you-a-gentleman.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/09/are-you-lady-are-you-gentleman.html andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/02/are-you-gentleman-or-lady.html etc

Do You Believe in “Joint Family System”…?

November 16, 2017

Sometime ago – I met a lady at a family get-together.

The lady’s daughter-in-law was dutifully following her all around – like the lamb in the nursery rhyme “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

When someone asked the lady where her son and daughter-in-law lived – the lady said:

“Of course my son and “daughter-in-law” stay with me in our house – I believe in the Joint Family System…” 

A few minutes later – I met the Lady’s Daughter and her Husband (Son-in-Law of the Lady).

I knew the lady’s daughter’s “in-laws” – her son-in-law’s parents – they lived in Sadashiv Peth in Pune City.

I asked the lady’s daughter:

“So – how is Sadashiv Peth…? I lived there in the 1960’s when I was a small boy…”

“I don’t live in Sadashiv Peth – I live in Aundh…” the lady’s daughter said.

“Oh – so your “in-laws” have shifted to Aundh…?” I asked.

“No – my “in-laws” stay in the same old bungalow in Sadashiv Peth – but I stay with my husband in our flat in Aundh…” she said.

Later – I asked the lady:

“So – your daughter doesn’t stay with her “in-laws”…?” 

The lady said:

“No. No.

My daughter lives in her flat in Aundh. 

I advised my daughter to stay separately – so she can enjoy her freedom. 

Her “in-laws” are very old-fashioned – especially her mother-in-law – she will make my daughter’s life hell…”

I smiled to myself at her double-standards and hypocrisy:

The “Joint Family System” was good for her daughter-in-law – but – the same “Joint Family System” was not good for her daughter

And – I remembered a story I had written sometime ago.

Sometimes – Truth is stranger than Fiction – or rather – there is a very thin line between truth and fiction.

Read on…

JOINT FAMILY versus NUCLEAR FAMILY 

HYPOCRISY – A Story of Double Standards By Viklram Karve 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/06/do-women-treat-daughters-and-daughters.html

Part 1

JOINT FAMILY

“Is everything okay…? You don’t look well…” I said to the “Techie” girl in my office.

“I am okay, Sir – I am just feeling tired, that’s all…” she said.

“Tired…? Well – work has just begun…”

“My tiredness is not work-related, Sir…”

“Tell me – what is the matter…?”

She said:

“Sir – for me – it’s the long commute to work that wears me out – it takes me nearly 2 hours to get here to Hinjewadi from Kharadi.

And Sir – in the evening – you know how bad the rush hour traffic is in Pune – it sometimes takes me 3 hours to get home. 

And then – even at home – there is so much work to do in the house – cooking, housework etc 

I have to cook in the morning – and then again in the evening – sometimes I feel that I will collapse due to the exhaustion…” 

I said:

“Why don’t you shift nearby…? 

There are plenty of flats available in Wakad – just a 10 minute drive from Hinjewadi. 

You will easily get a good 2 BHK flat on rent well within your HRA – and it will be convenient for your husband too – his factory in Chinchwad is also a 10 minute drive from Wakad. 

In fact – there are some flats available for rental in my society – I will ask around – or – if you want – you can even buy your own flat in Wakad – I will find out…”

She said:

“Thank you, Sir – but my “mother-in-law” will not allow us to stay separately…”

“Really…? Why…?” I asked her.

She said:

“Sir – my “mother-in-law” says that she believes in the “Joint Family System”…”

Part 2

NUCLEAR FAMILY

Three years later – I met the same “mother-in-law” – yes – the very same mother-in-law of my erstwhile “Techie” colleague.

She was the same woman who believed in the “Joint Family System”.

By the way – I had changed my job – and – I was now working for another “IT Software Company” – also located in Hinjewadi.

Call it coincidence – but the woman’s daughter had recently joined my new company.

And – like her “daughter-in-law” – her daughter was also a “Techie”.

It was the company anniversary function.

The woman’s “Techie” daughter had come along with her husband – and she had also brought her mother and father along.

The woman smiled at me.

(She was the same woman who was the “mother-in-law” of my earlier colleague – and – the mother of my present colleague)

I introduced myself.

I told the woman that I had earlier worked with her “daughter-in-law” in my previous office.

I said to the woman:

“So – like your “daughter-in-law” – your daughter too must be having a tough time commuting to work to Hinjewadi from the city every day…”

The woman said:

“No – my daughter lives in Wakad…”

I said:

“Oh – your daughter lives nearby in Wakad…? 

So – her “in-laws” – your daughter’s “in-laws” – they live in Wakad – is it…?

The woman said:

“No – her “in-laws” live in their house in Model Colony – which is too far from her office…”

I was baffled.

The woman made her “daughter-in-law” commute every day from Kharadi – which was 30 kilometers away from Hinjewadi – whereas Model Colony was only 15 Kilometers from Hinjewadi.

Yes – Kharadi was much further away from Hinjewadi – than Model Colony – where her daughter’s “in-laws” lived.

So – I said to the woman:

“Model Colony is not that far away from Hinjewadi…”

The woman said:

“Actually – it is not that. 

I did not want my daughter to stay with her in-laws – they are too old-fashioned

So – so I told my daughter and her husband to buy their own flat and stay separately…”

Surprised at her answer – I said to the woman:

“But – I thought that you believed in the Joint Family System 

Didn’t you make your daughter-in-law stay with you as a Joint Family…?”

The woman said:

“That is different…”

I was astonished – so I asked the woman:

“Different…? 

What do you mean different…? 

You force your daughter-in-law to stay with you as a Joint Family” 

But – you tell your daughter to live separately from her in-laws as a Nuclear Family…? 

I just don’t understand your views. 

Do you believe in the Joint Family System”…? 

Or – do you believe in the Nuclear Family System…?

Please tell me clearly – do you believe in the Joint Family System” – or – do you believe in  the Nuclear Family System…? 

The woman said to me:

“You won’t understand these things…”

And – she quickly walked away.

EPILOGUE

Yes – I don’t understand these things – I just don’t understand the hypocrisy.

As a “mother-in-law” – she believed in the “Joint Family System” 

She wanted her “daughter-in-law” to live under her command – and – she expected her “daughter-in-law” to serve her…

She did not want to give her “daughter-in-law” any freedom…

But – as a mother – she believed in the Nuclear Family System 

She wanted her daughter to live separately from her “in-laws”

She wanted her daughter to enjoy her freedom …

I don’t understand why women have “double standards” – one yardstick their “daughters-in-law” – and – another yardstick for their own daughters. 

Dear Reader: 

Please tell us what you have observed around you. 

Do Women treat Daughters and Daughters-in-Law differently…?

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/06/do-women-treat-daughters-and-daughters.html

Abridged and Revised Version of my Story HYPOCRISY posted online earlier by me Vikram Karve on January 25, 2016 in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/hypocrisy.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/02/joint-family-versus-nuclear-family.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/family-humor-joint-family-versus.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/03/mother-and-mother-in-law-dr-jekyll-and.html

Don’t Delve Too Much – A Love Story

November 16, 2017

 

Around 10 days ago – I started writing a short story – a simple romance.

As I was writing – I was interrupted – owing to certain “contingencies”.

When I tried to continue the story – I hit the writer’s block.

Earlier – when I wrote “non-creative” articles and professional/research papers etc – I never faced this problem – and – I could start off writing from where I had left off.

But – for me – creative writing is quite a different kettle of fish – and – I take time to get into the mood.

So – while I get into the mood to complete the romantic love story – let me delve deep into my Creative Writing Archives – and pull out this rather old fashioned fiction short story written by me more than 25 years ago – sometime in the early 1990’s – updated and abridged.

Yes – I wrote this story for a print magazine sometime in the early 1990’s – more than 25 years ago – and – it still remains one of my all time favourite stories.

The story is set in the Nilgiris – and is narrated in first person by a girl – as she travels on the blue “toy-train” of the Nilgiri Blue Mountain Railway.

It is a rather old fashioned fiction short story in the leisurely style of the pre-internet days – when people read stories in magazines in print – before the advent of online reading.

Yes – it is a longish story – like the short fiction of the good old days – so please take your time and read it leisurely.

I have suitably abridged and edited the story for your easy reading on the digital screen.

I trust you will like the story.

Dear Reader:

Do tell me if you liked the story.

I will look forward to your feedback and comments. 

DON’T DELVE TOO MUCH 

Fiction Short Story By Vikram Karve  

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/woman-with-cat-eyes-story.html

THE MYSTERIOUS WOMAN WITH “CAT EYES” – A Story By VIKRAM KARVE 

The moment I see Muthu – the office-boy – standing at the door of the classroom – I feel a familiar fear.

I close my eyes and try to concentrate on Ms Bhalla – who is reading aloud – with dramatic effect – Ruskin Bond’s story ‘The Woman on Platform 8…’.

It’s a moving story about a brief encounter between a woman and a motherless boy.

I love short stories – especially Ruskin Bond – and Ms. Bhalla is my favourite teacher.

But it’s no use.

I can’t hear a word she is saying.

I open my eyes.

Ms. Bhalla is in a world of her own – reading away – book in her left hand and making gestures with her right.

She hasn’t noticed Muthu – or the fact that almost everyone in the class are looking at him and not at her.

So thoroughly is Ms. Bhalla absorbed in herself – and so totally is she oblivious of her surroundings – that no one dares to disturb her.

“………..I watched her until she was lost in the milling crowd…” Ms Bhalla ends the story with a flourish – and – she looks at us triumphantly – only to discover that most of her students are looking towards the door.

Her expression starts changing.

Before Ms. Bhalla gets angry – someone says:

“It is Muthu, Ma’am.”

Ms. Bhalla glares at poor Muthu – who sheepishly walks into the classroom.

Muthu gives Ms. Bhalla the chit he is holding in his hand.

I look down into my notebook trying to keep my mind blank – but – even without seeing – I know that Ms. Bhalla is looking at me.

“Shanta, go to the principal’s office…” Ms. Bhalla says, “and take your bag with you.”

Take my bag with me…?

I feel scared, anxious.

I hope it’s not too serious.

“He must have had a big binge this time…” I hear Rita’s voice behind me.

Tears start to well up in my eyes.

Rita is from such a happy family.

Why is she so mean and nasty?

I am about to break down – when I feel Lata’s reassuring hand on my wrist.

Lata says:

“Let’s go, Shanta. I’ll bring your bag.”

We walk through the silent corridors.

Our school is located in one of those ancient castle type buildings – cold, dark and gloomy.

“I shouldn’t have left him alone last night…” I say.

“I feel so sad for uncle…” Lata says.

“Whenever I am there with him – he’s okay and controls himself. He loves me so much. I am the only one he’s got in this world – after my Mummy died…” I say.

“He was improving so much – and – he looked so good last weekend…” Lata says.

Lata is my true friend who I can open my heart to.

The others – they watch from a distance.

Most look at me with pity – and – a few like Rita look with an evil delight at my misfortune.

“Something must have happened yesterday…” I say, “I wish I had gone home last night. It is always in the evenings that he needs me the most.”

“Shanta – do you want me to come with you…?” Lata asks.

“Yes…” I say.

I really need some moral support.

I am tired of facing the cruel world all alone.

I can’t bear it any longer.

Ms. David, our class-teacher, she is standing outside the Principal’s office.

I follow her inside.

I nervously enter the Principal’s office.

The Principal, Mrs. Nathan, is talking to a lady sitting opposite her.

Noticing me, the Principal says:

“Ah, Shanta. Your Father is not well again. He’s admitted in the clinic again. You take the 10 o’clock shuttle. And you call me up on phone if you want anything.”

“Can I go with her…?” Lata asks.

“You go back to your class…” the Principal says sternly to Lata, “you’ve got a mathematics test at 10 o’clock – haven’t you?”

“Please Miss – let me go with Shanta,” Lata pleads with Ms. David – our class teacher – but Ms. David says: “Lata you are in the 9th standard now. Be serious about your studies. And today afternoon is the basketball final. How can you be absent?”

I feel pain in the interiors of my mind.

No one ever tells me to be serious about my studies – or even in sports.

Lata gives me my school-bag – and she leaves quickly.

Mrs. Nathan takes off her glasses and looks at me.

There is compassion in her eyes.

“Be brave, Shanta…” our Principal Mrs. Nathan says, “This is Ms. Pushpa – an ex-student of our school.”

“Good morning, Ma’am…” I say.

“Hello, Shanta…” Ms. Pushpa says, “I am also taking the train to Coonoor. We’ll travel together.”

As we leave the principal’s office – I can feel the piercing looks of pity burning into me.

The teachers, the staff, even the gardener.

Everyone knows.

And – they know that I know that they know.

Morose faces creased with lines of compassion.

The atmosphere of pity.

The deafening silence.

The silence is grotesque.

I feel terrible.

I just want to get away from the place.

These people – they just don’t understand that I want empathy – not sympathy.

I walk with Ms. Pushpa taking the short-cut to Lovedale railway station.

It’s cold, damp – and – the smell of eucalyptus fills my nostrils.

A typical winter morning in the Nilgiris.

I look at Ms. Pushpa.

She looks so chic.

Blue jeans, bright red pullover, fair creamy flawless complexion, jet-black hair neatly tied in a bun – and – dark Ray-Ban sunglasses of the latest style.

A good-looking woman with smart feminine features – Elegant – Fashionable – Chic – Graceful – Well Groomed.

We walk in silence.

I wait for her to start the conversation.

I don’t know how much she knows.

“You’re in ‘Rose House’ – aren’t you…?” she asks looking at the crest on my blazer.

Polite conversation.

Asking a question to which you already know the answer…!!!

“Yes, Ma’am…” I answer.

“I too was in ‘Rose House’…” she says.

“When did you pass out of school, Ma’am…?” I ask.

“1971…” she says.

I do a quick mental calculation.

In 1971 – suppose she was 16.

Now – in 1991 – she must be in her mid-thirties – 35 – or – 36 – maybe.

Ms. Puspha certainly looks young for her age.

And – she is very beautiful – so gorgeous – so chic – that I want to be like her when I grow up.

We cross the tracks and reach the solitary platform of the lovely – yet lonely – Lovedale railway station.

“Let me buy your ticket. You’re going to Coonoor aren’t you…?” Ms. Pushpa asks.

“Thank you ma’am. I’ve got a season ticket…” I say.

“Season Ticket…?” she asks, looking surprised.

“I am a day scholar, Ma’am. I travel every day from Coonoor…” I say.

“Oh…! In our time – it was strictly a Boarding School…” she says.

“Even now it is a boarding school, Ma’am…” I say, “But I have got special permission. My father doesn’t keep well. I have to look after him.”

“Oh…” Ms. Pushpa says – and she walks towards the deserted booking window.

Lovedale is the most picturesque railway station on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway – but today – it looks gloomy, desolate.

One has to be happy inside for things to look beautiful outside.

She returns with her ticket.

We sit on the solitary bench on the lonely platform of Lovedale Railway Station.

“Where do you stay, Ma’am…?” I ask.

“Bangalore…” she says. “You’ve been there…?”

“Yes…”

“Often…?”

“Only once. We went to Bangalore last month. For my father’s treatment…” I say.

She asks the question I am waiting for:

“Shanta. Tell me. Your father…? What’s wrong with him…? What’s he suffering from…?”

I have never really understood why people ask me this question to which I suspect they already know the answer.

Each person probably has their own reason.

Curiosity – lip-sympathy – genuine concern – or just sadistic pleasure…!!!

At first – I used to feel embarrassed – I used to try to cover up – try to mask the situation – and give all sorts of explanations.

But now – I have learnt that it is best to be blunt and straightforward.

“My father – he is an “alcoholic”….” I say.

Most people shut up after this.

Or – change the topic of conversation.

But – Ms. Pushpa pursues the topic and says:

“It must be terrible living with him. He must be getting violent…?”

“No…” I say trying to suppress my emotion. “With me – my Papa is very gentle. He loves me a lot.”

Tears well up in my eyes – and – my nose feels heavy.

I take out my handkerchief.

I feel her comforting arm around my shoulder – I know her concern is genuine.

Suddenly the station bell rings – I hear the whistle – and the Blue Coloured Mountain “Toy Train” streams into the platform.

They still use steam engines here on the Nilgiri Mountain Railway.

The train is almost empty.

It’s “off-season” – and – there are no tourists.

In any case this train is never crowded – as it returns to Coonoor after transporting all the office-goers to Ooty.

We sit opposite each other in an empty compartment.

She still hasn’t taken off her dark sunglasses – even though it is overcast.

It begins to drizzle.

She looks at her watch.

I look at mine.

10 AM.

Half-an-hour’s journey to Coonoor.

“You came today morning, Ma’am…?” I ask.

“No. Last evening. I stayed with Monica David. Your class teacher. We were classmates.”

What a difference,..!!!

Miss David is so “schoolmarmish”…

And Ms. Pushpa – she is so mod and chic and gorgeous.

But – I better be careful what I say.

After all – classmates are classmates.

The train begins its journey – and soon – Ketti valley comes into view.

“There used to be orchards down there. Now there are buildings,” she says.

“You’ve come after a long time…?” I ask.

“Yes. It’s been almost 18 years. I am returning here the first time since I passed out…” she says.

“For some work…? Children’s admission…?”

“No, No…” she bursts out laughing, “I’m Single. Happily Unmarried.”

“I’m sorry…” I say, contrite.

“Come on, Shanta. It’s Okay…” she says, “I have come for some work in Coonoor. Just visited the school for old times’ sake.”

“You must come during Founder’s day. You’ll meet everyone…” I say.

“Yes…” she says, “All these years I was abroad. America, Singapore, Manila, Europe. Now that I’m in Bangalore – I’ll definitely make it.”

“You work…?” I ask.

“Yes. In an MNC…” she says.

Ms. Pushpa must be an MBA from a top Business School.

Like IIM.

Or maybe – even Harvard or Wharton.

I wish I could be like her – Independent – Smart – Elegant – Successful.

I certainly have the talent.

But what about Papa…?

Who will look after him?

I try not to think of the future.

It all looks so bleak, uncertain.

Better not think of it.

I don’t even know what awaits me at the clinic.

Is is just a few minutes more before we reach Coonoor.

It’s unbearable – yes – the tension is unbearable.

Why do I have to go through all this…?

Ms. Pushpa is looking out of the window.

It’s grey and cold.

Dark clouds.

But she still wears her dark sunglasses.

She hasn’t taken them off even once.

Suddenly we enter the Ketti tunnel.

It’s pitch dark.

The smell of steam and smoke.

It’s warm.

Comforting.

I close my eyes.

The train whistles.

The train slows down.

I open my eyes.

Ms. Pushpa is still wearing dark glasses.

Maybe she too has something to hide.

And me…?

The thing that I want to hide – everyone knows about it – but they make a pretence of not knowing – at least in my presence.

The train stops at Ketti Railway Station.

On the platform there is a group of girls – my age.

They are in a jovial mood – giggling, eyes dancing, faces beaming, so carefree and happy.

Their happiness hurts me deep down in my heart.

The girls don’t get in.

Dressed in track-suits – and Ketti Valley School Blazers – they are probably waiting for the “UP” train from Mettupalayam to Ooty which crosses here.

They must be going to our school in Lovedale for the inter-school basketball match.

A girl with a familiar face walks up to me with her friend – whose face is not familiar – and – I am meeting her for the first time.

“You are not playing…?” the girl with the familiar face asks.

“No…” I say.

“I wish we knew that you are not playing. We wouldn’t have gone so early to practice…” she says.

“Who’s captaining…?” her friend asks.

“Lata maybe. I don’t know…” I say.

“Where are you going…?”

“Coonoor.”

“Coonoor…?”

“My father is in hospital. He’s not well.”

“Oh…! Hope he gets well soon. Okay, Bye.”

The girls walk away – they are whispering to each other.

And – I hear the hushed voice of the girl who I have met for the first time:

“Poor thing…!!!”

Yes – the girl calls me “Poor Thing…”

The words pierce through my heart.

“Poor Thing…”

The words echo in the interiors of my mind.

“Poor Thing…!!!” “Poor Thing…!!!” “Poor Thing…!!!”

The resonance is deafening.

I feel as if I am going mad.

I sense Ms. Pushpa’s hand on mine.

A slight pressure.

Comforting.

The “UP” train going up to Ooty comes – the girls from the Ketti Valley School get in – and – the train leaves towards Lovedale.

Then – our Engine’s whistle shrieks – and – our train starts moving.

Outside it starts to rain.

We close the windows.

The smallness of the compartment forces us into a strange intimacy.

“I’ll come with you to the hospital…” Ms. Pushpa says.

I know she means well, but nowadays I hate to depend on the kindness of strangers; so I reply:

“Thank you Ma’am – but I’ll manage. I am used to it.”

“Is your father often like this…?” she asks.

I wonder why is she asking me all this…?

It seems genuine compassion.

Or – maybe she has her own troubles.

And – talking to even more troubled people like me – probably makes her own troubles go away.

I decide to tell her everything in one go.

So – I say to her:

“When I am there – Papa is okay.

He controls himself.

He loves me more than his drink.

Last night I stayed at the hostel to study for a test.

And he must have felt lonely and hit the bottle.

I shouldn’t have left him alone.

After Mummy’s gone – I am the only one he’s got.

And – he’s the only one I’ve got….”

I pause – and I say to her:

“My Father – he was improving so much.

Something must have happened last evening.

Something disturbing…!!!

He must have got upset – he must have got really badly upset.”

“I’m so sorry…” she says.

Her tone is apologetic – as if she were responsible in some way.

So – I say to her:

“Why should you feel sorry, Ma’am.

It’s my fate.

I have to just find out what’s upset him.

And see that it doesn’t happen again.

Maybe somebody visited him and passed some hurting remark.

He’s very sensitive.”

Her expression changes slightly.

She winces.

“Does he tell you everything…?” she asks.

“Of course he tells me everything…” I say, “There are no secrets between us. I am his best friend.”

“I wish I could help you in some way…” she says.

I don’t say anything.

I close my eyes.

What a fool I have been.

I have told her everything.

But – I know nothing about her.

I do not even know the colour of her eyes – since Ms. Pushpa has been wearing her sunglasses throughout the journey.

I wonder why she hasn’t taken off her dark sunglasses even once – though it is quite misty and darkish.

How cleverly she’s manipulated the conversation.

Maybe people who are happy and successful – they feel good when they listen to other people’s sorrows.

I feel stifled.

I open my eyes and look out of the window.

The train crosses Aravankadu  – a U-Turn – then Wellington

A shrill whistle – and we pass through a gorge.

Noise, steam, smoke – and suddenly it becomes sunny – and the train begins to slow down.

“We’ve reached…” I say.

We get down on the platform at Coonoor.

“I’ll come with you…” she says.

“Thanks. But it’s okay. I’ll go by myself.”

“Sure?”

“I’m sure, thanks,” I say.

Ms. Pushpa takes off her dark sunglasses and she looks at me.

I see her eyes for the first time.

A shiver passes through me as I look into her eyes.

Her eyes are greenish-grey.

She has got “cat-eyes”

Yes – Ms. Pushpa has got dazzling “cat eyes” – exactly like mine.

Yes – her eyes are exactly like my eyes – greenish-grey “cat eyes”.

I stare into her eyes mesmerized – as if I am looking into my own eyes.

Suddenly – she takes me in her arms – and hugs me in a tight embrace.

Stunned – I struggle – feeling acutely uncomfortable.

She releases me – and – I just stand there – feeling numb, confused.

The whistle shrieks.

I come to my senses.

I look up at her.

Her eyes are red – and tears flow down her cheeks.

Suddenly she puts on her sunglasses – she turns – and she walks away.

As I walk towards the hospital I think about my brief encounter with Ms. Pushpa – and her rather strange behaviour.

It’s certainly not one of those “hail-fellow–well-met” types of time-pass conversations between co-passengers.

But suddenly she’s gone – and I don’t know anything about her.

She hasn’t even given me her card, address, phone, nothing.

It all happened so fast.

But – I will never forget Ms. Pushpa.

I will always remember her greenish-grey “cat eyes”

Yes – cat-eyes – dazzling cat eyes – exactly like mine – yes – her eyes are exactly like my eyes – greenish-grey “cat eyes”.

I walk down the road.

I reach the clinic.

Well laid-out.

Neat.

Spick and span.

Anesthetic smell.

An air of discipline.

I walk through the corridor.

I know where to go.

“Yes…?” a voice says from behind.

I turn around.

It’s a matron.

I have never seen her before.

Her eyes are hard, pitiless.

I tell her who I am.

Her expression changes.

Lines of compassion begin to crease her face.

But still – her face has something terrible written on it.

I smile.

I have learnt to smile even when I feel like weeping.

I enter the room.

Papa is lying on the solitary bed.

He looks okay.

His eyes are closed.

“Papa…” I say softly.

He opens his eyes.

“Shanta…!!! Come to me…” he says.

I rush to his bed.

My Papa hugs me tightly and says to me:

“Don’t go Shanta. Don’t leave me and go away…”

Then he starts crying.

“Don’t cry, Papa. I’ll always be with you. I’ll never leave you alone again…” I say – tears rolling down my checks.

We both cry copiously.

Time stands still.

I sense the presence of people in the room.

Apart from the matron – there is the comforting face of Dr. Ghosh – and – there is a young doctor in white coat – stethoscope around his neck.

“Can I take him home…?” I ask Dr. Ghosh.

“Of course – you can take him home…” Dr. Ghosh says,” Your father is okay now.”

“But, Sir…” the young Doctor protests, “The patient is still hallucinating….”

“It’s okay…” Dr. Ghosh interrupts giving him a sharp look, “Shanta knows how to look after him – she will look after him like a mother. Isn’t it Shanta…?”

“Yes, Doctor…” I say.

Papa gives him sheepish look.

That’s what I like about Dr. Ghosh – the way he gets his message across.

There is no need for him to reprimand Papa – especially in front of me.

My Papa’s own remorse is his own worst reprimand.

We talk in silence.

I don’t ask him anything.

He’ll tell me when he wants to.

“You’re hungry…?” he asks.

“Yes,” I say.

It’s almost 12 Noon.

Soon – we sit at the Garden Restaurant overlooking Sim’s Park.

He takes his hands out of the overcoat pockets – and – he picks up the menu card.

His hands tremble.

Delirium Tremens.

Withdrawal symptoms.

Papa must have had a prolonged bout of drinking last night.

I know what to do – just in case – because – I don’t want him to turn ‘cold turkey’.

“Papa – you order the food…” I say.

Then – I pick up my school bag and briskly walk across the road to the wine shop.

On seeing me – the liquor shop owner puts a small bottle of brandy in a brown paper bag – and – he gives it to me.

I put the bottle of brandy in my school bag.

No words are exchanged.

No “Liquor Permit” is required.

It doesn’t matter that I am only a 14 year old schoolgirl.

He knows.

Everyone knows.

Pity.

Compassion.

But I know that unseen eyes that I cannot see – will see me – and – tongues that I cannot hear – will wag.

The silence.

It’s grotesque.

Deafening.

Unbearable.

As I give him a 100 Rupee note – the liquor shop owner asks me:

“Saab – I hope he’s okay.”

I nod.

I don’t seem to have a private life anymore.

Unsolicited sympathy is a burden that I find difficult to carry nowadays.

I walk back to the garden restaurant.

Papa has ordered Chinese food.

My favourite.

Papa has a nip of brandy – he drinks straight from the bottle.

His hands become steady.

We start eating.

“She wants to take you away from me…” Papa says.

“Who wants take me away…? I don’t understand…” I say perplexed.

“Yes. She is going to take you away. She came last evening.”

“Who…? Who want to take me away from you…?” I ask my father.

“Your Mother…” he says to me, “your mother wants to take you away from me…”

I feel a strange sensation in my stomach.

The food becomes tasteless in my mouth.

It seems my father has reached the “final stage”.

Hallucinations.

Loneliness.

Alcoholism is driving him insane.

Papa is seeing images of Mummy now.

Has he reached the point of no return..?

Fear drills into my vitals.

“Please, Papa. Mummy is dead. You’re hallucinating again…” I say.

“She came last evening. She wanted your custody.”

“Custody…? What are you talking…?”

“Yes. She wants to take you away from me.”

“Who…?”

“Your Birthmother…”

“Birthmother…?”

“Yes.”

“But Mummy…?”

“Don’t delve too much…” my Papa says to me.

I do not pursue the topic further.

But – after we finish eating – my Papa tells me everything.

Yes – he tells me everything.

In the evening – we sit on the lawns of the club waiting for my birthmother.

I feel like a volcano about to erupt.

Papa sits with his head in his hands – he looks nervous, scared.

Dr. Ghosh looks away into the distance – as if he is in our group – but not a part of it.

I wonder what is his role in all this drama.

And – opposite me is that hideous woman with suspiciously black hair – Mrs. Murthy – the social worker from the child welfare department.

“Social Work” indeed…!!!

Removing adopted children from happy homes.

And – forcibly returning the children to their biological parents – who had abandoned them in the first place.

And – this so-called “birthmother” of mine…?

I hate her – without even knowing her.

First – she abandons me.

And then – after 14 long years – she emerges from nowhere with an overflowing love and concern for me.

“My Papa is a dangerous man…” she decides.

So – it is unsafe for me to live with him.

Hence – she wants to take me away into the unknown.

“Don’t worry…” Mrs. Murthy the Social Worker says, “everything will be okay.”

Yes.

Everything will be okay.

Papa will land up in an mental asylum.

I will be condemned to spend the rest of my life with a woman I have never seen – a woman I hate.

Our lives will be ruined.

Great social service will be done.

Yes.

Everything will be okay.

Papa is silent.

He is scared.

Papa has been warned by Dr. Ghosh.

No outbursts.

It will only worsen the case.

And me.

I am only a minor.

They will decide what is good for me.

Of course – they will take my “views” into consideration.

I can see my world disintegrating in front of me.

We sit in silence.

6:30 PM

7 PM

The longest half-hour of my life.

“She said that she will be here at 6:30 PM sharp…” Mrs. Murthy says, “I’ll check up…”

Mrs. Murthy gets up from her chair.

She walks to the reception.

We wait.

And gradually – a depressing and frightening darkness envelopes us.

Mrs. Murthy returns.

There’s urgency in her step.

“I rang up the hotel…” Mrs. Murthy says, “It’s strange. She checked out in the afternoon. She hired a taxi to Bangalore. It’s funny. She hasn’t even bothered to leave a message for me.”

Mrs. Murthy looks disappointed – and she says angrily:

“After all the trouble I have taken. She just goes away without even informing me. She promised me that she would be here at 6:30 sharp.”

Looking perturbed – Mrs. Murthy leaves – promising to check up and let us know.

After she leaves – Dr. Ghosh says to my father:

“Come on. Let’s have a drink.”

“No…” my Papa says,” I don’t need a drink.”

“Sure…?”

“Absolutely sure…” my Papa says.

We take leave of Dr. Ghosh.

Then – my Papa and Me – we begin walking home.

“Papa…?” I say.

“Yes…” he says.

I say to my father:

“Tell me one thing about my “birthmother” – does she have “cat eyes” – greenish-grey “cat eyes”…?

I met a woman with greenish-grey “cat eyes” in the train today – and – her eyes were just like my eyes.

Tell me – Papa – please tell me – does my “birthmother” have greenish-grey “cat eyes” just like me…?”

Papa puts his protective arm around me – and as we walk together into the enveloping darkness – he says lovingly to me:

“Don’t delve too much…!!!”

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve
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© 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)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/woman-with-cat-eyes-story.html

https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/07/11/the-mysterious-woman-with-cat-eyes/

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised and abridged version of my fiction story DON’T DELVE TOO MUCH written by me Vikram Karve more than 25 years ago in 1992 with the title DON’T DELVE TOO MUCH and posted by me online earlier a number of times in my creative writing blogs including at urls: http://creative.sulekha.com/don-t-delve-too-much-by-vikram-karve_31359_blog  and  https://karve.wordpress.com/2007/03/28/a-short-story-by-vikram-karve-dont-delve-too-much/  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2010/10/lovedale-stories-cat-eyes.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/05/dont-delve-too-much-my-favourite-short.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/08/the-mysterious-beauty-with-cat-eyes.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/11/dont-delve-too-much-love-story.html etc

How to Enjoy your Work

November 13, 2017

Do you enjoy your work…?

Do You Work Under Obligation…? 

Are You Trapped in the “Tom Sawyer Trap”…?

“WORK” Minus “OBLIGATION” Equals “FUN”  

How can you transform your “Work” into “Fun”…? 

Read on…

THE “TOM SAWYER TRAP” 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/07/are-you-trapped-in-tom-sawyer-trap.html

“WORK” – OBLIGATION” = “FUN” 

“WORK” Minus “OBLIGATION” Equals “FUN”

Ramblings of a Retired Mind By Vikram Karve

WORK AND OBLIGATION 

When someone offers you money to do a job – they pay you for two things:

  1. Of course – you are paid for your “EXPERTISE”
  1. But – more importantly – you are paid for your “TIME”

When you are paid MONEY to do something – you work under OBLIGATION.

When you work under obligation – people have expectations from you – and you have to meet deadlines and deliver results.

Let me give you an example.

Towards the end of my “work-life” – I taught at a University.

Since I was paid a salary – I was “obliged” to take lectures – and conduct various types of training courses.

I could not “pick and choose” – and – though I enjoyed training more than teaching – I had to do both.

Of course – you were given choice of subject to the extent feasible – but sometimes – I had to teach subjects I did not like to students who were more interested in grades than learning – though I preferred training young inductees who were keen and enthusiastic to learn.

Now – I have retired.

Many institutions/organizations do call me as a “guest lecturer” for teaching/training.

But now – I am free to pick and choose – yes – as long as I don’t take money – I am under no obligation.

So – I go and take lectures at places where I enjoy myself – and – I decline where I do not want to go.

During my long career in the Navy too – I was quite lucky – as most of the time I enjoyed autonomy to work in my style.

Most of my bosses gave me a free hand.

And – my “abrasive personality” helped – in the case of some “nosey-parker” bosses – who tried to “micromanage” me – and – thanks to my brusque style – after a few “encounters” with me – they stopped interfering and kept a safe distance.

In the Navy there is a dictum:

When you are given a task – You “Like” it or you “Lump” it

I tried to make sure – that in most of my jobs – I “Liked” it – and – my bosses – they “Lumped” it

However – since I was paid a salary – I was “obliged” to meet deadlines and deliver results – which I did – and – sometimes – I did have to do jobs that I did not enjoy doing.

Yes – if you are paid money – then you are under obligation to “sell” your expertise and your time to your employer/client who has “bought” your expertise and time.

While your “expertise” is important – your “time” is more important.

In order to realize your full potential – you must have the “autonomy” to optimally utilize your expertise.

And – if you want to enjoy autonomy – you must have total control on your time.

Not being under obligation gives you full freedom on how to use your time to realize your full potential while enjoying the work you want to do without being under pressure to deliver.

Unless you are a “Maharaja” – or a “Nawab” – or a “Freeloader” – you may have to “work” to earn a living.

However – you can certainly try to strike a balance between “salary” and “obligation” while choosing your job.

NON-MONETARY OBLIGATION

Obligation can be non-monetary too.

You may “promise” to do something – you give a “commitment” to someone – and you come under “moral obligation” to do the task you have promised/committed to do.

In your relationships – you can come under “emotional obligation” to do something for your loved ones, friends, colleagues and others.

So – you must be careful before you make “promises” and “commitments” – especially those you think will be difficult or laborious to keep.

“WORKING” WITHOUT OBLIGATION

Obligation is akin to “extrinsic motivation”.

“Working” without obligation emanates from “intrinsic motivation” – when you do something of your “free will” because you enjoy doing it.

Working under obligation can be stressful (because of the “obligation” to meet deadlines and deliver results).

Working without obligation is sheer enjoyment – in fact – “work without obligation” becomes “play”.

Let me give you an example.

From my early days in the Navy – because I have an academic bent of mind and have penchant for reading and writing – I was involved in various “intellectual” and “literary” activities – writing articles/research papers, editing in-house magazines/reports/special news supplements, compiling/collating reference documentation, organizing conferences/seminars, conducting training etc.

Then – I could not do as I pleased – I had to work within the framework under constraints and deadlines – because I was “obliged” to do so.

Now – after retirement – I enjoy my creative writing as I please – I am free to write what I want to, when I want to, where I want to – no deadlines – no constraints – no pressure to deliver.

Working without obligation is fun.

THE “TOM SAWYER TRAP”

You must be careful not to be “tricked” into obligation by bosses who will try to make drudgery appear enjoyable – and fool you by making “work” appear as “play”.

Daniel H. Pink, in his insightful book, “Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us”, describes the “Sawyer Effect”.

Pink defines the Sawyer Effect as “practices that can either turn play into work or turn work into play” – derived from an episode from Mark Twain’s book “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” in which Tom Sawyer tricks his friends into painting a fence for him by convincing them painting a fence was a fun activity.

Many smart bosses use this “Sawyer Effect” to trick their subordinates by “convincing” them a laborious task is indeed fun.

The Military makes use of this “Tom Sawyer Trap” concept very effectively.

By using “pep talks” and jingoistic terms like joshand camaraderie – Military Training Academies use the “Sawyer Effect” to “motivate” Cadets into believing that tough physical tasks like combat training, parade drill, boxing and cross-country running are actually “fun”.

Various jingoistic motivating stratagems like “Regimental Spirit”, “Esprit De Corps” etc are used to whip up intrinsic motivation and morale.

Of course – this is fully justified in wartime when it is required to raise soldiers’ fervour to a fighting pitch.

Business and Corporate Organizations also justify the use of “Sawyer Effect” in order to extract “value for money” from their high-salaried employees.

But – as far as you are concerned – you must be careful that someone does not trap you into obligation by cleverly using the “Tom Sawyer Trap” against you – especially by playing with your emotions.

You can be trapped into obligation due to your financial, moral and emotional vulnerabilities.

I have seen many persons get trapped into social obligations since they allowed their emotional vulnerability to be exploited by the “Tom Sawyer Effect”.

I was trapped many times into taking up writing, teaching and training assignments which appeared to be “enjoyable” but actually turned out to be quite painful.

That is why I have stopped committing to doing “guest blogging”, editing, reviews etc – and I avoid teaching and training assignments which create a sense of obligation.

After “retirement” – I like to keep busy.

So – I never sit idle.

Yes – even after retirement – I am always “working”.

But – I try my best to avoid any “work” where there is a sense of obligation.

Now – I want to “work” without obligation.

As I head towards the autumn of my life – my most precious commodity is “Time” 

And – I do not wish to trade my “Time” for anything else.

I want to be free to use my time as I want to – without any obligations.

“Work” without “Obligation” is “Fun”

Yes – for me – “Work” is “Fun”

And – I want to have Fun.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

  1. This article is a spoof, 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)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/07/are-you-trapped-in-tom-sawyer-trap.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This article was written by me more than 2 years ago in June 2015 and posted online by me in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/06/work-is-fun.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/06/work-obligation-fun.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/tom-sawyer-trap-work-ethics.html and in my other blogs too

 

Humor in Uniform – Join the Navy and See the World

November 12, 2017

Once we joined the Navy in the 1970’s – we realized that the recruitment slogan “Join the Navy and See the World” applied to the Merchant Navy – and not to the Indian Navy – which was a Military Navy. 

In fact – due to “austerity measures” – even the so-called “cruises” to nearby countries had been curtailed.

However – things seem to much better now – and – we see news of Indian Navy Ships “Showing the Flag” all over the world.

But – in the 1970’s – during the time of this story – a foreign “cruise” was quite a rare event.

We were – therefore – delighted when our ship was sent on a foreign “cruise” to an island nation – an archipelago – in the Indian Ocean.

Here is a delightful “memoir” from that “cruise”… 

“DUTY WATCH” ON “CRUISE” 

Hilarious “Memoir” from My Wonderful Navy Days

A Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/04/navy-memories-duty-watch-on-cruise.html

PROLOGUE

Way back in the mid-1970’s – when we were trainees at the Naval Academy Cochin (Kochi) – we used to march down for our drill practice to the neighbouring Gunnery School Drill Square.

There would be GI’s (Gunnery Instructors) lurking everywhere – prowling at every nook and corner – waiting to yell at us for the smallest of infractions in parade drill.

Once – when the “guard” was being marched in for morning Divisions – a Chief GI bellowed at the top of his voice:

“Is that the “Guard”…?

O– is it the bloody “Duty Watch…? 

March smartly – not like the “Duty Watch”…”

He implied that instead of marching smartly like a “guard” – we were walking in a rather slovenly manner like a “duty watch”.

While sailing – and in harbour too – the ship’s company is organized in “watches” to operate a ship 24/7.

Earlier it was the “2 Watch System” (1-in-2) – where half the sailors would be on duty – and the other half would take rest.

But now – it is mostly a “3 Watch System” (1-in-3) – where one-third of the crew are on duty and the remainder 2/3rd are off-duty and take rest.

The “watch” on duty is called the “Duty Watch”.

When a ship returns to harbour – everyone wants to rush ashore – the married sailors want to meet their families – and – the bachelors want to have a “good time” and “paint the town red”.

But – sadly – the “Duty Watch” has to remain on board ship on duty under the command of the OOD (Officer of the Day).

So – obviously – the Sailors in the “Duty Watch” are quite demoralized – and this is reflected in their bearing – as they move around in a rather dispirited manner.

This is what the Chief GI was implying when he yelled at us:

“March smartly – not like the ‘duty watch’…”

Now – I must tell you a rather amusing “Duty Watch” story which happened around 39 years ago – in the late 1970’s.

“DUTY WATCH” IN ACTION

Once we joined the Navy – we realized that the slogan “Join the Navy and See the World” applied to the Merchant Navy and not the Indian Navy.

In fact – due to ‘austerity measures’ – even the so-called “cruises” to nearby countries had been curtailed.

We were – therefore – delighted when our ship was sent on a “cruise” to an island nation – an archipelago – in the Indian Ocean.

The sea was quite rough – but then – as we approached the Equator – the sea became calm.

Soon – we crossed the Equator – and had the customary “Crossing the Line Ceremony” – which transformed us from “Pollywogs” into “Shellbacks”.

In due course – we reached our destination – and – the moment land was sighted – the first person to surface was the Ship’s Doctor – who had dived below into the sick-bay the moment we had left our base port Mumbai (then called Bombay).

Now – our Doctor was a “sea sick type” – and he used to hit the bunk the moment the sailing order was received.

But now – he was dressed in the best of “civvies” – a bright red T-Shirt – looking out for his “girlfriend” (his medical college classmate) – who was settled here – and was waiting for him on the jetty.

The moment we came alongside at 10 in the morning – the magnanimous Captain announced a “modified routine” – and “liberty” was piped – and soon – everyone was “ashore” – except the unlucky “Duty Watch” – who haplessly watched their shipmates proceed ashore to have a good time.

Of course – since it was ‘modified routine’ – rather than hold back 1/3rd of the sailors – besides the OOD (Officer of the Day) – a reduced ‘Duty Watch’ was held back on board – in order to let maximum sailors enjoy the ‘liberty’.

By noon – the officers and sailors – were spread all over the island – on the beaches, in the bars and pubs – enjoying themselves to the hilt.

The Captain was enjoying himself in the Yacht Club – where he had been invited for Lunch – by the crème de la crème of society.

At around 3:30 in the afternoon – after plenty of beer and a sumptuous lunch – the satiated Captain was contemplating going back to his ship for a “siesta” – but he was reminded that he was required to proceed to the sports stadium as the “Chief Guest” for the “friendly” football match between the visiting “ship’s company” and local club which was to begin at 4 o’clock in the evening.

“Oh, Yes…” he said –  vaguely remembering the invitation for the football match – the message had been delivered to him the moment the ship had come alongside – and he had marked it down to his XO (Executive Officer) for “necessary action”.

What had happened was that – after marking the message to his XO for “necessary action” – the Captain went ashore – to the Yacht Club.

Within seconds – his XO followed him out – and soon – he was swimming away on the best beach – trying to woo the beauties in bikinis.

By the time the ‘Duty Signalman’ kept the message on the XO’s table in his cabin – the XO was already swimming on the beach amidst bikini-clad beauties – so obviously – the XO had not seen the message regarding the football match – which was still lying on his table.

Everyone had gone ashore.

The “Duty Watch” was hanging around morosely below decks in their messes.

Only the ‘Duty Quartermaster’ stood at the Gangway – looking downcast – as he imagined the delights his shipmates were enjoying ashore at that moment – while he was on duty – manning the ship’s gangway.

The OOD (Officer of the Day) was “drowning his sorrows” in the Wardroom.

At around 3 in the afternoon – a bus arrived on the jetty.

‘Liaison Officer’ alighted from the bus.

He walked up the gangway from the jetty to the ship – and he informed the Gangway Duty Quartermaster that he had come to pick-up the ‘football team’.

The Duty Quartermaster called up the Wardroom to inform the OOD about the arrival of the ‘Liaison Officer’  who had come to pick-up the ‘football team’.

“What bloody ‘football team’…?” the OOD muttered annoyingly.

“I don’t know, Sir…” the Quartermaster said.

“Okay – I am coming up…” the OOD said.

The OOD downed the remains of his beer – he put on his cap – and he walked up to the gangway.

After speaking to the ‘Liaison Officer’ – the OOD asked the Quartermaster:

“Do you know anything about this ‘football match’ business…?”

“No, Sir…” the Quartermaster said.

“Okay – call the ‘Duty Signalman’…” the OOD ordered.

The ‘Duty Signalman’ was duly piped for – and he arrived within a minute.

“Yes, Sir…” the ‘Duty Signalman’ said, “there was a message regarding a ‘football match’. The Captain marked it down to the XO – so – I left it on the XO’s table…”

“Bloody Hell – did the XO see the message…?” the OOD asked the ‘Duty Signalman’.

“Sir – I don’t know….”

“You buggers are really great…!!! Now – go on the double and get the message…” the OOD shouted.

The ‘Duty Signalman’ rushed to the XO’s cabin and got the message.

The OOD read the message.

The “friendly” football match between the Navy Ship and Local Football Club was scheduled at 4 PM.

The time now was 3:15 PM – it was just 45 minutes to go for the match.

The OOD did some quick thinking.

Recalling the ship’s company was not feasible – the sailors would be all over the island – enjoying themselves – living it up – having a good time – on the Beaches, in the Booze Bars, or gallivanting on the streets – in various states of drunkenness.

So – the OOD told the Quartermaster:

“I want the ‘Duty Watch’ assembled here immediately…”

The Quartermaster piped “Duty Watch Fall-in on Gangway”

Within minutes – the ‘Duty Watch’ had fallen-in on the gangway.

The OOD asked the Quartermaster and the Duty Engine Room Sailor to fall-out.

Around 15 ‘Duty Watch’ sailors remained on deck.

The OOD told the rest of the ‘Duty Watch’ sailors:

“You are proceeding to play a football match – 11 of you will play – the rest 4 of you will be ‘substitutes’ and sit on the bench. Now change into sports rig – and – do your best on the football field…”

With the ‘Duty Watch’ playing the Football Match against a talented local team – you can well imagine the result of the match.

Thankfully – the referee blew the whistle before the score could reach double figures.

The embarrassed Captain was the only one present from our ship – sitting with the spectators  and – cheering his Ship’s ‘Duty Watch’ Football Team – while the rest of his Officers and Sailors were painting the town red.

EPILOGUE

Next morning – the ‘Master-At-Arms’ informed the XO about the Football Match Fiasco.

Then – the ‘Master-At-Arms’ asked the XO:

“Sir – will there be “liberty” today…?”

The XO had come back to the ship in a most “happy” state in the wee hours of the morning – and he was nursing a terrible hangover.

The XO said to the ‘Master-At-Arms’:

“Bloody Hell – after yesterday’s fiasco – the Captain is sure to stop “liberty” today. You do one thing – why don’t you ask the Captain directly…?”

“Sir – I was told by the Quartermaster that the Captain has already gone ashore…” the Master-at-Arms said.

“The Captain has already gone ashore…? Okay – that means that he hasn’t stopped “liberty”. So – announce “liberty” as usual – let the sailors enjoy themselves…” the XO said happily.

Later – we met the Captain sunbathing on a beach.

We expected a tongue-lashing.

But – the Captain did not utter a single word about the “Duty Watch” Football Match Fiasco.

The Captain just said to us – that he was happy – to see that his ship’s officers and sailors were enjoying themselves on the “cruise”.

As far as the “Duty Watch” Football Match Fiasco was concerned – we realized that – the Captain’s silence was the most effective reprimand.

I learnt genuine Human Resource Management from this Captain – more than I learnt from the many Mananagement Courses I did later.

He knew how to run an “Happy Ship”.

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/04/navy-memories-duty-watch-on-cruise.html

This is a revised repost of my story DUTY WATCH posted by me Vikram Karve online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/01/humor-in-uniform-duty-watch.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/humor-in-uniform-duty-watch.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/humor-in-uniform-duty-watch-in-action.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/11/humor-in-uniform-duty-watch-on-cruise.html

Single Mother and Her Mother

November 11, 2017

A friend said in disgust: “I am fed up of my wife…”

“Why…?” I asked, “your wife is quite good.”

“Oh, yes, she is quite good…” he answered, “She is a good mother – but a bad wife…”

Then – he told me his “sob story”. 

I came home – and I quickly wrote this story…

Single Mother and Her Mother 

Fiction Short Story By Vikram Karve 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/05/a-single-mother-and-her-mother.html

SINGLE PARENTING

“Dramatis Personae”

“S” – A Single Mother

“M” – Her Mother (Mother of the Single Mother) 

“S” and “M” are having a conversation after dinner…

S: How can you stay with such a horrible man…?

M: He is your father. Speak respectfully about him.

S: I know he is my father. But I am surprised how are living with him for 36 years.

M: He is my husband.

S: Yes – a most terrible and cruel husband. I don’t understand why you tolerated his cruelty for all these years…?

M: Cruelty…? What are you saying…? Your father has never been cruel to me.

S: He keeps shouting at you – in fact – he just yelled at you during dinner.

M: That is his nature – but – he doesn’t mean it at all.

S: I have seen him shouting at you in public. I don’t understand how you can tolerate such insults…?

M: I know – sometimes he reacts impulsively – that is a fault of his. But otherwise – he has been a very good husband.

S: Good Husband…? You call such an uncouth man a “good husband”…?

M: He has always been loyal to me.

S: “Loyal”…? What are you trying to imply…?

M: No nothing…

S: Are you talking about my divorce…?

M: No. Let’s not talk about that…

S: My husband tried to treat me like a “doormat” – so – I taught him a lesson. But just look at you…? You have meekly accepted being a “doormat” all your life while your husband walks all over you.

M: Your father is a good man. He has been a good husband to me. He has looked after me well – and you too – he ensured that you got the best possible education.

S: That was his duty…

M: Duty…? He worked hard so that we had everything – house, money, a comfortable life, whatever things we wanted – even now – he takes care of all my needs – he never says “No” whenever I want anything. He was the “breadwinner” – and even now – after he has retired – it is his pension and savings that keep us comfortable…”

S: Oh. So – that is the real reason why you are living with him despite his arrogant behavior – you are “financially dependent” on him…

M: No. It has got nothing to do with that.

S: Of course it has got everything to do with that – I could leave my husband because I am “financially independent”.

M: You made a mistake – you could have adjusted – and also – just because you had a fight with your husband doesn’t mean that you…”

S: I told you that I don’t want to talk about that…

M: Then – what do you want to talk about…?

S: I want you leave that horrible man – and – you come and stay with me…

M: What…? You want me leave your father – and you want me to come and stay with you…? Are you mad…? How can I leave my husband just like that…?

S: You have suffered him for your entire life just because you were “financially dependent” on him. Now – there is no need for you to meekly tolerate his insulting behavior…

M: What do you mean…?

S: You come and live with me in Mumbai. You will be more comfortable over there than in your small stuffy flat over here. I have moved into an even more luxurious house than the one you saw last time when you visited – you will have all the facilities you want over there – I will keep a car and driver at your disposal whenever you want…

M: And what about your father…?

S: He can stay back here…

M: What are you saying…? You want me to live there in Mumbai with you – and – you want him to live all alone over here…?

S: He is quite capable of staying alone…

M: But – why should he stay all alone…?

S: Because I want you to stay with me and have a comfortable life. After suffering all these years of tyranny – living with that oppressive man – you deserve a bit of happiness and freedom…

M: He is your father. Yes – he may be a bit dominating – but – that is between him and me. I don’t like you talking like this…

S: Okay. Okay. I will not talk about that obnoxious man. Let him remain here. I am taking you with me to Mumbai tomorrow – I am going to “liberate” you from slavery…

M: What…? Tomorrow…? How can I come with you to Mumbai leaving your father all alone over here…?

S: Please mummy – no discussion now. We are flying tomorrow to Mumbai – I have already booked your ticket. Now you go inside and start packing your bags. I have to make an important call…

EPILOGUE

The Daughter “S” goes out into the balcony.

She looks at her smartphone.

It is past 9 o’clock at night.

Normally – she wouldn’t think of disturbing her boss at this late hour – but the matter is most important.

She dials the number of her boss.

After a few rings – she hears the voice of her boss.

“Hello…” her boss says.

“Sir – I have decided to accept the assignment – I want the promotion…” she says to her boss.

“Are you sure…? This job requires a lot of travel – you will be out for almost 20 days every month…” the boss says.

“I know, Sir…”

“Who is going to look after your small daughter when you are away…?”

“I have made arrangements…”

“Arrangements…? A “Nanny”…?”

“I am bringing my mother to Mumbai to stay with me – she will look after my daughter…”

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved) 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/05/a-single-mother-and-her-mother.html

The 3 Elements of Military Capability

November 11, 2017

The term “Military Strength” immediately brings to your mind “tangible” aspects like the number of Troops and amount of Military Hardware  (Technology and Weapons) a nation possesses.

But – do you know that there are “intangible” aspects to  “Military Strength” as well…?

Read on…

What is “Military Strength”…?

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/07/do-we-have-military-strength.html

From time to time – jingoists and war-mongerers keep exhorting war.

But – is war child’s play…?

Before thinking of war – the first thing a nation has to assess – is its own “military strength” (and the military strength of the adversary)

How do you assess “military strength”…?

I feel that Military Strength has 3 key determinants – as explained below – in a nutshell.

MILITARY STRENGTH – Musings of a Veteran By Vikram Karve

Hardware”  “Software” – “Skinware”

Link to my blog post: https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/08/09/what-is-military-strength/

The Military Capability of a nation is dependent on 3 key ingredients:

  1. Hardware
  1. “Software”
  1. “Skinware”
  1. MILITARY HARDWARE comprises weapons, equipment, ordnance, platforms (ships/submarines/aircraft/space based platforms) etc – and is a Technology governed Qualitative and Quantitative component – depending on the “high-tech” Quality and Quantity of Military Equipment.

Military Hardware is a tangible factor – and – the Military Hardware and Technologies of a nation are well known.

  1. MILITARY “SOFTWARE” refers to the War-Fighting “System”– the operational doctrine, strategy and tactics and the organizational management aspects like Rules/Regulations, HR and Training Policies etc.

Military “Software” comprises both tangible (documented) and intangible (experiential) aspects.

  1. MILITARY “SKINWARE” comprises the Human Resource element of the Defence Services.

Of course – Military “Skinware includes the Military Men and Women in Uniform (Officers and Soldiers/Sailors/Airmen)

Military “Skinware also includes the Politicians, Bureaucracy and various Civilians who provide support to the Armed Forces

Yes – an important component of “Skinware” is the Political Leadership – which governs the entire gamut of Defence Services and Security Machinery.

“Skinware” comprises both Quantitative and Qualitative factors – Tangible and Intangible elements.

Of course – tangible “Skinware” numbers can be quantified – a nation may boast of the numerical strength of its Army, Navy and Air Force.

But – the vital characteristic of Military “Skinware” are “intangible” aspects – which comprise indefinable “hard to quantify” factors like morale, leadership quality, ideology, motivation, inspiration, welfare/care of servicemen and military veterans, respect given to the military by civil society, how civilian citizens treat soldiers etc.

CONCLUSION

A nation must develop its Military Capability in a holistic manner – giving due importance to all 3 aspects – “Hardware” “Software” and “Skinware” – in a balanced and harmonious manner.

High Technology but Low Morale – or – High Morale but Obsolete Technology – or a poorly managed military system – all result in sub-optimal military effectiveness.

All 3 aspects (“Hardware” “Software” “Skinware”) – yes – all 3 factors need to be well developed in a balanced manner.

So – Dear Reader – before we think of war – let us introspect – and holisitically assess our “military strength” – all 3 factors – “Hardware” “Software” and “Skinware” – and see where we stand.

Do we require to augment/optimise – any one – or two – or all the 3 constituents of “military strength”…?

It is only when we are confident of our military preparedness – and we are sure of our our superiority in all the 3 domains – “Hardware” “Software” and “Skinware” – only than we should we start thinking of war – provided – our leaders have the “political will” – and our citizens have the national readiness – for war.

Dear Reader:

Do you agree…?

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. 

This is a revised re-post of my article MILITARY PROWESS – Hardware “Software” and “Skinware” posted online by me earlier at urls:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/07/do-we-have-military-strength.html

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/04/military-capability-hardware-software.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/determinants-of-military-strength.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/09/what-is-military-strength.html

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/07/do-we-have-military-strength.html

Marriage Equations

November 11, 2017

MARRIAGE EQUATIONS is one of my earliest pieces of short fiction.

I am posting the story again for you to read – duly updated and abridged – for easy reading on the digital screen.

I wrote this story more than 25 years ago – way back in the 1990s. 

This story is also included in my short fiction anthology COCKTAIL which comprises 27 short stories about relationships. 

This story was highly appreciated then – and I am sure you will like it now too. 

Dear Reader:

Do bear in mind that this story was written more than 25 years ago – when there was no internet – and – no mobile phones…

MARRIAGE EQUATIONS 

A Love Story By Vikram Karve 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/06/equations-love-story.html

The doorbell rings.

I open the door.

Oh my God – it’s Dilip… Suddenly, out of the blue. After so many years.

I feel a tremor of trepidation.

Ten years ago – I would have been delighted to see Dilip at my door.

But today – I wish he hadn’t come.

Dilip is the only secret I have kept from my husband.

“What do you want…?” I ask rudely.

“A glass of water to start with,” Dilip says, with his patent smile.

He walks in casually and sits on the sofa.

I hurriedly close the front door.

I go inside the kitchen – take out a bottle of cold water form the fridge – and as I pour the water into a glass – I realize that my hands are shaking.

Desperately trying to steady myself – I walk slowly into the drawing room – and I keep the glass on the table.

“What’s wrong with you Nalini…?” Dilip asks, looking me directly in the eye.

“You shouldn’t have come here,” I shout, instantly regretting my rudeness.

But it is true – I really wish Dilip hadn’t come.

“I am sorry…” Dilip says. “I didn’t know you hate me so much.”

Dilip gets up from the sofa and stands facing me.

I can see that he is flaming mad.

But his fury is visible only in his eyes.

His manner is relaxed and nonchalant.

He walks to the table, picks up the glass, drinks the water and keeps the glass back on the table.

“Thanks…” Dilip says – and he begins to head towards the front door.

He opens the door – pauses for a moment, – then turning to me – he says to me:

“Nalini. You should have told your husband about us. Trust is the keel upon which a marriage is built. There is no place for secrets between husband and wife. Someday – he will come to know. You can take my word for it.”

With those words – Dilip walks out and shuts the door.

For a moment – I am nonplussed.

Then – comprehension dawns on me pretty fast.

A strange tocsin – an alarm bell – it sounds in my brain:

‘Blackmail’… Dilip is going to Blackmail me – he is going to take his revenge – and get even…

I open the door, rush out and intercept Dilip before he can get into the lift.

I catch hold of his wrist and literally pull him inside the house.

I shut the door and plead with him:

“Please wait, Dilip. Don’t go. I’ll be back in a moment.”

Then – I go to the bathroom and wash my face – trying to regain my composure.

When I return to the drawing room – Dilip smiles at me and says:

“Nalini – how could you even imagine that I would blackmail you…?”

I remain silent – feeling ashamed of myself.

Dilip had genuinely loved me – probably he even loves me today.

I had loved him too – but as far as marriage is concerned – you have to be rational.

At that point of time Dilip – who was my classmate in college – he was still searching for a job.

He was not from a very well-to-do family – and frankly – I did not consider him “marriage material”.

Like most middle-class girls – I was seeking a husband with prospects of status and wealth – hoping for an opportunity to marry up the social scale.

And yes – what a success my marriage has been.

Today I have everything I want – two lovely children (a boy and a girl) – a loving and doting husband, Sanjay – a luxurious house in a posh locality – and all the happiness and prosperity I could ever hope for.

And now – Dilip has suddenly appeared from nowhere.

I have to be very careful – one wrong move – and everything I have built so meticulously – everything will collapse like a pack of cards.

I look at Dilip and smile.

I wonder what he does for a living.

“I joined the Merchant Navy…” he says, as if reading my mind with the power of clairvoyance, “I am the Captain of a ship now – I have just been promoted a Master.”

I am impressed.

Dilip has certainly done well.

A “Master Mariner” – Captain of a huge ship.

I try to imagine what life would have been like had I married him – the wife of a Merchant Navy Officer – sailing around the world – on the high seas – to exotic destinations – so adventurous – so exciting…

I wonder who he has married – lucky girl…

“I am not yet married…” Dilip says – as if he is reading my mind.

Clairvoyance again – this is too much…

“You still haven’t got married…? Why…? Why didn’t you get married…?” I ask Dilip –,trying not to sound too curious.

“Well – I couldn’t find a wife – that’s all. You know I am not much of a ladies’ man – and now – I am 32+. There is hardly any girl I knew – who is still single…”

He pauses for a moment – then he says:

“And now – I am all alone in this world. Besides – I have spent most of my time at sea. How do you expect me to find a wife…?”

“Nothing is simpler…” I say. “You are still quite young and most eligible. Just put a matrimonial ad in the newspapers. Or better still – try one of these “Marriage Bureaus”…”

“That’s exactly what I have done…” Dilip says.

“Really…? Any response…?” I asked him

I feel a sense of relief.

Why…?

I do not know.

“That’s why I have come to Pune. To see a girl…” Dilip says – as he lights a cigarette.

I make a mental note to clean the ash-tray as soon as he leaves.

My husband Sanjay does not smoke.

And he does not like visitors who smoke.

It is an antique ash-tray – more for ceremonial purposes than for use.

“It was sheer luck – getting your address. I met Shalini at Delhi airport last evening. She told me you had shifted to Pune….” Dilip says.

Dilip takes out an envelope from his shirt-pocket and puts it on the table.

Then – he says to me:

“The girl stays right here near your house in the Deccan Gymkhana area. There is a photo and her letter inside. Take a look. Maybe you know her.”

I look impatiently at the wall-clock.

It was almost 11 o’clock.

My daughter will return from nursery school at 12 noon.

I don’t want anyone to see Dilip here.

“Listen Dilip…” I snap irritably, “Please go away. And don’t come back. I don’t want to get involved in your affairs.”

“Relax, Nalini. I just want your opinion…” Dilip says.

He takes a deep drag of smoke – and he stubs his cigarette in the ash-tray.

Then Dilip takes out a photo from the envelope – and he holds the photo in front of my eyes.

The moment I see the face in the photo I feel stunned.

It is Lata – my best friend.

My mind goes into a tizzy.

‘Dilip and Lata’.

My ex-lover and my best friend.

A lethal combination.

Too dangerous.

Too close for my comfort.

I don’t want Dilip anywhere near my life.

If Sanjay ever comes to know about Dilip and Me – everything would be shattered.

I have to stop this madness.

I take the photo from Dilip’s hand and make pretence of looking at it.

I desperately rack my brain.

What should I do – what should I say to Dilip – how should I word it…?

Finally – I say:

“Dilip – please don’t misunderstand me. But – if I were you – I would be careful. Drying a divorcee’s tears is one of the most dangerous pastimes known to man.”

“Pastime…? What nonsense…” Dilip erupts, “I going to marry her…”

“Don’t Dilip. Don’t marry Lata. You’ll regret it all your life. What do you know of her past…?” I say.

“Lata has written everything. She has bared her life to me…” Dilip says.

Dilip takes out a letter from the envelope – and he says to me:

“At least she’s not hiding things like you. She’s just an innocent divorcee.”

“Innocent Divorcee…? Well – she is a divorcee for sure – but about the ‘innocent’ part of it – well – let’s not delve too much…” I say sarcastically, “You are naive, Dilip – a simpleton. Just forget about her and go back.

Dilip looks startled – but I can detect a trace of disappointment in his expression.

I look again at Lata’s photo.

She looks her ravishing best.

I am sure Dilip has fallen for her – just looking at her photo.

I can feel the venom rising in my throat as I say to Dilip:

“She will mess up your life. She will mesmerize you – use you – and then – she will discard you. That’s what she always does.”

I pause to let my words sink in.

Then I look intently at him – and I say in my most convincing voice:

“Trust me, Dilip. I want you to be happy. Don’t get desperate. You will get many good proposals. I’ll help you out.”

I hate myself for my mendacity – for speaking these lies – for the harm I am doing to my best friend Lata.

Poor Lata.

She is such a good friend.

I know the divorce was no fault of hers.

Dilip is ideal for her.

And – she for him.

But then – I have to look after my own interests first.

Dilip grins.

Then he smiles like a Cheshire cat.

He has seen through my lies.

Dilip says to me:

“I am not such a fool, Nalini. I have understood everything. I still love you. I’ll do anything for you.”

Dilip folds Lata’s letter and puts it in his pocket.

“Give me Lata’s photo…” Dilip says.

He gently takes the photo from my hands and says:

“I’ll return it to her tomorrow.”

“Tomorrow…?” I ask in panic.

Dilip takes out Lata’s letter from his pocket – unfolds it – and he reads from the letter:

“Let’s meet at 10 o’clock in the morning at Vaishali. On the 25th of May. That’s tomorrow morning. We – Lata and Me – we are scheduled to meet tomorrow morning.”

He looks at me intently and says:

“Come on, Nalini. I can’t ditch her just like that. Why are you worried…? I’ll take care.”

“No, No. Why wait till tomorrow…? Please finish off everything and go back today. Please. Please Dilip – you go back to Delhi today – for my sake…!!!” I plead with him.

“Okay…” Dilip says softly. “But decency demands that at least I meet Lata and apologize. I don’t want to hurt her feelings.”

He takes out the letter and starts reading:

“1st Prabhat Lane – House No…”

“There’s no need to meet Lata. You ring her up from here and cancel the appointment…” I say – pointing to the telephone, “Or – better still – you say that you couldn’t make it to Pune. Give some excuse. You say that you are speaking from Delhi. I have got Lata’s number.”

“No…” Dilip says firmly, “It’s a delicate matter. I must see her personally.”

He gets up and walks towards the door – and he says to me:

“Don’t worry, Nalini. I’ll handle it. And you shall never see me again. I promise. I will leave for Delhi tonight.”

As soon as he leaves – I decide to follow him discreetly.

Just to make sure.

An ominous scary feeling of anxiety envelopes and overwhelms me.

I am going crazy with fear – and suspicion.

The stakes are too high.

I can trust no one.

Not even Dilip.

I heave a sigh of relief as I see Dilip turn into 1st Prabhat Lane.

He takes out Lata’s letter and seems to be confirming her address.

Then he starts crossing the street and walks towards the entrance of Lata’s ground floor house.

Suddenly – Dilip stops in his tracks.

He looks shocked and startled.

I follow his gaze.

Oh My God…!!!

I can’t believe what I see…

My husband Sanjay is standing in the open door of Lata’s house.

Sanjay hastily closes the door – and he starts walking away towards the other end of the street.

Sanjay is looking around furtively – like someone with a guilty conscience.

I cannot begin to describe the emotion I feel.

My head spins – I feel dizzy.

My recollections of the next few moments are just vivid flashes in a void.

The next thing I remember is that I am sitting with Dilip in Café Good Luck with a cup of strong refreshing tea in front of me.

The hot tea is rejuvenating.

“You must go home now, Nalini…” Dilip says, “It’s almost 12 Noon. Your daughter will soon be home.”

“She’ll stay at my neighbour’s place…” I say, “I will call my neighbour from the phone on the counter.”

I ring up my neighbour and tell her to look after my daughter till I come home.

Then – on a sudden impulse – I dial my husband Sanjay’s office number.

“I have told you not to disturb me in office…” my husband Sanjay snaps, “I am extremely busy since morning in an important meeting.”

“Why are you shouting at me..?” I say.

Maybe Sanjay feels a bit contrite – so he says to me:

“Anything urgent…? Any problem…?”

“Nothing – I just called up to say Hello…” I say – and I disconnect the phone.

“He is lying…” I tell Dilip, “He told me that he was in his office all morning.”

Deep down – I feel terribly betrayed.

How could my husband Sanjay do this to me…?

And – my best friend Lata…?

I have been such a good friend to her – I have helped her so much.

I wonder how long they have been cheating me.

How long has this affair beween my husband Sanjay and my best friend Lata been going on.

Right under my nose.

I have been faithful to Sanjay.

And how I dearly loved him too.

“Isn’t it terrible…?” Dilip asks.

“What…?”

“To love – and not be loved in return…”

“Don’t say such things, Dilip. I beg of you. As it is – I am feeling so demoralized.”

“Demoralized, demoralized…” he repeats, “I like your choice of words.”

Then he gestures towards me and says:

“Nalini. There is no point living a lie. When a relationship gets demoralized by distrust – it is better severed and terminated – than patched up.”

I gaze at him – I feel stupefied.

How could he say such hurting things…?

“When one is furtive and guilt-ridden – nothing is pleasurable,,” Dilip continues, “And – how long can you pretend…? How long can you go on keeping secrets from each other…? Just to sustain the facade of conjugal conviviality for the outside world. For others’ sake.”

I am close to tears now.

Why is Dilip hurting me like this when I am most vulnerable…?

Has he any motive…?

Comprehension slowly dawns on me.

But No – Not Dilip – I know him so well.

“But that’s all rhetoric…” Dilip says, “Easier said than done…!”

He pauses, smiles and says:

“You know what you should do, Nalini…? You just go back to your house – and continue your life as if nothing has happened.”

And – that is exactly what I do.

I bid Dilip good-bye – and I go straight home.

I look at the dirty ash-tray and think of Dilip.

Instinctively my hand moves to pick up the ash-tray and clean it.

But – I do not clean the ash-try.

I just leave Dilip’s cigarette butt in the ash-tray.

My husband Sanjay comes home late in the evening back from office as usual.

He looks at me and asks me:

“Why did you ring me up in the office…?”

“Oh, it was nothing important…” I reply, “I had gone shopping with Lata to Main Street and Camp in the morning. Lata and Me – we spent the entire morning on Main Street, shopping to our hearts’ content – and then – we were so famished that we decided to go to the club for lunch. Lata told me to ring you up and ask you if you wanted to have lunch with us at the club. That’s why I called you at your office. But then – you were busy all morning in an important business meeting – weren’t you…?”

For an instant Sanjay looks startled – momentarily frozen – but he recovers quickly.

Then – he sits on the sofa.

He notices the dirty ash-tray – he looks at the cigarette stub.

He quickly picks up the ash-tray – and – without a word – he empties the ash-tray into the dustbin.

Sanjay never asks me who the visitor was.

He never will.

He dare not.

The equations in our marriage have changed forever.

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)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/06/equations-love-story.html

This is a revised and abridged version of my story EQUATIONS written by me Vikram Karve more than 25 years ago in the year 1992 and earlier posted online by me Vikram Karve in my blogs a number of times including at urls: http://creative.sulekha.com/equations-a-short-story-by-vikram-karve_28117_blog  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/01/equations-my-favourite-short-stories.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/05/equations-story-from-cocktail.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/10/my-favourite-short-stories-part-61.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/09/my-ex-lover-and-my-best-friend-changing.html etc

Supersession Day – “Memoirs” of a “Written Off” “Passed Over” “Fallen By the Wayside” Officer

November 10, 2017

Earlier – Military Officers were quite sensitive about Rank and Seniority – especially Senior Officers.

On being superseded and “passed over” for promotion – most Officers did not like to serve under their erstwhile Juniors.

So – most Superseded Officers would honorably quit uniform – the moment they were “passed over” for promotion and superseded by their Juniors – by resigning or taking premature retirement.

This was especially so in the case of Senior Military Officers.

Many years ago – a distinguished General – who was the Vice Chief of the Army – quit the Army immediately – when he was superseded for promotion to the post of Army Chief by his Junior.

He did not want to serve even for one day under his erstwhile junior.

A few years ago – there was a similar case in the Navy – where the C-in-C of Western Naval Command quit the Navy – when he was superseded for the post of Navy Chief by his Junior – the Vice Chief of the Navy – who was appointed as the new Navy Chief – instead of the “Senior Most Officer” – the C-in-C of the “Sword Arm” of the Navy – the Western Naval Command.

I heard that there was a similar case in the Air Force too.

However – this overly rank/seniority conscious mindset seems to be changing.

Generals who were superseded for the post of Army Chief – they happily served as Army Commanders under their erstwhile junior – who was appointed the Army Chief – and so do many other officers – yes – nowadays most superseded officers who have no qualms about serving under the command of their erstwhile juniors.

The “Moral of the Story” is that – as per the “New Age” Military Ethos – old military concepts like “Honour” have become obsolete and antiquated.

In the “New Age” Military – “Materialism” is the new “Mantra”.

Over the years – the Defence Services are becoming more and more like the Civil Services – especially at the “Top Heavy” Senior Level.

So – rather than bother about archaic “old world” military concepts like “Chetwode Credo”, “Honour”, “Military Ethics/Values”  etc – today’s Defence Officers take a pragmatic and practical view of life.

Hence – rather than quit the service on getting superseded for promotion – and consequently lose out financially and materially – most superseded officers feel that it is best for “passed over” Officers to continue serving after their supersession – till the age of superannuation – or even beyond – on re-employment – even if it means serving under your erstwhile juniors.

All this reminds me of my “Supersession Day”…

“SUPERSESSION” DAY 

“Memoirs” of a “Written Off” “Passed Over” “Fallen By the Wayside” Officer

A Fictional Spoof By Vikram Karve 

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/05/supersession-day-musings-of-written-off.html

DAY OF THE “PASSOVER”

The Navy Promotion IG (Signal) was released in the evening – and by next morning everyone knew the news – who had “made it” – and who had been “written off”.

My name was not on the “select list”.

I had been “passed over” for promotion.

For me – this came as a bolt from the blue – and – I felt “shell-shocked”.

I was under the impression that I had done well in my Naval Career – good performance in the right courses – the best appointments on frontline warships and ashore – and – just a few weeks earlier – my boss had told me that he had found out from “reliable sources” that I was sure to be promoted – and he even discussed my next appointment in my new rank.

My boss liked me – and he was extremely disappointed that I had been “superseded”.

My boss genuinely commiserated with me on my bad luck – and – he told me to take the day off – and he assured me that he would help me in whatever way possible.

Plenty of “well-wishers” dropped by to show their sympathy for my misfortune.

A course-mate (whose name was on the “select list”) tried to console me by commenting that the most “hot shot” officer “X” in our batch had also been “passed over”.

“By the way – if it is any consolation to you – even “X” has not made it…” he said.

His sly suggestion that I may be consoled by someone else’s misfortune hurt me very much.

I got furious at his “fake consolation” – and I said angrily to him:

“How the hell does it matter to me – whether “X” is promoted – or not…?

Why should I feel comforted by someone else’s misfortune…?

The fact is that – “my goose is cooked” – I am sunk. 

And – the bottom-line is that my Naval Career is over.

I just don’t care who has been promoted – or not promoted.

The reality is that I have not been promoted – and that is all that matters to me…”

“I am sorry – I was only trying to console you…” he said, contrite – and he left.

A few minutes later – another fellow Naval Officer came in.

He was two years senior to me.

He had missed his promotion twice – he had got 2 “R’s” – and he had become very desperate for promotion – but finally – he had made it to the select list in his 3rd and last attempt.

“Congratulations…” I said.

“Thanks…” he said, “but I am feeling very sorry about you – we all were very sure that you would easily make it to the select list…”

He told me that all the “select listed” officers had hoisted a “Gin Pennant” to celebrate their promotion – a Pre-Lunch Drinks (PLD) Beer Party to “wet” their new stripes.

My friend had come to personally invite for the “stripe-wetting” Beer Session.

My “inner voice” told me not to go – so – I said to him:

“Please try to understand – I am really not in the mood to celebrate right now – but I will surely have a drink with you some other time…”

“I understand – I have gone through the same emotions twice. You take care – we will have a talk later…” he said – and he left my office.

I sat in my office – feeling depressed – when the phone rang.

It was my friend “P” calling from Delhi – a “trunk call” – as they called it those days.

“Congratulations…” “P” said cheerfully – the moment he heard my voice on the phone.

I was stunned.

“P” was appointed in Naval Headquarters.

So – surely – “P” knew that I had not made it to the “select list” – and that I had been “passed over” for promotion.

Hence – I was very upset to hear “P” saying “Congratulations…” to me on this sad occasion.

Getting angry – I said to “P” in an accusing tone:

“Sir – why are you congratulating me…? I have missed the boat – my name is not in the “select list”…”

“I know – I am congratulating you on your “supersession”…” my friend “P” said.

I was flabbergasted.

“P” was a very good friend – and I considered him a well-wisher.

We had done our specialization course together – but having spent time doing his Basic Engineering Course (BEC) since he was an ex-NDA Officer – “P” was one year senior to me.

He had been promoted the previous year – and – I had been the first person to congratulate him.

And now – I wondered why was he was rubbing salt into my wound”…?

No – he would never do that – because “P” was a genuine friend of mine.

I wondered whether “P” had gone crazy.

Owing to my silence – “P” must have sensed my train of thoughts.

Over the phone – my friend “P” said to me:

“You think I have gone crazy – haven’t you…?

But think about what I am saying carefully. 

Till now – you let the Navy “enjoy” you. 

But now – it is time for you to “enjoy” the Navy…”

“What do you mean…?” I asked “P”.

In a genuinely caring tone of voice  “P” said to me:

“Don’t take any hasty step like “Quitting the Navy” etc.

You have a good reputation – and most senior officers feel that you should have made it to high rank.

Everyone is surprised that you have been “superseded”.

I know you are feeling very disappointed too.

But – just relax.

You just continue working to the best of your ability.

Think about how you can realize your best potential – think of a job you enjoy and have a flair for – where you can develop your talents.

The Navy will look after you.

Talk to your wife.

I will call you again tomorrow – you just tell me where you want to go – which type of appointment you want – and we will try to put you there…” 

It was comforting to hear these words of “P”.

“Thanks. I will think it out and call you tomorrow…” I said to “P”.

That evening – I went on a long walk up Dolphin’s Nose.

I sat down – looking at the soothing blue sea of the Bay of Bengal.

As I introspected – the import of what “P” had said became clear to me.

I decided to live my life to the fullest as a “superseded officer”.

Next morning – I called up “P” – and I told him where I wanted to go – and what I wanted to do.

Within 6 months – I was sitting in my new appointment – the very choice appointment that I had requested.

I thorougly enjoyed my appointment.

It was long tenure – professionally satisfying and personally fulfilling.

And then – even after this – the Navy gave me good appointments and a stable life.

I served in the Navy till I attained the age of “superannuation”.

It has been my personal experience that the Navy really looks after “superseded officers”.

Most officers show understanding and consideration towards “superseded” officers.

Of course there are a few “aberrations” – but they can easily be dealt with.

To the extent feasible – care was taken to ensure that my boss had joined the Navy well before me – and he was much senior to me not only in rank but in service as well.

I got good appointments where I could nurture my talents and develop myself – and I was given a free hand to perform to the best of my ability and derive job satisfaction.

And I can proudly say – that:

I contributed more to the service after my supersession – than before my supersession.

MORAL OF THE STORY

In the Armed Forces – due to the ‘steep pyramid’ hierarchy structure – there are very few vacancies at higher ranks – and most officers are ‘passed over’ for promotion and ‘superseded’ at a relatively young age – in their 30’s and 40’s.

When you are passed over for promotion and superseded – you have 3 choices:

  1. You can Quit the Service immediately by Resigning your Commission (even if it means giving up your pension and forgoing/losing many benefits)
  1. You can wait for a few years to complete 20 years pensionable service – and then seek Premature Retirement (PMR)
  1. You can serve till you attain the age of superannuation”. Earlier the minimum superannuation age was 54 years – but I understand that this has now been increased to 57 years – and some officers continue for a few more years on re-employment”.

It is for you to take a considered decision in a ‘holistic’ manner depending on your personal temperament, life ambitions and financial status – and after reflecting on various familial obligations in their entirety.

You may be prepared for the career and lifestyle changes for a “second innings” in “Civvy Street” – but are your wife and children ready for the huge lifestyle and social changes when they suddenly migrate from “fauji life” to civilian life…?

Now – with the implementation of the “No OROP for PMR” Rule – many ‘superseded’ officers may consider ‘Option 3’ above – and serve till they attain the age of ‘superannuation’ in order to get the benefit of ‘One Rank One Pension’ (OROP).

The choice of choosing from the 3 options is yours – after considering the Pros and Cons.

But – after ‘supersession’ – if you choose to serve till superannuation –you can have a “fulfilling” life in the Defence Services – if you have the right attitude – as encapsulated in the advice my friend “P” gave me on my ‘supersession’:

“Till now – you let the Navy “enjoy” you – but now – it is time for you to “enjoy” the Navy…”

As I said earlier – I contributed more to the service after my ‘supersession’ than before my ‘supersession’ – and while doing so – I nurtured my talents, found my ‘métier’ and developed my ‘forte’.

The “Proof of the Pudding” is that my widely read and popular Blogs:

My highly appreciated Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve Blog which has crossed 25 Lakh PageViews long ago (current count = 2567118 Page-Views) and this Blog you are reading right now Writing by Vikram Karve  besides many more blogs and websites where I write.

Yes – I have many other blogs/websites – like this one you are reading – so – I can say that there have been at least 30 Lakh views of my Writing (Stories, Articles, Papers etc) – that I have posted online on my blogs and on the internet.

And yes – I have published a couple of books and large number of articles/papers/stories in print too.

Had I not been “passed over” for promotion – in all probability – I would have become a part of the “rat race” for promotion – sweating it out – jumping from one “hot shot” appointment to another.

In such a “rat race” career situation – I doubt I whether would have had the inclination and time to discover my “métier” in Creative Writing/Blogging – to nurture and develop my creative writing skills – and to become a prolific writer and blogger – all of which has fructified into Books, Blogs and the numerous Fiction and Non-Fiction Writings that I have published.

Now – you may ask me the moot question:

“How to “Enjoy Supersession…?”

That – I will tell you in  a few susequent blog posts.

Maybe – I will write a “SURVIVAL GUIDE FOR “SUPERSEDED” OFFICERS” – in which I will tell you – How to Overcome “Passover Woes” – How to Realize your Inner Potential – and – How to Live a Fulfilling Life as a “Superseded Officer 

Till then – Dear Reader – do think about this post – and do tell me your views and experiences – I will look forward to your comments.

Wish You a Successful Career. 

And – if you get “passed over” for promotion – wish you a “Happy Supersession”…

VIKRAM KARVE

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Disclaimer:

  1. This is a fictional 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.

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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Link to my original posts in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/05/supersession-day-musings-of-written-off.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/07/26/supersession-day-recollections-of-a-written-off-passed-over-officer/

This is a repost of my story SUPERSESSION DAY posted by me Vikram Karve online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/11/humor-in-uniform-supersession-day.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/humor-in-uniform-written-off.html etc

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