Posts Tagged ‘humor’

Romance via the “Rear Window”

April 14, 2016

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Romance : Rear Window

ROMANCE VIA THE “REAR WINDOW”

A Fictional Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer: 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.

Part 1 : REAR WINDOW

I am sure you have seen the classic movie REAR WINDOW – directed by Alfred Hitchcock and starring James Stewart and Grace Kelly.

Rear Window is a quintessential Hitchcock style mystery thriller made in 1954 – and – in my opinion – Rear Window is one of Hitchcock’s best films – a masterpiece – an awesome movie – despite its simplicity.

The Story is simple – a newspaper photographer with a broken leg passes time recuperating by observing his neighbours through his window.

After he breaks his leg during a dangerous assignment – the main protagonist – a professional photographer (James Stewart) is wheelchair bound and confined to his Apartment, while he recuperates.

His rear window looks out onto a small courtyard and several other apartments.

During the hot summer – he passes time by watching his neighbours – who keep their windows open to stay cool.

Each of the “objects of attention” – occupants of the other apartments who are being observed by our protagonist – depict insightful interpretations of the entire gamut of human relationships – as the main protagonist “watches” them through his “rear window” – and – we – the movie viewers – share his voyeuristic surveillance – as the movie takes mysterious twists and turns till it reaches a terrific climax.

Rear Window is an engrossing film – a fascinating portrayal of our tendency towards curiosity and voyeurism.

The movie exposes many facets of the loneliness of city life and it tacitly demonstrates the impulse of human curiosity. It explores our fascination with looking at persons, objects and things – and – the attraction of “objects of our attentions”.

I am sure you have had many such “rear window” experiences.

Well – I have had my share – especially when I lived in high-rise “gated communities” – or – in residential complexes which have rows of high-rise buildings where balconies face each other – giving you a clear view – like in Curzon Road Apartments in New Delhi.

Part 2 : MY “REAR WINDOW” STORY

Let me tell you about a rather amusing “rear window” story that happened to me.

Once upon a time – we lived in a high-rise residential complex – and from the rear balcony (“Rear Window”) of our top floor apartment – I had a “grandstand view” of the apartments of neighbouring building.

One day – when I was shopping in a Mall – a beautiful woman looked at me – she smiled – she walked up to me – and she said: “Hello – so nice to meet you in person.”

I was flabbergasted.

Seeing my bewilderment – the lovely lady said to me: “Don’t you recognize me…? I live in the neighbouring building – right opposite your balcony. We have been “looking at each other” for more than 3 months now. It’s been quite a long “long distance relationship” – and – I was wondering whether we would actually meet face-to-face. It is such a pleasure to meet you. By the way – my name is ‘XXX’…” she said, proffering her hand.

I shook her hand – I introduced myself – and I said to her: “I am really sorry for not recognizing you…”

“Really…? You did not recognize me…? Every time I see you standing in your balcony – you seem to be looking intently at me. I think you better get your eyesight checked…” she said with a mischievous smile.

And then – she said goodbye – and she walked away to continue with her shopping.

I felt hungry – so – I walked to the ‘Food Court’ in the Mall.

There – I saw another “long distance” “rear window” “object of my attention” – a pretty young girl – who – it seemed – was recently married.

In the food court – she was sitting with her husband – who I had seen occasionally in his balcony.

I confidently walked up to pretty young girl – and I said to her: “Hello…!!! Great to see you here. It feels so nice to meet you…”

The girl gave me a perplexed look.

“Don’t you recognize me…? We look at each other every morning across our balconies – especially when you hang your clothes to dry…” I said to her.

The girl looked away – she seemed embarrassed.

But – her husband gave me a fierce look and he angrily said to me: “Have you been staring at my wife…?”

“NO. NO. It is not what you think…” I said – and I beat a hasty retreat.

Part 3 : EPILOGUE

Next morning – as usual – I was standing at my “Rear Window” – observing the “goings on”.

I saw the beautiful lady – the first “object of my attention” (the first woman I had met in the Mall).

She was standing in her balcony with a cup of tea in her hand.

I could see her clearly – since I was wearing my newly acquired spectacles

(Yes – as advised by her – I had got my eyes checked immediately at the Optician’s Shop in the Mall and obtained a pair of spectacles)

She waved out to me – I waved back.

Then – she went inside – probably to get ready for office.

I shifted my gaze downwards.

I could see the second “object of my attention” – the newly-married girl whose husband had angrily scowled at me.

As she did every morning – she was hanging the washed clothes on the clothesline to dry.

I tried to avert my eyes.

But – she looked towards me – and – she smiled at me – and she gave me jovial wave.

I vigorously waved back to her too.

One thing is clear – as far as women are concerned (maybe it applies to some men too):

“One look of genuine admiration is worth a thousand compliments.” 

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/04/humor-in-romance-rear-window.html

April Fool 

March 31, 2016

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform : “April Fool” on All Fools’ Day

“APRIL FOOL” ON ALL FOOLS’ DAY

Unforgettable Memories of My Delightful Navy Life : Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

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

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

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

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

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

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

When I hark back and think of the occasions when I was made an unsuspecting victim of April Fool Jokes – and when I recall all the April Fool Pranks I was subjected to – I can never forget how I was made a total “April Fool” – 33 years ago – on the 1st of April 1983.

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

HOW I WAS MADE AN “APRIL FOOL” – a “Memoir” by VIKRAM KARVE

01 April 1983

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

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

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

My ex-shipmate entered the Tropo Lab.

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

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

I was very happy and joyfully excited to hear this.

Pune is my hometown.

I had never expected a posting to Pune in my Naval Career – as I thought that – except for a few billets at NDA Khadakvasla – there were hardly any billets for Naval Officers in Pune – especially for Technical Officers.

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

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

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

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

[Those days Naval Headquarters (NHQ) published a weekly Navy Appointments (NA) List which listed all appointments (transfers/postings) issued during that week. Now – things must have changed – I understand that even the name of NHQ has been changed to IHQ].

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

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

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

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

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

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

(DTBR means “Date to be Recorded” – which meant that I could report to IAT Pune on any date in July from 1st to 31st July)

I wrote down the relevant details of the NA list on a piece of paper (a chit).

Then – I went to the Base Supply Officer (BSO) – a Commander.

I showed him the chit – and I asked him if my appointment letter had come.

The Base Supply Officer called for the NA List folder.

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

(DOP was the acronym for Director of Personnel)

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

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

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

Those days – when he was a Lieutenant Commander – he used to visit our ship quite often – he was fond of drinking – and we had spent many evenings drinking together – and drinking together develops a unique camaraderie.

The DDOP was happy to see me.

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

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

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

The DDOP called his deputy – the ADOP (Assistant Director of Personnel) – a Lieutenant Commander.

The DDOP handed the ADOP the chit with NA List details – and told him to give me a copy of my appointment letter.

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

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

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

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

“Yes, Sir” I said, “it is right on top in the NA list folder in the Base Supply Office.”

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

He seemed to be speaking to the Base Supply Officer.

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

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

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

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

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

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

EPILOGUE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All’s well that ends well.

Wish You a Happy “April Fool” on ALL FOOLS’ DAY

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This Story was written by me 3 years ago and earlier Posted by me Vikram Karve on 01 April 2014 in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at 4/01/2014 11:39:00 AM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/04/humor-in-uniform-how-i-was-made-april.html  and later reposted at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/03/april-fool-humor-in-uniform.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/humor-in-uniform-april-fool-on-all.html

Leisure Management – Contrarian Wisdom : Do You Party on Weekends

February 20, 2016

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Do You Party on Weekends

Humor in Uniform

On this Saturday evening – Let me share some “Wisdom” I applied in the Navy on the ART OF PARTYING

DO YOU PARTY ON WEEKENDS…?

A Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

(This happened long back when we worked for 6 days in a week in the Navy and all government offices)

PARTY TIME

“You think you are too damn smart – but I have found out something about you,” the PMC said.

“What is it, Sir?” I asked – curious – wondering which ‘secret’ of mine the PMC had discovered.

“You avoid having parties on Saturdays,” he said.

“Is it so?” I said, smiling like a Cheshire Cat.

“Ever since you have taken over as Mess Secretary you always schedule parties on working days – on weekday evenings. Every time we want to have a party on Saturday evenings, you get the party re-scheduled on a weekday on some pretext or the other. Now you have crossed all limits – you even want a Saturday afternoon Pre-Lunch Drinks (PLD) preponed to Wednesday afternoon,” he said.

“There is no such word as ‘preponed’, Sir…” I said.

“Shut up. Don’t try to change the topic…” he said.

“Sir – but Wednesday is also a make-and-mend (half-day) routine – and the officer whose farewell party it is – he wanted it on Wednesday – he said it was more convenient…”

“Don’t bullshit me – the officer said that it was you who told him that Wednesday would be convenient…” the PMC said.

Now that the cat was out of the bag – I decided to make a clean breast of it.

“Sir, you are right – I don’t like to have parties on Saturdays,” I said.

“Any particular reason – something religious – do you fast on Saturdays?” he asked.

“No, no, Sir – it is something totally different – nothing religious or spiritual about it, Sir – maybe philosophical – but you won’t believe me if I tell you,” I said.

“I want to know – you have to tell me,” the PMC insisted.

“I work to enjoy my leisure,” I said.

“You work to enjoy your leisure?” he repeated my words, looking puzzled.

“We all do, don’t we? Don’t we all work so that we can enjoy our leisure? We slog 6 days a week – so that we can enjoy that one Sunday we get off. And in the Navy – we have to do duties on some Sundays too, so even some of the few Sunday routines we get are ruined anyway,” I said.

“But what the hell has all this got to do with not having parties on weekends?” he asked.

“I don’t like to have a hangover on a Sunday morning – I prefer to have my hangover on a working day and in working hours,” I said.

“What?” he asked, looking puzzled.

“I drink because I am in the Navy – it is the Navy that taught me how to drink, it is the Navy that motivates me to drink by giving me the choicest top quality duty free and subsidized liquor – and don’t we have an official party culture that encourages drinking?” I said.

“How can you say that?” he asked.

“Sir – I never touched a drop of booze in college. And most probably – I would never have started drinking alcohol had I not joined the Navy. So – since I drink alcohol because I am in the Navy – the effects of drinking alcohol like a hangover must be suffered in working hours. Also – Sir – most navy parties are official parties – so the aftereffects of these ‘official’ parties must be ‘officially’ endured in official working hours…” I explained.

“You are talking all nonsense…” the PMC said.

“Sir – please try to see it logically – the Navy is responsible for my drinking  so the Navy must bear my hangover. Why should I ruin my valuable leisure hours suffering a hangover on the one beautiful Sunday morning I get for myself – in fact – I like to get up early on Sundays – so I can enjoy my well deserved holiday to the fullest…” I said.

From the incredulous look on his face – it appeared that the PMC was not convinced by my logical reasoning.

And to prove that he was the boss – when the next occasion for an official farewell party arose – the PMC decided that the party was to be held on a Saturday evening.

The weekend party was vetoed by the PMC’s wife – who unequivocally told her husband: “Why are you having an official party on Saturday evening? Why don’t you have the farewell party on a weekday evening like you normally do? I am not going to ruin my weekend attending your boring party which goes on and on till the wee hours. Have the party on a weekday evening – and – on Saturday evening – you take me out for shopping and a movie.”

What the PMC did not know was that a few days ago I had a discussion on the same subject with his wife – and she seemed to enthusiastically agree with my views about “No Partying on Weekends”.

EPILOGUE

I tried my best to follow my NO PARTYING ON WEEKENDS dictum throughout my Navy career – so that I could fully enjoy my well-earned Sundays as I pleased.

(A few years later– after the 5-day week was introduced – my “NO PARTY WINDOW” was extended from Friday afternoon to Sunday evening).

Sometimes – this did annoy some seniors – who found me missing from weekend evening cocktails or afternoon Pre-Lunch Drinks (PLD).

In one organisation – despite my best efforts to convince them to have parties on weekdays – they insisted on having all parties on weekends.

I avoided most of these weekend parties.

Once when one of my bosses asked me why I was missing from parties – I gave him one of my classic retorts: “Sir – I do not attend parties because I am an alcoholic.”

What happened after that?

Well – that is another story which I will tell you some other time.

Meanwhile – remember the “Moral of the Storyof this article:

The worst way to spend a beautiful Sunday morning is by sleeping in bed having a splitting headache suffering from a hangover due the excesses of late night weekend partying.

Why ruin your valuable leisure hours…?

Why ruin your Sunday…?

Why ruin your weekends by weekend partying…?

Remember – you work on weekdays to enjoy your leisure during weekends.

If you must party – why not do it on working days (weekdays) evenings – and “enjoy” the hangover in working hours…?

You agree with me – don’t you?

Do remember the essence of partying:

Party on Weekdays – and Enjoy your Weekend.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

  1. This story is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the 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)

Revised and Updated Version of my Story First Posted Online by me Vikram Karve at 7/04/2014 12:20:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/07/humor-in-uniform-weekend-blues.html  and later at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/03/leisure-management-contrarian-wisdom.html

Vegetarian Travels in New Zealand – A Food Diary

February 11, 2016

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve

EATING OUT IN NEW ZEALAND
FOOD DIARY OF A PURE VEGETARIAN 
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

A few days ago – I met some relatives and friends who were planning a vacation to New Zealand (maybe – they were inspired by our recent visit to New Zealand which we enjoyed thoroughly and praised profusely).

While talking about our most wonderful visit to New Zealand – and describing the awesome scenery, breathtaking sights and stunning views, especially in South Island – the subject veered to food – and I began to describe the delicious cuisine I had enjoyed in New Zealand – and – a lady said to me: “You are talking about non-vegetarian dishes – I am vegetarian – in fact – most of us are ‘Pure Vegetarian’…”

“Well – if you are a ‘Pure Vegetarian’ – you are going to have quite a tough time – especially when travelling in the interiors…” I said.

“We will carry some vegetarian stuff from here…” the lady said.

“You can’t carry any foodstuff with you…” I said, “New Zealand has stringent Biosecurity Regulations. In order to protect the natural resources, plants, animals and people of New Zealand from the introduction of pests and diseases – New Zealand has strict rules about bringing food or animals into the country. So – if you are visiting New Zealand – as far as you are concerned – in a nutshell – this means that you cannot take any foodstuffs into New Zealand…”

“Hey – your wife is a ‘Pure Vegetarian’ – how did she manage…?” someone asked me.

“Ah – that is a good question…” I said, “I am sure you have seen pictures I posted on Facebook of the delicious food I enjoyed in New Zealand – but – did you see any pictures of food posted by my wife during her New Zealand trip…?”

“Come on – you stayed in New Zealand for almost 3 weeks – surely your wife would have eaten something…”

“Well – we stayed for quite some time in Auckland – and since our hotel room had a full-fledged kitchen unit – with fridge, microwave, hot-plate and utensils for cooking – our daughter got plenty of vegetarian tinned stuff for us too cook/warm and eat. But – it was during our travels – and – ‘eating out’ – that my wife had limited options – so – on many occasions – feeling sad for my wife – I had to abandon my vow: “When in New Zealand Eat as New Zealanders do” – and – much against my wishes – ‘I had to eat in New Zealand as Indians in India do’…”

It seemed that the ‘pure vegetarian’ lady did not believe me – so – I said to her: “I hope you have better luck – but I have posted a piece on blog on the Foodie Travails of a “Pure Vegetarian” in New Zealand  – and – you can compare this with the New Zealand Foodie Pictures and New Zealand Food Diary  – and – this may give you an idea what you are in for…”

I am tempted to write a detailed blog post in continuation of my earlier article Foodie Travails of a “Pure Vegetarian” in New Zealand 

However – as they say – “A Picture is worth a Thousand Words”

So – let me post pictures of ‘eating out’ dishes my ‘pure vegetarian’ wife ‘relished’ in New Zealand.

I searched the numerous ‘foodie pictures’ I had taken during my New Zealand visit – and – guess what – I found only 12 pictures of the ‘eating out’ dishes my darling ‘pure vegetarian’ wife had ‘relished’ during our entire New Zealand trip of almost 3 weeks.

(Lest you think that my wife ate only 12 dishes during the entire New Zealand visit of almost 3 weeks – let me remind you that – as I told you earlier – in Auckland – my daughter had got plenty of pure vegetarian “tinned stuff” like “Baked Beans/Spinach” etc – bread milk cereals etc – on which my wife managed to survive – and the foodie pictures below pertain to ‘eating out’ vegetarian dishes only)

EATING OUT FOOD DIARY OF A PURE VEGETARIAN IN NEW ZEALAND

A few days before we took off for New Zealand – our travel agent called up to confirm our arrangements.

During the conversation – I casually mentioned that my wife was a ‘pure vegetarian’.

The Travel Agent went into a tizzy – saying “it is good you told me – I will immediately book a ‘Vegetarian Jain Meal’ for her on the flight – and – what about you…?” she asked.

I told her that I was a ‘non-vegetarian’.

3 days later we caught the Korean Air flight from Mumbai to Incheon (Seoul).

My wife exchanged seats with me – since she wanted a ‘window seat’.

A few minutes later – an airhostess looked at our seat numbers – and stuck some ‘labels’ on top – near the headrest.

Soon – the ‘meals’ arrived.

My wife opened the foil – she looked at the contents suspiciously – sniffed – and said: “This smells like Chicken…”

I checked the label on her packet – it said:

“Code: HNML

Meal Name: Hindu Meal

Guidelines: Non Vegetarian Indian meal. Neither beef nor veal is used. Yet it contains other types of meat such as lamb, fish, poultry, and seafood…”

I checked the label on the meal in front of me – it said:

“Code: VJML

Meal Name: Vegetarian Jain Meal

Guidelines: Neither meat, poultry, fish of any kind, product with lard and gelatin, nor dairy products and eggs are used. No root vegetables such as onion, garlic, ginger are used. Meals are spicy Indian vegetarian combinations…”

“We exchanged seats – so our meals have got exchanged…” I said – giving my wife her “Vegetarian Jain Meal” – and taking my “Hindu Meal”.

(Since I was a novice flier – I was quite amused to learn that “Hindu Meal” meant “Indian Style Non Vegetarian Food” – of course – later – I learnt from veteran fliers that it was ‘standard nomenclature’)

So – here is the first meal my wife at a few moments after we took off and on all flights thereafter – a wholesome “Vegetarian Jain Meal”


AUCKLAND

Our first meal in Auckland – while we enjoyed Flame-Grilled Peri-Peri Chicken at Nando’s – “Pure Vegetarian” wife had to make do with Potato Salad

CHRISTCHURCH

We flew down from Auckland to Christchurch by Air New Zealand on Christmas Morning. As we set out for food – we saw that the markets were totally deserted and we saw that all shops and restaurants were closed since it was Christmas Day.

In India – generally – on festival days – markets/restaurants are kept open for the crowds – but here – in New Zealand – it is different – shops, restaurants – everything is closed for Christmas – even the Air Force Museum at Christchurch is closed on Christmas Day.

There was only one restaurant open for lunch – Malaysia Delights – so we had no choice but to enter as we were hungry.

The colourfully illustrated menu had a wide variety of non vegetarian dishes – lamb, beef, pork, poultry, chicken, seafood – but – I could hardly see any vegetarian dishes on the menu.

In this restaurant – there was plenty of choice for non-vegetarians – various kinds of Oriental Cuisine – but – I was concerned about my “pure vegetarian” wife – what could she eat here?

I scanned the menu – and finally I found one vegetarian dish. It was featured under the section: “Roti/Paratha”: Roti/Paratha with Dhal (Vegetarian) – so – we ordered Paratha with Dhal (Dal) for my wife – and non-veg dishes for us two non-vegetarians – my daughter and me.

The Dhal turned out to be a curry comprising a mixture of vegetables with lentils – it had a rich texture and attractive colour and looked quite tasty. However – the dish turned out to be very pungent – and my wife could not eat it and had to make do with a paratha (bread) which was extremely well made.

Yes – that was all my vegetarian had for lunch – a paratha – while we gorged on delicious non-veg dishes.

In the evening – we found two more eateries open – a “Fish and Chips” place – and “Egyptian Kebab House” – where there was a veg item on the menu – so we decided to try out the place.

In India – if you order a plate of Kebab (Kabab) – you get a few pieces of roasted meat along with a chutney and a few slices of onions.

However – as we discovered – here – at Egyptian Kebab House – we got a generous plate comprising Kebab Pita-Bread/Rice + generous helpings of salads and sauces.

In fact – the helpings were so generous that none of us could fully “polish off” the entire Kebab plate – and even a foodie like me stood vanquished by the food.

Believe it or not – I was eating Egyptian Cuisine for the first time in my life – and that too in New Zealand…!!!

Here is a picture of Egyptian Vegetarian Kebab which we ordered for my wife (sadly – she did not like the taste too much)


BED and “BREAKFAST”

While we enjoyed the lavish Breakfast Spreads comprising fruit, cereals, eggs, bacon, sausages, cold cut meats et al – my pure vegetarian “Better Half” had to make do with fruit and cereals with milk.

QUEENSTOWN 

Ever since we had landed in South Island – for more than 3 days – my “Better Half” was on a “starvation diet” – surviving primarily on Fruits, Cornflakes and Milk served in our hotel for breakfast (sadly – she could not enjoy the rest of the huge breakfast spread of eggs and bacon, ham, salami, sausages, cold cuts et al)

On our road trips too – while there were excellent non-veg snacks and food readily available – the only pure-vegetarian food we could get was cheese sandwiches.

(Now – can one eat Cheese Sandwiches 24/7 – day in and day out?)

Since “New Zealand Cuisine” comprising “red meat” (steaks, ribs, burgers et al) was out of the question – one evening – in Queenstown – I tried to convince my wife to have “Chinese” Veg Fried Rice and Veg Noodles.

But – just as we were going to enter the Chinese Restaurant – our darling daughter came up with a “Googly” – saying – that it was possible – that the food here would be cooked in lard (animal fat).

This dialogue delivered with superb timing put my wife off “Chinese Food” for the entire trip.

In desperation – we walked down to the nearest McDonald’s (just imagine – going to McDonald’s in Queenstown when the iconic Fergburger was just a few metres away).

We were astonished to learn that McDonald’s did not have a “Veg Burger” on the Menu.

Luckily – the Manager – who seemed to be of Indian origin – took pity on our predicament – and rustled up a “pure veg” dish comprising a bun with tomatoes and lettuce inside – which my wife hungrily ate – while we devoured our fulfilling meat and fish burgers.

It was 2 days later – on the evening of the 28th of December 2015 – that – things became “critical”.

It was “Sankashti Chaturthi” – and my wife was “fasting” the whole day – and she would break her strict fast at Moonrise – which was at 8:54 PM on that night.

So – though ours is an “arranged marriage” – as a “dutiful” husband – it was incumbent upon me to ensure that my “pure vegetarian” wife had a hearty vegetarian meal.

After doing a bit of “research” on some Foodie and Travel Apps on my SmartPhone – I hit the streets of Queenstown – trying to locate a restaurant serving “Pure Veg” Food.

I marched down Shotover Street – past the long queue of hungry foodies waiting for their Burgers at “Fergburger” – and then – I found the place I was looking for – there were 3 “Indian Cuisine” Restaurants in a row – with identical menus (placed outside on a board – as is the fashion there) – and yes – I was delighted to see an array of “pure vegetarian” dishes – including my wife’s favourite “Navratan Korma”.

Of the 3 restaurants – I chose “Tandoori Palace Indian Cuisine” – because – among the 3 eateries – “Tandoori Palace” was the most crowded place and almost all tables were occupied – and – most importantly – the happy looking ‘patrons’ seemed to be enjoying their food as was evident from the “happy” expressions on their faces.

And so – that night – we ate a “Pure Vegetarian” Indian Cuisine Dinner comprising “Navratan Korma” and “Tandoori Roti”.

Here is a picture of the “Navratan Korma” my Pure Vegetarian “Better Half” relished at “Tandoori Palace” Queenstown New Zealand.


Back to AUCKLAND 

So – after a rather frugal time in the South Island of New Zealand – pure vegetarian Better-Half was eager to make up for lost opportunities in Auckland but it was not to be – since – our first eat out in Auckland was at our Hotel Restaurant with some relatives – and while all of us enjoyed delicious non-veg cuisine like steaks and lamb shanks – pure vegetarian Better-Half had to survive on the only vegetarian dish available – a rather bland and lacklustre Veg Pasta which she did not like too much – see picture below:

FINALLY – 3 GOOD INDIAN MEALS IN AUCKLAND

After days of “starvation” – pure vegetarian “Better-Half” enjoyed 3 good Indian Vegetarian Dishes in Auckland – a Vegetable Korma at Shamiana in Newmarket – Paneer Masala at Ela Cuisine in Elliott Stables – and a Paneer Tikka Masala at Paradise in Sandrigham (Vegetable Korma and Paneer Masala are shown below – the Paneer Tikka Masala was eaten up before I could take a picture)

Of course – for her “fasting” day – “Better-Half” picked up some Rajgira Laddu from a “Indian” grocery shop in Sandringham (aka “Little India” of Auckland)

While we relished the delicious fulfilling non-veg delicacies and top-class craft beers more than once at THE LUMSDEN FREEHOUSE in Newmarket – “Better-Half” loved the Margherita Pizza here.

“Better-Half” had to make do with Veg Fried Rice (confirmed that it was fried in oil and not made in lard) at SPICY HOUSE while we relished a variety of delicious chinese food.


ANTIPASTO at the iconic One Bistro Café located in the historic former Ponsonby fire station – while we enjoyed the cold-cut meats and seafood – “Better-Half” nibbled on the tomatoes and green vegetable and had bites of the breads.

POSTSCRIPT (An Afterthought)

Recently – I met a “globetrotter”.

He told me about all the places he had visited all over the world.

“So where did you visit last…?” I asked him.

“Turkey…” he said.

“Wow – so you must have really enjoyed exquisite ‘Turkish Cuisine’ – I am an avid ‘foodie’ – so please tell me – what all Turkish Foodie Delicacies did you eat..?” I asked him.

“Actually – we did not eat much of Turkish Food…” he said.

“How is that possible…? How can you go to Turkey and not eat Turkish Food…?” I asked.

“Actually we went with a “Yatra Company” – on a guided tour – and – since all of us “tourists” in the group were from India – they took us to Indian Restaurants for meals…” he said.

I was amazed.

My friend must have visited so many exotic places all over the world – but – since he always took “guided tours” – he must have eaten “Indian Cuisine” most of the time – instead of exploring the local cuisine.

Why go abroad – if you are going to eat Indian Food there…?

Apart from seeing the “sights” – isn’t exploring new cuisines an essential aspect of travel…?

There is a saying: “WHEN IN ROME – DO AS THE ROMANS DO”

In my opinion – this dictum applies to Food as well.

When you travel – you must see the “sights” – but – you must experience the culinary delights of the place too.

Yes – an essential aspect of “tourism” is to explore the local cuisine.

So – let me paraphrase the maxim – and give you the foodie version of this saying:

WHEN IN ROME – ‘EAT’ AS ROMANS DO

And – if you are visiting New Zealand – you must follow the dictum:

WHEN IN NEW ZEALAND – ‘EAT’ AS NEW ZEALANDERS DO

But – sadly – if you are a “pure vegetarian” – who intends to visit New Zealand – you may land up following the motto:

WHEN IN NEW ZEALAND – ‘EAT’ AS INDIANS DO

Happy Travels and Happy Eating

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

  1. This story is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
  2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the 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)

  

Humor in Uniform : Why Lieutenant “Z” joined the Navy

October 13, 2015

Source: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/10/humor-in-uniform-question-of-perks.html

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

The “USP” of Military Life

HUMOR IN UNIFORM

A few days ago, a young man asked me: “Is drinking alcohol compulsory in the Defence Services…? Are Young Officers forced to drink liquor…?”

“Not at all – no one is forced to drink alcohol,” I said, “It is your personal choice whether to drink booze or not to drink. But then – if you choose to abstain from drinking alcohol – and you remain a teetotaller – you will miss out on the most exclusive perk given to the armed forces.”

“You are saying that I will miss out on the most exclusive perk if I do not drink…?” he asked, looking confused.

“Yes,” I said, “Let me explain it to you in simple language.”

Then – I gave him a long lecture to elaborate my point…

“…In the colonial days of the British Raj – a number of privileges, benefits and concessions were granted to the military.

After independence – most of these military privileges and benefits continued – but over the years – these exclusive military privileges have been extended to civilians as well.

Take the example of CSD Canteens – which provide concessional goods to military personnel and veterans.

When conceived – the CSD Facility was exclusively meant for military personnel.

Slowly – over the years – this CSD facility has been extended to all Civilian Employees working in various defence ministry offices and departments and public sector undertakings – though these civilian employees have a comfortable secure life without the hardships and regimentation suffered by the soldier.

Now – these civilian employees will enjoy CSD facilities even after retirement.

Civilian Employees are able to obtain maximum benefit because they have unions and associations who fight for their rights and do collective bargaining.

Sadly – soldiers are not allowed to form unions/associations – and hence – they have no one to fight for their rights – so they lose out vis-à-vis their civilian counterparts.

Coming back to CSD Canteens – only one military concession has not yet been extended to civilians – the CSD Liquor Quota.

Officially – civilians are not entitled “CSD Liquor Quota” (de jure)

But – the ground reality is that most civilians enjoy this privilege too – de facto – since many unscrupulous military personnel illegally give away some of their liquor quota to non-entitled civilians – and sometimes – some unethical “faujis” even barter or sell bottles of military rum to civilians.

However – officially – “CSD Liquor Quota” remains the “last bastion” of military privileges…”

After ending my long monologue – I looked at the young man – who was probably aspiring to become a “fauji” officer.

He looked quite confused.

He asked me: “Sir – are you trying to say that some individuals are attracted to join the military because of this perk of cheap liquor…?”

His question reminded me of the episode of Lieutenant “Z” – an unforgettable character I had met during my early days in the Navy.

So – I told him the story of Lieutenant “Z”

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

A QUESTION OF PERKS
The Story of Lieutenant “Z”
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

TÊTE-À-TÊTE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sir – I don’t want to go to Kolkata…” Lieutenant “Z” said firmly.

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

“Sir – please send me to the Andamans…” “Lieutenant “Z” said happily.

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

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

“What…? What do you mean ‘Booze is expensive in Kolkata’…? Is that the reason why you do not want to go there…?” an incredulous Captain asked“Lieutenant “Z”.

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

(This story happened in the 1970’s – when CSD Quota Liquor was cheapest in Maharashtra.

However – since tax concessions are given by State Governments – and local taxes/concessions keep changing from time to time – the situation may be quite different now – and it is possible that ‘Military Booze’ may be more expensive in Maharashtra than in other states.

But even now – the prices of CSD Quota Liquor vary widely from state to state – so ‘Military Booze’ is cheaper in some states – and more expensive in other states)

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

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

“Yes – Sir…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

“And you even prefer to go to the Andamans because booze is cheaper there…?” the Captain asked Lieutenant “Z”.

“Yes – Sir…”

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

“Yes – Sir…”

“What nonsense…? Are you crazy…?” the Captain shouted at Lieutenant “Z”.

“Sir – the main reason I joined the ‘Boozy Navy’ was to enjoy the best of ‘duty-free’ booze – that is the reason why I want to serve on ships for the maximum possible time – but if I have to go ashore – the least I can do is to enjoy my full quota of CSD ‘Military Liquor’ at the cheapest possible rates…” Lieutenant “Z” said, speaking candidly.

“Are you mad…? Are you saying that the only reason why people should join the Defence Services is to drink alcohol…? That means – according to you – teetotallers should not join the Navy – or the Armed Forces…” the Captain said.

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

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

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

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

EPILOGUE

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

The Captain picked up the phone and spoke to the DOP (who was his course-mate).

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

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

Then – the Captain thought about his conversation with Lieutenant “Z”.

Lieutenant “Z” had a point.

Every job had its perks – the Railways gave free Rail Passes to its employees – Airlines gave free Air Tickets – Academicians got sabbaticals – the Corporate Sector too gave a variety of perks and freebies to its Executives – and everyone availed of these perks.

Similarly – the Defence Services too had their perks – and the most unique ‘Military Perk’ was ‘Concessional Liquor’.

So – what was the point in joining the Navy and not availing of this most precious perk?

Why forgo something given to you – and then regret and complain later that you could not make the most of all the perks given to you by the Navy?

The Captain thought of the ‘notional loss’ he had incurred during the 25 long ‘teetotalism’ years of his service in the Navy because he had sacrificed this authorised ‘Military Perk’ by not availing his ‘Liquor Quota’ and by not enjoying ‘duty-free’ Booze on board all the ships on which he had served.

There is a saying: “Better Late than Never”.

The Captain asked his steward to get him some chilled beer.

It was only 11 o’clock in the morning – but that did not matter – he had to make up for all these 25 lost years of teetotalism.

At first – the Captain’s steward was a bit surprised – but – when he saw the Captain gesturing him to hurry up – the steward served the Captain a chilled can of premium imported beer (available dirt cheap at ‘duty-free’ rates on board ship).

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

Cheers !!!

AFTERTHOUGHT

Instead of wasting money on all those fancy unrealistic military recruitment advertisements – why don’t the Defence Services highlight “CSD Quota Concessional Liquor” as the “USP” of Military Life – and – of course –“Duty Free Booze” as a special incentive to join the Navy…

Think about it … !!!

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

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

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Revised version of my article THE BOOZY NAVY written by me Vikram Karve on 25 May 2015 and and posted online in my blog at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 10/12/2015 03:39:00

Humor in Uniform – The Crazy “Anti-Intellectual” Commodore

September 25, 2015

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – MEMORIES OF MY “BABU IN UNIFORM” DAYS

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

HUMOR IN UNIFORM

MEMORIES OF MY “BABU IN UNIFORM” DAYS
Unforgettable Characters I Met in the Navy
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

THE STORY OF THE CRAZY COMMODORE WHO WANTED TO “CONTROL” MY THOUGHTS
(apocryphal story by Vikram Karve)

After slogging for 5 years in the Navy, afloat and ashore, I was “selected” to undergo the 2 year M. Tech. course at IIT Delhi.

On completion of my post graduation (M.Tech.) – I was posted to the military “babudom” in Delhi – what we in the Navy jokingly referred to as the landlocked “Northern Naval Command”.

Though ostensibly it was an R&D billet (in consonance with my recently acquired M.Tech. qualification) – in actual fact – I was a pen-pusher – a “Babu in uniform”.

One afternoon, while I was elbow-bending in the bar of our Navy Wardroom – I met an ex-shipmate of mine, who was a few years senior to me.

We sat down to drink and talk about the good old days on the ship.

He told me that he was recently posted to Delhi and was looking after Training.

I told him about my M. Tech. and that I was posted to R&D.

“Hey, you are an intellectual type – why don’t you do a management course? We will fund you – at least your tuition fees,” he said.

I was clueless.

He told me about the new “Learn while you Earn” scheme to motivate naval officers to learn new things and acquire qualifications in their spare time – in the evenings and on holidays – in off-working hours.

“Come tomorrow to my office,” he said, “I’ll give you the application form and explain the details. Basically, all you have to do is to take admission to a part time evening course and we will reimburse your tuition fees once you qualify. Also, all efforts will be made to keep you in station till you complete the course.”

“That’s great,” I said, “I want to do a course in management.”

“Good. Come to my office tomorrow and I will tell you about all the good management courses in Delhi,” he said.

Next morning, while I sat his office, he gave me a form and said, “I spoke to your appointer in DOP – he said that they were going to keep you here in Delhi for 3 years, so I suggest you apply for a proper evening course – I have tick marked the course in the form – now all you have to do is to get the signature of your boss and give me the form and I’ll give you approval in principle and permission to the give the entrance test. Once you qualify the entrance test and clear the interview and are selected for admission to the course, we will give you the proper sanction letter.”

I duly filled up the form – and placed it before my boss for his signature.

My boss, a Commodore, was not impressed.

He said disinterestedly: “What management course? There is no need for you to do a management course. You better concentrate on your work here.”

“Sir – the classes are in the evening – after working hours,” I said.

“I know all that. These civilian courses are of no use. You are a permanent commission officer and you know that you can’t leave the navy. So you better focus on your career. Let me tell you frankly – in the Navy, qualifications do not matter – how you perform in your job is all that matters. I am not recommending your application. Just go to your office – and get on with your job,” my boss said firmly, handing me back my application form.

“Sir – what’s the harm in learning new things? After all – even the Navy wants us to learn – that is why they must have started this ‘learn while you earn scheme’. Please Sir – I want to do this management course,” I persisted.

“Stop giving me bullshit,” my boss shouted, “I know what’s good for you. I don’t want my officers wasting their time and efforts doing management courses. There is plenty of work here. So just forget about this management course and focus on your job.”

I felt terribly disappointed.

I had never expected my boss to have such a negative anti-intellectual attitude.

In fact – I had thought that he would encourage me to do the management course.

I walked across to my ex-shipmate’s office in Training and told him the story.

“Leave the form here,” he said, “I will speak to my Director and try to do something.”

In the afternoon – I got a call on the intercom.

It was the Admiral’s Staff Officer: “Come fast. The Admiral wants to see you.”

“The Admiral wants to see me?” I asked, surprised.

The moment I reached the Admiral’s Office, the Staff Officer said: “Go right in. He is waiting for you. And – by the way – your boss has just gone inside and he seems to be furious.”

Before I could react, the Staff Officer ushered me in.

The Admiral was reading a file.

My boss was sitting opposite him.

On seeing me – my boss gave me a threatening look.

“Good Morning, Sir,” I said, looking at the Admiral.

The Admiral looked up.

I saluted the Admiral.

He did not ask me to sit down but got straight to the point, “What’s all this crap about this bloody management course?”

Before I could answer my boss, the Commodore, interrupted, “Don’t you worry, Sir – I will see to it that this officer is severely punished.”

“Punished? For what?” the Admiral asked, looking a bit bemused.

“Sir, he has bypassed the chain of command – instead of following the proper channel – he has gone over my head directly to you,” my boss said.

“He hasn’t come directly to me. DNT spoke to me and sent over this form,” the Admiral said, tossing my application form on the table towards my boss.

My boss picked up the form – but he did not say anything.

Looking at the Commodore, the Admiral said: “What’s wrong with you…? Why don’t you want to recommend the bugger for the management course…? It will be better he spends his evenings sitting in a classroom learning something – instead of boozing away in the bloody bar – which he seems to be doing every evening…”

“Sir, I don’t want my officers wasting their time doing these management courses,” my boss said.

“Waste of time? I thought all that management stuff that the bugger learns may help him do his job better. That’s what the DNT thinks anyway,” the Admiral said.

“Sir, his work will be affected. He will refuse to work late – he will refuse to go on temporary duty…” my boss said.

“Will you?” the Admiral looked up and addressed me.

“No, Sir. I will do all my duties sincerely. I have to do all my duties, Sir – it is an evening course, subject to exigencies of service…” I said.

“That’s right,” the Admiral said; then he looked at my boss and asked him, “any problem?”

“Sir, he will keep studying in working hours,” my boss said.

“Will you?” the Admiral asked me.

“No, Sir. I will not bring any books to the office. I will study in my spare time at home,” I said.

“Sir, he will keep going to the library…” my boss interrupted.

“Please, Sir – I will not go to the library in working hours – even if I want to draw a book – I will do so in lunchtime…” I pleaded.

“Sir – I don’t want him to do the management course. His work will be affected…” my boss persisted.

“But how…? How the hell will his work be affected…?” the Admiral asked, a bit incredulous.

“Sir – he will be always thinking ‘management thoughts’…” my boss said.

“What? ‘Management thoughts’…?” the Admiral said, looking quite bewildered.

“Yes Sir – he will be always thinking ‘management thoughts’…” my boss repeated.

The Admiral looked at my boss and asked him: “What the hell do you mean by that?”

“Sir – his brain will be full of thoughts about what he is learning in the management course – and he will always be thinking these ‘management thoughts’ even during working hours,” my boss said.

“May I say something, Sir?” I asked the Admiral.

“Go ahead,” the Admiral said to me.

“Admiral Sir – how can he control my brain…? Can he prevent me from thinking ‘erotic thoughts’ in working hours?” I said, pointing to my boss.

“That’s enough,” the Admiral said, trying to suppress a smile.

My boss was looking at me angrily.

The Admiral looked at my boss.

My boss – the Commodore – remained silent.

So – the Admiral said to the Commodore:

“Tell me – in the office – isn’t it better that the bugger thinksmanagement thoughts rather than think  horny erotic thoughts’…?

My boss promptly signed the form and gave it to me.

My anti-intellectual boss did try his best to create hurdles and make it difficult for me – but I succeeded in completing the management course with flying colours.

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

Disclaimer:
1. This is a spoof, satire, 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)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Abridged and Updated Extract of my article THE CRAZY COMMODORE WITH A PHOBIA FOR “MANAGEMENT THOUGHTS” written by me Vikram Karve on 19 November 2013 and posted online in my various blogs including in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Posted by Vikram Karve at 11/19/2013 12:31:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at

karvediat.blogspot.in

9/25/2015 10:39:00

Humor in Uniform : A Case of Stealing Affections

September 25, 2015

Source: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/09/humor-in-uniform-female-fauji-on-prowl.html

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

HUMOR IN UNIFORM

Let me delve into my Humor in Uniform Archives and pull out a spoof for you to have a hearty laugh.

Dear Reader – first check whether you have a sense of humor – only then read ahead.

Yes – please read this apocryphal story only if you have a sense of humor. This fiction story is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh. Also, this story is for mature adults only, so if you are a kid, or an overly gender sensitive type, please skip this post.

If you are game for some satire, a spoof – read on and have a laugh…

“COUGAR” IN UNIFORM – FEMALE “FAUJI” ON THE PROWL

From my Humor in Uniform Archives:

In the Military – “Stealing the Affection of a Brother Officer’s Wife” is strictly taboo.

The term “stealing affection” is the military euphemism for “adultery”.

Stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife is deemed to be conduct unbecoming of an officer and conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline and is considered an offence.

In most cases – in order to avoid a scandal – if an officer is caught having an affair with a fellow officer’s wife – he is politely asked to put in his papers and quit the service – especially if the affair is between consenting adults – and none of the cuckolded spouses complains.

Now – with the entry of women as officers in the Defence Services – a new possibility has opened up – “Stealing the Affection of a Sister Officer’s Husband”.

If a male officer can steal the affections of a brother officer’s wife – surely there is a possibility that a female officer can steal the affections of a sister officer’s husband – especially in these modern times of gender equality.

Here is a fiction story – a hilarious spoof – about a “cougar” in uniform – a female “fauji” on the prowl – who wants to steal the affections of a sister officer’s husband.

“COUGAR” IN UNIFORM
Fiction Short Story
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:
1. Please read this apocryphal story only if you have a sense of humor. This fiction story is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. This story is for mature adults only, so if you are a kid, or an overly gender sensitive type, please skip this post.
3. 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.

COUGAR IN UNIFORM – A Fictional Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

Once upon a time – there was a “cougar” in uniform.

She was a macho type female “fauji”.

And this female “fauji” (“cougar in uniform”) was always on the prowl searching for prey – yes – she was always on the hunt for cute and handsome young men – in and out of uniform.

One evening – while on an outstation visit – “cougar in uniform” went shopping in the market.

There – in the market – she spotted a good-looking young man.

She was instantly attracted towards him.

Before “cougar” could make her move – she saw that there was a young woman accompanying the handsome young man.

“Cougar in uniform” observed the handsome man and the young woman – and from their body language – the way they were talking to each other – it was obvious that they were husband and wife.

“Cougar in Uniform” returned to her room disappointed.

Next morning – the female “fauji” (“cougar in uniform”) – put on her uniform – and she went to the local Station HQ – ready to hear the sob stories of women officers from all the units in that area – for which she had been sent down from Headquarters.

She was pleasantly surprised to see the first woman officer in uniform – this young lady officer was the same woman accompanying the handsome young man in the market the previous evening.

“Cougar” looked carefully at the young woman officer standing in front of her – she looked a typical “fauji” type : “good from far – but far from good”

“Cougar” wondered how such an ordinary-looking woman had managed to get such a good-looking husband.

“So this is the wife of my quarry, and she has walked right into my lair – now I must carefully spring the trap,” Cougar said to herself in her mind.

Cougar looked at the young lady officer – and she asked her: “Yes – young lady – what’s your problem?”

“Ma’am – I want my posting cancelled. I want to stay here for some more time,” the young lady army officer said.

“Why?”

“I got married two years ago. Almost immediately – my husband was posted to field area – and I had to stay all alone over here. Now – he has managed a posting here – and they are posting me out to a field area.”

“So – your husband is in the army?” Cougar asked the young lady officer.

“Yes Ma’am,” the young lady army officer said.

Cougar was pleased to hear this.

Everything was falling into place.

From experience – Cougar knew that it was easier to proposition a man directly – rather than coerce a woman to convince her husband.

Cougar had done this before – she had stolen the affections of many of her so-called “sister” officers’ husbands.

In most cases it was a one night stand – but in this case – the man was so attractive that Cougar was thinking of a long term affair.

“Suppose we post both of you – you and your husband – to Headquarters for three years – a full 3 year tenure?” Cougar said.

The young lady officer could not believe her ears – 3 years together with her husband in a big city and a comfortable 5 day week 9 to 5 job.

“Is it really possible? I will do anything for it,” the young lady officer said excitedly.

“I will make it possible. But I will need your cooperation,” Cougar said.

“Cooperation – of course, Ma’am – I am willing to do anything,” the young lady army officer said eagerly.

“Cougar in Uniform” looked into the eyes of the young lady officer and said, “You don’t have to do anything – you just send your husband to see me in my room at 7:30 in the evening. I want to talk to him – I want to get to know more about him – so I that can manage things in Headquarters.”

“Of course, Ma’am – we both will come – or why don’t you come for dinner…”

“No,” Cougar interrupted, “You need not come. You send your husband alone – I want to discuss things with him in private.”

The young lady officer was baffled.

Why did this senior lady officer want to meet her husband alone?

And that too in her room?

Could it be…???

“What are you thinking?” Cougar asked the young lady officer.

“Nothing Ma’am…” the young lady officer said.

Cougar said matter-of-factly: “There is no free lunch in this world. It is all “give and take”. You talk to your husband – and you decide what you want. Do you want to enjoy 3 years of blissful married life living together in a big city? Or do you want a hard posting in the field and continue to suffer a long distance marriage for a few more years? The choice is yours.”

After saying these words – Cougar stood up from her chair – indicating that the interview was over.

The young lady officer saluted – and walked towards the door.

As she reached the door – the young lady officer heard Cougar’s voice, “Tell your husband to come to my room at sharp 7:30 – I will be waiting for him.”

At 7:15 in the evening – Cougar was ready for action – bathed, perfumed, titivated.

She poured a drink for herself – rum and coke.

Cougar sipped her drink – lit a cigarette – and waited for her quarry.

At precisely 7:30 – there was a knock on the door.

Cougar opened the door in anticipation.

She was expecting to see the cute and gorgeous young man.

Instead – standing in front of her – there was a ferocious looking brute – a huge hulk of a man.

The man looked ugly, scary, hideous.

Cougar had never seen a man so horrible, so unsightly, so repulsive, so terrible.

“Good evening, Ma’am…” the man started to speak, “may I come in?”

“You get out of here right now…” Cougar shouted – and she banged the door shut – her heart thumping with anxiety and anger.

Next morning – Cougar summoned the young lady officer.

“You think you are too damn smart? I asked you to send your husband to me – and you sent that horrible hideous brute to my room?” Cougar shouted at the young lady officer.

“But Ma’am…”

“Shut up – you will regret this – I will make sure you are posted to such a tough place…”

“Ma’am – please listen – I had sent my husband to your room – I promise…”

“Are you trying to tell me that the horrible looking man who came to my room last evening is your husband?”

“Yes, Ma’am…”

“Then who was that handsome young man with you in the market…?”

“In the market…?”

“Yes – on the day before yesterday – in the evening – you were shopping – and there was a smart good-looking young man with you – who is he?” Cougar asked the young lady army officer.

“Oh – that man with me in the market – he is my sahayak…” the young lady officer answered.

“What? Are you trying to tell me that the handsome young man who was with you in the market was your ‘batman’…? Is that smart man really yoursahayak…?” Cougar asked the young lady officer.

“Yes, Ma’am – that handsome young man is my sahayak – he is my ‘batman’…” the young lady officer said.

“Oh – so that tough looking man you sent to my room yesterday is your husband – and that cute looking man who was with you in the market is yoursahayak?” Cougar said.

“Yes, Ma’am. The man who came to your room is my husband – and the man who was with me in the market my sahayak…” the lady officer said.

“You are lucky – you have a nice sahayak…” said the female “fauji” Cougar in Uniform with a contemplative look on her face – it seemed that she was planning her next move…

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

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This story was written by me more than 2 years ago in 2013 and First Posted online by me Vikram Karve in this blog “Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve” on 19 March 2014 at 3/19/2014 03:36:00 PM at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… and re-posted by me later at urls:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 9/25/2015 02:18:00 PM

Navy Stereotypes : “SEA DOGS” and “SEA DOLLS”

September 23, 2015

Source: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/09/navy-humor-sea-dogs-and-sea-dolls.html

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

Humor in Uniform

Navy Humor
“SEA DOGS” and “SEA DOLLS”
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:

Please read this spoof only if you have a sense of humor.

This article is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.

The terms “dog” and “doll” are used in a metaphorical sense.

Whenever I want to use slang or unconventional English – I refer to The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English

In this Slang Dictionary – one meaning of the word “doll” is “a very attractive person of any sex that you may find attractive”.

So – as per this definition – a “sea doll” is a person who you may find attractive at sea – in short – a good looking naval officer or sailor.

And – of course – you know that the term “sea dog” means an experienced sailor.

This spoof 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.

SEA DOGS and SEA DOLLS – A Spoof by Vikram Karve

When I joined the Navy – 39 years ago – in the 1970’s – I observed that there were two types of Naval Officers:

1. Sea Dogs

2. Sea Dolls

Now – before you jump the gun and accuse me of “gender insensitivity” – please note that the term “Sea Doll” is not being used for Women Naval Officers.

When I joined the Navy – there were no Women Naval Officers – except a few “landlubber quack chicks” in the medical branch.

Even today – in India – Women Naval Officers adorn only “soft” shore billets.

A Woman Naval Officer does not have to undergo the tough strenuous ship life of Male Naval Officer on warships at sea.

So – maybe I will have to conjure up some other epithet (without the prefix “sea”) for these “feminine landlubber ladies” in white uniform.

I have digressed – so let me come back to the topic of “Sea Dogs” and “Sea Dolls”.

As a young Naval Officer – I realized that there are Two Navies within the Navy:

1. The Operational Navy – comprising all aspects pertaining to warfighting at sea – warships, submarines, aircraft, the dockyards and various frontline units supporting the fleet…

2. The Ceremonial Navy – comprising all the “showmanship” activities like parades, fleet reviews, Public Relations (PR) Exercises, “shop windows”, events like navy week and navy ball, public shows, parties, social events et al…

“Sea Dogs” ran the “gristly, gritty and grimy” operational navy.

“Sea Dolls” ran the “spick and span” ceremonial navy.

“Sea Dogs” were rugged masculine looking men.

In contrast – “Sea Dolls” adorned the “fair and handsome” genteel “metrosexual” look.

Most “Sea Dogs” sported rough and tough “Full Set” Beards.

“Sea Dolls” preferred to have an elegant and pretty “clean-shaven” look.

There were some exceptions.

I have seen some clean-shaven non-bearded “Sea Dogs”.

But – I have never seen a bearded “Sea Doll”.

Whether bearded or not – “Sea Dogs” preferred the tough natural look– a seaman’s robust grooming and rugged brawny turn out.

“Sea Dolls” were obsessed with maintaining a suave polished appearance and chic glamorous attractive turn out.

“Sea Dogs” were “tough cookies”.

Most “Sea Dogs” had an abrasive personality – like rough and tough sailors.

In stark contrast – “Sea Dolls” were “smooth operators”.

All “Sea Dolls” had a pleasing personality – like slick charming corporate executives.

In earlier days – it was the “Sea Dogs” who dominated the senior ranks in the Navy – but gradually – the tide seems to have turned in favour of the “Sea Dolls”.

I wonder whether the same applies to the Army and Air Force – and what are the Army and Air Force equivalents of “Sea Dogs” and “Sea Dolls”.

By the way – have you read the classic military novel Catch-22 ?

Yes?

Then – let me give you a metaphorical example.

If “Catch 22” was a Navy Novel – a “Sea Dog” would be someone like the character of General Dreedle (an archetypal no-nonsense blunt plain-speaking military man) – and a “Sea Doll” would be someone like General Peckem (a pompous pretentious sycophantic show-off)

If you have read Catch-22 – you will understand what I mean.

I can go on and on about “Sea Dogs” and “Sea Dolls” till the cows come home – but by now – I am sure you have got the drift.

So – the next time you see a Naval Officer – have some fun and amuse yourself.

Have a good look at the Navy Officer – and try to judge for yourself – is he a tough “Sea Dog” – or a glamorous “Sea Doll”.

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. This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This Spoof was written by me Vikram Karve in June 2014 and Earlier Posted Online by me Vikram Karve in my Blog http://karvediat.blogspot.in/byVikram Karve at 11/22/2014 08:03:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 9/22/2015 02:03:00 AM

Humor in Uniform – My Love Life

September 23, 2015

Source: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/09/my-love-life-dating-romance-marriage.html

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

MY LOVE LIFE
Dating Romance Marriage
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

A GIRL IN EVERY PORT

“I have heard that Naval Officers have a girl in every port – but – so far – we don’t have even one single girl in even one port,” my course-mate said.

“Come on – we were under training. Maybe now – things will look up,” I said.

“Yes,” my course-mate said, “we are lucky to have got Bombay based ships.”

(This story happened more than 37 years ago – in the 1970’s – and those days – Mumbai was called Bombay – but I shall use Mumbai from now on).

“Yes – we are indeed lucky as compared to those poor Vizag guys – they are destined to a desolate life,” I said.

TALENT FOR ROMANCE

“The first thing I am going to do in Mumbai is to get myself a girlfriend,” my friend said.

“Me too,” I said.

My friend succeeded.

I failed.

I just did not have the talent for romance.

Everything had been handed down to me on a platter.

All the conditions to get a girlfriend were ideal.

I was on the best ship.

And in those ‘licence-quota-permit Raj’ days – as far as girls were concerned – Navy Officers were in high demand – since we got exotic foreign stuff duty free (especially perfumes) – and these imported goodies were was not available outside – and we had access to the best of clubs and social circles.

(Now – with the advent of liberalization and globalization – the charm of the Defence Services has gone down – since everything – and more – is freely available to civilians).

Most young Naval Officers had girlfriends – and a few ‘Casanovas’ were having a good time with ‘fleet auxiliaries’.

But – I had drawn a blank.

My course-mate had acquired a girlfriend within a few days of our reaching Mumbai – and he was often seen gallivanting with her all over the place.

In my case – having failed to acquire a girlfriend – instead of wasting my time on trying to romance girls – I focused on food and drink.

DO GIRLFRIENDS MAKE YOU HAPPY…?

Once – after imbibing half a bottle of whisky – followed by a sumptuous Biryani at Olympia on Colaba Causeway – and a delicious ‘Triple Sundae’ ice cream at Yankee Doodle on Marine Drive – I returned to my ship in a happy mood – and soon – I was fast asleep – enjoying sweet ‘foodie dreams’ in my cabin.

Suddenly – I was rudely jolted awake.

It was my course-mate who had come over from his ship which was tied up alongside next to my ship.

“I am very upset – I want to talk to someone – and you are my best friend,” he said.

“Yes – once upon a time I was your ‘best friend’ – now you have got your darling girlfriend…” I said angrily.

“It’s about her – I just saw her off at the airport – she is on a long haul flight plan – she will be away for two weeks…” he said.

His girlfriend was an airhostess who flew on international routes.

“Okay – so you can join me for food and drink till she comes back…” I said.

“No – it’s not that – she wants to marry me …” he said.

“So – get married,” I said.

“It is not so simple – my parents won’t agree – her parents want her to continue he job too – and in her airline – an ‘air-hostess’ has to quit the moment she gets married. It is all very complicated – I have realized that falling in love has complicated my life…” he said sadly.

And then – he went on and on…

He told me his entire ‘sob story’…

My lovesick friend totally disturbed my sleep – by narrating his ‘love woes’ till early morning.

I thought that having a girlfriend made you happier.

But – exactly the opposite had happened to my otherwise cheerful friend.

He appeared to have become miserable after falling in love.

I said to myself: “If having just one girlfriend had done this to him – just imagine the situation of those Casanovas with multiple girlfriends…!”

It seemed that a ‘zero-girlfriend’ guy like me was much happier than my counterparts who had girlfriends.

FOOD = FIXED DEPOSIT

I realized that ‘Food’ was a safe investment like a Fixed Deposit.

Yes – focusing your energies on eating good food was like buying a Fixed Deposit in a Nationalized Bank.

It was a stable situation.

Maybe – the ‘returns’ were lower – but for the time and money you spent on food – you got a guaranteed ‘Return on Investment’ (ROI).

ROMANCE = STOCK MARKET

On the other hand – ‘Romance’ was a risky investment like the stock market.

Acquiring a girlfriend was like trading in a volatile share.

Romance is an emotionally volatile relationship – similar to a financially volatile stock market.

Just like the ‘returns’ from the stock market were unpredictable and could vary from high to low – the ‘Return on Investment’ (ROI) you got from a romantic relationship could swing between ecstasy and agony.

LOVELESS ‘ZERO-ROMANCE’ BACHELOR LIFE

So – being risk-averse – I was content to spend my ‘zero-romance’ loveless bachelor life enjoying good food and drink.

Of course – I did make some efforts to ‘fall in love’.

But – sadly – No girl was willing to fall in love with me.

My few attempts at dating girls ended in disaster.

So – I resigned myself to the fact that ‘love marriage’ was not in my destiny.

And – hence – I settled for an ‘arranged marriage’.

EXTRA MARITAL ROMANCE

As a newly married couple – my wife and I – along with our pet Lhasa Apso girl Sherry – the three of us – we lived in a lovely one room flat in Curzon Road Apartments in New Delhi.

One evening – we were sitting in Nathu’s Sweets – in Bengali Market – one of our favourite places – where we often walked down in the evenings.

There was a group of beautiful girls sitting nearby – and my eyes were focused on them.

Yes – I was ogling at the pretty girls – as most young men do – or want to do.

One girl seemed particularly attractive – and I was staring at her quite blatantly – with frank admiration in my eyes.

My wife followed my gaze.

She was quite amused to see me looking at the pretty girls so intently – especially the yearning look I gave to that most gorgeous girl who seemed to be the object of my total attention.

Suddenly – my gaze shifted.

My wife was curious.

Was there a new ‘object’ which had captured my attention?

She followed my gaze – to see where I was looking.

On observing the new ‘object of my attention’ – my wife started laughing.

A tray of sweets was being brought in from the kitchen – and my eyes had ‘locked on’ to the mouthwatering sweets like a Radar ‘locks on’ to its target.

The tray was heaped with my favourite sweet – the inimitable ‘Lavang Lata’.

Soon – I was fully focused on eating my Lavang Lata – totally oblivious to my surroundings.

And – I seemed to have completely forgotten about those beautiful girls sitting on the table nearby.

In fact – I was so absorbed in savouring the delicious ‘Lavang Lata’ – and I was enjoying myself so totally – that I even forgot about my wife sitting opposite – who was not quite relishing the dish of ‘Lavang Lata’ that I had ordered for her too.

“So – it seems that you found the ‘Lavang Lata’ more enticing than those beautiful girls…” my wife said to me.

“Of course – I love good food – there is no greater love than the love of food…” I said.

And then – while walking back home – I told her about my failed attempts to romance during my Mumbai days.

I explained to her why I preferred food to romance – about my theory –‘Food is like a Fixed Deposit’ versus ‘Romance is like the Stock Market’.

My wife looked at me and said: “Someone had told me that a Naval Officer has a girl in every port – but looking at you – I am convinced that you did not have even a single girl in any port – in fact – you must have had a ‘foodie joint’ in every port…”

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

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

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised version of my story A GIRL IN EVERY PORT posted online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal blog on 13 May 2015 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 9/23/2015 11:42:00 PM

Booze “Bastion” – Humor in Uniform

September 21, 2015

Source: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/09/humor-in-uniform-liquor-quota-last.html

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

Humor in Uniform

LIQUOR QUOTA – THE LAST “BASTION”
Unforgettable Memories of my Wonderful Navy Days
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

MILITARY “PERKS”

In the colonial days of the British Raj – a number of privileges, benefits and concessions were granted to the military.

After independence – most of these military privileges and benefits continued – but over the years – these exclusive military privileges have been extended to civilians as well.

Take the example of CSD Canteens – which provide concessional goods to military personnel and veterans.

When conceived – the CSD Facility was exclusively meant for military personnel.

Slowly – over the years – this CSD facility has been extended to all Civilian Employees working in various defence ministry offices and departments and public sector undertakings – though these civilian employees have a comfortable secure life without the hardships and regimentation suffered by the soldier.

Now – these civilian employees will enjoy CSD facilities even after retirement.

Civilian Employees are able to obtain maximum benefit because they have unions and associations who fight for their rights and do collective bargaining.

Sadly – soldiers are not allowed to form unions/associations – and hence – they have no one to fight for their rights – so they lose out vis-à-vis their civilian counterparts.

Coming back to CSD Canteens – only one military concession has not yet been extended to civilians – the CSD Liquor Quota.

Yes – “CSD Liquor Quota” remains the “last bastion” of military privileges.

However – though civilians are not entitled CSD Liquor Quota (de jure) – the ground reality is that most civilians enjoy this privilege too – de facto

Here is a hilarious “memoir” from my wonderful navy days that illustrates my point…

RUM BUM and BOOT-LICKING : A Spoof by VIKRAM KARVE

RUM

The catchphrase “Rum Bum Lash Navy” is no longer relevant – in fact, this is a thing of the distant past.

“Bum” was outlawed centuries ago.

In due course the “Lash” was also abolished.

Even “Rum” was abolished in the Royal Navy on 31 July 1970 – the memorable last day when Rum Rations were served to sailors – and this day was observed as “Black Tot Day”.

Thankfully – the only saving grace is the Duty Free Liquor you get on Navy Ships – and concessional “Fauji” Liquor you get ashore in CSD canteens.

Of course – unlike in the “Royal Navy” of yesteryear – when sailors were issued rum rations free of cost as a part of their perks – nowadays – you have to pay from your own pocket for your booze – and worse – you get a limited “Quota” of this “Fauji” CSD Liquor – depending on your rank – the higher your rank – the more booze you can drink (an incentive for promotion).

And – for availing of this “Fauji” Liquor Quota – you have to get a CSD Liquor Card.

So – all that remains of the “Rum Bum Lash” Navy is the “Rum” – but nowadays Rum is not free – but you get “Military Rum” at concessional rates.

And though the Navy has outlawed “Bum” – there still remain the “Bum Jobs” plenty of which you have to do in the Navy.

BUM   (“Bum Jobs”)

After slogging for 5 years in the Navy – afloat and ashore – I was “selected” to undergo the 2 year M. Tech. course at IIT Delhi.

On completion of my post graduation (M.Tech.) – I was posted to the military “babudom” in Delhi – what we in the Navy jokingly referred to as the landlocked “Northern Naval Command”.

Though ostensibly it was an R&D billet (in consonance with my recently acquired M.Tech. qualification) – in actual fact – I was a pen-pusher – a “Babu” in Uniform.

I clearly remember the first day I reported to my new job after completing my M. Tech. at IIT Delhi (and my“initiation” – described in an earlier post in this blog) .

I sat in front of the Director (a Commodore).

Along with me sat a Commander who had also reported on the same day.

I was waiting for the usual “motivational mumbo jumbo” – the customary navy sermon on sincerity and hard-work, the “service before self” motto – or, maybe – an “inspiring” moral lecture on devotion to duty, diligence and the “Chetwode Credo”.

Instead – the Commodore asked us: “Have you made your liquor cards?”

“No, Sir,” the Commander said, “I have just come to Delhi last week.”

“You better go to the CSD canteen right now and get your liquor card made fast,” the Commodore told the Commander.

“Aye Aye, Sir,” the Commander said.

Then the Commodore looked at me – and he said to me, “You also do the same thing and get your liquor card made fast. It is very important to have a liquor card, especially here in Delhi.”

I wondered why the Commodore was interested in the fact whether we had liquor cards or not.

Maybe the work here was so tough – that we would require a few drinks in the evening to de-stress and unwind.

Soon – our duties were allocated.

Surprisingly – I had been given an independent assignment – though I was an Assistant Director – whereas the Commander was asked to look after day-to-day office administration – euphemistically called “coordination” – though he was a Deputy Director.

Those days – around 33 years ago – in the early 1980’s – in the “Uniformed Babudom” of the “Northern Naval Command” – the Head of a Directorate was a Captain or Commodore – who was called Director.

Commanders were Deputy Directors (DD) – and Lieutenant Commanders/Lieutenants were Assistant Directors (AD).

Sometimes – there was an additional Captain – and he was called Joint Director.

However – we are a feudal society – obsessed with rank and status.

The uniformed bureaucracy is in constant “competition” with the civilian bureaucracy for “one-upmanship” game – and these designations were suitably “upgraded” after various cadre reviews – and new designations like “Principal Director” were created.

The whole thing is quite confusing – and whether all this has achieved anything or improved working efficiency – I really do not know.

Hey – I have digressed.

Coming back to our story – probably the Commander was rankled by this “unjust” allocation of duties – so he protested, “Sir – I am senior – but I have been given Coordination which should be done by an Assistant Director.”

The Commodore looked at me – and he said to me, “Okay, you look after Coordination in addition to your duties.”

This was going to be quite a heavy burden – my regular duties plus coordination – so I asked the Commodore, “Sir – do you want me to look after coordination in addition to my duties?”

“Yes – you will do both the jobs,” the Commodore said.

The Commander had been hoping to get my job.

But now it appeared that he had been rendered jobless.

So – looking confused – the Commander asked the Commodore: “Sir – what should I do?”

“I have thought of something new for you – Special Projects – you will be DD (Special Projects),” the Commodore said.

The Commander seemed to be happy about his new “prestigious” designation.

It was only after a few days that the Commander realized that “Special Projects” was a euphemism for “Bum Jobs”.

I will not go into the details of these “bum jobs” because you may not believe me – but it will suffice to say that the Commander was reduced to being the full-time lackey of the Commodore.

I marvelled at the fast thinking, quick-wittedness and ingenuity of the Commodore.

In a flash of a moment – he had killed two birds with one stone.

Firstly – he had satisfied the Commander’s “grievance” by giving him a high-sounding designation.

And – secondly – he had also created a glorified batman (“sahayak”) for himself.

(I doubt whether any Army Officer can boast of a “sahayak” of the rank of Lieutenant Colonel).

Once the adroit Commodore observed the keenness of the eager-beaver Commander to please the Commodore – he started using the Commander for all his personal work.

We felt surprised that Commander seemed quite happy at being the Commodore’s flunky.

Once – in our presence – when the Commander’s course-mate asked him that if he did not feel humiliated doing such demeaning work – the Commander replied, “What to do? It is all for a good ACR. I know this Commodore well – if you unquestioningly do whatever he tells you to do – then he gives you an excellent ACR – otherwise he can be quite stingy. I have served with him before and let me tell you one thing – it is only because of him that I am a Commander today. If it were not for the thumping ACRs he gave me – I would never have become a Commander.”

This story happened many years before the AVS 2006 Cadre Review when Commander was made a time-scale promotion – in those days – 33 years ago – in the early 1980’s – Commander was a select rank).

The Commander’s last statement was true.

He should have never become a Commander.

It seemed that “The Peter Principle” had not worked in his case – and he had been promoted well beyond his level of competence.

By the way – his bootlicking ways continued to pay him rich dividends – and he managed to rise to even higher ranks.

BOOTLICKING

One day the “Bootlicker” Commander called me to his office – and asked me, “Why haven’t you given your liquor card to the Commodore?”

I did not reply.

There was no way I was going to surrender my liquor card – military rum was my birthright – and my liquor card was my lifeline to happiness and joy.

Those were my glorious drinking days – my halcyon navy days when drinking and eating were my main epicurean passions.

Yes – those days – I was such a passionate drinker that I would have gladly handed over my identity card rather than my liquor card!

I tried to avoid answering – but the Commander said, “You can give your liquor card to me – now I am handling all affairs of the Commodore.”

“Sir – I cannot give you my liquor card,” I said firmly.

“But the Commodore desires…” the Commander persisted.

“Then let him desire…” I said.

“What do you mean by that?” the Commander said angrily.

“Sir – I am a heavy drinker – and I require my full monthly liquor quota – I cannot spare even a single peg of rum – leave alone a bottle,” I said.

“I will have to report this to the Commodore,” he threatened.

“Sir – please tell me – why does the Commodore want our liquor cards? Is he alcohol-dependent or something? Is the Commodore an alcoholic…?” I asked.

“Alcoholic…? The Commodore is a teetotaller – he does not touch alcohol,” the Commander said.

“Then why does he want my liquor card?” I asked.

“Why don’t you understand? This is Delhi. We have to keep the Babus happy,” the Commander said.

“I don’t understand,” I said.

“Once in a while – we have to give a bottle or two to the Babus – so that they clear our files quickly,” the Commander said.

“But isn’t it their job to clear files quickly?” I asked.

The Commander gave me a long lecture:

“Yes – but the guys at the ministry can always raise queries, delay, stonewall, and hold up files – and – after all – the ACR of our boss depends on how fast he can get proposals cleared by the ministry. That is why he is doing so well – he has got a fantastic reputation that he can get anything sanctioned fast – he can get approvals cleared quickly – whereas his counterparts keep going round in circles. With so many Commodores sweating it out for promotion – it is very stiff competition to become an Admiral – and our boss surely wants to be the first in his batch to become an Admiral. So what is the harm in a bit of mamool– a rum bottle here or there – to lubricate the system – like ‘speed money’ in other offices – here we have ‘speed booze’ – to speed up things. Out here in Delhi – if you keep the Babus happy – then you will do well in your career. We must to be loyal to our Commodore – if he does well – then he will be happy – and he will give everyone good ACRs – and we will all do well too.”

I heard his long sermon – and then I said: “Sir – military quota liquor is not meant for civilians – it is written on each and every bottle that this CSD Military Liquor is strictly meant for consumption of defence personnel only.”

“Shut up! Don’t think you are too damn smart. I know all this,” the Commander said angrily, “If you want to be dogmatic and not cooperate – I will tell the Commodore about your obstinate behaviour – but let me tell you that this rigid attitude will not help you in your navy career.”

Thereafter – no one asked me for my liquor card,

But – from time to time – the Commodore used to comment that drinking was not good for health.

Meanwhile – I felt ashamed whenever I saw the Bootlicker Commander toadying in an obsequious manner before minor civilian Babus – maybe even giving them rum bottles – ostensibly to “get the work done”.

It hurt me to see how unbridled ambition had reduced this senior officer into a disgusting ass-kisser with no self respect.

One day the Bootlicker Commander came to my office – and he asked me: “Have you got your liquor card with you?”

“Sir – I told you…” I began to protest.

“No. I don’t want your liquor card. I want two bottles of whisky – a bottle of rum – and some bottles of beer – I want this booze for myself,” the Commander said.

“For yourself…?” I said, taken aback.

“Yes. I want the liquor for myself. I am having a party at home,” he said.

“Sir – if you want the booze for yourself – why don’t you take it on your own liquor card…?” I asked.

“My liquor card is with the Commodore – and the monthly liquor quota on my liquor card has already been exhausted by the Commodore by distributing bottles here and there. So I was wondering if you could spare a few bottles from your quota…” the Commander pleaded.

I did not know whether I should laugh or cry.

I felt pity for the Commander – it was sad that sycophancy and boot-licking had reduced him to this pitiable state.

“Sure Sir,” I said, “I will go to the CSD Canteen right now – and I will get you whatever booze you want.”

The Commander’s lips smiled at me – but his eyes said it all.

VIKRAM KARVE
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Disclaimer:
1. This story is a spoof, satire, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the 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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This post is an abridged updated extract of my story THE CRAZY COMMODORE – Part 3 : THE BOOTLICKER COMMANDER AND RUM RAJ Earlier Posted in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 25 November 2013 Posted by me https://plus.google.com/11604318…at11/25/2013 12:51:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and later at urls:  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… etc

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 9/21/2015 12:47:00 PM

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