Posts Tagged ‘lady’

Humor in Uniform – Military Wives – “Lady Like Qualities” (LLQ)

August 1, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: The Navy Wife with “Lady Like Qualities” (LLQ).

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

The Navy Wife with “Lady Like Qualities” (LLQ)

It is heartening to see so many “faujans” (Military Wives) in the Blogosphere. 

I am sure there are many talented Bloggers among Defence Wives who write on a variety of subjects. 

I particularly like 3 Blogs which feature interesting posts about the unique life of Army Wives:

1. A Curious Army Wife 

2. Aditi’s Monologue 

3. Half a Cup of Happyness 

I hope to discover more such blogs about “fauji” life as I am sure there are many “faujis” “faujans” and veterans blogging away in the blogosphere.

Browsing through these blogs and reading delightful posts about life of Army Wives evokes memories of some unforgettable Navy Wives I came across in my long Navy Career – so – here is one memoir about The Navy Wife with Lady Like Qualities (LLQ)


THE NAVY WIFE WITH “LADY LIKE QUALITIES” (LLQ)
Hilarious Memories of My Wonderful Navy Life
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Officers of the Defence Services (Army Navy and Air Force) are required to be Gentlemen.

Accordingly  Wives of Defence Service Officers are expected to be Ladies – hence the term “Lady Wife” for Wives of Military Officers.

All Military Officers are required to possess OLQ (OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES)

But do all Wives of all Military Officers display LLQ (LADY LIKE QUALITIES) ?

Let me delve deep into my Humor in Uniform archives and pull out this story for you to enjoy and ponder over:


LLQ – LADY LIKE QUALITIES (A Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE)


Part 1 – THE OFFICER

“Can you carry a small packet and deliver it to my wife?” the officer asked me.

“Sure Sir,” I said.

“Thanks. Just some Ayurvedic Medicines, that’s all. I’ll come on board your ship tomorrow and give it to you,” he said.

“Sure Sir, no hurry, we are leaving day after tomorrow morning,” I said.

The officer was a friend of my ex-shipmate who had been posted to Cochin a few months ago and with whom I was having a drink in the Navy Club at Cochin (now Kochi).

The officer had joined us for a drink – my ex-shipmate had introduced me – and when the officer came to know that my ship was going to Bombay (now Mumbai) he requested to me to carry a packet and deliver it to his wife in Bombay.

Since my ex-shipmate was calling him “Sir” – I too addressed him as “Sir” – and when he came on board the next day – I noticed that though he wore two stripes of a Lieutenant like me, he had the green 9 year long service ribbon.

(Those days it took 3 years to become a Lieutenant – and then one remained a Lieutenant for 8 long years – so there were “junior” Lieutenants like me – and “senior” Lieutenants like him).

Next afternoon just before lunchtime, the officer came to my cabin onboard my ship and gave me the packet.

He also gave me a slip of paper on which was written his home address in NOFRA.

“I am stuck here in Cochin for the next 3 months doing a bloody course,” he complained, sipping his beer.

“Cochin is a lovely place,” I said.

“I know – but my wife is in Bombay – and, as they say, there is no life without wife,” he remarked.

“Sir, we are stopping over for two days at Goa and we plan to reach Bombay by Friday, so I will deliver your packet on Saturday or Sunday,” I said.

“No problem – I have already posted a letter to my wife in the morning about the packet,” he said.

(36 years ago – when this story happened – writing letters was the common mode of communication – because junior officers did not have landline phones at home – so – a “trunk call” was inconvenient – telegrams were for emergencies – and – of course – mobile phones had not yet been invented).


Part 2 – THE OFFICER’S WIFE

On Saturday evening I rang the bell of a flat on the 6th floor of a high-rise building that housed Married Accommodation for Lieutenants.

A beautiful young lady opened the door.

I introduced myself.

“Yes, yes, do come in,” she said in a mellifluous voice, “I got my husband’s letter two days ago – I have been expecting you today.”

“Sorry Ma’am, I could not come in the morning…” I said – and I handed her the packet her husband had sent from Cochin.

“Oh, come on – it was so nice of you to get the packet – do sit down – I will get you something to drink – what will you have?” she said.

“Just a glass of water…” I said – and I sat down on the sofa.

I looked at the lady as she opened the fridge – took out a bottle of water – poured some in a glass – and brought the glass in a tray towards me.

I was impressed by the way she carried herself – she had so much élan, grace and poise.

She excused herself, went into the kitchen and then she came out and asked me: “Come on – have a drink – the bar is over there – and then we will have dinner – you like chicken, don’t you – or are you a vegetarian?”

“Ma’am – please don’t take the trouble…”

“What trouble? There’s no trouble at all – my maid will do the cooking while we talk – in fact it is you who have taken the trouble to deliver the packet and the least I can do is to offer you a meal,” she said.

I felt uncomfortable having a hard drink alone in her company – so I asked for a soft drink – and she had one too.

I think she realized that I was feeling a bit awkward – so she tried to put me at ease.

We talked – we had dinner – and the evening passed in a haze of delight.

As I rode my scooter back to ship I thought about her – she was a perfect navy wife – her social graces, her etiquette, her polish, her refinement, her poise – well, it is difficult for me to describe everything about her in words – so I will just say that she had all the “Lady Like Qualities”.


Part 3 – THE OFFICER and HIS WIFE

A few months later – I ran into her in the US Club Library.

“Good evening, Ma’am,” I wished her.

“Oh, hello – how are you?” she said politely.

Suddenly – her husband came in.

He looked at me – he recognized me – and he smiled and said to me, “Hi – How are you?”

“Hello, Sir – welcome back to Mumbai,” I said.

“Come – why don’t you join us for a drink – let’s go to the bar,” he said.

“Sure Sir,” I said.

I walked down to the bar with the Naval Officer and his wife.

We sat down in the club bar.

Those days – it was the custom that the senior officer signs for the drinks – so the officer signed the bar chit to order drinks.

I noticed that his lady wife was giving me a rather curious look.

I smiled at her.

“Why are you calling my husband “Sir” – you are senior to him – aren’t you?” she asked me.

“No Ma’am – your husband is senior to me,” I said.

“Really? Are you sure? I thought that you are senior to my husband,” she said.

“Of course I am sure – your husband is senior to me,” I said.

“That is surprising. You look so old and mature – that is why – when you came home the other day – I thought that you were senior to my husband,” she said.

I did not know what to say.

I certainly did not look that “old” – as if I were an elderly senior citizen.

But with my copious beard – bulky body size – and rather podgy physique – I certainly looked older than my age.

So – I said, “ Yes, Ma’am – you are right – I do look a bit older than my age – and many persons do think that I am more senior than I actually am – in fact – once a senior Lieutenant mistook me for a Lieutenant Commander – and he was surprised when he saw me in uniform next morning.”

“Oh – all that doesn’t matter,” remarked her husband, the senior Lieutenant.

It may not have mattered to him – but it did matter to his wife.

As far as his wife was concerned – it was obvious that my inter-se seniority with her husband did matter to her.

The moment she realized that I was junior to her husband – her demeanor towards me changed drastically.

Earlier – she had treated me with courteous obsequiousness – on the day I had visited her home when she thought that I was senior to her husband.

But now – the moment she realized that I was junior to her husband – her behaviour changed totally – and she was cold and frosty towards me.

The disdain with which she ignored my presence – her scornful vibes – all this made me feel uncomfortable – and I excused myself from their company after a drink – saying that I had to go somewhere.

On my way back to the ship – I had a big laugh.

It was evident that her “Lady Like Qualities” – her LLQ – was quite selective.

Yes – she certainly had selective LLQ.

In fact – to put it bluntly – this Naval Officer’s Wife was lacking in “Lady Like Qualities(LLQ)

Her Naval Officer husband may have been a “Gentleman” – but she certainly did not display the attributes of a “Lady”.


Epilogue – LADY LIKE QUALITIES (LLQ)

THE NAVY OFFICER’S WIFE 

(Hope this is applicable to Army/Air Force Officer’s Wives as well)

Here is quote from a NWWA (Navy Wives Welfare Association) booklet which encapsulates some prudent advice for a Naval Officer’s Wife:

“You don’t wear his (your husband’s) stripes … there is no such thing as a ‘Senior Wife’. There are Senior Officers. They have wives. There are Junior Officers and some of them have wives. All wives are ladies … You will not fawn over others and not expect others to fawn over you. You will be yourself. And your own manners, breeding and natural charm will shine through leaving you with no need for any borrowed stripes or other borrowed plumage”

I have seen many such elegant navy wives who were perfect ladies – military wives who had excellent LADY LIKE QUALITIES or LLQ

Do tell us if you have seen military wives with perfect LLQ?

And also do tell us some hilarious episodes about “faujans” sans LLQ – stories of military officer’s wives who are not “Ladies”

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, 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)

Revised, Updated and Collated Version of My Humor in Uniform Stories Posted by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at 6/10/2014 12:09:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…and url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… 

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/01/2015 02:14:00 PM

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

April 22, 2015

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

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

THE NEW AGE “FAUJI MEMSAHIB”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Story of 4 “Fauji Memsahibs”

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

1948   Army Bride

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The girl nodded her acceptance.

He mother rang up the boy’s mother.

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

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

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

The girl did not regret her decision.

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

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

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

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

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


20 Years Later…


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

1968   Army Bride

She was a budding lawyer with a lot of promise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


20 Years Later…


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

1988   Army Bride

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

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

She got married to an army officer.

She had two choices:

Option 1

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

Option 2

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

She chose the second option. 

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

She did extremely well in her career.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She regretted marrying an army officer.


20 Years Later…
                                                          

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

2008   Not-to-be Army Bride

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Are you crazy?” she said.

“Crazy? Why?” he asked.

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

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

“Go ahead,” the army officer said.

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

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

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

With these words she walked out his life.

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

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

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)



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

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

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

March 18, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

I look at myself in the mirror.

I do not like what I see.

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

And my eyebrows, my hair – they look unkempt.

Everything about me looks awful.

To put it bluntly – I look horrible.

I desperately need to go the beauty parlour.

I must have a good makeover to make myself presentable.

Today is Sunday.

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

My mobile phone rings.

It is Rohan.

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

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

“It’s 8 o’clock,” Rohan says.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I look at myself in the mirror once more.

I really look ghastly.

But it is okay.

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

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

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

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

I open the door.

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

“You look good,” I say.

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

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

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

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

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

“Should I pour the coffee?” he asks.

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

“Okay,” he says.

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

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

“Lonely…? Where is Lata…?” I ask.

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

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

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

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

“She did not want me to come…”

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

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

“But why…?”

“She feels embarrassed by me…”

“Embarrassed…? What are you saying…?”

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

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

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

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

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

“So – what happened…?”

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

“So you enjoyed the party…?”

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

“Rude…? Argument…? Why…?”

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

“Good…”

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

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

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

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

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

“But why should she do that…?”

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

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

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

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

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

“Out of your league…?”

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

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

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

“I remember…”

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

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

“And you fixed her up with me…?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So – who was it…?”

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

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

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

“You didn’t tell him…?”

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

“So – what happened…?”

“He was furious – and he dumped me…”

“He dumped you – why…?”

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

“And then…?”

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

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

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

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

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

“Seattle…?”

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

“Wow…”

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

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

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

“You are 34…?”

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

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

“Maybe I never felt so lonely before…?”

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

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

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

“Why…? What are you saying…?”

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

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

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

“Her job…?”

“Yes…”

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

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

“Why – what happened…?”

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

“But what about your family life…?”

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

“Why don’t you talk to her…?” I say.

“I did…”

“And…?”

“Lata asked me to quit the Navy…”

“She asked you to quit the Navy…?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You can sign up for 4 years more…”

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

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

“Do you have someone in mind…?”

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

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

I looked at Rohan.

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

I marveled at the metamorphosis in Lata.

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

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

Lata is my friend.

I do not want to steal her husband.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Port Blair…” I say.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


First Posted by Vikram Karve at 

blogspot.in

3/09/2015 06:14:00 PM

ARMY OFFICER or BEAUTY QUEEN – IS IT PROPER FOR WOMEN ARMY OFFICERS TO TAKE PART IN BEAUTY PAGEANTS

April 11, 2013

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: SHOULD ARMY OFFICERS TAKE PART IN BEAUTY CONTESTS.

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

The article is also posted below for you to read and for your convenience:

 

IS IS PROPER FOR LADY ARMY OFFICERS TO PARTICIPATE IN BEAUTY CONTESTS

Link to my Original Article in my Journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/04/should-army-officers-take-part-in.html

SHOULD ARMY OFFICERS TAKE PART IN BEAUTY CONTESTS
Musings of a Veteran
By
VIKRAM KARVE
Is it proper for an Army Officer to be crowned a Beauty Queen?
Should Army Officers take part in Beauty Pageants?
These are the thoughts perambulating in my brain ever since I saw a poster inviting Lady Army Officers to take part in the May Queen Beauty Contest being held at the local institute.
Let me tell you that I am not against beauty contests. In fact, when I was in the navy, I used to eagerly look forward to the Navy Queen Contest held annually during the Navy Ball. This beauty pageant was a most prestigious event, next only the Miss IndiaContest, and was a launching pad for aspirants who wanted to enter the dazzling world of glamour, fashion and showbiz. This celebrated Beauty Pageant was open to all but I do not recall a Naval Officer participating in the Navy Queen Contest.
You may argue that whatever an officer does in off-duty hours is her personal affair and it is none of the army’s business to interfere in an officer’s personal life.
This may be true in civilian life but it is not so in the army.
In civilian workplaces there may be no personal relationship between a boss and his subordinates outside the office.
In the army, an officer is on duty at all times 24/7.
The army is not a mere “9 to 6 five-day-week” job like in the civilian world.
The army is not a job. The army is a way of life.
In the army the unique command relationship between officers and soldiers is omnipresent and omniscient.
In an army unit, an officer is being observed round-the-clock by the men under her command. (It is the same in the navy, on a ship).
The officer must be “seen” to be proper at all times since any indiscretions will be immediately noticed by the troops.
In such a situation, an army officer does not have a personal life.
The army has traditionally been a male bastion. Even today, after the induction of women officers, all the soldiers are men. The fact that the majority of soldiers are drawn from predominantly rural stock creates a unique situation for the female officer.
That is why an officer has to be very careful of her conduct and decorum at all times lest she send a wrong message which can be misinterpreted by her troops resulting in loss of respect and degradation of moral authority.
Owing to the conservative culture in the army, especially the orthodox mindset the soldiers, extreme care needs to be exercised by a lady army officer in order to ensure that her body language is not open to misinterpretation. Deliberate, or even unintentional, flaunting of your physical assets which can be perceived as trying to attract the attention of the opposite gender may lead to undesirable consequences.
In the army, perceptions do matter, and it is very important for a female officer to maintain a proper “soldierly” image in front of her troops.
Soldiers must not visualize their women officers as “eye candy”.
Probably, this is the reason why women officers are advised to de-glamorize themselves, especially in the presence of their troops.
When women were inducted in the navy in the 1990’s, I recall that some guidelines were issued to newly joined female officers that in case they wished to use cosmetics they must avoid looking “flashy” and their facial make-up must be worn conservatively and without being conspicuous.  Titivation like the use of false eyelashes, heavy eyeliner, brightly coloured eye shadow, coloured nail polish and excessive facial make-up was to be avoided and, if at all they wanted to use lipstick, then only transparent lipstick was to be used.
In matters of dress also, sobriety was advised. Lady officers were advised to take care that their dress was not provocative. Specifically, dresses revealing the navel and cleavage were not to be worn. Flimsy transparent clothes were not to be worn, especially in social functions. Extreme care was to be exercised by lady officers to ensure that their body language is not open to misinterpretation. Deliberately flaunting your physical beauty and dressing in a way designed to attract undue attention of the opposite gender was to be avoided.

A beauty pageant, or beauty contest, is a competition that mainly focuses on the physical beauty of its contestants.
Winners of beauty contests are often called beauty queens.
A Beauty Contest is a “pageant” – a spectacle, a show, a beauty parade.
Army Officers are trained to display their soldierly deportment in military parades as a part of their profession.
Then, is it right for Army Officers to flaunt their glamour and make a spectacle of themselves in “beauty parades”?
Is it proper for Female Officers to parade on the stage flaunting their bodies in skimpy clothes showing off their enticing sensuality and physical assets in a beauty contest in front of an audience which may include the soldiers under their command?
Tell me, if you are an officer, which of the two things below will enhance your reputation and stature amongst your troops:
1. Impressing your troops by displaying military bearing on the parade ground
or
2. Titillating the men under your command by titivating and flaunting your ravishing sex appeal on the stage
As mentioned earlier, soldiers are mainly recruited from the rural areas where traditional old-fashioned social mores may still be patriarchal and feudal in nature.
Owing to their background, soldiers are likely to have a conservative and orthodox mindset.
These simple soldiers may get flummoxed by the culture shock of seeing their “madam sahib” as a tantalizing beauty sashaying on the stage making an exhibition of her attractiveness in front of everyone like a glamorous showgirl.
An army unit is an intimate closed society, like a ship.
That is why you cannot hide anything and nothing remains secret in an army unit (or ship).
In the army, officers are in close contact with their troops.
Soldiers are present everywhere.
Even in non-working hours, soldiers are omnipresent everywhere performing various sundry duties in officers messes and institutes and employed as batmen (sahayaks) in an officer’s personal living quarters.
Thus, a number of soldiers are bound to be present during the beauty pageant and they will be most eagerly watching the fascinating spectacle of gorgeous women parading on the stage.
The “hot” news that their “glamorous” officer paraded herself in a beauty pageant will immediately buzz throughout the unit (with salt, pepper and spices added) and electrify the grapevine.
This may have undesirable consequences, especially for the discipline of the unit, as the next morning the troops may greet the officer with unseen sniggers, derisive sneers and snide jeers behind her back.
The soldiers will start looking at the “beauty queen” officer as an object and the officer will surely lose respect in the eyes of her troops.
An officer must not let herself be degraded to the status of an object.
An officer must always maintain high moral ground as perceived by her troops.
Moral ascendancy begets willing obedience and is the key ingredient in the recipe for effective command of men.
Once you lose moral authority you cannot exercise genuine command over your troops.
That is why at all times you must conduct yourself in a befitting manner and engage in appropriate activities so that you inspire confidence in your troops of your capabilities and leadership abilities.
In India there is no compulsory conscription and you join the army out of your own free choice.
But you must remember that the army is not like any other job – the army is a unique way of life which entails certain restrictions and demands its own high standard of conduct and stringent obligations.
In the civilian world, for example, if you say “woman entrepreneur” the emphasis is on “woman”.
But in the army if you say “woman officer” the emphasis is on “officer”.
In the army the gender of the individual does not make a difference.
If you are an aspirant for a career in the dazzling and glamorous world of showbiz and fashion, then a beauty pageant is certainly a good stepping stone to catapult you into a career as a fashion model, movie star or media celebrity.
In contrast, if you are a young woman who wants to join the army, you must realize that the army is a profession of arms. The army officer has a war-fighting job which entails leading soldiers in combat. Yes, the army is a profession of arms and not a profession in the glamour world. That is why once you join the army you must be prepared for restrictions, regimentation and compliance with a strict code of conduct and officer-like behaviour.
If you are woman army officer who is thinking of participating in a beauty pageant you must introspect as to whether winning a beauty contest will enhance your image as an army officer in the minds of the soldiers under your command.
Ask yourself: Does taking part in beauty pageants enhance your “Officer like Qualities” or OLQ in the eyes your troops?
There used to be a maxim: “an officer and a gentleman”.
Now, with the advent of women officers the equivalent axiom is: “an officer and a lady”.
If you are a woman army officer thinking of taking part in a beauty pageant, you must ask yourself:
What would you like to be:
“an officer and a lady”
or
“an officer and a beauty queen”?
The army is a war-fighting organisation.
An officer has to lead her troops in combat.
Will soldiers like to be led into battle by a gorgeous “glamour doll”?
Or will they like their commander to be a tough no-nonsense professional woman officer?
You tell me.
Dear Reader:
Do you agree?
You don’t?
Do comment and tell us why.


VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 
NB:
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 2013. All Rights Reserved


Did you like reading this blog post?
I am sure you will like all the 27 stories in my book  COCKTAIL an anthology of Short Fiction.
To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:

http://www.flipkart.com/cocktail-vikram-karve-short-stories-book-8191091844?affid=nme
http://www.indiaplaza.in/cocktail-vikram-karve/books/9788191091847.htm
http://www.apkpublishers.com/books/short-stories/cocktail-by-vikram-karve.html

COCKTAIL ebook
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:
AMAZON

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005MGERZ6
SMASHWORDS
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87925

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

About Vikram Karve

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

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

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

 

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

January 21, 2013

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

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

Also posted below for your convenience:

HOW TO ENJOY RETIREMENT 

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

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


WHY ARE YOU DOING NOTHING AFTER RETIREMENT

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

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

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

About Vikram Karve

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

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

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

 

 

HE-WOMAN – THE DILEMMA OF A LADY ARMY OFFICER

December 5, 2012

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: HE-WOMAN.

Click the link above to read the original story in my creative writing journal.

The story is also posted below for your convenience.

HE-WOMAN
Short Fiction Story – A Yarn
By
VIKRAM KARVE
Disclaimer: This is a work of fiction. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. This yarn is a spoof, a figment of imagination. Please read this short story only if you have a sense of humour. So first convince yourself that you have a sense of humour and only then read the yarn, take it with a pinch of salt, and have a laugh.
“Good evening.”
“Good evening, Sir.”
“May I join you?”
“Of course, Sir.”
“There is a party going on outside and you are sitting here all alone in the bar, drinking rum and drowning your sorrows. Come on outside and enjoy the party.”
“Please, Sir. It you could please excuse me. I am feeling a bit low.”
“I know. He told me. That is why I have come to talk to you.”
“He told you, Sir?”
“Yes. He told me that you proposed to him, asked him to marry you, and he turned you down. So you are feeling really bad, are you?”
“I loved him, Sir. I thought he loved me too. His rejection has shattered me, Sir.”
“He is feeling bad too. In fact he is feeling so guilt-ridden and embarrassed that he has requested for an immediate transfer from here, even if he is posted to a field area. He told me your proposal for marriage came as a complete surprise.”
“Surprise? We’ve been such good friends and we got along so well. I thought he would love to marry me and was feeling shy to propose to me. So I asked him to marry me and thought he would be delighted and say yes. I was totally shocked when he refused. I just don’t know why he doesn’t want to marry me.”
“Tell me, how many men want to marry manly women? How many men want a wife who gives their machismo a competition? I think you intimidate him by your demeanour.”  
“I don’t understand, Sir.”
“He told me he likes you as a friend, as a buddy, but he cannot visualize you as a wife.”
“He can’t visualize me as a wife? Why, Sir?”
“In your endeavour to be “one of the boys”, you have actually started exhibiting male traits – you walk like a man, you talk like a man, you laugh like a man, you dress like a man, you even drink like a man – your bearing, your actions, your demeanour, I have noticed that you do almost everything like a man – in your desperate ambition to prove yourself in the army you try to outdo the men themselves.”
“But what can I do, Sir? I am the only lady officer in this unit and I am surrounded by male officers. And the soldiers are all men. I am a woman in a man’s profession. I must project a tough image.”
“Tough image? So that is why you are putting on an act and trying to pose as a “macho” man? You know, sometimes image can become reality. This can be dangerous. Remember one thing. When a woman tries to masquerade as a man, sometimes she may land up being a he-woman.”
“He-woman?”
“Yes. That’s what they have nicknamed you. He-woman!”
“That’s terrible, Sir. They shouldn’t make fun of me like that.”
“Tell me, were you shopping at the Mall near Main Street on Sunday evening? There was a gang of girls with you, isn’t it?”
“Yes, Sir. I had gone out with my college friends.”
“You all had plenty of ice cream at the food court.”
“Yes, Sir. How do you know?”
“I was there.”
“But I didn’t see you, Sir.”
“But I did notice you. You were looking so pretty in that bright red dress. You are so fair, so good-looking, that any bright colour suits you so well. I must say that I never imagined you can look so beautiful.”
“Thank you, Sir.”
“Then why do you deglamourize yourself when you are in the unit?”
“Sir, I can’t deck up in uniform.”
“No one is asking you to deck up in uniform. And I know you have to dress a bit soberly out here in the evenings too. I am just asking you bring out the girl hiding inside you. Just be yourself. There is no need to put on a macho act and try to look harsh. That’s why you are becoming a he-woman. Nature has made you a woman. Why are you trying to be a man? Why don’t you be your natural self? Why don’t you be a woman? I hope you understand what I am trying to convey.”  
“Yes, Sir.”
“Well, it is for you to resolve your role ambiguity. You have to decide for yourself. Remember, a he-man is attracted to she-woman. But if you are still adamant on being a he-woman then you better start looking for a she-man.”
“Yes, Sir.”
“What yes sir? Come, let’s go out and join the party.”
“You go ahead, Sir. I’ll go to my room, freshen up and get myself organized for the party.”
“Organized?”

“I’ll put on something good, Sir, and I think I need to doll up and prettify a bit. I want to look beautiful and desirable, like a she-woman.”
“That’s good. But remember one thing.”
“What, Sir?”
“You are my adjutant. Tomorrow morning, in office, I want my he-woman back in action!”
 
 
VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 


Did you like reading this story?
I am sure you will like all the 27 stories in my book  COCKTAIL an anthology of Short Fiction.
To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:

http://www.flipkart.com/cocktail-vikram-karve-short-stories-book-8191091844?affid=nme
http://www.indiaplaza.in/cocktail-vikram-karve/books/9788191091847.htm
http://www.apkpublishers.com/books/short-stories/cocktail-by-vikram-karve.html

COCKTAIL ebook
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:
AMAZON

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005MGERZ6
SMASHWORDS
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87925
 
Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll
If your are a Foodie you will like my book of Food Adventures APPETITE FOR A STROLL. Do order a copy from FLIPKART:
http://www.flipkart.com/appetite-stroll-vikram-karve/8190690094-gw23f9mr2o

About Vikram Karve

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

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

      

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 
 

ARE YOU A GENTLEMAN

November 23, 2012

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: GENTLEMAN OFFICER.

Click the link above to read the original post in my journal

Also posted below for your convenience

AN OFFICER AND A GENTLEMAN

YOU MAY BE AN OFFICER BUT ARE YOU A GENTLEMAN ?
Image Management and OLQ can Make You an Officer, not a Gentleman


GENTLEMAN OFFICER

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/11/gentleman-officer.html


WHO IS A GENTLEMAN – DEFINITION and MEANING

JOTTINGS FROM MY “ANCIENT” DIARIES
Part 1
OFFICER AND GENTLEMAN
By
VIKRAM KARVE
During our annual Pre-Diwali “cleanship”, while tidying my bookcase and bookshelves and cleaning my books, I browsed through my old diaries which I have preserved with great care.
During my student days, and even later, during my working days, I always carried around a diary and jotted down anything I found interesting – anything I read or heard or saw that appealed to me.
From time to time I will share with you in my blog some jottings from my “ancient” diaries.
DEFINITION OF A GENTLEMAN
Today I will talk about the definition of the word “gentleman” which I jotted down while attending a lecture during a leadership workshop in the year 1992.
But before we get to the definition, let us ponder a bit on the meaning of the word “gentleman”.
(Though written for the masculine gender GENTLEMAN this applies to the feminine gender LADY as well)
WHO IS A GENTLEMAN ?
If you look at the concept of “gentleman” in an holistic manner, a gentleman comprises two aspects:
1. Form
2. Substance
FORM ATTRIBUTES
Form refers to the external “image management” or “personality development” aspects – visible behaviour and outward appearance – traits like poise, grooming, manners, etiquette, dress, accent, diction, speech, smartness, courteousness, elegance, style, refinement, sophistication and polished behaviour.
In the Navy, or in the Army, Air Force, Military and Civil Services, an Officer is trained in these aspects which are called OLQ or “Officer Like Qualities” when he joins service at various training academies.
In the civvy street there are Finishing Schools, Image Management Trainers and Personality Development Coaches who help inculcate in people the “form” attributes of a gentleman.
But form alone does not make a gentleman.
A true gentleman must have both form and substance.
Form is important but it is the substance which establishes the true worth of a man.
A man possessing only form but no substance is a phoney gentleman and we see many such fake charlatans masquerading as gentlemen.
We saw what is meant by “form”.
Now let us see what is meant by “substance”.
SUBSTANCE ATTRIBUTES
Form consists of external visible attributes.
Substance comprises invisible internal virtues.
Here is a definition which defines the substance of a gentleman:
An honest man, a man with a sense of duties and obligations of his position, whatever it may be, a man who tells the truth, a man who gives others their due, a man considerate to the weak, a man who has principles and stands by them, a man who is not elated by good fortune and not too depressed by bad luck, a man who is loyal, a man who can be trusted
The real virtues of a gentleman are inherent in the above definition.
Whether civilian or military, an Officer is considered a Gentleman.
But, tell me, in the context of the definition above, how many officers truly possess all the attributes enunciated in the definition above?
Image Management, Personality Development and Social Standing can give you “form” but it is your “substance” which will make you a complete and genuine gentleman.
If you look around you in urban society, you will find so many persons who look like gentlemen (as they exhibit the requisite “form”). But when you look more closely, even at high ranking officers and those way up on the social pecking order, you will discover who are the genuine men of “substance” and who are masquerading as gentlemen.
You may be an officer, but are you a gentleman?
VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

Did you like reading this blog post?
I am sure you will like all the 27 stories in my recently published book of short stories COCKTAIL
To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:

http://www.flipkart.com/cocktail-vikram-karve-short-stories-book-8191091844?affid=nme
http://www.indiaplaza.in/cocktail-vikram-karve/books/9788191091847.htm
http://www.apkpublishers.com/books/short-stories/cocktail-by-vikram-karve.html

COCKTAIL ebook
If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:
AMAZON

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B005MGERZ6
SMASHWORDS
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/87925

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

About Vikram Karve

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

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

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

WOMEN IN THE NAVY – Is Navy A Good Career Option For Women – THE MARRIAGE DILEMMA

November 8, 2012

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: WOMEN IN THE NAVY – A Naval Yarn – DELIGHTFUL MEMORIES OF MY HALCYON NAVY DAYS – Part 5.

Click the link above to read the original story

Also Posted below for your convenience

WOMEN IN THE NAVY
Is Navy A Good Career Option For Women?
THE MARRIAGE DILEMMA
A Naval Yarn
DELIGHTFUL MEMORIES OF MY HALCYON NAVY DAYS – Part 5
By
VIKRAM KARVE

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/11/women-in-navy-naval-yarn-delightful.html


DELIGHTFUL MEMORIES OF MY HALCYON NAVY DAYS – Part 5
WOMEN IN THE NAVY
Short Fiction – An Apocryphal Story
A Naval Yarn
By
VIKRAM KARVE
Disclaimer: Please read this apocryphal story only if you have a sense of humour. This is a yarn, pure fiction, a fantasy, a figment of imagination.
Did you know that there are Naval Officers who never go to Sea?
“A Naval Officer who doesn’t go to Sea” – sounds strange, isn’t it?
How can you be in the Navy, don spotless white naval uniform, and yet you never have to sail on Ships?
It is possible. Believe it or not. You can be in the Navy and yet you don’t have to go to sea. It can happen. Yes, it can happen only in India.
Around 20 years ago, sometime in the early 1990’s perhaps, they decided to induct women into the navy (which till then was an all-male preserve).
This could have been a progressive step had they treated women on par with men and inducted women into seagoing branches and applied the same standards and performance criteria to women, as is done in some foreign navies.
Unfortunately, in India, induction of women in the navy seemed to be mere tokenism and the implementation was quite cosmetic in nature.
Maybe at that point of time this “historic” step was taken just to earn a few “gender equality” brownie points
Women were allowed to join only as landlubbers in the Education Branch of the Navy.
Though women naval officers wore the same white uniform they were restricted to shore duties and never had to go to sea.
Today, we are at the end of the year 2012, and more than 20 years have passed since women first joined the navy and I feel that it is high time that lady naval officers are given seagoing duties.
Women have broken the glass ceiling in almost all careers, but sadly, as far as the navy is concerned, we remain stuck in an outdated archaic prehistoric cultural time-warp and we still don’t allow women naval officers to have a full-fledged seagoing career which requires them to sail on ships, shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts.
On the other hand, women naval officers must be prepared to face the same tough life and hardships as their male counterparts face at sea and women must not ask for concessions, special considerations and relaxation of standards, especially since the navy is a fighting force.
To put it in a nutshell, women naval officers must not expect the navy to mollycoddle them. They must not ask for preferential treatment just because they belong to the “fairer sex”. Women must be prepared to be treated on par with their male counterparts, in all aspects of service life.
In the latter half of my naval career, I did have a few women officers as my colleagues and most of them were highly qualified, dedicated and proficient in their work and it was a delight to work with them. Most of us treated women officers as equals and it made no difference whether it was a male or female officer – both delivered the goods equally well.
But unfortunately, in some cases, the archaic mindset had not changed, and there still existed a patronizing attitude towards women, and in some cases, a few women naval officers took undue advantage of this favouritism.
Take the case of marriage. One is free to marry whoever one wants. But even in this personal matter there was a rather amusing patronizing attitude.
Though not explicitly stated in black and white, there was a tacit encouragement for women naval officers to marry within the service – yes, if you were a lady naval officer, getting married to a male naval officer had great advantages; and conversely, if you got married to a civilian, you were at a comparative disadvantage.
To illustrate this, let us take the case of “A” – a brilliant young lady naval officer.
“A” had a degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from a premier engineering college. She had passed out at the top of her class in first class with distinction and was offered excellent jobs with good career prospects in the best of IT Software and Engineering Companies during campus placement.
It was puzzling as to why she decided to join the navy despite the fact that she was aware that she would have limited career prospects in the navy, unlike in the civilian world where her career opportunities and scope for advancement were much brighter.
Firstly, despite being technically qualified, she would have to join the education branch (since technical branches are seagoing branches and women naval officers do not go to sea).
Secondly, she was being offered a short service commission of 5 years (as was the norm for women officers those days).
Being in the education branch she would spend most of her time on instructional duties teaching basic science and mathematics to trainee sailors and this surely would not add value to her technical experience and, once she left the navy after 5 years to search for a job, she would be at a professional disadvantage as compared to her “techie” counterparts who were gaining valuable relevant experience doing technical jobs in the industry.
We found “A” to be an outstanding officer and whatever her duties, she performed them cheerfully with efficiency, diligence, sincerity and competence.
Just a few days earlier, the moment she was 25 years of age (the navy marriageable age) “A” married her college sweetheart who worked in a leading software firm in Mumbai. Luckily, after serving at different places, “A” had been posted to Mumbai 6 months earlier and looked forward to spending the next two years with her husband in Mumbai by which time her short service tenure in the navy would come to an end.
“A” was a lively person, full of life and always in good cheer, maybe because of the first flush of marriage. She was a delightful person who enlivened the atmosphere of the workplace.
One day we were quite surprised to find “A” in a sour mood.
We asked her what was the matter.
“I am going to be transferred out of Mumbai,” she complained bitterly.
“That’s not possible,” we said, “You’ve just spend 6 months here and the normal tenure is 3 years.”
“I know, Sir,” she said, “but they want to move me out to accommodate my batchmate who has married a naval officer who is under transfer to Mumbai. They want to move her to Mumbai along with him so they can be together. So we have to exchange places – she comes here in my place and I have to go out of Mumbai to her place. I told them that I too am recently married but they said that my husband was a civilian working in a private company. They are favouring her because she married a naval officer and discriminating against me because I married a civilian.”
“Are you saying that you feel that they are victimizing you just because you did not marry a naval officer?” we asked her.
“Yes,” she said indignantly.
“Don’t worry,” we said, “we’ll do something.”
I rang up a friend in the education branch and told him to find out the true facts.
He rang back a few hours later saying that, indeed yes, there was an unwritten policy that a “naval couple” was to be accommodated in the same station as far as possible.
“This amounts to victimization?” I said.
“Victimization?” he sounded surprised.
“Yes. It is all relative. If you favour someone, then you end up victimizing someone else. While trying to favour one lady naval officer for marrying within the service, you cannot victimize another just because she did not marry a naval officer,” I said.
I also told him that we were going to take up this matter.
“Okay, okay, I’ll do something,” he said.
Her batchmate who married a naval officer was “accommodated” in some other billet in Mumbai and “A” remained with us in Mumbai till the end of her tenure and “A” was able to spend the first few years of her married life with her “civilian” husband.
Later, after retirement, I met many young girls who had joined the defence services and I realized that marriage was indeed a dilemma for a girl serving in the army, navy or air force.


As far a marriage was concerned, a girl joining the defence forces had three options:
1. If she married someone from within the service it was fine – the “service couple” would be looked after and, as per the unwritten policy, all efforts would be made to keep them together.
2. If she married a civilian she would have to be prepared for a long distance marriage.
3. And if she did not marry while in service, by the time she completed her short service tenure of 7 or 10 years, she would be well past what is considered to be the “marriageable age” in India and it would be difficult for her to find a suitable groom.
If you are a young bright woman who is thinking of joining the army, navy or air force it is very noble thing to do but you must fully aware of the pros and cons of service life (especially those aspects which affect your personal life like marriage) so that you will be happy and enjoy your tenure in the defence forces.
Considering this marriage predicament, that’s why, probably, most girls who join the defence forces prefer to marry within the service and, maybe, there is some merit in encouraging this trend by giving some tacit incentives, though there may be some concomitant disadvantages as well.
I have observed contrasting views regarding romance at work and marriage within the organisation. Someone told me that there were old-fashioned “boxwallah” companies which prohibited marriage between two employees (one of them had to resign). On the other hand there are some “modern” firms which encourage marriages between employees and even facilitate in-house romances by giving incentives like dating allowance. 
 
Dear Reader: What is your view?
VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
Did you like this story?

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

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

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

About Vikram Karve

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

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

IT IS NO LONGER THE RUM BUM LASH NAVY – STEALING AFFECTIONS – A Naval Yarn

October 11, 2012

Click the link below to read the original post in my creative writing journal blog

Also posted below for your convenience

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/10/stealing-affections.html

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: STEALING AFFECTIONS.

STEALING AFFECTIONS
Short Fiction Story
A Naval Yarn
By
VIKRAM KARVE
Disclaimer: Please read this short story only if you have a sense of humour. This is a spoof, pure fiction, a figment of imagination. So first convince yourself that you have a sense of humour and only then read the yarn and have a laugh.
STEALING AFFECTIONS
Short Fiction – A Naval Yarn
By
VIKRAM KARVE
 
 
It was an abrupt end to a promising career.
In the morning he was forced to put in his papers.
In the afternoon there was a brief farewell party – a drab Pre-Lunch Drinks (PLD) in the Wardroom.
The usual boisterous bonhomie was conspicuous by its absence and there was an air of awkwardness in the Wardroom.
The farewell PLD for Horny was a mere formality to be got over with.
The party was muted low-key affair without the customary boisterous elbow-bending.
Everyone reluctantly sipped their beer in hushed silence hoping that time would move fast.
But time did not move quickly and they all endured the agonizing moments as time crawled slowly while they all waited for the uncomfortable proceedings to end.
No one forced “down the hatch” drinks and “bottoms up” beers on the departing guest.
There were no “jolly-good-fellow” hoists and there were no long winded farewell speeches – just one-line perfunctory speeches for the sake of formality.
Typically, a PLD was a jolly affair full of joie de vivre and the cheer and beer flowed freely. The happy high-spirited copious beer-drinking continued for hours together, till evening, and on occasions the boisterous revelry turned into a full-fledged drunken orgy late into the night.
But this PLD finished off within an hour and everyone heaved a sigh of relief that the embarrassment was over.
They all shook hands with Horny, wished him good-luck in the civvy-street, and they all went home, or to their cabins, to hit the sack and enjoy what was left of the make-and-mend Wednesday.
Only Snotty stayed back and helped Horny pack his bags. Then he sent a sailor to get a taxi and when the taxi arrived alongside the ship at the jetty, Snotty picked up Horny’s bags and accompanied him to the gangway.
A sailor picked up Horny’s bags and put them into the boot of the taxi.
Horny stood at the gangway, expressionless. He did not betray his emotions but kept gazing in a vacant manner at the taxi. Then he turned around and smiled at Snotty and the gangway duty staff.
Then, Horny lifted himself to his full height, stood ramrod straight with chest out. He saluted for the last time, swallowed the anchor, and marched ashore across the gangway into the civvy-street forever.
Snotty felt sad to see Horny go away. Horny had been his mentor and Snotty admired him as a role model in the art of seamanship. Though Horny was his boss, he had always treated Snotty like a younger brother, with benevolence and patience. Horny was firm yet compassionate, revered by the men he commanded. Horny ran a happy department and Snotty had learnt so much from him. He had really liked Horny and was sorry that such a promising career had been so cruelly and so unjustly abruptly cut short.  
Snotty went down to the wardroom and sat down for lunch at the Dining Table. In order to enjoy good food one has to be in the right mood and that is why the delicious food which looked so good on the table turned tasteless in Snotty’s mouth.
“What’s wrong, Snotty?” asked the in-living PMC, who was nicknamed Sea Dog. He was sitting at the head of the table.
“Nothing, Sir. It’s about Horny.”
“What about Horny? I know he was your boss. Sad to see him go?”
“Yes, Sir. He was such a nice guy, Sir, and so good at his job.”
“I know. I was his training officer on the cadet ship. Horny was an outstanding cadet and a superb officer. He would have reached the very top but for this…”
“It’s totally unfair, Sir, and a very harsh punishment – an abrupt end to a promising career just because of one small indiscretion.” 
“One small indiscretion? You call it one small indiscretion? You know what he did, don’t you?”
“Well, he was having an affair with Salty’s wife, that’s all.”
“That’s all? You know how serious the matter is?”
“Sir, if two people want to have consensual sex, what’s the problem?”
“What’s the problem? You are asking me what’s the problem? Well, my dear friend, let me explain. Horny was married and so was Salty. And Horny was having an illicit relationship with Salty’s wife. It’s called adultery. Do you understand?”
“Sir, it is a personal matter between them, and their wives. What has it got to do with our job? Why has Horny been sacked?”
“That may be in the civvy street, but here we follow a code of conduct. Stealing the affection of a brother officer’s wife is strictly taboo. If you are feeling so damn frustrated, you can go and sow your wild oats outside, but you don’t steal the affections of a brother officer’s wife. ”
“Stealing affections of a brother officer’s wife?”
“Yes. Stealing the affections of a brother officer’s wife is just not allowed. It is considered an act of moral turpitude, conduct unbecoming of an officer, prejudicial to good order and discipline. That is why Horny was thrown out. Do you understand?”
“Yes, Sir.”
“Good.”
“Sir, I have a small doubt?”
“What doubt?”
“You can’t steal the affection of a brother officer’s wife because it is an act of moral turpitude?”
“That’s right. It is immoral to steal the affections of your brother officer’s wife.”
“You can’t steal the affection of a brother officer because it is illegal. That is what they told us at the academy.”
“Of course it is illegal. Buggery is unlawful. The days of the Rum Bum and Lash Navy are long since over.”
“Sir, then please tell me one thing – you can’t steal the affections of a brother officer’s wife because it is immoral. You can’t steal the affection of a brother officer because it is unlawful. Then why is it permitted to steal the affection of your sister officer?”
“Stealing the affections of a sister officer? What are you talking about?”
“Sir, nowadays we have lady officers in the Navy.”
“So?”
“If male officers are like our brothers, then the women officers are like our sisters, aren’t they?”
“That’s right – lady officers are indeed your sister officers. And that is how you must treat them.”
“If you steal the affections of your sister, does that not amount to incest?”
“Incest? What are you trying to say?”
“Sir, tell me, are you allowed to marry your sister?”
“Of course not.”
“Then why are male officers being permitted to marry female officers? Brother Officers are stealing the affections of Sister Officers and even marrying them. Isn’t it funny, Sir? Today she is your sister officer and tomorrow she becomes your wife?”
“What’s your point?”
“It is all very confusing to me, Sir.”
“Confusing? What?”
“You can steal the affection of your sister officer, you can even marry your sister officer – that is allowed – sister officers can steal the affections of their brother officers and even marry them – that is permitted – then why make such a big hullabaloo if you steal the affections of a brother officer’s wife?”
“Very interesting question. I think I’ll have to ask my wife to answer that.”
“Your wife? I thought you were a bachelor, Sir.”
“And why is that?”
“Because you are in-living, Sir.”
“Well, my wife is posted elsewhere. And you’ll be interested to know that she is, in your parlance, a ‘sister officer’ – yes, Dear Snotty, I am guilty of stealing the affection of a sister officer!”
 
 
VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 
Did you like this story?

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

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

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

About Vikram Karve

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

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

      

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

 

A Naval Yarn – STEALING AFFECTIONS – Fiction Short Story

October 10, 2012

Click the link below and read the Short Fiction Story – STEALING AFFECTIONS – A Naval Yarn on my creative writing journal blog

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: STEALING AFFECTIONS.

Click the link above and read the Short Fiction Story – STEALING AFFECTIONS – A Naval Yarn on my creative writing journal blog

%d bloggers like this: