Posts Tagged ‘online’

Romance : The “Perfect” Husband

July 31, 2016

Source: Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: The Perfect Husband – A Story

THE PERFECT HUSBAND

A Fictional Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

Dramatis Personae

Me (The “Imperfect” Husband)

My Wife

‘Slimy’ – My Neighbour (The “Perfect” Husband)

Slimy’s Wife

‘Shutterbug’ – My Friend

The Perfect Husband – Story by Vikram Karve

As I had expected – I saw ‘Shutterbug’ standing at Land’s End – taking photographs of Sunset.

Sunset – on the west coast of India is a glorious sight – a breathtakingly beautiful spectacle – as the tranquil blue Arabian Sea begins to swallow the orange ball – and – the crimson rays – dancing in the sky – slowly change their colour – from red to orange to yellowish green to bluish grey – and – dissolve into twilight.

I sat on a bench – and I waited for ‘Shutterbug’ to finish taking his photographs.

‘Shutterbug’ (nicknamed because of his passion for photography) had quit the Navy to follow his first love – and – he was now an accomplished professional photographer.

He had got a prestigious assignment from an International Travel Magazine to compile a series on “Sunsets”.

For the last few days – he would come to Land’s End every evening – to take photographs of Mumbai’s resplendent sea sunsets.

“It’s good you came today – I have finished my work here – and – I am off to a new location tomorrow morning…” he said, packing his camera.

“Where to…?” I asked.

“Australia – New Zealand – Antarctica – and then – some islands in the Pacific…” he said.

“Wow…” I said, “Come – let’s have a drink…”

We walked down the seaside promenade – and – a few minutes later – we were sitting by the seaside – in the club annexe – enjoying the cool sea breeze – sipping whisky-soda.

‘Shutterbug’ looked at me and said: “Come on – get it off your chest…”

“What…?”

“I know you are upset – you want to tell me something – so – tell me…”

“It’s my next-door neighbor…”

“You mean ‘Slimy’…?”

“Yes…” I said.

(Now – in the Navy – almost everyone has a ‘nickname’ – like my friend sitting opposite me was called ‘Shutterbug’ because of his interest in photography – likewise – my next-door neighbour was nicknamed ‘Slimy’ – no prizes for guessing why – he was a really ‘slimy’ character – a ‘slick’ operator)

“Oh – ‘Slimy’ – bloody ‘poodle-faker’ – dicey bugger – he’s a sly ‘smooth’ operator…” remarked ‘Shutterbug’.

“Do you know him…?” I asked ‘Shutterbug’.

“Of course I know ‘Slimy’ – we did a training course abroad…”

“Oh…”

“So – what’s your problem with ‘Slimy’…?”

“He is such a ‘devoted husband’….”

“Ha Ha – “devoted husband” – Ha Ha…” ‘Shutterbug’ interrupted.

“Why…? What happened…?” I asked, taken aback.

“No – No – nothing. Sorry for interrupting. So – if ‘Slimy’ is such a “devoted husband” – as you say – what is your problem…?” ‘Shutterbug’ asked me.

“Well – ‘Slimy’ is such a perfect husband that he has become a “Role Model Husband” for my wife – in fact – he is so smart – so suave – so debonair – so handsome – so well-mannered – and – so physically fit with such an excellent physique – and – my wife admires him so much – that – she has started comparing me with him – and – I feel like a “loser”…”

“Your wife thinks you are a “loser”…?”

“Yes – it’s all because of that bugger ‘Slimy’…”

“I hope ‘Slimy’ is not trying to seduce your wife – “steal her affection” – so to speak…”

“No – No – not at all. He is the epitome of gentlemanly behaviour – my wife says that he is a true “officer and gentleman” – and – she feels disappointed that I am not like him…”

“Why…? What’s wrong with you…?”

“I told you. All this comparison has started after ‘Slimy’ moved in as my next-door neighbour. Before that – my wife had no problems with me…”

“And – what about Slimy’s wife…?”

“Oh – Slimy’s wife is a really elegant lady – she is besotted with her husband – she effusively praises ‘Slimy’ 24/7 – Slimy’s wife says that ‘Slimy’ is the best husband in the world – she keeps talking with admiration about all his qualities – about the exotic destinations where he takes her for holidays – about the expensive gifts he gets for her – about his “caring and sharing” nature – Slimy’s wife always says that ‘Slimy’ is the “perfect husband”…”

“Ha Ha – “caring and sharing” – “perfect husband” – Ha Ha…” ‘Shutterbug’ laughed.

“What happened…?” I asked him.

“Nothing – I was just thinking…”

“Everything was fine with my married life before ‘Slimy’ came on the scene – I am even thinking of asking for a transfer…” I said.

“Transfer…? Why the hell should you ask for a transfer…?”

“I told you – ‘Slimy’ has created such a powerful impression on my wife – that – she literally worships him – in fact – she has put him on a pedestal – and – she wants me to ‘emulate’ him in all aspects – and – that is impossible for me – because – ‘Slimy’ is everything that I am not…”

“So…?”

“Just imagine – the whole day and night – I have to hear my wife’s nagging – ‘Slimy’ is this – ‘Slimy’ is that – ‘Slimy’ does this – ‘Slimy’ does that… I am totally fed up with my wife comparing me with ‘Slimy’… You won’t understand… You are not married…”

“I can understand. Don’t worry – I’ll do something about it…” ‘Shutterbug’ said.

“You’ll do something about it…? How…? When…? You are flying off going to Australia and New Zealand tomorrow morning…”

“You don’t worry – you just leave it to me. Now – let’s forget ‘Slimy’ – and – let’s enjoy our drinks…” ‘Shutterbug’ said.

After sometime – ‘Shutterbug’ left – saying that he had to catch the early morning flight.

I continued drinking till closing time.

I reached home at midnight – totally drunk – and – even in my drunken state – I could hear my wife’s nagging:

“You don’t even know how to drink – look at him (referring to ‘Slimy’) – he drinks like a refined gentleman – and you – you are an uncouth lout – you drink like a pig…”

Next morning – I woke up late – with a terrible hangover.

Luckily – it was a Sunday.

I expected to hear my wife’s harangue – her nagging – but – I was surprised by the silence in the house.

I looked around the house.

My wife was missing.

Had she left me and gone away to her parent’s place in Pune…?

As it is – she was fed up living with a “loser” like me – and – my last evening’s drunkenness may have been the last straw…

I opened the door.

I saw the maid.

“Memsahib is next door…” the maid said to me.

What…?

My wife was in Slimy’s house…?

Was she complaining to him about me…?

Confused – I walked out of my house – and – I rang the doorbell outside Slimy’s flat.

A man opened the door – I recognized him – he was my coursemate who lived opposite our house.

Slimy’s wife was crying – and – a group of ladies was trying to console her.

My wife was among the group of ladies consoling Slimy’s wife.

‘Slimy’ was sitting at the dining table with his head in his hands – looking distraught.

Some officers were hanging around.

“What’s going on…?” I asked my coursemate who had opened the door – “Is someone dead or something…?”

“Don’t you know…?” my coursemate whispered.

“No…” I said.

My coursemate took me aside.

Then – he took out his ‘smartphone’ – and – he showed me the screen.

Bloody Hell…!!!

There were intimate pictures of ‘Slimy’ and a sexy woman frolicking on a beach – in the skimpiest of clothing – kissing, necking, making out – doing all sorts of “lovey-dovey” antics – in a variety of “compromising positions”…

As I looked at the “erotic” pictures of ‘Slimy’ and the sexy woman – my coursemate said:

“Bloody hell – that bugger ‘Shutterbug’ – he has uploaded these steamy photos of ‘Slimy’ and this “firangi” woman on Facebook – and – he has tagged everyone. By now – the whole world must have seen these indecent pictures…”

“Indecent…? Why do you say these pictures are “indecent”…? A bit “passionate” – yes – “amorous” – yes – but – certainly not “indecent” – look at the pictures – ‘Slimy’ and this woman seem to be passionately in love with each other…” I said, tongue-in-cheek.

I looked at the complete album of “lewd” photos of ‘Slimy’ and the sexy woman on the screen of the smartphone – by now – the pictures would have surely gone viral on our groups and seen by all “friends” who mattered.

Shutterbug’s “status update” said: “Memories of Our Wonderful Navy Days” – with the date and name of the place where the photos had been clicked.

It was a deft “slam dunk” – yes – ‘Shutterbug’ had slam-dunked ‘Slimy’ nice and proper – and – he had done it for my sake.

EPILOGUE

Three things happened after this episode:

  1. That very evening –Slimy’s wife left for her parents’ place.
  1. Slimy was transferred to a “non-family” station on a remote island in the back-of-beyond.
  1. My darling wife never mentioned the name of ‘Slimy’ again – and – she stopped comparing me with other husbands.

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog:

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/the-perfect-husband-story.html

 

“Lovey Dovey” Couple in Uniform

August 4, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION (PDA).

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

PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION – PDA
Story of the “Lovey Dovey” Couple 
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE


PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION (PDA) IN UNIFORM

My first unforgettable memory of Public Display of Affection (PDA) was almost 40 years ago – in the late 1970’s – during my early days in the Navy.

There was a young newly married couple who just could not take their hands off each other.

A Naval Officer is not permitted to get married before the age of 25.

But in this case – the Navy had made an exception.

In a rare gesture – the Navy had shown “compassion” for “passion”.

It was a whirlwind romance – and parental opposition had necessitated a quick “hush-hush” wedding – and the Navy was presented with a fait accompli.

The young Sub Lieutenant bluntly stated that he was prepared to quit the Navy for the sake of his “ladylove”.

So – permission was granted as an exceptional case – and the young couple was allowed to stay in the Wardroom (Officers Mess).

They were allotted a cabin in the old barrack where married officers awaiting allocation of proper married quarters lived temporarily.

The newly married husband and wife were passionately in love.

Their fervent love was visible to one and all – because the handsome husband – and his beautiful wife – demonstrated their obsessive affection for each other quite explicitly in public in a most uninhibited manner.

Dear Reader – remember this was the India of the 1970’s – and this brazenPublic Display of Affection (PDA) was happening in a remote cantonment – in full view of sailors and their families – who were mostly from rural areas – and had rather conservative values.

Now – in the orthodox and conformist environment of a cantonment – an officer and his wife indulging in such titillating physical Public Display Of Affection (PDA) was viewed as scandalous conduct.

The officer was warned to mend his ways.

The wife was “counselled” by ladies.

But there was no effect.

In fact – the “advice” seemed to have the opposite effect.

The young lovey-dovey couple continued their amorous PDA with even greater ardour and passion – which seemed to be attaining new heights.

One evening they were observed kissing and “making out” in the dark corners of the base cinema hall – with their hands all over each other – when the lights suddenly came on.

Next morning – the officer was read the riot act – and threatened with disciplinary action if he did not mend his ways.

“We will throw the book at you…” he was warned.

“We will charge you with Section 53 (indecent behaviour) and Section 54 (conduct unbecoming the character of an officer) of the Navy Act…” they threatened him.

But despite all this – there was no salutary effect of the officer and his wife – who continued their brazen PDA with increasing passion.

Soon everyone turned a blind eye to the PDA – because all realized that the officer and his wife were madly in love with each other.

The officer completed his training a few months later – and was transferred to a ship based at Mumbai.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief – in a cosmopolitan place like Mumbai – PDA was no big deal – even the Navy in Mumbai had a progressive culture as compared to other places.


3 YEARS LATER

I saw the officer three years later at an official function.

He looked like a ghost of his earlier self – as if he had gone through a serious bout of illness.

When I commented on his emaciated appearance – someone said to me: “Don’t you know what a terrible tragedy the poor chap has gone through? He has been through a most acrimonious and nasty divorce – and the distressing marital discord and bitter divorce has taken a big toll on his health.”

“Divorce…?” I was stunned.

I could never imagine that such a lovey-dovey couple who publicly demonstrated their intense love for each other would ever get divorced.

How could a husband and wife who were so passionately in love with each other get divorced?

It did not make sense.

The couple had been so much in love – that they did not hesitate to publicly display their affection for each other despite societal disapproval – how could they get divorced?


20 YEARS LATER

Twenty years later – I once again met the officer – this time at an airport.

He told me that he had quit the Navy – and that had taken up a job in the industry.

There was a lady standing next to him along with two children.

He introduced his wife and children.

So – he had got remarried.

Looking at his kids – I estimated that he must have got remarried around 10 years ago.

I remembered the officer and his first wife – the lovey-dovey couple – and their passionate, unrestrained and uninhibited Public Display of Affection (PDA).

But – now – there appeared to be a sea change in his demeanor with his new wife.

There was absolutely no Public Display of Affection (PDA) between him and his new wife.

In fact – from the way they were conducting themselves in public – it did not even appear that they were husband and wife.

What an irony?

The “lovey-dovey” marriage with PDA had broken up within one year.

And – the “loveless” marriage without PDA had lasted for more than 10 years – and it looked like this marriage would last forever.

I still cannot fathom the paradox.

A relationship with “100% PDA” is fragile.

But – a relationship with “Zero PDA” is durable.

Such are the mysteries of marriage, romance, love and relationships.

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

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

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



Revised Version of My Story PDA – PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier in this blog on 21 Jan 2015 at url:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/04/2015 10:10:00 PM

“Perfect” Husband – a story

August 3, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: THE PERFECT HUSBAND – Short Fiction Story.

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

THE PERFECT HUSBAND
Short Fiction Story 
By 
VIKRAM KARVE

Pooja walked out of her marriage because she felt that her husband was a boring and dull man.

One morning – after her husband had left for work – Pooja packed her bags – called a Pune Mumbai Cab – sat in the taxi – and she went straight to her brother-in-law’s house in Mumbai.

Pooja loved her brother-in-law.

He was the man of her dreams.

He was a “perfect husband”.

Yes – for Pooja – her brother-in-law was her “role model” husband.

Actually – for Pooja – he was a double brother-in-law – he was her husband’s elder brother – and he was also Pooja’s sister’s husband.

It was a case of two sisters getting married to two brothers.

After seeing her elder sister married so happily to such a wonderful husband – Pooja had readily agreed to marry his younger brother when her sister had brought the proposal.

And what a big mistake she had made!

How could two brothers be so different?

Pooja’s husband turned out to be a most dull, dreary and uninspiring person – in short – he was a big bore.

In contrast – her brother-in-law was so much fun – he was the type of husband Pooja had always wanted – a fun-loving debonair gentleman.

Pooja’s sister was pleasantly surprised when her younger sister suddenly landed up at her place unannounced.  

But – when Pooja told her that she had walked out on her husband forever because she found him boring – her sister got worried – so she rang up Pooja’s husband – and told him that Pooja had come over to her place in Mumbai.

Pooja’s husband did not betray any emotion. 

He just told Pooja’s sister that it was okay – and that Pooja could come back to Pune whenever she wanted.

Pooja’s sister felt a bit uneasy and hoped all was well – though she knew that Pooja’s husband was a quiet reticent introvert.

But – still – Pooja’s sister sensed that something was wrong.

Pooja’s sister was wondering what to do – maybe she could ask her husband to talk to Pooja’s husband – after all – they were brothers – and her husband was the elder brother.

Meanwhile – knowing Pooja’s temperament – it would be best to remain silent for some time. 

So – they – Pooja and her elder sister – just sat and watched a movie on TV.

In the evening – Pooja’s brother-in-law arrived home from work.

He seemed delighted to see Pooja.

‘What a surprise?” he said to Pooja.

Then – he turned to his wife – Pooja’s sister – and he said, “I have got the cruise tickets.”

He took out a colourful folder from his briefcase – and he gave it to Pooja’s sister, “Everything is in there – the tickets, the programme, all details about the cruise ship.”

“Wow. Are you two going on a cruise ship?” Pooja said.

“Yes, this time we thought that we will take a different type of vacation,” Pooja’s brother-in-law said.

“How lucky you are,” Pooja said wistfully to her sister, “I haven’t had a single vacation since marriage – my husband doesn’t even take me to Mahableshwar or Goa. It is so boring sitting at home. He doesn’t want to go anywhere – not even to a movie.”

“Hey, Pooja – why don’t you come with us?” Pooja’s brother-in-law said.

“On a cruise ship…?” Pooja asked, in disbelief.

“We will have to ask her husband…” Pooja’s sister said.

“I will tell him …” Pooja’s brother-in-law said to his wife.

“But how can we take her? You said the cruise was fully booked,” Pooja’s sister said to her husband.

“I will try and manage something,” Pooja’s brother-in-law said.

Then he turned to Pooja – and he said, “You pack your bags for a fantastic holiday.”

“Thank you so much. I wish I had a husband like you,” Pooja said to her brother-in-law.

“Oh, come on Pooja – your husband is a very nice chap – my brother is a bit serious type – but let me tell you that he is very good guy,” Pooja’s brother-in-law said.

And so – Pooja went for a pleasure voyage on the magnificent cruise liner.

It was the best time of her life – the fun – the food – the entertainment – this was the kind of life she had always wanted to live.

Her sister and brother-in-law had a deluxe ocean view stateroom on the upper deck.

Because of the last minute booking – for Pooja – they could only manage a single bed cabin – deep down below on a lower deck.

Her cabin was not as luxurious as the stateroom – but Pooja was happy – she spent the whole day enjoying herself on the upper decks – swimming, sunbathing, playing games – then wining and dining – savouring exotic wines – and relishing delicious food – dancing at the nightclub – and then trying her luck in the casino – it was like a dream come true.

For Pooja – these 20 days had been the happiest days of her life – the 3 week long luxury cruise on the sea – the shore excursions – and sightseeing visits to exotic places.

On the last evening of the cruise – there was a big entertainment event – it was truly awesome – the spectacular cabaret – the groovy dancing – the bubbly champagne flowing freely – the mind-boggling array of fabulous delicacies  – Pooja had never seen anything like it before.

It was almost midnight – and Pooja was feeling high.

All the champagne drinking and dancing had put Pooja in high spirits.

Pooja felt a bit dizzy so she sat down on their table.

Her sister and brother-in-law were not there – they must be enjoying themselves somewhere – there were so many events going on the gigantic luxury cruise ship.

Pooja sipped more champagne – and as she drank more and more – she began to feel woozy.

Her head felt giddy – her stomach felt queasy – and Pooja felt as if she was going to vomit.

Pooja became anxious – she was terrified that she would make a fool of herself by throwing up here in front of everyone.

So – Pooja got up and started walking unsteadily towards the alleyway.

She felt there were two persons within her – as result of the baleful double personality that comes into being through drunkenness. 

The first persona acted as if without any brain at all – in a mechanical, vacant manner – and the second persona observed the first quite lucidly – but seemed entirely powerless to do anything.

In the alleyway – Pooja yanked open a door.

Though it was dark – Pooja could hazily make out that it was some sort of crew cabin. 

Hopefully – there would be a toilet where she could vomit out and throw up – and then freshen up.

In the darkness – Pooja searched for the light switch – and her hands found it near the door.

She flicked the switch – and the lights came on.

The astounding scene that Pooja saw instantly shook her out of her drunkenness – and shocked her so much – that she stood dumbfounded and dazed – totally stunned into a state of disbelief.

There was a woman. 

She was lying naked on the bunk. 

Garments of her dress were scattered all over the floor.

And there was a man.

He was half-clothed – his head buried in the naked woman’s hair – his arms around her – and the man and woman were in the throes of passion.

The man was her brother-in-law.

The woman was the cabaret dancer she had seen performing on stage in the evening.

Disturbed by the sudden switching on of the lights – the naked woman looked up at Pooja – and she shouted at Pooja: “Who the hell are you? Don’t you have any bloody manners? How dare you barge in like this? Don’t you know that you must knock before opening a door? Now shut the light and get out. And don’t forget to close the door.”

Pooja felt sick – very sick.

She could not believe what she saw. 

Dumbstruck – Pooja looked at the sordid scene before her.

Pooja felt awful.

Her brother-in-law – the man of her dreams – her role model – her ideal as a perfect husband – his image came crashing down – the whole thing was disgusting and nauseating.

Pooja’s head started to spin – her stomach started to churn – and she threw up – retching out her insides – and then she collapsed in a heap – wallowing in her own filthy vomit – and then – Pooja passed out, unconscious.

Next morning – they disembarked – and caught the evening flight to Mumbai.

It was early morning by the time they reached Mumbai – and almost immediately – Pooja caught a taxi to Pune – she was desperate to meet her husband.

By the time Pooja reached her home in Pune – it was afternoon.

Pooja tried to open the door-lock with her key – but the her key would not fit – it seemed that her husband had changed the lock on the door of their house.

Pooja knocked at her neighbour’s door.

Pooja’s neighbour – an old man – who was also the landlord – opened the door.

The old man seemed surprised to see Pooja – and he said to her, “What are you doing here? I thought you had gone abroad with your husband…” 

“Abroad…?” Pooja asked – stunned.

“Your husband said that you both were migrating abroad – and you had gone ahead to Mumbai to your sister’s place to make preparations – and he would be picking you up on his way to Mumbai airport…”

“When did he say all this…?”

“Why are you asking me all this? Don’t you know what your own husband does? Must be around 20 days ago – just after you left for Mumbai. It is surprising that you are asking me all this…”

“What about our luggage – the furniture – our belongings…?”

“What luggage…? He took some bags with him – the rest of the stuff – and the furniture – he sold off…”

“Sold off…?”

“Yes – the second-hand dealer came and took everything – and – of course – your husband was kind enough to give me 3 months rent for not giving me notice – though – strictly – I could have demanded only one month’s rent… ” the old man said.

“Are you saying that he has vacated the apartment…?”

“Of course he vacated the house – he said that he was going abroad for a long time – maybe permanently…”

“Permanently…?” Pooja mumbled mechanically – and her brain started to go blank – and she felt like a zombie.

Pooja does not clearly remember what she did for the next few hours.

Apparently – she was found wandering in a dazed state on the streets of Pune – and some good samaritan called the police – who tracked down her sister from her number in Pooja’s mobile phone.

Later – it became clear that Pooja’s husband had slam-dunked her – nice and proper.

Pooja’s husband had made all the preparations – kept a job offer open abroad – got all paperwork done and documents ready – closed the bank accounts – done everything discreetly – keeping Pooja totally in the dark – and – then – Pooja’s sudden going away without informing him – was the “tipping point” – and – he quit his job in Pune – and he flew away forever – leaving Pooja high and dry.

Yes – Pooja’s husband has truly left Pooja “high and dry”.

Her brother-in-law does not want her in his house any more – after that sordid episode on the cruise ship where Pooja had caught him “in flagrante delicto” with the cabaret dancer.

Pooja’s sister has located Pooja’s husband – but she has not told Pooja – because Pooja’s husband has made it clear that he is not coming back – and he is not interested in Pooja any longer – and – at present – Pooja is in no mental state to bear this tragic news – since she has still not recovered from shock – and is under treatment at an institution – and – the doctors say – that Pooja is in no condition to bear any more distressing news or shocks – which may drive her crazy.

So – it turned out that – Pooja’s “boring” husband may have been dull – but he was not dumb at all…

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

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

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


I had written this story called ROLE MODEL HUSBAND almost 2 years ago in September 2013 and posted it online in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at urls http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… 
This story had a happy ending which seemed a bit contrived. So I re-wrote this story with a new ending and posting it online again with a new title THE PERFECT HUSBAND

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 7/31/2015 05:05:00 PM

MY LOVE STORY – THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE

May 9, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: MY VERY OWN LOVE STORY – THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE.

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

MY VERY OWN LOVE STORY

Do you want to read an old fashioned romance?

Here is a love story from my creative writing archives, once more, for you to read:

THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE
My Very Own Love Story
Short Fiction
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Part 1 – THE HAPPIEST DAY OF MY LIFE
(Mumbai – Thursday, 14 October 1976)
  
Do you remember the happiest day of your life…?

I do…!

Yes, 39 years may have passed, but I clearly remember what happened on the happiest day of my life.

Here’s how it began…

“Excuse me,” a feminine voice said from behind me. 

I turned around.

“Mr. Avinash…?” she asked.

I stared blankly at the smart young woman, tongue-tied. 

“I’m Sheetal…” she said with a lovely smile.

“Oh, Hi…” I stammered, quickly gathering my wits.

I looked at her. 

Avinash had been terribly wrong in describing how Sheetal looked like.

The Sheetal standing in front of me was no podgy pedestrian suburban unpretentious “back-home-type behenji female” as he had imagined.

She was a real beauty, chic, smart, ravishing, a stunner, and I could not take my eyes off her.

Her eyes were extremely beautiful – enormous, dark, expressive eyes. 

And suddenly her eyes began to dance.

Sheetal must have seen the frank look of genuine admiration in my eyes.

So she gave me smile so captivating that I experienced a delightful twinge in my heart.

“You are Mr. Avinash, aren’t you…?” she asked mischievously.

“Yes…” I lied, “How did you recognize me…?”

“You were the only person looking lost and out of place out here…the odd man out…” she laughed vivaciously.

“Oh…” I said unconsciously.

I stood still, mesmerized by her gorgeousness, and by my natural instinct, I let my eyes linger, travel all over her exquisite body.  

“Hey – are you going to stare at me all day or should we grab a bite? I am hungry,” she said playfully.

“Yes…Yes…” I said.

“Okay…come…let’s go to Samovar…we can talk there in peace too…” she said.

Sheetal led me from the art gallery to Samovar, the restaurant in the veranda.

Thus began the happiest day of my life.


Part 2 – LIFE IN THOSE “GOOD OLD” DAYS
(Pune – 1976)

Dear Reader, please permit me to tell you a little bit about how it all started.

In order to tell you this story, I am going to transport you back into time 37 years into the past.

Yes, we are going 37 years back in time to 1976, when Pune was a Pensioners’ Paradise.

Believe it or not, Dear Reader, but, in the 1960s and 1970s, Pune, the Queen of the Deccan, with its lovely climate, pure fresh air, lush green environs, salubrious, spacious and friendly laid back atmosphere, was indeed a “paradise”.

Yes, those days, Pune was indeed the best city to live in.

In fact, 37 years ago, in 1976, Pune was not even a “city” in the literal sense.

Imagine a Pune without Malls and the Multiplexes, with hardly any traffic on the roads, when the bicycle was the popular mode of travel.

The nearest “city” was Mumbai (those days, in the 1970’s, Mumbai was called Bombay – and much earlier in the 1960’s, Pune was called Poona).

The best way of going to Mumbai was to travel by the Indian Railways, by charming trains like the Deccan Queen, enjoying the scenic beauty of the lush green Sahayadri Ghats while savouring the delicious piping hot breakfast served by the restaurant car.

There was no expressway, and the “Bombay – Poona Road”, as it was called, was quite terrible, and it took around six hours to drive down, as the winding road through the Khandala Ghats was quite treacherous.

Just imagine – there were no mobile cell-phones, no internet, no PCs, no STD.

You had to book trunk-calls on a landline telephone and wait for hours for the call to materialize, or if you were in a hurry, then you had to make expensive “lightening” calls.

Black and White Television had just arrived and was a novelty which very few lucky prosperous people possessed.

And everyone in the neighborhood barged into their homes to watch popular TV programmes like chitrahaar, chayyageet, or a cricket match. 

The main thing was that there was no internet, and hence there was no email, and one had to write letters and send them via post as there were no courier services either.

Of course, gadgets like mobiles were a long way off, so you could not even imagine things like SMS and applications like “whatsapp”.

Social interaction was face to face, relishing yummy bhel in the numerous picturesque parks, or over tea, in the Amrutatulayas, Irani cafes and Kattas, as there was no Facebook, no Twitter, no Google, no Blogging, no cell phones, no blackberry, no iphones, no smartphones, no SMS, no MMS, no nothing, and as I said, way back then, the concepts of “cyberspace” and wireless mobile technology just did not exist.

Those days, a B. Tech. from an IIT did not get you a huge pay packet – yes, an IIT degree surely ensured that you got a good job, but once you were in the job you were on par with the other guys from various Engineering Colleges. 

Yes, only guys did engineering then, maybe there were a few gals, the rare exceptions, but I hardly met any pursuing a career as an engineer, maybe most of them got married, or shifted to softer professions.

Both of us, my IIT Classmate Avinash and I, joined a leading engineering company located in the suburbs of Pune.

Well that was the trend at IITs those days.

Either you went abroad, to America, to pursue higher studies.

Or you got a good job in the campus interview in a prestigious engineering firm, unless you were one of those few who preferred to be a white-collared manager via the MBA route.

Way back then there were hardly any management institutes, I think maybe there was just one IIM, at Ahmedabad, or maybe there were two, and there was FMS at Delhi and Jamnalal Bajaj at Mumbai.

The majority of engineers studied engineering to practice engineering, so we were quite happy to hit the shop floor doing hard core engineering.

We worked hard, for six days a week including Sundays, and we had our weekly off on Thursdays – the industrial holiday in Pune.

We rented a house near Deccan Gymkhana from where we commuted to work and back by the company bus.

Life was good. 

It was easy to be happy. 

The threshold of happiness was so low that small things made us happy.

Yes, simple things like a relaxed chat over a cup of tea made you happy.

I can never forget those happy moments.

Yes, every evening after work, we would get down from the bus at Deccan Gymkhana bus stop, relax over a Bun-Maska and Chai at Café Good Luck or Lucky, and then walk down to our rented apartment on Bhandarkar Road nearby.

One of our most enjoyable highlights was our weekly Thursday visit to Pune Camp – to see the latest Hollywood Movie in royal style relaxing on those unique easy chairs at the inimitable West End Cinema, relishing tasty mouth-watering bites and soothing thirst-quenching sips at the Soda Fountain during the interval, followed by delectable Mutton Samosas, Bun Maska and refreshing Irani style Chai at Naaz, then a leisurely stroll on Main Street (now called MG Road) and East Street, window-shopping, bird-watching and snacking, sandwiches, chicken rolls and cold coffee at Marz-o-rin, maybe a browse at Manney’s bookstore, and then a hearty Chinese meal at Kamling or Chung Fa, or a Mughlai repast at Latif, or Punjabi Food at Kwality, Biryani at Dorabjee or George, or Sizzlers at The Place (which boasts of being the first Sizzler Place in India) next to Manney’s.

And then we would end the day with a Meetha Masala Paan at George to carry home the lingering flavour and fragrance of the delightful evening.


Part 3 – AVINASH ASKS ME A FAVOUR
(Pune – Wednesday Evening, 13 October 1976)

When there are two close friends, one assumes the role of a leader and the other becomes a de facto follower. 

Amongst the two of us, Avinash, a tall, strapping, confident, flamboyant, handsome man endowed with an excellent physique with a dominating personality, was the natural leader. 

“Shekhar, can you do me a favour?” Avinash said to me one Wednesday evening while we were sipping chai at Good Luck cafe in Deccan.

“Favour?” I asked.

“Go down to Mumbai tomorrow and see a girl in my place,” he said nonchalantly.

“See a girl…?” I looked at him, confused.

“Let me explain to you. There is some back-home-type behenji girl.”

“Back-home-type behenji girl?”

“Yes. Someone visited my parents in my hometown with a marriage proposal for me. They want me to marry their daughter. She works in Mumbai. My parents want me to see her, but I am least interested in getting involved with any back-home-type behenjifemale.”

“So?”

“So, you go to Mumbai and see her and come back. And I will tell my parents that I did not like the girl,” Avinash said.

“You want me to go and meet her? Are you crazy! Tell me, why don’t you go to Mumbai and meet her?” I asked.

“Listen yaar – I have managed to patao a solid cheez – I met her during that management seminar which I attended last week…” he said.

“But you didn’t tell me…” I said.

Arre Bhai … first let something happen … kuch hone to do … but uske liye you will have to help me out. I have fixed up a solid date with her tomorrow taking her for a drive on my bike around Lonavala and Khandala – we planned it during the seminar, she agreed after lots of my pleading. And, suddenly this morning, my mom calls up in the office and tells me to go to Mumbai tomorrow to meet this marriage proposal girl. I told my mother that I was not interested, but she said that she had given her word, so I had to go and meet the girl tomorrow as a formality. Please Shekhar. Help me out. Just go to Mumbai tomorrow and see the girl. I told you that it is just a formality. Then we can all forget about it,” Avinash said.

“But how…?” I protested.

“I have already booked your ticket both ways by Deccan Queen. Just go in the morning and come back in the evening. This girl I am supposed to see is called Sheetal and she will meet you in the Jehangir Art Gallery at 11 o’clock. It’s a working day for her and she told my mother that she would take some time off and be there to meet me at Jehangir Art Gallery which is near her office.”

“But how can I masquerade as you? She must be having your photo. I will get caught and it will be very embarrassing,” I said.

“There is no photo, nothing – she doesn’t know how I look like and I even don’t know how she looks like. It all happened so suddenly. Our parents got talking back home last evening, my mother spoke to the girl by trunk-call. My mother knows I have Thursday off, so she fixed up the meeting with the girl and then my mother rang me up this morning to go and see the girl tomorrow.”

“But what is the crashing hurry? You can meet next Thursday.” I said.

“It seems that the girl is going back to her hometown near our place, in themofussil, by the Friday evening train. She is going away for a month’s leave and there are some boys lined up there for her to see – apparently my mother is quite keen on this girl, her family is good, she is the only child, so maybe they promised plenty of dowry. But I am just not interested. She is seeing so many boys back home, I am sure she will like someone and she will forget about me; I mean – you, she’ll forget you” he said.

“No…No. I am not going…the whole thing is preposterous…I can’t do this…” I protested.

Yaar please – don’t ditch me – I have already told my mother that I will meet the girl at 11 tomorrow in Jehangir Art Gallery,” he said.

“I don’t understand all this…” I said.

“I have told you all this before. My mother said her office is in Kalaghoda – so Jehangir Art Gallery is the nearest and best place – there in Mumbai. She works on Thursdays – only we here in Pune have industrial off on Thursdays – so they fixed up tomorrow as the girl has to leave for her place on Friday evening on a holiday. Don’t argue – just get it over with. You have to meet her for 10-15 minutes, that’s all. Then she will go back to her office. You loaf around in Colaba, have some biryani at Olympia or Delhi Darbar, and see a movie at Regal, Eros or Sterling, New Empire, Metro or somewhere – there is so much to do there. Then catch the Deccan Queen at 5 o’clock in the evening. I will come to pick you up at Pune railway station. And, after you come back, from the STD booth there I’ll ring up my mom tomorrow night and I will tell her I did not like the girl and the whole thing will be a closed chapter,” Avinash said.

“No. I don’t like all this,” I protested.

Then Avinash put his arm around my shoulder and pleaded, “Please Shekhar – I have to go for this Lonavala date – the female is too good yaar and it is a solid opportunity. I promise you Shekhar – agar woh pat gayee – if things work out and my Lonavala romance succeeds – I will give you a big treat – whatever you want.”

So, for the sake of friendship, early next morning, I boarded the Deccan Queen to Mumbai masquerading as Avinash for my rendezvous with Sheetal.


Part 4 – RENDEZVOUS IN JEHANGIR ART GALLERY
(Mumbai – Thursday Morning, 14 October 1976)

The Deccan Queen reached Mumbai at 10:30.

I walked down DN Road, past Hutatma Chowk (or Flora Fountain as it is polpularly known), and by the time I reached Jehangir Art Gallery at Kalaghoda it was almost 11.

For a few moments I stood in the foyer, looking around at all the girls, searching for someone looking like a back-home-type behenji female who may be Sheetal.

Dear Reader, I know it will be difficult for you to imagine how different and archaic things were in those days, 37 years ago.

Today if you want to find out about someone, you can just Google their name, and, presto, so many details will show up about that person – you can easily see everything about her, her present, her past, her family and friends, the places she has visited, where she has studied, worked, you can even see her pictures, her entire web identity.

Today, pictures can be instantly clicked and sent on mobile phones; even photos can be scanned and sent instantly on mobiles and by email.

In the 1970’s, the only way to send a photograph was by post and a letter took many days to reach.

That is why it was not possible for Avinash and Sheetal to exchange photos.

That is why I could masquerade as Avinash.

And that is why, at 11 AM on the 14th of October 1976, I was standing in Jehangir Art Gallery waiting to meet a girl called Sheetal but I was totally clueless about how Sheetal looked like.

After a few moments, I went into the exhibition hall and started admiring the paintings.

“Excuse me,” a feminine voice said from behind me. 

I turned around.

“Mr. Avinash…?” she asked.

I stared blankly at the smart young woman, tongue-tied. 

“I’m Sheetal…” she said with a lovely smile.

“Oh, Hi…” I stammered, quickly gathering my wits.

I looked at her. 

Avinash had been terribly wrong in describing how Sheetal looked like.

The Sheetal standing in front of me was no podgy pedestrian suburban unpretentious “back-home-type behenji female”.

She was a real beauty, chic, smart, ravishing, a stunner, and I could not take my eyes off her.

Her eyes were extremely beautiful – enormous, dark, expressive eyes. 

And suddenly her eyes began to dance.

Sheetal must have seen the frank look of genuine admiration in my eyes.

Yes, I was genuinely admiring her beauty with the unspoken language of the eyes which was worth more than a thousand spoken compliments.

Sheetal must have felt it, so she gave me smile so captivating that I experienced a delightful twinge in my heart.

“You are Mr. Avinash, aren’t you…?” she asked mischievously.

“Yes…” I lied, “How did you recognize me…?”

“You were the only person looking totally lost and out of place over here – like the odd man out,” she laughed vivaciously.

“Oh…” I said unconsciously.

I stood still, mesmerized by her gorgeousness, and following my natural instinct, I let my eyes linger on her, travel all over her exquisite body.  

“Hey – are you going to stare at me all day or should we grab a bite? I am hungry,” she said playfully.

“Yes…Yes…” I said.

“Okay…come…let’s go to Samovar…we can talk there in peace too…” she said.

Sheetal led me from the art gallery to Samovar, the restaurant in the veranda.


Part 5 – A ROMANTIC DATE WITH THE “BACK-HOME-TYPEFEMALE”
(Mumbai – Thursday Afternoon, 14 October 1976)

Samovar restaurant was situated next to the art gallery in a long rectangular veranda and resembling a Railway Dining Car.

We sat down opposite each other, on the comfortable cane chairs, and I looked at the expansive green lawns of adjoining Museum.

The moment we sat down a waiter came and asked us what we wanted to eat.

“I am hungry,” she said, and she ordered stuffed Parathas and Dahi Wada.

“I’ll have a cutlet,” I said, “and some Pudina Chai after that.”

“You’ve come here before,” she asked.

“Just once, a few years ago, when I was at IIT,” I said.

“Oh yes, you studied at IIT Powai – but that’s quite far away.”

“We sometimes came down on Sundays, to have a loaf around Fort, Colaba and Churchgate, and see movie once in a while.”

“I come here quite often. My office is nearby. That’s why I suggested this place – we can sit here and talk undisturbed for as long as we want and get to know each other better. This is a nice place for a relaxed chat over lunch.” she said.

I was in no mood for a relaxed chat over lunch.

In fact I was feeling nervous.

The more I talked to her, the more was the chance of me being unmasked – suppose I slipped up, and what if she came to know that I was not the Avinash she was expecting, but a phony masquerading as Avinash – it would be terrible – I could not even imagine the consequences.

I also felt qualms of conscience.

I had taken a liking to this girl Sheetal, sitting in front of me, and I felt I was not doing the right thing by pretending to be Avinash.

I could not bear the mendacity – telling a blatant lie and cheating this decent girl.

So, I blurted out, “Hey, Sheetal. I think I need to go. I cannot do this any longer. Bye, I must go now.”

“Go now? Is anything wrong? Are you feeling okay?”

“No, I am not okay. And, everything is wrong.”

“What happened?” she asked looking surprised, and worried.

“I want to tell you something. I want to confess…” I said.

“Confess? What?” she asked.

“I am not who you think. I am not Avinash. My name is Shekhar,” I said.

She gave me a puzzled look, and then she said, “Why don’t you tell me everything.”

I told her everything.

Yes, I told her everything – from the beginning to the end – each and every thing.

I felt relieved once I had got it off my chest.

I thought she would get angry.

But she smiled and said, “So you are Shekhar who has come to see the marriage proposal for Avinash – that is me – the prospective bride.”

“Yes,” I said sheepishly.

“And the real Avinash is having a good time with the hot-chick in Lonavala.”

“Yes.”

“So you will make a fool of me by masquerading as Avinash and pass some time with me and go back to Pune.”

“Yes.”

“And the moment you reach Pune, Avinash will ring up his mother and tell her that he did not like the girl – that is me.”

“Yes.”

“What was the need to for this charade?”

“I don’t know – Avinash said it has something to do with your conservative families – if he refuses to see you then relations may get spoiled. But please, I don’t want to discuss all this – I am feeling very bad doing this to you – I am very sorry.”

“You don’t be sorry – it is your friend Avinash who should be sorry.”

“I’ll go now?”

“You are booked by the evening Deccan Queen, isn’t it?”

“Yes.”

“So, now that we are stuck with each other, why don’t we make the most of it?” she said.

“I don’t know…”

“Don’t worry – I am not going to eat you up. We’ll do whatever time-pass you were planning to do after getting rid of me.”

“But you have got office – that is what Avinash told me.”

“I have taken the day off. Come, let’s spend some time together – then you can catch the Deccan Queen and I will go back to my hostel on Marine Drive.”

Our food order arrived.

Sheetal asked for extra plates and we shared the stuffed parathas and the cutlet.

“Now what?” Sheetal asked, after we had finished eating.

“Let’s see the Museum,” I said, looking out towards the imposing Museum building.

“The Museum?” she asked, looking surprised.

“You don’t want to go – okay, whatever you say.”

“No. No. Today you are taking me out on a date. I will come with you wherever take me,” she smiled and said, “come to think of it, I have been in Mumbai for 6 months, work so close by, and have not seen the Museum.”

I must say that Sheetal was really beautiful, and as we walked side by side, I realized that all the men were looking appreciatively at her; in fact some men were giving her quite yearning looks.

For the first time in my life, I felt the natural pride of possession that any man feels when he has the company of a woman that other men desire.

After we came out the Museum, she asked me, “Now what?”

“Let’s walk down Colaba Causeway. We can go to Olympia for a Biryani, and then have Gulab Jamun at Kailas Parbat.”

“Okay.”

“Now what?” she asked.

“Let’s browse books.”

“Browse books?”

“Yes, on the pavement bookstalls near the CTO – sometimes you get good books there quite cheap.”

“And how are we going there? I hope you are not going to march me down!”

“Yes – I was thinking it will be a good walk.”

“Please – I am feeling quite tired – and my legs are aching – the high heels I am wearing are not exactly made for cross country walking!”

“Okay – let’s take the bus.”

“Bus? You want to take your date in a bus?”

“Why? Is something wrong? I have no experience in these sorts of things.”

“You haven’t dated a girl before?”

“No.”

“Okay, let’s go by bus.”

We browsed books.

Then we went to a quaint Maharashtrian restaurant opposite VT called Kelkar Vishranti Gruha and had Sabudana UsalKanda Thalipith washed down by a delicious Piyush.

Sheetal looked at me and said, “I have gone out with so many boys, but you are different.”

“Different?”

“No one has made marched me down in the hot sun, no one had has made me browse books on pavement stalls – and no one has taken me to these food joints which I didn’t know even existed.”

“You didn’t enjoy?”

“Of course I did – but what I am saying is that I have never seen anyone like you – you are different from the rest – you are so simple, you act so natural – I have met all kinds of men, but you are truly an original,” she said.

I felt good, blushed – but maybe she was just being kind.

We strolled in Fort, window shopping.

I lost all track of time.

The day had passed in a haze of delight – for the first time in my life I had experienced the joy the company of a girl can bring in a man’s life.

We passed a shop selling clocks.

Sheetal looked at the clocks and said, “Hey it is already 4:45 – you have to catch the Deccan Queen, isn’t it – I think we better head to the station.”

“Okay, bye…” I said.

“What do you mean, bye – I am coming to see you off,” she said.

I did not refuse.

I longed for a few more moments of her delightful company.


Part 6 – THE CLIMAX OF THE STORY
(Mumbai – Thursday Evening, 14 October 1976)

It was 5 o’clock in the evening.

The blue-and-cream Deccan Queen stood beside the platform waiting to start its evening journey from Mumbai to Pune.

We, Sheetal and me, stood on platform outside my coach.

“You are the first boy I have met who did not try to impress me,” Sheetal said.

“I know. But what can I do? I told you that I have no experience of dating girls. But I should have tried and treated you better. I am sorry,” I said.

“Hey, why are you sorry? You are really nice decent guy. I really enjoyed your company.”

“You are just saying that to console me. I am such a bore, and such a cheapie. I am sure I ruined your day.”

“No. No. I really enjoyed your company. I have never gone a date like this before. It was real fun.”

“Thank you, Sheetal. I am feeling so good that you said that.”

“It is true, Shekhar. You make me feel good. No one has made me feel so good before. I really enjoy your company. You are one person with whom I can be myself – yes with you I can be my own self. I don’t have to fake it. I don’t have to put on an act. I don’t have to wear a mask. I don’t have to be someone else. I can just be myself and forget about all those social graces.”

“Me too…” I said.

“Maybe we should see more of each other. I think I will come down to Pune next weekend.”

“What? You want to come to Pune?”

“Why? Don’t you like my company?”

“No. No. Of course I like you. But Avinash will be there in Pune. It will be very awkward.”

“Avinash? To hell with him! In any case, I am not getting married to Avinash now. In fact, by tomorrow he would have told his parents that he has rejected me. That is what he told you, isn’t it?”

“Yes. In fact, Avinash told me that he would call up his parents tonight only, the moment I reach Pune.”

“Shekhar, you make sure Avinash calls up his parents tonight. Because I am going to call up my parents from the STD booth over there the moment the Deccan Queen leaves and tell them that I don’t want to marry such a dope.”

“Dope? But Avinash is not a dope. He is not like me,” I said.

“And suppose I told you that Sheetal is not like me,” she said, looking at me directly in the eye.

“Sheetal is not like you? What do you mean? You are Sheetal aren’t you?”

“You still think I am Sheetal, don’t you?” she looked at me mischievously.

“Yes,” I said, a bit bewildered.

“You know, Shekhar – I like you so much – you make me feel so good – and you were so frank and honest with me – I can’t cheat you any longer,” she said.

“Cheat me…?”

“Yes. I have been deceiving you and making a fool of you. But you are such a good guy that I have to be honest with you. I am going to come clean.”

“Come clean?”

“Shekhar, in the morning you told me the truth that you are not Avinash – now it is my turn to tell you the truth. I want to confess…”

“Confess …?”

“I am not Sheetal …” she said.

“What? You are not Sheetal? You are not the girl Avinash was supposed to see?” I asked – I was totally taken aback, feeling puzzled and perplexed.

“Yes, Shekhar – I am not Sheetal,” she repeated.

Then who are you…?” I asked her, trying to recover my wits.

“Shweta – my name is Shweta. I am the girl Avinash he was supposed to meet in Lonavala,” she said.

“Lonavala? Don’t tell me that you are that hot-chick who Avinash was so crazy about. He was desperate to patao you…!” I blurted out, instantly regretting my words.

She laughed.

She really gave a hearty laugh.

I looked at her dumbstruck, feeling embarrassed.

Then she said, “Yes, I am the hot-chick your friend Avinash met last week at the management seminar.”

“Why have you not gone to Lonavala to meet him as planned? Poor Avinash. He must have waited for you all day. Why did you ditch him?”

“Don’t worry. I have sent Sheetal to Lonavala to meet Avinash.”

“What? Sheetal? You have sent Sheetal to Lonavala to meet Avinash?”

“Yes, the same Sheetal – well, she happens to be my best friend.”

“Oh?”

“Sheetal told me that her mother was forcing her to see a boy called Avinash who was coming down from Pune. She told me that she did not want to see any boy – in fact, Sheetal is not that interested in getting married so fast.”

“So?”

“When she told me details of the boy I got a bit suspicious – could it be the same Avinash who had called me to Lonavala? How could he be in Lonavala and Mumbai at the same time? Was he two-timing me? Or was he going to stand her up? I was curious, very curious.”

“So you decided to swap dates?”

“And we wanted to get to the bottom of things – to find out who is who and what is what – doodh ka doodh aur paani ka paani – as they say in Hindi.”

“So you came to meet me masquerading as Sheetal,” I said.

“Yes, and the actual Sheetal has gone to Lonavala by the same morning train on which I was supposed to travel. Sheetal must have been there on time at the rendezvous point where Avinash was going to meet me. I am sure they have met each other.”

“Oh, My God…”

“Why? How do you know that they won’t like each other? We liked each other didn’t we? I am sure they are spending some quality time together. You never know – they may even decide to get married,” Shweta said, with a mischievous smile and twinkle in her eyes.

Suddenly I heard the guard blow his whistle.

It was almost 5:10 – time for the Deccan Queen to leave.

“The train is going to start. I have to go now…” I said to Shweta.

“Let the train go,” she said.

“What?”

“I want to spend some more time with you. Let’s walk on Marine Drive. Watch sunset. Then we’ll go to Chowpatty. Let’s walk on the sand by the sea, having some yummy bhel. And then you can treat me to that green chilly ice cream you were telling me so much about…” she said.

Suddenly the train jerked and started moving.

“Hey, the train is leaving.”

“Let it go,” Shweta said, and she pressed my hand.

I pressed her hand back as I watched the Deccan Queen leave without me.

The evening passed in a haze of delight.

Never before had I enjoyed the company of someone so much.

For the first time in my life I experienced a new emotion – a kind of thrilling happiness and blissful joy that the right girl can bring in your life.

And Shweta was certainly the right girl for me.

I realized the meaning of love – I knew what it was like to be in love.

We sat on the parapet enjoying the cool night sea breeze on Marine Drive opposite the working women’s hostel where Shweta lived.

Time flew.

I looked at my watch – it was 11:15.

The last train for Pune, the overnight Passenger, left at 11:45.

It was time to say good bye, at least for now.

I called a Taxi.

“Bye,” I said to Shweta.

“Bye,” she said.

“I want to ask you something,” I said.

“I know what you want to ask me and my answer is YES,” she said.

My heart ached as the taxi moved and the distance between us kept on increasing till she disappeared into the distance.

But I knew that this was the beginning of a long and lovely relationship.


EPILOGUE

Shweta and I got married.

And, by the way, Sheetal and Avinash got married too.

Two best friends married two best friends.

What an irony of life – the conservative me, I got married to the mod-chick Shweta – and the mod-guy Shekhar got married to the “back-home-typebehenji” Sheetal.

We got married in 1977 and it has been a long time since, more than 36 years, and till this day, we all live happily ever after.

All is well that that ends well.

We always taunt them, Avinash and Sheetal, that ours is a “Love” Marriage and theirs is an “Arranged” Marriage.

We have all relocated to Mumbai.                                                                    

Do you want to meet us?

Okay, try your luck on Sunday evenings at Bachellor’s opposite Chowpatty and you may chance upon us enjoying Green Chilly Ice Cream.

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 me Vikram Karve in my blog at 10/14/2013 08:19:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

A Foodie Love Story – SPDP – A DELICIOUS ROMANCE

April 29, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: SPDP – A DELICIOUS ROMANCE.

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

SPDP – A DELICIOUS ROMANCE
Short Fiction – A Foodie Love Story
By 
VIKRAM KARVE 

From my Creative Writing Archives:
 
I started writing this story 10 years ago – in the year 2006 I think after a delicious SPDP at to my favourite Vaishali Restaurant in Pune – but I left the story incomplete. 

I wonder why I did not complete this story – but then that happens to many of my stories. 

Then, after a gap of three years, in the year 2009, I completed the story.

I am posting this delicious foodie romance once more for you to read.

Do tell me if you like this delicious love story…

SPDP – LIP SMACKING ROMANCE – Delicious Love Story By Vikram Karve 

SPDP.

That’s right – SPDP…!
 
You know what SPDP is – don’t you…?
 
You don’t? 

Don’t tell me you don’t know what SPDP is…!
 
Oh. 

I’m sorry.

Maybe you are not a Punekar.

And if you do live in Pune and you still don’t even know what SPDP is, then it’s a pity…a real pity…!
 
SPDP – Sev Potato Dahi Puri – that’s what the acronym SPDP stands for.

Why ‘Potato’…?

Why not ‘Batata’…?

Well, I do not know – you’ll have to ask the guys at Vaishali.
 
Now don’t tell me you don’t know what Vaishali is…?

That’s being real daft and clueless, isn’t it…?

Well, Vaishali is the landmark restaurant on Fergusson College Road which serves the best and tastiest SPDP in the world – no doubt about it…!
 
And talking about taste, do you know how many basic tastes there are…?
 
“Four…!” you will rattle out.

And you will proudly tell me as if you were a know-it-all: “Sweet, Sour, Salty, Bitter.”
 
Well, my dear reader, you are wrong…

There are five primary tastes – Sweet, Sour, Salt, Bitter, and Umami.
 
Umami…?

You have never heard of it…?

Well I can tell you one thing: “Besides being a lost case, you are no ardent foodie for sure…!”
 
Umami is the unique tingling ‘savouriness’ or ‘deliciousness’ of Oriental Cuisines.

Well let’s forget all that mumbo-jumbo. 

If you really want to know what Umami is, just go down to Vaishali, order an SPDP, gently put a portion in your mouth.

Then close your eyes, roll the delectable SPDP till it dissolves on your tongue.

You will experience the taste of Umami.
 
Now talking of rolling the SPDP on your tongue – have you noticed that as you roll your food on your tongue its taste changes and flavour varies as the food interacts with different regions of your tongue…?

Does food taste different as you roll it on your tongue at different places?

The ‘Tongue Map’ – have you ever heard of it…?
 
You haven’t…?

Don’t tell me you haven’t heard of the Tongue Map…?

Hey, you are a real dumbo, aren’t you…?

Then try this yummy scrummy mouth-watering experiment.

Take some spicy chatpatta stuff, like Bhel, Chaat, or SPDP, and put some on your tongue.

Never heard of these things…?

I knew it.

But not to worry, it doesn’t matter. 

Relax. 

It’s okay. 

It just doesn’t matter…!

You can discover the taste of Umami.

You can do this eating experiment with Chopsuey – yes, yes, the usual American Chopsuey you get at these ubiquitous Chinese eateries proliferating like hobgoblins all over the place.

Close your eyes.

Yes, you must close your eyes to heighten your awareness, your mindfulness.

Now focus inwards to accentuate your gustatory, kinaesthetic and olfactory sensations, and gently press the rich juicy scrumptious Chopsuey against your palate with the tip of your tongue.

It tastes heavenly doesn’t it…?

That’s Umami…yes… the taste you are experiencing is called UMAMI…!
 
Now slowly roll the chopsuey backwards to the right side of your tongue and notice how its sweetness enhances.

Then move the chopsuey towards the back of your tongue and relish the tangy sweetish-sourness, the inimitable sweet and sour flavour.

Then roll it to the left, towards the back of your tongue, and experience a tinge of delicious subtle bitter flavour.

And as you move the delectable melange forward on your tongue, towards the left side of your tongue, soak up the tingling vitalizing scrummy saltiness, till you once again experience the intense lip-smacking luscious flavoursome savouriness of Umami.
 
That’s exactly what I am doing here right now, sitting on a lovely rainy evening at my favourite table in Vaishali restaurant on Fergusson College road in Pune.

Dissolving exquisite tingling mouth-watering portions of SPDP on my tongue, my eyes closed, senses focussed inwards, luxuriating in sheer epicurean bliss, trancelike ecstasy, epiphany…

Suddenly, unwittingly, on the spur of the moment, I open my eyes, and I am totally astonished, shocked out of my wits, baffled and dazed, to see her standing at the entrance.

Yes, it is her.
 
Instantaneously, I avert my eyes, try to hide myself in the SPDP in front of me, wishing, hoping against hope, hoping that it is not her, and slowly, furtively, with tremors of trepidation, I glance, through the corner of my eyes, a fleeting look, and my hopes are dashed, my worst fears come true, it is indeed her, no doubt about it.

And the delicious zesty SPDP turns tasteless in my mouth, like cud, and I wish the ground beneath me opens up and swallows me in. 
 
I wish she doesn’t see me, so I look away, try to hide.

I do not want to meet her.

Tell me, which loser wants to meet a winner?

Have you ever seen a failure attending a reunion? And enjoying it?

At this stage of my life, I avoid people who are more successful than me.

Is it not true?

The company of those who are less accomplished than you is always more comforting, at least for losers and “failures” like me.
 
Suddenly I sense she is near me.

Hesitantly, I look up.

We look at each other.

Priyamvada has blossomed. 

She looks exquisite, even more beautiful than before – radiant, slick, chic, booming with confidence – she is all the things that I am not.
 
“Hi, Praveen,” she says excitedly, “what a surprise…!”
 
“Yes,” I say nonchalantly.
 
“Hey, what’s the matter?  Are you not happy to see me…? Won’t you ask me to sit down…?” she says.
 
“Of course I am happy to see you. I’m sorry, but I was lost in my thoughts. Please do sit down and join me,” I say.
 
“Wow…! Having SPDP…? I too will have an SPDP,” she says cheerfully the moment she sits down opposite me.
 
“You like SPDP…?”
 
“I love it. SPDP in Vaishali – it brings back nostalgic memories too…!”
 
“Nostalgic memories…?”
 
“Vilas saw me for the first time right here – while I was having SPDP with my college gang.”
 
“So…?”
 
“He fell in love with me – love at first sight.”
 
“So…?”
 
“So he told his parents.”
 
“What…?”
 
“That he wanted to get married to me.”
 
“And…?”
 
“He told his parents that if at all he ever got married it would be to me and he will not marry anyone else.”

“Oh…”
 
“His parents were delighted as he had been rejecting marriage proposals for years, avoiding marriage on some pretext or the other. So they found out about me from my college and landed up at my place to ask for my hand in marriage.”
 
“And you jumped…?”
 
“Jumped…?”
 
“Yes, you jumped with joy at the golden opportunity. And you dumped me without a thought and you got married to a man twice your age…!”
 
“Twice my age…? What nonsense. Vilas wasn’t twice my age, he was just 30.”
 
“And you…? You were just a teenager then. Bloody cradle-snatcher…!”
 
“I wasn’t a teenager. I was 20.”
 
“It’s the same thing.”
 
“Praveen. Tell me, why are you still so bitter even today…? Just forget it…!”
 
“Forget it…? How can I forget it? You broke my heart.”
 
“Broke you heart…? I broke your heart…?”
 
“I was in love with you. We were in love with each other.”
 
“Love…? Come on, Praveen. It was just infatuation – one sided inchoate infatuation.”
 
“One sided infatuation…? I am sorry to hear that. I am really sorry to hear that. And then it was not only that. You made me the laughing stock of society. Not only me, my whole family…!”
 
“What do you mean?”
 
“You have the audacity to ask me ‘What do I mean’? You know what I mean!” I say.
 
“What?” she asks.
 
“You know how it was then. A boy rejecting a girl is okay, but a girl rejecting a boy? That too in Madiwale Colony – you can’t even imagine the unimaginable agony I suffered. I became the laughing stock of town – not me alone, our whole family had to suffer the embarrassment. I couldn’t even walk the streets peacefully without sensing those unspoken taunts and unseen jeers. It was terrible – really cruel of you…” I say.
 
“I am sorry. I did not mean to hurt you. But I never wanted to marry you,” she says.
 
“Then why did you say ‘yes’?” I ask.
 
“I don’t know. My parents were in a hurry. They showed me your photograph – it was all so confusing,” she says taking a sip of water, “Please let’s talk something else.”
 
“No. I want to know why you ditched me for that richie-rich IT Czar tycoon. Was it just the money? Or was it the lure of a luxurious life in America?”

“See, you cannot accuse me of ditching you – we were not formally engaged – I had just informally said ‘yes – I like you’ to my parents – and then Vilas proposed to me…”

“And it was his money, and he being an NRI from America, that settled the issue, and you dumped me.”
 
“No. It’s not that. You were too mediocre,” she says.
 
“Mediocre…? I had passed out from an IIT…!” I protest.
 
“So what…? Remember when I asked you what your plans were…and do you know what you said…? The way you told me your philosophy of life…” she says.
 
“Philosophy of life…? I think I just said that I never plan anything, that I just flow along, and take life as it comes…” I say.
 
Priyamvada looks at me and says: “Oh yes, just flow along. No ambitions. No aspirations. No dreams. No desire to achieve anything in life. Well I always wanted to get out of the middle class, have success, prosperity, see the world, enjoy the good things in life, and not spend my entire life going nowhere with an apathetic husband like you with no plans in life, listening to sermons on thrift and frugality.” 

Priyamvada pauses for a moment – and then she continues speaking, “I am so sorry – but in life one has to be rational – isn’t it…? One has to have plans in life.”
 
“Oh, yes. Plans in life…!” I say caustically, “And looking at you it’s evident that all your plans seem to have worked pretty well…”
 
I stop speaking at once, for seeing the sudden transformation in the expression on her face I instantly know that I have said something terribly wrong. 

She does not want me to see the tears well up in her eyes.

So she looks down into her plate and she tries to eat.

For some time there is silence. 

Grotesque silence. 

Then she looks up and says, “My plans did not work out.”

“What…???” I look at her dumbstruck.

“I have left him. Vilas and me are divorced. I have come back to India for good. I was wrong. I did not belong there. I realized I still belong here,” Priyamvada says.

She pauses for a moment.

Priyamvada composes herself, and then she says, “And this SPDP is no coincidence – I contrived the coincidence. I knew you would be here in Vaishali at six in the evening after spending your Sunday afternoon reading in the library.”

“What? You came here to meet me? Why?” I ask.

“Praveen, I want to ask you something,” she says.

“I know what you want to ask me – and my answer is YES,” I say looking deep into her eyes.

Priyamvada looks lovingly at me, and she says, “Thank you.” 

“I knew you would come back to me. I was waiting for you to come back,” I say.

I pop some SPDP in my mouth.

I let it disintegrate on my tongue and savour the delicious zesty Umami taste – the SPDP tastes delicious and I relish the lipsmacking dish like I have never relished it before.

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

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


This story written by me Vikram Karve in 2006 and 2009 and earlier posted by me online in my blogs at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 

blogspot.in

4/29/2015 01:40:00 PM

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

March 18, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

I look at myself in the mirror.

I do not like what I see.

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

And my eyebrows, my hair – they look unkempt.

Everything about me looks awful.

To put it bluntly – I look horrible.

I desperately need to go the beauty parlour.

I must have a good makeover to make myself presentable.

Today is Sunday.

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

My mobile phone rings.

It is Rohan.

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

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

“It’s 8 o’clock,” Rohan says.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I look at myself in the mirror once more.

I really look ghastly.

But it is okay.

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

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

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

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

I open the door.

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

“You look good,” I say.

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

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

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

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

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

“Should I pour the coffee?” he asks.

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

“Okay,” he says.

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

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

“Lonely…? Where is Lata…?” I ask.

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

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

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

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

“She did not want me to come…”

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

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

“But why…?”

“She feels embarrassed by me…”

“Embarrassed…? What are you saying…?”

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

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

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

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

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

“So – what happened…?”

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

“So you enjoyed the party…?”

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

“Rude…? Argument…? Why…?”

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

“Good…”

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

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

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

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

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

“But why should she do that…?”

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

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

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

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

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

“Out of your league…?”

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

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

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

“I remember…”

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

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

“And you fixed her up with me…?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“So – who was it…?”

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

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

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

“You didn’t tell him…?”

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

“So – what happened…?”

“He was furious – and he dumped me…”

“He dumped you – why…?”

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

“And then…?”

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

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

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

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

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

“Seattle…?”

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

“Wow…”

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

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

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

“You are 34…?”

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

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

“Maybe I never felt so lonely before…?”

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

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

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

“Why…? What are you saying…?”

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

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

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

“Her job…?”

“Yes…”

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

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

“Why – what happened…?”

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

“But what about your family life…?”

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

“Why don’t you talk to her…?” I say.

“I did…”

“And…?”

“Lata asked me to quit the Navy…”

“She asked you to quit the Navy…?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

“You can sign up for 4 years more…”

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

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

“Do you have someone in mind…?”

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

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

I looked at Rohan.

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

I marveled at the metamorphosis in Lata.

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

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

Lata is my friend.

I do not want to steal her husband.

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Port Blair…” I say.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


First Posted by Vikram Karve at 

blogspot.in

3/09/2015 06:14:00 PM

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

February 21, 2015

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

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

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

From My Creative Writing Archives : 

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

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

I am sure you will enjoy this naughty romance…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Yes. I’m Urvashi Mukherjee,” I said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Photo? 

Milan? 

I did not like the way she said “Milan” 

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

And she had called me Urvashi too …

I was truly flabbergasted. 

Who was this woman? 

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

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

“You know Milan?” I asked

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

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

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

“What do you mean?” I asked.

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

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

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

I was taken aback, quite bewildered.

I did not want to talk to this woman.

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

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

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

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

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

This insult was too much. 

Anger began to rise inside me.

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

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

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

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

“What?” I asked, stunned.

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

Now I was really furious.

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

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

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

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

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

It was still raining.

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

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

She was a real mystery.

How come Milan had never mentioned her?

He always told me everything about his life. 

That’s what I had thought. 

At least till now.

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

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

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

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

So she knew.

Milan had told her even that.

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

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

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

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

“He promised me,” I said defiantly.

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

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

“Don’t delve too much,” she said

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

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

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

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

Friends? 

True Friends? 

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

This was getting murky.

First she was a colleague.

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

The whole thing was bizarre. 

It was incredible and unbelievable.

No secrets between Milan and his girl friend.

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

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

I wondered why she was doing this to me? 

Why was she chatting me up? 

What was her motive? 

Was she trying to tell me something?

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

Or was it a contrived coincidence?

I had to get to the bottom of it all.

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

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

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


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

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

HOW TO MAKE MONEY IN THE STOCK MARKET – A Story of a Punter and an Investment Banker

January 18, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Money – THE PUNTER AND THE INVESTMENT BANKER.

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

HUMOUR IN MONEY

From my Creative Writing Archives:

Here is a fiction short story I wrote 4 years ago, in the year 2011, on a day the stock market was fluctuating wildly. 

Have a Laugh.

THE PUNTER AND THE INVESTMENT BANKER
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

He was not a Bull. 

He was not a Bear. 

He was a Punter. 

Yes, that is why we nicknamed him: “Punter”.

He did not bother about gobbledygook like fundamentals or technicals. 

He did not have an inkling of financial algorithms and risk heuristics.

He never “analyzed” the share market – he just speculated by sheer gut feeling.

He instinctively knew how to time the market. 

That is why he always made money – whether the stock market boomed or it crashed.

He had made so much money that he could have retired and enjoyed a luxurious lifestyle.

But then, he had got addicted to making money by playing the stock market.

Yes, he got a kick out of “making” money rather than “enjoying” his money

So despite his advancing years he kept on playing the market with more and more vigor and he continued to make more and more money. 

Earlier, in the good old days, he would spend his entire time in the “ring” at the Stock Exchange on Dalal Street. 

Now he would sit all day, all stressed up, in his room, glued to his TV, flipping all the financial channels, his fingers on his laptop or smartphone for instant online trading via the internet. 

He had no interests, no hobbies, no pleasures, no loves.

He just enjoyed one thing – playing the stock market and making money. 

One day his lifestyle took its toll and he had a massive heart attack. 

They rushed him to the best hospital in Mumbai.

The doctors said he would require a bypass surgery. 

So they admitted him to the best room in the hospital. 

Instead of relaxing there, he sat whole day watching the stock-market channels on the wall-mounted TV, doing feverish online trading on his smartphone – and he continued making a lot a money and he was very happy.

But the doctors were not happy.

The doctors said that all this share-market business was causing him a lot of excitement which was not good for his already erratic heart.

So one morning they suddenly removed the TV and his smartphone and they even banned all visitors except me, his best friend, and his son, who was a successful investment banker.

“Total rest,” the doctors warned all of us, “he needs total rest, both mental and physical, and only then will he be able to stabilize and be ready for the surgery.”

It was the first time he had to suffer a day of total rest isolated from the outside world.

It was the worst day of his life. 

The entire morning he kept asking about stock prices and asked me for my cell-phone to connect up and find out, but I refused since we were told to strictly isolate him from that world. 

I could realize that he was passing through hell – unimaginable mental agony at not getting information about the stock market – the very thing that had been his bread and butter – even the raison d’etre of his existence.

After lunch he dozed off.

Then he suddenly he woke up, and he asked me, “What is the time?”

“2:30,” I said.

“Good. There is still time. I want to speak to my son,” he said.

“He is coming at 4…” I said.

“No. I want to speak to him now. It is urgent,” he said.

“Your son will be busy now, in his office…” I said.

“I told you it is urgent. Just get him on the phone…” he said excitedly, his breathing getting heavy.

“Okay. Okay. Calm down,” I said. 

I dialled his son’s mobile number.

Soon his son came on the line.

I asked him to speak to his father.

“Sell all shares,” the man shouted at his son via the mobile phone.

“What?” I could hear his son’s surprised voice.

“Don’t ask any questions. You just do what I say. Sell all my shares – do you understand – sell all my shares – everything. Do it now. Today. Before the closing bell. Sell everything online. Right now. You know the user id and password of my trading account, don’t you…” the old man shouted to his son.

“Okay, Papa,” I could hear his son’s voice, before he disconnected.

The old man kept on pestering me to ring up his son and confirm, so I rang up his son half an hour later.

“Yes, Papa – I have sold all the shares in online trading,” the son confirmed.

The old man seemed tremendously relieved and he went to sleep peacefully.

That night, at home, sitting before my TV set, I watched with concern as all the share-market experts on the financial channels predicted that the market was very solid and bullish.

All financial experts recommended that everyone buy shares as the market was going to go up and up and up. 

“Invest … Invest … Invest … Buy … Buy … Buy …” all the experts said in unison.

The market was at an all time high but things were looking so good that it was going to rise phenomenally and your investment would probably double in a few months – all the experts predicted. 

The experts kept quoting analysis in technical jargon I never understood to substantiate their predictions.

Next morning the stock-market crashed

It was the biggest fall ever in the history of the share-market. 

Most investors were wiped out. 

Everyone incurred huge losses – except the old man and me.

Did I say: “The old man and Me?” 

Yes, the “Punter” and Me seemed to be the only two people who had made a profit in this stock-market crash.

Dear Reader – you’re surprised – aren’t you? 

Let me tell you what I did. 

The moment the Punter had finished speaking to his son, I went outside the room.

I called up my broker and told him to immediately sell off all my shares.

The Punter must have made a huge profit selling off all his shares just before the stock-market crashed.

And, as always – playing along with him – I too had made a small fortune by selling off the few shares I had. 

As always – I had blindly followed the Punter.

And, as always – I had profited by blindly imitating whatever he did in the stock market.

The Punter heard the news of the stock-market crash from a careless nurse.

The Punter got so excited on hearing the news of the share-market crash, that he almost went crazy with excitement and happiness thinking of the huge amount of profit he had made. 

The frenzy of ecstasy caused his blood pressure to go haywire – his heartbeats ran amok – and suddenly – the Punter collapsed and died.

I gave a condolence speech at the old man’s funeral in which I praised him profusely.

I told everyone how I had made a fortune in the stock-market by just following him blindly.

Later, the old man’s son took me aside, and he asked me, “Did you really sell all your shares?”

“Yes,” I said, “I had blind faith in your father.”

“I wish I had blind faith in his mysterious ways. But I am an investment banker. I don’t go by gut instinct, like my father did. I analyze things. I never imagined the stock market would crash so badly. In fact I thought the market would go up and it would be foolish to sell such excellent blue chip shares,” the young man said.

I looked at Punter’s son, and I asked him, “Are you trying to tell me that you did not sell all the shares as your father had told you to do?”

“No. I never sold those shares. I am big fool. Had I listened to my father and sold all the shares, I would have made a big fortune. But I did not sell those shares,” the young man said, with a tone of regret in his voice.

“I cannot believe it. You never sold the shares? Not even a single one?” I said.

“No – I did not sell even one single share,” he said.

“Then why did you lie to your father that you sold all the shares?” I asked.

“Because I wanted him to die happy,” he said, “I lied to my father because I wanted my father to die a happy death.”

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

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

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



This Story is a Revised Version of My Story THE PUNTER written by me 4 years ago in the year 2011 and earlier posted by me online in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 25 May 2011 Posted by me Vikram Karve at5/25/2011 11:38:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Posted by Vikram Karve at 1/19/2015 01:18:00 AM

BLOGS ARE IN and BOOKS ARE OUT – REVOLUTION IN PUBLISHING – THE ASCENDANCY OF DIGITAL SPACE – MY TAKEAWAY FROM PUNE INTERNATIONAL LITERARY FESTIVAL (PILF)

September 28, 2013

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: REVOLUTION IN PUBLISHING – THE ASCENDANCY OF DIGITAL SPACE – MY TAKEAWAY FROM PUNE INTERNATIONAL LITERARY FESTIVAL (PILF).

DIGITAL SCREENS ARE IN and PAPER BOOKS ARE OUT
BLOGS ARE IN and BOOKS ARE OUT
Musings on the Future of Creative Writing
by
VIKRAM KARVE

Link to my original article in my journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/09/revolution-in-publishing-ascendancy-of.html

REVOLUTION IN PUBLISHING  –  THE ASCENDANCY OF DIGITAL SPACE
MY TAKEAWAY FROM PUNE INTERNATIONAL LITERARY FESTIVAL (PILF)
By
VIKRAM KARVE
THE ASCENDANCY OF DIGITAL SPACE
Last week I had the good fortune to participate in a few interesting sessions of the Pune International Literary Festival (PILF) held at MIT Kothrud Pune from 20 to 22 September 2013.
For me, one important “takeaway” from PILF was that nowadays: “More people Read on Digital Screens than Paper”.
In the days to come, this trend will increase exponentially and we may soon reach a stage where the “Digital Space” overshadows the traditional print medium, as far as all forms of writing and reading is concerned, including creative writing and literary reading.
This predominance of the digital space is going to cause a total paradigm shift in the publishing industry.
At various sessions during the Pune International Literary Festival, most publishers and editors were talking about the decreasing financial viability of publishing on paper as compared to the electronic medium.
Many publishers were saying that the future of publishing creative writing, especially literary fiction, lies in the “Digital Space”.
Why is this happening?
The main reason is “Technology”.
Technology has provided the hardware gadgets and software applications to optimally exploit those gadgets.
But most importantly, technology has liberated writers from the clutches of editors and publishers.
CREATIVE WRITING – Why Does a Writer Write?
Why do you write?
If you are a writer, you will realize that writers write for two reasons:
1. Some write because they want to earn money (commercial writing)
2. Others get the urge to write because they want to say something (creative writing)
In your case, which is the primary reason why you write?
There was a time when writers could earn enough money to make a living.
That is why writers could afford the luxury of full-time writing (and not doing a job).
But was difficult to establish yourself as a “published author” since you were at the mercy of editors and publishers.
And only if you could establish yourself as a published author could you earn enough money from your writing to make it a full-time vocation.
It was a Catch-22 situation.
If an editor did not print your writing in a magazine or a publisher did not publish your book you were doomed to failure as a writer, as these were the only ways you could make your writing reach the reader.
Either you had to be a celebrity, or have the right “contacts” in the publishing industry, or get that “lucky break”, or keep peddling your writing doggedly despite getting rejection slip after rejection slip.
Publishers evaluated writing purely from the business point of view.
Your writing had to be “sellable”.
That is why “commercial fiction” is most sought after by editors and publishers.
The combination all these factors is the reason why many “wannabe” budding writers who tried their hand at writing, faced rejection, got frustrated, fell by the wayside, and since they could not financially sustain themselves, they had to take up other professions.
THE ADVENT OF BLOGGING
Everything changed with the advent of the internet, proliferation of information technology and innovations like blogging in the “digital space”.
Now, “publishing” is no longer the monopoly of a handful of publishers and the stranglehold of editors is over.
Anyone who wishes to write can instantly “publish” their writing on blogs and showcase their literary work to the world.
I feel that blogging is the biggest “blessing” for those who wish to write, especially creative writers.
Yes, apart from social media, blogging is the most significant innovation of information technology.
Now, with widespread proliferation of the internet, every person has the opportunity to write.
All you have to do is to set up your blog (which is simple and free of cost on a number of popular blogging platforms like blogger, wordpress, typepad etc).
Then, you upload and publish your writings on your blog.
And, instantly, your writing is available throughout the world for people to read.
You feel a sense of “instant gratification”.
And you experience a sense of creative freedom since you have full control on what you want to write on your blog (without any external “editorial intervention”).
By removing the opaque barrier of editor/publisher between the writer and reader, blogging has enabled the reader to connect directly with the writer and facilitated mutual interaction between the two.
Blogging has proved to be a big boon to writers (who write because they want to “say something”).
If you are a writer, blogging is the best medium to satisfy your creative urge and demonstrate your literary skills to the world
Blogging is also of great benefit to readers as it has made so much material available for them to read free of cost.
Apart from blogs, there are many websites which contain a deluge of reading material in the digital space.
Many people have stopped reading printed paper and do all their reading from screens.
Technology has also progressed fast by leaps and bounds.
First you had ebook readers, and then you read on screens of PCs, Laptops and Tablets.
Now you have Smartphones.
Nowadays, people spend more time reading books on Smartphones than they do on tablets, ebook readers, PCs and laptops.
New sophisticated “eReader” applications for reading books on electronic screens are being developed in a big way to offer a superior reading experience on handheld electronic devices, especially mobile smartphones and “phablets”.
Handheld digital screens are edging out paper books
With increasing trend of reading on handheld digital screens (especially smartphones), paper books are being edged out of the market.
The shutting down of many bookstores (including the iconic Manney’s in Pune) and downsizing of bookshop chains (which restrict their stock to recent commercial fiction) bears testimony to the increasing ascendancy of the digital space vis-à-vis the traditional print medium.
During a discussion at the PILF, someone said that even the popular “secondhand” bookstores were winding up as more and more literary works were digitized and were freely available online on the internet.
WAY AHEAD
What does this all mean for budding creative writers?
If you are a new writer then it is better to forget about “publishing” your writing in the print medium.
You will be better off if you start blogging your writing in the digital space.
At the recent Pune International Literary Festival (PILF) I met a columnist who used to write columns on topical issues for print newspapers.
He told me that owing to financial considerations, newspapers were becoming thinner, both smaller in size and with lesser number of pages.
Also more pages had to given to commercial features which financially sustain the newspaper like advertisements and sponsored features (“paid news”).
The result was that there was less space for content of columnists and writers.
So the columnist was repeatedly told to keep reducing the length of his article and make it shorter and shorter, till the word count became so less that it was not possible for him to properly express what he had to say.
Finally, things reached a stage where the e-version of the newspaper (in digital space) would carry his full article and the print version would be abridged to fit into the miniscule space available.
So now, the columnist has started blogging where he can write in an unrestricted and unrestrained manner.
Let me tell you about another friend who is a voracious reader.
He travels extensively all over the world as a part of his work and he spends a lot of his time waiting at airports, in hotels or in commuting to and fro to airports.
Earlier he used to carry a book to pass time during these long waits.
Now he carried his Smartphone – he can multitask, he can network, and also read a wide variety of things via the web since internet connectivity has become so easy and accessible.
He regularly reads my blog wherever he is in the world, and he can access literature and information from websites and also read a variety of blogs and writings of his interest.
WHY YOU MUST BLOG
Suppose you observe something which stirs emotion within you and you experience an urge to express your inner feelings and say something, tell others, so you write about it – say, a short story.
In the “good old” pre-internet days, you would send your piece of creative writing, your story, to a magazine for publication.
And then, the agonizing wait would begin.
Some decent editors would acknowledge your contribution, and then let you know of acceptance or otherwise.
Others would not even have the courtesy of acknowledging receipt of your story.
Sometimes, there would be so much delay by the time your story was published that you yourself would have lost interest or the story would have lost its topicality.
It was similar with a manuscript of your book, if you were a new budding author.
Everything depended on the whims and fancies of the all-powerful editors and publishers.
Most unsolicited manuscripts were consigned to the slush-pile and forgotten.
Hapless authors who wanted their writings to see the light of day had no choice but spend time and effort to make the rounds of editorial offices, swallow their self respect and be ready to be pushed around.
Not anymore.
The advent of blogging has changed everything.
Now, the moment you finish writing your story, you can upload it on your blog, and, hey presto, your story will ne instantaneously available worldwide for all to read.
Readers will connect with you, just like my friend can read my blog posts on his Smartphone, wherever he is in the world, the moment I post them on my blog.
It looks like: BLOGS ARE IN and BOOKS ARE OUT
Or to put it more aptly:
 
DIGITAL SCREENS ARE IN and PAPER BOOKS ARE OUT
Is the end of traditional publishing industry imminent?
Maybe not the “end” but the decline of print medium has certainly started as more and more people start reading on convenient handheld digital screens rather than lug around cumbersome paper books.
There is a revolution brewing in publishing.
The ascendancy of digital space is an undeniable reality.
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 book review. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. 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 2013 all rights reserved
Did you like this blog post?

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@hotmail.com
Twitter: @vikramkarve
      

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

HOW TO MANAGE YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION

September 16, 2013

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT.

Click the link above to read the article in my journal

The article is also posted below for your convenience:

BUILDING YOUR WEB IDENTITY AND MANAGING YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Link to my original article in my journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/09/online-reputation-management.html

ONLINE REPUTATION MANAGEMENT
Tips for Building and Managing Your Web Identity
By
VIKRAM KARVE
In today’s world you have two reputations:
1. OFFLINE REPUTATION (in the physical real world)
2. ONLINE REPUTATION (in the virtual world or cyberspace)
Unless you are a celebrity, your “offline reputation” is restricted and known to only those persons in your proximity, at work, in your social circles and personal life.
However, your “online reputation” is all pervasive and is available for scrutiny by anyone throughout the world who has access to the internet.
If I want to know about you, all I have to do is to “google” your name or search your details on websites, search engines or social networks.
Potential employers, or prospective spouses, or those desirous of getting into a relationship with you, can easily carry out a basic background check on you by just surfing the internet.
(Earlier, before the advent of the internet, you had to ask some mutual acquaintance or make discreet inquiries or hire a detective to find out information about somebody)
The fact of the matter is that, in today’s connected world, your online reputation is easily accessible and matters more than offline reputation.
In the same way that your personality (real-world offline identity) is important for your offline reputation, your online identity plays an important role in determining your online reputation.
ONLINE IDENTITY
Your online identity consists of two things:
1. What you say about yourself on the internet (your “Owned Identity”)
2. What others say about you on the internet (your “Earned Identity”)
Your OWNED IDENTITY comprises whatever information you upload on the internet.
Your owned identity will comprise so many things like:
1. Whatever you upload on social networking sites like Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Twitter etc including your profiles, pictures, photos, status reports, tweets, comments – anything and everything you upload about yourself.
2. Your Blogs
3. Your Websites (personal, professional and company)
4. All your writings and postings on the web which you post on the internet on various websites, online journals and e-magazines, forums, networks, groups, emails, documents, presentations – anything and everything you put on the internet.
5. Various “profiles” and “avatars” you create on the web – like, for example, your profiles on job search sites and matrimonial sites.
To put it metaphorically, your owned identity is like having a permanent tattoo – it can never be fully erased.
Your EARNED IDENTITY is what others “say” about you on the internet.
Your earned identity includes:
1. Information about you on Social Networking Sites like postings about you on Facebook by your friends (status, tags, pictures, photos, comments), recommendations and endorsements on LinkedIn, Re-tweets and Mentions of your Tweets etc
2. Articles, Blog Posts, Wikis, Biographical Writings etc written about you which are available on the internet
3. Various “profiles” created by others about you at various places on the web.
4. Various networks and websites that link to you
5. Miscellaneous information about you available on the internet – for example, your examination results uploaded online by your university, education board, UPSC etc or results of job selection interviews promulgated online.
To use a metaphor, your earned identity is like “branding” where a permanent mark is stamped on you by someone else.
ONLINE REPUTATION
Your “owned identity” is in your control.
You must be circumspect about what you put on the internet as even a small slip-up like an injudicious writing, indiscreet photo, imprudent relationship status update or careless comment has the potential of harming your reputation in future.
Your “earned identity” is not in your control.
Sometimes, this matters more, since people may be curious to find out what others have to say about you than what you say about yourself.
Even if you avoid the internet altogether, you cannot avoid having an “earned identity” since someone else may upload some writing or material about you on the web, especially if you are a celebrity.
That is why famous people, like ancient philosophers and writers, who lived much before the advent of internet have “earned identities” and consequent “online reputations”.
MANAGING YOUR ONLINE REPUTATION
Do a simple experiment.
Just “google” your name and see the results of the search.
What are the top few results?
How many are “owned reputation” and how many are “earned reputation”.
If you want to manage your online reputation you must ensure that links pertaining to “owned reputation” (what you say about yourself) appear as the top search results as compared to “earned reputation” (what others say about you).
As far as your online reputation is concerned, what you say about yourself (owned reputation) must have more prominence than what others say about you (earned reputation).
In a nutshell, if you want to control your online reputation, you will have to “say” more about yourself on the internet than others “say” about you.
How do you do this?
It is simple.
Get active on the internet – blog regularly, tweet vigorously, and maintain a dynamic presence on social networking sites like Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, Quora etc and various Forums and groups, and make sure you network effectively.
You must be conscious of your online reputation because with the proliferation of the internet, your “online reputation” will overshadow your “offline reputation”.
Remember, if someone wants to do a background check on you, for whatever reason, to hire you for a job, to check you out as a marriage prospect, or they just want to find out more about you, all they have to do is to “google” your name, ingeniously delve a bit and explore your online identity (web shadow) and discover your online reputation – yes, all that will matter is your online reputation.
It is, therefore, imperative that you establish an effective web presence and be careful to build a good online reputation and make constant efforts to monitor and manage your online reputation.
 
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.

Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
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 – all rights reserved
 
Did you like this blog post?

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@hotmail.com and vikramwamankarve@gmail.com
Twitter: @vikramkarve
      

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Posted by Vikram Karve
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