Posts Tagged ‘romance’

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

 

Romance via the “Rear Window”

April 14, 2016

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

ROMANCE VIA THE “REAR WINDOW”

A Fictional Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

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

Part 1 : REAR WINDOW

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Part 2 : MY “REAR WINDOW” STORY

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

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

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

I was flabbergasted.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The girl gave me a perplexed look.

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

The girl looked away – she seemed embarrassed.

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

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

Part 3 : EPILOGUE

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

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

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

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

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

She waved out to me – I waved back.

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

I shifted my gaze downwards.

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

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

I tried to avert my eyes.

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

I vigorously waved back to her too.

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

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

VIKRAM KARVE

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

Disclaimer:

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

Copyright Notice:

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

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

Humor in Uniform – My Love Life

September 23, 2015

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

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

MY LOVE LIFE
Dating Romance Marriage
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

A GIRL IN EVERY PORT

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

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

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

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

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

TALENT FOR ROMANCE

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

“Me too,” I said.

My friend succeeded.

I failed.

I just did not have the talent for romance.

Everything had been handed down to me on a platter.

All the conditions to get a girlfriend were ideal.

I was on the best ship.

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

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

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

But – I had drawn a blank.

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

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

DO GIRLFRIENDS MAKE YOU HAPPY…?

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

Suddenly – I was rudely jolted awake.

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

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

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

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

His girlfriend was an airhostess who flew on international routes.

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

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

“So – get married,” I said.

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

And then – he went on and on…

He told me his entire ‘sob story’…

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

I thought that having a girlfriend made you happier.

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

He appeared to have become miserable after falling in love.

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

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

FOOD = FIXED DEPOSIT

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

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

It was a stable situation.

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

ROMANCE = STOCK MARKET

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

Acquiring a girlfriend was like trading in a volatile share.

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

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

LOVELESS ‘ZERO-ROMANCE’ BACHELOR LIFE

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

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

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

My few attempts at dating girls ended in disaster.

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

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

EXTRA MARITAL ROMANCE

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

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

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

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

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

My wife followed my gaze.

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

Suddenly – my gaze shifted.

My wife was curious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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

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

Story of the Girl at the Airport

August 25, 2015

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/blog-fiction-girl-at-airport.html.

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

Blog Fiction

THE GIRL AT THE AIRPORT
Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

“Hello Sir,” she said.

In the suddenness of the moment – I did not recognize her.

But then – she gave me her typical vivacious smile – her eyes danced – and I knew who she was.

She had been one of my brightest students.

But then – that was quite some time ago.

“Of course I recognize you,” I said, “How can I ever forget one of my best students? But meeting you here at the airport was so unexpected that I was confused for a moment – and you’ve grown up so much – and I too am getting old now…”

“No Sir – you still look handsome – and as young as ever. I am sure all the girls still have a crush on you – like we all did…!” she said naughtily.

I almost blushed – so to change the subject – I asked her: “What you doing here at the airport?”

“I’m going to New York,” she said, “my flight is delayed – so I am just killing time.”

“My flight to Singapore is delayed too,” I said.

“Singapore?” she asked.

“Yes. I’m going for a conference,” I said.

“Oh,” she said.

For some moments – no one spoke.

To break the silence – I said, “Let’s go to the coffee shop. We can sit and talk over there till our flights are announced.”

As we walked to the airport coffee shop – I thought of the young girl walking beside me.

She had abruptly left our school 3 years ago – after completing her 9th Standard.

When we teachers expressed our surprise – the Principal of our school told us – that her parents wanted to shift her to an elite boarding school – faraway in the hills.

We told the Principal that she was a brilliant scholar – one of our best students – who had the potential to top the 10th Board Exams – and she would surely bring laurels to our school by getting into the merit list. 

We also argued that – even from girl’s point of view – it was not prudent to change her school and shift her just one year before the matriculation board examination.

The Principal told us that he had discussed all this with her parents – but they were adamant that the girl be shifted to a boarding school.

So – the bright young girl left our school – and she went away to the elite boarding school at the distant hill station.

I did not see the bright young girl again – or even hear of her – after she left our school.

“Sir – do you know why I had to suddenly leave school?” she asked me – as we sat down for coffee.

“No,” I said, “in fact, we were quite surprised at your unexpected sudden departure.”

“My parents were getting divorced – and they did not want me around – so they sent me away to the boarding school,” she said, nonchalantly – without batting an eyelid.

“I’m sorry,” I said, “that’s sad.”

“Yes,” she said, “it was really sad. They never asked me anything. They just decided to divorce on their own. I felt terrible. I did not like it at all. It was amicable divorce by mutual consent – but no one took my consent. Why is it – that in divorce cases – no one bothers about the children’s consent?”

I did not answer. 

I did not answer – because I did not know the answer to her question – “Why does the family court not take children’s consent before granting divorce to the parents…?” 

She had a point.

Aren’t children stakeholders in a marriage…?

I remained silent.

I looked at the girl.

Though I had met her parents once or twice perfunctorily at school functions – I did not know her parents that well. 

In fact – I do remember most of my students – but I hardly remember their parents.

I sipped my coffee in silence.

I did not say anything.

I waited for the girl to speak.

“I just don’t know why they split,” she said, “we seemed to be such a happy family together.”

“They must have had their reasons,” I said.

“Well – I think I know at least one reason now,” she said.

I just looked at her – waiting for her to continue speaking.

“Do you know what my father did the moment the divorce was through?” she said.

“What?” I asked.

“My dad got married to a woman half his age.” 

“Half his age?” I asked, quite incredulous.

“Yes. The female was his student.”

“Student?”

“You know that my father is a Professor, don’t you?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said.

The girl looked at me with bitterness on her face – and she said, “Yes – my father married a woman half his age. That girl was his student. She was doing her Ph.D. under him. The wily female snatched him away from us. And it was his fault too – a married man with a family getting involved with a woman so much younger in age than him.  It was terrible – a teacher and a student shamelessly getting married to each other. Just imagine how embarrassing it must have been for me and my mother.”

“Yes,” I said, trying to show empathy.

“And do you know what my mother did?”

“What?”

“Three months later – she too got married to a jerk from her office,” she said, “I hate him – he’s such a crafty smooth-talking fake – a charlatan . I just don’t understand why my mother fell for that slimy scoundrel…? ”

The girl paused for a moment – and she said, “And can you imagine his audacity?”

“Audacity?”

“Yes – this so-called step-father of mine – one day he politely told me that ‘they’ wanted more privacy – so could I please go and stay with my own Dad for a while?”

“Don’t tell me…!”

“Yes – it was disgusting – my mother and my step-father – they were behaving as if they were a ‘honeymoon couple’. And now – my step-father wanted to throw me out of my own house. So – I asked my mother to tell her new husband to shut up…”

“And…?”

“You won’t believe this – my mother just kept quiet and said nothing.”

“So?”

“So – I packed my bags – and I went over to my father’s place – but it was even worse over there.”

“Even worse?”

“Though she did not say so in so many words – my ‘step-mother’ made it quite clear that I was not very welcome – she kept giving me repulsive vibes of fake politeness – you know those terrible negative vibes – I could feel them every moment.”

“That is sad – very sad.”

“So I spent the next two years of junior college – my 11th and 12th – shuttling between my two parents like an unwanted badminton shuttle-cock,” she said.

“It must have been terrible…” I commiserated.

“Yes. It was really very painful for me – so I made a deal,” she said.

“A deal?”

“I told both my parents that I wanted to go abroad to America for my studies – and I wanted them to jointly pay for it – I told them that they must fund my entire studies and my stay abroad,” she said.

“Oh!” I exclaimed.

The girl paused for a moment – she had a sip of coffee – and then – she said: “You know – all of them – my Dad, my Mom, my Step-Father, my Step-Mother – all of them were delighted to hear this – that I wanted to go away from their lives. My Dad used his academic connections – and he went out of the way to get me admission to the best university in the US. As I said – no one wants me here – so – everyone – my very own mother – and even my so-called ‘step parents’ – they are all chipping in to finance my education in America – for as long as I want to study. They are all so happy to get me out of the way.”

“Oh – so that is why you are going abroad to America?” I said.

“Yes. I am running away. To a new life…” the girl said.

Suddenly – her flight was announced – and she got up to leave.

“Thanks for the coffee, Sir,” she said, “it was really so nice meeting you.”

“I am sure we will meet again when you come back,” I said.

“I am not coming back, Sir. There is nothing left here for me to come back to. I am leaving behind the debris of my past – and I am moving on to begin a new life over there – and I am not going to look back…” she said.

“All the Best. Take Care…” I said.

“You too, Sir – Take Care…” she said.

Then she turned – and she walked away.

I watched her for a long time – till she disappeared from sight. 

I thought she would look back. 

I thought she would wave a last good bye. 

But – she did not look back.

Maybe – she did not want to look back at the world from which she had escaped forever.

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

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

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised version of my story titled RUNNING AWAY (SHE DID NOT LOOK BACK) posted online earlier by me Vikram Karve a number of times on this blog – first on August 21, 2012 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and later at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… etc

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/25/2015 01:57:00 PM

 

THE FLIRTY WOMAN ON THE TRAIN – A TRAVEL ROMANCE

August 24, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Do tell me if you like this old fashioned romance…

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

EPILOGUE

Sometime ago – I received a wedding invitation card.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

FLIRTING ON THE TRAIN
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

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

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

I was on seat number 30 – a window seat.

A window seat.

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

A disappointment…!

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

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

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

I felt a pang of disappointment.

Maybe she would come at Dadar.

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

I sat down on seat number 28.

In 10 minutes the train reached Dadar.

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

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

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

I and gave her a smile of forced geniality.

Our eyes met.

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

I felt a sense of elation.

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

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

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

Now she would have to sit next to me.

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

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

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

This was one journey I was going to enjoy. 

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

I was taken aback – a bit bewildered.

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

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

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

The silence was grotesque.

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

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

That was true. 

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

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

I looked at her.

I felt totally astounded. 

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

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

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

“New name…?” I said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Are you from Pune…?” I asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“When was this…?” I asked.

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

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

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

I smiled to myself at the truth of her statement.

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

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

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

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

“I don’t have a wife…” I said.

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

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

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

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

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

“Quality of life…?” Manisha Bhide said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

I excused myself – and I went to the toilet.

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

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

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

He wanted to know all about ships…!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Maybe – we would have a rocking marriage.

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

Maybe for her – Surely for me.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

August 22, 2015

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

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

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

Continued from:

1. NOBODY’S NAVY – an Introduction

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve

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

(How Sub Lieutenant NOBODY became a “Somebody”)

OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES aka OLQ – THE ART OF COMMAND


NOBODY’S NAVY – a Fictional Spoof by VIKRAM KARVE

CHAPTER 1

STEALING AFFECTIONS – A MATTER OF HONOUR

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Captain never took things lying down.

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

This was going to be difficult.

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

There was silence.

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

In the navy it was all a matter of form.

The moral issue was a minor detail.

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

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

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

He gestured to the JAG who gave him a folder.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Nonsense,” the Captain said.

“What?” the Admiral looked stunned.

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

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

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

“But the C-in-C has desired…”

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

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

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

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

“He is waiting outside,” the captain said.

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

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

The Captain saluted smartly and walked off.

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

His Captain sat on a sofa on the side.

“Where is the JAG?” the Captain asked.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Root cause – the Commodore?”

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

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

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

“Tanya?”

“My daughter, Sir,” the Captain said.

“I see,” the Admiral hid a smile.

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

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

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

“You physically pushed him out?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“What nonsense?”

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

“I don’t believe all this hogwash.”

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

“What?”

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

“So she wanted you to do it?”

“Yes, Sir…”

“And you did it…?”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Do you know the alternative?”

“Court Martial, Sir.”

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

“What about my honour, sir?”

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

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

“But you are guilty.”

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

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

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

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

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody saluted the Admiral.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

To be continued … 

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

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

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

How to Find Your Perfect Marriage Partner – Numerology and Compatibility

August 21, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: MARRIAGE COMPATIBILITY GUIDE – How to Find Your Perfect Match.

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

HOW TO FIND YOUR PERFECT MATCH – MARRIAGE COMPATIBILITY GUIDE

NUMEROLOGY and COMPATIBILITY
A Spoof
(Just for Fun)
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Most people say that my wife and I are the most incompatible couple they have ever met. 

Many of our friends and relatives wonder how we have managed to stay married together for more than 33 years.

Even our children are surprised as to how two individuals with such contrasting temperaments can remain together for so long. 

The fact that my wife and I have lived together for over 33 years implies that – though outwardly it may not seem so – inwardly – there must be some“mysterious hidden compatibility“ between me and my wife.

Sometimes – you have a fact of life before you that defies rational logic – like the fact that we remain married for more than 33 years – whereas – logically – a terribly incompatible couple like us should have split-up long back.

So – you have to work backwards – to try to find some reason to substantiate and “validate” this incomprehensible fact – and try to justify the “inconsistency”

I call this reverse logic or ex post facto justification

As I said – we – my wife and I – are a terribly incompatible couple.

Yet – our marriage has lasted for more than 33 years. 

Therefore – I had to find some reason for this mystery.

That is why I took solace in numerology. 

And – hey presto – I was able to “prove” that we – my wife and I – are indeed “compatible” (at least on paper).

Dear Reader: Have a look at the Pythagorean Numerology Table below:


Now let us use this Pythagorean Numerological Table.

Let’s calculate the numerological value of my name VIKRAM 

(4+9+2+9+1+4 = 29 = 2+9 = 11 = 1+1 = 2

My numerological value is 2

Now – let’s compute the numerological value of my wife’s name POORNIMA 

(7+6+6+9+5+9+4+1 = 47 = 4+7 = 11 = 1+1 = 2)

Hey – my wife’s numerological value is also 2

The numerological values of both our names is the same. 

My number is 2 

My wife’s number is also 2

It is a “Perfect Match” 

No wonder we are such a “perfect match” – at least from the numerology point of view – so now we can “justify” our long married life.


WHAT TO DO ON YOUR FIRST DATE

Are you married..? 

Are you planning to get married..? 

Are you in love..? 

Are you in a relationship..? 

Are you dating someone..? 

Are you thinking of getting into a relationship with someone…?

Just check out your mutual numerological compatibility. 

Now you know what to do on your first date now – don’t you…?

Maybe it is a good idea to have some fun.

Check out your numerological compatibility – with your spouse – your friends – your loved ones – your boss – your colleagues – or anyone with whom you are planning a close relationship. 

Just use the simple Pythagorean Table above – and compute the numerological value of your names. 


NUMEROLOGICAL HARMONY

If you have a “perfect match” – it’s great. 

But suppose you do not have a “perfect match”.

No problem.

Do not worry if your numerological values are not identical (perfect match).

You can always hope for harmony in numerological values.

Even if the numerological values are in harmony (one value divisible by the other) – it is a sign of excellent compatibility. 

For example – if the husband’s numerological value is 3 – and the wife’s value comes out to be a multiple of 3 like 6 or 9 (or vice versa) – then they are in “harmony”. 

So – if you find out that your marriage “rocks” – be happy – tell your spouse and celebrate.

And – if your numerological values just do not match (inharmonious combinations like 2 and 7 or 3 and 8 or 4 and 9) – just don’t worry.

When in doubt – there is no harm in using means to justify the end.

Try out some other numerology system – like Chaldean, Indian, Arabic, Chinese, Hebrew, African, even Abracadabra – there are so many numerology tables, charts and calculators available. 

Keep trying all permutations and combinations – till you “discover” your mutual compatibility. 

And then – you can “validate” your marital compatibility – and be happy. 

That is the trick scientists do while doing “research”.

You just keep on trying all permutations and combinations – till you find a “justification” for your “hypothesis”.


DISCOVER YOUR MUTUAL COMPATIBILITY

Dear Reader: You can easily “discover” your “compatibility” with any person you want to by using this simple numerological method. 

Use this technique to convince your loved one about how “mutually compatible” you two are. 

Maybe – this will enhance your romance. 

Try it with your boss and colleagues too. 

Maybe – it will improve interpersonal relationships at work.

But here is a caveat.

Please do not use numerology as an excuse to “dump” someone.

Now – that is unethical – and just not done. 

And – Hey – please do not take this too seriously – I told you right at the beginning that all this is just for fun…!

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

Disclaimer:
1. This article is a spoof, 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. While you can use numerology for fun – please do your due diligence in real life – since – to the best of my knowledge – numerology has no scientific basis. 
3. All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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


This is a revised and updated version of my article first written by me Vikram Karve in the year 2008 and posted online earlier by me in this blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/200…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… etc

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/21/2015 12:17:00 PM

Love and Friendship – Merry-Go-Round Romance Story

August 20, 2015

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

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

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

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

I think it is one of my good stories. 

Surprisingly – this story went unnoticed and unappreciated.

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

Do tell me if you like it.

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


12 SEPTEMBER – A Love Story by Vikram Karve


12 September 1977
Shivalik Hostel IIT Delhi

VIJAY  and  ME

It is our 21st Birthday.

Yes – we are both 21 years old today.

Vijay and Me were born on the same day.

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

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

And then for 5 years here at IIT Delhi.

But – this is a special occasion for two reasons.

We are 21 years old.

And – this may be our last birthday together.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


12 September 1978
Bangalore

VIJAY  and  ME

As promised – we meet on our birthday.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Vijay instantly agrees. 

He looks relieved. 

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

We beat a hasty retreat.

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


12 September 1982
Visakhapatnam (Vizag)

VIJAY  USHA  and  ME

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She has a certain innocent charm about her.

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

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

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

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

Vijay cribs about Vizag being quite a boring place.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Usha has baked a birthday cake for both of us.

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

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

Early next morning I say goodbye.

We promise to meet next year.

And then I catch the morning flight out of Vizag.


12 September 1984
Mumbai

VIJAY  USHA  NISHA  and  ME

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

Vijay has moved up the ladder pretty fast.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

When Vijay arrives – there is a woman with him.

She looks beautiful, chic and very elegant.

Vijay introduces us to each other.

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

Nisha has an MBA in finance.

She was working abroad for some years.

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

Vijay introduces Nisha as his office colleague.

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

Nisha goes in to freshen up.

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

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

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

“She’ll be good company,” Vijay says.

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

We start laughing – but suddenly Nisha comes in.

We drive to the club.

Usha sits beside Vijay in front.

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

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

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

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

Nisha is indeed a very alluring woman.

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

We – Vijay and Me – we drink Scotch Whisky.

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

It is a lovely evening.

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

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

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

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


12 September 1987
New Delhi

VIJAY  NISHA  and  ME

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

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

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

Vijay divorced Usha and married Nisha.

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

Now they both work in New York.

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

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

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

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

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

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

And we go to sleep.


12 September 1989
Pune

USHA  and  ME

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

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

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

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

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

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


12 September 2012
Khadakwasla near Pune

USHA  ME  and  VIJAY

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

We meet after a gap of 25 years.

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

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

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

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

First – it was VIJAY and ME.

Then – it was VIJAY USHA and ME.

After that – it was VIJAY USHA NISHA and ME.

Later – it was VIJAY NISHA and ME.

Even later – it was USHA and ME.

Now – it is USHA ME and VIJAY.

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

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


EPILOGUE

12 September 2013
Pune

USHA  ME  and  ?

I hope Vijay will come.

But – I know he will not come.

I could see it in his eyes last time.

Maybe Vijay will never come.

Maybe Vijay and I will never meet again.

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

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

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


PS:

Dear Reader:

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

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

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

Like always – I will wait for Vijay to come. 

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

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

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

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

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

Humor in Uniform – The LONELY HEARTS Club

August 16, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: LONELY HEARTS – Love in Uniform.

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

“LONELY HEARTS”
A Love Story
Short Fiction
By
VIKRAM KARVE


Dramatis Personae

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


“LONELY HEARTS” – A 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 have 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 
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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.

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This story was written by me Vikram Karve on March 9, 2015, and posted by me online at at 3/09/2015 06:14:00 PM in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve Blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Humor in Uniform – A Spoof on Military Matrimony

August 12, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: A MARRIAGE WITH THREE ENDINGS.

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

SHOULD A CAREER WOMAN MARRY AN ARMY OFFICER…?

THE NEW AGE “FAUJI” COUPLE
A Spoof on Military Matrimony
By
VIKRAM KARVE

A few years ago – I heard that a girl had turned down a marriage proposal from an Army Officer.

Everyone said that the boy was good.

“Yes, the boy is good – I like him – but I do not want to marry an army officer and get stuck throughout my life roaming around all over in small cantonments. I want to pursue my career as a Software Engineer in the IT Industry – in fact – I am thinking of going abroad to the US for better career prospects and settling down there in America. Will all this be possible if I marry an army officer…?” she said.

Last month – I attended the girl’s wedding.

The girl had done exactly what she had wanted – she got married to a NRI boy from the US and she too has migrated and joined her husband in America where both are pursuing their careers in the Computer Industry.

This would not have been possible had she married a “fauji” officer.

If the girl had married a “fauji” – as a “fauji” wife (“faujan”) – she would either be languishing in some remote cantonment after quitting her job – or – if she had decided to keep working – she and her “fauji” husband would be enduring a long-distance marriage. And – with a “fauji” husband – in all probability – her “American Dream” would have remained unrealised. 

This real life episode reminded me of a story (a playlet) I had written 2 years ago – in June 2013 – on a modern military marriage titled THE NEW AGE FAUJI WIFE

I am posting this story – once more – for you read and mull over – especially if you are a military wife – or are thinking of marrying a military officer: 


THE NEW AGE “FAUJI” COUPLE  a playlet by Vikram Karve


Cast of Characters

H –  Husband  [An Army Officer – a Major (33)]

W – Wife  (The Army Officer’s “Fauji” Wife (30) – an MBA from a leading B-School – she is a career woman working for a top FMCG MNC)


[Scene: The Major H and his wife W are sitting at the dining table, having dinner]


H: How was the day?

W: Hectic. Very Hectic. We are running against the clock preparing for this sudden top level meeting. And how about you? How was your day?

H: Terrible. My day was terrible. We are just wasting time preparing for the Raising Day celebrations. The Old Man is all hyper – he is sweating for his ACR and is driving us crazy with his micromanagement. He wants Officers to do the job of NCOs. Today he made me stand all day to supervise the placing of flower pots in the officers’ mess garden – and he personally came there ten times to shout at me. It’s bloody humiliating. This peacetime soldiering gets on my nerves – it’s much better to be fighting in the field.

W: Anyway – keep your Saturday evening free.

H: Saturday evening?

W: Yes. We are having a big office party at the Taj. The ‘Head Honcho’ and all the big shots are coming over from our Head Office and overseas branches. My boss has told me to bring you along – the ‘Head Honcho’ wants to meet all the spouses. So get your best suit ready.

H: Are you crazy?

W: Why? What happened?

H: Our ‘Raising Day’ Party is on Saturday evening. It is the main function of the raising day celebrations and all the top brass is coming. I told you that long back – didn’t I…?

W: Yes – you did tell me. But now – this has suddenly come up. As far as I am concerned – this office party at the Taj is an official function – you can say that it is a ‘working dinner’ – an essential part of my work – and I have to attend. And you better come too.

H: How can I come…? I have to be present at the Raising Day party. Attendance is compulsory for all officers – it is like being on duty. And remember – as an army wife – you are expected to accompany me to unit functions and social occasions. The CO has ordered that all wives are to be present for the Raising Day function. As it is – the CO’s wife is annoyed at your absence from the rehearsals.

W: The CO has “ordered”…? The bloody cheek…! Who the hell is your CO to order me around…? You are in the army. Not me. Do you understand…? I am not in the army. I am free to do as I please. You just tell your CO that. And as far as rehearsals are concerned – please make it clear to his wife – that so-called “First Lady” of yours – that I have better things to do than parading myself on the stage displaying my physical assets – and – I am not interested in prancing around on stage – in front of everyone – lip-syncing those vulgar Bollywood numbers.

H: Okay. Okay. Don’t take part in the entertainment show. But you have to be there as a hostess.

W: Hostess?

H: Well – all lady wives are required to stand at the entrance to welcome the guests. And then – you have to usher and look after the ‘senior ladies’. I think you have been especially allocated to look after the wife of the GOC. The 2 I/C said that you were the most polished and smart ‘lady wife’ in the unit.

W: Hey – I think you are missing the point. I am not coming for your party. You are coming for my party. 

H: No. You will have to come for the ‘Raising Day’ Party. It is your duty as an ‘Army Wife’.

W: Well – when I married you – I made it clear that my career was important to me. Maybe other army wives like being “eye candy” appendages of their husbands – but I do not intend playing “second fiddle” to you. I am an independent career woman – not your “arm candy” army wife.

H: Please understand. The CO will spoil my ACR if you don’t come. He specifically told me that you are to be present for the Raising Day function. As it is – the CO is angry that you don’t take part in AWWA and Ladies Club activities.

W: So how does it matter if he spoils your ACR. In any case – your army promotions are by time scale and seniority – you just have to pass time and wait patiently in the queue for your turn – and when your time comes – you will be promoted in due course. For me – in the corporate world – I have to slog hard against cutthroat competition and deliver results to earn every promotion. That is why I am a ‘Senior Manager’ today at such a young age – because of sheer performance and merit. And – that is the reason why I earn more than double the salary than what you get in the army. And – I have much better career prospects than you. My boss says that they consider me a ‘high-flyer’.

H: I know all that. There is no need to boast. If you do not want to come for the ‘Raising Day’ Party – you don’t come. I will make up some excuse and say that you are not feeling well or something.

W: I am not coming for your ‘Raising Day’ Party – that is sure. But – you just tell me one thing – suppose you don’t attend your ‘Raising Day’ Party – what will happen to you…?

H: Are you crazy? They will take action against me. They are sure to give me an adverse ACR.

W: They can spoil your ACR – but they can’t throw you out of the army – can they? Can they throw you out of the army – just for not attending a party?

H: No. I don’t think they can.

W: In my case they can – my boss will fire me if I am missing when the ‘Head Honcho’ wants to meet me. And – if I make a good impression – then – the sky is the limit. There is a position open in Singapore – and I have been short-listed. There are three others – but I stand a good chance. That is why my boss wants you to come for the party – so that the ‘Head Honcho’ can size you up.

H: Size me up…? Why does your ‘Head Honcho’ want to size me up…?

W: I told my boss about you – that you were a highly qualified and talented Engineer – an M. Tech. from an IIT – and that you were frustrated in the army doing mundane jobs.

H: Frustrated…? Who told you that I was frustrated in the army…?

W: Didn’t you tell me how humiliated you felt when you were told to stand all day and supervise the placing of flower pots in the officers’ mess garden? And – don’t they make you run the canteen? And – aren’t you fed up doing all sorts of odd jobs in the unit? Are these ‘run-of-the-mill’ jobs worthy of an M. Tech. from an IIT…? A brilliant guy like you is just wasting his time and withering away his life in the army – and your talent is unappreciated and unrewarded.

H: But what can I do?

W: You come with me for my office party on Saturday and meet the ‘Head Honcho’. Maybe he has something in mind for you. They may even make you an offer.


EPILOGUE

THIS STORY CAN HAVE THREE ENDINGS

Let me give you 3 apocryphal endings to this story.


ENDING 1

Like a dutiful “fauji wife” – skipped her office party – and accompanied her army husband H to the ‘Raising Day’ Party.

Her gesture was much appreciated by her husband H

With her poise and polish – succeeded in impressing the top brass and their wives – and the CO was delighted with H.

In W’s office – her boss was furious with W for being absent from the office party –  which – for her boss – was a most important event.

The ‘Head Honcho’ expressed his disappointment at not meeting W.

Though the boss did not fire her from her job – was sidelined for the lucrative and coveted Singapore assignment – and soon – W was passed over for promotion.

Frustrated at being marginalized – quit her job and took up a new one – but now as far as her career was concerned – W decided to play “second-fiddle” to her husband’s army career – and she put in all her best efforts as a typical ambitious “fauji wife” to boost her husband’s career.

When her husband H was posted out of Delhi to a new station in a small town – W quit her job – and she gave up her career to become a full-time ‘homemaker’.

now accompanies her husband wherever he is posted.

As an ideal “fauji wife” – is playing a great role in bolstering and promoting her husband’s army career by her stellar participation in AWWA, Ladies Clubs and other social activities.

H and W live happily ever after.


ENDING 2

did not attend the ‘Raising Day’ Party.

H accompanied his wife W to her office event at the Taj.

The CO was livid at H – for his “unofficerlike” conduct of being wilfully absent from the ‘Raising Day’ Party (an official social function).

H was admonished by his CO who vowed to finish him off and ruin his career.

At the corporate office party – W introduced her husband to the ‘Head Honcho’.

Everyone was impressed by H.

There was a sudden announcement – W was promoted and she given the coveted Singapore assignment.

And then – there was even more surprise – the ‘Head Honcho’ offered a very lucrative position – also in Singapore – so that W and H could live together.

W would be head of marketing – and H would be head of technology.

H quit the army (helped by the adverse ACR his CO had given him).

H took up the job offer – and joined W in Singapore.

W and H live happily ever after.


ENDING 3 (Suggested by a reader – a fellow “fauji” officer)

W goes for her office party – and H goes for his ‘Raising Day’ Party. 

W’s civilian boss understands the circumstances in which W’s husband Hcould not attend the crucial office party. 

But – H’s CO gets furious because H’s wife W did not attend the unit’s raising day party

H’s CO duly spoils H’s ACR (Annual Confidential Report) – and – to teach Ha lesson – H’s CO gets H posted out to an insignificant appointment in a hardship non-family station in the field.

W moves to a house in a civilian area in the city – and with her husband Haway – W is having a tough time as she struggles all alone to manage her home, the kids’ schools and her career in the office.

After some time – H gets frustrated at having to live all alone without his wife and children.

H also knows that his career prospects in the army are now quite bleak – due to the adverse ACR.

So – H wants to leave the army – but his request is turned down – and H is told to wait for a few years till he is finally superseded for promotion.

So both H and W live miserably ever after.


Dear Reader: Tell us – What do you think happened?

Ending 1 or Ending 2 or Ending 3 – which one do you think is more likely?

Most of my “fauji” friends think that Ending 3 is most likely.

Which ending do you think is most likely?


THE MOOT QUESTION OF MILITARY MATRIMONY

SHOULD A CAREER WOMAN MARRY AN ARMY OFFICER?

I once heard a senior officer say that – if a girl marries a military officer – she has only two choices  Homemaker or Teacher.

Yes – a “fauji” wife can either be a Homemaker or a Teacher.

A traditional “fauji” wife carries the identity of husband – and her status depends on his rank.

A modern working woman pursues her own career – she has her own distinct identity – and she is no longer content to be her husband’s arm-candy.

I told you the story of the girl right at the beginning – the girl who turned down the marriage proposal from the army officer because she wanted to pursue her own career ambitions abroad – which would not have been possible had she become a “fauji” wife.

So – we all now know the answer to the moot question:

Should a Career Woman Marry an Army Officer…?

In my opinion – the Answer is a resounding “NO”

Do you agree?

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
1. This playlet 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. This story is a work of fiction, not a substitute for self-help advice, so please do your own due diligence in your own life, relationships, marriage and career.
3. 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.

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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


This is a revised version of my story THE NEW AGE FAUJI WIFE first Posted Online by me on 05 June 2013 by me Vikram Karve at 6/05/2013 04:58:00 PM in my blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal – url link to My Original Post: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and later at urls:http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201… and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 

karvediat.blogspot.in

8/12/2015 03:15:00 PM

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