Posts Tagged ‘spoof’

Art of Naval Command – Humor in Uniform – Excerpt from Novel NOBODY’S NAVY by Vikram Karve

August 22, 2015

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/11/officer-like-qualities-aka-olq-art-of.html.

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

Excerpt from NOBODY’S NAVY by Vikram Karve

Every Naval Officer has a book hidden within him.

This is my book – a Novel.

Though apocryphal, this fiction story is based on my first hand experience about life in the Indian Navy.

I have not seen a similar novel written in India which is set on a warship depicting the excitement and trials and tribulations of naval life.

Most people think that the Navy is like any other “job”.

The Navy is not a Job.

The Navy is a Way of Life.

I want to give my readers an authentic taste of the naval life we experienced first-hand in the navy.

Naval life is quite different from the jingoistic mumbo jumbo in recruitment advertisements or the heroic hogwash exhibited in most action movies or the “Colonel Blimp” or “Captain Haddock” type caricatures shown in Bollywood films.
                                                                                       
The protagonist of my novel is Sub-Lieutenant Nobody

Yes, his name is “Nobody”.

That is why the novel is called NOBODY’S NAVY

This story covers a one year period in the life of Sub-Lieutenant Nobody.

(If this novel sees the light of day, I intend to write a sequel, maybe a trilogy, or a series of follow-on novels, to cover the hilarious yet poignant adventures of this fictitious naval officer called “Nobody” as he plods his way through naval life and progresses through his naval career).

The theme of my novel is simple: “THE NAVY BRINGS OUT THE BEST IN YOU”

This part was true in my own life – The Navy did bring out the best in me.

Is anyone interested in publishing my novel NOBODY’S NAVY ?

The synopsis and six chapters of Nobody’s Navy are ready.

If you are game (or know publisher who is interested) do let me know. 

We can take it forward from here.

Meanwhile here is an excerpt from NOBODY’S NAVY, my novel about the adventures of Sub-Lieutenant Nobody, which I am posting below on my Blog for you to read and enjoy.

Do tell me if you liked the piece.


Tentative Chapter 3 of  NOBODY’S NAVY – A Navy Novel by VIKRAM KARVE

OFFICER LIKE QUALITIES aka OLQ

THE ART OF COMMAND
How Sub Lieutenant NOBODY became a “Somebody”

Calm Blue Sea, Soft Cool Breeze, Sunset, 31st December 1977.

The lights of Mumbai twinkle in the distance as the city gets ready to ring in the New Year.

It was the happiest moment of his life.

Standing on the bridge-wings of the mighty warship INS Bijlee as she entered Mumbai harbour under his command, for the first time in his life, Sub-Lieutenant Nobody felt as if he was a “somebody”.

At this defining moment of his life, he realized the import of the words the distinguished Admiral had uttered while motivating him to join the navy while he was studying at IIT.

“Son,” the recruiting Admiral had said, “The navy is not just another job. The navy is a way of life.”

Ship life seemed good.

Rank, spit and polish and normal naval bullshit did not matter much on a frontline combat ship like INS Bijlee.

Here it was performance that counted.

So everyone was busy doing his job.

As long as you did your job well, you were given a free hand, and after secure was piped, and the day’s work was over, you were free to do what you liked.

Nobody realized that one bothered him since other officers were busy doing his own work and running their departments.

It was much better over here on a combat ship than the Naval Academy where they treated you like dirt and tried to convert you into a brainless obedient robot.

And it was certainly much better than the Naval Technical Officers’ College which boasted of transforming bright young Engineering Graduates into “Technical Zombies”.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody had survived both these ordeals and still retained his sanity.

It all happened so fast.

He had arrived in Mumbai in the morning after a tiresome train journey, and was picked up in a ramshackle truck and dumped at the boat jetty.

There the ship’s boat was waiting for him and after a rough journey on the choppy sea, Sub-Lieutenant Nobody was deposited alongside INS Bijlee anchored far out at sea.

It was almost noon when he clambered with his bag up the accommodation ladder.

He duly saluted the OOD and said, “Sub-Lieutenant Nobody reporting for duty, Sir. Request permission to come on board…”

The ship was rolling and the ladder staggered so he held on to a stanchion. The stanchion gave way, and Sub-Lieutenant Nobody lost his balance and crashed into the arms of the OOD and both of them fell on the deck in a heap.

“Sorry, Sir,” Nobody said as they gathered themselves up.

“You seem to be quite eager to join this ship. What did you say your name was?” the OOD, a two striper Lieutenant asked with a smile.

“My name is Nobody.”

“Nobody?” the OOD asked, incredulous.

“Sir, it’s an anglicised version of …”

“Okay. Okay. You can tell me the story later,” the OOD interrupted, “just give me your appointment letter.”

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody said took his appointment letter from his shirt pocket and gave it to the OOD who looked at it.

“Okay, okay, so you’re the new LO? Welcome on board,” the OOD shook his hand and said, “I’m the TASO. Today is make and mend. Captain is not on board. You can meet him tomorrow. The duty Petty Officer will take you to your cabin. Shower up, change into uniform and meet me in the ward room in ten minutes.”

Ten minutes later, freshly shaved and bathed, dressed in sparkling white shorts and shirt naval uniform, Sub-Lieutenant Nobody entered the ward room to find the TASO, wearing civvies, sitting at the bar sipping a glass of beer.

“Ah…there you are. I am waiting for you,” the TASO said the moment he saw the newly arrived Sub-Lieutenant Nobody.

The TASO swallowed his beer in one go, down the hatch.

Then he gave the OOD’s lanyard with a bunch of keys to Nobody, and said, “Hold the deck. I’m off. Don’t bother to see me off. I’ll see you in the morning.”

And with lightening speed the TASO disappeared ashore on the liberty boat even before Nobody could recover his wits.

“Congratulations,” a voice said from behind.

Nobody turned around to see a Lieutenant Commander sitting on a sofa with a huge tankard of beer before him.

“Good morning, Sir,” Nobody said.

“It is already afternoon, my friend” the Lieutenant Commander said extending his hand, “I’m Schoolie, the ship’s Education Officer. You’re the new LO, aren’t you?”

“Yes, Sir,” Nobody said.

“So you are the OOD, the de facto Commanding Officer of the ship now…”

“OOD…?” Sub-Lieutenant Nobody stammered, bewildered and totally taken aback.

“So you are holding the fort for TASO, aren’t you? Smart bugger that TASO. The horny bastard couldn’t even wait one day to screw his wife…”

Seeing the disorientated expression on Nobody’s face, Schoolie said, “Pick up a glass of beer and come and sit here. I’ll tell you what to do.”

Then with breathtaking simplicity, Schoolie elucidated the art of command:

“In the navy, especially on a ship, command is very simple. The art of command comprises just three words – YESNO and VERY GOOD. From time to time, your duty staff will come and ask you something. It’s a good idea to number their questions. You just reply ‘YES’ to the odd numbered questions, and you reply ‘NO’ to the even numbered questions. And if someone makes a report to you, just say:‘VERY GOOD’. You got it?”

“Yes, Sir – Odd numbered questions I say ‘Yes’. Even numbered questions I say ‘No’. And if someone makes a report I just say ‘Very Good’ – is that correct, Sir,” Sub-Lieutenant Nobody asked Schoolie.

“Correct. That, in a nutshell, is the art of naval command,” Schoolie pronounced with finality.

Just then the duty Petty Officer entered, saluted and asked Sub-Lieutenant Nobody and asked, “Request permission to revert to three watches, Sir.”

First question, odd numbered question, so Nobody answered: “Yes”

“Thank you, Sir,” the duty Petty Officer saluted, and went away quite happy that he could secure half his men from duty.

“Sir,” it was the duty ERA, who came a few minutes later, “request permission to shut down boilers.”

Question number two, even numbered question, so Nobody answered: “No”

The ERA nodded, looking quite perplexed, and went away.

“See, you are learning fast,” Schoolie said as they sat for lunch. 

While going ashore Schoolie gave Nobody a parting shot of advice, “Always remember that it is better to keep your mouth shut and give the impression that you are stupid than to open it and remove all doubt…”

Schoolie, a post graduate, was an Education Officer – the lowest class of officers in the navy who were treated like dirt and who wasted their entire lives teaching basic mathematics to junior sailors who didn’t give a damn, or acting as lackeys to senior officers wives helping them run so-called welfare activities which were more of ego massage and less of welfare.

Once in a while, the brighter among them got posted to ships where they had no work except hang around in the ward room doing nothing and offering unsolicited advice to anyone who cared to listen.

Schoolie enjoyed doing talking to people, pontificating and giving advice on all matters under the sun, to anyone who cared to listen, especially to rookies, like Sub-Lieutenant Nobody, who latched on to each word he said.

It was indeed funny – as far as the officer class was concerned your status and position in the pecking order was inversely proportional to your academic qualifications.

The matriculate cadet entry seamen officers were the prima donnas, the engineering graduate techies and supply guys were the middle rung, and post-graduate schoolies were at the rock bottom of the navy status hierarchy.

“It is port control, Sir,” the Yeoman of Signals woke up Nobody from his beer-induced siesta and asked hesitantly, “they are asking if we want to come alongside.”

Nobody struggled to open his eyes and thought about it.

One, two, three – this was the third question, odd numbered, so he decisively answered: “Yes”

“Thank you, Sir, I will signal them at once,” the delighted Yeoman of Signals said and he rushed towards the bridge to make a signal to port control by Aldis Lamp.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody followed the Yeoman to the bridge wings and watched him exchange visual signals with port control, both lamps frantically flashing. 

“Ballard Pier?” port control asked.

It was the fourth question of the day – an even numbered question, so Sub-Lieutenant Nobody assertively said:  “No”

“Barracks Wharf?”

“Yes”

“Cold move?” port control asked.

“No,” Nobody said decisively.

“Hot move?”

“Yes”

Everyone on the bridge was praising Sub-Lieutenant Nobody’s foresight in not allowing the boilers to be shut down, otherwise the quick hot move would not have been possible at immediate notice and they would have to spend the whole day waiting for the tug to carry out the laborious cold move.

 “Should we call for a harbour pilot?” the duty Midshipman asked.

It was even numbered question, so Sub-Lieutenant Nobody emphatically said: “No”

“Sir, should I prepare the pilotage plan?”

“Yes”

“Shall I chart course between sunk rock and oyster rock?”

“No”

“Around Middle Ground?”

“Yes”

“Will you be taking the con, sir?” the Midshipman asked.

“No”

“Then I will have the con?”

“Yes”

The Midshipman was filled with happiness and a sense of pride. 

It was the first time that someone had shown so much confidence in him.

The Midshipman smartly saluted Sub-Lieutenant Nobody and said, “I’ll report when ready, Sir.”

This was not a question. 

This was a report. 

So Nobody remembered Schoolie’s advice and said, “Very Good.”

There was no point hanging around the bridge and being exposed, thought Sub-Lieutenant Nobody.

So Sub-Lieutenant Nobody told the Midshipman to take the ship alongside.

He then informed the Midshipman that he would be available in the wardroom for any advice.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody then went down to the wardroom, summoned the bar steward, and ordered a double large scotch whisky and soda.

He needed the alcohol fuelled “Dutch courage”.

His spirits high, fuelled by alcohol inspired courage, and brimming with confidence, from then on, Sub-Lieutenant Nobody religiously followed Schoolie’s odd/even command formula with great success, and soon INS Bijlee was underway, sailing smoothly towards the Wharf.

As he sipped whisky in the wardroom, Sub-Lieutenant Nobody was quite clueless as he heard, on the main broadcast, the Midshipman give the conning orders: “Stand-by Main Engines…Haul Anchor…Anchor off the bottom…Anchor Aweigh…Anchor Coming Home…Anchor Sighted and Clear…Wheel Amidships… Dead Slow…Starboard Ten…”

Everything moved like clockwork, everyone knew their jobs.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody also knew what to do. 

In his mind, he had to keep a count of the questions they asked him and quickly determine the question number – odd or even – and answer according to Schoolie’s formula.

For every odd numbered question, he said: “Yes”.

For the even numbered question. he said: “No”.

And from time to time when someone made him a report, Sub-Lieutenant Nobody he would wisely nod, and say: “Very Good.”

It worked. 

The simple “YES” – “NO” – “VERY GOOD” command formula worked.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody strictly followed the formula, and everything went absolutely right.

The ship secured alongside perfectly.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody realized first-hand that the art of naval command was indeed breathtaking in its simplicity.

“Should I announce liberty, Sir?” asked the Duty Petty Officer hesitantly.

it was an odd numbered question, so Sub-Lieutenant Nobody said: “Yes.”

The broad smile on the Petty Officer’s face and the smartness of his salute said it all.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody had mastered the art of naval command.

The crew were happy to be secured alongside rather than tossing and turning at a faraway anchorage out at sea.

And now, thanks to Sub-Lieutenant Nobody, there would be liberty and the ship’s crew would be able to go ashore to enjoy the delights of “Maximum City” after a long hard time at sea.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody became the hot topic of discussion below the deck in the crew messes.

Each and every sailor admired the guts and initiative of Sub-Lieutenant Nobody.

Despite being a non-seaman officer, he had brought the ship alongside by taking effective charge of the midshipman, and by his prompt and clear decisive commands.

Never before had such a thing happened.  

Never before had they seen a greenhorn Sub-Lieutenant demonstrate so much confidence and guts on his first day on board a ship.

Anyone else would have hesitated, dithered – but here was a decisive officer, a natural leader, they all said with awe and in unison.

On his very first day on board this mighty warship, Sub-Lieutenant Nobody earned the admiration, respect and esteem of the crew of INS Bijlee.

The sailors were happy to have Sub-Lieutenant Nobody on board, and they showed it by their body language, especially in the way they saluted him.

Sub-Lieutenant Nobody’s chest swelled with pride.

Nobody had become a “Somebody”.

End of Chapter 3 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:
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)
 

Abridged and Updated Version of my two blog posts posted in June 2013 
NOBODY’S NAVY at url:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  
and  NOBODY BECOMES A SOMEBODY – LEARNING THE ART OF NAVAL COMMAND at url: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

 

 

Is “Military Intelligence” an “Oxymoron” ?

August 5, 2015

Link to my original post in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal: -> http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/do-military-officers-have-brains-or-is.html.

Humor in Uniform

DO MILITARY OFFICERS HAVE BRAINS…?
or
Is “Anti-intellectualism” an OLQ (Officer Like Quality)…?

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

Military Thinking


A few days ago – I received an invite for PILF 2015 – Pune International Literary Festival 2015 –  scheduled in the first week of September.

This evoked in me some delightful memories of PILF 2013 – held 2 years ago – in September 2013 – especially the enlightened discussion with a young lady during the Question/Answer Session of the workshop on “Blogging” that I conducted at the Literary Meet.

So – here is the article – comprising the “memoir” and my “reflections” – once more – for you to read, have a laugh and ponder over…  

THE MILITARY “BRAIN”
Reflections of a Navy Veteran
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Around two years ago – in September 2013 – I was invited to conduct a workshop on “Blogging” at a Literary Meet (Pune International Literary Festival – PILF 2013).

During the discussions – a smart young lady sitting in the first row asked me a question:

“Sir – I have read your book of short stories and I regularly read your writings on your blogs – especially your fiction stories – and I was wondering –‘…How is it possible that you can think so creatively despite having spent so many years in the Navy?’…”

At first – I was stumped.

But – I quickly recovered my wits – and I said: “Life in the Navy is so eventful – you meet so many unforgettable characters – you have so many interesting experiences – so you get plenty of material to write about.’

“No, Sir – I did not mean life experiences. I am asking about thinking ability. Tell me, Sir – ‘…Doesn’t military life affect the ability to think creatively?’…” she asked.

“I really did not understand your question – could you please elaborate?” I asked her.

“Sir – I was an army officer till recently – and I found the atmosphere quite stifling and restrictive – which inhibits creative thinking…” the smart young lady said.

Now – I was beginning to understand what she was driving at – so I said: “Do you mean the military “anti-intellectualism” – which suppresses intellectual activity – the military regimentation ethos of  ‘…“Don’t use your brain – just do as you are told” army culture?’…”

“Yes, Sir – that is exactly what I mean…” she said.

I smiled to myself.

She was echoing the thoughts of Liddell Hart.

Sir Basil Henry Liddell Hart (31 October 1895 – 29 January 1970) – commonly known throughout most of his career as Captain B. H. Liddell Hart – was an English soldier, military historian and military theorist.

Liddell Hart – while highlighting the dangers of “anti-intellectualism” in the army – had pointed out the reason due to which military officers lose their creative thinking abilities.

He opined that:

“…A lifetime of having to curb the expression of original thought culminates so often in there being nothing left to express…”.

There is a saying which applies to the Brain:

“Use it – or you will lose it”

I have read somewhere that there is a relationship between mental activity and cerebral blood-flow – and – like muscles – the brain atrophies from prolonged disuse.

Military Officers (especially Army Officers) are encouraged to do plenty of physical exercise to keep their body fit.

However – the anti-intellectual “just do as you are told – don’t use your brain” military culture inhibits the use of the brain.

The ramification of this regimented blind-obedience military culture is thatmilitary officers keep their bodies fit by constant physical exercise – but they neglect exercising their brain (especially the right hemisphere of the brain).

While a military officer may occasionally use his analytical “left brain” – his creative “right brain” will fall into disuse and atrophy.

And – as the military officer spends more years in service and becomes a senior officer – he will lose the ability to think creatively.

The young smart ex-fauji lady officer had a point and she was implying that:

‘…Living for a prolonged duration in a dogmatic “don’t use your brain – just do as you are told” strait-jacketed “anti-intellectual” insular military environment can certainly affect your creative thinking abilities…’

Obviously – during her days as an army officer – the young lady had experienced this intellectually suffocating feeling.

Maybe – she had also observed the detrimental effect of the prevailing military culture of “anti-intellectualism” on the creative faculties of her peers and seniors.

Obviously – during her days in the army – she had experienced that this “blinkered thinking army culture” was constraining her creativity.

Probably that was the reason why she had quit the army before it was too late – in order to enable her creative juices to flow freely – and – now – as a civilian – her creativity was certainly flourishing – as was evident from the inspired creative writing on her blog.

Well – I told the young lady that the intellectual culture in the navy was certainly more liberal and “broadminded” than what she had experienced in the army – and – in general – the navy milieu was conducive to creative thinking.

In fact – I found navy life quite eventful – and this probably gave my creative thinking ability an impetus – as there was never a dull moment in the navy – with so many curious characters around.


“ANTI-INTELLECTUALISM” IS AN IMPORTANT OLQ (OFFICER LIKE QUALITY)

After the workshop was over – I had a delightful discussion with the charming young lady.

“I am sure you have heard of the term OLQ…” I asked her.

“Of course I know what is OLQ – it was drilled into us – OLQ means ‘Officer Like Qualities’…” she said. 

“Well – “Anti-intellectualism” is an important OLQ – yes – “regimented thinking” is a vital “Officer Like Quality” – and – if an officer uses his right brain and thinks creatively or “out of the box” – as they say – then he is doomed…” I told her.

In jest – I told her that during my Navy days – I always carried two brains inside me:

1. A “fauji brain” for regimented military thoughts

2. A “creative brain” for interesting thoughts where I could let my imagination run wild.

Most of the naval officers I met were cerebral types – but I did come across a few anti-intellectual specimens too.

If you are a “fauji” (serving or retired) – or a “faujan” – do tell us if you have come across some “just do as you are told – don’t use your brain”“anti-intellectual” types during your service in the military.

Like I said – the overly regimented Army is certainly more “anti-intellectual” than the Navy –  and most of the naval officers I came across were cerebral types – but I did meet a few “anti-intellectual” types in the Navy too – and about one such hilarious specimen – I will tell you in a subsequent blog post.

And – before I end – let me leave you with a famous saying: 

“Military Intelligence” is an “Oxymoron”

You agree – don’t you – the phrase “Military Intelligence” is a contradiction in terms – isn’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:
1. This is a spoof, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 8/05/2015 11:12:00 

Humor in Uniform – THE HAPPY NAVY – Hilarious “Memoir” from My Wonderful Navy Life

May 25, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – THE BOOZY NAVY.

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

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

Here is a “memoir” from the happiest days of my life – my early days in the Navy.

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

THE BOOZY NAVY
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE


TÊTE-À-TÊTE

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Sir – I don’t want to go to Kolkata…”

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

“Sir – please send me to the Andamans…”

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

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

“What…? What do you mean ‘Booze is expensive in Kolkata’…? Is that the reason why you do not want to go there…?”

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


(This story happened in the 1970’s – when CSD Quota Liquor was cheapest in Maharashtra. However – since tax concessions are given by State Governments – and local taxes/concessions keep changing from time to time – the situation may be quite different now – but even now – the prices of CSD Quota Liquor vary from state to state – so ‘Military Booze’ is cheaper in some states – and more expensive in others)

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


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

“Yes – Sir…” Lieutenant “Z” said.

“And you even prefer to go to the Andamans because booze is cheaper there…?”

“Yes – Sir…”

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

“Yes – Sir…”

“What nonsense…? Are you crazy…?”

“Sir – the main reason I joined the ‘Boozy Navy’ was to enjoy the best of ‘duty-free’ booze – that is why I want to be on ships – but if I have to go ashore – the least I can do is to enjoy my full quota of CSD ‘Military Liquor’ at the cheapest possible rates…”

“Are you mad…? Are you saying that the only reason why people should join the defence services is to drink alcohol…? That means – according to you – teetotallers should not join the Navy – or the Military…?”

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

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

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

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


EPILOGUE

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

Firstly – the Captain picked up the phone and spoke to the DOP who was his course-mate.

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

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

Secondly – the Captain asked his steward to serve him a chilled can of premium imported beer (available dirt cheap at ‘duty-free’ rates on board ship).

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

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

 

New Age Military Wisdom – WHAT IS THE AIM OF AN OFFICER – The Most Important OLQ (Officer Like Quality)

May 9, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – WHAT IS THE AIM OF AN OFFICER.

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

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

WHAT IS THE AIM OF AN OFFICER ?
Military Wisdom – The Most Important OLQ (Officer Like Quality)
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE


THE AIM OF AN OFFICER

During our training days – many senior officers were invited to give us talks on “Officer Like Qualities” (OLQ) – and give us tips on how to succeed in our Naval Careers.

Some officers gave us inspirational “pep talks” – some pontificated – giving us sermons on “Do’s and Don’ts” – and some tried to motivate us with “moral lectures”.

But there was one unique officer who was different.

He said: “The aim of an officer is to get promoted.”

We were taken aback.

Seeing the expression in our faces – he reiterated: “Yes, gentlemen – you heard me right. Your primary aim is to get promoted. All other things are secondary. In the military – only one thing matters – the rank you wear on your shoulders. That is all that matters. Nothing else matters. Just remember that. So – wherever you are – analyze the situation – especially study your boss – your IO – the Officer who will be writing your Annual Confidential Report (ACR) – and work towards getting a good ACR. In the military – promotion depends on your ACRs – all that matters is your ACRs – so you must ensure that you get the best ACRs – for this you will have to be flexible and smart – you must adapt yourself depending on the likes and dislikes of your boss – since different officers have different yardsticks. Some bosses value professional performance – others value personal loyalty – and others – well – it is very subjective and varies from person to person. In every appointment – be alert – do your homework well – be smart – and ensure that you are in sync with your boss – and make sure you get outstanding ACRs at any cost. If you do this – you will succeed – and you will reach high rank.”

At that point of time – we were young naïve idealistic officers.

We believed in romantic virtues like ‘moral values’ and ‘ethical principles’.

We were inspired by patriotic fervor.

We genuinely believed in the ‘military ethos’ enshrined in the “Chetwode Motto”:

“The safety, honour and welfare of your country comes first, always and every time.
The honour, welfare and comfort of the men you command comes next.
Your own ease, comfort and safety comes last, always and every time”

We were inspired by jingoistic slogans like “Service before Self”.

That is why we were appalled when we heard this senior officer telling us:

“The cardinal aim of an officer is to get promoted”

He was advising us that in order to achieve this prime objective – we must ensure sure that we get outstanding ACRs at any cost.

It was ironic.

This senior officer was an alumnus of the celebrated military training institution whose motto was “Service before Self”.

Despite this – he was propagating the exact opposite – and exhorting us to put“Self before Service”.

His “Self before Service” dictum seemed the exact opposite of what we believed in at that point of time.

That is why we were shocked and disappointed with this officer’s lecture.

This officer was propounding exactly the opposite of the values we cherished.

At first we thought that this officer was joking – maybe he was employing a rather sarcastic sense of humor just to entertain us.

But later – we realized that this officer “walked his talk”.

He was not a hypocrite – he practiced what he preached.

By “managing” his career astutely – by focusing on getting the best ACRs – by doing the right courses and appointments – by being in the right place at the right time under the right boss – by deploying all his resources – professional, personal, familial – towards realizing his prime objective of getting promoted – he had succeeded in attaining the highest possible rank and the most prestigious appointment in his branch.

As I said – at that point of time – after hearing his “pep talk” lecture on OLQ – I was quite skeptical.

I realized the true wisdom of his words 20 years later – when I witnessed an incident which convinced me – albeit too late in life – that – in the military:“The primary aim of an officer is to get promoted”.

This defining incident – and many other similar experiences throughout my long navy career – convinced me that in the military – it was only your rank that mattered.

In fact – even after retirement – this obsession with rank continues – for various retirement facilities like ECHS Healthcare, CSD Canteens etc.

Witness the latest “battle” being waged by retired military veterans for OROP (One Rank One Pension).

Even after retirement – for military veterans – “Rank” is the cardinal factor – since it is your rank that will determine your pension – unlike civilians – whose pension is primarily determined by years of service – which seems more just and fair.

Tell me – why should a Brigadier who retires after 25 years service get more pension that a Colonel who retires after 30 years service?

If you ask this question to any “fauji” – serving or retired – he will give you the quintessential military rhetoric: “Rank Has Its Privileges”.


RANK HAS ITS PRIVILEGES (RHIP)

The Military (Army Navy and Air Force) recognizes Rank – and is blind to everything else – including logic, reasoning or rationale.

By definition – the “superior” officer is the one who holds higher rank (and not higher intellect or qualifications).

Whenever there is a disagreement – professional, managerial, ethical or otherwise – the views of the higher ranking officer always prevail.

If there is an issue between two officers – the senior is always right.

If there is a perk or privilege to be given – the senior gets it first.

The Navy is a uniformed service – like the Army and Air Force.

A unique feature of a uniformed service is that your rank is visible to all – since you wear your rank badges or stripes on your shoulder.

This is not so in the civilian world where your “rank” is known only to your workplace colleagues.

In the military – Rank has its Privileges (RHIP) in all aspects of life – professional, social and personal.

In fact – if you are in the military – your rank is the “be-all and end-all” of life – from “womb” to “tomb”.

Like I said – thanks to OROP – even your pension depends on your rank – and not on your years of service, as in the case of civilians, who get equitable pension due to ACP, NFU, NFFU etc.

And while in service – there is visible and blatant ‘rank based discrimination’ in all aspects of life – professional, personal, social and familial.

This RHIP concept is sometimes taken to ridiculous limits – and even liquor quota depends on rank – the higher your rank – the more booze you get.

Yes – your rank is the “be-all and end-all” of life in the defence services.

That is why – as the shrewd senior officer said in his pep-talk:

“The primary aim of an officer is to get promoted to high rank at any cost.

You don’t agree?

Let me tell you a story.


AN UNFORGETTABLE INCIDENT – STIGMA OF SUPERSESSION

Now – as an illustrative example of RHIP – let me tell you about an unforgettable incident which happened more than 15 years ago.

One evening – after returning from work – I walked to the reception counter of our Navy Command Officers Mess to collect my cabin key.

I was delighted to see “B” sitting in waiting area.

“B” was around 2 years senior to me.

I knew “B” since our training days – and I had the highest respect and regard for him.

“B” was truly a first-rate officer in all aspects – he was professionally competent, morally upright – and he had the best “Officer Like Qualities” (OLQ).

As young Lieutenants – in the late 1970’s – “B” and I had served in sister ships of the frigate squadron in the fleet.

Whenever I needed help or advice – I knew that I could always turn to “B” who was always ready to help any of his fellow officers.

After that – we went our different ways – transferred all over – depending on where our respective appointments took us.

As they say – the navy is a place of transient acquaintanceships – where friendships are like passing ships.

And now – after a gap of more than 20 years – I was meeting “B” again.

Sadly – despite being an excellent officer – “B” had been passed over for promotion – so – in naval parlance – “B” was a ‘superseded’ officer.

“B” had come on Temporary Duty for a ‘conference’.

“B” was waiting as there was some problem in allocation of a cabin for him.

He told me that another officer “A” (who had come with him from Vizag) was trying to sort out the issue.

“A” was around 5 years junior to “B”.

In fact “A” had been a student of “B” during specialization courses where “B”had been A’s instructor.

Later – “A” had worked under “B” both ashore and afloat – where “B” has been A’sdirect boss.

“A” had the highest respect for “B” who had taught him and also been an excellent boss who had guided him in the early days of his naval career.

Now – the tables were turned – and “A” outranked “B” – since “A” had been recently promoted to the rank of Captain – whereas “B” remained a Commander – having been permanently superseded.

Now – since everything is ‘rank based’ in the navy – the ‘powers-that-be’ had decreed that ‘Captains and above’ were to be given Air-conditioned Cabins in the main block of the mess – and ‘Commanders and below’ were to be accommodated in the shabby cabins in the annexe.

“A” tried his best to convince the Mess Secretary – “A” told the Mess Secretary that“B” was much senior in service – “A” even volunteered to swap cabins with “B” – but the Mess Secretary would not budge – and he said to “A”: “Rules are rules – as far as I am concerned – “B” is just a Commander and he will be allotted a cabin in the annexe. It is not my fault that he got superseded – in any case – why have you brought a ‘written off’ officer for this important conference…?”

So – “A” enjoyed the cool comforts of a luxury air-conditioned cabin – whereas “B”sweated it out in a dilapidated cabin – and to add insult to injury – “B” was doubled up with another officer.

“B” had been specifically called to the conference because he was an expert on the issue being discussed – but I noticed that “B” had ‘switched-off’ – he maintained an indifferent silence and did not contribute anything.

It was evident that supersession had affected “B” very badly and his personality had been transformed.

Like many passed over “written off” officers – “B” had lost his ‘spark’ and withdrawn into a shell and become disinterested in the service.

It was sad to see an excellent officer like “B” wither away.

But it was even sadder that the Navy could not benefit from his expertise and experiential knowledge, which were being wasted away.

In the Defence Services – Supersession is a “lose-lose” situation.

Besides career and financial loss – supersession is total “loss of face” for the officer – and at times for his family too.

In contrast – promotion is a “win-win” situation – since rank is the “be-all and end-all” of military life.


RANK – THE “BE-ALL AND END-ALL” OF MILITARY LIFE

The large number of representations, complaints, court cases and litigation pertaining to promotion issues bears testimony to the fact that something is immensely wrong with the military promotion system prevalent in the defence services.

I heard from someone – that the “integrated running pay scale” granted by the 4th Pay Commission, which de-linked pay from rank, was scuttled by senior officers, who did not want superseded officers who had more service than them to draw more pay than them.

The result was that more than 90% of the officers lost out when the 5th Pay Commission scrapped the “running pay band” and once again linked salary to rank.

Someone told me an interesting story of the height of megalomania and egotism due to rank consciousness.

A few years ago – the government implemented Assured Career Progression (ACP) and Non-Functional Upgradation (NFU) for all Civilian Government Employees.

The person told me that government wanted to extend the benefit of Non-Functional Upgradation (NFU) to the Defence Services and, like the civil services (NFU) would have guaranteed time bound upgradation of pay of all officers (including superseded officers) so that towards the end of their service, at the time of superannuation, all officers would draw the pay of a Lieutenant General (and consequently their pensions would be higher too – like their civilian counterparts).

I heard that this NFU proposal was opposed and scuttled by senior officers who argued that NFU was not desirable since the “charm” of higher ranks would be diminished if there was no substantial salary differential.

After all – these overweening careerists felt that they had “earned” their ranks by “all round 360 degree efforts” and considered themselves superior to their unlucky comrades in arms who had been “passed over” for promotion.

Of course – those who have served in the defence services are aware of the various tactics and stratagems employed by careerist officers to get promoted to high rank.

A witty Naval Officer gave a metaphorical example of a Mumbai suburban local train at rush hour on a station like Dadar.

Those standing on the platform desperately wanted to get inside the train.

But once inside the train – they tried to prevent others from entering the train.

It is the same with these overweening careerists – they are desperate to get promoted – but once they are promoted to high rank – they don’t want their juniors to “get in”.

Here is an example.

In 2006 – as per AVS Cadre Review – all Lieutenant Colonel/Equivalents who had completed 26 years service were to be promoted to the rank of Colonel/Equivalent.

The Army and Air Force promoted all officers who had completed 26 years service (including Time Scale Lieutenant Colonel/Wing Commander) to the rank of Colonel/Group Captain.

However, the Navy did not promote Time Scale Commanders who had completed 26 years service to the rank of Captain giving the specious argument that this would “upset” inter-se seniority.

One wonders why the same argument was not used by the Army and Air Force?

Whereas, in the civilian world, organizations are becoming flatter and democratic – the opposite is happening in the Indian Armed Forces which are becoming increasingly feudal and hierarchy conscious – rank based discrimination is being taken to ridiculous limits – and megalomania and egotism due to rank consciousness is on the rise – which is visible in examples like the penchant for displaying “stars” at all sorts of places.

This obsession with rank continues even after retirement.

After having sabotaged NFU – now senior officers want “One Rank One Pension” (OROP).

So – now – they even want pension to be primarily dependent on rank – and not based on length of service, like it is for civilian employees.

In the term OROP – “One Rank One Pension” – the most prominent word isRANK.

Why not “Same Service Same Pension”?

Why the total emphasis on “Rank”?


CONCLUSION

In the defence services – whereas on the one hand – supersession is a total “lose-lose” situation – on the other hand – promotion is a total “win-win” situation.

Doesn’t this convince you that the advice given to us by that pragmatic officer was absolutely correct: “The primary aim of an officer is to get promoted to high rank”– and all other “dictums” and “Honour Codes” like “Chetwode Motto” and “Service Before Self” etc are mere slogans meant for lip-service.

As I told you – this wise officer was not a hypocrite – he “walked his talk” – unlike many other senior officers – who mouth platitudes about “military ethos and service values” before their juniors – but do exactly the opposite in their actions in order to achieve their overweening career ambitions.

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, 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.


Posted by Vikram Karve at 5/09/2015 10:07:00 PM

STORY OF ARMY BATTLE HONOURS MESS – WAR OF THE MESSES – Humor in Uniform

May 8, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – BATTLE HONOURS – WAR OF THE MESSES.

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

HUMOR IN UNIFORM

Last week I met an Army Officer currently posted to New Delhi.

He said that he lived in Battle Honours Mess.

“Oh – the one on SP Marg?” I asked.

“Yes,” he said.

“I have lived there almost 35 years ago, in 1981-1982,” I said.

“How is that possible? The Army Battle Honours Mess is for Army Officers only,” he said.

“Those days it was a combined inter-service officers mess,” I told him.

Then – I told him the story of the “War of the Messes” where “Battle Honours” were won.

So – Dear Reader – let me delve into my “Humor in Uniform” archives and tell you the story of the “War of the Messes”… 

THE WAR OF THE MESSES
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Various Wars have been documented, studied, discussed and analyzed – and relevant literature is readily available online and offline for all those interested in the subject.

But have you heard of the “War of the Messes”?

Do you know that this “War of the Messes” took place in 1982 on the “battlefield” of New Delhi?

This was a unique “war”.

In conventional wars – junior officers and men do the fighting – while Generals and Admirals watch on.

The “War of the Messes” was “fought” by Generals and Admirals – while junior officers watched on.

This is what happened.

Till 1981, Army and Navy had two common Officers’ Messes in New Delhi – a brand new mess at SP Marg and a rather antediluvian mess at Kota House.

Young Army and Navy Bachelor Officers lived together in these Officers’ Messes in great harmony with a spirit of camaraderie.

Of course, the Air Force, which always believes in keeping a safe distance from the “pongos” and the “sea dogs”, had its iconic Central Vista (CV) Air Force Officers’ Mess on Janpath.

If you were a young bachelor – you could choose your mess.

The ageing Kota House Mess was conveniently located in the heart of New Delhi and was preferred by the slightly “elder” bachelors.

The younger officers preferred the modern SP Marg Mess located at faraway Dhaula Kuan.

(35 years ago Dhaula Kuan was considered a “distant” place on the “outskirts” of New Delhi).

SP Marg Officers’ Mess was a lively place with a laissez faire atmosphere.

I spent some of the best days of my life in SP Marg Officers’ Mess – and even today – as I hark back to my Navy Days – I fondly cherish my glorious days at SP Marg Officers’ Mess.

Relations between us Naval Officers and our Army Messmates were excellent.

We made a lot of Army friends.

In fact, it was at SP Marg Officers Mess that I first made close friendships with fellow Army Officers – lasting friendships which endure even till today.

We young bachelor officers lived happily together in SP Marg Officers Mess and there was an atmosphere of bonhomie in the evenings when we all sat together on the lawns or in the bar enjoying our drinks.

If you wanted to see an example of authentic “jointmanship” and genuine “inter-service camaraderie” – SP Marg Officers” Mess was a shining example.

I am sure it was the same happy spirit at Kota House too.

Everyone was living happily – but, sadly, it was not going to be a case of “happily ever after” – because suddenly the “War of the Messes” erupted.

Most of us junior officers did not even know that a “war” had broken out.

As I said earlier – this was a unique “war”.

This “war of the messes” was not fought on the “battlefield” of SP Marg and Kota House Messes.

Conventional military tactics and weapons were not used in this “war”.

This “war” was “fought” in air-conditioned offices by Generals and Admirals using the far more potent bureaucratic weapon – paper.

The “war of the messes” was not a physical war – it was a “paper war”.

By the time “cease fire” was declared, the Generals seemed to be on the brink of victory – and the Admirals appeared to be on the verge of defeat.

The “spoils of war” were divided.

The “victorious” Army won the coveted modern SP Marg Officers’ Mess.

The “vanquished” Navy was banished to the ancient decrepit Kota House Officers’ Mess.

To commemorate their “victory” over the Admirals in the “war of the messes” – the Generals renamed the SP Marg Officers Mess as the Army “Battle Honours” Mess.

It was a well-deserved coveted “Battle Honour” won exclusively by the Generals (without the help of their “Troops”).

In order to further “celebrate” their “victory” in the “war of the messes” – and in the true spirit of “jointmanship” – the Generals evicted all Naval Officers from the SP Marg Officers’ Mess.

In a retaliatory gesture of “jointmanship” – the Admirals evicted Army Officers from the Kota House Officers’ Mess.

It was quite sad to see friendly messmates who were living together as buddies being wrenched apart and separated as per the colour of their uniform just to suit the whims and fancies of a few Generals and Admirals.

The scene was reminiscent of partition days – when friends who were living amicably together had to leave their homes and go to another land just because of the decisions of a few politicians.

Metaphorically, junior officers were like happy children who had to separate due to the “divorce” of their parents – one parent getting “custody” of one child, and the other parent of the other child.

While the senior officers fought the “war of the messes” with each other – it was the junior officers who suffered as a result of these internecine turf wars, ego battles and personality clashes.

The biggest irony was that none of the Generals or Admirals actually lived in these two Officers’ Messes which were primarily a home for young bachelor officers.

Another amusing paradox was that many of the officers involved in “fighting” this “war of the messes” with each other were products of the famous “joint training institution” – the National Defence Academy (NDA).

Of course, now – each service has its own separate Officers’ Mess in New Delhi – so that the Generals, Admirals and Air Marshals can have their own separate fiefdoms.

On many occasions, I have heard Senior Officers lecturing and pontificating about the need for “jointmanship” in the Indian Armed Forces.

But tell me one thing.

What so-called “jointmanship” are you talking about when you can’t even have a “Joint Officers’ Mess” where Officers of the Army, Navy and Air Force can live together, drink together and eat together with camaraderie and build lifelong friendships?

I think the first step towards achieving genuine jointmanship is to convert all Officers’ Messes in New Delhi into tri-service combined officers’ messes for officers of all three services.

Then, this “tri-service officers’ mess” concept can be implemented in other stations where the services co-exist.

On the one hand – we talk of “integrating” our three defence services.

On the other hand – each service wants to build its own separate “empire”.

I feel that the first step in “fighting together” is learning to “live together”.

And only after the 3 Services have learnt to “live together” in a combined mess, should they talk of grandiose highfalutin concepts like having a combined Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).

Do you agree?

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

Disclaimer:
1. This 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.



This story written by me in the year 2014 and posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve Blog on 23 Jan 2015 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 

blogspot.in

5/08/2015 10:27:00 PM

Navy Officers – “SEA DOLL” versus “SEA DOG” – Two Types of Archetypal Naval Officers – Humor in Uniform

April 17, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: “SEA DOG” and “SEA DOLL” – Two Types of Navy Officers – Humor in Uniform.

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

HUMOR IN UNIFORM

“SEA DOG” and “SEA DOLL”
TWO TYPES OF NAVAL OFFICERS
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:

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

This article 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.

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

If you have a look at The Concise New Partridge Dictionary of Slang and Unconventional English – in this Slang Dictionary – one meaning of the word “doll” is “a very attractive person of any sex that you may find attractive” – and, of course, you know that the term “sea dog” means an experienced sailor.

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


SEA DOGS and SEA DOLLS – Spoof by Vikram Karve

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

1. Sea Dogs

2. Sea Dolls

Now – before you jump the gun and accuse me of “gender insensitivity” – please note that the term “Sea Doll” is not being used for women naval officers – there were no women naval officers when I joined the navy – except a few “landlubber quack chicks” in the medical branch.

Even today – women naval officers adorn only “soft” shore billets – and a woman naval officer does not have to undergo the tough strenuous ship life of male naval officer on warships at sea – so maybe I will have to conjure up some other epithet (without the prefix “sea”) for these feminine landlubber ladies in white uniform.

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

As a young naval officer – I realized that there are two navies within the navy:

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

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

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

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

“Sea Dogs” were rugged masculine looking men.

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

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

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

There were some exceptions.

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

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

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

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

“Sea Dogs” were “tough cookies”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes?

Then, let me give you a metaphorical example.

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

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

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

So – the next time you meet a Naval Officer – have some fun and amuse yourself – have a good look at the Navy Officer – and try to judge for yourself – whether he is a “Sea Dog” or a “Sea Doll”.

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

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)
 


This Spoof is written by Vikram Karve in June 2014 and Earlier Posted Online by Vikram Karve in Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve byVikram Karve at 11/22/2014 08:03:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 4/17/2015 01:53:00 PM

HOW TO IMPRESS GIRLS and BOYS – Impression Management for Long Term Relationships

March 21, 2015

Original Post written by Me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve : HOW TO IMPRESS PEOPLE

http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/03/how-to-impress-people.html.

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

IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT

HOW TO IMPRESS GIRLS and BOYS – Impression Management for Long Term Relationships

WORST IMPRESSION IS THE BEST IMPRESSION
Contrarian Wisdom
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Let me tell you an “apocryphal” story.

This happened 33 years ago – in March 1982 – in Pune.

A girl came to see a boy (for arranged marriage).

The girl was accompanied by her mother (the girl’s father, a Brigadier, was serving in a field area).

Normally – in Maharashtra – the boy goes to the girl’s home (for the customary “kande pohe program”).

But – in this case – the boy had requested the girl to come over to his rather Spartan home.

It was around 10 in the morning – the boy was alone at home – as the boy’s mother had gone for work.

The boy (a Naval Officer) had come to Pune on a week’s leave for “girl seeing” for arranged marriage.

Since the boy was not one of those refined “metrosexuals” – he had not “decked up” for the occasion – but he was dressed in a simple cotton white kurta-pyjama – and he was enjoying a smoke and reading a book – while waiting for the girl to arrive.

The girl and her mother arrived at 10:30.

“You are late,” the boy said, and he asked the girl and her mother to sit down.

The boy served Tea (which he had prepared himself).

Then – the boy lit a cigarette – and he said to the girl, “Let me tell you a bit about myself. As you can see – I smoke a lot. I drink regularly too – around 6 large pegs of rum daily – that is about half a bottle of rum every evening. My career prospects in the Navy are not very bright – I am certainly not ‘Admiral Material’. You are a ‘SODA’ – your father is a big shot in the Army – so you may be used to the comforts and facilities of army life – but in the Navy you get nothing – no batman (sahayak), no transport, no proper housing, no facilities – as you can see I am not a rich man – I just have a scooter – and I do not think I will be able to afford a car on the paltry salary we get in the Navy – you will have to live in some temporary make-shift  shanty – and you will have to do all the housework yourself…”

“You don’t get a house in the Navy…?” the girl asked.

“You do – but there is a huge shortage of married accommodation and the waiting period is 2 years – so by the time we get a proper house, it will be time for my transfer – and it is the same story in every new place – so you must be prepared for a nomadic existence shifting from one temporary accommodation to another…”

“What is ‘SODA’…?” the girl asked.

“Senior Officers’ Daughters’ Association – your Dad is a Brigadier so you are a SODA,” the boy said, “but let me tell you one thing – I am an honest, straightforward and outspoken officer – and so – your chances of becoming a member of SOWA are pretty bleak…”

“SOWA – Senior Officers’ Wives’ Association…!” the girl said.

The boy was happy to see that the girl was intelligent.

“You are very intelligent – and highly qualified – and all your good qualities are listed in your matrimonial profile – but I want to know one thing – and I want an honest answer,” the boy said to the girl.

“What…?” the girl asked.

“What are your faults…? Your bad qualities…? Your weaknesses…?” the boy asked.

“I cannot cook…” the girl began opening up – but her mother gave her a stern look – and the girl stopped speaking.

Observing the situation, the boy said to the girl, “Never mind – we will discuss all that in detail when we meet tomorrow…”

“We are meeting tomorrow…?” the girl asked.

“Why not…? After all, we are getting married – and I am here for a week – so we can go out together a few times – and get to know each other better…” the boy said, extinguishing his finished cigarette and lighting another cigarette.

The girl’s mother was getting increasingly uncomfortable at the way things were going, so she asked the boy, “You have a big beard – are you going to shave it off when you get married…?”

The boy looked at the girl’s mother, and he said to the middle-aged woman, “How does it matter to you whether I keep a beard or not…? Are you going to marry me…? Or is your daughter going to marry me…? But since you have asked – No – I am not going to shave off my beard – I like my beard – and a beard is the sign of a true Naval Officer – so I am going to keep my beard even after marriage – forever…”

The boy looked at the girl, and he said, “See – I told you that I drink heavily, I smoke, and that I have no future in the navy – very poor career prospects – and about the poor quality of life in the navy – but you just told me one thing – that you do not know how to cook – please tell me more about your other faults…”

“We have to go somewhere,” the girl’s mother interrupted – and she brought the ‘interview’ to an abrupt end.

In the evening, the girl’s mother made a ‘trunk-call’ to her Brigadier husband and she said, “What a terrible boy? He is himself saying that he drinks half a bottle a day, he smokes, and ….”

She told him everything.

“The boy said all that…?” the Brigadier asked.

“Yes – the boy hasn’t given us even one reason why we should get our daughter married to him.”

“Maybe that is the very reason why we should get our daughter married to him,” the astute Brigadier said.

The Brigadier met the boy – and he liked him – and so – the girl and boy got married.

The girl was expecting the worst.

But after marriage – the girl noticed the following ‘improvements’ in the boy:

1. Her husband did not drink 6 pegs of rum every evening – he drank around 3 or 4 pegs daily – and only rarely – at parties or with friends – did he drink 6 pegs or more.

2. He did not smoke much too – in fact – he smoked very few cigarettes – he preferred smoking his pipe.

3. She had been expecting to stay in a “jhuggi-jhopri” – but first they lived in the officers’ mess for some time – and then they shifted to quite a decent furnished apartment – which though small – the apartment was modern, comfortable, and located in the prime area of the city.

Though he was not an “angel” by any standards – her husband was not all that bad – as she had thought.

Much later – when she had given up all hope – her husband suddenly gave up drinking and smoking one day.

This happened 20 years after her marriage – and she had never imagined that her husband would give up alcohol and tobacco forever.

Of course – her husband has still not shaved off his majestic beard – but then she has got used to it now – after 33 years of married life.

After reading this “fairy-tale” – some persons may think that this is a true story – and they may even “recognize” some of the characters in this story – but let me emphasize that this is an apocryphal story – the characters do not exist and are purely imaginary – and any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

What is important – is the MORAL OF THE STORY.

You must have heard the saying: “First Impression is the Best Impression”

But I say: “Worst Impression is the Best Impression”.

If you give your best impression during your first meeting with someone – then you have to live up to the image you have created.

On the other hand – if you give your worst impression during your first meeting – then there is always scope for improvement.

There are many aspects to your personality – the “Best Side” – the “Worst Side” – with shades of grey in between.

At your very first meeting – if you try and impress someone with your “Best Side” – you have projected your best image – and thus you have no scope for improvement.

In fact – you will get all stressed out keeping up appearances trying to live up to the hyped-up expectations you have created in the other person – and slowly the “veneer” will start peeling off – and the goody-goody façade will crumble.

Dear Reader – you just read the “happy ending” story above.

I know a story where exactly the opposite happened.

There was a girl from a civilian academic background (her parents were university professors).

They lived in a town where there was a large cantonment nearby.

Most of her schoolmates and friends were daughters of Army officers – and the girl was enamored by Army social life.

The girl got a proposal from a Naval Officer.

The girl was under the impression that the life of a Navy Wife was the same as the good life of an Army “Memsahib” which she had observed in the peacetime cantonment.

The Navy boy came to meet the girl.

Believing in the “First Impression is the Best Impression” dictum – the boy showed his “Best Side” – and he “boasted” a bit about himself – he painted a rosy picture of Navy life – instead of telling her the ground reality.

All this created a glorified image and high expectations in the newlywed girl.

But – after their honeymoon – when they reached Vizag – everything came crashing down.

The boy sailed off on his ship – leaving the girl to fend for herself – all alone – in their “B Type” hired house – at the other end of town – far away from the Naval Base.

Feeling totally isolated, the girl went into a depression – and summoned her parents – who came rushing to Vizag – to help their daughter settle down and tackle reality.

As their marriage progressed – the “first impression” that the boy had created by showing his “Best Side” – this rosy first impression started to slowly crumble away as his negative qualities began to emerge.

After many years of marriage – the girl still feels that the boy “cheated” her by portraying a goody-goody false impression of himself and hyped rosy image of Navy life.

My hypothesis of “Worst First Impression” worked in my Navy life too.

I was posted as faculty in a prestigious inter-service training establishment.

My boss was a Commodore from a landlubber branch who had never met me before.

However – my “spoken reputation” had somehow reached him via the grapevine.

For a month or so – I noticed that he was quite wary of me – he treated me coldly and he kept me at arm’s length.

Then – one evening – at a party – when he was feeling quite happy after a few drinks – he sidled up to me – and he said, “Actually – I have realized that you are quite a good officer…”

Taken aback, I said to him, “Come on, Sir – of course – I am a good officer – why did you think otherwise…?”

“I had heard so many wicked things about you – that you are a difficult officer – but I actually find you to be so good…” the Commodore said – and later – his wife told me that I was his favourite officer – and he trusted me the most among all officers.

So – Dear Reader – whenever you meet someone for the first time – for matchmaking – for dating – at the workplace – for any long term relationship – beware of the dictum: “First Impression is the Best Impression” – and don’t get too carried away trying to make the “best impression” – since you may find it difficult to live up to such a ‘perfect’ image in later life.

When you meet someone for the first time – never try to “impress” anyone – just be your natural self – in fact – show a bit of your darker side – so that there is always “scope for improvement” later.

And for those of you who are going in for an “arranged marriage” – when you meet your “prospective spouse” for the first time – the first question you must ask him (or her) is: “Tell be about your weaknesses and your faults…”

Remember: “Worst Impression is the Best Impression”.

There is always scope for improvement if you project your “worst” impression

But there is no scope for improvement if you project your “best” impression – in fact, there is always pressure to live up to the “perfect” image you have created – and ultimately, this mismatch will cause stress and distrust in your relationships.

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

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

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

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.


Posted by Vikram Karve at 3/20/2015 04:16:00 PM

The New Age “Metrosexual” Naval Officer – SEA DOGS and SEA DOLLS – Humor in Uniform – A Spoof

November 23, 2014

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – SEA DOGS and SEA DOLLS.

Link to my original post in my academic and creative writing journal: 
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

SEA DOGS and SEA DOLLS
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:
1. Please read this spoof only if you have a sense of humor. This article 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. The terms “dog” and “doll” are used in a metaphorical sense.
2. This spoof is for mature adults only, so if you are a kid, or an overly gender sensitive type, please skip this post.
3. This spoof is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story are a figment of my imagination. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

SEA DOGS and SEA DOLLS – A Spoof by Vikram Karve

When I joined the Navy, in the 1970’s, I observed that there were two types of Naval Officers:

1. Sea Dogs

2. Sea Dolls

Now, before you jump the gun and accuse me of “gender insensitivity”, please note that the term “Sea Doll” is not being used for women naval officers – there were no women naval officers when I joined the navy, except a few “landlubber quack chicks” in the medical branch.

Even today, women naval officers adorn only “soft” shore billets and do not have to undergo the tough strenuous life of a naval officer on warships at sea, so maybe I will have to conjure up some other epithet (without the prefix “sea”) for these feminine landlubber ladies in white uniform.

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

As a young naval officer, I realized that there are two navies within the navy:

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

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

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

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

Sea Dogs were rugged masculine looking men.

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

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

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

There were some exceptions.

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

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

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

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

Sea Dogs were “tough cookies”.

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

Sea Dolls were “smooth operators”.

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

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

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

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

Yes?

Then, let me give you a metaphorical example.

If “Catch 22” was a Navy Novel – a “Sea Dog” would be someone like the character of General Dreedle – and a “Sea Doll” would be someone like General Peckem.

If you have read Catch-22, you’ll understand what I mean.

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

So, the next time you meet a Naval Officer – have some fun and amuse yourself – have a good look at the Navy Officer – and try to judge for yourself – whether he is a “Sea Dog” or a “Sea Doll”.

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

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



Posted by Vikram Karve at 11/22/2014 08:03:00 PM

LIQUOR QUOTA – Rank Has Its Privileges RHIP

August 19, 2012

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: THE MORE YOU DRINK THE HIGHER YOU GO – Rank Has Its Privileges.

Click the link above and read about the hilarious paradox of Liquor Quota and have a laugh – then Think About It

A typical case of Humor In Uniform

The article is posted below too for your convenience

THE MORE YOU DRINK THE HIGHER YOU GO – Rank Has Its Privileges

THEATRE OF THE ABSURD
HUMOUR IN UNIFORM
A Naval Yarn
THE MORE YOU DRINK THE HIGHER YOU GO
Are Career Prospects linked to Drinking Capacity ?
Musings on RHIP – RANK HAS ITS PRIVILEGES
By
VIKRAM KARVE
Disclaimer – Read this only if you have a Sense of Humour. This is a spoof so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh
Conventional wisdom says that as you grow older you should reduce your consumption of alcohol and drink less liquor.
However, the Military Canteen Stores Department (CSD) seems to think otherwise.
The more senior you become your liquor quota increases accordingly too.
I don’t know the exact liquor quota nowadays, but in our time, junior officers got about 12 bottles of booze a month, the mid-level officers got 14 bottles a month, senior officers got 16 bottles a month and flag officers got unlimited liquor.
Well, the numbers may have changed, but the logic remains the same – your liquor quota increases in direct proportion to your rank.
Going by this topsy-turvy logic, the more senior you become the more liquor you are supposed to drink.
Conversely, as a corollary, one may surmise that promotion is directly proportional to your drinking capacity or alcohol tolerance level – yes, the more you alcohol you can imbibe, the higher your chances of promotion to higher ranks. Ostensibly Career Prospects are linked to Drinking Capacity – THE MORE YOU DRINK THE HIGHER YOU GO.
(By the way, at least in my case, this “promotion is directly proportional to drinking capacity”theory did not hold true, for had this premise been foolproof, then yours truly would surely have become an Admiral; because in my heyday, I could comfortably polish off more than half a bottle of Rum in a drinking session. Sadly, now I am a teetotaller, but during my early navy days I was a regular drinker with great drinking capacity. If career prospects indeed depend on drinking capacity, I should have gone high up the ladder, but maybe, I am an exception to the rule)
Jokes apart, I feel that this “pecking order” for liquor quotas is a rather bizarre interpretation of the RANK HAS ITS PRIVILEGES (RHIP) concept, taking rank consciousness to absurd limits.
Can you please tell me by what logic does an elderly ageing senior officer require to drink more alcohol than his much more younger and youthful junior?
In fact, if you ask me, it may be more prudent to give more liquor quota to young carefree bachelor officers and keep them in “high spirits” rather than facilitate senior married officers to drown their sorrows in alcohol and ruin their family life, besides damaging their own health.
This RHIP discrimination continues after retirement too, despite the fact that once you retire you relinquish your active service rank and become a civilian and are considered equal in status with all others.
And now, someone tells me, that even the paramilitary forces want to join the liquor quota bandwagon and are applying the same bizarre RHIP logic for determining liquor quotas and want to continue the same rank-consciousness after retirement too.
What is this liquor quota I am talking about?
Well,  this liquor quota business seems to be relic of the Raj. The genesis of this liquor quota probably goes back to the days of the British Raj when a British officer serving inIndia away from home was given a certain amount of liquor at concessional rates. AfterIndependence, like most rules and regulations made by the erstwhile British rulers, this concept was continued.
Whether this “perk” is good or bad is a debatable issue. But nowadays, liquor is freely available all over, and since most states levy taxes on CSD goods, there is hardly any price differential, so gradually this “quota” will become irrelevant.
But I still have two unanswered questions in my mind:
1. Are you supposed to drink more alcohol as you get senior? Is there a correlation between Officer Like Qualities (OLQ) and the amount of alcohol you can imbibe?
2. Is drinking capacity the key to career success and is promotion to senior ranks linked to your drinking capacity? Is there merit in the truism – The More You Drink The Higher You Go…?
Will some “veteran” be so good as to enlighten us?
Till then, Cheers – enjoy your “quota” and have a drink!
 
VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work.
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this article?
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About Vikram Karve

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

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


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