Posts Tagged ‘wife’

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 

“Lovey Dovey” Couple in Uniform

August 4, 2015

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

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

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


PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION (PDA) IN UNIFORM

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The newly married husband and wife were passionately in love.

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

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

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

The officer was warned to mend his ways.

The wife was “counselled” by ladies.

But there was no effect.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


3 YEARS LATER

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

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

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

“Divorce…?” I was stunned.

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

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

It did not make sense.

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


20 YEARS LATER

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

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

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

He introduced his wife and children.

So – he had got remarried.

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

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

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

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

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

What an irony?

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

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

I still cannot fathom the paradox.

A relationship with “100% PDA” is fragile.

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

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

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

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

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



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

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

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

August 1, 2015

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. A Curious Army Wife 

2. Aditi’s Monologue 

3. Half a Cup of Happyness 

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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


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


Part 1 – THE OFFICER

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

“Sure Sir,” I said.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Cochin is a lovely place,” I said.

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

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

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

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


Part 2 – THE OFFICER’S WIFE

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

A beautiful young lady opened the door.

I introduced myself.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


Part 3 – THE OFFICER and HIS WIFE

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

“Good evening, Ma’am,” I wished her.

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

Suddenly – her husband came in.

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

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

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

“Sure Sir,” I said.

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

We sat down in the club bar.

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

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

I smiled at her.

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

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

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

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

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

I did not know what to say.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes – she certainly had selective LLQ.

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

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


Epilogue – LADY LIKE QUALITIES (LLQ)

THE NAVY OFFICER’S WIFE 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

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

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

Humor in and out of Uniform – PONGO and PANI PURI

June 21, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform – PONGO and PANI PURI.

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

One of the perils of “jointmanship” is that the numerically smaller services – the Navy and the Air Force – are losing their unique identity and the Army is trying to make everyone a “Pongo” under the guise of standardisation.

Someone told me that that the traditional “Subtle” Navy Parade Drill was changed a few years ago to be in conformance with rather “Brash” Army Drill Practice.

The Navy has introduced Army Style Collar Tabs on its uniforms for senior officers – and made the naval uniforms more “showy” – like the Army – by introducing various accoutrements and badges – and hardly anyone wears the traditional simple No. 8 Navy Shirt and Shorts Uniform (“half-pant”) which is most comfortable and apt for the tropics.

Earlier – you could easily distinguish between a sailor and a “pongo”.

In most cases – a Naval Officer would sport a full-set beard or sideburns till the bottom of the ear-lobe – and have a decent length of hair.

Now – I have observed that most young Naval Officers prefer to have Army Style Crew Cuts – and very few Navy Officers sport traditional flowing full-set beards.

Those days – “pongos” in white uniform were quite rare.

Now – almost every sailor looks like a “pongo”.

Let me delve into my my “Humor in Uniform” Archives and tell you a story of one such “pongo” in white uniform.

But before that – let me tell you why army-men are called “pongos”.

Yes – “Pongo” is naval slang for an army soldier.

Why is an Armyman called a “Pongo”?

Well  there are many apocryphal stories on the origins of the term “Pongo”.

Here is one such yarn that I heard long back from an old sea dog.

He told me that the term “Pongo” originated in the Royal Navy to denote an infantryman. 

As per a myth  the “Pongo” was a unique ape. 

When he sensed danger or felt scared – the “Pongo” did not climb trees like most apes or monkeys normally do.

But the “Pongo” would dig holes in the earth and hide himself in the ground – in the same way as infantrymen dug in and entrenched themselves in the ground when they were under attack in battle.

Another similar yarn says that “Pongo” is derived from the archaic name for the Orangutan  which had the habit of digging holes in the ground for no apparent reason – and then filling the holes back. 

The sailors probably observed army soldiers digging away  and hence the nickname “Pongo” for army soldiers.

Sorry for the digression, Dear Reader – here is the story of a “Pongo” in the Navy.

Have a Laugh !!!

PONGO AND PANI PURI
Story of the OLQ Obsessed Killjoy
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Way back in the 1970’s  when we were trainees  we had a “Colonel Blimp” type Training Officer. 

Though he was only a few years senior to us  he was a pompous snob with rather archaic ultra-conservative conformist views.

This officer was truly a “Relic of the Raj”.

A typical Military “Sainik” School and ex-NDA type  he had seen very less of the civilian world.

As far as he was concerned  like a frog in a well  the military was the “be all and end all” of his life.

In fact – he was so “OG” – that we thought that he was better suited for the Army – rather than for the Navy.

Yes – he was more of a “spit and polish” prim and proper “Pongo” – than a carefree happy-go-lucky Sailor. 

He would have been better off wearing Army Olive Green (OG) rather than donning Navy Whites.

His favourite pastime was to deliver sermons on military conduct – and give us moral lectures on OLQ (Officer Like Qualities) – and pontificate about service etiquette and social graces – and how we must conduct ourselves as officers.

But one thing was sure.

He practiced what he preached.

And – he preached what he practiced. 

His turn-out was spotless – and his “military” bearing was always immaculate – his “officer-like conduct” was unblemished – and he always put “service before self”. 

But for us young happy-go-lucky youngsters who wanted to enjoy life – this “Colonel Blimp” was a big pain in the neck.

One evening while on liberty (shore leave) – we were enjoying eating deliciousPani Puri (Gol Gappa) at a roadside stall.

“Colonel Blimp” who was driving by on his scooter saw us eating Pani Puri – and worse – we were eating at a roadside stall.

He looked totally shocked and appalled.

But he did not say anything there – but just drove by on his scooter. 

Next morning he lined us up – and gave us what in Naval parlance is called a “bottle” – a very severe reprimand and scolding which I can remember even today: 

“How can officers behave like this?” 

“You uncivilized buggers were eating Pani Puri at a roadside stall?”

“It is just not done!” 

“Officers must have proper class. You are no longer college students. As officers – you must dine in good decent restaurants.” 

“Remember that your conduct is being watched at all times.” 

“As Officers – you are expected to conduct yourselves with proper dignity.”

“Officers are not expected to hang out like hooligans in the open – and eat junk food at roadside stalls.”

He went on and on and on.

Then – after he had finished his tirade – he admonished us: “You bloody riff-raff are not fit to go ashore. So I am stopping your liberty as a punishment.”

So – as punishment for our foodie escapades – “Colonel Blimp” stopped our liberty.

Now – we could no longer go out and enjoy the delights the city had to offer. 

Thus – we had no choice but to spend the rest of our training period drowning our sorrows in the bar.


5 YEARS LATER

A few years later – on a winter evening in Delhi – my wife and I walked down from our flat in Curzon Road Apartments on Kasturba Gandhi Marg to Bengali Market for our customary evening “tiffin” snacking.

Suddenly we spotted “Colonel Blimp” at the famous Chaat Stall in Bengali Market. 

Standing next to him was a beautiful woman.

The beautiful woman was eating Pani Puri

“Colonel Blimp” was looking at the gorgeous lady in a rather cold and disapproving sort of way.

But this did not seem to bother the ravishing beauty – and she was thoroughly enjoying herself eating Pani Puri.

She was eating pani puri after pani puri – and slurping her tongue – and smacking her lips in delight.

I could not miss this opportunity – so I walked up to “Colonel Blimp” – and I introduced my wife.

“Colonel Blimp” introduced the gorgeous woman as his fiancée.

“Care for some Pani Puri ?” the lovely lady asked us.

This was an offer I could not refuse – so I said: “Sure – we would love to havePani Puri.” 

And then – all of us (except “Colonel Blimp”) – relished plate after plate of lip-smacking pani puri and chaat

Yes – we gorged on pani puri and all types of delicious chaat 

We all stood on the road and ate pani puri and chaat – except “Colonel Blimp”. 

He looked on with discomfiture.

He staunchly refused our repeated invitations to join us in eating the delicious mouthwatering Pani Puri and chaat

While leaving – “Colonel Blimp” gave me a stern disapproving look.

I knew he was itching to deliver his stock moral lecture – hisstandard sermon on “OLQ”.

But then – in his rule-book – “it was just not done” to bullshit juniors in front of ladies. 

So – I was spared the agony of a public scolding.

On our way back – I told my wife the story of “Colonel Blimp”.

My wife was was sure that the killjoy OLQ obsessed Pongo “Colonel Blimp” would dump his fun-loving “unofficerlike” fiancée – as they seemed to be most incompatible for each other. 

But – to our surprise – we soon got an invitation for their wedding. 

Of course – his wedding reception was held in the service institute – and everything was done in a most “officer like manner

Colonel Blimp’s wedding reception was an extremely decorous and most formal occasion – as if it were an official party. 

His newly wedded wife was conducting herself in a very prim and proper manner.

We were convinced that Pongo “Colonel Blimp” had taken charge of his wife and indoctrinated her on the finer aspects of “OLQ”, social graces and service etiquette – and drilled into her as to what was expected of her as a typical Naval Officer’s wife.

It looked like the fun loving vivacious young girl had been converted into a quintessential “NWWA type Navy Wife”.

A few days later – one evening – my wife and I were walking down from Kota House towards India Gate on Shahjahan Road.

Suddenly we saw Pongo “Colonel Blimp” eating Pani Puri at the famousUPSC Chaat Wala Stall – along with his vivacious wife. 

I could not believe my eyes. 

Yes – Pongo “Colonel Blimp” was actually relishing Pani Puri on a roadside stall.

The moment he saw us – he waved to us and invited us over for some Chaatand Pani Puri 

I was stunned.

This was an invitation we could not refuse. 

It was great to see Pongo “Colonel Blimp” standing on the roadside – smiling and laughing with abandon – while he ate Pani Puri and Chaat at the roadside stall.

The metamorphosis was amazing.

It seemed that Pongo “Colonel Blimp” had lost all his stiff military “OG-ness” – and he was behaving like a normal “civilian” human being.

He was thoroughly enjoying himself – digging into chaat – and then poppingpani puris  into his mouth – eating gol gappa after gol gappa – in a very carefree manner – totally oblivious of the surroundings.

The vivacious girl had succeeded in transforming the spit and polish, prim and proper, OLQ obsessed killjoy Pongo “Colonel Blimp” into a carefree happy-go-lucky Sailor.

I have seen many officers change for the better after marriage.

And – of course – some officers change for the worse after marriage.

Like my carefree “devil-may-care” happy-go-lucky coursemate – who suddenly became ambitious and career conscious after marriage.

But that is another story…

For now – let us enjoy the “Pani Puri” story of OLQ Obsessed Killjoy Pongo “Colonel Blimp” and have a laugh…

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

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)


This story was written by me in the year 2010 and posted online earlier by me at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 6/21/2015 06:23:00 PM

 

SHOULD MILITARY OFFICERS BE MONEY-MINDED “BUSINESSMEN” IN UNIFORM ?

May 10, 2015

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: Humor in Uniform : “FAUJI” BUSINESSMEN – MONEY-MINDED “FAUJIS” aka BUSINESSMEN IN UNIFORM.

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

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

MONEY-MINDED “FAUJIS” aka BUSINESSMEN IN UNIFORM
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE


Part 1  “SATTA BAZAAR”

This happened 37 years ago, in the 1970’s.

Six of us “piddly” Sub Lieutenants from various ships sat in front of a chubby Commander in Western Naval Command Headquarters (those days the Headquarters was located in a civilian building in Fort area of Mumbai).

We had been “detailed” for some “bum jobs” connected with Navy Week and the Staff Officer was briefing us.

Suddenly, the phone on the table rang and the Commander picked it up.

Whatever he heard on the phone suddenly galvanized him into action.

The Commander abruptly stood up and told us that something urgent had come up.

He told us that he would be back soon and we should wait for him.

He threw a file in front of us and told us to read it till he got back.

Then he swiftly grabbed a civilian bush shirt which was hanging on the hat-stand, wore the blue bush-shirt over his white uniform shirt.

He picked up his briefcase and disappeared at the speed of light.

We waited patiently in his office – almost half an hour passed.

Then we went over to the office hall and asked the staff if they knew when he would be back.

“Don’t worry. He must have gone to Dalal Street, to meet his broker in the Stock Exchange. He will be back soon,” the Commander’s PA said.

(Remember, this happened in the 1970’s when there was no internet, no online trading, and you had to physically trade stocks through your broker)

When the Commander returned, he seemed quite cheerful and in a happy mood.

I do not know whether he was a “Bull” or a “Bear” but from his happy mood it appeared that he had made a lot of money that day.

After a “brief” briefing on the “official” matter, he educated us on investing and trading in shares and told us how much money could be made in the stock market rather than the conventional savings methods which we were doing.

Later on, during my career, I met many such “Bulls” and “Bears” in the Navy, who were more preoccupied with the Stock Market than their Naval Duties.

Now, thanks to internet, with the advent of online trading, it has become ever so easy for these “punters” to indulge in their stock market trading, even during working hours, and from remote locations – you can use your PC, your laptop, or even your mobile smart-phone to indulge in “satta bazaar” and you can do it round the clock 24/7 anytime anywhere.

Someone told me that, nowadays, Navy Wives are heavily into online trading on the stock market and are earning good money “working” from home on the “satta bazaar”.


Part 2  “REAL ESTATE”

During my stints in inter-service establishments, I discovered many “businessmen in uniform” in the army and air force too, with other business interests.

“My boss is more of a businessman then a soldier,” an army friend of mine once commented and went on to tell us that his senior was heavily engaged in real estate speculation and was least interested in soldiering duties, which he left to his juniors.

There was another officer, who would spend hours exhorting junior officers to buy property, explaining to them the various tax benefits, telling them how much the value of their property would appreciate, the rent returns, and that real estate was the best investment.

Was he doing this for purely altruistic reasons?

Well, that I will leave it for you to guess.

But I wonder whether it was a curious coincidence that he was plugging only a certain scheme, arranging site visits, facilitating loans and helping out with paperwork.

Others were busy investing in land in and around the city.

Yes, apart from the “stock market”, “real estate” (“property market”) seemed to be quite popular with “businessmen in uniform” and, of course, there were many other “businesses” as well, some of which they pursued on their wives and children’s names.

All these “businessmen in uniform” seemed to be more engrossed in making money rather than their military soldiering duties.

I often wonder why such individuals join the armed forces.

If you have a talent for business, then why waste your life soldiering in the defence services?

If you have financial acumen, will your talent not be better utilized in the business-world rather than in the military?


Part 3  “FAUJI” BUSINESSMEN

If you are thinking of a career in the armed forces, the army, navy or air force, I will recommend that you read a book called CATCH-22 by Joseph Heller before you join up.

Catch-22 will give you an idea of what life is like in the services.

Have you committed the “blunder” of joining the army, navy or air force without having read CATCH-22?

Yes? 

You joined the fauj without having read Catch-22…?

Not to worry! 

As they say – “better late than never”.

So even if you already in uniform, it would still be a good idea to read the book so that you can appreciate the various “Catch 22” situations around you.

More importantly, it will help you comprehend the seemingly crazy behaviour of the motley characters you encounter every day in your military environment by relating them to the inimitable characters depicted in CATCH-22.

During my long years in the navy, I came across almost all characters of Catch-22 – Dreedles, Cathcarts, Peckems, Doc Daneekas, Dunbars, Korns, Scheisskopfs, Wintergreens, De Coverleys, plenty of Yossarians – yes, I encountered all sorts of idiosyncratic types.

And, of course, how can I forget the canny Machiavellian “Milo Minderbinders” – those “businessmen in uniform” who are proliferating like hobgoblins all over in the services.

In Catch-22, the character of Milo Minderbinder represents a typical “businessman in uniform”.

He looks at everything from a financial angle and his motto is: “what is in it for me?”

Milo’s sole obsession is to make “profit” and he has no allegiance to anyone or anything.

Just like the character of Milo Minderbinder in Catch-22, there are an increasing number of money-minded “businessmen in uniform” who are obsessed with money matters and their sole aim is to derive “benefit” from the service.

From the day join the military, they seem more interested in their “entitlements” and “privileges” rather than their soldiering duties.

Forever they keep comparing their pay and perks with others.

They make sure they extract the maximum benefits and are paranoid about losing out on perks and pecuniary privileges.

They never seem to be satisfied and content with what they get in the service and have an insatiable greed for more.

It is these greedy “businessmen in uniform” who perpetuate corruption and get involved in all sorts of scams which tarnish the image of the defence services and destroy the inner discipline and moral fabric of the armed forces.


Part 4  “MILITARY MINDSET” versus “BUSINESS ACUMEN”

Business Acumen and Military Attitude are stark opposites.

In fact, they are mutually exclusive.

You can either have a military mindset or you can have business acumen – you cannot simultaneously have both.

You can either be a Businessman or you can be a Soldier – but you cannot be both at the same time.

I am of the firm view that those with a “military mindset” should keep away from the business world.

And similarly, those with a “nose for business” must keep away from the military.

Military Ethic is different from Business Ethic.

The two are poles apart and there is no congruence between them.

For a Businessman – Profit is the sole motive.

For a Soldier – Patriotism is the leitmotif.

The essence of corporate business ethic is: “money comes before anything else”.

“Businessmen in Uniform” apply this tenet (“money comes before anything else”) even in the armed forces and they ruin the inherent value-based military ethos of the defence services.

It is these “Businessmen in Uniform” who are responsible for the corruption and scams that tarnish the reputation of the defence services.

[Of course, you may also find some “soldiers” among businessmen (who create business fiascos), but that is another story which I shall discuss later]

The numerous scams and acts of corruption being reported in the media is a sign of the proliferation of these “businessmen in uniform” in the services, even at the highest levels of the hierarchy.

Unfortunately, in recent times, an increasing number of senior officers, even Chiefs, are getting embroiled in scams, corruption cases, unethical acts and controversies.

All this not only tarnishes the good reputation of the services, but also adversely affects inner discipline as juniors stop respecting their seniors who lose moral ascendancy.

How have we reached a stage where it is possible for so many “businessmen in uniform” to get promoted to high rank?

Or is it the other way round?

Have we reached a situation that unless you are a “businessman in uniform” it will be difficult for you to get promoted to senior rank?

It is for you to have a thorough look at the top brass and study the promotion trends in your service and reach your own conclusion.

But one thing is sure.

All these “businessmen in uniform” have one attribute – TACT (which is euphemism for “moral pliability”).

And in today’s world, TACT is the vital “Officer Like Quality” (OLQ) that helps an officer rise to high rank.

Of course, in addition to “businessmen in uniform” – we have “politicians in uniform” too – and combinations of the two.

But that is another story.


Part 5 – EPILOGUE – THE “OROP” OBSESSED MILITARY VETERANS

At a recent get-together of military veterans, I noticed two types of retired “faujis”.

The first “nostalgic” group was talking about their “good old days” in the military.

The second “money-minded” group was discussing financial matters, and especially getting agitated about the hot topic of the day – OROP – aka “One Rank One Pension”.

Habits die hard !!! LOL

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.



Revised Version of My Article “Businessmen in Uniform” First Posted by me Vikram Karve on 14 December 2013 12/14/2013 12:52:00 PM  in my blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/201…

Now Re-Posted by Vikram Karve at 5/10/2015 10:30:00 PM

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

April 22, 2015

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

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

THE NEW AGE “FAUJI MEMSAHIB”

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

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

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

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

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

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

Story of 4 “Fauji Memsahibs”

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

1948   Army Bride

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The girl nodded her acceptance.

He mother rang up the boy’s mother.

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

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

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

The girl did not regret her decision.

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

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

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

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

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


20 Years Later…


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

1968   Army Bride

She was a budding lawyer with a lot of promise.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


20 Years Later…


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

1988   Army Bride

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

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

She got married to an army officer.

She had two choices:

Option 1

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

Option 2

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

She chose the second option. 

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

She did extremely well in her career.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

She regretted marrying an army officer.


20 Years Later…
                                                          

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

2008   Not-to-be Army Bride

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Are you crazy?” she said.

“Crazy? Why?” he asked.

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

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

“Go ahead,” the army officer said.

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

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

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

With these words she walked out his life.

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

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

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

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

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)



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

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

DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION – The Key to a Lasting Marriage

May 30, 2013

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION.

Click the link above and read the post in my journal

Also posted below for your convenience:

DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION

Link to my original post in my journal:
http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/05/divorce-is-not-option.html

MUSINGS ON MY 31st WEDDING ANNIVERSARY
By
VIKRAM KARVE

We, my wife and I, got married on 30 May 1982.
Today, on 30 May 2013, we complete 31 years of married life, and enter the 32nd year of our marriage.
Ours was an arranged marriage. There was no “love” involved.
We are certainly no “made for each other” couple.
In fact, we were, and still are, a terribly incompatible couple.
The wife of a friend of mine who knew me closely and observed my “would-be-wife” when we had gone to invite them for our wedding commented to her husband that our marriage will not last for even 10 days. My friend landed up on our 10th wedding anniversary on 30 May 1992 with a bottle of champagne and made his wife eat her words.
But what the lady had said did have a ring of truth in it.
My wife and I are indeed an incongruous couple, we are poles apart in all aspects.
We have huge differences of opinion on almost all matters, we fight a lot, we criticize each other, we shout at each other, we never hide our feelings especially when we don’t like something and we call a spade a spade.
We don’t indulge in lovey-dovey Public Displays of Affection (PDA) and we don’t indulge in “niceties” like giving each other gifts or celebrating occasions like birthdays and anniversaries.
Ours may be a rather volatile and “loveless” relationship but there is nothing fake about our relationship.
In these modern times when even passionate “love marriages” breakup and end in divorce, why is it that our rather prosaic marriage has stood the test of time?
There is just one reason.
Both my wife and I were always clear about one thing:
“ DIVORCE IS NOT AN OPTION 
Posted by Vikram Karve 

REPUTATION MANAGEMENT MADE SIMPLE Part 3 : SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN IN PUBLIC RELATIONS – Navy Sex Scam and Scandal Reputation Risk Media Shy Navy PR

May 17, 2013

Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: REPUTATION MANAGEMENT MADE SIMPLE Part 3 : SEX SCANDALS REPUTATION RISK and the MEDIA SHY NAVY – SILENCE IS NOT GOLDEN IN PUBLIC RELATIONS.

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

 

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

April 11, 2013

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

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

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

 

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

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

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

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


VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 
NB:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013. All Rights Reserved


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

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

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

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

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

About Vikram Karve

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

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

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

 

HE-WOMAN – THE DILEMMA OF A LADY ARMY OFFICER

December 5, 2012

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

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

The story is also posted below for your convenience.

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

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


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

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

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

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

About Vikram Karve

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

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

      

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 
 
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