Saturday, June 15, 2019

Military Humor – Spit and Polish

SPIT AND POLISH
An Apocryphal Story
Re-told by
VIKRAM KARVE

Sometime ago – I decided to clean my bookcase – and while delving through my collection of books  I saw a delightful book called  “The Psychology of Military Humour”  by Brigadier J. Nazareth which I had acquired long back.

While browsing through this book  I came across an anecdote about the celebrated Russian Second World War General Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov (Marshal of the Soviet Union) (01 December 1896 – 18 June 1974).

Since the book mentioned the anecdote very briefly  I did a bit of searching on the internet  in order to enable me to narrate the story in a more elaborate manner.

Whether this “shoe-shining story” is true  or a part of folklore  we do not know.

What is important is the lesson to be learnt from the story.


SPIT AND POLISH

When he was handpicked to command the newly created mechanized regiment – the training principle that Zhukov introduced was:

If you dont know how to do it – we will teach you how to do it

If you dont want to do it – we will make you do it

Once – when he was the Regimental Commander – Zhukov decided to carry out a surprise inspection of the soldiers who were on duty.

He was accompanied by the Adjutant (a Major)

Zhukov was satisfied with the appearance and ‘turn-out’ of the soldiers – except one soldier – whose boots were poorly polished.

Zhukov asked the Adjutant what he thought of the soldier’s boots.

The Adjutant asked the soldier to explain why his boots were not polished properly.

The Soldier remained silent.

The Adjutant warned the soldier that he would be punished for improper turnout in uniform.

Zhukov raised his finger and interrupted the Adjutant. 

Then – Zhukov said angrily to the Adjutant: 

“I am asking you – not him. 

The important thing is not that the soldier’s boots are not polished properly.

What is more important is why you did not pay attention to the matter

There is apparently no one else in this regiment except the Commander to help him clean his boots…”

Zhukov ordered the Adjutant to bring a stool and boot polishing equipment.

A Stool and Boot Polishing Material was promptly brought.

Zhukov told the soldier to put one foot on the stool and watch attentively.

Then – Zhukov began polishing the soldier’s boot – showing the soldier exactly how to polish boots.

After a few minutes  the boot was shining.

Zhukov then gave the brush to the soldier and told him to polish the other boot to the same level of shine. 

When the soldier had done so – Zhukov nodded and walked away.


MORAL OF THE STORY

In the Military – there is no substitute for professionalism.

An officer is supposed to know how to do a task – before he orders his subordinates to do it.

That is why military training is so elaborate with a “hands on” approach.

However – this is not so in the civil services – where “generalists” rule the roost.

And sometimes – these clueless “administrators” pass vague and impracticable orders to specialists.

With the advent of “high-tech” weapons and state-of-the-art modern military technology – this “civil services” attitude seems to be creeping into the Defence Services too.

I have seen occasions  when a “generalist” senior officer tries to “bullshit” a technical specialist – and ends up embarrassed when his ignorance is exposed.

Of course – “Bullshit” does not work any longer.

If an officer does not know how to do a task – how can he teach or supervise his subordinates to do that task...?

In today’s world – the earlier Carry on Chief Style Navy Officership does not work nowadays. 

An Officer must be able to demonstrate to his juniors how to do a task.

That is why an Officer cannot stop learning even if he achieves high rank  because – there is no substitute for continual learning and professionalism.

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

Disclaimer:
1. This article is a spoof, satire, 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.
 

Monday, June 10, 2019

How to Eat Gulab Jamun



How to Eat Gulab Jamun by Vikram Karve 

Every time I embark on a Food-Walk (which happens almost every evening) – I search for good food. 

For the last few days I am searching for a good Gulab Jamun. 

But – sadly – I have not found even one place in Pune where you get top class Gulab Jamuns. 

I am craving for a succulent juicy Gulab Jamun. 

So – let me delve deep into my Foodie Archives  and pull out for you this Mouthwatering Gulab Jamun Memory.

This is probably my first Foodie Blog Post and features in my book of Foodie Adventures  APPETITE FOR A STROLL

I wrote story this 19 years ago – in the year 2000 – after relishing some delicious Gulab Jamuns.

Read on and Enjoy Your Gulab Jamun.

Gulab Jamun

HOW TO EAT GULAB JAMUN
Musings on The Art of Eating
By
VIKRAM KARVE

I spent six the best years of my life  from 2000 to 2006  in Mumbai.

I lived in a wonderful building called Empress Court opposite the Oval near Churchgate.

Every evening I went on long walks – mostly on Marine Drive to Chowpatty and back  and sometimes towards Colaba.

The highlight of my Colaba Causeway walk was a visit to Kailash Parbat for their succulent Gulab Jamuns.

I wrote this mouthwatering foodie memoir in the year 2000  immediately after I returned after relishing Gulab Jamuns at Kailash Parbat in Colaba in Mumbai  while the taste of the delicious delicacy still lingered on my tongue.
 
Even now  I can visualize those delicious soft succulent juicy tempting hot Gulab Jamuns and my mouth waters in anticipation. 

Sadly  I am in Pune and hence I will have to relish those sumptuous Gulab Jamuns in my imagination.

So  Dear Reader  let me recall one of my first lip smacking blog posts  a mouthwatering Mumbai memory  written more than 19 years ago on: HOW TO EAT A GULAB JAMUN 


ART OF EATING

The Art of Eating comprises 3 cardinal steps:

1. First 
– you come to know about good food

You hear from someone about a a good foodie place and its signature dish  you read about it somewhere  or come across it while browsing the internet  or from TV  or while watching a foodie show on TV – or read a food review on the media  or from a foodie group on the social media  or even from a menu card dropped in your home along with your newspaper.

2. Next 
– you go there and observe people eating

Yes – you go to the foodie place and observe foodies relishing the delectable cuisine you have heard about so much – and you see the way they are eating and enjoying themselves. 

You watch the heavenly expression of divine pleasure on their faces. 

This tempts you to taste and savor the cuisine yourself.

3. Then 
– you actually order the food and eat it

Yes – you order the dish of your dreams  which you have been yearning for so much – and delicately put a piece of the yummy food in your mouth  and experience the pleasures of eating the delicacy  firsthand.


HOW TO EAT GULAB JAMUN

One evening I suddenly feel an urge 
 a craving  a desperate sort of yearning  for my favourite sweet  GULAB JAMUN.

I believe that if you want to be happy 
 you must fulfill any feasible and viable desire  at once  here and now.

So  I put on my walking shoes – I cross the Oval as the Rajabai Tower Clock is striking 6 oclock.

I turn right at the Mumbai University gate – and then I turn left – and I walk towards Kalaghoda.

At Kalaghoda – I turn right towards Colaba Causeway  which is a Foodies Delight  and soon  I reach my destination  Kailash Parbat – at the southern end of Colaba Causeway.

I have heard from my friends that Kailash Parbat is the best place in Mumbai for Gulab Jamuns

I have enjoyed delectable Gulab Jamuns at many places in India  at Panchkuian Road in Delhi (on the way from CP to Karol Bagh)  at the inimitable Pehelwan Halwai/Doodhwala at the end of Lanka in Banaras (Varanasi)  and even in a place called Dumka  in the back of the beyond  located  in what is now Jharkhand (then Bihar).

Now  among the people eating Gulab Jamun at Kailash Parbat  I see a veteran  a true connoisseur  relishing delicious piping hot soft succulent juicy Gulab Jamuns with such satisfaction  that I go to the counter  and order a plate of Gulab Jamuns myself.

I look endearingly at the hot mouth-watering Gulab Jamuns dunked in a liberal amount of thick syrup.

Sadly – I do not take a picture – since there were no smartphones those days – but – I will post a few pictures of Gulab Jamuns from the internet below  for you to drool over.




The Gulab Jamuns are nice  juicy soft and hot.

Gulab Jamuns must be eaten hot

The Gulab Jamuns are very soft and juicy.

I spoon a small luscious piece of the Gulab Jamun – and I place it delicately on my tongue.

I close my eyes to enhance the quality of the gustatory experience.

Whenever you want to enjoy good food – just close your eyes  focus all your attention on your tongue  and notice the feeling.

I just leave that succulent Gulab Jamun piece on my tongue for a while 
– and let the hot sweet viscous syrup permeate deep into my taste-buds.

Then  I gently roll my tongue  and the Gulab Jamun disintegrates.

You must never chew Gulab Jamun. 

You must just keep the Gulab Jamun on your tongue  and let it melt in your mouth.

The delicious Gulab Jamun dissolves and melts in my mouth  releasing its delicious cardamom tinged flavor  and its soothing rose fragrance within me.

I eat slowly  deliberately  eyes closed  savoring every moment  relishing the divine taste – prolonging the heavenly experience its epicurean delight of the highest order.

As I walk back home in state of supreme bliss 
 the lingering taste of the delicious Gulab Jamun remains within me for a long long time.

Even now as I write this 
 I can almost sense the delicious taste and enchanting fragrance of the heavenly Gulab Jamun. 

And my mouth begins to water...!!!



But alas 
 I am in Pune right now  and I am yearning and craving for a hot syrupy juicy succulent heavenly sweet Gulab Jamun. 

Dear Reader: 
Do tell us about your favorite Gulab Jamun  where you get it  and how you eat it.
Wish you Happy Gulab Jamun Eating...!!! 

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