Thursday, October 10, 2013

THE PICNIC

THE PICNIC
Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Disclaimer:
1. This story is a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
NB
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

THE PICNIC  -  A Story by Vikram Karve

This happened long back, more than 33 years ago, when I was a young bachelor officer in the Navy.

The Captain wanted to have a picnic with all the ship’s officers and their families.

We decided to have a beach picnic I was told to organize everything.

A day before the picnic I briefed the Captain regarding the arrangements – transportation, recreation, music, dance, party games, tombola, water-sports, fun for children, restrooms and shacks for ladies and gents, bar and food arrangements, seaside barbeque, gifts and presents, everything...

It was going to be a very enjoyable picnic and we all were going to have a fabulous time.

The Captain seemed quite happy.

Then he saw the guest list.

“I don’t see John’s name here,” the Captain remarked, “I want all officers and families to attend the picnic – why is John and his family not coming?”

“He has not been invited,” I said.

“What? John has not been invited? Why? Who took this decision?”

“I did, Sir. I intentionally did not invite John for the picnic. I feel it is best not to call John for the picnic,” I said.

“You intentionally did not invite John? What’s wrong with you?” the Captain said, looking annoyed.

“I feel it would be best if John did not come for the picnic,” I said.

For a moment the Captain looked at me in disbelief.

Then he asked me, “May I know the reason why you don’t want John and his family to come for the picnic?”

“He can’t hold his drinks, Sir.”

“What do you mean?”

“Sir, there is going to be a lot of beer and gin and alcoholic punches and plenty of drinks at the picnic. Liquor will be flowing freely.

So?”

John invariably gets drunk on such occasions and when he is drunk he gets very nasty and belligerent. He is sure to misbehave and pick up a fight with someone. Things will become very unpleasant and the whole atmosphere of the picnic will get spoiled, Sir,” I said.

The Captain was furious and admonished me, “You don’t give me bullshit. It is the annual picnic. All officers and their families are attending. How can you exclude John just because of your whims and fancies? Do you have any bloody social graces or not?”

“Sir, please listen …” I tried to plead.

“Shut up. You will make sure that John and his family is there for the picnic. You will personally give him the invitation right now. Is that clear? Do you understand?” the Captain said.

“Yes, Sir,” I said sheepishly.

The beach picnic started on a bright note. 

Everyone – the men, the women, the children, were thoroughly enjoying themselves – dancing, singing, playing, romping on the sands, frolicking on the beach, swimming the blue waters of the sea.

Then things began to happen exactly as I had anticipated.

By noon, John got drunk and nasty.

First he picked up a fight over some trivial issue with a colleague. 

Then he got abusive over not being served snacks properly. 

He was staggering unsteadily on his feet and shouting incoherently.

Seeing that John was visibly drunk and that he was making a fool of himself, his embarrassed wife tried to restrain him from drinking more beer.

She pleaded with him to stop drinking.

She told him that he had drunk too much alcohol already and was misbehaving

But this enraged John even further and he abused and slapped his wife in full public view.

The Captain and other officers tried to reason with John and calm him down. 

But John got belligerent and abusive with everyone.

When the Captain tried to sternly admonish him, John threatened to hit the Captain and started getting violent.

We had to rescue the Captain before John thrashed him.   

The ladies and children were terrified.

John’s wife and children were in tears.

We were all disgusted and there was an air of unpleasantness.

Then John picked up a bottle of Rum and walked to a secluded place on the beach.

He kept drinking till he drank himself into a stupor.

In the evening we had to carry a dead-drunk John into the boat. 

John was terribly intoxicated, in a semi-conscious inebriated condition, and beads of sweat formed over his face as he lay sprawled in the boat.

As the boat started sailing over the sea, rolling and pitching, John got violently sick and he vomited all over the boat.

The disgusting stench of his vomit and the horrible revolting sight of his vile hideous puke made everyone sickeningly nauseous.

The entire mood was totally spoiled and everyone was disgusted.

The picnic was a disaster.

Next morning I went to the Captain to show him the picnic accounts.

For some time we looked at each other in silence.

Then the Captain said to me, “You were right about John. It would have been better if we hadn’t called him for the picnic. He ruined everything by his disgusting behaviour. I feel sorry for his wife and kids - they must be feeling so embarrassed.”

“Sir, I was going to tell you something more that day, but you asked me to shut up…” 

“You were going to tell me something more that day? What was it? Tell me now,” the Captain said to me.

“It was John’s wife who told me not to invite them for the picnic.”

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Disclaimer:
All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
NB
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Did you like this story?  
I am sure you will like the 27 short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL
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About Vikram Karve

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

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal: http://karvediat.blogspot.com
Professional Profile Vikram Karve: http://www.linkedin.com/in/karve
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:  https://www.facebook.com/vikramkarve
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog: http://vikramkarve.sulekha.com/blog/posts.htm
Email: vikramkarve@hotmail.com
Twitter: @vikramkarve
      
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
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