Friday, December 27, 2013



Humor out of Uniform

During the Navy Foundation Pune Lunch last Sunday, I met a despondent retired naval officer who was cribbing that he regretted not making full use of the navy.

The money-minded officer felt that he had incurred a great loss because he did not exploit all the entitlements, facilities and perks offered by the navy. 

For example, being a non-drinker he could not enjoy his monthly subsidized liquor quota and neither was there any provision to encash it. 

He wondered how much financial loss he must have suffered because he did not utilize this attractive perk throughout his long career of over 30 years.

He talked regretfully about other entitlements and perks too, which he felt he had not exploited to the full extent. 

And worse, there were so many facilities that he did not even know about  like getting land and flats allotted at concessional rate through discretionary quotas which were usurped by a lucky few who had influence and clout.

He complained that during service he was unaware of various rehabilitation and resettlement schemes like getting petrol pumps and gas agencies which were cornered by a lucky few who were in the know.

It was only after retirement that he had come to know that there were so many perks, concessions and entitlements which some smart officers had managed to avail but he had missed out on all of them.

Owing to all this, he felt that he had suffered substantial financial loss, albeit notionally.

In order to cheer him up and enliven his spirits, I told him this story:

An Apocryphal Story

One day, the man went to visit a colleague convalescing in hospital after heart surgery following a massive heart attack.

Fascinated by the sophisticated and luxurious facilities in the hospital he asked his friend how much it cost. 

“Over five lakhs,” the patient said.

“My God – that’s expensive. How can you afford it?”

“Medical Reimbursement,” the patient said.

“Medical Reimbursement? Does that mean that you have to pay nothing for all this?”

“Of course I don’t have to pay from my own pocket – they pay everything. That’s why I joined the medical health insurance scheme – you too are a member, aren’t you? So even if you have a heart surgery they will pay everything.”

“Really? Is it true. If I have a heart attack right here right now, will they will pay for all my treatment?” the man asked.

“Of course they will pay. You are a member of the health insurance scheme. You are entitled all medical treatment, just like me,” the patient said.

For some time, the man kept brooding and appeared to be in low spirits. 

Then he suddenly started shouting in the hospital, “I want to have a heart attack. I want to have a heart attack.”

Everyone was stunned by his strange behaviour. 

Doctors tried to calm him down.

But the man kept on screaming loudly: “I want to have a heart attack. I want to have a heart attack. 

So they evicted him from the hospital.

Later when he had cooled down, his wife and his friends asked him the reason for his crazy behaviour in the hospital.

“I have lost rupees five lakhs!” the man said.

“Five lakhs? Where? How did you lose five lakhs?” they all asked

“I lost five lakh rupees worth of medical reimbursement just because I did not have a heart attack! That is why I want to have a heart attack. So I will get five lakh rupees of medical treatment which is my due,” the man said.

And then he started shouting again: “I want to have a heart attack. I want to have a heart attack...

Soon the man became crazy. 

So they admitted him into the psychiatric ward for treatment.

Of course, he would receive medical reimbursement for the cost of treatment.

At last, he had got pyrrhic justice  the notional loss he had suffered because he had not had a heart attack would now be mitigated to some extent because he had gone crazy!

Dear Reader:

Close your eyes, reminisce, and calculate all the “losses” you have incurred in your life because you did not “avail” of things you were entitled to.

All retired “faujis” must do this exercise till you get all worked up.

Then head to the bar to discuss with all the other retired “faujis all the “entitlements” they have missed out on.

Compare and contrast till you feel miserable.

You can do this till you go crazy  or you can seize the day “Carpe Diem” ...!!!

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. 

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.
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.

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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.

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