Monday, March 10, 2014

YOU MUST ALWAYS SALUTE THE RISING SUN - Humor in Uniform

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM

YOU MUST ALWAYS SALUTE THE RISING SUN
Memories of my Navy Days 
By
VIKRAM KARVE

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

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


YOU MUST ALWAYS SALUTE THE RISING SUN

This happened long back, 20 years ago, in the mid 1990’s, when I was in IAT.

We had a very dashing Commodore, highly ambitious, as our Director of Studies, and I was the Officer-in-Charge of a prestigious naval advanced post graduate course.

The Commodore called me to his office.

“The valedictory function of your course is just 2 months away. We have to decide on the Chief Guest for the valedictory function. Can you suggest some names?” the Commodore asked me.

“Rear Admiral “A” would be the ideal Chief Guest for the valedictory function,” I said.

“Rear Admiral “A”? Why?” the Commodore asked.

“Sir, he has done this very course 20 years ago – in fact he topped the course and won the trophy – and then he was an instructor and the Officer-in-Charge of the course over here when he was a Commander. He is very conversant with IAT and the course, Sir, and he is technically brilliant too. I feel he would be the apt choice for Chief Guest,” I said.

“How do you know he is technically brilliant?”

“Sir, I have worked with him in the Dockyard,” I said.

“Oh, so you are his bloody crony,” the Commodore remarked.

“Sir, it’s not that …”

“Listen,” the Commodore interrupted me, “all what you say may be fine. But we are not going to call Rear Admiral “A” – I have decided to call Rear Admiral “B” for the valedictory function. Just put up a draft letter…”

“Rear Admiral “B”, Sir?” I said, quite taken aback.

“Why? What’s wrong with him?” the Commodore asked.

“Sir, he has not done this course?”

“So? Where does it say that the Chief Guest has to be qualified in this course?”

“Sir, he is from a different branch.”

“What bloody branch? At that level, branches don’t matter. He is a technical officer, isn’t he? Now don’t argue with me. I have decided to invite Rear Admiral “B”. You put up a draft letter and program.”

“Sir, I have a question. What’s wrong with Rear Admiral “A”? Why are you insisting on Rear Admiral “B” as Chief Guest?”

“It is simple – you must always salute the rising sun.”

“Rising Sun?”

“Keep it to yourself – I have just heard a buzz that Rear Admiral “B” is being cleared for Vice Admiral.”

“Oh!”

“There is just one vacancy, so your Rear Admiral “A” will have to go home under the 4 year rule once he is superseded. It is the end of the road for him, so he doesn’t matter anymore.”

“Like the setting sun?”

“Now you are beginning to understand. Draft a nice letter inviting Rear Admiral “B” to the valedictory function and put it up to me,” the Commodore said.

“Aye, Aye, Sir,” I said.

I hesitated, and then I spoke, “Sir, you will have to speak to Rear Admiral “A” also.”

“Why?”

“Sir, I spoke to him yesterday seeking his convenience for the valedictory function…” I mumbled.

“Are you crazy? Who asked you to be over-smart and go over my head and speak to him? Anyway, I am not going to waste my time speaking to Rear Admiral “A” – you speak to him – give him some excuse – that’s your problem,” the Commodore said.

I felt terrible.

I knew Rear Admiral “A” quite well.

How could I tell him the truth that the Commodore had vetoed his name?

And worse, how could I tell him the real reason why his name had been vetoed and that “rising sun” Rear Admiral “B” was being invited instead?

What excuse could I give him?

It was going to be very embarrassing for me and I did not know what to do, so I decided to sleep over it and decide in the morning.

Late at night, after dinner, the phone rang in my house.

It was the Commodore speaking excitedly, “Did you call up Rear Admiral “A” about cancelling his name as Chief Guest for the valedictory?”

“No, Sir,” I said.

“Thank God.”

“What happened, Sir? I was going to call him up in the morning.”

“No. You don’t call up Rear Admiral “A”. I will call him in the morning and personally invite him as Chief Guest for the valedictory function.”

“What? I thought you wanted Rear Admiral “B” as the Chief Guest,” I asked, bewildered.

“Don’t you know what has happened? I just came to know. It’s a big surprise. Rear Admiral “A” has been cleared for Vice Admiral and Rear Admiral “B” is out.”

“So, now Admiral “A” is the rising sun?” I asked tongue-in-cheek.

“That is right,” the Commodore said, and disconnected.

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.
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.
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