Saturday, February 7, 2015

SWEETIE - A Sweet Memoir

Humor in Uniform

Last week I visited IAT Pune (now renamed MILIT/DIAT Deemed University) for a delivering a guest lecture.

As I looked down towards the cool blue waters of the Khadakwasla lake, I remembered this story of “SWEETIE

This happened 30 years ago  in the mid 1980’s.

Read on – enjoy the story...

SWEETIE
Sweet Memory from my Wonderful Navy Days
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

“Have you seen Sweetie?” Colonel “P” asked me.

“No, Sir,” I said.

“I don’t know where she has gone. The Dean wants to meet her and I just can’t find her anywhere,” the Colonel said.

“Don’t worry, Sir – I’ll find her and bring her to you,” I said.

The Colonel returned to the senior officers’ group.

I started walking down to the boat jetty.

This happened 30 years ago, in the mid 1980’s, in a lovely place called IAT nestled in the hills of Girinagar near the city of Pune.

It was one of those Sunday morning get-togethers for officers and families at the Naval Bay on the banks of Khadakwasla lake.

It was a verdant and picturesque place, with shady trees, lush green lawns and abundance of flora alongside the cool blue waters of the lake – an ideal setting for a picnic on a bright winter morning.

“Hey, you guys, have you seen the Colonel’s daughter?” I asked some student officers who were walking up from the boat jetty.

“The Colonel’s daughter? Sir, I thought the D of S (Army) had two sons,” one of them said.

“No. No. Not the outgoing Colonel. I am talking of the newly arrived Colonel  Colonel “P”. He has a small daughter – she must be around 3 years old – her name is Sweetie – I had seen her playing on the lawns up there – and now she is not there – and the Colonel is worried,” I said.

“Is she a 3 year old girl, Sir? I think she has gone for a boat ride. I saw Sub Lieutenant “X” getting into the boat with a small girl in his arms,” one of the officers said.

“Are you sure?” I asked.

“Yes, Sir  I am quite sure,” he said.

Then, another officer said, “Sir  I will get the binoculars from the boat shed  then we can see clearly.”

I looked through the binoculars.

The boat was moving slowly across the Khadakwasla lake.

I could clearly see Sweetie – she was sitting on the Sub Lieutenant’s lap  and he was holding her tight.

I walked up to the lawns and I reported to the Colonel, “Don’t worry, Sir  Sweetie is safe and sound.”

“But where is she?” he asked, looking anxious.

“She is enjoying a boat ride,” I said.

“Sweetie has gone for a boat ride? How is that possible? Sweetie does not know how to swim. And she is so scared of water. I wonder how she got into the boat?” the Colonel asked.

“Sir, Sub Lieutenant “X” picked her up in her arms…”

“What? A Sub Lieutenant took Sweetie in his arms?” the Colonel said, looking worried.

“Don’t worry, Sir  I myself checked up through the binoculars – Sweetie is sitting on the Sub Lieutenant’s lap  and he is holding onto her tightly,” I said.

“What? Sweetie is sitting on a Sub Lieutenant’s lap?” the Colonel exclaimed, looking flabbergasted.

Then  as if in a daze – the Colonel broke off from the gathering – and we saw him running down towards the boat jetty.

“What’s wrong with the Colonel? Why is he so hyper?” someone asked.

“Maybe it is because he’s just got one daughter – Sweetie is his only child. And that too so late in life  he’s got a kid after the age of 40 – maybe that’s why he is so possessive and over protective,” I reasoned.

We sipped our beer.

A few moments later, we saw Commander “M” emerge from the woods with a ravishing beauty.

I just could not take my eyes off the gorgeous lady.

“Hello, Navy Boys – you have got a lovely place here – your Commander just took me for an exciting trek on the banks of the lake,” the beautiful lady said, looking quite flushed.

“Good morning, Ma’am,” we said.

“Oh  I forgot to introduce myself  or rather  your Commander forgot to introduce me,” she said.

The Commander looked embarrassed and started to speak.

But before he could say anything  the beautiful woman looked at me  proffered her hand and she said, “My name is Sweetie.”

“Sweetie?” I exclaimed, looking shocked and dumbfounded.

“Why? You don’t like my name? Can’t my name be Sweetie? Am I not sweet?” she joked, smiling flirtatiously.

“No, Ma’am. Yes, Ma’am…” I fumbled in embarrassment.

“Hey, please don’t call me Ma’am...” she said.

“Okay, Mrs “P”...” I said.

Mrs “P”...? That’s even worse  I don’t like  Mrs “P” either – and for heaven’s sake, please don’t call me Mrs Colonel like someone once did,” she laughed vivaciously.

Then Sweetie looked into my eyes and she said to me, “you are my age – so just call me Sweetie.

“Okay – Sweetie...” I said, trying to recover my wits.

“Hey  what happened – why are you looking so lost?” Sweetie asked me.

“I thought ‘Sweetie’ was your daughter’s name...” I mumbled.

“What...? Forget all that – I’m feeling thirsty – I’m dying for a drink,” she said.

I got her a drink. 

We talked. 

We sipped our drinks. 

Sweetie was really sweet and I enjoyed her company.

Suddenly, Sweetie looked beyond my shoulder  and then she said: “Ah  there comes my boring husband. He seems to be looking quite grumpy.”

I turned around and I followed her gaze.

Colonel “P” was trudging up the slopes  holding his 3 year old daughter in his arms.

As he approached  I could see that the Colonel was giving me quite a ferocious look.

So  I quickly excused myself from Sweetie – and I left the scene before the arrival of her husband  the furious Colonel.


EPILOGUE

I looked at Colonel “P” and his wife Sweetie.

What a contrasting couple – a grumpy old husband and a bubbly youthful wife.

Later, during my long Navy career – I met many such couples – and I always wondered:

“How come the grouchy ‘old fogeys always got the most vivacious youthful wives?


VIKRAM KARVE
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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 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.

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