Saturday, July 11, 2015


As usual – my wife has gone to spend the weekend with her beloved mother – and I am “Married Yet Single” – and this “Married Bachelor Status” reminded me of this story...

Unforgettable Memories of My Navy Days
A Spoof

In a love marriage – a wife misses her husband when he is away.

In an arranged marriage – a wife misses her parents (especially her mother).

Ours is an arranged marriage.

My wife would have preferred if her husband had lived in her parents’ home as a “Ghar Jamai” – this would have enabled my wife to forever be with her doting mother.

However – I happened to be in the Navy – and my wife had to come along with me to faraway places wherever I was posted.

Living with a “terrible” person like me – and that too – so far away from her mother – made my wife feel extremely “homesick” – especially in the early years of our marriage.

I once asked my wife: “In your opinion – do I have any good qualities?”

My wife thought about it for a long time.

After thinking thoroughly – she said: “You have the ability to live with yourself.”

“What do you exactly mean?” I asked.

“You can independently manage on your own – you are not dependent on me – in fact – you are quite happy living alone – I don’t have to worry about you when I leave you alone and go away – that’s what I meant when I said ‘you have the ability to live with yourself’…” my wife said to me.

During our ‘durable’ marriage which has lasted for more than 33 years – my wife has made full use of this sterling quality of mine (my ability to live alone).

Since my wife had no qualms about leaving me all alone to fend for myself  – from time to time – whenever she felt ‘homesick’ – my wife would leave me all alone – and make frequent trips to her ‘mother’s place’.

Even as I write this – my wife is at her mother’s place – while I “relish” my glorious solitude.

We got married more than 33 years ago – in 1982 – and – as a newly married couple – we lived in Curzon Road Apartments in New Delhi – as I was posted in the “Northern Naval Command”.

Within a few weeks of our marriage – my wife suddenly felt homesick and she began pining for her mother – so I put her on the first available flight to Srinagar – where her “Fauji” father was then posted.

Of course – I purchased a one-way ticket – because I was not sure when my wife would like to come back – or whether she would come back at all.

To my surprise – she returned after a week.

Then – after a few months – she felt “homesick” again.

So – I booked her on the Rajdhani Express to Howrah – as her father had meanwhile got posted to Calcutta (now Kolkata).

At 4 o’clock in the evening – I stood on the platform on New Delhi Railway Station – with “tears” in my eyes – saying “good bye” to my wife.

A navy friend of mine – an ex-shipmate – was also standing with me – while I was ‘seeing off’ my wife.

He had come to book a ‘military quota’ seat at the MCO for some future date – and having finished his work – while walking back – he spotted me – so he came along to meet me.

Since my wife and I had come to the railway station by auto-rickshaw – my friend said that he would drop me back home on his bike.

“Your husband is really feeling very sad that you are going away,” my friend said to my wife.

“Sad…? The moment my train leaves he will head to a foodie joint to get some ‘small eats’ – and then he will go home – open a bottle of rum – and ‘top up’ to the hilt…” my wife remarked.

And that is exactly what happened.

After the Rajdhani Express departed – I told my friend to drive via Gole Market – where I picked up some “small eats” – Seekh Kababs, Boti Kababs, Fish Fry and Tandoori Chicken.

Seeing the huge amount of food I was buying, my friend said, “You are buying Kababs, Chicken and Fish by the kilo – will you be able to eat all this…?”

“Firstly – I am feeling sad that my wife has gone away – and for me – good food with a hearty drink is the best cure for depression. And – secondly – you are going to give me company while I wallow in my misery…” I said.

Around 3 hours and a bottle of rum later – we were sitting in my flat in Curzon Road Apartments – feeling “nice” – having imbibed a substantial amount of Hercules Rum – and having partaken of copious amounts of ‘small eats’.

Since I was officially supposed to be feeling “sad” – to add to the “gloomy” atmosphere – I had put on a cassette of some sad Mohd Rafi songs on my music system – and the ‘potent’ combination of Intoxicating Alcohol, Satiating Food and Soothing Music had put us in a blissfully melancholic mood.

Suddenly – my friend said, “Hey – I have to go now – my wife will be waiting for me for dinner…”

“Dinner…? After eating all these ‘small eats’…” I said – pointing to the Kababs, Fish and Chicken.

“No – I haven’t told my wife that I would be coming home late – so she may get worried…” he said.

At this stage – let me digress – and take you back in time 33 years – to 1982.

Those days – there were no mobile phones – and we did not have landline phones either – since – in the Navy – only senior officers were given landline phones at home.

Most Navy wives did not worry too much if their husbands were ‘delayed’.

On most evenings – after our jog on India Gate Lawns – we sometimes took a small ‘detour’ to Kota House Officers Mess for a ‘replenishment halt’.

The ‘replenishment’ session ended when the bar closed at 11 o’clock – and we would go home ‘swinging’ happily at around 11:30 at night.

It was only if we did not turn up home by midnight – that our wives got worried – and neighbours were sent to search for us – in case we were sprawled on the footpath enroute – or had passed out drunk in the mess itself.

End of digression – let’s get back to our story now.

As I told you – my friend suddenly said that he wanted to home because he hadn’t told my wife that he would be coming home late – and he thought that his wife may get worried.

I looked at the wall clock – it was only 8:30 PM.

I was quite surprised by my friend’s comment that his wife would get “worried”…

“It’s not even 9 o’clock,” I said, “your wife will start worrying if you don’t reach home by midnight…”

“No – No – I must go…” he insisted.

“Okay – okay – but at least have one more drink – ‘one for the road’ – as they say…” I said.

Since we had already polished off one bottle of Rum – I opened a new bottle of Rum – and I poured him an extra-large peg of Rum.

Then – I said: “down the hatch”.

That was my mistake.

My friend picked up the glass – he shouted: “down the hatch” – and he gulped down the entire rum in one go.

That was his mistake.

Beads of sweat broke out on his forehead – his eyes became defocused – and he started swaying as he tried to get up.

I realized that he was drunk – and it had happened quite suddenly – or maybe I had not realized it earlier since I was in “high spirits” too.

But one thing was sure – his drinking capacity was much less than mine – and had I known this – I would not have goaded him to drink so much rum.

There was no way I was going to send him home in this condition.

So – I said to him, “Why don’t you lie down for some time…”

“Lie down…? Why…? I am going home…” he slurred loudly – and he picked up his helmet.

“Wait – I cannot allow you to ride your motorcycle in this condition…” I said.

“Why…?” he asked.

“I think you are quite drunk…” I said.

“I am not drunk…” he said.

“Okay – Okay – I will come with you…” I said.

He could not mount his motorcycle.

I tried to put him on the rear seat – so that I could drive him home – but the way his body was swaying wildly – I was sure he would fall off the bike.

So – I decided to walk him home.

He lived nearby – in “Sangli Mess” – which were dilapidated barracks converted into temporary accommodation.

I lifted his arm and put it around my shoulders – and helped my drunken friend stagger along – as we slowly headed towards his house.

I knocked on the door.

My friend’s wife opened the door.

She was shocked to see her husband in this pitiable inebriated state.

I deposited my friend on the sofa.

“What happened…? Why are you drunk…?” my friend’s wife asked him angrily.

My friend pointed towards me and said, “His wife has gone away – so we were drowning our sorrows…”

My friend’s wife looked at her husband curiously – and then she said to him: 

“Your friend’s wife has gone away – he should be feeling sad  but why are you feeling so sad...?

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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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. This story is 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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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This story was first written by me on 09 April 2015 and posted online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at url:

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