Thursday, March 24, 2016

Humor in Uniform : Care – But Don’t Share

Humor in Uniform

CARE – BUT DON’T SHARE
Story of Lieutenant “X” and Mrs. “Y”
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE


Part 1 : SHARING

Circa 1978

Our ship was getting ready to leave Cochin (Kochi) harbour.

(Those days – Kochi was called Cochin)

A Lieutenant in uniform came running up the gangway.

He gave me a packet and said: “Can you please deliver this packet to my coursemate Lieutenant “X” in Bombay…”

(Those days – Mumbai was known as Bombay)

It was a small packet.

“Sure,” I said.

“It is just some Ayurvedic Medicines for my coursemate’s wife – the name of my coursemate (Lieutenant “X”) – and his home address – are written on the packet…” the Lieutenant said.

On the day we reached Mumbai – in the evening – I stood outside the flat of Lieutenant “X”.

I rang the bell.

A chic young woman opened the door.

She was very attractive – and – I had to make an effort to take my eyes off her.

“Good evening, Ma’am – I have got your medicines from Cochin…” I said.

“My medicines…?” she said, looking confused.

Lieutenant “X” lives here, isn’t it – and you must be his wife…?” I said.

The beautiful woman smiled at me – and she said: “Yes – Lieutenant “X” lives here – but I am not his wife…”

“Oh…” I remarked.

“I am so sorry,” the woman said, “it was so rude of me to keep you waiting outside – please come in and make yourself comfortable. Let me get you a glass of water…”

I entered the drawing room and sat down on the sofa.

The woman got me a glass of water and sat down opposite me.

I placed the packet I had got from Cochin on the table – and I said to the woman: “Here are the medicines for Mrs. “X” – is she not at home…?”

“No – Mrs. “X” works late – she should be home around 7:30 – but – don’t worry – I will give her the packet…” the woman said.

“Are you her sister…?” I asked.

“No – No…” the woman interrupted me – then she smiled – and she said: “I am Mrs. “Y” – my husband Lieutenant “Y” and Lieutenant “X” are coursemates – we are sharing accommodation…”


(In the 1970’s – there was a severe shortage of married accommodation in the Navy – especially in Mumbai – and the waiting time for Lieutenants was more than 2 years – so it was common practice for young navy couples to share accommodation with their friends who were lucky to have been allotted married accommodation. Also – those days – most Lieutenants were married – since it took 11 years commissioned service to become a Lieutenant Commander – unlike today – after the AVS 2006 Cadre Review Bonanza – when you become a Lieutenant Commander in just 6 years service)


“Are you also a coursemate of “X” and my husband…?” Mrs. “Y” asked me.

“No – No – Ma’am – they must be a few years senior to me…” I said.

“Oh – so you are a friend of Lieutenant “X”…?” she said.

“No – Ma’am – I haven’t even met Lieutenant “X” – a Naval Officer in Cochin just asked me to deliver this packet to Lieutenant “X”…” I said.

“Oh…” she said.

I looked at Mrs. “Y”.

Mrs. “Y” looked at me.

Sitting opposite me  Mrs. “Y” looked very gorgeous and alluring – and I felt mesmerized by her tantalizing beauty.

I was unnerved by the attraction I felt towards her – so I thought that it would be best for me to leave the scene…

So – I got up to leave.

“No – wait – it is already 5:30 – Lieutenant “X” should be home any minute…” Mrs. “Y” said.

“And – your husband – Lieutenant “Y” – he should be home too…?”

“No – my husband is sailing – he will be back next week…” Mrs. “Y” said.

The doorbell rang.

“Ah – that must be Lieutenant “X”…” said Mrs. “Y” – and she quickly went to open the door.

Lieutenant “X” was in uniform.

He kept his helmet on the rack.

Then – he looked at me.

I stood up.

I introduced myself.

“Oh yes – thanks a lot for getting the medicines…” Lieutenant “X” said.

“You are welcome, Sir…” I said.

“Hey – I will just go in and change into ‘civvies’ and freshen up…” Lieutenant “X” said to me.

Then – he looked at Mrs. “Y” and said: “Hey – why don’t you make some nice coffee for all of us…?”

“Filter Coffee is already ready – and I have made your favourite upma as ‘tiffin’ too…”Mrs. “Y” said to Lieutenant “X”.

“Wow – that’s great…” Lieutenant “X” said – and he went inside to change.

After eating the delicious upma and drinking the refreshing filter coffee – I got up to leave – but Lieutenant “X” said to me: “Hey – why don’t you stay for dinner – we’ll go for a walk on the seashore – we will have a drink at the club – by then – my wife should be back – you can meet her – and we will all have dinner together…”

“Thanks a lot, Sir – but I have to get back to ship…” I said.

“Come on – stay for dinner…” Lieutenant “X” insisted.

“I would have loved to have dinner with you, Sir – but someone is holding the deck for me…” I lied.

“Oh – then you must go – but you must come over and have dinner with us sometime…” Lieutenant “X” said.

So – I said goodbye to Lieutenant “X” and Mrs. “Y” – and I went back to my ship.

I could not meet Lieutenant “X” again – and the dinner never materialized – as our ship sailed off on a long deployment – and midway – I was disembarked at Madras Port (Chennai) – for proceeding on transfer to a shore based instructional appointment in a ‘stone frigate’ at Jamnagar.


7 YEARS LATER


Part 2 : CARING

Circa 1985

One evening, I was walking on Main Street (MG Road) in Pune – and suddenly – I ran into Lieutenant “X”.

He recognized me and said: “Hi there – so nice to see you here…”

“Delighted to see you too, Sir…” I said.

“You just disappeared from the Radar…?” Lieutenant “X” said.

“Sir – my ship sailed off to the East – then I was transferred to Jamnagar – then I was selected for M. Tech. at IIT Delhi – then I did an appointment in Delhi – and I have been recently appointed as faculty in IAT Pune…” I said.

“That’s great,” Lieutenant “X” said, “I too quit the Navy a few years ago and I now work in the industry…”

He pulled out his wallet, extracted a business card, and gave it to me.

I looked at the business card.

Lieutenant “X” (now Ex-Lieutenant “X”) was a Manager in a prestigious company.

“My home address is written on the reverse of the card – I live in Aundh – now that you are Pune – you must visit us  especially you come to Aundh side…” he said.

“Sure, Sir…” I said – and we bid each other ‘goodbye’.

A few days later – one evening – I happened to be in Aundh.

I remembered the brief meeting with Ex-Lieutenant “X” on Main Street.

I pulled out his business card from my wallet – and I discovered that I was standing right below his apartment block.

I decided to visit Ex-Lieutenant “X” – and soon – I was standing outside his flat.

I rang the doorbell.

A woman opened the door.

I was stunned.

The woman was Mrs. “Y”.

Seeing the bewildered expression on my face – the woman gave me a mischievous smile  and she naughtily said to me: “Yes – Lieutenant “X” lives here – and now – I am his wife…”


Part 3 : EPILOGUE

Later – when I reached home – I told my wife about how Mrs. “Y” had become Mrs. “X”

So  thanks to sharing and caring  Lieutenant “X” and Mrs. “Y” – had now become  Ex-Lieutenant “X” and New Mrs. “X”

Later – I found out that Lieutenant “X” had not quit the Navy on his own.

But – in fact – Lieutenant “X” had been asked to resign for ‘stealing the affection’ of Mrs. “Y”  who was his ‘brother officer’s wife’

There is a saying: Learn from history or you are doomed to repeat it

And – my wife had certainly learnt a lesson from the story of Lieutenant “X” and Mrs. “Y” – as is evident from the episode narrated below.

One evening – a young couple came over to meet us – my Navy coursemate and his wife.

“I have come for a 3 month course to IAT – and I brought my wife along – and they aren’t allowing wives in the Officers’ Mess…” he said.

“Yes – wives are not allowed for short courses…” I said.

“We were wondering if you could share your accommodation with us – you have got such a big house…” my coursemate said.

“Yes – please let us stay with you – otherwise I will have to go back…” my coursemate’s lovely wife pleaded, and she gave me a tender beseeching look.

Mesmerized by her seductive gaze  I was about to agree  when my wife suddenly interjected and said to the lady: “I am sorry – but – we do not share accommodation…”

“Please let us stay – it is only for 3 months – and we will not be any trouble…” my coursemate’s wife begged my wife.

“I am sorry – but – as a ‘matter of principle’ – we do not share accommodation…” my wife said firmly with a decisive tone – and she excused herself and went inside to the bedroom.

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Disclaimer:
1. This story is a spoof, satire, 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.

Copyright Notice:
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Revised re-post of my story CARING AND SHARING posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 08 Nov 2015 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/11/sharing-and-caring-humor-in-and-out-of.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/12/humor-in-uniform-lieutenant-x-and-mrs-y.html
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