Monday, April 11, 2016

“Ageless Wonder” or Eternal “Uncle”

Here is a real life story which I had posted online around 4 years ago in this blog on Aug 28, 2012.

The Story is called: Am I an Ageless Wonder or The Eternal “Uncle”...?

I am posting this story  once again  on the request of one of my “girlfriends” (I hope she doesn’t call me “Uncle”...)

AGELESS WONDER or ETERNAL “UNCLE”
Slice of Life Story
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE


Circa 1982

CURZON ROAD APARTMENTS NEW DELHI 

In 1982  as a newly married couple  we lived in Curzon Road Apartments on Kasturba Gandhi Marg near India Gate in New Delhi.

Me  my wife  and our puppy dog (a small Lhasa Apso Puppy Dog Sherry given to us as a wedding gift) – all three of us lived in our neat cosy one room apartment with a small kitchenette and a lovely balcony high up on the top floor.

One evening  while on her way back home from work  my wife went to the convenience store to buy milk.

The shopkeeper told her that her father had already bought milk a few minutes ago.

My wife was delighted at the unexpected visit of her father  so she rushed to our house.

She did not see her father around  so my wife asked me, “Where is Daddy?”

“Your Daddy? He must be in Srinagar,” I said.  

“No. Daddy has come here,” she said.

“Who told you?” I asked.

“The shopkeeper,” she said.

“Really? Let’s go down and ask him,” I said.

So we went down  and we asked the shopkeeper.

The shopkeeper pointed towards me and said, “He took the milk. I thought he was your father.”

“He is my husband,” my wife said, pointing at me.

“I am sorry, Sir  but I was really mistaken,” the shopkeeper said apologetically to me.

Then the shopkeeper smiled at my wife and said to her, “Madam  you look so young – you look just like a schoolgirl  and your husband looks so mature – so I thought that your husband was your father.”

It was true. 

When we were married  my wife looked very young  just like a schoolgirl. 

She was 21  and I was 25.

And though the shopkeeper hadn’t spelt it out in so many words  I did look a bit older than my 25 years  with my “healthy” built  and my formidable full-set Navy beard.

Unlike the so-called “metrosexual” men of today  I like to be who I am  so I don’t believe in “cosmetic engineering”.

I believe in the “old-mould” idea that a man must look like a man  tough and masculine  and though hygiene and grooming are important  there is no need for a man to be excessively obsessed about his looks.

Of course  whereas having an appropriate dress sense and wearing good quality clothes is a must  there is no need for a man to “deck up”.

That’s why  when the first strand of grey hair appeared on my head when I was in my mid 40’s  I never used hair-dye  nor did I colour my copious beard when it started greying.

Of course  I must say here  that my wife too has a natural look  and she hardly uses any cosmetics  and she has never coloured her hair.

The fact of the matter was that my wife did indeed look much younger than me.

And – I did indeed look a bit “mature” – as the shopkeeper had said.

Period.

So  even in those days  when a pretty young girl called me “uncle”  I did not mind it very much. 

Maybe  for pretty young girls  I did indeed look like an “uncle”.


30 YEARS LATER

Circa 2012

PUNE 

This happened 4 years ago in Pune (in the year 2012).

My wife was getting off an auto-rickshaw. 

The fare was 52 rupees. 

My wife gave the auto-rickshaw driver a 50 rupee note  and she was desperately searching in her purse for a 2 rupee coin.

The auto driver said magnanimously to my wife, “Never mind Ajji – it is okay if you don’t give me the two rupees.”

Now  in Marathi  the word AJJI means GRANDMOTHER.

I cannot begin to describe the emotion of elation I felt when I heard this.

And just imagine  pretty young girls still call me “uncle”.


Disclaimer: 

Maybe the auto-rickshaw driver needed an eye checkup. 

My wife still looks very young – maybe not like a schoolgirl like she did in 1982  but certainly like a college girl. 

And me? 

Well  I am an ageless wonder...!!! 


EPILOGUE 

WHY DO GIRLS CALL ME “UNCLE” ...?

When I joined the Navy in the 1970’s  young girls started calling me “uncle”.

I was barely 20 years old  and this was the first time someone had called me “uncle”.

Of course  the girls who called me “uncle” were senior officers’ daughters (members of SODA aka Senior Officers Daughters Association)  and they were following “fauji” social tradition of addressing all officers as “uncle”.

It did not matter that most of these girls who called me “uncle” were almost my age  or just a few years younger.

After retirement – we live in lovely modern residential society in Pune – where most of the residents are young IT Nerds and Techie Couples working in the IT/ITES/Software Sector. 

Sadly  most of the girls called me “uncle”.

Of course  the “girls”  range from nubile young IT Techies in their 20’s  to beautiful young mothers in their 30’s.

Believe it or not  but the other day  a rather “middle aged” woman called me “Kaka” (which colloquially implies a rather elderly uncle in Marathi). 

Even worse – the other day – in the lift  a “young” grandmother called me “uncle”.

I was devastated.

In the 1970’s  girls called me “uncle”.

Now  40 years later  in the year 2016 – “girls” still call me “uncle”.

To make matters worse – even some of my Facebook and Twitter Virtual Girlfriends” have started calling me “Uncle” – and some address me as “Sir” too.

Well – I am still young at heart – and all this “Sir” and “Uncle” business makes me feel old – which is a terrible feeling.

I am terrified  that – at this rate – soon  some young girl may even call me “Grandfather” (or Ajoba” in Marathi)

To all my Girlfriends” – Real and Virtual  I am making a very humble request from the bottom of my heart: 

“Please stop calling me “Uncle “Sir” “Kaka” etc – just call me Vikram...

My Dear Girlfriends – Real and Virtual

“It is terrible to be made to feel old  and I am sure you will understand my feelings – and from now on you will call me “Vikram . 

And  for those “girls” who still want to make me feel old  I have decided that enough is enough’...

If you call me “Uncle”  I will call you “Aunty

If you call me “Sir”  I will call you “Madam

If you call me “Kaka”  I will call you “Kaku

(Thankfully – no “girlfriend has called me “Grandpa” or “Ajoba” so far)

So – Dear “Girls”: Please don’t call me “Uncle”  

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. 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.

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