Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Humor in Uniform – The “Punter”

Humor in Uniform 

Military Officers are often stereotyped into quintessental archetypes some of which are portrayed in Movies – and – of course – you must be aware of the legendary Colonel Blimp

But – when you join the Armed Forces – you realize that there are all sorts of Officers with different personalities.

Among Defence Officers  there are many unique characters  each with his own idiosyncrasy. 

This is especially so in the Navy – since – Naval Officers are a cut above the rest.

Here is a story of my hilarious encounter with one such unforgettable character who I met during my early Navy days....

“PUNTER” IN UNIFORM 
Hilarious Memoir from My Navy 
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

This happened around 40 years ago  in the 1970’s.

Six of us “piddly” Sub Lieutenants from various ships sat in front of a chubby Commander in Western Naval Command (WNC) Headquarters at Mumbai (then called Bombay).

Those days  the WNC Headquarters was located in a civilian building in Fort area of Mumbai.

We had been “detailed” for some “bum jobs” connected with Navy Week  and  the podgy Commander was briefing us. 

The portly Commander was from the erstwhile Supply and Secretariat (S&S) Branch (now called Logistics Branch).

The roly-poly Commander was a Senior Staff Officer in the WNC Headquarters.

Suddenly  the phone on the table rang  and  the Commander picked it up. 

I saw him listening intently on the phone – he only listened – he didn’t speak a word.

I don’t know what the Commander heard on the phone – but whatever he heard on the phone – it suddenly galvanized him into action. 

The Commander suddenly stood up abruptly  I was surprised by the speed of his movement despite his corpulence and huge size. 

The Commander told us that something urgent had come up.

He told us that he would be back soon. 

He ordered us that we should wait for him.

Then – the podgy Commander threw a file in front of us. 

He told us to read the file till he got back.

Then  he swiftly grabbed a civilian bush shirt which was hanging on the hat-stand. 

And – he wore the blue bush-shirt over his white uniform shirt. 

He looked funny in a blue bush shirt, white uniform tousers and white buck-skin shoes. 

The Commander picked up his briefcase  and – he disappeared at the speed of light.

We waited patiently in his office.

More than 30 minutes passed. 

Yes – we had been waiting for half an hour.

So  we went over to the office hall  and – we asked the clerical staff if they knew when the Commander would be back.

“Don’t worry. He must have gone to Dalal Street to meet his broker in the Stock Exchange. He will be back soon...” the Commander’s PA said.

(Remember  this happened in the 1970’s  when there was no internet  there was no online trading  and  you had to physically trade shares and stocks through your stock broker)

When the Commander returned  he seemed quite cheerful and he was in a happy mood.

I do not know whether he was a “Bull” or a “Bear” – but from his happy mood  it appeared that he had made a lot of money that day.

After a “brief” briefing on the “official” matter – the Commander educated us on investing and trading in stocks and shares  and – he told us how much money could be made in the stock market  rather than the conventional savings methods like Provident Funds and Fixed Deposits  which we were doing.

Later on  during my Naval career  I met many such “Bulls” and “Bears” in the Navy  fanatical “punters” who were more preoccupied with the Stock Market than their Naval Duties. 

These “punters” in uniform tried their best to remain in Mumbai – so that they could indulge in their passion of “playing” the stock-market [“satta bazaar...”]

Now  thanks to internet  with the advent of online trading  it has become ever so easy for these “punters” to indulge in their stock market trading  from home – and from office during working hours  even if they are posted far away from Mumbai in remote locations. 

Technology has proved a big boon for “punters” in uniform

You can use your PC, your laptop, or even your mobile smart-phone – to indulge in “satta bazaar...” 

And  you can do it round the clock  24/7  anytime – anywhere.

Someone told me that  nowadays  Navy Wives are heavily into online trading in shares on the stock market  and  many Navy wives are earning good money “working” from home on the “satta bazaar...”

VIKRAM KARVE
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Disclaimer:
1. This story is a fictional 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.

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