Monday, May 7, 2018

Girl “Seeing”

A Story from My Mumbai Navy Days

40 Years Ago (Circa 1978)
Mumbai (Then Called Bombay)

My ship returned to our Base Port Mumbai after a long sailing program – we had returned to Mumbai after nearly 3 months.

By the time we “secured” – it was almost lunchtime – and the Captain declared “make and mend” (half day) – to enable married officers and sailors to go home to their families.

Like all “in-living” officers – I had plenty of beer in the afternoon – followed by a hearty lunch – and I was in deep sleep in my cabin – when I was shaken out of my beer-induced stupor.

It was my course-mate “X” – my best friend. 

“Come on – Wake Up – we are going to see a “girl”…” he said.

“Let me sleep for some time…” I protested.

“It is already past 5 – we must reach her house by a decent time…”

“Where…?” I asked, sleepily.


“Why Dadar…?”

“The “girl” lives there…”

“What “girl” are you talking about…?”

“My “fiancée”…”

“What…? Fiancée…? Have you got engaged…?” I asked, surprised.

“Not yet. I want you to approve the “girl” – if you like her – we will have the “formal” engagement ceremony…” he said.

I noticed that my course-mate “X” was wearing uniform – so I said to him:

“Are you going in uniform to see the “girl”…?

“No. No. The moment I came to know that your ship has returned to harbour – I came straight to your ship from office. You go and get fresh and come to your senses – you still look all “Beered Out”…” he said.

When I returned after having a refreshing shower – I saw that “X” was all “dressed-up” in my clothes – he was wearing my favourite shirt with my best pair of trousers.

“I have seen people borrow shirts – but you have “bummed” my trousers too…” I said to “X”.

“What are best friends for…?” he said, “there is no time to go all the way to my cabin in Command Mess…”

My course-mate “X” liberally splashed on my perfume – and he said to me:

“I’ll go to the gangway and use the shore phone to tell my fiancée that we are reaching by 6/6:30…”

(Dear Reader: Please remember that this story happened 40 years ago – in 1978 – when there were no mobile phones. Those days – even landlines were considered a “luxury” – and – a common landline shore phone was rigged up on the gangway when the ship was in harbour…)

15 minutes later – at 5:30 PM to be precise – we were sitting in a taxi – heading for Dadar.

Normally – for travelling to Dadar – we would have taken a double-decker bus (Route No. 1) from Museum – or travelled by local train – from CST (then called VT) by the Central Railway or from Churchgate by the Western Railway.

But today – we were going to “see” a girl – and we wanted to look our best when we arrived at her place.

There was quite a bit of traffic – and by the time we reached the girl’s home – it was well past 6 – the time was around 6:15 PM.

Inside – I found a huge crowd – it seemed they were having a family function – or maybe – the neighbours had turned up to “see” the boy.

There were a number of girls – and – my friend generally introduced me to them – and I was confused as to which of the girls was his fiancée.

We sat down on the sofa – with all the girls giggling and looking at us.

Suddenly – a beautiful girl came into the room carrying a tray of snacks.

She served us the snacks.

There was the quintessential “Kande Pohe” and hot “Gulab Jamuns”.

Ah – so this girl was my friend’s fiancée.

I asked her the classic question:

“Did you make the Pohe and Gulab Jamun yourself…?”

“Yes…” she said, “please start eating – and do tell me if you like them…?”

I ate the Kande Pohe – they were okay.

Then – I put a piece of Gulab Jamun on my tongue – the Gulab Jamun was so soft and succulent that it just melted on my tongue.

Yes – the Gulab Jamuns tasted heavenly – they were the best Gulab Jamuns I had ever eaten.

So – I said to my friend’s fiancée:

“Your Gulab Jamuns are really good. In fact – these are the best Gulab Jamuns I have ever eaten in my life…”

My friend’s fiancée blushed – and said to me:

“Thank you – I am so happy you liked them – you must have some more Gulab Jamuns…”

“Of course…” I said, “I will have at least 10 more…”

Yes – I easily had 10 more Gulab Jamuns – maybe much more – the Gulab Jamuns were so delicious that I lost count of how many I had eaten.

Maybe – I had eaten all the Gulab Jamuns my friend’s fiancée had made.

There were so many people around – so many girls – my friend was talking to them – but my attentions were totally focused on the Gulab Jamuns – and the beautiful girl who was serving me the Gulab Jamuns – my friend’s fiancée.

I refused the cup of tea – saying that I wanted the “aftertaste” of these delicious Gulab Jamuns to linger on my tongue till I went to sleep so that I had sweet dreams.

My friend’s fiancée gave me a sweet smile on hearing these words of praise.

Soon – it was time to go.

We got up from the sofa.

We said “good bye” to everyone – and – I smiled a special “good bye” to my friend’s fiancée.

She too gave me a very loving smile.

As I walked towards the door – I felt my trouser pocket.

And – I suddenly realized that I had forgotten something.

I took out the bottle of exclusive “duty free” perfume from my pocket.

I looked at my friend’s fiancée lovingly.

I held out the bottle of perfume towards her and said: “This is for you…”

My friend’s fiancée looked at me in delightful surprise and exclaimed: “For me…? Thank you so much. I love perfumes. You are really nice – it was so thoughtful of you to get me such a nice gift…”

We said goodbye and walked down the staircase.

As we walked down – my friend “X” said to me: “Are you crazy or what…?”

“Crazy…? What did I do…?” I said.

“Why did you give that bottle of perfume to the girl’s mother…?” he said.

“Girl’s mother…?” I said, stunned.

“Yes. You gift my fiancée’s mother the most exclusive perfume – and for my fiancée – you have nothing. Tell me – what will my fiancée feel...?” my friend “X” said angrily to me. 


Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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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Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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