Monday, October 14, 2019

How to Manage Stress and Anger


Dear Reader: I wrote this blog post around 10 years ago when my pet dog Sherry was alive and in full form. Sadly, Sherry passed away to her heavenly abode in December 2014. 


If you want to learn the Art of Living just observe the way animals live and react to situations.
For me, my pet Doberman girl Sherry is my best teacher on the Art of Living.
                                        SHERRY KARVE

Sherry is Doberman X – the “X” factor (father) is probably a Caravan or Mudhol Hound as her mother is a pure Doberman.
Sherry behaves spontaneously, joyfully, based on her inner instinct.

She plays, she barks, she chases, she eats and she sleeps in accordance with her natural instinct.

Sherry doesn’t need to go to gym (for physical fitness) or a therapist (for mental fitness).

Sherry is not a Goal Oriented person.  

She is an Inner Resource Oriented person – in short, a Source Oriented person.

Conventional wisdom teaches us to become goal-oriented. 

From childhood there are goals set for us to achieve, and when we achieve one goal there is always another goal waiting for us – it is an endless pursuit, a chase which never culminates. 

We are taught that a goal oriented person is a person who always succeeds in life. 
But is there a final destination of success...? 
Do you ever reach your final goal...?

Goals are always outside you. 

Goals are in the future. 

Goals are far away from you.  

Your goals are not in your control. 
If you design your lifestyle in such a way that your happiness depends on things outside you, things in the future and things not in your control, then you may find happiness elusive and you may never be truly content and happy. 
If you are too result-oriented – you will always be chasing horizons.


if you run after something it runs away from you 

and, conversely, 

if you run away from something it runs after you 

So – calm down and stop running and live a more Source-Oriented life.

Look inwards, discover and harness your inner resources, act instinctively and you will realize your full creative potential.

Like my pet dog Sherry, you will live spontaneously, unpredictably, act on the spur of the moment and experience the joy of the glorious uncertainties of life rather than get frustrated by them.

You will live a more stress free life too.

Have you seen wild animals suffering from stress...?

Maybe some domesticated pet animals are stressed-out because we humans put stress on them by imposing our “goals” and demands on the poor hapless pets...!

We have become so preoccupied with achieving success that our lives are always heading towards something in the future.  

In the process, we lose touch with the aliveness and delight of the present. 
Sherry does not worry about the future, about achieving future goals, but live in the present.

Sherry does not live in the past either.  

Sherry is very forgiving – even if I scold her, which I never need to do, she is back to her cheerful self in a jiffy and doesn’t hold any grudges either.

Anger is a reality.  

It happens inside us. 
Goal Oriented behaviour may result in us trying to suppress our anger which in turn may create stress within us.
                                    Sherry - ALL EYES AND EARS

Here is a lesson I got one morning from Sherry in Anger Management by Source Oriented Living.
We lived in a spacious bungalow with a huge compound, located high up on a hill slope, with a beautiful panoramic view of the verdant wide green expanse of Girinagar all around right down to the placid blue waters of the Khadakwaska Lake. 

One morning while we strolled on our lawn sipping rejuvenating cups of piping hot amruttulya tea in the lovely mist and slight drizzle, I noticed Sherry standing alert at the bungalow gate looking intently, focussing on something outside, and gradually getting angry, as evident from her focussed eyes, slow growls, heightened breathing, stiff upright tail and vivid line of hair standing taut on the centre of her neck and back, hackles raised. 

I walked towards the gate and looked outside – the object of her attention was a huge white cat that was walking nonchalantly towards our bungalow gate, almost defiantly. 
The moment the cat came close, Sherry suddenly lost her temper, started barking, violently jumping, infuriated with anger, desperately pleading with me to open the gate. 
The cat stopped dead in her tracks and crouched, and I knew that if I let Sherry out, she would desperately, furiously and frenziedly chase the cat down the hill, and if she caught the cat, there would ensue a violent fight to the finish, and almost certainly it would be the cat who would be finished. Yes, Sherry would surely finish off the cat, as she had done earlier in the wild.

So I just walked away and Sherry realized that I wasn’t going to open the gate, and she went so wild with rage, that she ran amok, running wildly all round the spacious compound, taking high speed runs, jumping over hedges, barking, chasing, leaping at birds, running fast at top speed round and round the bungalow, till she was totally exhausted, after which she went to her water bowl, lapped up cold soothing water, and lay down on her rug in a cosy manner, calm, tranquil, totally relaxed, her anger totally spent, dissipated and dissolved into peaceful serenity. 

That’s what you must do when you are angry, isn’t it...? 
Let me tell you it works - the moment you sense anger rising within you, just start exercising, run, jog, take a brisk walk, dance, move your limbs, sway, do something.
Spontaneously do some physical activity till your anger is spent, and the rage built up inside you dissipates, exhausts and disolves itself into a state of calm. 

So, Dear Reader, the next time you start getting angry, do what Sherry does – just start running till your anger disappears and you collapse into a cosy state of peaceful calm and tranquillity. And if you can't run, at least take a brisk walk...just see how physical activity dissipates anger. Yes, let physical activity does help you dissipate your anger, or any negative emotion.
It is the same with stress. The moment you feel stress building up, take a brisk walk and see how physical activity dissipates and dissolves stress.

There is a lot to learn about the “Art of Living” from our animal friends, isn’t it...?

So just behave naturally, spontaneously, doing what your inner voice and instinct tells you, observe fauna and flora around you, and most importantly, get a pet dog  and make him or her your friend, philosopher and guide.

I’ll end with a quote on dogs from Sigmund Freud:

Dogs love their friends and bite their enemies, quite unlike people, who are incapable of pure love and always have to mix love and hate in their object-relations. 
                                 SHERRY with her DADDY
So here is a Bow Wow to you from Sherry and she wishes that may you live a happy stress-free dog-like source-oriented life...!!!

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

This Blog Post is a repost of my blog posted earlier at url:

Sunday, October 13, 2019

Navy Veterans Fellowship and Camaraderie – Navy Foundation Pune Chapter (NFPC)

Today – on Sunday – 13 October 2019 – we have a Navy Foundation Pune Chapter (NFPC) Meet at Cloud 9, Pune. 

(It seems that “Jointmanship” is in action once again and Navy Veterans have been unable to convince their Army counterparts to give then a suitable venue in one of the Army Messes, Institutes or Clubs)

The previous NFPC meets which I attended were held were held in INS Shivaji Lonavala – a “Stone Frigate” which is a Naval Training Establishment – and at NDA and Peacock Bay – hosted by the Naval Officers of the National Defence Academy (NDA) – in the beautiful environs of the Naval Training Team “Wardroom” on the banks the picturesque Khadakwasla Lake – and at the Army Sub Area Officers Mess in Pune. 

We have NFPC meets once in 3 months  every quarter – and normally – the Winter Meet is held at Peacock Bay (in January) – the post-monsoon meet is held at in the verdant environment of INS Shivaji Lonavala (a stone frigate – the premier technical training establishment of the Navy) – and – the other two meets are held at convenient locations in Pune. 

Sadly – there is no Navy Wardroom (Officers Mess) or Navy Institute/Club in Pune – so NFPC has to depend on the benevolence and goodwill of the Army for a venue. 

Probably – Pune is the only Chapter of the Navy Foundation which is “homeless” 

Pune does not have a Navy Wardroom, Naval Officers Mess or Institute in the city – despite a large number of retired Naval Officers settled in Pune after retirement. 

Even landlocked New Delhi, Bangalore, Coimbatore etc have Navy Wardrooms/Messes. 

Let’s hope the powers-that-be” create a Navy Wardroom/Officers Mess/Institute in Pune. 

Dear Reader: All this prompts me to tell you a bit about the Navy Foundation – so – let me update an article I had written a few years ago – and post it for you to read...

Re-Building “Bridges” with the Navy

Before retirement – when I was in the Navy – there was no dearth of friends. 

After retirement – I have zero friends.

I am talking of offline friends.

Yes – I do have a large number of online friends – and – even my erstwhile Navy Friends have now become online friends. 

In Pune – all my Navy Friends – after retirement – live in remote Military Veteran ghettos” (so-called “exlusive” residential projects for retired defence personnel) – and – these elite ghettos” are located in the suburbs of Pune  on the opposite side of town from where I live – and – in view of the terrible Pune traffic – I don’t have the energy to drive 30 kms across town and back – except on special occasions.

And – one such special occasion is the Navy Foundation Pune Chapter (NFPC) Meet  which is held once in 3 months.

I make sure I attend all NFPC Meets – of course – to meet my Navy Buddies – and also – to enjoy the stimulating PLD – followed by a delicious lunch. 

Now – I look forward to the meet on Sunday at the Sub Area Officers Mess in Pune.

Meanwhile – here is a piece I wrote on the Navy Foundation a few years ago.

The “Alumni Association” for Navy Veterans in Pune

If you are a Naval Officer  after retirement  it is best to settle down in Mumbai  which is the premier Navy Station  or  in a coastal city like Visakhapatnam (Vizag), Kochi, Chennai, Kolkata, Goa etc where there is a Naval presence  or  even in Delhi/NCR – where the mighty “Northern Naval Command” is located.

This is because if you settle down in a landlocked place like Pune after you retire from the Navy  you tend to “burn your bridges” with your erstwhile service.

The only redeeming grace is the Indian Navy Foundation – a purely social organization set up to facilitate fraternal relations between retired Naval Officers.

Luckily  the Navy Foundation has a “chapter” (aka “charter”) at Pune 

Membership is voluntary – and I am glad I became a member, because the quarterly Navy Foundation Pune Chapter (NFPC) meetings are the best occasions for meeting and renewing bonds with my former navy buddies.

Whenever I go for these NFPC get-togethers I feel something like a  “Yossarian”  of  Catch-22 who is one of the most frequent visitors to the officers’ club that he had not help build.

I am sure you have read Catch-22.

Let me “jog” your memory about this hilarious yet insightful episode about Yossarian and the Officers Club in Pianosa.

In something akin to “Shramdan”  officers are encouraged to build their own clubs. 

(If you have served in the Military – you would be familiar with “Shramdan”)

However  Yossarian, who is proud of his ability to avoid work, contributes nothing to help build the club – he does not go for even a single day to work on building the officers club.

But once the officers’ club is ready  Yossarian visits the club almost every day – and he makes maximum use of the facilities  which he had not helped build.

Let me quote a paragraph from Catch-22 which encapsulates this sentiment (emphasis mine):

“Actually there were many officers’ clubs that Yossarian had not helped build  but he was proudest of the one on Pianosa

It was a sturdy and complex monument to his powers of determination. 

Yossarian never went there to help until it was finished  then he went there often  so pleased was he with the large, fine, rambling shingled building. 

It was a truly splendid building  and  Yossarian throbbed with a mighty sense of accomplishment each time he gazed at it – and reflected that  none of the work that had gone into it was his...”

For me – like Yossarian  it is a similar equation with the NFPC – effort-wise  I contribute nothing  but I participate in all get-togethers most enthusiastically.

We had three excellent NFPC get-togethers in Lonavala – wonderful days – like picnics – a nostalgic walk down memory lane for many navy veterans who reminisced about their halcyon training days at this picturesque location. 

We also had many memorable meets at Peacock Bay on the shores of Khadakvasla Lake near the National Defence Academy (NDA) – hosted by Naval Officers of NDA. 

At all these meets – the distinctive Naval efficiency, superlative hospitality and caring courtesy shown to us during the visit demonstrated how much young naval officers and sailors genuinely care for its veterans.

When I was in service  I remember us hosting a get-together of Navy Foundation at IAT Pune at the Naval Jetty (Sailing Club) on the banls of Khadakwasla Lake  sometime in the 1990’s.

In Pune – the favourite venue for NFPC Meets is Atlantis

Sadly – there is no Navy Wardroom (Officers Mess) or Navy Institute/Club in Pune.

And  in the past  officer-bearers of NFPC have had harrowing experiences running from pillar to post trying to negotiate the red tape while dealing with the Army to get other Military Venues for NFPC Meets.

So  thanks to “jointmanship” demonstrated by the “pongos”  the officebearers found it more convenient to organise Navy Foundation Meetings in Pune at ATLANTIS  which is better located  and much more flexible to deal with  with zero red tape  and better off in all respects  especially food-wise and ambience-wise. 

Of course – some officers of the old-mould” insisted that the meets be held in a Service Mess – so – a meet was held in the Army Sub Area Officers Mess – but – the ambience and food was not as good as Atlantis.

The best thing about these Navy Veteran Meets is the egalitarian atmosphere  with a total absence of the rank consciousness one sees while in service  since  after retirement  all veterans are civilians  equal in status  and now  instead of rank  it is age that is respected.

As I said earlier  after retirement  our only connection with the Navy is the Navy Foundation  and Navy Veterans look forward to NFPC meetings where you can bond, interact and network with your erstwhile navy buddies while regaling each other with delightful anecdotes of the “good old days”.

If you are a Navy Veteran Officer in Pune – I look forward to meeting you at the next Navy Foundation Pune Chapter Lunch Meet on 08 April 2018 at the Sub Area Officers Mess Pune.

If you are an Indian Navy Veteran Officer  in or around Pune – please be there.


How the Indian Navy Foundation for Veteran Navy Officers was Born

Maybe – for the benefit of Navy Veterans who do not know about the genesis of Navy Foundation – it would be a good idea to share an interesting article by a distinguished erstwhile Navy Chief Admiral JG Nadkarni on the Navy Foundation for Veteran Indian Navy Officers.

I came across this article on the website of the Navy Foundation Mumbai Charter at url 

I am posting it below for your convenience to read.

Birth of The Foundation by Adm JG Nadkarni
The idea was Ram Tahilianis. He had just returned from an official trip to the United States. Whilst there, he had been greatly impressed by the Veterans’ organisation in that country. I was his Vice Chief. After returning he asked me if a similar organisation could be started for the Indian Navy in India. I was told to look into it and come up with a proposal.
We examined it from all angles. To be effective it would have to be a Naval Headquarters baby. It would have to be fully supported by the Navy in all aspects. At the same time each Unit would have to be totally autonomous. Naval Ex-servicemen are notoriously touchy. Having been subjected to orders all their lives they are averse to be dictated again now that they have retired. Moreover some of the officers were very senior and had to be handled and treated with respect. Anyway, we decided to go ahead and institute an organisation for all Ex-servicemen under the patronage of Naval Headquarters.
We considered many options for a suitable name. It had to be unique and easily acceptable. Such names like Navy LeagueNavy Association were considered and rejected for one reason or another. Finally, we hit upon the idea of Navy Foundation, which was unanimously accepted.
Various models lay before us. The Indian Air Force has an Air Force Association which is open to all Air Force personnel. Somehow we felt that this would not be suitable for us. The class system is still prevalent in India and we had seen what happened in some of the Air Force-Navy housing schemes. We decided that the Navy Foundation should be only for the retired officers of the Indian Navy.
It is one thing to start a body and quite another to make it work. There were already in existence various well established organisations started by retired naval officers. There was the "Navy League" in New Delhi, another body called the "Anchor Hold" in Bombay. In Pune there was the "Retired Naval Officers' Association". These were thriving organisations, who met regularly, had activities, bank accounts, Presidents and Chairmen who were reluctant to give up their positions, dissolve the bodies and join the Navy Foundation.
During the next two months I visited various places, held meetings with their members and tried to convince them that joining the Navy Foundation would be beneficial. Most bodies were reluctant at first. Their biggest worry was that Naval Headquarters would start dictating terms and they would end up being one more directorate of NHQ. I convinced them that each body would be totally autonomous and except for one annual meeting there would not be any interference by the Navy in their day to day functioning. Moreover, NHQ would act as the go between with the Government for various problems faced by Ex-servicemen.
One by one the organisations started seeing reason and decided to merge themselves with the Navy Foundation. Some refused and exist even today as parallel organisations. In Pune Admiral Soman headed the Retired Naval Officers' Association. He readily agreed and was very enthusiastic. In Bombay the association was headed by Commodore Chatterji. He was reluctant at first and took a lot of persuasion but agreed eventually. I am really happy that the original assurance given by us has been meticulously observed by the Navy. There has been no interference, dictating or coercion on these groups.
The next phase was to start "Charters" in various areas where retired naval officers had settled in large numbers. Such Charters were started in New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bangalore, Pune, Kochi and Calcutta. Later more Charters were added.
I realized that to really get the Charters going, some assistance from Naval Headquarters would be necessary. Commands were persuaded to make a room available as offices for each Charter. In November 1987, I took over as CNS. I decided that the funds raised in the Navy Ball of 1987 would be distributed to various Charters as seed money for initial financial assistance. We raised nearly Rs. 7 lakhs in that Navy Ball and this money was distributed. Rs 1.5 lakh each to big Charters and Rs. 1 lakh to small Charters.
In 1987, when I was the VCNS we started a magazine called "Quarterdeck" for Ex-servicemen. We roped in then Commander Uday Bhaskar, the Navy PRO and the late Tappi Koppikar to be the first joint editors. Its first issue was a roaring success. It won a prize for the best magazine in its category. On the establishment of the Navy Foundation it became official magazine. Successive editors have improved and embellished it. It is distributed far and wide and veterans look forward to each issue.
During my travels around the country and meetings with naval veterans, I had realized that all servicemen have problems about their welfare, pay, pensions etc. Many of these had landed on my desk when I was COP and a full time body was required to deal with these. When I decided to establish a full time directorate to deal with ex-servicemen's problems and feed them with current happenings in the Navy. Each year we held a get-together of ex-CNSs and other officers and gave them briefings on operations, personnel and other aspects of the Navy. Today the Directorate of Ex-servicemen's Affairs is doing excellent work and acts as a conduit between the veterans and NHQ.
The first annual meeting was held in NHQ under my chairmanship and a constitution was approved. We were able to clear many apprehensions and doubts about the Foundation.
Today, the Navy Foundation is a going body and Charters are well established.
Today, the Navy Foundation is a successful and dynamic organisation. Various Charters are doing excellent work in keeping alive the bonds and camaraderie established during our time in the Navy. There is a total absence of rank consciousness or hierarchy. They have regular get-togethers, illuminating lectures and picnics. Many establish bodies to help widows. The Mumbai Charter has even got a marriage bureau for children of Ex-servicemen!
Ram Tahiliani would be happy that his dream of 1987 has now become a reality...!!! 

Bye for now.

If you are an Indian Navy Veteran Officer  in or around Pune – I look forward to meeting you at the forthcoming Navy Foundation Pune Chapter Lunch Meet on Sunday 13 April 2019 at Cloud 9, Pune. 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
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