Friday, August 31, 2012


Does Rank Have Its Privileges  - Even After Retirement ?
A Naval Yarn and a Teaching Story

The other day I witnessed an amusing spectacle of a retired erstwhile senior army officer trying to pull rank and jump a queue for renewing a CSD Card despite the fact that he was now a retired nobody.

Of course, he was put in his place by those around him who told him to get into the queue and he beat a hasty retreat.

When I was in the Navy I observed that there were two types of officers.

1. There were the confident type who carried themselves with poise and dignity, were well-bred, polished, cultured and courteous, honest, transparent, fair and upright in their conduct and quite humble, modest and down-to-earth in their behaviour. 

These officers did not need the crutches of rank – in fact, by their exemplary demeanor they enhanced the dignity of the rank they held and they always put service before self.  

They truly epitomized the term: “An Officer and a Gentleman”.

2. Then there were the insecure type who were excessively rank conscious haughty show-offs who believed in the dictum: “Boot your juniors and Bootlick your seniors”

They were unabashed careerists who put self before service because for them their rank and status were everything (yes, for these insecure types rank, promotion and their naval career was the be-all and end-all of life).

They knew, in their hearts, that without the crutches of rank they were zeroes, so they went to any extent to get promoted at any cost. 

It is this insecure and ambitious type of careerist officers who often get involved in unethical acts and tarnish the good name of the service.    

Snobbish and pretentious behaviour is a sign of low self-esteem.

So, if you see any status-conscious, pompous, egoistical snobs around you, please tell them this story (maybe they will introspect, reflect and change for the better):

Keichu, the great Zen teacher of the Meiji era, was the head of Tofuku, a cathedral inKyoto.

One day the Governor of Kyoto called on him for the first time.

His attendant presented the visiting card of the Governor, which read:



“I have no business with such a fellow,” said Keichu to his attendant, “Tell him to get out of here.”

The attendant carried the card back to the Governor with apologies.

“That was my error,” said the Governor, and with a pencil he scratched out the words GOVERNOR OF KYOTO, gave the card back to the attendant and said to him, “Take this card to your teacher and ask him again if he would please give me an audience.”

“Oh, it’s that Kitagaki?” exclaimed the teacher when he saw the card, “I want to see that fellow. Send him in.”

So that’s the secret – just DROP YOUR EGO.

Why is everyone so obsessed with rank, status, power, wealth, fame and other egoistic trappings?

Your individual qualities matter much more than your rank

Your external rank will go away one day but your intrinsic worth will remain with you forever, and maybe even remembered as your legacy. 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2012
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.

Did you like this post?
I am sure you will like the 27 fiction short stories from my recently published anthology of Short Fiction COCKTAIL 

To order your COCKTAIL please click any of the links below:

If you prefer reading ebooks on Kindle or your ebook reader, please order Cocktail E-book by clicking the links below:

Foodie Book:  Appetite for a Stroll
If your are a Foodie you will like my book of Food Adventures APPETITE FOR A STROLL. Do order a copy from FLIPKART:

About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer. Educated at IIT Delhi, ITBHU Varanasi, The Lawrence School Lovedale and Bishops School Pune, Vikram has published two books: COCKTAIL a collection of fiction short stories about relationships (2011) and APPETITE FOR A STROLL a book of Foodie Adventures (2008) and is currently working on his novel and a book of vignettes and short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories, creative non-fiction articles on a variety of topics including food, travel, philosophy, academics, technology, management, health, pet parenting, teaching stories and self help in magazines and published a large number of professional research papers in journals and edited in-house journals for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for almost 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing. Vikram lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

Vikram Karve Academic and Creative Writing Journal:
Professional Profile Vikram Karve:
Vikram Karve Facebook Page:
Vikram Karve Creative Writing Blog:

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1 comment:

Yatin said...

I review books on my blog, and wish to review "cocktail". Can I get a review copy of it ? Please e-mail on