Monday, March 4, 2013



I once knew a very ambitious naval officer.

He was a total careerist and had no other interests.

His favourite line was: “I am married to the navy”.

He would have been happy to remain a bachelor all his life and focus all his attention totally on his naval career and achieve his sole aim of becoming an admiral.

But his parents insisted that he get married so he agreed to see a girl.

He honestly told the girl about his career ambitions.

He clearly told her that his career would come first above everything else and quoted his favourite dialogue: “I am married to the navy”.

The girl liked this career-conscious officer who did not have any vices

(As far major and minor vices were concerned he was quite unlike most other sailors)  

She thought he would change after marriage.

She was sure he would “accommodate” her in his “marriage” with the navy, even if he treated her as the “other woman”.

She was wrong.

This devoted sailor was strictly a “one woman man” and he was so loyally and devotedly married to the navy that he had no time for “other women”.

Fed up of being neglected she walked out of the marriage.

That was the Naval Yarn.

Now I am facing a similar predicament.

Till I was in the navy I had only one woman in my marriage and that was my lawfully wedded wife

(Unlike the careerist I was not “married” to the navy).

But ever since I retired from the navy and became a writer I am in a quandary.

Sometimes I feel the same way as the famous writer Anton Chekhov (a doctor by profession) who so aptly expressed his dilemma in a letter to a friend:

Medicine is my lawful wife, and literature is my mistress. When I get fed up with one, I spend the night with the other. Though it is irregular, it is less boring this way, and besides, neither of them loses anything through my infidelity”.

In my case, since I have retired from the navy, my wife is my lawful wife and writing is my mistress.

Or is the other way round?

I really don’t know.

It is difficult to live a dual life.

I never had a mistress before so I really don’t know how to simultaneously handle a “wife” and a “mistress”.

Ever since I acquired this “mistress” of writing, my wife has started cribbing. She hates my “mistress”.

But now that I am bitten by the “writing bug” I like my “mistress” deeply and I cannot get rid of her.

I don’t want to get rid of my much married wife too.

(Maybe my wife may dump me as she hates my writing – she may give me an ultimatum to get rid of my “writing mistress” saying that there can be only one woman in a marriage).

I love my wife and I love my “mistress” too.

Now I am going to start writing my ambitious novel so I will have to devote a lot of attention to my “mistress”.

How will my wife react?

It going to be a difficult life.

Will I be able to “handle” both my wife and my “mistress”?

Can they both co-exist?

Or will I have to get rid of one.

I don’t know what to do.

I seek your advice, especially if you are one of those lucky ones who have the dexterity to simultaneously handle a wife and a mistress.

Please tell me what to do.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 2013
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.

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About Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, Vikram Karve is a retired Naval Officer turned full time writer and blogger. Educated at IIT Delhi, IIT (BHU) 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 an anthology of short fiction. An avid blogger, he has written a number of fiction short stories and 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  and academic research papers in journals and edited in-house journals and magazines for many years, before the advent of blogging. Vikram has taught at a University as a Professor for 15 years and now teaches as a visiting faculty and devotes most of his time to creative writing and blogging. Vikram Karve lives in Pune India with his family and muse - his pet dog Sherry with whom he takes long walks thinking creative thoughts.

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The Narcissist said...

You are indeed addicted to writing vikram

Vikram Waman Karve said...

@ narcissist - true, better be addicted to writing than drinking or smoking. agree?