Friday, October 18, 2013



Ramblings of a Retired Mind

(This story is a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental)

THE FIRST STEP TO HAPPINESS - an apocryphal  story by Vikram Karve

I once had a “literary” boss.

(Yes, you may be surprised, but I came across plenty of accomplished creative persons in the navy – writers, artists, cartoonists, singers, musicians, dramatists, actors, painters, photographers – and I have seen many in the army and air force too).

“Sir, I hope you haven’t forgotten about the ‘open mic’ session on Friday evening,” I said, after my customary Monday morning meeting with the Boss.

“Of course, I’ll be there to read my poetry – and I am keen to hear poems of all the poets too,” he said.

“I have already sent our names, Sir – we’ll get ten minutes each. The venue is the David Sassoon Library Gardens – it’s opposite the Jehangir Art Gallery. The event starts at 6 in the evening,” I said.

“You take me there – pick me up from my office on Friday evening – I’ll bring my civvies along and we’ll walk down there,” he said.

On Friday morning, the Boss called me to his office.

“Do me a favour – can you read my poems this evening at the poetry reading session?” he asked.

Before I could speak, he handed me a diary and said, “I have flagged three of my best poems, but you can choose a few more if there is time.”

“What’s wrong, Sir – why aren’t you coming? Don’t you want to read your own poems?” I asked.

“Of course I want to be there and read my poems – and I want to hear all the poets too. But something has come up and I can’t come to the Kala Ghoda Festival this evening,” he said.

“Sir, what can be more important than this – especially for a poet like you?” I asked.

“Some bloody delegation has come and there is a cocktail party for them,” he said.

“I know, Sir – the circular came on Wednesday – but I am skipping it,” I said.

“But I can’t skip it. After all, I am a bloody Admiral and my absence will be conspicuous – in fact, I did try to wriggle out but COS said that CinC wants all Flag Officers to attend,” the Rear Admiral said looking quite disappointed.

Next morning he called me to his office and wanted to know all about the poetry reading session.

I told him everything – what an enriching literary experience it had been – and how much his poems had been appreciated.

“Sir, I wish you were there – people had come from all over – and there was such excellent work being read – and, Sir, so many poets wanted to meet you and discuss your poems,” I said.

“I wish I had been there,” he said, disappointment writ on his face.

“How was the cocktail party?” I asked, trying to cheer him up.

“Bloody waste of time – the same boring shop talk – and do you know – all the while I was thinking of you enjoying in the Kalaghoda festival,” he said.

“Never mind, Sir, maybe next year…” I said.

“Who knows where I will be next year? If they don’t promote me, I may even retire this year and go to my hometown. I am really regretting that I missed this once in a lifetime chance,” he said with disappointment.

He looked quite dejected so I did not say anything.

Then he looked at me and said, “You are lucky – you can still do what you want in your leisure – but ever since I became a senior officer I have lost control of how to spend my time.”

As I walked back to my office, I wondered about the irony of the situation.

Though he was the Boss, he did not have any control on how to spend his time.

And this loss of control on his time was making him unhappy.

This rather trivial incident taught me one thing:


Once you have taken control of your time, you can spend your time in doing things which make you happy.

This is the first step towards happiness.

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 book review. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)

© 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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