Saturday, April 5, 2014


Hilarious Memories of my Navy Life

A few days ago, I saw the hilarious spectacle of a lady forcing her small daughter to speak to in English.
The lady herself did not seem quite fluent in English,
Her smattering of malapropisms was quite amusing.
Yet she insisted on speaking in English, and she was forcing her daughter to speak in English too.
It seemed as if she were embarrassed to speak in her own mother tongue, despite the fact that she was fluent in her mother tongue and the persons she was conversing with all understood the vernacular language which was her mother tongue.
This reminded me of an episode that happened long back, when I was in the Naval Dockyard.
We had a worker.
He was a USL (Unskilled Labour).
The beauty about him was that he took immense pride in speaking English.
He insisted on answering in English even if someone spoke to him in Hindi or Marathi, which was his mother tongue.
He was cleaning my office one morning when the phone rang.
The worker picked up the phone.
An officer from Delhi wanted to speak to me.
“He is no more,” the worker answered.
“He is no more?” the officer from Delhi asked stunned.
The officer from Delhi was taken aback by the shocking news of my untimely and sudden “death”.
So, the officer from Delhi commiserated with the worker and said: “Oh, I really did not know that he is no more – I am very sorry to hear this.”
Then the officer from Delhi disconnected the phone.
The worker felt good.
He had matched an officer word for word in the English Language.
After a few moments, the concerned officer from Delhi rang up the General Manager (GM) of the Dockyard to enquire about me.
“He is sitting right in front of me,” the GM said.
The officer from Delhi then told the GM about the phone call and that he had been told that I was “no more”.
“Oh, he has been shifted to another department,” the GM said, “now he is no longer Manager XXX – he is now Manager YYY.”
We all had a good laugh.
The worker had said “he is no more”.
What he meant to convey was “he is no more here” (in this department).
He had just missed out one word “here” and the meaning had changed and I was “consigned” to the “Davy Jones’ Locker”.
Next morning, I went back to my old office and gifted the worker a copy of the book: “Rapidex English Speaking Course”.

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. 

All stories in this blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story 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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