Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Navy Philosophy

Ramblings of a Retired Mind


A few years ago I watched an old Black and White Movie called ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC

The film, ACTION IN THE NORTH ATLANTIC, produced in 1943, stars the inimitable Humphrey Bogart, and is a story of the war at sea during the World War II. 

The thrilling movie depicts the bravery and adventure of Naval Officers and Sailors on a merchant navy convoy of ships bound from Halifax in Canada to Murmansk in Russia pursued by German Submarines (a Wolf-pack).

There is one quote in this movie that attracted my attention and remained etched in my memory even after the movie was over. 

For a long time that evening, during my evening walk, I let the quote perambulate in my mind.

The more I thought about it the more it made sense and the more meaningful and insightful these simple words seemed to me.

There is a scene on a dark and gloomy night, as the warship sails on treacherous seas with the dangerous enemy lurking below.

Humphrey Bogart, who is the Chief Officer of the Merchant Ship, and his Captain, are standing in the bridge-wings reminiscing and discussing their time on an earlier ship which was sunk by enemy torpedoes.

The Captain keeps talking about the tough hazardous times they had when their convoys were attacked and keeps recalling various tragedies and misfortunes.

On the other hand the Chief Officer talks about all the fun, frolic, flirting, enjoyment he has had and describes his delightful amorous peccadilloes and escapades in various ports.

The Captain berates the Chief Officer and asks him how he can be so frivolous and merry in a dangerous and grim wartime situation, to which the Chief Officer (Humphrey Bogart) replies:

“The difference between you and me, Skipper, is that You remember the grief but I remember the fun.”

Tell me, Dear Reader:

When you recollect your past:

Are the recollections happy and pleasing?

Or are they sad and unpleasant?


Let’s do an experiment.

Close your eyes and think of your childhood – what comes to your mind, what predominates – happy memories or sad moments?

Reminisce about each phase of your past life – your early years, school, college, career, marriage, your middle age, until now – and examine your recollections – pleasant memories and the not-so-pleasant memories.

Yes, you will have two types of memories:

1. Pleasant (Happy) Memories

2. Not-so-pleasant (unhappy) Memories

(When I hark back to my Childhood, my Navy Days, I too have both types of memories  Happy Memories and Not-so-happy Memories)

Now remember the dialogue from the movie (Action in the North Atlantic) spoken by the Chief Officer (Humphrey Bogart) to his Captain:

“The difference between you and me, Skipper, is that You remember the grief but I remember the fun.

Now, you know how to handle your memories. 

Like Humphrey Bogart said – REMEMBER THE FUN.

So just forget and blank out all the sad and unpleasant memories of your past and remember the joyful pleasant moments. 

Hark back to happy memories and joyful reminiscences which evoke a smile on your lips.

Erase from your brain all traces of your past grief. 

Forget the “bad guys” who harmed you and caused you misery.

Remember the “good guys” who added value to your life and gave you joy.

Forget all unpleasant memories.

Remember all happy memories.

Yes, from now on let this be your leitmotif:

forget the grief  just remember the fun

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. This story is 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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