Thursday, November 27, 2014

MY SHIPMATE’S CHIC WIFE – Hilarious Memories of My Glorious Navy Days


Next week is Navy Week (4 December is Navy Day).

Now, for a retired navy veteran living in landlocked Pune, navy day is just another day and navy week is just another week.

But you cannot stop me from reminiscing and telling you this story which happened long ago during Navy Ball, which is the grand finale of the Navy Week...

Hilarious Memories of my Glorious Navy Days

I was, and maybe I still am, an old fashioned prude and a bit puritanical by nature.

Let me tell you a hilarious anecdote – a result of my rather prudish behaviour, which happened long back when I was in the Navy.

It was the evening of the Navy Ball, the much awaited grand finale of the Navy Week in Mumbai (then called Bombay).

It was decided that all ship’s officers who did not live in the Navy Township (NOFRA) would assemble with our wives in the home of a shipmate who lived in NOFRA near the Navy Command Officers Mess – the venue of the Navy Ball.

We could park our scooters/motorcycles near his house.

(Yes, those days most navy officers had scooters/motorcycles and could not afford cars)

We would then all walk down to the Mess Lawns for the Navy Ball.

Accordingly, my wife and I reached my shipmate’s house half an hour before the commencement of the Navy Ball.

Some officers and wives were already there, some trickled in, and our shipmate had generously opened a bottle of rum, and told us to help ourselves while they got dressed.

My shipmate came out of his bedroom smartly dressed in Navy Uniform Dress No. 6, monkey jacket, miniature medals and all.

He said his wife was getting ready.

It was almost time for the Navy Ball.

We were anxiously waiting for his wife to get ready.

After some time the door opened and his wife stepped out.

I was most disappointed to see that she had still not got ready.

“What is this Ma’am? The Navy Ball is about to start and you are still in your nightie?” I blurted out.

The lady looked at me with an expression of total shock – as if she was stunned.

Slowly, I could see her shock turn into anger.

She was looking at me with blazing eyes.

She pointed towards the clothes she was wearing, and shouted at me: “You are calling this a nightie? This is a haute couture designer dress. Do you know how much money I spent on this exclusive custom made dress? 

“Haute Couture...? I mumbled – I had never heard the term haute couture” before.

I looked at my shipmate’s wife with regret in my eyes and a contrite expression on my face.

But I saw the expression on her face change from anger into anxiety and then into one of panic.

My shipmate’s wife looked at my wife, the she looked at the other ladies, and she said: “Tell me, is this dress really looking so bad?”

After that, my shipmate’s wife burst into tears, and she ran back into her bedroom.

Now, my shipmate’s wife was very chic and fashionable.

She had got this most fashionable skimpy western style dress exclusively made-to-order from a top designer (haute couture”) especially for the Navy Ball.

Being an old-fashioned prude, I did not realize that what she was wearing was not a “nightie”, but an exclusive haute couture latest fashion skimpy dress which she had got specially made for her by a leading fashion designer.

My wife gave me a glaring look and told me to disappear, lest I say or do something stupid that would further aggravate matters.

Then, my wife and the other ladies went inside to console my shipmate’s wife.

It was decided that all the gentlemen would proceed for the Navy Ball and the ladies would join later.

I apologized to my shipmate: “I am very sorry – I did not mean to insult your wife.”

“Oh, come on, forget it,” he said, “In fact, after hearing your comments, I almost burst out laughing myself.”

“But your wife must be angry with me?” I said.

“Don’t worry, she’ll be okay – she spent a fortune on that designer dress – that is why she is so upset,” he said.

Later, the ladies joined us in the Navy Ball.

My shipmate’s wife was the centre of attraction in her haute couture skimpy fashionable dress.

I wanted to apologize to her, but my wife had given me strict instructions to keep my mouth shut, lest I put my foot in my mouth again.

Many years later, my wife was shopping in the ladies’ garments section of a mall in Pune.

I was just hanging around.

Suddenly I saw the same chic and fashionable lady, my ex-shipmate’s haute couture wife, standing near me.

I wished her.

She smiled back.

“My wife is in the trial room?” I said.

“Oh? I must meet her,” she said.

“Meanwhile, can you please help me select a nightie for my wife – she likes “half nighties” – short nighties – like these ones here,” I said, pointing to the colourful nighties hanging nearby on a rack.

My ex-shipmate’s chic haute couture wife burst out laughing, and she said to me: “These are not “Nighties” – these are Kurties” or “Tops” – they are certainly not “Nighties” – You are still as clueless as ever, aren’t you?

I smiled at her, and then I joined her in laughter.

I knew that she had forgiven me for my faux pas” on that Navy Ball Evening, many years ago.

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1. This yarn is a spoof, pure fiction, just for fun and humor, no offence is meant to anyone, so take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh.
2. All Stories in this Blog are a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the stories 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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