Saturday, April 25, 2015



I started writing in the 1970’s – when internet did not exist.

Your articles/stories were published in print journals/magazines on paper.

Also – those days – people were more “laid back” – and there were lesser “technology interruptions” – like mobile phones, for example – in fact – even a landline was a luxury that I did not possess for many days – and TV programs came for just a few hours in the evening.

Therefore – you got enough time for uninterrupted reading – and it was possible for readers to read an article of around 3000 words in one sitting.

Thus – as a writer – I developed a habit of writing articles/stories of around 3000 words.

Today – everyone reads “online” – on digital screens – on laptops, tablets, ipads, smartphones  etc.

Writers can post their articles on Blogs, Social Media, Ezines, Websites etc – where readers can read on the “digital screen”.

(Soon – readers’ span of attention will become so minuscule that you may have to tweet your article in 140 characters).

But – jokes apart – writers must take cognizance of the fact that on a digital screen – the “span of attention” is greatly reduced.

In fact – I read somewhere that over 60% people read ‘literature’ on their smartphones – mainly while ‘waiting’, ‘travelling’ etc – so a writer will have to cater to readers’ ‘span of attention’ on smartphones – which will be less that laptops and tablets.

To make matters worse – this “attention deficit syndrome” is exacerbated thanks to technology interruptions – the main culprit being the mobile phone – and the “high-tech” driven newly created “need to be connected” at all times.

This reduced “span of attention” among readers poses challenges for “old fogie” writers like me – who tend to be “long winded” in their writing and seem to test the patience of their readers.

Also – technology has so greatly eased and facilitated the process of “writing” – that we now have a scenario where there are more writers than readers.

I keep trying to be succinct and concise – but “brevity is the soul of wit” seems to be a dictum which I find very difficult to follow – since I have so much to say – especially on the topic of this article: “MANAGEMENT” IN UNIFORM – where I want to tell you about the insightful pragmatic lessons I learnt in “Defence Management” during my long career in the Navy

So let me try and do the next best thing – I will post my article in parts.

By the way – this is Humor in Uniform

So – especially for those wearing uniform – please do not read if you do not have a “Sense of Humor”

Lessons I Learnt in “Defence Management”
A Spoof

Part 1

Dear Reader:

“Management” in Uniform is different from Management in the Civilian World.

In order to illustrate this – let me summarize for you – a few “management” lessons I learnt as a military officer in navy uniform.

Let me start with a few “memoirs” of my IAT days – my first appointment as faculty at IAT was 30 years ago – in 1985.

In case you don’t know – The Institute of Armament Technology (IAT) Pune was a unique ‘fauji’ institution of ‘higher learning’ whose faculty was composed of officers from the army, navy and air force – and, in addition to military officers – there was also a rather peculiar species called “scientists” – who were civilians.

I will tell you more about IAT later – meanwhile – here is Lesson No. 1…

“Defence Management” – Lesson No. 1


I decided to have a “brainstorming” session.

However, there was just one problem.

There were no “brains” to “storm”.

As per my customary practice ever since I had joined the Navy – I had left behind my brain at home while coming to work.

This gem of wisdom had been imparted to me very early in my naval career by one of my illustrious senior officers.

Even today – I clearly remember the wizened old sea-dog’s words of wisdom.

He had said to me:

“We don’t require brainy chaps in the Navy. The Navy is a master plan designed by geniuses for execution by idiots. If you are not an idiot – but if you find yourself in the Navy – you can only operate well by pretending to be an idiot. So – in the Navy – or in the entire “fauj” for that matter – there is no need to use your brain. You just do as you are told – instant unquestioning obedience – that is what the service demands. Therefore – if you are in the Navy – it is best if you don’t have a brain. But – if you are one of those exceptions who do have a brain – but you still find yourself in the Navy due to some quirk of fate – yes – in case you do have a brain – you must never bring your brain to work – do you understand – you must keep your brain at home and make sure that you don’t bring your brain to work.”

So – I had not brought my brain to work – I had left my brain back at home.

And about the three “pongo” Johnnies in “OG” sitting in front of me – the less said the better.

I wanted to “brainstorm” – but there were no brains in the room.

So – in order to “brainstorm” – now I would have to go home – “insert” my brain in back into my head – and then “storm” my “brain”.

So – dear reader – remember this – it is all very well to experiment with high-falutin management techniques like “brainstorming” – but before you begin brainstorming – make sure there are enough “brains” to “storm”.

‘Availability of brains is the sine qua non for brainstorming’

So – before you embark on a “brainstorming” session – look around and ensure that you have enough “brains” to “storm”

As a corollary – like my boss said – for those of you who want to join the “fauj” – it is best that you don’t have a brain.

Remember – “Brains” and “Uniforms” are mutually exclusive – and the term “uniformed brain” is an oxymoron (like “military intelligence”).

But – alas – in case you do have a brain – and by some quirk of fate – you find yourself in uniform – serving in the “fauj” – remember that you must never bring your brain to work – always make sure that you keep your brain safe and secure at home whenever you go to work.

To be continued in Part 2 …

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1. This article 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 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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