Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Humor in Uniform - A GIRL IN EVERY PORT

Humor in Uniform


“I have heard that Naval Officers have a girl in every port – but so far we don’t even have a single girl,” my course-mate said.

“Come on – we were under training. Maybe now  things will look up,” I said.

“Yes,” my course-mate said, “we are lucky to have got Bombay based ships.”

(This story happened 37 years ago – in the 1970’s  and those days – Mumbai was called Bombay – but I shall use Mumbai from now on).

“Yes  we are indeed lucky as compared to those poor Vizag guys – they are destined to a desolate life,” I said.

“The first thing I am going to do in Mumbai is to get myself a girlfriend,” my friend said.

“Me too,” I said.

My friend succeeded.

I failed.

I just did not have the talent for romance.

Everything had been handed down to me on a platter – the conditions to get a girlfriend were ideal – I was on the best ship – and in those ‘licence-quota-permit Raj days – as far as girls were concerned – Navy Officers were in high demand – since we got exotic foreign stuff duty free (especially perfumes)  and these imported goodies were was not available outside – and we had access to the best of clubs and social circles.

(Now – with the advent of liberalization and globalization – the charm of the Defence Services has gone down  since everything  and more  is freely available to civilians).

Most Naval Officers had girlfriends – and a few Casanovas’ were having a good time with ‘fleet auxiliaries – but I had drawn a blank.

My course-mate had acquired a girlfriend within days of our reaching Mumbai – and he was often seen gallivanting with her all over the place.

In my case – having failed to acquire a girlfriend – I focused on food and drink.

Once – after imbibing half a bottle of whisky – followed by a sumptuous Biryani at Olympia – and a delicious ‘Triple Sundae’ ice cream at Yankee Doodle – I was fast asleep – enjoying sweet foodie dreams in my cabin.

I was jolted awake – it was my course-mate who had come over from his ship which was tied up alongside next to my ship.

“I am very upset – I want to talk to someone – and you are my best friend,” he said.

“I was your ‘best friend’…” I said, “…now you have got your girlfriend.”

“It’s about her – I just saw her off at the airport – she is on a long haul flight plan – she will be away for two weeks…” he said.

His girlfriend was an airhostess who flew on international routes.

“Okay – so you can join me for food and drink till she comes back…” I said.

“No – it’s not that – she wants to marry me …” he said.

“So – get married,” I said.

“It is not so simple – my parents won’t agree – her parents want her to continue he job too – and in her airline – airhostesses have to quit the moment they get married - it is all very complicated – I have realized that falling in love has complicated my life…” he said – and then he went on and on telling me his ‘sob story’ – and disturbing my sleep  by narrating his love woes till early morning.

I thought that having a girlfriend made you happier.

But – exactly the opposite had happened to my otherwise cheerful friend – who appeared to have become miserable after falling in love.

I said to myself: If having just one girlfriend had done this to him – just imagine the situation of those with multiple girlfriends!

It seemed that a ‘zero-girlfriend’ guy like me was much happier than my counterparts who had girlfriends.

I realized that ‘Food’ was a safe investment like a Fixed Deposits – maybe the ‘returns’ were lower – but for the time and money you spent on food – you got a guaranteed ‘return on investment’ (ROI).

On the other hand – ‘Romance’ was a risky investment like the share market.

Acquiring a girlfriend was like investing in a stock – just like the ‘returns’ from the stock market were unpredictable – the ROI you got from a romantic relationship could swing between ecstasy and agony.

Of course – I did make some efforts to ‘fall in love’ – but – sadly – no girl was willing to fall in love with me.

So – I resigned myself to the fact that ‘love marriage’ was not in my destiny – and – hence – I settled for an ‘arranged marriage’.

As a newly married couple – my wife and I – along with our pet Lhasa Apso girl Sherry – we lived in a lovely one room flat in Curzon Road Apartments in New Delhi.

One evening – we were sitting in Nathu’s Sweets – in Bengali Market – one of our favourite places where we often walked down in the evenings.

There was a group of beautiful girls sitting nearby – and my eyes were focused on them.

Yes – I was ogling at the pretty girls – as most young men do – or want to do.

One girl seemed particularly attractive – and I was staring at her quite blatantly with frank admiration in my eyes.

My wife followed my gaze – and she was quite amused to see me looking at the girls so intently – especially the yearning look I gave to that most gorgeous girl who seemed to be the object of my total attention.

Suddenly – my gaze shifted.

My wife was curious.

Was there a new ‘object’ which had captured my attention?

She followed my gaze – to see where I was looking.

On observing the new ‘object of my attention’ – my wife started laughing.

A tray of sweets was being brought in from the kitchen – and my eyes had ‘locked on’ to the mouthwatering sweets like a Radar ‘locks on’ to its target.

The tray was heaped with my favourite sweet – the inimitable ‘Lavang Lata’.

Soon – I was fully focused on eating my Lavang Lata – totally oblivious to my surroundings – and I seemed to have completely forgotten about those beautiful girls sitting on the table nearby.

In fact – I was so absorbed in savouring the delicious ‘Lavang Lata’  and I was enjoying myself so totally – that I even forgot about my wife sitting opposite  who was not quite relishing the dish of ‘Lavang Lata’ I had ordered for her too.

“So – it seems that you found the ‘Lavang Lata’ more enticing than those beautiful girls” my wife said to me.

“Of course – I love good food – there is no greater love than the love of food…” I said.

And then – while walking back home – I told her about my ‘Food is like a Fixed Deposit’ versus ‘Romance is like the Stock Market’ theory.

My wife looked at me and said: “Someone had told me that a Naval Officer has a girl in every port – but looking at you – I am convinced that you did not have even a single girl in any port – in fact – you must have had a ‘foodie joint’ in every port…”

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1. This story 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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