Tuesday, August 4, 2015


Story of the “Lovey Dovey” Couple 
A Spoof


My first unforgettable memory of Public Display of Affection (PDA) was almost 40 years ago  in the late 1970’s  during my early days in the Navy.

There was a young newly married couple who just could not take their hands off each other.

A Naval Officer is not permitted to get married before the age of 25.

But in this case  the Navy had made an exception.

In a rare gesture – the Navy had shown “compassion” for “passion”.

It was a whirlwind romance – and parental opposition had necessitated a quick “hush-hush” wedding – and the Navy was presented with a fait accompli.

The young Sub Lieutenant bluntly stated that he was prepared to quit the Navy for the sake of his ladylove.

So  permission was granted as an exceptional case  and the young couple was allowed to stay in the Wardroom (Officers Mess).

They were allotted a cabin in the old barrack where married officers awaiting allocation of proper married quarters lived temporarily.

The newly married husband and wife were passionately in love.

Their fervent love was visible to one and all  because the handsome husband  and his beautiful wife  demonstrated their obsessive affection for each other quite explicitly in public in a most uninhibited manner.

Dear Reader – remember this was the India of the 1970’s – and this brazen Public Display of Affection (PDA) was happening in a remote cantonment – in full view of sailors and their families  who were mostly from rural areas  and had rather conservative values.

Now  in the orthodox and conformist environment of a cantonment  an officer and his wife indulging in such titillating physical Public Display Of Affection (PDA) was viewed as scandalous conduct.

The officer was warned to mend his ways.

The wife was “counselled” by ladies.

But there was no effect.

In fact  the “advice” seemed to have the opposite effect.

The young lovey-dovey couple continued their amorous PDA with even greater ardour and passion  which seemed to be attaining new heights.

One evening they were observed kissing and “making out” in the dark corners of the base cinema hall  with their hands all over each other  when the lights suddenly came on.

Next morning  the officer was read the riot act – and threatened with disciplinary action if he did not mend his ways.

“We will throw the book at you...” he was warned.

“We will charge you with Section 53 (indecent behaviour) and Section 54 (conduct unbecoming the character of an officer) of the Navy Act...” they threatened him.

But despite all this – there was no salutary effect of the officer and his wife  who continued their brazen PDA with increasing passion.

Soon everyone turned a blind eye to the PDA – because all realized that the officer and his wife were madly in love with each other.

The officer completed his training a few months later  and was transferred to a ship based at Mumbai.

Everyone breathed a sigh of relief – in a cosmopolitan place like Mumbai – PDA was no big deal – even the Navy in Mumbai had a progressive culture as compared to other places.


I saw the officer three years later at an official function.

He looked like a ghost of his earlier self  as if he had gone through a serious bout of illness.

When I commented on his emaciated appearance  someone said to me: “Don’t you know what a terrible tragedy the poor chap has gone through? He has been through a most acrimonious and nasty divorce  and the distressing marital discord and bitter divorce has taken a big toll on his health.”

“Divorce…?” I was stunned.

I could never imagine that such a lovey-dovey couple who publicly demonstrated their intense love for each other would ever get divorced.

How could a husband and wife who were so passionately in love with each other get divorced?

It did not make sense.

The couple had been so much in love  that they did not hesitate to publicly display their affection for each other despite societal disapproval – how could they get divorced?


Twenty years later  I once again met the officer – this time at an airport.

He told me that he had quit the Navy  and that had taken up a job in the industry.

There was a lady standing next to him along with two children.

He introduced his wife and children.

So  he had got remarried.

Looking at his kids  I estimated that he must have got remarried around 10 years ago.

I remembered the officer and his first wife – the lovey-dovey couple  and their passionate, unrestrained and uninhibited Public Display of Affection (PDA).

But  now  there appeared to be a sea change in his demeanor with his new wife.

There was absolutely no Public Display of Affection (PDA) between him and his new wife.

In fact  from the way they were conducting themselves in public – it did not even appear that they were husband and wife.

What an irony?

The “lovey-dovey” marriage with PDA had broken up within one year.

And  the “loveless” marriage without PDA had lasted for more than 10 years – and it looked like this marriage would last forever.

I still cannot fathom the paradox.

A relationship with 100% PDA is fragile.

But  a relationship with Zero PDA is durable.

Such are the mysteries of marriage, romance, love and relationships.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

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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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

Revised Version of My Story PDA - PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier in this blog on 21 Jan 2015 at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/01/pda-public-display-of-affection.html

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