Monday, July 11, 2016

Humor in Uniform – PDA – “Public Display of Affection”

PDA – “Public Display of Affection”

A few days ago – while crossing a busy road – I caught my wife’s hand – with the intention of helping her cross the road safely. 

“Why are you holding my hand in public...?” my wife scolded me – and – she pulled away her hand. 

My “Better Half” seemed furious at my “indecent” act of holding her hand in full view of the public. 

So – I said: “I’m sorry – I just wanted to help you cross the road...” 

“Am I a small child or something...? I can cross the road myself. You behave yourself – especially in public...” my wife admonished me. 

Dear Reader – for your information – we have been married for over 34 years. 

Yes – my “Better Half” and I – we have completed more than 34 years of married life.

But – there is no question of Public Display of Affection aka PDA.

(Ha Ha – there’s hardly any Private Display of Affection either – but – that’s another story).

Hey – Dear Reader – I am digressing – so – let me come back to the incident where my “Better Half” scolded me for holding her hand in public. 

Well – this incident reminded me of a Public Display of Affection story that happened many years ago – during my delightful early Navy days... 

A Case of Public Display of Affection” aka PDA
Fictional 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 much 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.

I still remembered their extremely sensual, passionate, amorous and highly romantic Public Display of Affection (PDA).

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

I just could not understand this inexplicable paradox.


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.

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, dating and relationships.

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

1. This story is a spoof, satire, 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. 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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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a Revised Version of My Story PDA - PUBLIC DISPLAY OF AFFECTION posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier in this blog on 21 Jan 2015 and 04 Aug 2015 and 06 Oct 2015 at url:  and  and  etc

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