Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Leisurely Vacation in New Zealand

“Bucket List” Tourism vs Leisurely Vacation

Our previous visit to New Zealand, 10 months ago, was a combination of “Bucket List Tourism” and a “Leisurely Vacation”.

After just a day in Auckland – we rushed off to South Island – by flight to Christchurch – and then – by road to see beautiful sights like Canterbury Plains, Lakes Tekapo and Pukaki, Queenstown, Te Anau, Fiordland, Milford Sound, Mount Cook Aoraki etc

It was a memorable “sight-seeing” trip – but – we were always on the move – and – almost 10 days passed in a jiffy.

This give us just around 10 days to “soak in” the ambience of Auckland.

So – our last trip was a combination of “Bucket List Tourism” and a “Leisurely Vacation”.

This time – it purely a “Leisurely Vacation” – to “soak in” the beautiful city of Auckland – walk around – enjoy the delicious cuisine – and – relax.

Maybe – once we a totally relaxed – we may make a trip to the geothermal region of Rotorua – and also see the Waimoto Glowworm Caves on the way.

Now – I am off on a walk to Mount Eden – and – maybe – I will have a Bannoffee Pie on the way at Fraser’s.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

Dos Amigos Cantina Mission Bay Auckland

On Monday afternoon we had a delicious lunch at Dos Amigos Catina Mission Bay Auckland New Zealand
Here are a few interesting items from the menu.
Veracruz Chicken
Tequila Lime Chicken
Enchiladas with Sauteed Vegetables
Tequilas Amazing Range and Alcoholitos and Mexican Beers
Cervezas of the Dead - Boutique Mexican Craft Beers
Mexican Chili Hot Chocolate
B.B.Q. Pork Ribs with Kumara Wedges

Friday, October 21, 2016

“Hate” at First Sight

A “Hate” Story

It was “hate at first sight”.

Strictly speaking – it was not “hate at first sight” – because – I hadn’t even seen her.

In fact – I hated her even before I saw her.

And – when I saw her – I hated her even more.

Yes – the moment I saw her – I was filled with hate towards her.

Now – Dear Reader – before I continue this “Hate Story” – let me give you a bit of the background – and tell you why I hated this woman even before I saw her.

This happened almost 40 years ago – in the 1970’s – when I was a young Lieutenant in the Navy.

Everything was fine – till I got married.

As a bachelor – the Navy looked after all my “boarding and lodging” needs.

Once I got married – I realized that getting a house was a huge problem for Naval Officers – especially those serving in Mumbai (then known as Bombay) – where most of the Navy was located those days.

The waiting time for Lieutenant’s Married Accommodation was more than one year – sometimes extending to even 2 years – after the marriage season – or – following a sudden influx of officers transferred into Mumbai (Bombay).

On the average – the waiting period for married accommodation was one and a half years.

The reason was clear – you were allowed to marry at 25 – when you were a Lieutenant (equivalent to an Army Captain and Air Force Flight Lieutenant).

Those days – after commissioning – it took you 3 years to become a Lieutenant – and then – you remained a Lieutenant for 8 long years – before being promoted to the rank of Lieutenant Commander after a total of 11 years of commissioned service.

By the time you became a Lieutenant Commander – you were above 30 – well past “marriageable” age – so – if you wanted to marry – you did so in the early part of the 8 long years when you were a Lieutenant. 

[Yes – those days – in the Navy – it took 11 years of commissioned service to become a Lieutenant Commander (Lt Cdr) – unlike today – when you see greenhorns – who haven’t yet fully grown their whiskers – strutting around wearing “two and a half stripes” of a Lieutenant Commander – thanks to the benevolent Ajai Vikram Singh Cadre Review Report (aka AVS 2006) – which has reduced the value of senior ranks to subaltern status…]

Also – in the Navy – the “Rank Has Its Privileges” concept – RHIP – was extended to family life too – and – newly married Lieutenants – bursting with “marital passion” – who were desperately in need of houses – were kept waiting for the longest time – whereas – “over the hill” Admirals and Commodores – “spent forces” – who were well past their prime years of “marital passion” – these “bigwigs” were given houses immediately.

So – newly married Naval Officers had a long wait before they were allotted married accommodation in Mumbai (which was the premier Navy Base those days – where most Naval Officers were located).

Of course – there were “alternate” arrangements – where they gave you a horrible shoddy dwelling in some dilapidated barrack or derelict crumbling building – euphemistically called “Type ‘B’ or Type ‘C’ accommodation”.

I did not want to ruin the “honeymoon period” of my marriage wallowing in such a shabby rotten decrepit environment.

So – I decided to let my wife stay at her parents’ place in her hometown – while I stayed on board my ship as a “married bachelor” eagerly monitoring the accommodation roster – desperately waiting for my “entitled” house to be allotted to me.

There was another option – I could “share” accommodation with a “course-mate” or a fellow Naval Officer who had been allotted a house – but – having seen some cases where the “sharing” went beyond accommodation – I decided not to explore the “sharing” option.

So – we – my wife and I – we spent the first year of our marriage living apart – me – on board my ship – and she – at her mother’s place in her hometown.

Then – one day – after a wait of more than one year – I was lucky to be allotted married accommodation.

I called up my wife and gave her the good news.

She was delighted – even her parents were delighted.

In fact – my wife’s parents were so delighted that they decided to come along with my wife to help set up her first house.

So – my wife arrived with her parents – and – her parents left after a week after setting up our house.

Sadly – I had to sail out to sea the very evening her parents left for their hometown.

When I returned to Mumbai a month later – I was happy to see that my wife had settled down well – she had already made friends – and – had attended a coffee morning of NOWA (Naval Officers Wives Association).

[Yes – those days it was called NOWA. Later – sometime in mid-1980’s – NOWA was “democratized” – and renamed Navy Wives Welfare Association (NWWA)]

My wife was happy to see me.

Then – she dropped a “bombshell”.

My wife told me that one of her friends was going to come and stay with us as a “house guest”.

“Who…” I asked.

“Nisha – she is one of my best friends – in fact – she is a distant relative…” my wife said.

“Nisha…? I have never heard of her – did she come for our marriage…?” I asked my wife.

“No – she was studying in Business School – for her MBA – and – her exams were at the same time as our marriage…”

“Oh – is she coming on a holiday to Mumbai…?”

“No – she has got a job here…”

“But – why is she staying with us…?”

“The waiting time for the ‘Working Women’s Hostel’ is around 6 months – so – till then – she will stay with us…”

“6 months…? Are you crazy…?”


“This is the first time we are living together after our marriage – and – you want to ruin our privacy…”

“The house is quite big…”

“Big…? There is just one living-cum-dining room and two rooms in this flat…”

“It is a 2BHK flat – we will sleep in the master bedroom – and – she can stay in the other bedroom…”

“No – she cannot stay here…”

“My parents have already committed to her parents – I can’t say “NO” now…”

“Your parents committed…?”

“Nisha’s family has done a lot of good to our family – her grandfather helped my father financially so that he could complete his education – her family has helped my parents in many ways – we are obligated to them – so – my parents could not refuse…”

“Isn’t her company giving her a flat…?”

“No – but – they are giving her HRA…”

“Okay – I will help her find a good flat within her HRA – or some PG accommodation…”

“No – why should Nisha live as a Paying Guest in some PG accommodation when she can live with us…? She even offered to pay for her stay here – but – of course – I refused.”

“I don’t want her money – I want privacy…” I said.

“Please don’t argue with me – Nisha is coming here – I have already said “YES” – so – how can I say “NO” now…” my wife said – and – she started crying.

I had come back after a month’s sailing – and – I did not want to ruin the evening – so – I said to my wife: “Okay – let her stay…”

Next morning – along with my wife – I waited on the platform of the Railway Station waiting for Nisha’s train to arrive.

As I said – I hated Nisha even before I saw her.

And – when I saw Nisha – I hated her even more.

I thought Nisha would be “good looking”.

But – my hopes were dashed.

Nisha was the most “unappealing” woman I had ever seen – and – I am putting it politely.

After her arrival – life was hell.

I dropped them home – Nisha and my wife – and – I went to my ship since it was a working day.

Trouble started in the evening.

As was customary – after returning home from work – I changed from my uniform into a “lungi” – and – bare-chested – with my “lungi” at “half-mast” – I entered the drawing room for my evening “tiffin” and cup of filter coffee. 

Nisha – who was sitting in the drawing room – looked at me curiously.

The moment my wife came out of the kitchen – she looked at me with bewilderment – seeing me dressed only in a “half-mast lungi”.

My wife angrily asked me to come inside the bedroom – and she scolded me: “Have you no decency…? You came out in your “lungi”…? Why are you not wearing a shirt…? Please dress properly – remember – Nisha is staying with us – what will she think of you…? I don’t want to see you wearing a “lungi” again till she is here…”

So now – even in my own house – I had to be “decently” dressed.

Of course – I had to forego my evening pegs of “Rum–Pani” (Rum-Water)

This decision not to drink was my own.

Yes – I took the decision to avoid drinking at home of my own accord.

If my wife did not like my wearing a “lungi” in front of Nisha – I was sure she would throw a tantrum if I started boozing in front of our “hallowed” guest.

Worse was to come at night – when we were in our bedroom.

My wife refused to get intimate – yes – my wife wouldn’t let me get near her.

“Keep away – Nisha is in the next room…” my wife said, rejecting my advances.

“So what – the door is closed…” I said.

“The walls are thin – she can hear everything – and – you make too much noise…”

So – that was the end of my “honeymoon” – and – it looked like there were going to be many days of “abstinence” ahead – at least till Nisha was around.

A few days later – our ship sailed out again – and – when I returned – I realized that Nisha was well entrenched in our house.

Nisha’s routine was set – she would leave for work early in the morning – at 8:30 AM – she would catch a bus from RC Church to her workplace near Churchgate – and – she returned around 7:30 in the evening – just in time for dinner.

Nisha was working for a top MNC – and – she was getting a hefty House Rent Allowance (HRA) – so – I wondered why she was interested in staying in a working women’s hostel – rather than rent her own flat.

“For security – and – convenience…” my wife said, “Besides – even if she rents a flat – it will be in some suburb – and – she will have to travel by local train – and – she is not used to it – since – she has never lived in Mumbai. The Hostel is on Marine Drive – quite close to her workplace – like it is from here – there is a direct bus from the hostel – and – she can even walk down to work…”

“So – your friend Nisha stays put here in our house ruining our married life till she gets a room in the hostel…”

“I told you that she offered to pay for her expenses – but I refused…”

“Ha Ha – no amount of money will compensate the nuisance she is causing to us…”

“Don’t say such things…” my wife said angrily to me, “She is not a nuisance – I told you that my parents have an obligation…”

“I have heard that many times…” I said – and – I headed to the Club to drown my sorrows.

Thereafter – every evening – before Nisha arrived – I would go to the club for a walk on the seaside promenade – followed by a drinking session with some “regulars” – most of whom were bachelors – or – “married bachelors”.

And then – I would return home late at night – when Nisha had retired to her bedroom.

Sometimes – Nisha would be watching TV with my wife – but – the moment I arrived in “high spirits” – she would excuse herself and go inside.

This routine went on for a week or so.

Then – one evening – when I was sitting by the seaside in my club – drinking with a “course-mate” – an unexpected thing happened.

I was stunned to see Nisha standing beside me.

I had been sitting facing the sea – and – she quietly approached me from behind my back – and – stood next to me.

My friend stood up and wished her.

I stood up too.

I introduced my friend to her – and – Nisha held out her hand to him and introduced herself.

Nisha looked at my friend – and – she said to him: “If you don’t mind – I want to talk something private…”

“Oh, sure – I was about to leave for the mess anyway…” my friend said – he gulped down the remains of his glass – he said goodbye – and – he left.

“Won’t you ask me to sit down…?” Nisha said to me.

“Oh – sorry – please sit down…” I said to her.

“Thanks…” she said – and – she sat down opposite me.

“Would you like something to drink – a soft drink – a juice…?” I asked her.

“What are you drinking…?” she asked me.

“Rum – I am drinking “Rum-Pani” – Rum with water…” I said.

“I’ll have Rum too – but – I’ll have Rum and Coke…” she said.

I tried my best to hide my surprise – but – she saw through me – and she said with a smile: “So – you smart Navy guys think that girls from the mofussil drink only fruit juice and soft drinks…?”

“No – No – not at all…” I said, “I’ll get you a Rum and Coke…”

“Make it large – a “double peg” – as they say in the civilian world…” she said.

“Cheers…” she said when the drinks arrived.

She raised her glass – and said: “I know you Navy guys don’t clink glasses…”

I was speechless.

Nisha had a sip of her of her Rum and Coke – and then – she said to me: “I knew you would be here – so – I came here straight from work…”


“I wanted to talk to you…” she said.


“I wanted to apologize for all the trouble I am causing you…”

“It’s okay…”

“No – it’s not okay – I can see that you hate me – ever since the moment you first saw me at the railway station you hate me terribly…”


“And – my living with you is straining your relationship with your wife – and – I know you two are living together after a long time…”

“Yes – we got accommodation after more than a year…”

“I know – that’s why I decided to give you the “good news” first…”

“Good news…?”

“I have decided to shift out…”

“Oh – so you have got a room in the working women’s hostel…?”

“No – that will take 3 months more…”

“So – where will you stay for 3 months…?”

“I have found a “PG” – in Bandra…”

“That’s quite far…”

“No – it’s very convenient – I can catch a local train and come straight to Churchgate…”


“So – let’s celebrate…” she said – and she downed her Rum-and-Coke in one gulp.

We sat – and – we drank – Nisha and Me – in the cool breeze by the seaside.

She was easy to talk to – and my words came tumbling out.

I told her about Navy life – she talked about her life at “B School” – and her work in the Corporate Sector.

As we drank and talked – I began to see her in a different light.

I realized that Nisha was very intelligent – and quite vivacious – and – she was not that bad looking – in fact – she may not be a beauty in the conventional sense – but she had a certain charm about her.

Nisha and Me – we drank – and – we talked – and – we lost all track of time.

I do not remember how and when I returned home.

Next morning – I woke up late – with a terrible hangover.

I decided to go down to the telephone booth and call up my ship and tell the OOD that I would be “delayed”.

(In the Navy: Officers are never “Late” – they are “Delayed”)

I did not see Nisha around – so I asked my wife: “Has Nisha gone to work…? Or – is she still sleeping…?”

“She has gone to work…” my wife said.


“I want to tell you one more thing…” my wife said – looking at me.

“What…?” I asked.

“I have asked Nisha to shift out of our house by this weekend…” my wife said. 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
1. If you share this post, please give due credit to the author Vikram Karve
2. Please DO NOT PLAGIARIZE. Please DO NOT Cut/Copy/Paste this post
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. This story is a fictional 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.

Copyright Notice:
No part of this Blog may be reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical including photocopying or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the Blog Author Vikram Karve who holds the copyright.
Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.