Thursday, October 13, 2016


Humor in Uniform

A Fictional Spoof

Part 1 : SHARING

Circa 1978

Our ship was getting ready to leave Cochin (Kochi) harbour.

(Those days – Kochi was called Cochin)

A Lieutenant in uniform came running up the gangway.

He gave me a packet and said: “Can you please deliver this packet to my coursemate Lieutenant “X” in Bombay…”

(Those days – Mumbai was known as Bombay)

It was a small packet.

“Sure... I said.

“It is just some Ayurvedic Medicines for my coursemate’s wife – the name of my coursemate (Lieutenant “X”) – and his home address – everything is written on the packet…” the Lieutenant said.

On the day we reached Mumbai – in the evening – I stood outside the flat of Lieutenant “X”.

I rang the doorbell.

A chic young woman opened the door.

She was very attractive – and – I had to make an effort to take my eyes off her.

“Good evening, Ma’am – I have got your medicines from Cochin…” I said.

“My medicines…?” she said, looking confused.

Lieutenant “X” lives here, isn’t it – so  you must be his wife…?” I said.

The beautiful woman smiled at me – and she said: 

“Yes – Lieutenant “X” lives here – but  I am not his wife…”

“Oh…” I remarked.

“I am so sorry,” the woman said, “it was so rude of me to keep you waiting outside – please come in and make yourself comfortable. Let me get you a glass of water…”

I entered the drawing room and sat down on the sofa.

The woman got me a glass of water and sat down opposite me.

I placed the packet I had got from Cochin on the table – and I said to the woman: “Here are the Ayurvedic Medicines for Mrs. “X” – is she not at home…?”

“No – Mrs. “X” works late – she should be home around 7:30 – but – don’t worry – I will give her the packet…” the woman said.

“Are you her sister…?” I asked.

“No – No…” the woman interrupted me.

The gorgeous women gave me a alluring smile – and she said to me: 

“I am Mrs. “Y” – we are still waiting to be allotted our married accomodation – this house has been allotted to Lieutenant “X” – my husband Lieutenant “Y” and your friend Lieutenant “X” are coursemates – so  we are sharing accommodation with Lieutenant and Mrs. “X” …”

(In the 1970’s – there was a severe shortage of married accommodation in the Navy – especially in Mumbai – and the waiting time for Lieutenants was more than 2 years – so it was common practice for young Navy couples to share accommodation with their friends who were lucky to have been allotted married accommodation. Also – those days – most Lieutenants were married – since it took 11 years commissioned service to become a Lieutenant Commander – unlike today – after the AVS 2006 Cadre Review Bonanza – when you become a Lieutenant Commander in just 6 years service)

“Are you also a coursemate of Lieutenant “X” and my husband…?” Mrs. “Y” asked me.

“No – No – Ma’am – they must be a few years senior to me…” I said.

“Oh – so you are a friend of Lieutenant “X”…?” she said.

“No – Ma’am – I haven’t even met Lieutenant “X” – a Naval Officer in Cochin came to my ship and asked me to deliver this packet to Lieutenant “X”…” I said.

“Oh…” she said.

I looked at Mrs. “Y”.

Mrs. “Y” looked at me.

Sitting opposite me  Mrs. “Y” looked very gorgeous and alluring – and I felt mesmerized by her tantalizing beauty.

I was unnerved by the attraction I felt towards her – so I thought that it would be best for me to leave the scene…

So – I got up to leave.

“No – wait – it is already 5:30 – Lieutenant “X” should be home any minute…” Mrs. “Y” said.

“And – your husband – Lieutenant “Y” – he should be home too…?”

“No – my husband is sailing – he will be back next week…” Mrs. “Y” said.

The doorbell rang.

“Ah – that must be Lieutenant “X”…” said Mrs. “Y” – and  she quickly went to open the door.

Lieutenant “X” was in uniform.

He kept his scooter helmet on the rack.

Then – he looked at me.

I stood up.

I introduced myself.

“Oh yes – thanks a lot for getting the Ayurvedic Medicines…” Lieutenant “X” said.

“You are welcome, Sir…” I said.

“Hey – I will just go in and change into ‘civvies’ and freshen up…” Lieutenant “X” said to me.

Then – Lieutenant “X” looked at Mrs. “Y” – and  he said to her: “Hey – why don’t you make some nice coffee for all of us…?”

“Filter Coffee is already ready – and  I have made your favourite upma as ‘tiffin’ too…” Mrs. “Y” said to Lieutenant “X”.

“Wow – that’s great…” Lieutenant “X” said – and he went inside to change.

After eating the delicious upma and drinking the refreshing filter coffee – I got up to leave – but Lieutenant “X” said to me: “Hey – why don’t you stay for dinner – we’ll go for a walk on the seashore – we will have a drink at the club – by then – my wife should be back – you can meet her – and  we will all have dinner together…”

“Thanks a lot, Sir – but I have to get back to my ship…” I said.

“Come on – stay for dinner…” Lieutenant “X” insisted.

“I would have loved to have dinner with you, Sir – but someone is holding the deck for me…” I lied.

“Oh – then you must go back to your ship – but you must come over and have dinner with us sometime…” Lieutenant “X” said.

So – I said goodbye to Lieutenant “X” and Mrs. “Y” – and I went back to my ship.

I could not meet Lieutenant “X” again – and the dinner never materialized – as our ship sailed off on a long deployment to the eastern seas – and midway – I was disembarked at Madras Port (Chennai) – for proceeding on transfer to a shore based instructional appointment in a ‘stone frigate’ at Jamnagar.


Part 2 : CARING

Circa 1985

One evening  I was walking on Main Street (MG Road) in Pune – and suddenly – I ran into Lieutenant “X”.

He recognized me and said: “Hi there – so nice to see you here…”

“Delighted to see you too, Sir…” I said.

“You just disappeared from the Radar…?” Lieutenant “X” said.

“Sir – my ship sailed off to the East – then  I was transferred to Jamnagar – then  I was selected for M. Tech. at IIT Delhi – then – I did an appointment in Delhi – and now  I have been recently appointed as faculty in IAT Pune…” I said.

“That’s great...” Lieutenant “X” said, “I too quit the Navy a few years ago and I now work in the industry…”

He pulled out his wallet  extracted a business card  and gave it to me.

I looked at the business card.

Lieutenant “X” (now Ex-Lieutenant “X”) was a Manager in a prestigious company.

“My home address is written on the reverse of the card – I live in Aundh – and now that you are Pune – you must visit us  especially if you come to Aundh side…” he said.

“Sure, Sir…” I said – and we bid each other ‘goodbye’.

A few days later – one evening – I happened to be in Aundh.

I remembered the brief meeting with Ex-Lieutenant “X” on Main Street.

I pulled out his business card from my wallet – looked at his residential address on the reverse side of the card – and I discovered that I was standing right below his apartment block.

I decided to visit Ex-Lieutenant “X” – and soon – I was standing outside his flat.

I rang the doorbell.

A woman opened the door.

I was stunned.

The woman was Mrs. “Y”.

Seeing the bewildered expression on my face – the woman gave me a mischievous smile  and she naughtily said to me: 

“Yes – Lieutenant “X” lives here – and now – I am his wife…”


Later – when I reached home – I told my wife about how Mrs. “Y” had become Mrs. “X”

So  thanks to sharing and caring  Lieutenant “X” and Mrs. “Y” – had now become  Ex-Lieutenant “X” and New Mrs. “X” 

Later – I found out that Lieutenant “X” had not quit the Navy on his own.

But – in fact – Lieutenant “X” had been asked to resign from the Navy for stealing the affection of Mrs. “Y”  who was his ‘brother officer’s wife’

Housemates had become actual mates. 

Lieutenant “X” had got married to Mrs. “Y” 

I wondered whether Lieutenant “Y” had got married to Mrs. “X” and the spouse swap was complete...?

There is a saying: 

Learn from history – or – you are doomed to repeat it

And – my wife had certainly learnt a lesson from the story of Lieutenant “X” and Mrs. “Y” 

This was evident from the episode narrated below.

One evening – a young couple came over to meet us – my Navy coursemate and his wife.

“I have come for a 3 month course to IAT – and I brought my wife along – but they are not allowing my wife to stay in the Officers’ Mess…” he said.

“Yes – wives are not allowed for short courses…” I said.

“We were wondering if you could share your accommodation with us – you have got such a big house…” my coursemate said.

“Yes – please let us stay with you – otherwise I will have to go back…” my coursemate’s lovely wife pleaded with me  and she gave me a tender loving beseeching look.

Mesmerized by her seductive gaze  I was about to agree to my coursemate’s wife’s request to share our home with them.

But suddenly  my wife interjected and she said to the lady: “I am sorry – but – we do not share accommodation…”

“Please let us stay in your home – it is only for 3 months – I promise you that we will not be any trouble…” my coursemate’s wife begged my wife.

“I am sorry – but – as a matter of principle – we do not share our home with anyone – we do not want housemates…” my wife said firmly with a decisive tone.

Then – my wife excused herself and went inside into the bedroom.

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

1. This story is a fictional 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. 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.

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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.

This is a revised re-post of my story CARING AND SHARING posted online by me Vikram Karve earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 08 Nov 2015 at url: and  and

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