Sunday, February 12, 2017

Humor Dissolves Grief


An Apocryphal Naval Yarn

Humor can do wonders. 

Genuine humour can dissipate anger and dissolve grief.

Here is a story  maybe apocryphal  narrated to me long back by one of my course-mates.

The Executive Officer (XO) of his ship was quite a character. 

The XO was a cheerful, jovial, absent-minded guy who was obsessed with solving crossword-puzzles.

His favourite words were: “Very Good, Very Good”.

In the Navy  when your senior gave you an order  you said: “Aye Aye, Sir...” 

And  when your junior made you a report  you said: “Very Good...” 

Now  since the XO received lots of reports  he seemed to have developed the habit of saying: “Very Good, Very Good”.

One day  a young Lieutenant – a Divisional Officer  brought a distraught looking sad faced Sailor to see the XO. 

It was just after breakfast  and the XO was sitting in the wardroom  busy with his Times of India Crossword Puzzle.

The Divisional Officer gestured towards the Sailor said: “Sir  we have just received a telegram that his mother has passed away.”

Very Good, Very Good...” the XO said instinctively  without even looking up from the newspaper  and he continued with his crossword puzzle.

There was stunned silence.

No one could believe his ears.

The poor sailor had been bereaved.

His mother had died.

And  the XO was saying: “Very Good, Very Good...”

Then  after a moment  the absentminded XO paused.

The XO put down the newspaper.

The XO looked up at the sailor.

Then  the XO said to the sailor: 

“What...? Your mother died...? Very Bad, Very Bad...”

Everyone  including the bereaved sailor  burst out laughing.

Though he was quite a character  in his heart  the XO was a most compassionate and genuine man – he was a True Naval Officer of the “old-mould”. 

In true Naval Tradition  the XO did everything humanly and administratively possible to help the bereaved sailor  and – the XO made all welfare arrangements to enable the sailor to mitigate his personal grief.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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1. This article 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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