Wednesday, March 15, 2017

The Goodbye Kiss

“You guys are all the same. You want modern uninhibited girlfriends – but  you want conservative homely wives. You want to have a good time” with your girlfriends  and then  you want to get married to the “back home type” girl your parents have chosen for you. I thought you were different – I thought that you really loved me – but – you turned out to be just like all the others...” she said – and – she walked away.

A Love Story
Short Fiction

Circa 1977
Mumbai (then called Bombay) 


“I want to see her for one last time…” 


“I want to give her a “Goodbye Kiss”…”




“I really loved her – I still love her…”

“It is called “lust” – not “love”…”

“Even she loves me…”

“Are you crazy…? Can a woman like her love anyone…?”

“I love her. She loves me. We both love each other – our love is a “two-way” love – mutual love…”

“Ha Ha – it was more like “Mutual Lust”…”

“Please don’t say that. Our relationship was above that level – it was love – our friendship was based on a deep love for each other…”

“Ha Ha – “Friendship based on Deep Love” – are you kidding…? You two were just “friends with benefits” – that’s all…”
“That’s not true – “friends with benefits” – how can you say that…? You have not understood the depth of our relationship – our love for each other…”

“Depth of your Relationship…? Love…? Bloody bullshit…!!! It was a simple “quid pro quo” – she gave you what you wanted – you gave her what she wanted – you both got what you wanted – a simple “tradeoff” – and now – the “transaction” is over – and – both of you can move on and go your own ways…”

“Still – I am feeling so guilty that I dumped her – just like that – “use and throw”…”

“Don’t feel guilty. You haven’t “dumped her” – because – she was wasn’t yours in the first place – and – you said it right – “use and throw” – she’s just a “fleet auxiliary” – and that’s what “fleet auxiliaries” are meant for – you “use and throw” them – and – that’s what they do to us also, isn’t it – they too “use and throw” us – you “use and throw” her – and – she does the same to you – that’s how it works. However – let me tell you one thing – you are still yearning for her – but – for all you know – she may have already found someone else – and – maybe – she is having a “good time” with her new lover right now…”

“Never – she will never do that – she will always love me…”

“Are you crazy…? I told you – she is just a frivolous “fleet auxiliary”…”

AN EXPLANATORY DIGRESSION (for Readers not familiar with Navy Jargon)

Let me digress a bit and tell you the difference between Fleet Auxiliary and “Fleet Auxiliary”

Fleet Auxiliary 

The former Fleet Auxiliary is a support ship – like an oil tanker, a supply vessel, a tug, a depot ship or a hospital ship – a vessel which supports the main fleet.

“Fleet Auxiliary” (in quotation marks)

The latter “Fleet Auxiliary” is a moniker – a sobriquet – a nickname – given to a girl – who – like auxiliaries – “supports” the men who man the Fleet – by giving them a “good time” – and – helping them quench their carnal passions.

This story is about this second type of “Fleet Auxiliary”.

With a “Fleet Auxiliary” – it is a “no-strings-attached” relationship.

Of course – there may be a bit of “give-and-take” – a sort of “barter” or “tradeoff” – for example – where the “Fleet Auxiliary” enjoys the best imported food and drink on board ships – courtesy her “host” – she gets to drink the best booze – and – she gets some precious gifts like an expensive perfume or some exquisite Swiss chocolates – as a “quid pro quo” – in return for her “favours”...

Let me tell you – that in those “Golden Socialist Days” of the “License Quota Permit Raj” – when prized and coveted foreign goodies were not available in the domestic market – and we in the Navy got them duty-free on board ships – a Naval Officer was quite high up on the social ladder.

Regrettably – the advent of liberalization and globalization changed everything – and nowadays – a Naval Officer is no longer the “crème de la crème” of society anymore – because today – money determines your status – and – businessmen, entrepreneurs and celebrities are the new role models.

And – as far as “fleet auxiliaries” are concerned – it looks like they have disappeared from the fleet – and found greener pastures – because – when I asked a young “Subbie” about it a few days ago – he seemed totally clueless – in fact – he did not even know what the term “fleet auxiliary” meant in Navy slang.



“Please – before I go home on leave – I want to see her one last time  I want to give her a “goodbye kiss” – that’s all…”

“No – it’s 7 o’clock now – let’s have a couple of drinks and dinner – then – I’ll tell the OOD to send a sailor to call a taxi – and – you will go straight to Bombay VT (now called Mumbai CST) – and – you will catch the night passenger to Pune…”

“I have to see her one last time – to explain everything to her…”

“Explain what…? You met her for the final time last week – didn’t you – before we sailed out…? Haven’t you called off the relationship – didn’t you tell her that it’s all over…? Haven’t you said your final “good-bye”…? By the way – I hope you haven’t you told her that you are going home on leave to see a girl for marriage…”

“Yes – I told her that I am going home to see a girl for arranged marriage…” 

“Oh My God...!!! What all did you tell her...? 

I told her that my parents had liked the girl and they were putting pressure on me to marry the girl – I told her everything about the girl – I even showed her the photo of the girl I am going to see in Pune…”

“Are you crazy…? What was the need to tell her about your prospective bride…? And tell me – what was her reaction – what did she say…?”

“She was very upset – she started crying – she told me that she thought that we would have a long-term relationship…”

“Bloody hell – she is trying to emotionally blackmail you and trap you into marriage – do you realize that repercussions of getting married to a “fleet auxiliary”…?”

“But – I love her…”

“You idiot – try to understand her “game” – your so-called girlfriend – she is a bloody “fleet auxiliary” – she’s been in the business for 10 years now – since our XO’s time…”


“Yes – a few days ago – when our XO saw her with you – he told me that – when they were “Subbies” – one of his course-mates was going around with her…”

“That’s not possible…”

“Of course it is very much possible – you may be only 24 years old – but she is at least 30 – and – she must be going around since she was 20 – and – 10 years back – our XO was a “Subbie” – isn’t it…? You fool – she must have had at least 10 lovers – and – she will have a few more – before – she is “over the hill”…”

“I never asked her about her earlier affairs – but – she categorically told me – that – with me – it was different. She said – she told me – that – she really loved me – and – even if I dumped her – she would not have any more relationships – and – she would always love me forever…”

“Can’t you see…? She knows that she is “over the hill”. She has realized that her days as a “fleet auxiliary” are numbered – so – she is trying to emotionally blackmail you into marrying her…”

“I don’t know – I am feeling terribly confused – I want to go and meet her right now – just for “one last time”…”

“NO – absolutely NO – you are not going to meet her “one last time” – you are going straight to the station to catch the train to Pune. Then – in Pune – you are going to see the girl – I am sure you will like each other – if not – I am sure your parents have lined up some more girls – so – you see the girls – and – you will get engaged to a nice “back-home-type” girl in your one month’s leave – and – when you come back to the ship after your leave – I want to see an engagement ring on your finger – do you understand…?”


“No “ifs and buts” – and – let me tell you what I am going to do – I will talk to the Captain – we will pull some strings – and we will get you transferred to some ship in Vizag – so – the moment you come back from leave after a month – we will have your farewell PLD – and – you will be off to Vizag – “out of sight – out of mind” – that’s the best way for you to forget your “fleet auxiliary” – and – hopefully – by then – you will be engaged to the girl you are going to see – so – you can move on and begin a new life with your fiancée…”  

“Please… I have to go… Right now…”

“Go…? Right now…? It’s only 7:30 – and – your train is at 11:30…”

“I have to see her “one last time”…”

“But – you saw her “one last time” before we sailed out a week ago – isn’t it…?”

“I am going to meet her tonight. She will be expecting me – I told her that I would have one last dinner with her tonight – before I leave for Pune…”

“You told her…? When…? We just returned from sailing this morning…”

“In the morning – the moment we secured alongside – I called her up in her office from the shore telephone…”

“You fool. You telephoned your “fleet auxiliary” this morning...? Why...? What was the need to speak to her today when you are going home...?”

“I couldn’t help it – I told her I wanted to meet her “one last time” – she said “okay” – she suggested that we have a farewell dinner at our favourite restaurant in Churchgate – and then we could have ice cream at the parlour nearby – and then – after our final goodbye kiss” – we could part on a “sweet note”…”

“No. I am warning you. You have already said gooddbye to her the last time you met her. And  I am sure you kissed her while saying goodbye. So – there is no need for a final goodbye kiss”. Please don’t go to meet her. I will drop you straight to VT Station…”

“I have to go. She will be waiting for me at 8 o’clock. Please drop me on your bike at Churchgate – I just have one bag. I want to have a farewell dinner” with her. I want to give her a final goodbye kiss” and part on a “sweet note”. After that – I’ll take a taxi to VT…”


I tried by best to dissuade my friend from meeting his “fleet auxiliary” for “one last time”. 

I told him that there was no need for a goodbye kiss”.

But – he was adamant.

So – I dropped him outside the famous restaurant at Churchgate where he was having his “last rendezvous” with his “fleet auxiliary”.

My friend said “thanks” to me – and – he started walking towards the restaurant carrying his bag in his right hand.

I should have gone back to the ship – but – I was overcome by curiosity to have a look inside – to see whether the “fleet auxiliary” was waiting for him.

I parked my bike – and – I followed him to the entrance of the restaurant.

When my friend saw me following him – he said to me: “You can go back…”

“I just want to see whether she has come – if she is there – I will say “Hi” to her and vamoose – but – if she is not there – you can treat me to dinner – and – I will drop you at VT…”

We entered the restaurant.

She was there.

Yes – my friend’s “fleet auxiliary” was waiting for him.

But – she wasn’t alone.

Sitting next to the “fleet auxiliary” there was a girl.

They were sitting side by side on the same table – the “fleet auxiliary” and the girl – looking at the entrance – as if they both were waiting for my friend to arrive.

I recognized the girl sitting with the “fleet auxiliary”.

It was the same girl in the photo.

Yes – it was the same girl in the photo that my friend had showed me – the very same girl he was going to see in Pune for arranged marriage – his “prospective bride”… 

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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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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This is a revised repost of my story ONE LAST TIME written by me in September 2016 and first posted online by me on 24 September 2016 in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog at url: and reposted at url:

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