Wednesday, May 3, 2017

The “Married” Bachelor

A Fictional Spoof

If you go to a Defence Officers Mess (or a Navy Wardroom) – you will find two types of “single” officers:

1. Unmarried Bachelors 

2. Married Bachelors 

Unmarried Bachelors comprise officers who have never married  or are divorced/widowed.

Married Bachelors” are of two types:

1. “Permanent” Married Bachelors 

Permanent Married Bachelors comprise “in living” officers who are married but are staying away from their wives for some reason like wife’s career, children’s education, marital discord etc. 

Permanent Married Bachelors reside as “single” officers in the Officers Mess/Wardroom.

2. “Temporary” Married Bachelors 

“Temporary” Married Bachelors are Married officers who temporarily dine in the Officers Mess/Wardroom because their wives have gone on a vacation/holiday or their wives are away at their hometown/mothers place for confinement/delivery of a baby or for some back-home-type family occasion/commitment.

Long ago – around 40 years ago  when I was an unmarried bachelor  I once met an inimitable character – a rather peculiar type of “Temporary Married Bachelor”


Yes – the story I am going to tell you is about a rather curious married bachelor I met long back in the Navy.

Let us call him “X”.

This anecdote happened around 40 years ago – when I was a carefree unmarried bachelor – and I lived in a wonderful officers’ mess with some delightful messmates – most of whom were also “unmarried bachelors” like me.

Now “X” was quite senior to us – and “X” was very much married.

Though “X” was married – he spent every evening with us unmarried bachelors in the officers’ mess.

“X” would arrive in the mess punctually at 7 o’clock in the evening.

“X” would play billiards with us – then he would come to the officers’ mess bar – and he would drink with us till closing time – late into the night.

After enjoying the entire evening with us bachelors at the officers’ mess – “X” would go home to his wife – almost at midnight.

This was his routine every evening.

We felt sad for his wife.

Yes – we felt pity for X’s wife – because of the terribly shoddy manner in which“X” treated her.

“X” was indeed a “misogynist” husband.

“X” took his docile wife for granted.

“X” went out every night to have a good time with the “boys” – while his hapless wife had to spend her lonely evenings at home.

Every evening his devoted wife would dutifully wait for her husband “X” to come back around midnight to have dinner.

This routine went on for months. 


Then – suddenly – without any warning – one evening – our friend “X” did not turn up at officers’ mess. 

We missed “X” during the evening. 

We thought he was probably unwell.

But when he did not come to officers’ mess for three successive evenings – we decided to go to his house and see if things were okay.

When we reached his home – we were taken aback to see “X” sitting all alone in the darkness.

In his hand “X” was nursing a drink – which he did not seem to be enjoying.

“X” seemed to be in a state of melancholy.

We were puzzled by his strange behaviour – so  we asked “X” what was the matter with him – why was he sitting all alone in the darkness in such a sad mood.

We asked him why he had not come to the officers’ mess in the evenings  as per his usual routine  for the past three days.

“X” simply said that his wife had gone to her mother’s place for a few days – and – he was feeling lonely and miserable.

It was evident that “X” was badly missing his wife.

“If you are feeling lonely and miserable because your wife has gone away – that is all the more reason you should come to the officers’ mess...” we said.

We asked “X” to come with us to the officers’ mess and cheer up.

We told “X” that – since he was feeling lonely – it would be good for him to spend some time with us in the officers’ mess.

We urged him to come with us to the officers’ mess – as spending some time in our company – playing billiards – and enjoying a few drinks – would surely raise his spirits  and this would help him forget his loneliness and cheer him up.

Surprisingly  “X” refused to come to the officers’ mess with us.

“X” sullenly told us that he was not in the mood – and that he wanted to be left alone.

So – we left him alone at his home – to mope and grope – to moan and groan – and to wallow in his loneliness.

For many days – “X” did not come to the officers’ mess. 


Then – suddenly – one evening – we found “X” entering the officers’ mess promptly at 7 o’clock in the evening.

There was a spring in his step – and “X” seemed to be full of good cheer.

“My wife has come back...” he said happily.

“X” looked delighted and he was full of good cheer.

It was evident that he was very happy that his wife had returned back to him.

And then – like earlier days – “X” thoroughly enjoyed the evening with us in the officers mess.

Then – “X” staggered back home happily drunk at midnight.

For “X” – it was back to the good old days.

Every evening – the happily married bachelor “X” would arrive at the officers’ mess punctually at 7 PM – and spend his time with us unmarried bachelors – enjoying himself thoroughly till midnight – and then – swaying in high spirits – he would go back home to his beloved wife.

Strange but true – the moment his wife returned – “X” was back to his old “married bachelor” ways.

Yes – once his wife was back   every evening – punctually at 7 PM – “X” was seen in the evening at the officers mess – enjoying himself thoroughly till midnight.

We were puzzled by his strange behaviour.

When his wife was present – “X” seemed to be bored of his married life – so he left his wife behind at home – and he went out to the officers’ mess to enjoy a good time with the “boys”.

But – when his wife went away – “X” was filled with misery and despair – and he spent his time brooding alone at home in lonely melancholy – longing for his wife to come back.

And – the moment his wife returned back to him – “X” was back to his old ways – leaving his wife all alone at home – while he went off to enjoy his evening at the officers mess with us bachelor boys. 


At that time – I was perplexed at the strange behaviour of “X” 

I never understood this amusing paradox of his marital relationship.

When his wife was away – the husband stayed at home – gloomy and melancholic – and he refused to come with us to the officers mess.

But – when his wife was at home – the husband would come out of his home – and he would happily spend his evenings in high spirits with us in the officers mess  leaving his wife all alone at home.

But  soon – I got married.

And – over the years – as I became “much married” – I slowly began to fathom such inexplicable mysteries in marriage relationships and realised that marriage is a enigma.

That is why – even after 35 years of married life – I still feel that  marriage is a mystery – an enigma – and – every marital relationship is unique in its own way

Once I was married  I began to understand the “curious behaviour of the inimitable and unforgettable “married bachelor” “X” 

After marriage – I often found myself in similar “Temporary Married Bachelor” situations – whenever my wife went away to her mother’s place for a few days – and you would find me sitting at home all alone – gloomy – feeling “sad”  missing my wife – moping and groping – in lonely melancholy – yearning for my darling wife.

And  the moment my wife came back – I was so filled with happiness – that  I would immediately wear my walking shoes – and – with a smile on my lips – and – a spring in my step – I would step out for an enjoyable walk all by myself – leaving my darling wife all alone to hold the fort at home. 

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. 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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Copyright © Vikram Karve (All Rights Reserved)

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is a revised updated version of my story written by me Vikram Karve in the year 2010 and earlier posted online by me in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - and

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