Wednesday, January 31, 2018

Are You Ready for Retirement “Nirvana”...?


Ideally – Retirement should be “Nirvana”. 

(“Nirvana means Bliss, Joy, Peace – an idyllic state of “Enlightenment)

Retired life should be free from all encumbrances and responsibilities. 

Retirememnt should enable you to live the life you always wanted to live.

You have played your innings – and now – you can relax and enjoy being a spectator.

But  is it so...? 

Despite having “Retired” – you keep getting involved in “wordly” affairs – instead of “switching off” and living the tranquil life you always wanted to live. 

Instead of reducing your “baggage” – and travelling light in your autumn years – you keep adding more “baggage” – material “baggage – emotional “baggage”  relationship “baggage”  all sorts of baggage – which spoils your “journey” in your “nirvana” years of retired life. 

For the past few years – after retirement  I am trying my best to live the life that I always dreamt of living in my retired life – to write/blog – for me – that is “nirvana”. 

But – despite my best efforts – I keep getting involved in all sorts of “non-nirvana” activities – some beyond my control – but some very much in my control to avoid. 

So – whenever confronted/tempted with things that try to deviate me from my “nirvana” track of writing/blogging – I tell myself this ancient wisdom story called “Vow of Celibacy

If you have retired – or are about to retire – here is a wisdom story for you to ponder over  the story is called “VOW OF CELIBACY

Are You Ready for “Nirvana”...?
Inspirational Wisdom  For the Retired and About to Retire

VOW OF CELIBACY - An Apocryphal Teaching Story by Vikram Karve

A worldly man was seeking Nirvana – true enlightenment. 

So – he renounced worldly life.

He took a strict vow of celibacy – which was the sine qua non – an essential condition – for attaining enlightenment and achieving a state of nirvana

The man then headed for the hills to live an ascetic existence of a hermit.

He found a secluded cave where he began his simple contemplative meditative life.

He survived on natural wild vegetation in the forest  and he began his journey towards his quest for enlightenment and attaining nirvana.  

One day  he noticed holes in his robe.

He discovered that there were lots of rats in the cave– and these rats were chewing off his robes.

 the rats were nibbling at his toes and disturbing his meditation.

Perplexed  he went down to the town  and he consulted his Guru

The Guru said: “No problem. The solution is simple. Get a cat.”

“A cat...?” asked the man, perplexed.

“The cat will take care of the rats...” the Guru said.

So our nirvana seeking man got a cat  and he took it up to his cave.

The cat took care of the rats 
 and the man was undisturbed in his quest for enlightenment.

A few days later  the cat had eaten up all the rats in the cave.

As there were no rats left to eat  the cat started feeling hungry.

One day  the famished cat started moaning with hunger.

The constant moaning and crying of the cat disturbed the man’s meditation.

So  the man again rushed to consult his Guru.

“Get a cow...” the Guru advised the man.

“A cow...?” the man exclaimed in astonishment.

“Yes. The cow will yield milk with which you can feed your cat and satiate its hunger...” the Guru said.

So – the man got a cow.

He took the cow up with him  and he tied the cow outside his cave. 

Now the man would spend some time milking the cow – then feeding the cat with cow’s milk  and then settle down for his meditation.

A few days later the cow stopped giving milk  and the cow mooed loudly in a sad tone.

The hungry cat too had started moaning again.

Totally disturbed by the shrill anguished moaning of the hungry cat – and loud disquieting mooing of the starving cow  the wise man ran to his Guru once again to seek his advice.

“Buy some seeds and plant them. Grow grass. Water your garden and tend to the plants. The crop will give food for the cow and for you...” the Guru said.

The man planted the seeds which yielded food both for the cow and for himself.

– now the man had to spend so much time tending to his garden  feeding and milking his cow  and giving milk to his cat  that he hardly got any time for meditation.

He rushed to his Guru again for help.

The Guru once again had a ready solution: 

“There is a young woman – she is a widow – poor thing  she is a destitute woman. She will look after everything  she will take care of all your needs  and you can meditate in peace and attain enlightenment.”

So – the man took the young woman up with him to the cave.

It was indeed a wonderful arrangement.

The young woman looked after everything.

The garden bloomed  cow and cat flourished  and the wise man could do his meditation undisturbed in his quest for enlightenment – and he was on the path to nirvana.

Then  the winter season came  and it started getting cold.

One day it began to snow  and the temperature fell to sub-zero.

The young woman started to shiver due to the freezing cold.

 the woman could not bear the freezing cold any longer.

So the woman snuggled into the wise man’s bed.

She still felt cold.

So the woman tightly embraced the man with her arms.

But this was not enough – and she continued to feel cold – so the woman put her legs around the man.

But – even now – she still felt cold – so she put her entire body in physical contact with his body  since that was the only way for her to keep warm.

Now tell me  which man can resist the tight embrace of an attractive woman in the prime of her life...?

His vow of celibacy lay shattered.

And so – with the vow of celibacy” broken  there ended the man’s quest for enlightenment and nirvana.

Soon  with all his new possessions to look after (the cat, the cow, and the woman)  the man returned back to the material world.

He began to live a worldly life as he used to do before  the same busy worldly life from where he had begun his journey towards enlightenment to attain Nirvana.

The “wise man was back to square one.

His dreams to attain a state of Nirvana remained unrealized  as he got busy with his worldly life.

MORAL OF THE STORY NO. 1 (for retired persons)


Metaphorically  retirement is supposed to be nirvana”.

And celibacy is the essential prerequisite to attain a state of nirvana”.

In the context of retirement – metaphorically – “celibacy” means burning your bridges to your previous material world  cutting off from your work life – disengaging yourself from financial matters – minimizing day-to-day activities and chores which are “disturbances – and focussing on whatever is your “nirvana”.

Once you retire  you are supposed to give up all your “worldly” activities  and attain a state of bliss.

But – does everyone do that...?

I have seen that – for many retired persons  there is no difference between their retired life and earlier busy work life.

Even after you retire  you keep getting involved in various worldly affairs due to which you are not able to achieve the idyllic state of a blissful retired life.

Read the Story again.

And think about all the worldly activities which are hampering your quest for a tranquil and blissful retired life.

Is your retired life “Nirvana”...?

Are you living the tranquil life you always wanted to life in your autumn years...?

Have you “switched off”...?

Or – are you still entangled in the hurly-burly of worldly affairs...? 

MORAL OF THE STORY NO. 2 (for everyone)


The Indian Railways had a slogan: 


Passengers were exhorted to carry less baggage on the train journey for a better travel experience.

This applies to the journey of life as well.

Every material acquisition – and every relationship – bring some “baggage” along with them

And this baggage” can sometimes reduce the quality of our journey of life.

Suppose you buy a house  or a car  there will be some baggage” along with it  like maintenance costs, taxes, insurance, parking hassles etc – and – you must do a cost-benefit analysis to see whether the comforts outweigh the baggage

Yes – whenever you are thinking of acquiring a material possession – please introspect – and do a cost-benefit analysis to see whether the baggage” the possession brings along with it does not outweigh the comforts the possession gives you.

This is true of relationships like marriage too – which also bring along some emotional baggage.

Yes – apart from material baggage” – we sometimes carry too much emotional baggage” – tangible and intangible emotional baggage – for example:

baggage of power, wealth, fame, ego, pride ... 

baggage of painful relationships

baggage of your past life
baggage like the debris of broken relationships ... 

all types of baggage which contaminate our minds and inner self. 

And  it is this baggage – that inhibits and spoils your smooth and enjoyable journey through life. 
Isn’t the story you read a few moments ago  metaphorically apt  to illustrate this point...?


So  Dear Reader:

Please scroll up and read the story of how the “baggage” of Rats, Cat, Cow and Woman destroyed the Guru’s Vow of Celibacy  thereby ending his quest for Nirvana (Enlightenment and getting him entangled once again in the material world.

Think of all the “baggage” in your life which is inhibiting you from living a blissful life.

Unburden yourself of all your “baggage” 



The Lesser the Baggage  the Better the Journey 

Remember the Indian Railways Slogan: 


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.

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)

American Dream

Do You Think of God in Happy Times...?

_*There is a story of about a sea Captain who in his retirement skippered a boat taking day-trippers to  Islands.*_

_*On one trip, the boat was full of young people. They laughed at the old captain when they saw him say a prayer before sailing out, because the day was fine and the sea was calm.*_

_*However they weren't long at sea when a storm suddenly blew up and the boat began to roll & pitch violently. The terrified passengers came to the captain and asked him to join them in prayer.*_

_*But he replied, "I say my prayers when it's calm. When it's rough I attend to my ship."*_

_*Here is a lesson for us......*_

_*If we cannot seek God in quiet moments of our lives; we are not likely to find him when trouble strikes. We are more likely to panic. But if we have learnt to seek him and trust him in quiet moments, then most certainly we will find him when the going gets rough !😊*_

_*I found this too good not to be shared.*_

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

“Liberation” of a “Liberated Woman”

Fiction Short Story

The “Liberation” of the “Liberated Woman”


This story happened many many years ago. 

I don’t know why – but I have decided to tell you this story about the “Liberated Woman” today – after so many years

The “Liberated Woman – Short Fiction Story by Vikram Karve 

It was her virtuoso performance on the topic “Women’s Liberation” at the “Women’s Empowerment” debate in our college that earned her the soubriquet “Liberated Woman”.

The nickname “Liberated Woman” stuck. 

Even today – I remember her impassioned speech in which she articulated her strong views on “Gender Equality” “Women’s Liberation” and “Women’s Empowerment” in a most lucid and compelling manner.

From the forceful and fervent manner in which she spoke – it was clear that she was speaking from the heart – and – she fully believed in what she was saying.

All of us in the audience were impressed – and – among the audience was a young man.

The young man was the “scion” of a famous industrial family – the son of a business magnate who was the Chief Guest for the debate – which was an important event in our college day celebrations.

The young industrialist was struck by the “Thunderbolt” – Cupid’s Arrow – and  he instantaneously fell in love with “liberated woman”. 

For him – it was truly “love at first sight”.

That night – at the dinner table – while having dinner with his parents  the young man expressed his desire to marry “liberated woman”.

His parents were delighted – because – their son was now 30 years old – and – till now – the young man had refused to consider any marriage proposals.

After “due diligence” – the business magnate learned that “liberated woman” belonged to a good family – though not very rich and affluent.

The business magnate approached the parents of “liberated woman” with the marriage proposal – asking for their daughter’s hand for their son.

The parents of “liberated woman” were delighted – especially her mother – who was overjoyed that her daughter had netted a “prize catch” husband. 

For the mother of “liberated woman” – her daughter’s marriage to the young industrialist was a “social triumph”.

It did not matter that the boy was more than 30 years old – more than 10 years older than their 20 year old daughter.

What mattered was that her daughter would transcend from the “middle class” into the elite class”. 

After her marriage to the rich industrialist – she would “belong” to the highest strata of society.

So – the mother instantly said “yes” to the marriage proposal.

Of course – “liberated woman” – who was still studying in college – in the final year of her BA degree course – was bewildered by the sudden turn of events. 

But – her mother prevailed upon her – using every trick in the book – including all sorts of “emotional blackmail”.

So – “liberated woman” got engaged to the scion of the business family.

And – the moment she completed her graduation – she got married to the young industrialist.


I heard that “liberated woman” was in hospital – so I went to meet her.

It was nothing very serious. 

The “liberated woman” had gone through a difficult pregnancy and had developed some complications during childbirth. 

But now – she was okay – and her baby – a girl – was okay too.

In my presence – the gynecologist visited the “liberated woman”. 

The gynecologist warned her: 

“I will advise you not to have any more children – so you better take some precautions.”


I heard that “liberated woman” was in hospital again.

“Liberated Woman” had once again gone through a terrible pregnancy – developed complications during her delivery – but now – she had recovered and she was okay.

This time too – she had delivered a girl  and the baby girl was healthy too. 

The gynecologist scolded the “liberated woman”:

“I told you not to get pregnant – but you did not listen to me. At least now – please make sure that you do not get pregnant again – it can be dangerous for you...” 

I said to the “liberated woman”:

“Yes – now that you have two children – there is no need to take any more chances...” 

“I think you should get sterilization done – it is a simple operation – I suggest you get it done right now – so that you will not get pregnant again…” the gynecologist said to the “liberated woman”.

“I will ask my husband…” the “liberated woman” said to the gynecologist. 

“Okay – but I strongly suggest that you get yourself sterilized – or your husband can get himself sterilized – so that you can prevent pregnancy which can be dangerous for you…” the gynecologist said.

After the gynecologist left – I looked at my friend “liberated woman” and I said to her: 

“The doctor had told you not to get pregnant after your first delivery. Why did you not listen to the doctor? You already had a baby girl? What was the need to get pregnant again? And – why did you get pregnant so fast – within a year?”

“My husband wanted a boy...” the “liberated woman” said.

“What...? I can’t believe it. You put your life at risk just because your husband wanted a boy...? And – in college – you used to…” I said. 

“I know – I used to talk big feminist things about “women’s empowerment” and “gender equality” and the “girl child” – yes – those days I did say all that. So – you can call me a hypocrite – you can say that I am a fraud – but please try to understand – it is easy to talk idealistic things – but it is not easy to practice them in real life…?” the “liberated woman” said.

“What do you mean…?” I asked her. 

“I am married into a conservative patriarchal business family – and they want an “heir” – a male – and what is worse – my husband’s cousin brother has a son – so my husband is desperate – it’s very complicated – you won’t understand – let’s talk something else…” the “liberated woman” pleaded with to me.


We had a college Alumni Meet.

There – I met a classmate – and she said to me: 

“Did you hear the sad news about “Liberated Woman”…?”

“No. What happened…?” I said.

“Don’t you know…?”


“She passed away…”

“What…? “Liberated Woman” is dead...? How did she die…?”

“She died in childbirth…”

“Oh – that is tragic – very tragic – she had been warned by the gynecologist that she should not get pregnant…”

“I know – but her husband insisted that they should try for a boy – so she let her husband make her pregnant again. Yes – despite the medical advice to avoid pregnancy – she still got pregnant. During her pregnancy she had a very difficult time – so her husband flew her abroad and admitted her to a posh maternity home in her 7th month itself – she got the best prenatal care – and they got the best doctors for her delivery. But even the best doctors could not save her. I heard there were severe complications during the delivery and she died in the Operation Theatre – poor thing. She died. But – they saved the baby…”

“Really…? They saved the baby...? What was the baby – a girl…?”

“No – a boy – after two girls  she delivered a boy…”

“Oh – so finally  she delivered a boy…”


“The “Liberated Woman” has been “Liberated”…” I said to myself.

“Did you say something…?” my classmate asked me.

“No…” I said, “I was just thinking about “Women’s Liberation”…”

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.

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.

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)

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)