Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Humor in Uniform – The Military “Cashless Economy” – “Black Gold” Cashless Transactions

Humor in Uniform 

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.


“Cashless Economy”  and  Cashless Transactions  were encouraged after  Demonetization  which happened a few years ago. 

I wrote this spoof at that time. 

Dear Reader: Here is the spoof once more for you to read... 

The Military “Cashless Economy” – “Black Gold” Cashless Transactions

Gradually – all “exclusive” military perks are being abolished or diluted. 

Sometime back – CSD Canteen Facilities (which were initially meant for uniformed Armed Forces Personnel and Military Veterans) – these CSD Canteen Facilities were extended to all Defence Civilians – even after their retirement. 

While Civil Services and Paramilitary/CAPFs keep getting what were once exclusive” military perks – there is no reciprocity – and Defence Personnel do not get Civilian Benefits like Higher Retirement Age of 60 years, NFU (Non-Functional Upgradation) resulting in enhanced Pay/Pension, ACP (Assured Career Progression) resulting in Faster Promotions etc. 

So – day by day – in relative terms – the Civil Services are becoming more and more attractive compared to the Defence Services.

The military perk of “Ration in Kind” was discontinued for Defence Officers (I understand that efforts are being made to restore the same)

Now – it seems that the only exclusive” military perk that remains is Concessional CSD Liquor Quota

Observing all this – a Military Wife commented that this gradual removal of military perks is the fault of Defence Personnel themselves – who misuse these perks and are “over-generous” in helping their civilian friends. 

She opined that Defence Personnel should stop misusing the “Concessional CSD Liquor Quota” facility – and – she said that Military “Faujis” should stop being “over-generous” in treating their Civilian Friends to “Fauji Booze – otherwise even this solitary exclusive” military perk would soon be discontinued. 

All this reminded me of a spoof I had written sometime ago during the Demonetization days. 

I am re-posting the spoof for you to read. 

Dear Reader: Please remember that I wrote this spoof a few years ago – and things may have changed now – so – just take it with a pinch of salt and have a laugh. 

“Black Gold” Cashless Transactions
A Fictional Spoof

The Military is always way ahead of Civilians.

It is a well-known fact that most of the “Cutting-Edge” Technologies and “State-of-the Art” Management Systems were first invented/developed by the Military and then put to civilian use (mostly in the USA).

But – do you know that “Cashless Economy” was in vogue long ago – since many decades – in Indian Military Environment – for so many years – and – Civilians are going hyper about “Cashless Economy” now – especially after Demonetization.

Of course – those “good old days” many decades ago – were many years before Computers were invented – and – the Internet was a long way off – so – there was no question of “Digital” or “Online” transactions.

The mode of transaction prevalent way back then – in the “Military Cashless System” was “Black Gold” aka “Military Rum” (which Military Personnel got at concessional rates in their Canteens/Messes).

(Yes, Dear Reader – like “Coal” is called “Black Diamond” in Mining Jargon – “Military Rum” is called “Black Gold” in Military Parlance)

In order to explain how “Black Gold Cashless Transactions” operated – let me tell you an “apocryphal” story.  

Long back – an Army Officer was selected for the prestigious “Staff College” course at Wellington.

The moment he came to know of his selection – he started collecting bottles of “Military Rum” aka “Black Gold”. 

(As I told you earlier – in military parlance – Rum is called “Black Gold”) 

The Army Officer (selected for Staff College) – he asked his fellow officers to “sacrifice” a few bottles of Rum from their Liquor Quota – he begged the Canteen Officer and Mess Secretary for a few bottles of Rum.

“I want to get through Staff College comfortably – and – for that – I need at least a few cases of “Black Gold”…” he said. 

(One Case = 12 Bottles of Rum) 

I was surprised that the Army Officer needed so many bottles of Rum to get through Staff College – so I innocently asked him: 

“Really…? Is Staff College so tough…? Do you need to drink so much Rum  to be able to perform all the studies – and complete all the assignments – to get through and qualify Staff College…?” 

The Officer laughed and said to me: 

“Are you crazy…? I am not going to drink all that Rum. In fact – I am a teetotaller – I don’t touch alcohol…” he said, “the Rum is not for me to drink – Rum is “Black Gold” – and – I need plenty of “Black Gold” to get things done out there – “Black Gold” is much more valuable than Cash – in fact – for some things they don’t accept cash – they only want “Black Gold”….”

For obvious reasons – I will not spell out the “Cashless Transactions” which “Black Gold” could perform so seamlessly and economically.

If you have served in the military – you may have seen “cashless transactions” at various places for a variety of goods and services – in fact – in cantonments – most “service providers” insist on “Cashless Transactions” using “Black Gold”. 

Earlier – when Officers travelled by Train – and you had to move at short notice without reservation – instead of giving cash bribes to to get a seat/berth – havent you preferred “Cashless Transactions” using “Black Gold” to pay the bribe to get a seat/berth...?

When Handing/Taking Over Houses – havent you had to use “Cashless Transactions” using “Black Gold” to satisfy MES personnel who would otherwise enter “damages” resulting in huge recoveries from you...? 

Tell me – havent you had to resort to “Cashless Transactions” using “Black Gold” for so many things – especially in cantonments...? 

So – isnt the Military the pioneer in “Cashless Transactions”...?

And now – as usual – after so many years – Civilians are emulating the Military in the domain of “Cashless Economy” – albeit – they are using “Digital Technology” instead of “Black Gold” for “Cashless Transactions”.

Cheers – have a good day !!! 

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© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

1. This 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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