Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Unfinished Story



This story happened many years ago during my Naval Dockyard Mumbai days.



Story from My Naval Dockyard Days







During my Navy Days – whenever I applied for leave – especially casual leave – sometimes – my boss would ask me the reason why I wanted leave – but – I did not have to mention the same on the leave application form.

The leave application form asked for various details like number of days of leave required, type of leave, address and phone number during leave period etc – but there was no requirement to mention the reason for leave.

In contrast – civilian employees had to mention the reason for leave on their leave application form – at least in the Naval Dockyard – where this story happened many years ago.

There was one more difference between uniformed navy personnel and civilian employees as far as leave was concerned.

In the Navy (and maybe in Army and Air Force too) – remaining absent without leave was an offence – you were treated as AWOL (Absent Without Official Leave) or “marked run” in Navy parlance – and if you didn’t report for duty after a telegram was sent to your home address – you could be arrested and punished severely.

In the case of civilian employees – things were quite lenient – and such absences from duty without sanctioned leave were generally regularised by “ex-post-facto” approvals – sometimes – “benevolent” seniors even regularised long absences by granting “leave without pay” in case all the accumulated leave was exhausted.





The moment I saw the reason for leave on the leave application form – I burst out into laughter.

In fact – three of my key supervisors had mentioned the same reason.

My deputy had forwarded the leave applications with the remark “Not Recommended”.

“What’s the problem…?” I asked him.

“Sir – there is an important meeting on that day – for which all supervisors are required – especially these three…” my deputy said.

“Ask these three guys to see me at 12:30 – when they come for lunch break – before I go for lunch…” I said to my deputy – and – I kept the three leave applications in my drawer.

“Sir – are you going to give them leave…? I didn’t understand the reason they have mentioned…” my deputy asked me.

“Didn’t you ask them…?” I said to my deputy.

“I did, Sir – I asked them what was so important on that day – I told them to postpone their leave in view of the important meeting – but they said that I wouldn’t understand but you would – Sir – I don’t think you should give them leave on that day…” my deputy said.

“Let’s see – I’ll talk to them – and the reason they have mentioned – I will explain it to your later – in fact – you also be present at 12:30 when they come – so – you can hear it from them…” I said to my deputy.

“Aye Aye, Sir…” my deputy said to me – he saluted – and he left my office.





Dear Reader – in order to give you a bit of background – let me tell you about an incident that happened in the very first week of my taking up my appointment as the manager of a premier department in the Dockyard.

I noticed that a civilian officer was missing from the morning meeting.

When I enquired about his absence – my deputy said that he was on “sick leave”.

“What…? Sick Leave…? He seemed to be quite okay yesterday. What’s wrong with him…?” I asked my deputy.

“Sir – he called up a few minutes ago saying that he had high fever – must be flu or something…” my deputy said.

“Let’s hope he gets well soon…” I said to everyone.

For uniformed personnel – you had to report sick to the sickbay or clinic or hospital – and hade to be declared SIQ (Sick in Quarters) or get admitted to hospital – if you were absent from duty due to sickness,

In the case of civilian employees – a telephonic intimation was enough. On reporting for duty – they had to submit a doctor’s certificate with brief details of their sickness and certifying that they were sick were not fit to perform their duty on those days. The “sick leave” was approved ex-post-facto.

I looked at the wall clock in my office – it was 9:30 AM

“I have to visit the Store Depot at Ghatkopar…” I said – then – I looked at the Stores Officer and asked him, “have you tied up everything…? Are we getting transport…?”

“Sir – they will be waiting for us at 11:30 AM – Sir – there is no transport available – they have given an NA (Non-Availability) Certificate – so – we will have to go by local…”

“Okay – I’ll quickly change into civvies – and we will walk down to VT and catch a local…” I said to the Stores Officer.


Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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1. This story is a spoof, 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 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.
3. E&OE

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