Friday, October 9, 2015

“Bombay Revolutions” and “Stealing Affections”

I love reading short stories – but more than that – I love writing short stories.

But – a funny thing happens every time I write a story.

First – I write the story – but – after some time – the story starts writing itself.

This is exactly what happened to the story you are about to read.

I had planned a compact 500 word story – suitable for online reading as ‘Blog Fiction’.

But – like I said – you cannot ‘plan’ creative writing in the same way as you can ‘plan’ non-creative writing.

So – once I realized that things were not going as per my ‘plan’ – I let go – and – I let the story write itself.

This is what I wrote yesterday – and as you can see – brevity is not one of my strong points – and I do not know how long the story will finally turn out to be.

So – I thought – whatever I have written so far – Parts 1 and 2 of the story – maybe I should post it for you to read.

Meanwhile – I will continue to write the story – and I hope I will be able to post Part 3 by this evening…

Short Fiction  A Story

Part 1 – “Bombay Revolutions”

Circa 1977

There was an unexpected change in our ship’s program and our ship was ordered to sail back to Mumbai (or Bombay – as it was then called).

We were scheduled to return to Mumbai the next month – but all of a sudden we were detached and asked to go to Mumbai.

God knows what the reason was – but no one was interested in that.

The crew was delighted.

Mumbai was our home port – and we had been out for a long time – first – on a 3 month deployment to the east – and then – this never-ending exercise in the west.

And suddenly – we were heading home.

The married were looking forward to reuniting with their families.

The bachelors were excited about having a good time in the “maximum city” after a wearying time at sea punctuated by most boring visits to some lackluster ports.

But – I was most delighted of all – for I would be meeting my fiancée after more than 3 long months.

I stood in the bridge wings watching the fo’c’sle of our ship slice across the cool blue sea.

It was evident that the Engineers were generously adding a few “Bombay Revolutions” to the Engine Orders – because the ship was moving much faster than it should have – and I was sure the Captain noticed this – but then – it was all in the game – and he too was keen to get back to Mumbai.

We reached Mumbai just after noon – around 12:30 – and I was the first one ashore – the moment the gangway was placed.

It was a Saturday – and though it was a “make and mend” – it would take some time to secure all the sailing gear – and by the time “liberty” would be announced – it may be 2 or even 2:30 in the afternoon.

My fiancée Menaka had a half-day on Saturdays – and I wanted to give her a surprise – before she left at 1:30.

So – the moment the gangway was placed – I left the ship in uniform – telling the OOD that I was going for some urgent work in the Dockyard.

I quickly walked to Menaka’s office in Fort – walking the fastest mile of my life.

“Menaka has already left,” the receptionist in Menaka’s office said.

“Already left…?” I asked, “But it is not even 1 o’clock…”

“Menaka said she had some urgent work – and she left around half an hour ago – say 12:30 or so…” the receptionist said.

I noticed that the receptionist was looking at me in a curious sort of way – maybe – because I was in white Navy uniform – but then – I had come here before in uniform – and she surely knew that Menaka and I were seeing each other.

I thanked her – and walked down the staircase – into the street.

I called a Taxi – and asked the driver to take me to the Working Women’s Hostel in Colaba.

But – to my disappointment – I did not find Menaka over there too.

“Well – her room key is here – so it seems that Menaka hasn’t come back from office,” the hostel warden said, “but today is Saturday – she should be back by 1:30 or 2 – why don’t you wait in the visitors’ room…”

I sat in the visitors’ room of the working women’s hostel – time passed slowly – as I anxiously waited for Menaka – wondering where she had gone from office.

(Remember – this happened 38 years ago – in the year 1977 – when there were no mobile phones – and there was no way I could contact Menaka – so I had no option – but to wait patiently for her…).

The dining hall was next to the visitors’ room – and many girls were staring at me – since I was looking conspicuous in my uniform – and started feeling a sense of irritation and embarrassment.

I waited – an excruciating wait.

And then – my patience ran out.

I looked at my watch – it was 2:30.

“Might as well pick up my bike from the Mess,” I thought to myself.

Since I would be out at sea on long sailing – I had left my motorcycle in the care of my course-mate and best friend Anand who was posted ashore and lived in the Command Mess.

Anand did not have a bike – so he was quite happy to use mine.

Today being a Saturday – Anand too would have had a “make and mend” half-day routine – and would be back in the Mess by now.

I took a taxi – and reached the Mess.

I could see my bike in the parking lot.

I looked at my watch – it was nearly 3 o’clock – Anand must have had his lunch and would be in his cabin.

Being a fitness fanatic – I briskly walked up the staircase to the 3rd floor – where Anand’s cabin was located.

The corridors were deserted.

I knocked on the door of his cabin.

There was no response.

I knocked again – louder.

Still – no response.

Maybe – Anand was in deep slumber after some “elbow bending” on Saturday afternoon – guzzling beer.

So – I banged on the door.

“Who is it…? I am sleeping now – come later…” I could hear Anand’s voice – full of irritation.

“It’s me…” I shouted, “I have come for my bike keys…”

There was silence.

After some time – I banged the door again.

“Wait – I am coming…” Anand said.

A few moments later – Anand opened the door.

He did not open the door fully – but just a little bit – and in his hand he had my bike keys.

“You were supposed to come back next week, isn’t it…?” Anand said.

“We came back early…” I said.

“Oh – take the keys – your bike is below…” Anand gave me the bike keys – and he began closing the door.

“Hey – what’s wrong – won’t you call me in…?” I said, surprised at his strange behavior.  

“Not now – I will come to your ship in the evening…” Anand said.

I was bewildered at the mysterious way in which he was behaving with me.

Something was wrong.

As he began to close the door – on a sudden impulse – I pushed open the door.

I looked past Anand – into the room.

I saw the handbag at once – the black shoulder bag that I gifted Menaka – her favourite handbag – the one she always took to office.

Menaka’s black handbag was resting on a chair.

On the ground – were a pair of high-heels – ladies shoes – I recognized them too – I had bought them for Menaka when we had gone out shopping in Colaba.

On the peg table there was an empty bottle of beer and two glasses…

Even a blind man could see what was going on – and I was certainly not blind.

“You please go now – I have given you your bike keys…” Anand said, putting his arm on my shoulder and trying to guide me out of the room.

I pushed him aside roughly – and I asked him: “Is Menaka inside…?”

“It is none of your business…”

“It is very much my business,” I interrupted, “Menaka is my fiancée…”

“I told you to go – please leave my cabin…” Anand said – trying to shove me out.

I lost my temper and I hit him hard – a strong right handed punch straight on his nose.

It was a knock-out punch.

Anand staggered – and collapsed on the ground.

I pushed open the bedroom door.

The bed was crumpled – and – scattered all over the floor – were garments of Menaka’s dress – the same green dress which I had bought for Menaka on her last birthday.

The bathroom door was closed.

I pushed the door – but it was locked from inside.

I kicked open the bathroom door.

Menaka was inside the bathroom – trying to cover her naked body with a towel.

I wanted to kill her.

I raised my hand and started moving towards her.

Menaka started screaming hysterically: “Please…Please…Please don’t hit me – please go away…”

Menaka cowered against the wall – and she was shivering with fear.

It was a disgusting sight – repugnant – horrid – and I was overcome by a sickening sensation.

I could bear it no longer – so I just walked out of the room – and fled down the stairs.

20 Years Later...

Part 2 – “Stealing Affections”

Circa 1997

“Hi,” she said.

I did not recognize her.

“It looks like you haven’t recognized me,” she said.

“I am sorry…” I began to say.

But – she interrupted me – and she said: “I am Mala – your coursemate Arun’s sister.”

“Oh – I am so sorry – I really didn’t…”

“You don’t remember Arun…? Arun Roy…?” she asked.

“Yes – I do remember Arun – he was in my Squadron in the Academy – then he went to the Army – and we lost touch…”

“So – you remember Arun – but you don’t meeting remember me…?”

“Frankly – I really don’t recall…”

“Didn’t we meet at the Ordnance Club in Calcutta – your ship had come to Kolkata – it was called Calcutta those days – don’t you remember…?”

“That must have been long back…”

“So you have forgotten – doesn’t matter – I have quite a ‘forgettable’ face – so how will you remember a ‘Plain Jane’ like me – but how can I forget a handsome face like yours – you look just the same – with your majestic beard…”

I felt most embarrassed.

This must have happened 20 years ago – in 1977 – during our east coast deployment – before the heartbreaking incident with Menaka.

I remembered the ship visit to Kolkata.

I remembered going to ordnance club – drinking away with my shipmates – there were so many ‘pongos’ too – we met so many people – maybe Arun and his sister were there too – but it must have been a fleeting meeting – and I must have been quite drunk – so – I really did not remember her.

“My Dad was in the Army those days – a Brigadier – and Arun had come on leave – so we were all sitting in Ordnance Club playing Tombola – and when I went with Arun to pick up drinks from the bar – he saw you drinking away with your shipmates – so we walked across – and Arun said ‘Hi’ to you – and he introduced me to you – and we even called you to come and sit with us – but you said that you hated Tombola – and when we came to find you after the Tombola was over – you had already left…”

“I must say you have a terrific memory…” I said.

“Actually I liked you so much – you looked so handsome with your Navy style beard and all – that I fell for you – love at first sight – and I told Arun that I wanted to marry you – and he told my Dad and Mom…”


“So – my Dad visited your ship the next morning – and he spoke to your Captain – and enquired about you…”

“I can’t believe this…”

“But – your Captain told my Dad that you were already engaged to some girl in Mumbai…”

“He said that…?”

“Yes – so my Dad said that ‘stealing affections’ was not a good thing and that I should forget about you…”


“So – my parents found me a ‘suitable match’ – a nice Army Officer – and I got married to him…”

“Oh – that’s great…”

“My husband was also your course-mate – like Arun…”

“Really…? Who…?”


“Oh – ‘Dippy’ – we were in the same squadron – so you married ‘Dippy’ – I must meet him…”

“I am afraid you can’t…”

“I can’t meet him…? Why…?”

“He passed away 3 years ago…”

“Oh My God – I am very sorry…”

“Actually – that’s why I am here in the bank – to settle some family pension issues…” she said.

“Oh – I am really very sorry…”

“You seem to have lost track of everyone – and everyone seems to have lost track of you – they said that you left the Navy early and disappeared into thin air…”

“Yes – I quit in 1978 – and went abroad – ‘burnt my bridges’ – so to speak – I worked all over the world – all sorts of jobs – I have earned enough – and now I have come back after so many years to settle down in Pune – I have invested my money well – and I am financially quite comfortable – so I intend to enjoy the rest of my life…”

“You quit in 1978…? They allowed you to quit so early…? After just 5 years of service…?”

“Yes – I resigned on compassionate grounds…”


“Your wife – kids – all have them have come back…”

“I don’t have a wife…”

“Oh – I am sorry…”

“No – No – I am a bachelor – I never got married…”

“And – why is that…?”

“I told you – I had quite a nomadic existence – working in all sorts of jobs – all over the world – so it was easy to remain a bachelor…”

“But now – you have decided to settle down…?”


“Any marriage plans…?”

“Maybe – if someone is available…”

“I am available…” she said, tongue-in-cheek.

I was stunned.

I could never imagine a woman propositioning me so openly.

She must have seen the shocked look on my face – so she said to me: “Hey – I was just joking – I am sorry if I have not annoyed you…”

“No – No – it’s okay…”

“I am such a big blabbermouth – we are meeting for the first time – and I am boring you with all my talk…”

“No – No – I am enjoying talking to you…” I said.

“Really – so you finish your work in the bank – and we will go somewhere where we can talk – let’s go to RSI – we can have a drink – and then some lunch…”

“Okay,” I said, “I just have to collect an FD Receipt – and then we will go…”

Half an hour later – we – the woman and I – we were sitting the cool environs of the RSI club bar – drinking beer – and from her demeanour – I had a distinct impression that she was flirting with me.

To Be Continued...

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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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Friends With Benefits

A Love Story
Short Fiction

Dramatis Personae

Rohan – The Husband
Lata – The Wife
Nisha – The “Other Woman” (Narrator of the Story)

“LONELY HEARTS” – Love Story by Vikram Karve

I look at myself in the mirror.

I do not like what I see.

My face looks terrible – my skin, my lips, my eyes – they all look haggard.

And my eyebrows, my hair – they look unkempt.

Everything about me looks awful.

To put it bluntly – I look horrible.

I desperately need to go the beauty parlour.

I must have a good makeover to make myself presentable.

Today is Sunday.

I’ll go to that exclusive beauty salon near Churchgate – and I’ll get the full works done – from head to toe.

My mobile phone rings.

It is Rohan.

If it was anyone else – I would have rejected the call – or ignored it.

But since it is Rohan – I pick up my cell phone – and I say, “Hi Rohan. What happened? Calling so early in the morning?”

“It’s 8 o’clock,” Rohan says.

“It’s Sunday – I just woke up – I was about to brush my teeth,” I say.

“Oh – I am sorry – but I wanted to come and see you. Are you free? Can I come now – or should I come later?” Rohan says.

If it was anyone else – I would have told them to come later – because I would not want them to see me in my horrible unsightly state.

But with Rohan it is different – with him – I can be myself.

“Come over,” I say, “I’ll brush my teeth and shower. I should be ready by the time you drive down.”

“I am standing outside your door,” Rohan says.

“What…? You are already here?” I say, surprised.

“Yes – if you want – I’ll go down and wait for you in the lobby,” he says.

I look at myself in the mirror once more.

I really look ghastly.

But it is okay.

As I told you before – with Rohan – I can be myself.

“Hey Nisha – what happened…?” Rohan interrupts my train of thoughts.

“Just wait there – I am coming to open the door,” I say.

I disconnect Rohan’s call on my mobile phone – and I walk towards the door.

I open the door.

Rohan looks all dressed up, freshly bathed, smelling good.

“You look good,” I say.

“You look terrible,” he says, “and you are reeking of rum – in fact, you smell like a distillery.”

“I know – I drank too much rum last night. Rohan – you please sit down – I’ll quickly have a shower and get ready,” I say.

“Hey – I picked up some hot idlis and coffee for you on the way. Why don’t you have some coffee first to cure your hangover?” Rohan says, taking out a parcel and a flask from his ubiquitous backpack.

“No – I haven’t even brushed my teeth – just give me a few minutes to freshen up…” I say.

When I come out of my bedroom – I see that Rohan has already laid out the plates with the idlissambar and chutney.

“Should I pour the coffee?” he asks.

“Not now – we’ll have coffee after we eat,” I say.

“Okay,” he says.

“So – what brings you here so early in the morning?” I ask.

“Nothing – I just felt lonely…” Rohan says.

“Lonely…? Where is Lata…?” I ask.

“She has gone to play golf,” Rohan says.

“Golf…? Here at the club…? Why didn’t you go to play with her…?” I ask.

“No – not here – Lata has gone to some fancy golf course near Pune…”

“Really…? But you could have gone with her…”

“She did not want me to come…”

“What…? Lata did not want you to go with her…?”

“Yes – she did not want me to go with her…”

“But why…?”

“She feels embarrassed by me…”

“Embarrassed…? What are you saying…?”

“She is out of my league now – so she feels embarrassed that I am her husband…”

“Just shut up – you are talking all nonsense…”

“No – it is true – ever since she joined that MNC – my wife is ashamed of my ‘middle class mentality’ – especially in front of her bosses and colleagues…”

“I can’t believe it – ‘middle class mentality’ – what does she mean by that…?

“Well, I don’t know – you better ask her that…”

“So – what happened…?”

“Yesterday afternoon I came back after a long sailing – I wanted to spend some together at home – but Lata had to go for this corporate party – all the top bosses of her company have come over for a review from abroad – so I tagged along – I am sure Lata did not want to take me along – but her boss insisted that she get her ‘sailor’ husband…”

“So you enjoyed the party…?”

“Yes – the party was good – excellent booze and delicious food – but I got into an argument with a drunken ‘firangi’ who was speaking derogatory things about India – so Lata got miffed because I was rude to him…”

“Rude…? Argument…? Why…?”

“The snobbish bugger was criticizing everything in India – I listened for some time – but when he crossed all limits and continued talking ill of us – I gave it back to him nice and proper…”


“What do you mean ‘good’…? The ‘firangi’ bugger turned out to be a big shot – he is the ‘Top Man’ in Lata’s MNC – so Lata kept apologizing to him for my behaviour…”

“But why has Lata gone outstation to play golf…?”

“Well – all the top bosses of her company have come from Singapore, Hong Kong – from all over the world – and when they learnt the Lata played golf – they invited her to come along with them – they are going to play a round of golf – and then all the company bigwigs will spend the evening partying at the golf resort – I think it is more of corporate networking than golf…”

“But you could have gone with her – doesn’t Lata come for all our Navy parties? It was rude of her boss not to invite you – especially when you play golf so well…”

“Her boss did ask me to come along for the golf trip. But before I could say anything – Lata told him that I was working today…”

“But why should she do that…?”

“I told you – didn’t I …? Why are you asking me again and again…? Lata feels embarrassed of me in front of her office colleagues – she feels that I lack ‘social graces’ – and she is especially angry after what happened last evening when I gave it back to that ‘firangi’ guy – she is scared I may open my big mouth and say something that may offend her top bosses. So she has pushed off to enjoy the weekend with them and left me high and dry. I am feeling terrible…”

“Come on Rohan – cheer up – let Lata play golf with her bosses – we’ll spend the day together.

“I never thought Lata would become so ambitious – she has become desperate for success – and the way she is behaving nowadays, it looks like she will do anything to get it – she may even sleep with that bloody ‘firangi’ top boss…”

“No – don’t say that – I know her – Lata is a simple girl…”

“Oh, yes – Lata was a simple small town girl – but that was before we got married – now she has changed – especially after joining this MNC. Now – Lata feels that she has overtaken me in status – she feels that she has gone way ahead of me – and now she is out my league…”

“Out of your league…?”

“Tell me Nisha – you know Lata’s background – what was she before marriage? Wasn’t she a bloody rustic ignoramus ‘plain jane’…? Whatever she is today is because of me…”

“Well, that is true, Rohan – Lata was just a nondescript BA from an unknown small town college. Yes – you are right – what Lata is today – it is all because of you…”

“I was the one who encouraged her to do her MBA…”

“I remember…”

“And tell me – had she ever seen an officers’ club in her life – and golf – who taught her golf – would she ever have got an opportunity to play golf had she not married me…?”

“Lata always wanted to marry an officer – and she was desperate to escape from her backward hometown and live in modern society – she told me that…”

“And you fixed her up with me…?”

“Her parents asked me if there was a suitable boy I knew – preferably an officer – and I told them about you – and then all of you arranged the marriage…”

“When I asked you to marry me – you refused…”

“Well – at that time – I did not feel it was right for me to marry a fellow officer – I thought ‘in-service marriage’ would be like fraternization…”

“Ha Ha – ‘in-service marriage’ – that’s a load of bullshit – and what bloody ‘fraternization’ are you talking about? Most of the female officers are marrying male officers. And it’s the same in the army and air force too…”

“I know. No civilian wants to marry a ‘fauji’ female – even my own relationship broke up because of this…”

“You were in a relationship…? We are such good friends and you never told me about this before…”

“It happened much before I met you – even before I joined the academy…”

“So – who was it…?”

“He was my classmate at IIT – in fact – after B. Tech. – both of us were placed at the same IT company at Pune – and we worked in same Software Development Project – they even sent us abroad to the US for a few months for onsite work – that is when we got close – so when we came back to India we started dating each other…”

“So – why didn’t you get married to him…?”

“Because – in a burst of jingoism – I decided to join the Navy…”

“You didn’t tell him…?”

“At first he thought I was joking – then when the SSB call came – he told me not to go – but I said I was just going for fun – but then I got selected – and I decided to join the Navy…”

“So – what happened…?”

“He was furious – and he dumped me…”

“He dumped you – why…?”

“He said that he did not want a ‘gun-toting’ wife – and that having a ‘fauji’ wife did not fit into his life plans. He pleaded with me not to join the navy – he asked me to continue in the Software Firm – he said that he had plans for both of us – we were being sent to the US again in a few months – and then we both would both to stay on in America forever…”

“And then…?”

“I made the biggest mistake of my life – I quit my lucrative and promising software job and joined the navy – and I lost everything…”

“Lost everything…? What do you mean…?”

“On the personal front – my boyfriend dumped me – and on the career front – I was doomed to teaching algebra and geometry to newly recruited sailors…”

“Algebra and geometry…? What are you saying…?”

“Well – after the academy – the first posting they gave me was to the sailors’ basic training unit – and what do Education Officers do anyway – teach sailors – or look after libraries like I am doing now – you know – had I stayed on as a Techie in the IT industry – I would have been working in a top software job in Seattle – happily married and all…”


“Yes – that’s where he is – actually he had discreetly talked to our clients about a job for me too – so that when both of us went to Seattle for our next onsite assignment – we would quietly switch over jobs after a few months – and remain there…”


“And – suddenly – like an impulsive fool – in a fit of jingoism – I joined the Navy. He was so angry with me – that after dumping me – he got married to one of our colleagues – must be on the rebound – but anyway – both of them are doing well out there. And what did I do…? I screwed up my life nice and proper by joining the Navy. Just imagine – I was doing well as a Techie – I had great career prospects – I was going steady with a boy I liked – I had everything going for me – and now – everything is finished – my life – my career – everything…”

“Come on Nisha – don’t say that – things are not that bad – and you should reduce your drinking – and why do you drink all alone in your cabin – at least you can go and drink in the wardroom bar, or in the club, and make some friends...” Rohan says.

“Friends…? Where can I find friends to drink with in the bar…? All my course-mates are married – and no young bachelor wants to date a 34 year old hag…”

“You are 34…?”

“Yes, Sir – I am 2 years older than you – you joined straight after graduation – I worked for 3 years after my engineering and then I joined the navy…”

“It is surprising – we are so close to each other – but you never told me all this about being dumped before…” Rohan says.

“Maybe I never felt so lonely before…?”

“Lonely – you are feeling lonely – that is exactly how I am feeling – lonely. In fact – it was because I was feeling so lonely that I came here so early in the morning…”

“But why should you feel lonely…? You are married…?”

“What marriage…? Lata is busy with her job – and her obsession to break the glass ceiling. And in any case, Nisha – marriage or no marriage – I am certainly going to be very lonely for the next 2-3 years – and the worst part is that even you won’t be there…”

“Why…? What are you saying…?”

“I have got my first command – but the ship is based in Port Blair…”

“Wow – you have got your command so fast – you should be celebrating…”

“I know – but Lata is refusing to come with me to Port Blair…”

“Her job…?”


“She can take a few years off – a ‘sabbatical’…”

Rohan starts laughing.

Then – in a sarcastic tone – Rohan says: “Lata taking a ‘Sabbatical’ – are you crazy or something...? Aren’t you hearing what I am saying all this time…?”

“Why – what happened…?” I ask him.

“Forget about taking a few years off – Lata has bigger plans – she is planning to relocate to Singapore – she is desperately lobbying for a prized job at the company headquarters there – and I am sure she is going to get what she wants – why do you think all this ‘golf diplomacy’ and partying is going on…?”

“But what about your family life…?”

“What family life…? First, she postponed having kids till she completed her MBA. Then – she wanted to wait till she settled down in her career. And now – it looks like she will be off to Singapore – while I languish all alone in Port Blair. I don’t think she is interested in having kids – or in family life – in fact, sometimes I feel that Lata has no use for me now – she has used me as a stepping stone – and now she is busy in her career rat-race on her way upwards to break the glass ceiling…”

“Why don’t you talk to her…?” I say.

“I did…”


“Lata asked me to quit the Navy…”

“She asked you to quit the Navy…?”

Yes – Lata told me that she is quite sure she would get that coveted job in Singapore – and then she had the audacity to tell me that she would wangle some job in HR for me out there…”

“So what’s wrong…? At least you two can stay together…”

“But why the hell should I quit the Navy and take up some insignificant nondescript HR job and play second-fiddle to her? I like the Navy – and I have got my ship command so early – I have a bright future here…”

“Yes – at least you have a future in the Navy – but for me – both my personal life and career are screwed up nice and proper…” I say.

“Why…? What happened to your career…?” Rohan asks.

“Don’t you know…? My 10 years are getting over soon – and I will be out of the Navy – high and dry…”

“You can sign up for 4 years more…”

“And do what…? At least now I am a 34 year old hag – I still have a chance of finding someone – 4 years more – and I will become a 38 year old shrew – and the way things are going – I may land up becoming ‘alcohol dependent’ as well…”

“Maybe you can find someone in the Navy…?” he asks.

“Do you have someone in mind…?” I ask him.

“Anyway – let’s talk something better,” Rohan says, “I am leaving for Port Blair on Thursday. Today is the last Sunday we have together – so let us have a good time – you get ready fast – let’s go for the morning show at Eros or Regal – both the movies are good – then we can have lunch wherever you want – and maybe after that we can go to the races…”

In the evening – when we were walking on Marine Drive – Lata called up Rohan to tell him that she would be coming home only the next morning as she had to attend a campfire party with her company bigwigs at the golf resort. 

Lata also told Rohan that she was getting the Singapore job which she had desperately wanted.

Lata also told Rohan that she had spoken about his HR job too.

I looked at Rohan.

He looked disappointed – and he said, “See – I told you – this is the last Sunday before I leave for Port Blair – and – instead of spending some time with me – Lata is busy furthering her career.”

I marveled at the metamorphosis in Lata.

The way she had transformed herself from a simple, small-town girl into an ambitious careerist was incredible.

Yes – now – as Rohan was saying – Lata was indeed putting her career before her marriage.

Lata is my friend.

I do not want to steal her husband.

But if Lata wants to throw her husband into my arms – then there is nothing I can do about it.

Yes – if Lata wants to throw Rohan into my arms – then I am quite willing to have him there.

Rohan and me – we were already good friends.

Why not strike while the iron is hot’ – and upgrade our relationship.

From just good friends’  maybe we could now become friends with benefits’.

And then – hopefully – our relationship would develop into something more intense.


Next morning – the moment I reach office – I tell my boss that I want to sign up for 4 more years.

“That’s good,” the Commodore says, “but you have already spent 3 years here in Mumbai – and if you sign up for an extension – you may have to go on a transfer.”

“Sir – is it possible to get a choice transfer?” I ask.

“I know the DOP  I’ll try – tell me – where do you want to go…?” the Commodore says.

“Port Blair…” I say.

“Port Blair...? Are you sure…?” the Commodore asks, looking surprised.

“Yes, Sir – I want to go to Port Blair...” I say.

“Well – Port Blair shouldn’t be a problem at all – consider it done – I am so happy that lady officers like you are volunteering for tough stations like Port Blair…” the Commodore says – and he picks up the phone to make a call.

One month later  I am on my way to Port Blair.

Of course – I have already called up Rohan and told him to receive me at the airport.

And – Rohan’s wife Lata – she has got that coveted job in Singapore and she will be heading there soon.

Believe it or not – when I met Lata to tell her that I had been transferred to Port Blair – do you know what she said?

Lata told me to look after her husband Rohan.

Oh yes – I am certainly going to look after Rohan very well...!

You can take my word for it.

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
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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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This is a revised version of my story titled A HUSBAND – A WIFE – AND THE “OTHER WOMAN” was written by me Vikram Karve on March 9, 2015, and posted by me online at at  in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve Blog a number of times at urls:  and  and and