Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Introductions to Ladies

INTRODUCTIONS TO LADIES
Memories of My Navy Days
By
VIKRAM KARVE

This happened in the 1970’s – around 40 years ago – when I reported to my first ship as a young Sub-Lieutenant.

I reported to the ship in Mumbai – and – in the evening – there was a party in the ship’s wardroom.

Ladies had also been invited to the party – so – all the “lady wives” of the married officers were present for the party.

Navy Social Etiquette requires that a “Gentleman (Officer) is always introduced to a Lady…”

So – the PMC took me to the ladies – and – he introduced me to the ladies.

In response – the ladies started introducing themselves to me.

“Hello – I am Mrs. “AAA” – the Captain’s wife…”

“Hello – I am Mrs. “BBB” – the Commander’s wife…”

“Hello – I am Mrs. “CCC” – the Engineer-Officer’s wife…”

And – all the ladies introduced themselves accordingly – stating their husband’s name and rank/appointment.

Suddenly – one young lady introduced herself differently:

“Hi – I am Dr. “XXX” – I am a Lecturer at “YYY” College – I teach English Literature.

I was impressed.

Here was a lady who had an identity of her own – she did not need the “crutches” of her husband’s rank/appointment.


PS: This happened 40 years ago – so – it was unique to see a “military wife” asserting her own identity. Nowadays – with the proliferation of “career wives” in the defence services – most “military wives” have their own independent identity – and many wives even retain their maiden names. 


VIKRAM KARVE
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