Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Experimental Creative Writing – Story Ending First


Here is the Ending of a Story. 

Now – I will write the beginning and middle. 

THE WEDDING GIFT – Part 3 
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

I looked at the name-plate on the door.

Yes – I was at the right address – Mr. “X” lived here.

I pressed the doorbell.

A young lady opened the door.

I introduced myself – I told her that I had come to meet Mr. “X”.

“Please come in. I am Mrs. “X” – my husband should be back from office anytime now…” Mrs. “X” said to me.

Mrs. “X” welcomed me into her home.

She asked me to sit down on the sofa – and she said to me:

“I’ll just finish off some work in the kitchen. You can watch TV if you want – till my husband comes home…”

Those days – there was only one TV channel – “Doordarshan” – and TV’s did not have a remote – so she walked towards the TV and switched it on.

I looked at the TV Set.

The TV seemed familiar.

Was it the same TV set which I had given to Nisha as a Wedding Gift…?

It was the same brand – the same model.

Of course – many people would have the same model – but – my inner voice told me that it was the same TV set which I had bought from the shop in CP and given as a gift to Nisha on her Wedding day.

So – I decided to make sure.

I looked at Mrs. “X” and asked her:  

“Your TV looks really good. May I have a look at it…?”

“Sure…” she said.

I walked to the TV and I switched it off.

Then – I unplugged the TV wire from the socket.

Mrs. “X” was looking at me curiously – so – I said to her:

“I am looking at some “technical” things…”

I turned the TV around.

I looked at the bottom left corner of the rear cover.

The marking was there.

Yes – my initials – in yellow – had faded a bit – but the marking was clearly visible.

So this was the same TV set which we had given to Nisha as a wedding gift.

I replaced the TV to its original position, plugged it in, and switched it on.

Then – I asked Mrs. “X”: 

“I hope I am not being too inquisitive – but – can you please tell me where you bought this TV…?”

“It came in my dowry…” she said.

“Dowry…?” I asked, surprised.

“Well – I know – no one uses the word “dowry” nowadays – but – my parents gave me this TV as a “wedding gift” – so – I guess it is “dowry” – isn’t it…” she said.

“Oh – so your parents gave you this TV as a wedding gift…?” I remarked.

“Yes…” she said.

“Tell me – by any chance – do you know anyone by the name “Nisha”…?” I asked her.

“Of course – my sister-in-law – her name is “Nisha”…” she said.

“Your “sister-in-law”…?”

“Yes –my brother’s wife – her name is “Nisha”. My brother and Nisha – they got married almost at the same time as us – just a few days before we got married…” Mrs. “X” said.

“What is your brother’s name…?” I asked her.

“Arun – my brother’s name is Arun. By any chance – did your “Nisha” get married to a man called “Arun”…” she said.

I remembered the name on Nisha’s wedding card.

Yes – the groom’s name was “Arun”.

So – Nisha had got married to this woman’s brother Arun.

Comprehension began to dawn on me.

My “wedding gift” had been transferred.

I smiled to myself.

“Anything the matter…?” Mrs. “X” asked me.

“No. No. I was just thinking – it is such a small world – isn’t it…?” Yes – it is the same “Nisha” that I was talking about – she is married to your brother Arun…” I said.

Then – Mrs. “X” looked at me – and she said to me:

“I am just curious. How do you know my sister-in-law “Nisha”…?”

“We were friends…” I said.

“Oh. But – we didn’t see you at the wedding – didn’t Nisha invite you…” she said.

“Of course, she invited me to her wedding. But – I had gone abroad – on duty…” I said.

“Oh…” she said.

Suddenly – the doorbell rang.

Mr. “X” had arrived home.

After we had finished our official “shop talk” – I said to Mr. “X”:

“You have a good TV. I really liked this model…”

“Yes. This TV is a wedding gift from my “in-laws” – my wife’s parents…” he said.

“Dowry…!!!” I said, jokingly.

“Ha – Ha – “Dowry”…!!!” Mr. “X” said – and he broke into a laugh. 

End of Story (Part 3) – Parts 1 and 2 will be added soon... 

VIKRAM KARVE

Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Disclaimer:
1. 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.
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.

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)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

The Importance of Understanding – Ancient Wisdom

THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING
AN AMUSING RELAXING BOOK
Book Review
By
VIKRAM KARVE

Book Review 

THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING by LIN YUTANG

Whenever I want to unwind and relax 
 I pick out one of my favorite books from my bookcase  settle down in my easy-chair  put my feet up  open the book to any random page  or thumb through the pages  and dip into whatever arrests my attention.

And  as I begin reading  I experience a soothing feeling and a calm tranquil sensation of absolute and perfect relaxation. 

From time to time  I let myself drift off into sweet slumber  and  when I come around  I begin my relaxed reading again. 

So  the cycle continues  till my mind recaptures the harmony it has lost during the hustle and bustle of daily life  and  my inner self feels soothingly nourished. 

The name of this book is THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING 

The book is compiled by Lin Yutang  who is more famous for his magnum opus  THE IMPORTANCE OF LIVING  the classic seminal philosophical masterpiece on The Art of Living



THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING by LIN YUTANG 



I have got a hardcover copy of the book (The Importance of Understanding)  published by Heinemann London in 1961  which I obtained by a stroke of luck  from a raddiwala a few years ago. 

The book comprises translations from the Chinese. 

There are Essays, Reflections, Poems, Ancient Wit and wisdom, Literature, Writings on The Art of Living, Enjoyment of Life and Zen, Parables, Epigrams and Proverbs. 

The writings focus on the simple joys of living and distinction between the practical and the poetic vision of life. 

There is wit and subtle humor throughout the book. 

Here is a story titled “Prohibition” from the chapter on Ancient Wit and Wisdom.

In the time of the ruler of Shu, Shienchu (third century AD) 
 there was prohibition on wine on account of a drought. 

People who were arrested for having vats and distillery apparatus in their houses  punishable in the same terms as those actually caught making illegal liquor. 

Chien Yung was driving in the country with the ruler when they saw a young man.

“Have that man arrested...
” cried Chien Yung.

“What has he done...?” asked the ruler in puzzlement.

“He is going to commit adultery.”

“How do you know...?”

“He has the organs of adultery 
 just as those people have their vats...”

The ruler broke out into a loud laugh 
 and  he ordered that the people arrested for mere possession of vats be released.

The meat of the book is the section on “Home and Daily Living” 
– which encompasses a wide range of facets of the art of living and enjoyment of daily life. 

I’ll end with an epigram of Yuan Chunglang:

Beware of the man who has no hobbies. 

If he is not sincere in loving what he loves  he is also probably not sincere in hating what he professes to hate. 

Dear Reader. 

First  read The Importance of Living – and then  read The Importance of Understanding  

And  I am sure  you will see life from a different perspective. 

VIKRAM KARVE
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.

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)

I wrote this book review 18 years ago  in the year 2000  and have I posted it online in my blogs a number of times including at urls: http://creative.sulekha.com/lin-yutang-the-importance-of-understanding_261594_blog  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/01/importance-of-understanding.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/07/the-importance-of-understanding-book.html etc

Wednesday, April 18, 2018

A “Package Deal”

A “PACKAGE DEAL”
Fiction Short Story
By
VIKRAM KARVE

“We kept telling you. You should have gone to an “Immigration Adviser” – but you were adamant on doing everything yourself – so – you didn’t listen to our advice. At least now – you better consult some good Immigration Adviser…” all my friends said to me. 

So – the very next morning – I sat in front of an “Immigration Adviser” – she was a “Kiwi-Indian” woman.

As she went through my papers – I looked at her.

She was a beautiful woman and she looked very graceful and elegant in her formal dress.

I liked the way her hair fell over her shoulders.

I liked her nose, slightly turned up, slender and feminine – as if accustomed to smell nothing but perfumes.

I liked her mouth – small – but with juicy lips – and – I loved her rich, glowing complexion.

She looked very inviting and I was attracted to her.

Yes – she looked so tempting that I could not take my eyes off her.

Maybe – she sensed that I was ogling at her – so she suddenly looked up – and noticing my look of undisguised admiration – she smiled at me – a very sweet smile.

I saw that her eyes were extremely beautiful – velvety, mesmerizing eyes.

“You came to Auckland 5 years ago – on a Student Visa – a Pathway Student Visa. You wanted to settle down in New Zealand using the Student Pathway…?” she asked me.

“Yes…” I said.

“You studied for more than 3 years – you completed 3 courses – one after the other. Why…?”

“I wanted to clock time – and gain New Zealand Qualifications too – to make it easier for me to get Residency…”

“So – you came to New Zealand on a student visa – with the aim of moving to a work visa afterwards – and ultimately gaining permanent residency…?”

“Yes. My ultimate aim is to become a citizen of New Zealand…” I said.

“Yes – that is the aim of all immigrants…” the Immigration Adviser said.

Then – the Immigration Adviser looked at my documents – and she said:

“You were on a Post Study Work Visa for almost one year before you got an Employer Assisted Work Visa. Why did it take you so long…? Didn’t you get a job…?”

“I didn’t get a proper job – I had to do all sorts of work to survive – I had to do even menial jobs – I did cleaning jobs – worked as a petrol pump attendant – washed cars – drove taxis – worked as a pick-packer in warehouses and even in freezing cold storages…”

“But – why didn’t you get a job after all your qualifications…?”

“I realized that all these qualifications were of no use…”

“No use…?”

“Yes – Pakehas (New Zealanders of European Ancestry) – well – “Pakehas” wanted “New Zealand Experience” – and “Kiwi-Indians” wanted to exploit us…”

“I know. It is sad – but immigrant students are being exploited by employers in their own ethnic communities. I have heard of many cases where Indian Immigrants were exploited by “Kiwi-Indians” (Indians who have got New Zealand Citizenship)…”

“Yes. It is terrible. “Pakeha New Zealander Kiwis” don’t want us – and “Kiwi-Indians” exploit our vulnerability – because they know that we want to stay on here at any cost – in the hope of getting long term residency…”

“So – after a wait of one year you finally did get an Employer Assisted Work Visa – with a “Kiwi-Indian” Employer…?”

“Yes…”

“It says that you were employed as a “Manager”…”

“That’s only on paper – actually they treated us like “bonded labour” – they made us do all sorts of work – and they even did not pay us the minimum wages…”

“If things were so bad here – you could have gone back to India…”

“How can I go back to India…? It will be a total loss of face for me. I am determined to stay here in New Zealand – at any cost…”

“At any cost…?”

“Yes. I want permanent residency – and then – citizenship…”

“But there is a problem. You have spent 5 years in New Zealand – 3 Years as a student – 1 year on an open work visa – 2 years on an employer assisted work visa – and normally – you should have been given a skilled migrant visa – but sadly – it seems your skills are no longer on the “Skill Shortage List”…”

“So what do you advise…?”

“Well – since you don’t have a resident visa – you will have to go back once your work visa expires…”

“I cannot go back to India – I told you – I want to stay here – at any cost…”

“At any cost…?”

“Yes. Please find some way…”

“There is one way…”

“Really…? Tell me. I am willing to do anything…”

“You can try for a “Partner of a New Zealander” Resident Visa…”

“What…? “Partner” Visa…?”

“If you are the “partner” of a New Zealand citizen or resident – you can apply to live in New Zealand permanently. If you are granted residence – you can live and work in New Zealand indefinitely….”

“Oh…?”

“So – you will have to find a “partner” who is a Citizen or Permanent Resident…”

“Partner…?”

“Well – here – they are quite liberal about the definition of “partnership” – but it is better if you are legally married to your partner…”

“Are you advising me to get married to a New Zealander…?”

“Well – you said you want to stay here “at any cost” – didn’t you…? If you try hard – you may find some “Kiwi-Indian” girl who is a citizen or resident. There are some other requirements and formalities – but you leave all that to me. You just find a nice “Kiwi-Indian” girl who is ready to marry you…”

“But – where do I search for such a girl…?”

“Actually – you don’t need to look very far…”

“What do you mean…?”

“I mean – there is no need for you to go in search of a suitable bride – maybe she is sitting right in front of you…” 

VIKRAM KARVE
Copyright © Vikram Karve 
Vikram Karve has asserted his right under the Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988 to be identified as the author of this work. 
© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Disclaimer:
1. 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.
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.

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)
     
© vikram karve., all rights reserved.
 

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve – His Life Story in His Own Words

MAHARSHI KARVE
His Life Story in His Own Words

LOOKING BACK By DK KARVE (1936)

The Autobiography of Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve

(Book Review by Vikram Waman Karve)

Tomorrow  18 April 2018 – is the 160th Birth Anniversary of Bharat Ratna Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve (18.04.1858  09.11.1962).

I feel that  on this occasion  it would be apt to tell you about his life and work as written by him in his autobiography titled LOOKING BACK published in 1936. 

Here is a picture of my copy of the book. 

Looking Back by Dhondo Keshav Karve 

Dear Reader – you must be wondering why I am reviewing an autobiography written in 1936.

Well 
 sometime back  for 6 years of my life  I stayed in a magnificent building called Empress Court on Maharshi Karve Road at Churchgate in Mumbai.

I share the same surname ( Karve ) as the author.

Also 
 I happen to be the great grandson of Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve

But  beyond that  compared to him  I am a nobody – not even a pygmy.
 
Maharshi Karve clearly knew his goal, persisted ceaselessly throughout his life with missionary zeal and transformed the destiny of the Indian Woman.

The first university for women in India 
– SNDT University  and educational institutions for women under the aegis of the Hingne Stree Shikshan Samstha Poona  later renamed Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha (MKSSS) Pune – covering the entire spectrum ranging from pre-primary schools to post-graduate, engineering, vocational and professional colleges bear eloquent testimony to his indomitable spirit, untiring perseverance and determined efforts.
 
In his preface  Frederick J Gould, renowned rationalist and lecturer on Ethics, writes that “the narrative is a parable of his career” – a most apt description of the autobiography. 

The author tells his life-story in a simple straightforward manner, with remarkable candour and humility  resulting in a narrative which is friendly, interesting and readable.
 
Autobiographies are sometimes voluminous tomes  but this a small book  just 200 pages.  

It is a very easy comfortable enjoyable read  that makes it almost unputdownable.

Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve writes a crisp, flowing narrative of his life, interspersed with his views and anecdotes 
 in simple, straightforward style  which facilitates the reader to visualize through the author’s eyes the places, period, people and events pertaining to his life and times and the trials and tribulations he faced and struggled to conquer.
 
Dr. Dhondo Keshav Karve was born on 18th of April 1858. 

In the first few chapters he writes about Murud, his native place in Konkan, Maharashtra  his ancestry and his early life – the description is so vivid that you can clearly “see” through the author’s eye.
 
His struggle to appear in the public service examination (walking 110 miles in torrential rain and difficult terrain to Satara) – and his shattering disappointment at not being allowed to appear for the examination (because “he looked too young”) – all this make poignant reading.
 
“Many undreamt of things have happened in my life and given a different turn to my career” he writes  and then he goes on to describe his high school – and later  his college education at The Wilson College Bombay (Mumbai) – narrating various incidents that convinced him of the role of destiny – and the role of serendipity in shaping his life and career as a teacher and then Professor of Mathematics.
 
He married at the age of 14  but began his marital life at the age of 20...!!! 

This was the custom of those days. 

Let’s read the author’s own words on his domestic life:

 “… I was married at the age of fourteen and my wife was then eight. Her family lived very near to ours and we knew each other very well and had often played together. However after marriage we had to forget our old relation as playmates and to behave as strangers, often looking toward each other but never standing together to exchange words ... We had to communicate with each other through my sister ... My marital life began under the parental roof at Murud when I was twenty …” 

Their domestic bliss was short lived – as his wife died after a few years leaving behind a son.

“Thus ended the first part of my domestic life”… he concludes in crisp witty style.
 
An incident highlighting the plight of a widow left an indelible impression on him and germinated in him the idea of widow remarriage.

He married Godubai 
 who was widowed when she was only 8 years old – she was a sister of his friend Mr. Joshi  and now – she was a 23 years old widow  and she was studying at Pandita Ramabai’s Sharada Sadan as its first widow student.
 
Let’s read in the author’s own words how he asked for her hand in marriage to her father: 

“I told him…..I had made up my mind to marry a widow. He sat silent for a minute and then hinted that there was no need to go in search of such a bride...”
 
He describes in detail the ostracism he faced from some orthodox quarters and systematically enunciates his life work - his organization of the Widow Marriage Association, Hindu Widows Home, Mahila Vidyalaya, Nishkama Karma Math, and other institutions, culminating in the birth of the first Indian Women’s University (SNDT University).
 
The trials and tribulations he faced in his life-work of emancipation of education of women (widows in particular) and how he overcame them by his persistent steadfast endeavours and indomitable spirit makes illuminating reading and underlines the fact that Dr. DK Karve was no arm-chair social reformer but a person devoted to achieve his dreams on the ground in reality.
 
These chapters form the meat of the book and make compelling reading. 

His dedication and meticulousness is evident in the appendices where he has given date-wise details of his engagements and subscriptions down to the paisa for his educational institutions from various places he visited around the world to propagate their cause.
 
He then describes his world tour, at the ripe age of 71, to meet eminent educationists to propagate the cause of the Women’s University, his later domestic life and ends with a few of his views and ideas for posterity. 

At the end of the book, concluding his autobiography, he writes:

“Here ends the story of my life. I hope this simple story will serve some useful purpose”.
 
Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve wrote this book in 1936. 

He lived on till the 9th of November 1962 – achieving so much more on the way  and was conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters ( D.Litt.) by the famous and prestigious Banaras Hindu University (BHU) Varanasi in 1942, followed by University of Poona [Pune] in 1951, SNDT Women’s University in 1955, and the LL.D. by Bombay [Mumbai] University in 1957.
 
Maharshi Dhondo Keshav Karve received the Padma Vibhushan in 1955 and the India’s highest honour the “Bharat Ratna” in 1958  a fitting tribute on his centenary at the glorious age of 100.
 
“LOOKING BACK” is an engrossing and illuminating autobiography, written in simple witty readable storytelling style, and it clearly brings out the mammoth contribution of Maharshi Karve and the trials and tribulations he faced.
 

Personal Epilogue 
 
– Vikram Waman Karve – I was born in September 1956  and I have fleeting memories of my great grandfather Maharshi Karve – when I was a small boy  during our visits  till 1962  to the Hingne Stree Shikshan Samstha (now called Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha).

My mother tells me that I featured in a Films Division Documentary on him during his centenary celebrations in 1958.

Here is a picture of me with my great grandfather Maharshi Karve taken in the year 1958 when he was 100 years old.



Vikram Waman Karve with Maharshi Karve (1958)

It is from some old timers, a few relatives, and mainly from books  that I learn of his pioneering work in transforming the destiny of the Indian Woman  and  I thought I should share this.
 
I have written this book review with the hope that some of us  particularly the students and alumni of SNDT University, Cummins College of Engineering for Women, SOFT, Karve Institute of Social Sciences and other Educational Institutions who owe their very genesis and existence to Maharshi Karve  are motivated to read about his stellar pioneering work – and draw inspiration from his autobiography.

VIKRAM KARVE
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.