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  • Writer's pictureLt Cdr Bijay Nair (R)

Why I kissed her !! Old Monk…

I was sulking and really pissed off in the mess lawns and was wondering is this the way it happens. Is this why I have joined the Fauj. A beautiful soothing Kenny g was playing in the lawn. Evening at Bhimlipattnam was a pleasant one. Officers mess was decked up and was standing out in its beauty. There was this hustle bustle which was very occasional for the mess. Commodore Y was dining in and Commodore X was dining out. All the good ladies and officers were invited. Mess secretary arrived well before the time and was looking after the arrangements ensuring that every link is aligned. This was mess secs and the mess staffs show.

Bastiram , Chief steward was running helter skelter and was man of absolute perfection . In his typical Haryanvi accent he would ensure each of the mess staff gave their 100%. Cooks have been instructed on the menu list and was instructed “Agar sahab ne khaana pasand nahi aaya , toh je mein tumhe khaa jaaonga”.

Daasu and Raju our civilian stewards were decked up in whites in their sports shoes and looking cheerful as always . Mess sec called for me since I was posted recently to the unit and a month back I was dined in along with few outgoings. As I reached mess in my sports rigs I wished sir a Crisp Jai Hind . Lt Cdr Z a very cheerful officer was well known for his love for food and he has voluntarily taken up the additional responsibility of mess sec , though he was a Mtech in Missiles and Weapons and handling a tech role.

He enquired : “Oye Nair , heard that you are a teetotaller” Me : Yes sir He : Fucker, what are you doing in Navy Me : Sir , I have promised mom that I will not He: Ok ….mamas boy . I too had promised . Every body here had promised some or the other time. Me : OK sir Conversation ended , he directed me to report 15 mins before the guests arrived , since I have been assigned a duty for the evening . I was wondering what kind of duty on a mess evening .

I dressed in my Crisp 6Bs , the evening Naval Uniform . 6Bs remained one of my favorite uniform as it made look you handsome by additional 80% , even a ordinary guy like me looked smarter in those kamar bandhs , later as time progressed in Fauj and as I became senior my “kamar bandh” became “kamra bandh”, I reported to mess room and on seeing me sir admired “oye teetotaller aaja aaj tuje afsos hoga ki tu teetotaler hai”. I couldn’t understand but decided to play on .

As officers and ladies started arriving, they were in tow with their kids, most of the kids were in their pre teens and in primary or early secondary. It was a standing instruction that the mess would have a children's care area , where the parents will have to leave their kids before proceeding to the mess lawns. This care area was well equipped with few care takers and an junior officer was made overall in-charge of the same for that period of time. And boom…. That junior officer was me . One of the condition to qualify as a creche officer was that the junior officer needs to be a “teetotaler” , when I was assigned this coveted duty by mess secretary I remembered he telling “aaj tuje afsos hoga “ and I was already feeling oh teri types . Kids were hooligans they were jumping all around and I feared that few of them will hurt each other. I hardly saw any kid to be docile , sab fauji baccche tehe and they were already showing the academy trends.

My world was crashing , as I was told Join Navy See the world , till that time in my 3 yrs of service I had seen nothing. Here I was sitting in the lawn and thinking over this , that’s when Bastiram came , he saw me sulking and gave a wiry smile . I realized he would have seen many such junior officer like me being thrusted upon the duty of Child Care officer. He came to my rescue , in his chaste Hariyanvi , he mentioned “Saab pareshaann laage ho”. I sulked further. He gave a golden advise which saved me from future ordeal. He mentioned , saab aap daaru nahi pite naa. I knodded in affirmative. He advised me whether you like it or not , aap party mein Old Monk bhari hui glass lekar dikha karo . Bhale aap piyo yaa naa piyo . I was not getting on what he is up to . I was curious I wanted to know more. He mentioned the moment people see you with glass , they will see you have upgraded your status from Non Drinker to drinker and if you want to add bit more machoism , ek cigarette bhi le lo haath mein in the breaks.

Once the mess secretary and the ladies see you in this avatar , you will be labelled as dangerous species and unfit to be officer in charge for the Kids section during the party the next time. To add to your reputation make one or two kids cry by raising your eyebrows etc. It will further spoil your reputation and you will be banned.

I loved the idea and implemented it in the next inhouse party ,raised eyebrow on couple of kids and I was labelled Angry uncle. But what saved me was the agony of being a duty officer to kid. Whenever my name was proposed I was straightway debarred.

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