The Funnyman Who Was Also A Sailor

Book Cover: The Funnyman Who Was Also A Sailor
Part of the Military series:
  • The Funnyman Who Was Also A Sailor




Elango was not your ordinary sailor. He was fat; too fat for his seniors from Leading Telegraphists (a rank in the navy) to the Captain not to lecture him on getting his weight reduced to a decent level. He was not bothered too much about his resembling a rotund duck that had drunk all the water around it. Indeed, drink, particularly beer – never a single bottle – was the primary reason for Elango’s increasing girth. He would grin sheepishly at anyone speaking on his expanding anatomy. It is not that he did not try to get himself into shape; he ran, sweated it out with thimbles and swam but did not stop drinking.


One day, five of us friends went to see a matinee show in the Strand Cinema in Colaba: To Sir with Love, a film that would find a place in anybody’s best movies’ list. The sky had been overcast when we went into the theatre. When we came out after the movie, it was drizzling. We had to stand somewhere under the shade to escape the rain. What better place than Martin’s Restaurant opposite the cinema?


The next moment, the others had all rolled in unison towards me. I had not only rolled up to the gun heap but had a Thompson jump into my hand and shot the cobra into pieces, all in one movement. The snake’s flesh lay scattered all around. The blood of the snake that had spattered around disappeared without a trace in a moment. It all happened within less than five seconds. Did I aim at all? Did I aim right or was it accidentally accurate? I do not know to this day.


Her complexion looked as though she had been immersed in a mixture of one part whisky and three parts white wine. (Would she have tasted like the cocktail as well? I don’t know, sir.) Her eyes, nose, lips and ears all had their own pretty little stories to tell. Together, the sum total told a gargantuan story. Her hair was darker than the road under her feet and was oozing out of her cap like a cascade of crude oil. Her figure was like that of a balloon that was on a diet, if balloons dieted at all, and tied in the middle with a string.


To sit in the beautiful garden with a glass of chilled beer
whenever a drizzle the size and sharpness of pine needles
came down from the sky to ever-so-lightly caress us to the
accompaniment of mournful songs from the HMV record
player that was in the barracks was heaven on the earth. Lord,
did we savour the moments so very thoroughly! Nostalgia
threatens to drown me as I relive those days sitting in my
upright chair at home now.


i still wonder what happened to my friend who chose to become an enemy with his treachery. For all I know, he could have flown away to a place far, far away where I could never ever reach him. I also wonder if someone can, without any compunction or pity for the victim, easily relegate friendship to nothing and destroy his future. Will he, at least at some future date, repent his utter faithlessness? Would this man have done it? I don’t know.



Reviews:Premkumar NP on wrote:

This man is really funny. He finds humour in very unexpected quarters. Just when you stop laughing, you are subjected to another bout of laughter in the next few lines. The story titled Love at First Sight is real pleasure to read reminiscent of P G Wodehouse. In fact, the author seems to idolize P G Wodehouse. He has two or three stories that are in complete contrast to his "Funny" stories. By the time you had finished reading them, you would have shed a tear or two. Read this book, it is sheer pleasure.

Army, Navy, Air Force veterans wrote:

:Beware; he will make you laugh at his funeral– Alexander Thomas,Navy Veteran

His “civilian” stories are funnier than his navy stories– Sarvesh Saxena,Navy Veteran

By the time I finished the first story,I was hooked for good– Dr. Rajasekharan

Two pages into the book, my smile turned into laughter– Raveendran, College Principal

Excellent read. Cover to cover laced with humour– B. Lakshmikanth,Air Force Veteran

Asokan gives us a delightful glimpse into the funnier aspects of a sailor’s calling in these stories with humour and stylistic flair– K.V.K. Murthy,Banker

Funny in some parts; hilarious in the other parts– Z. Elango,Army Veteran

Humour is at the root of every story though three will bring tears to your eyes– Premanandam Mukku,Navy Veteran

This is not just funny, this is a laugh riot!– Jaswant Singh Lagwal,Navy Veteran

He can make you laugh, he can make you cry– Chandrasekhar Awati,Navy Veteran

Each story stands on its sheer merit;Asokan stands alone– Harinder Singh Sahi

,Navy VeteranSad? Melancholy? Find relief in this book– Raj Viju,Air Veteran

Excellent flow, humour and content– Ravinder P.S. Ravi,Navy Veteran

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