Twice Bitten — Never Shy

Vikram Karve
20 min readSep 29, 2023


Dear Reader — you must have heard the saying:

“Once Bitten — Twice Shy”.

This a story of a man who was “Twice Bitten — Never Shy”.





During my early days of creative writing — I wrote rather amateurish stories.

Dear Reader — let me delve deep into my creative writing archives and pull out a rather ribald and passionate “romance” story for you to enjoy — and to have a hearty laugh.

It is just a fictional yarn — humorous satire — a spoof — no offence meant to anybody — so please take it with a pinch of salt.

Let me add a note of caution — Dear Reader — before you read this story — first check whether you have a “sense of humor” — and only after you confirm that you indeed have a sense of humor — should you then continue reading ahead.

Also — this story is for mature adults only — so if you are a kid — or an overly gender sensitive type — please skip this post.

This story is a work of fiction. The characters do not exist and are purely imaginary. Any resemblance to persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

So — Dear Reader — if you have a “sense of humor” and if you are a mature adult — and if you are game for some adult romance — some humor — some satire — a spoof — read on and have a laugh…





Short Fiction — Passionate Romance

Love Story By Vikram Karve


Dear Reader:

Here is a story from my book featuring my collection of short stories COCKTAIL

Please read this story with a pinch of salt.

I think it is one of my bizarre stories — an example of my inchoate and amateurish attempts at writing in my early days.

I wrote this yarn — a rather tall story — around 30 years ago — sometime in the 1990’s — after a visit to Goa.

I visited Goa quite often — first in the 1970’s — and then a few times later.

Unlike today — when Naval Officers travel by Air — the moment they get commissioned — those days — we travelled by train — and — only Senior Officers were permitted to fly by air.

The Railway Journey to Goa was interesting.

First — you travelled from Mumbai to Pune by Broad Gauge.

Then — you switched over to Metre Gauge on the Pune Bangalore Route.

Later — the railway line till Miraj was converted to Broad Gauge — so — you could travel by Broad Gauge from Mumbai to Miraj — and then — switch over to Metre Gauge — and travel onwards to Goa (via Londa) on the Miraj Bangalore Line.


(This is when this story happened)


I still remember the unforgettable railway journey — when you travelled to Goa by that delightful “metre-gauge” train — winding its way down from Londa — past the cascading Dudhsagar falls — to the rail terminus at Vasco.


(I believe that today — the entire railway track to Goa has been converted to Broad Gauge)


I wonder what genre one can call this story.


Pulp Fiction…?

Chic Lit…?

Or maybe — what they now call “Metro Read”.

Let’s say that it is a story for “Urban Adults”.


Well — I have warned you.

So — My Dear Reader — if you still want to read this bizarre, preposterous story — go ahead and do so at your own peril.

So just relax — transport yourself around 30 years back in time to the early 1990’s — and enjoy this story.

Have a laugh — and don’t forget the brickbats (and bouquets, if any)

This story was originally written for print.

So — I have suitably abridged, revised and edited the story for easy reading on the digital screen.

As always — I value your comments and feedback.


Twice Bitten — Never Shy

Story by Vikram Karve




Bangalore — 31 December 1992


I looked thoughtfully, with nostalgia and pride, at the words inscribed on the brass plaque I held in my hand:




This engraved plaque was the only item that I had brought with me from my old office in Pune.

I had now made it big time in a top job in a prestigious firm in Bangalore.

I gave the brass plaque to Suhas and told him to hang it on the wall.

For added effect — I loudly recited the words — a Chinese proverb — again and again.

The first impression is a lasting one.

I wanted to project myself as a tough guy — and I had dramatically succeeded.

I had totally intimidated Suhas into submission.

He had never expected that I would order him to drive me from the airport straight to office on a holiday — get the office opened — and give me a detailed briefing.

Suhas had been one of the aspirants for the chair I was sitting on — but now — he would be my deputy.

If he was disappointed at not being promoted — he did not show it.

After all — Suhas had worked for 10 years in the same firm — and surely — he did not like an outsider like me being thrust upon him as his boss

As I stroked my beard — I looked appraisingly at Suhas.

True to his name — he had a sweet pleasant smile.

But he looked a weakling — one of those suave, slimy, effeminate characters that adorn the corporate world — a soft-spoken, clean-shaven, ingratiating sissy with an almost feminine voice and carefully cultivated mannerisms — as if he had been trained in a finishing school.

Suhas had no masculinity — no manliness about him.

He was one of those sissy chikna types who were bullied and ragged and were sought after to be buggered at school and college.

In my mind’s eye — I smiled to myself at my excellent assessment.


Suhas handed me an invitation card and stammered:

“Sir — an invitation for the New Year Eve party tonight…”


I was genuinely pleased and gave him an appreciative smile.

In my euphoria — I had almost forgotten the date.

Eager-Beaver and sycophant that he was — Suresh had organized a partner for me — Anita — a young ambitious executive anxious to please the boss.

Anita was openly showing her willingness to get involved with me.

It was a pity — because I was not interested in Anita.

She was not my type of woman.

Anita was one of those synthetic beauties — pleasing to look at — but not exciting to embrace.

Dainty, delicate, perfectly poised, petite, precise, prim and proper — her make-up perfect and exact — she looked like an artificial doll — optimally designed, precisely engineered and finished to perfection.

Her actions appeared carefully contrived — there was no spontaneity about her.

That vital spark of sensuality was missing.

I could see that she had titivated for me — but I was not titillated.

I liked voluptuous, sensual, earthy women — the rough-and-ready kind.

As we danced — Anita pressed against me in desperate appeal.

I was not stirred.

She was too “simulated” to stimulate me.

I signalled to Suhas who rescued me — and he took Anita away for a dance.

I picked up a drink and took up a strong tactical position with my back to the wall.

I looked at Anita — “Good from Far — But — Far from Good” — as we used to say in college.

I smiled to myself.

I sipped my drink.

I lit a cigarette.

And — I looked at the entrance.


I saw her almost at once.

She radiated an extraordinary sensuousness of a degree I had never experienced before.

The impact was so overwhelming that I was instantly aroused and consumed with desire.

She could not have made her body more inviting.

There was nothing delicate about her.

Plump and lusty — she oozed raw sexuality.

I ached with desire — and I drank her in with my eyes, insatiably.

“Enjoying the party, Sir… ” Suhas had followed my transfixed gaze.

Suhas guessed what was on my mind — and he said to me:

“Sir — that “dish” is “Menaka”. She is a hot-shot executive working in our main competitor firm. Let me formally introduce you.”

“No…” I said, “not now.”

Politeness is a pleasant way for a man to get nowhere with a woman.

Suhas got the hint and he left me alone.

My hungry eyes locked on to the woman whose name, Suhas had told me, was Menaka.

I was feasting my eyes on her captivating face — when she suddenly turned and glanced at me.

Our eyes met.

She looked at me for that moment longer than necessary — then — with a curious smile — she turned back to talk to her group.

I kept my eyes on her — looking steadily and directly — trying to transmit and project my thought-waves of passionate yearning.

She adjusted her stance slightly — probably to observe me through the corner of her eye.

Her gestures indicated that I had succeeded in disturbing the equilibrium of her personal inner comfort zone.

I was thrilled with anticipation.

Suddenly she excused herself from her group walked towards a secluded corner.

She turned and looked directly towards me.

She held my gaze in a kind of challenge — there was a lengthy pause — and then — she smiled.

There was a conspiratorial look in her expressive eyes — at once inviting and taunting.

She teased me with her eyes.

My stimulus had evoked a response.

Encouraged by her enthusiastic response — I indulged myself lavishly.

I made love to her with my eyes.

She responded with unrestrained zeal — exhilaration pouring out of her eyes.

As our mutual visual interplay became intense — I could clearly decipher the language in her eyes.

I did not require the power of clairvoyance to look into the province of her mind — to read her thoughts.

I boldly walked up to her and I asked her for a dance.

As I led her onto the dance-floor — I realized that — every man, who was a man, was hungrily ogling at her.

I felt the natural pride of possession that any man feels when he has the company of a woman that other men desire.

We danced continuously, without break.

I held her tightly.

She let her body rub against mine.

Suddenly — the lights went off.

Someone announced:

“One minute left for the New Year…”


It was pitch-dark.

The dance-floor was packed with bodies.

I locked Menaka in a passionate embrace.

Intoxicated by the aroma of her natural scent — I caressed her neck with my tongue.

Her skin was moist with sweat.

She sighed — and her breathing became heavy and rapid.

I kissed her warm mouth — a fervent passionate kiss.

She kissed me back — most eagerly and amorously.

As our tongues intertwined — I could taste the fresh flavour of her mouthwash mixed with her hot saliva.

We were luxuriating in a wave of sensuality which had engulfed us — when the lights were suddenly switched on.

Everyone seemed to have gone berserk — shouting “Happy New Year” at the top of their voices — with hooters, whistles, horns, drums and shouts raising the noise level to a deafening din.

“Happy New Year…” I heard a male voice — it was Suhas.

He was quite drunk.

Anita was standing next to him — her hurt was quite evident in her eyes.

First — I had rejected her.

And now — she had seen Menaka and Me in passionate embrace — lustfully kissing each other.

Before I realized it — Menaka had quickly disengaged and walked away.

I was too confused to react.

Suddenly — Anita pulled me to dance.

She still hadn’t given up hopes.

I kissed her on the cheeks — and wished her a Happy New Year.

Then — I tried to find Menaka — but I could not see her anywhere.

So — I joined in the merrymaking with Anita.

It was only after a considerable amount of time that I noticed — that — Suhas had disappeared.


It took me a week to sink my teeth into my new assignment.

I worked hard.

My first vital challenge was to win a huge software development contract with a multinational company.

It was a prestigious contract.

A large number of firms would be vying for it.

It was imperative that I succeeded in winning it — to establish my credentials and prove my worth.

The primary reason I had been appointed to the top post was owing to my expertise and track record in this area.

My professional reputation was at stake.

By the end of the week — I had my proposal ready.

I kept just one hard copy — no soft copies — because I believe that you should not store anything in a computer that you cannot display on a public notice board.

But — my being busy at work was not the only reason that I had not contacted Menaka.

I had not forgotten the sensuality of her body.

During nights — as I lay awake in bed — I desperately yearned for her — I felt like a volcano without eruption.

I purposely did not make the first move.

I didn’t want Menaka to think I was desperate — I did not want to grovel before her.

I had ardently communicated my unspoken intentions to Menaka on New Year’s Eve.

If she wanted me — it was her prerogative to contact me.


One day — while I was working in my plush office — suddenly my phone rang.

It was Menaka.

I felt a tremor of anticipation.

She invited me to lunch at a nearby restaurant.

I accepted.

Menaka was waiting for me outside the restaurant.

She was dressed in a full-sleeved blouse and a heavy formal blue silk sari.

It was hot.

The fabric of her blouse around her armpits was wet with sweat.

She looked and smelt natural — no attempt to camouflage her raw steamy sensuousness behind the synthetic mask of make-up and deodorants.

Raw steamy sensuousness — that’s what I liked about her.

It stimulated me and attracted me towards her.

As we sipped chilled beer — I found that she was easy to talk to.

I had a strange feeling of elation.

In these moods there was so much to say — the words simply came tumbling out.

I told her everything about myself.

In hindsight — I realized that she had hardly told me anything about herself.

We met often during the next few days — arranging rendezvous in restaurants and our club.

Menaka tantalized me.

But — she did not let me go all the way.

A bit of petting, necking, fondling, caressing, hugging, kissing, cuddling — it was okay.

But there — she drew the line.

She never invited me home — nor did she talk about her personal things.

At first — I was patient.

No point hurrying up or forcing things.

I did not want to lose her.


There is a time to let things happen — and — there is a time to make things happen.

At first — I thought that “I would let things happen…”

But — the more I met Menaka — the more was the sensual desire building up in me.

The time had come to “make things happen…”


I was wondering what strategy I should adopt — when Suhas interrupted my thoughts.

He said to me:

“Drying a divorcee’s tears is one of the most dangerous pastimes known to man…”


I tried to hide my surprise and regain my composure.

I certainly wasn’t interested in drying Menaka’s tears…!!!

“I didn’t know she is a divorcee…” I said, “In any case — it’s a purely platonic friendship with her.”

“All such platonic relationships have a potential to culminate into affairs…” Suhas pontificated.

I was getting angry now.

Surely — I didn’t need a lecture on how to handle women from this prissy effeminate sissy.

Suhas sensed my feelings — and he pleaded with me:

“Sir — the office grapevine is pulsating with juicy rumours about your romance with Menaka.

Such liaisons can be dangerous.

She is working for our rival firm which is competing for the same vital contract we are so desperately trying for…”


After speaking these words — Suhas looked at me in a beseeching manner.


This was news to me.

Menaka hadn’t mentioned anything about the contract.

I looked innocently at Suhas.

I would have to be careful with this “Nosey Parker” around.


One evening — I was stunned when Menaka suddenly walked into my office.

I had not bargained for this unexpected situation at all.

It was one thing to meet Menaka in some restaurant or the club.

It was quite another thing to have her show up bold as brass at my office — it was embarrassing and downright dangerous.

“Don’t worry — everyone has gone home…” Menaka said.

She came around my desk — and — she stood close to me.

I was sitting on my swivel-chair working on the computer.

I swivelled my chair around.

Her silky smooth stomach was inches from my face.

I sensed the beginnings of the experience which had been eluding me.

I was tremendously excited, yet frightened.

The improbability of the situation made me slightly incredulous and cautious.

But — I could not control myself — and — animal instinct took charge of me.

I clasped her hips and buried my face in her stomach — and we both were going wildly berserk with passionate lovemaking — when suddenly — the door opened — and Suhas walked in.

He looked at us — first — with an expression of shock — and then — with a look of disgust and disapproval.


A few moments later — I sat in Suhas’s office trying to regain my composure.

I realized that Suhas had not spoken a word — and he was totally ignoring me.

Suhas was sitting quietly — ostensibly engrossed in work.

The nuance wasn’t lost on me.

I had left Menaka in my office to tidy up.

I wondered what effect this episode would have on her.

Suddenly — an ominous thought entered my mind — and — I was overcome by a strange foreboding.

I rushed to my office.

Menaka had disappeared.

I yanked open my desk drawer.

I broke into cold sweat.

My premonition had come true — the vital file was missing.

Disgraced — accused of moral turpitude and disloyalty — I resigned my job and left Bangalore forever — under a cloud of shame — a discredited man.

Needless to say — Suhas walked into my job.




Pune — 31 December 1998


I wasn’t a person to wallow in despondency for long.

I put the episode behind me and went on a sabbatical.

Interestingly — I found my true métier in the world of academics.

I bounced back into life with vigour and zeal.

I started teaching — and — in a couple of years — I was heading my own computer training institute.

Five years later — I stood on the platform of Pune Railway Station.

I scanned the passenger list on the reservation chart.

No matter how many times I begin a train journey — there is always an intriguing interest in seeing who one’s follow-passengers are.

I was on berth number 27.

Berth number 28 was reserved in the name of a Mrs. M. Kumar, Age 35.

All others in the vicinity were males.

A disappointment.

I always wondered why all the good “chicks” were in other trains — and in other compartments.

Let’s hope this Mrs. Kumar was worth a look, at least.

When Mrs. Kumar entered and sat down opposite me — I was dumbstruck.

It was Menaka.

She gave me a warm smile — and she started talking of me as if she were expecting me.

Her behaviour was natural — as if she had fixed up a rendezvous with me here on the train.

She showed no guilt, no regret, no remorse.

There was absolutely no trace of surprise at seeing me evident on her face.

Menaka had blossomed.

Her beauty had enhanced with age.

“I was looking forward to meeting you…” Menaka said looking directly into my eyes, “It’s good they organized the seminar in Goa. We shall enjoy ourselves. And — of course — we can finish our unfinished business. It’s so exciting…!!!”

I couldn’t believe my ears.

I cannot begin to describe my emotions I felt.

At once — I hated Menaka for the way she had played with me — used me — and then tossed me by the wayside.

But — at the same time — she evoked within me the familiar stirrings of passion.

But — I knew it was dangerous.

So — I decided to steer clear of her — “once bitten, twice shy”.

I avoided talking to Menaka.

I snubbed her when she tried to start a conversation.

I pretended to read a book.

We travelled in silence on the broad-gauge train from Pune to Miraj — where we would change over to the connecting “metre-gauge” express to Goa.

Hopefully — Menaka would get seat away from me.

In the evening — just before Miraj — the train conductor arrived and he said:

“There is no air-conditioned service on the metre-gauge overnight train from Miraj to Vasco Da Gama. You will have to travel “First Class”…”

“Both of us are together. Give us a coupe…” Menaka said to the train conductor.

The moment I heard her words — I was dumbstruck — tongue-tied.

“Yes, Madam — I will allot you Coach F-1, coupe compartment D…” the train conductor said to her — then he gave me a canny look and said in Railway Lingo: “This train reaches Miraj at 2000 hrs. The connecting metre-gauge train leaves at 2030.”

Menaka sat down close to me on the berth of the coupe of the metre-gauge train.

The compartment’s smallness forced us into such an arousing intimacy that I could not control myself when she made her move.

She made love to me with a professional’s skill and an amateur’s enthusiasm.

Making love in a speeding metre-gauge train was an awesome experience.

As the train rocked and sped through the night — we went crazy with passion — and she did not let me rest — but brought me back to her each time I tried to slide away from her, exhausted.


In the next two weeks — I realized the wildest of my fantasies with her.

We made passionate love to each other — in all possible ways — at all possible places.

Two weeks passed in a jiffy — and — as I lay next to Menaka on the wet sand in a secluded corner of the beach — satiated by the lovemaking and intoxicated with “Feni” — I felt exhausted, drained and gratified.

“Enough is Enough…” I said to myself — and I decided to leave quietly next morning.




Pune — Six Months Later


Six months later I had a surprise visitor.

It was Anita.

She had a parcel for me.

I opened it.

There was a “Thank-You Card” from Menaka.

There was also the brass plaque with the Chinese proverb which I had forgotten in my Bangalore office.

I looked at the familiar words on the brass plaque:




I was baffled, nonplussed.

Why had Menaka sent me this brass plaque…?

Was there a hidden message in this…?

I looked at the “Thank-You” Card.

I read the words inscribed on the card:

“From Menaka Kumar”


The “Kumar” was intriguing.

I knew Menaka was a divorcee — but — she called herself “Menaka” — that’s all.

Had Menaka got re-married…?

Or — was it her first husband’s surname….?


I was curious.

So — I asked Anita:

“Tell me Anita — who is this “Kumar” fellow that Menaka remarried…?

Or — is it her first husband’s surname.

Or — was it her maiden name…?”


Anita burst out laughing.

And — she said to me:

“She married Suhas.

His full name is Suhas “Kumar”.

Suhas — your ex-deputy.

Have you forgotten him…?”


I felt angry, betrayed.


Just imagine…!!!

Menaka had married that effete womanish softy.

He was hardly man enough for her.

What a mismatch…?

She needed a real man — a strong, virile, potent man like me.


Then — I remembered — the name of the reservation chart of the train to Goa — Mrs. M. Kumar.

So — she was married when we had a good time in Goa.


Seeing the look on my face — Anita spoke quickly:

“Suhas and Menaka got married soon after you left.

Now — they have set up their own firm.

I work for them…”


She abruptly stopped speaking.

I could sense her hesitation.

But — I wanted to know why Menaka had sent Anita to me.

It was an intriguing mystery.


I looked at Anita — and I said to her:

“So — Menaka and Suhas got married immediately after I left…?

They are married for 6 years now…?


“Yes…” Anita said.

“Why has she sent you to see me — after so many years…?” I asked Anita, “Is it just to give me a “Thank-You” Card and return my brass plaque…? Or — is it some business deal…? What does she want from me…? Go on — tell me everything…”

“I really don’t know. She just told me to meet you and give you the “Thank-You” Card and brass plaque…” Anita said.

I could sense that Anita was feeling discomfited by my questions.

So — I said to Anita:

“I am sorry for asking you so many questions…”


“It’s okay…” Anita said.

Then — Anita gave me a curious look — and said to me:

“Menaka is pregnant for the first time.

She was trying desperately all these years.

And finally — it happened after so long.

I am so happy for her.

The baby is due in another three months time.”


Comprehension dawned on me pretty fast.

It was 6 months ago that Menaka and I had spent those passionate two weeks in Goa.

And — her baby was due in 3 months time.

6 + 3 = 9

Anita need not have spelt it out to me.

I did not know whether to laugh or to cry.

Menaka had used me again — for the second time — to realize her “goal” — and then — she had cast me aside.

She had “slapped” me again…!!!

But — was it a “slap”…?

Had Menaka “slapped” me for the second time…?

Had she delivered a “sucker punch”…?

I don’t know.

I truly don’t know.

And — I don’t care.

I picked up the brass plaque — and — looked at it nostalgically for the last time.


I read the words engraved on the plaque:




Then — I tossed the plaque out of the window.

No more proverbs for me.


Then — I said genuinely to Anita:

“Convey my congratulations and best wishes to Menaka.

Tell her that I am eagerly waiting for the next rendezvous with her.

Whenever she wants me — wherever she wants me — any time — any place — I will always be there at her service.”




10 years have passed since — ten long years.

Often — I think of Menaka — and — overcome by lustful desire — I passionately yearn for her — and — I wonder when I am going to have my next rendezvous with her.

I am eagerly waiting for her to “slap” me again.

Yes — I wait in anticipation for Menaka to deliver the next “sucker punch”.

As far as Menaka is concerned:

I am Twice “Bitten” but Never Shy.



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.


  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.
  3. E&OE

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)

Link to my original post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve:

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This is an abridged revised version of my story ONCE BITTEN TWICE SHY written by me (Vikram Karve) around than 30 years ago in the early 1990’s. The story also features in my anthology of short stories about relationships COCKTAIL

This story has been posted online by me a number of times on my various creative writing blogs including at urls: and and and and and and and and and etc

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.




Vikram Karve

A creative person with a zest for life, alumnus IIT Delhi, Lawrence School Lovedale, Vikram Karve is a retired Navy Officer turned full time Writer and Blogger