Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Humor in Uniform - DAPODI ENGINEER

HUMOUR IN UNIFORM 

DAPODI ENGINEER
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

The Training Officer peeped into the classroom and looked at me desperately trying to stay awake after the previous night’s excesses, and he shouted at me: “Hey, you – put on your cap and report to the XO’s office on the double. Some Pongo bigwig is coming and you are the liaison officer.”

The Pongo bigwig turned out to be a Brigadier, the Zonal Chief Engineer of the Military Engineering Services (MES).

He happened to be in Jamnagar for some other work, and he had suddenly decided to inspect the progress of civil works under construction in the naval base.

The XO briefed me.

Accordingly, I received the Brigadier, took him for a cup of tea with our Captain, and then we drove in his black army staff car to the construction site.

The Garrison Engineer (a Major) was standing by with his entourage and some display boards with drawings.

The Garrison Engineer (GE) saluted the Brigadier, introduced his staff, and then walked towards the display boards.

The GE picked up a pointer and said to the Brigadier, “Sir, I will explain the project…”

“Wait,” the Brigadier interrupted him, “you first answer one question.”

“Yes, Sir?” the GE said.

The Brigadier asked the GE: “Are you a Dapodi Engineer or are you a Technical Graduate Engineer?”

“Sir, I am a Technical Graduate Engineer,” the GE said.

“Good. From which engineering college did you get your civil engineering degree?” the Brigadier asked the GE.

“Roorkee, Sir,” the GE answered.

“Excellent. Then there is no need for me to see anything,” the Brigadier said to the GE.

That was the end of the inspection.

On the way back, I asked the Brigadier, “Sir, I did not understand the ‘Dapodi Engineer’ bit.”

“Oh – that. You see, there are two types of engineers in the army. The first type is technical graduates from civilian engineering colleges – like the GE over here, who has done his engineering at Roorkee. And the second type are in-house trained engineers who do the course at the College of Military Engineering (CME) Dapodi – that’s why they are called Dapodi Engineers – they don’t have a BE or B. Tech. degree,” he explained.

(NB: Subsequently, sometime from the early 1980’s onwards, “in-house” engineers from CME are being awarded the B. Tech. degree from JNU)

“Sir, have you done your engineering at Roorkee?” I asked.

“Roorkee – No,” he said.

“Sir, then where did you study civil engineering – must be from some prestigious engineering college like Banaras, Poona …”

The Brigadier looked at me, and he started laughing.

Then, with a naughty smile on his face, the Brigadier said: “Me? I am a bloody Dapodi Engineer.”

VIKRAM KARVE
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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.
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