Monday, April 17, 2017

The “Dapodi” Engineer – An Unforgettable Character I Met During My Wonderful Navy Life

HUMOR IN UNIFORM – THE DAPODI ENGINEER

Whenever I meet a Sapper Officer (from the Army Corps of Engineers)  I jokingly ask him if he was a Dapodi Engineer or a Genuine Engineer...?

So – when a Navy Veteran (erstwhile shipmate) introduced me to this son-in-law – a Major in the Corps of Engineers.

He told me about himself.

“Oh – so you are a Dapodi Engineer”...” I remarked. 

The young Sapper Officer was curious to know why I called him a Dapodi Engineer” – so I told him this story – which I have posted earlier in my Blogs. 

Here is the story from my “Humor in Uniform” Archives – this happened long back  around 40 years ago  in the 1970’s

Read the spoof and have a laugh – and  if you are a “Fauji” Sapper – I am sure you will have a double laugh...!!!

THE DAPODI ENGINEER
Unforgettable Characters I Met During My Wonderful Navy Life
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE

The Training Officer peeped into the classroom. 

He looked at me. 

I was desperately trying to stay awake after the previous night’s excesses. 

The Training Officer 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 Executive Officer (XO) briefed me.

Accordingly  I received the Brigadier  I 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.

Then – the GE introduced his staff.

After that  the GE walked towards the display boards.

The GE picked up a pointer  and he said to the Brigadier: 

“Sir  I will explain the project…”

“Wait...” the Brigadier interrupted the GE.

The GE stopped – and he asked the Brigadier: “Yes, Sir...?”

The Brigadier said to the GE: “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 aspect...”

The Brigadier looked at me and said: 

“Oh – that. 

You see  there are two types of Engineers in the Army. 

The first type comprises 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 is 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  these in-house trained Dapodi Engineers from CME are being awarded the B. Tech. degree from JNU)

I looked at the distinguished Brigadier from the Corps of Engineers. 

Surely – he was from a premier engineering college – maybe  like the GE  the Brigadier too had studied at Roorkee University which was famous for Civil Engineering.

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

“Me...? From Roorkee...? No – not at all...” 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. 

I looked at him  wondering why he was so amused.

Then  with a naughty smile on his face  the Brigadier said to me: 

“Me...? Ha Ha  I am a DAPODI ENGINEER...” 

VIKRAM KARVE
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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.

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