Monday, March 30, 2015

Humor in Uniform - “FAUJIS” BABUS and BOFFINS - SCIENTIST “Z”


I saw plenty of humour in uniform.

I can never forget this hilarious encounter with a “fauji boffin”.

So – I will delve into my Humour in Uniform archives  and tell you this amusing anecdote  once more  for you to enjoy.

This story happened around 33 years ago, in the early 1980’s, during my “Babu in Uniform” Delhi Days in the “Northern Naval Command”.

“Babu in Uniform Series Part 5 : “FAUJIS” BABUS and BOFFINS  SCIENTIST “Z”

Continued From: (click on url link to open in a new window)



PART 5 of “Babu in Uniform Series 

The Story of SCIENTIST “Z”
A Spoof

After successfully completing my “initiation”  I reported for my first day of duty as a “Babu in Uniform” to push R&D files.

I reached my office dot on time  at exactly 9 AM.

The moment I entered my office  I saw a man sitting inside.

I noticed that he had picked up the phone and he was dialing a number.

From the way he was dressed  I thought he was a peon or conservancy staff – and maybe he was trying to misuse my official phone for his personal calls.

Despite my being in uniform  he seemed to be ignoring me  and continuing his phone call.

I got angry.

I roughly took the receiver from his hand  and put it back on the instrument.

Then  I told him in Hindi to get out of my office.

The man stood up  and he said to me in English: “Talk to me properly. I am a Scientist “F”…”

Scientist “F”...? He must be equivalent to a bloody Leading Seaman  or at most a Petty Officer,” I thought in my mind.

So I gestured with my fingers  and told him in English to get out of my office.

But  the man would not budge.

In fact  he again sat down on the chair.

I lost my temper.

I raised my voice  and using typical profane naval language  told the guy in no uncertain terms to “bugger off”.

(It may not be apt to tell you the exact swear-words, expletives, four-letter words  and navy style profanities that I shouted at him)

The man was taken aback by my shouting  and he quickly disappeared from my office.

A few minutes later – a smartly dressed civilian entered my office.

He was my direct boss  the joint director  who I had met only fleetingly when my predecessor had introduced me to him in the director’s office before my “initiation”.

“Good morning, Sir,” I wished him.

“Good morning,” he said.

“Sir  please sit down,” I said.

He pulled a chair, he sat down and he said, “Everything okay?”

“Yes, Sir,” I answered.

“There is a thoroughly terrified and shaken up person sitting in my office. He has almost had a nervous breakdown. He says that you abused him in filthy language and you bullshitted the hell out of him. What happened?” the joint director asked.

I told him the full story, and added, “Just imagine, Sir. What an impertinent bastard – he is just a bloody piddly Scientist “F” and he was behaving as if he was a Scientist “A” or Scientist “B” or something…! So I let him have it  nice and proper  and I threw him out.”

The civilian joint director burst out laughing  and he said to me: “Tell me – what do you think I am?”

I looked at him  quite clueless.

The civilian joint director looked at me and he said, “I am also a Scientist – you tell me what grade you think I am?”

I looked at him and thought to myself, “Surely he could not be a Scientist “A” – if so, he would have been the director, or maybe even higher. At most  he could be a Scientist “B” or more likely a Scientist“C”…”

It was better to err on the safer side  so I said to him, “Sir  you must be Scientist “B” … or a very senior Scientist “C” …”

“I am a Scientist “E” …” he said.

“You are an “E”…!” I exclaimed in surprise.

“In R&D everything is topsy-turvy. In academics  grade A may be higher than B which is higher than C and so on  but here everything is ulta-pulta – in reverse order – so Scientist “F” is higher than Scientist“E” – do you understand?” he said.

“Oh, shit,” I said.

“The guy you bullshitted is a Senior Scientist “F” – equivalent in rank to your Navy Captain or Commodore.”

“Sir  I am sorry. Should I apologize to him?” I said.

“Relax,” the joint director said, “on second thoughts I feel that you did the right thing – sitting here in Delhi  I think that this is the best way to deal with those buggers from the Labs who come here and disturb us. Now that you have earned a reputation  let it spread  and no one will bother you here.”

I sat in silence  feeling relieved.

The joint director got up to leave  and as he walked to the door  he turned around  and he said, “And by the way, there is no rank as Scientist “A” – the R&D alphabet starts with “B” – so Scientist “B” is the junior-most rank. Why is it so? Why there is no rank of Scientist “A” – I don’t know – so please don’t ask me!”


At first I thought that Scientists were dumb in having a reverse order of alphabet hierarchy.

But later I realized that the “Boffins” were much smarter than everyone else – particularly the straightforward  “Faujis” who were outwitted by the Scientists on most occasions.

During those days the senior-most rank was Scientist “F”.

Soon they created a Scientist “G” – later they had a Scientist “H” – and they can endlessly go on and on creating more and more higher ranks – Scientist “I”…“J”…“K”…“L”…“M”…“N”…

They can go all the way down the alphabet till they create a Scientist “Z” who may outrank everyone in the military hierarchy and civilian bureaucracy.

You never know  but the way their ranks are proliferating  these canny “Boffins” may one day even claim that Scientist “Z” outranks the President.

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1. This story is a spoof, 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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