Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Humor in Uniform - “DAPODI” ENGINEER - Unforgettable Characters I Met During My Wonderful Navy Life


A few days ago a few of us Ex-Navy Friends met for a drink – and we were joined by a retired “Pongo” – a cheerful person who was making a success of his second innings in the civvy street. 

He happened to be a Sapper  and I jokingly asked him if he was a Dapodi Engineer or a Genuine Engineer – and he informed me that he was indeed the former – Dapodi Engineer.

I think he told me that he had read my spoof on Dapodi Engineers – but since I suddenly remembered him in the evening during my walk – I thought it would be a good idea to post this story once again – for my friend and his fellow Dapodi Engineers  to enjoy and have a laugh.

So here is the story from my “Humor in Uniform” Archives – this happened long back, more than 37 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 !!!

Unforgettable Characters I Met During My Wonderful Navy Life
A Spoof

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 the GE and asked 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’ aspect...”

“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’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  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: “Me...? I am a bloody Dapodi Engineer.”

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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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