How Power Affects People

September 21, 2018

You must have heard the saying: “Power Corrupts”

Does Power corrupt people…?

How does Power affect people…?

Here is an article on the subject from my Management Lecture Archives.

More than 25 years ago – I wrote an article on POWER AND LEADERSHIP – in a Management Journal.

 I frequently used my article as a basis to deliver lectures on the subject.

Later – after I started blogging – I posted this lecture on POWER in my various blogs (in this blog first in 2008 – and updated and re-posted later a few times).

Dear Reader: This morning – I thought that I should post an updated and abridged version of the article for your perusal:

POWER and LEADERSHIP STYLE
An Essay By Vikram Karve

The two essential entities that flow between the human elements of an organisation are information and power.

Information flow is a means of communication whereas Power is an instrument of control.

Viewed from a Systems perspective, information flow is the transformation process, which facilitates decision making, in contrast to the flow of power, which is a control process whose objective is to ensure optimal operational performance.

Organisations are arrangements of power among individuals.

In fact, as per one definition, an organisation comprises two or more persons interacting within a recognised power relationship for some common purpose.

The interplay of power enables the achievement of common purpose (organisational objectives) and determines organisational behaviour.

Before we study the effect of power on organisational behaviour, it may be apt to take a closer look at the phenomenon we call POWER, in particular INTERPERSONAL POWER.

Interpersonal Power is the kind of power that people have over one another in formal and informal situations.

TYPES OF POWER

The various forms of power may be categorised into one or more of the following 12 categories, some of which may be inter-dependent, or overlapping, and some even forming power equations:

  1. POSITION POWER
  1. EXPERT POWER
  1. CHARISMATIC POWER
  1. INFLUENTIAL POWER
  1. IMPLIED COERCION
  1. ACTUAL COERCION
  1. POWER OF APPLIED PRESSURE
  1. POWER OF RAW FORCE
  1. ASSUMED POWER
  1. USURPED POWER
  1. ORGANIZATION POWER
  1. ASCETIC POWER

In many situations, particularly in organisations, many of the above forms of power are inextricably intertwined and mutually interdependent.

In fact, that is the beauty of the dynamics of the interplay of power within an organisation, which is why we will discuss the effects of the above types of power on organisational behaviour.

Now let us explore how this fascinating phenomenon called power impacts and determines organisational behaviour and elaborate a bit on each of the various forms of Power listed above.

POSITION POWER

Position Power or legitimate power is the power that emanates from the rights of the holder of a position in the organisation owing to the deference of subordinates to that position.

Position Power is vested in the leader by the organisation.

This means that should a conflict arise between the leader and the follower, the leader will get his way.

It is this type of power that is most open to abuse, misuse and distortion.

INFLUENTIAL POWER

According to Alvin Toffler, in his book Powershift, the three important sources of power are violence, wealth and knowledge.

He also says that power is the reciprocal of desire, or needs.

Anyone who can fulfil (or withhold) your needs or desires is a potential source of power.

Thus, if you desire a promotion, your boss who can give (or deny) you the promotion has power over you.

If you need money, the person who can give you money has influential power over you.

The more your needs and desires, the more you are subject to influential power.

Influential Power or compensatory power is the power over rewards and resources.

For example, money or wealth is an instrument of influential power.

Satisfaction of needs (Maslow’s Need Hierarchy) including higher order needs of safety, belongingness, recognition and self-esteem through actions like grant of wage hikes, bonuses, increments, incentives, awards, promotions, and simple intangibles like just “a pat on the back” are typical examples of influential power.

COERCIVE POWER

Coercive Power is an instrument of punishment.

Denial of legitimate needs, dismissal, demotion, unwarranted “punishments” like vindictive transfers and other forms of harassment are some commonly observed examples of coercive power.

If these “punishments” are actually implemented and imposed, then it is called Actual Coercion but even the mere threat and power to impose these coercive punishments is a potent form of power and is called Implied Coercion.

There is saying that sometimes the threat of violence is sometimes more scary than actual violence, so implied coercion can sometimes be quite effective.

The extreme cases of coercive power include the power of raw force (physical assault or harm to life and limb) and implied or threat of force (power of applied pressure).

In most cases, influential power and coercive power have linkages with and may emanate from position power and rely on sources of wealth and violence (the “carrot and stick” approach).

COERCIVE POWER is also called CONDIGN POWER.

Condign Power refers to brute force.

This means the ability to inflict punishment on someone if he does not obey.

Courts, Police and Military Forces are the principal instruments of condign power.

EXPERT POWER

Expert Power is probably the only power that a lower ranking employee in an organisation can exert over those above him in the hierarchy or higher than him in rank or position.

The source of Expert Power is knowledge.

It is the power devolved to a person who is regarded as possessing essential knowledge, skills, abilities, or expertise needed by the boss and the organisation.

If we look around we will see lots of examples of expert power especially in the technical domain and in Information Technology, where certain “key” employees wield expert power which is much more vis-à-vis their position in the organisational hierarchy.

One must remember that expert power lasts as long as the expertise is uniquely consolidated in the employee and adds value and is required by the organisation.

Once a particular knowledge or expertise dissipates or becomes obsolete or redundant, the expert power that comes with that expertise disappears.

ORGANISATION POWER

A network of people who form an organisation or group may collectively radiate power.

Organisations like the army, civil service, and police wield immense power and so do large industrial and political organisations.

Other examples are Union Organisations, Employers’ Associations and Confederations of Industries.

Organisation Power may exhibit similar attributes like position power, influential power and coercive power relying on the sources of wealth and violence for sustenance.

CHARISMATIC POWER

Charismatic Power is a type of power attached to an individual.

Charismatic Power emanates from personality and plays an important role in organisations. In situations when two persons with equal position power (peers) interact, we observe that one person tends to get his way more often than the other.

This type of power that enables one peer to get his way during an interaction is called charismatic power or personal power. 

A person possessing charismatic power can get people to obey him of their own free will, he exercises conditioned power by changing beliefs through persuasion and willing acceptance by the follower.

The key factors that determine charismatic power are:

  1. Self Image– How you view yourself
  1. Peer Image– How you view your peer (power inferior, power equal or power superior)
  1. Feedback Factor– How you read the power play in the interaction
  1. Situation Image– How expertise pertaining to a certain situation determines the power equation. (e.g. Situational Expert Power)

ASSUMED POWER

Assumed Power is illegitimate position power (authority without accountability).

Examples include personal staff to high officials, low level functionaries in important government departments, etc.

In general, any person who can deny, withhold, delay or fulfill your needs or desires has the potential to assume power over you.

USURPED POWER

Powerlessness may cause frustration and, in extreme cases, lead to desperation, which may trigger off attempts to usurp power (e.g. – Violent Revolt, Military Coup, Hostile Takeover of Companies, etc)

Power may be usurped by an individual or group and then maintained by force, coercion, influence, charisma or combinations thereof.

Look within your own organisation – a discerning look may reveal many overtcovert and subtle forms of assumed power and usurped power.
ASCETIC POWER 

To start with – I will relate below a story – maybe apocryphal – which illustrates the concept of ASCETIC POWER.

THE STORY OF EMPEROR ALEXANDER AND PHILOSOPHER DIOGENES

Alexander the Great – the Emperor of the World – had conquered all lands and seas.

He considered himself the “son of a god”

Before him – all knelt in veneration and reverence.

One day early in the morning – Alexander was riding with his Army through Greece.

Suddenly – Alexander saw a man lying naked in the sand by the side of a river basking in the early morning sunlight.

Curious – Alexander rode towards the naked man.

The man who was basking in the sun seemed to be totally indifferent to the distinguished visitor and his entourage.

The naked man remained prostrate and made no attempt to get up.

He ignored Emperor Alexander the Great – sitting majestically on his horse.

An angry soldier shouted at the naked man:

“You there – do you know in whose presence you are…?”

“Who is he…?” the prostrate man answered lazily, without even a stir, making no move to get up.

The astonished soldier proclaimed:

“Wretched man – you are in the presence of His Exalted Highness Alexander the Great – Emperor of the World…”

“Oh…” the naked sunbather said impassively – continuing to lie down.

The naked man casually looked up at Alexander the Great – mounted imposingly on his horse.

Then – the naked man said to Alexander:

“I am Diogenes.”

On hearing his – Alexander exclaimed:

“Ah – so you are the philosopher Diogenes…!!!

I have always wanted to meet you – I have heard so many stories about you.

Diogenes – I am impressed.

I shall grant you anything you wish.

Tell me – what do you desire…?

Diogenes – ask for anything in the world – and it will be yours…”

Still lying prostrate on the sand – Diogenes said to Alexander:

“Please could you move a little to the side and get out of my sunlight, because you are blocking the sun and spoiling my sunbath. That is all I want from you…”  

Diogenes desired nothing from Emperor Alexander – he just wanted to enjoy his sunbathing.

Power is the reciprocal of desire.

If I desire something from you, then you have the power to either grant or withhold what I desire from me.

If I do not desire anything from you, then you have no power over me.

A desire can be any form.

It can be tangible, like material wealth, or even intangible, like love, appreciation etc.

In his time, Alexander the Great was the most “powerful” man on earth, but he had no power over Diogenes, because Diogenes did not desire anything from him.

This story illustrates the fact that:

You cannot have power over someone who desires nothing from you.

That is Ascetic Power.

Look closely – and you will see individuals with ascetic power around you – maybe even in your organisation too.

LEADERSHIP AND FOLLOWERSHIP STYLE

Each person, because of his life experiences, develops a characteristic way of behaving when he has power over another.

How you behave when you have power over someone is your leadership style.

Each of us has a characteristic way of reacting to those we recognise as having power over us.

How you react to someone who has power over you is your followership style.

Leadership and followership styles may embody situational and cultural aspects.

Different types of power have varied connotations in different cultures.

In some parts of the world and in most hierarchical, military and bureaucratic organisations position power may be of prime importance.

In some other domains (especially political organisations) charismatic power may prevail.

And in some organisations, especially technical organisations, expert power may be given more recognition.

With increasing globalisation, these aspects merit consideration in determining power equations in multinational and multicultural organisations.

HOW POWER AFFECTS BEHAVIOUR

Like all resources, power is susceptible to misuse.

Power corrupts, and to quote Lord Acton:

“Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely…”

Let us see, in the organisational scenario, what power does to people and discuss the process by which managers may get corrupted by the acquisition of power.

This process of corruption due to power is a four-stage process and the sequence seems to be quite consistent:

STAGE 1 – SURPRISE

After you acquire power, especially position power, say after a promotion to a senior position like CEO:

First, there is surprise at how quickly erstwhile peers or equals change their behaviour towards you.

Then there is a distancing process.

You can no longer be “one of the boys”.

Your privileges increase – after all Rank has its Privileges.

STAGE 2 – EXCITEMENT

The second phase is a feeling of excitement, of recognition that when you, as the new leader, use your power to make a decision, your decision is both sought after and gratefully received.

This develops into strong feelings of self-worth and you have a feeling of doing something worthwhile.

You have a feeling of importance owing to the satisfaction of the inner need for significance.

STAGE 3 – POTENCY

The third phase is the one most likely to begin the process of corruption. It is feeling of potency.

You, as a powerbroker, start to understand how much power and concomitant resources you can employ in order to amplify your own person, role and achievements.

There is an accompanying feeling of isolation.

The “leader”, possessing power, becomes inexorably drawn away from the subject (follower or victim) of his power and is tempted to feel bigger for it.

STAGE 4 – EPIPHANY

In the final phase, there is a split. In this stage, persons possessing power behave in two distinct ways.

If you are a prudent manager or leader – you will begin to realise the negative aspects of power.

You will sense the reactions of your subordinates and peers in the organisation to the power equations and accordingly you will evaluate the situation and respond in a positive manner by appropriate delegation of power in order to empower your subordinates – or at least generate a feeling of empowerment among them.

If you are one of those indisputable ambitious power seekers – you will begin to believe that power is something that you can now command – because of who you are.

You take your power for granted and begin to believe that your own identity is of prime importance as compared to those you lead (followers).

You create defences against potential attack by peers and subordinates and other you imagine who want to grab your power.

You will surround yourself with reinforcements (siege mentality).

Finally – like Nero, Hitler and many other tyrants and totalitarian rulers, autocrats, despots and dictators – you will start having illusions of your own glory – and you will ignore the reality of the situation – and you will not see the signs of your impending end.

In extremis – all those who hold on to power – they risk turning into paranoids and megalomaniacs – like the ones we read about in history books, including the corporate world.

CONCLUSION

The advent of the information age and knowledge worker and fast changing business environment and flatter organizational structure owing to proliferation of information technology and implementation of modern management practices and consequent dynamic changes in traditional power equations necessitate an understanding of the different kinds of power relationships in organisational situations and their impact on organisational behaviour.

It is, indeed, vital to recognize that power is a key resource which must be prudently managed so as to minimise power conflict for the good of the individuals involved and the organisation to which they belong.

I will end with another quote from Lord Acton:

… And remember, where you have a concentration of power in a few hands, all too frequently men with the mentality of gangsters get control. History has proven that. All power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely …

Lord Acton

Power is a vital resource in governance and management.

It is important to understand the dynamics of power in order to handle it prudently.

If the various types and aspects of power are not understood properly and mishandled, then power can become a dangerous resource and things can get out of control.

VIKRAM KARVE

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.

Disclaimer:

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.

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 source post of this story in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/01/power-and-leadership-style.html

This is a revised version of my article written by me more than 25 years ago in the 1990s and posted online an number of times on my various blogs including at urls:http://creative.sulekha.com/the-power-game_508927_blog  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/02/power-and-organisational-behaviour.html  and  https://karve.wordpress.com/2011/02/25/vikram-karve-types-of-power-and-ascetic-power/ and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2012/06/power-and-its-management-primer.html and https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/06/power.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/12/does-power-corrupt.html and https://www.quora.com/profile/Vikram-Karve/Writing-by-VIKRAM-KARVE/How-Power-Corrupts etc

Nirmal Verma – Expat Stories of the 1960s

September 21, 2018

Nirmal Verma and his Short Stories

https://scroll.in/article/889100/hindi-writer-nirmal-vermas-stories-from-the-1960s-give-us-people-in-love-with-loneliness

The life of the Indian expatriate is portrayed with poignancy in many of the stories

Love – Lust – and – a Sucker Punch

September 21, 2018

It all started when my wife discovered that I was having an extra marital affair with Anita.

My wife flew down from Pune to Delhi by the first available flight and she confronted me.

Guilt ridden – I confessed the truth.

Dear Reader: 

Let me delve deep into my Creative Writing Archives and pull out this Passionate Love Story for you to read.

I wrote story nearly 12 years ago – in the year 2007.

Do tell me if you liked the love story.

THE SUCKER PUNCH 

A Love Story 

Short Fiction  By  Vikram Karve 

THE SUCKER PUNCH – A Love Story by Vikram Karve 

Pune – Circa 2007

Part 1 – LOVE

It all started when my wife discovered that I was having an extra marital affair with Anita.

My wife flew down to Delhi by the first available flight and she confronted me.

Guilt ridden – I confessed the truth.

My wife asked for divorce.

I agreed.

Under the circumstances – she was fully justified – yes – my wife Alka was fully justified in asking for divorce.

And – it was okay with me too.

Because – I had fallen genuinely in love with Anita.

One year later – Alka and I were formally divorced by mutual consent.

And – I married Anita.

Actually it all started because we bought that luxurious 3 BHK apartment in a posh township in Aundh – an upmarket locality in Pune.

We should have been happy and content staying in our cosy little rented apartment in the heart of Pune.

But – the lure of owning our own dream house – that too in a high-falutin locality like Aundh – it was too strong a desire to withstand.

And everyone said that the way real estate prices were shooting up – it was a life-time chance and fantastic investment too.

Buying the expensive house in Aundh meant two things.

First – my wife Alka had to start working again to help pay the housing loan EMIs.

Second – we had to postpone our immediate plans for a second child – a companion for our three year old daughter Sneha.

Everything was fine.

Our work life – and our family life – everything was going on fine.

In fact – despite the hiatus she had taken to have the baby – my wife was doing very well in her career – and thanks to the “IT Boom” – she got fast promotions – and even her salary had become more than mine.

(Yes – Dear Reader – when this story started – nearly 12 years ago – in 2007 – there was an “IT Boom” in India…)

Then one day – suddenly – my firm was acquired by some wise guy in the US – who merged our firm with his bigger firm – and he decided to transfer the Pune operations to the main facility at Gurgaon – near Delhi.

The new owner decided to sell off the Pune office – its vast real estate which was prime property – and also sell the firm’s extensive assets for an exorbitant sum of money and make a huge profit.

It made business sense too – having everything in one place.

Though I had to relocate to Gurgaon – it was with a big promotion and huge pay hike.

My wife Alka could have come with me to Gurgaon.

But – she did not want to give up her job in Pune.

In her present job in Pune – her career was doing extremely well.

More importantly – she did not want to leave our dream home in Aundh – which we had painstakingly designed, decorated, adorned and embellished so lovingly.

Locking up our Pune home and not living in our own beautiful house would be a pity.

Selling our beloved house was unimaginable.

Renting it out would be sacrilege.

And Sneha – our darling daughter – she was so well settled – doing so well in her excellent school just opposite our house – so engrossed with her friends, her creative hobby classes, her games, her routine, everything – that it would be cruel to dislocate her joyful and happy life.

I could have changed my job.

I could have stayed on in Pune too.

But here – in Pune – at that point of time – I could not even dream of getting the high position and pay hike that I was being offered in Gurgaon – after my firm’s takeover by the new American firm.

Maybe – somewhere in the back of my mind – it had irked my male ego that my wife was earning more than me –  and she was in a much better position than me too.

Now – once I went to Gurgaon – I would be way ahead of her – both “salary-wise” and “position-wise”.

Tell me – which husband likes to be inferior to his wife…?

Or maybe – we both were in competition with each other.

So we began this long distance marriage.

We tried to meet whenever could – we planned family vacations to exotic locations – we tried to spend “quality time” together.

But as everyone knows – this “quality time” pretence is all a façade – a masquerade that all actors in a long distance relationship go through.

Yes – most long distance spouses enact and perform this “quality time” masquerade – they “fake it” – for the others’ sake – or maybe to soothe their own guilty conscience too.

And then – it happened – the affair with my colleague Anita.

Part 2 – LUST 

Yes – I had an affair with my office colleague Anita.

Anita worked in my office in Gurgaon – in fact – she worked in the same department as me.

The affair with Anita did not happen suddenly.

It was not a sudden spur of the moment “one-night-stand”.

It was a full-fledged love affair.

It happened slowly and surely – as it probably happens to most lovelorn couples suffering the void of a long distance marriage.

It all started as a harmless workplace friendship.

Then there was a bit of lighthearted flirting – a hint of flippant romance.

As time passed we – Anita and Me – we became closer and closer.

We spent more and more time together – at work – off work – and our relationship blossomed.

It was silly of me to assume that I could keep my friendship with an attractive single woman like Anita purely platonic – for she too – was as lonely as I was.

We – Anita and Me – we started having a passionate affair.

And – and we fell in love with each other.

I still do not know which happened first – the love – or the lust.

It was just a matter of time before rumours reached Alka’s ears in Pune.

The way Anita and me were brazenly having an affair – I wonder why it took so much time for Alka to find out.

And then – one day – out of the blue – suddenly – Alka flew down from Pune – and landed up in Gurgaon – and she confronted me about my extra marital affair with Anita.

I confessed.

Alka asked for a divorce.

I accepted.

So – Alka and I got divorced through mutual consent.

And – I married Anita.

Part 3 – SUCKER PUNCH

Three years later – Anita and I sat anxiously in the clinic.

We sat in the clinic because Anita hadn’t been able to conceive a baby.

For the first year of our marriage – we planned not to have a baby.

We focussed on our careers – we enjoyed ourselves.

The next year – we were carefree – we let nature take its own course – and we left it to chance.

The third year – we desperately tried to have a baby – as Anita had crossed 34 – and she was approaching 35 years of age.

And – as time passed – disappointment turned into anxiety – and then – panic set in.

So – we sat in the fertility clinic – waiting for the doctor.

“There’s good news for you…” the doctor said to Anita – reading the reports.

“I’m okay…?” asked Anita excitedly.

“You are sbsolutely okay…!” the doctor said to Anita, “you are fully fit to have a baby.”

“Then what’s wrong…? Why can’t she conceive a child…?” I asked.

“The problem is with you, Sir…” the doctor said to me, “you are sterile…”

“What…?” I shouted dumbfounded.

“But he is so “good”…” Anita exclaimed incredulously.

“Wait…Wait…Just wait a minute…” the doctor said to Anita, “I’m sure he is “good”. But please try to understand – there is a difference between impotence and sterility…”

“What nonsense…?” I said angrily, “I am not sterile or anything. Let me inform you that I am fully “virile”. I have a daughter from my earlier marriage. Her name is Sneha. She was born 6 years ago. So – since I have already fathered a daughter – obviously – I am fully “virile”…”

“Not possible…” the doctor said emphatically, “You could never have fathered a child in your entire life – you have congenital, incurable, permanent – come inside – I will explain everything in detail to you…”

The doctor explained everything to me.

After hearing him – I was stunned.

“Doctor – are you sure I am sterile…?” I asked, anxiously.

“Yes – you are sterile – you were always sterile…” the doctor said.

“Then who fathered my daughter…?” I screamed hysterically – my brain spinning crazily like a vortex.

“That’s for you to find out…” the doctor said dispassionately.

The doctor continued speaking.

But – I could not discern a word of what he was saying.

My mind went blank in an abyss of silence – a deafening silence.

For some time – I continued to stare at him blankly – like a zombie.

Then – I started mumbling incoherently:

“Who fathered my daughter…?

Who fathered my daughter…?

Someone please tell me – “Who fathered my daughter”…?”

VIKRAM KARVE

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.

Disclaimer:

This story is a work of fiction. Events, Places, Settings and Incidents narrated in the story 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.

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 of this story in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/07/the-sucker-punch-story-of-love-and-lust.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This Story was written by me Vikram Karve nearly 12 years ago in the year 2007 and First Posted by me Vikram Karve in this blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve at 8/12/2010 12:13:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2010/08/sucker-punch-short-fiction-romance.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2011/05/whodunit.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/02/love-and-infidelity-story-of-passionate.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2013/03/adultery-blog-fiction-story-no-9.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/10/my-love-affair-and-sucker-punch.html   and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/11/03/sucker-punch-a-love-story/  etc

The Unforgettable “Scholar Warrior”

September 20, 2018

Humor in Uniform 

From time to time – I receive invitations from my esrtwhile “alma mater” IAT Girinagar Pune – now called DIAT/MILIT – for delivering a “Guest Lecture”.

I always accept these invitations to deliver lectures since I love visiting this wonderful place and interacting with young defence officers and scientists.

During my previous visit this year – we had an interesting discussion.

At the customary post-lecture “PLD” in the Officers Mess – someone speculated that – soon – this prestigious institution (IAT/DIAT/MILIT) may be affiliated to the new INDU (Indian Defence University) – which was being planned to be established in the near future.

I asked:

“Is INDU being located in this excellent campus at Girinagar…?”

“Not likely…” someone said, “like everything which is “Delhi-Centric” – they will locate it somewhere near Delhi/NCR – so that it is convenient for retired senior officers and civilian bureaucrats…”

“Looks like it will be more of a “resettlement” facility for senior officers rather than an “institution of learning”…” someone quipped.

“No wonder many senior officers are rushing to get Ph.D. – so that they can settle down as faculty in INDU…” another joked.

I felt amused – but – I also felt sad.

Once upon a time – IAT was a true “centre of excellence”.

In earlier days – IAT was affiliated to the University of Poona/Pune (UoP) – which has been renamed as Savitribai Phule Pune University (SPPU).

UoP/SPPU was – and still is – a prestigious university.

Everything was fine.

But – due to the proclivity to “fix” things that aren’t “broken” – the “powers-that-be” decided to convert IAT into a Deemed University.

So – IAT became DIAT Deemed University.

The earlier acronym IAT stood for “Institute of Armament Technology”.

DIAT stood for “Defence Institute of Advanced Technology”.

Ironically – IAT was more “Defence” in Culture – and more “Advanced” in Technology – than DIAT.

Later – DIAT was split into two parts – and half of the institution became MILIT (Military Institute of Technology).

“Why was DIAT split…?” I asked.

“Well – this institution was split up mainly due to “Personality Clashes”, “Ego Battles” and “Turf Wars”…” said a “clued-up” veteran.

“This is a case study on how to convert a “centre of excellence” into a “centre of mediocrity”…” someone else quipped.

He had a point – in our days in the 1980s and 1990s – when I had served on the faculty – IAT was indeed a “Centre of Excellence” – and – it appeared that things were going downhill – ever since the name was changed.

After the stimulating PLD – I enjoyed a hearty lunch.

After lunch – while driving through the beautiful campus below Sinhagad Fort in the verdant green hills of Girinagar overlooking the cool blue Khadakvasla Lake – I reminisced about my wonderful IAT days.

And suddenly – I was reminded of the story of the “Scholar Warrior” aka “Warrior Scholar”…

Dear Reader: Here is the story…

“SCHOLAR WARRIOR” 

An Unforgettable Character I Met – In and Out of Uniform

A Fictional Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE

PROLOGUE

In the Academia – I have seen self-styled “Scholars”

In the Military – I have seen self-styled “Warriors”

And – among Military Veterans – I have seen self-styled “Scholar Warriors”

Let me tell you the story of one such “Scholar Warrior”

Well – actually – it will be more apt to call him a “Warrior Scholar” – since – at first – he was a “Warrior” – and he turned into “Scholar” much later – a ‘warrior-turned-scholar’ to be precise.

But – if you want me to put it bluntly – like most “Scholar Warriors” you see proliferating like hobgoblins and pontificating on TV debates – it would be more accurate to describe him as a “pseudo- warrior” turned “pseudo-scholar” – because – neither had he fought a war – nor had he achieved any earth-shaking scholarly accomplishments.

Let’s skip the semantics and the gobbledygook – we will call him a “Scholar Warrior” – and get on with the story.

THE UNFORGETTABLE “SCHOLAR WARRIOR” – A Spoof by Vikram Karve

Circa 1992 – The “Warrior” 

“Sir – you teach very ‘high-funda’ stuff…” the Major said, sidling up to me in the bar.

“Well – military technology is getting high-tech…” I said.

“Sir – that may be for others – but Sir – please but have mercy on me – I am a simple ‘Cavalry’ officer…” he pleaded.

“Cavalry…? Don’t tell me they are sending officers from one of those ceremonial horse regiments for this ‘Technical Staff Course’…” I said.

“No Sir – my ‘cavalry’ regiment has got tanks – but I am a ‘pure warrior’…”

“Ha Ha – ‘Pure Warrior’ – what do you mean by that…?”

“Sir – I am not interested in learning…”

“You are not interested in learning…? Then why have you come for this course…?”

“Sir – this course is good for my career – it is a ‘criteria’ course for promotion and getting good appointments…”

“Oh – so you want to qualify the course without studying….?”

“Exactly, Sir – you have really understood my problem…”

“So what do you want me to do…? I certainly cannot lower the standard of training or evaluation…”

“No Sir – please maintain your standard – many others are keen on learning – but I want to qualify with the ‘bare minimum’ effort…”

“Ha Ha – ‘bare minimum effort’…” I laughed, “Do you know – we have an expression in the Navy – “bare minimum inescapable requirement’…”

“Yes, Sir – you have put it in a nutshell – ‘bare minimum inescapable requirement’…” the Major said.

The ‘Pure Warrior’ qualified the course with the ‘bare minimum inescapable requirement’…

10 Years Later

Circa 2002 – The “Scholar”

“Hello, Sir – what a pleasant surprise to see you here…”

I recognized him at once – he was the same ‘Pure Warrior’ – who had been my ‘student’ around 10 years ago.

“Well – I am even more surprised to see you here – on the University Campus…” I said.

“Sir – I am on study leave…”

“What…? You…? You have taken ‘study leave’…? Don’t tell me that you have suddenly developed an interest in ‘learning’…?”

“No Sir – I am least interested in studying – but I was forced to take ‘study leave’…”

“You were forced to take ‘study leave’ – that is amazing – in the Navy it is almost impossible to get ‘study leave’ due to the perpetual shortage of officers – isn’t there a shortage of officers in the Army…?”

“Sir – there is a shortage of junior officers – but there is a surplus of Colonels…”

“Really…? But how can you be forced to take ‘study leave’…?”

“Not really forced at gunpoint, Sir – but I was ‘persuaded’ to volunteer. One day my Boss called me – and he told me to apply for ‘study leave’. When I expressed my reluctance – my Boss counselled me – and – he said to me:

‘See – you have finished your command tenure – and you still have two years to go – before your next promotion board. 

I have found out that – till now – your ACRs are good – so – if you take ‘study leave’ – then – your ACR average points will remain the same – since there will be no ACRs rendered during your ‘study leave’ – so you are likely to be promoted. 

But – if you are adamant – and you refuse to apply for ‘study leave’ – then you may land up getting superseded. 

Try to understand the situation – since there are surplus Colonels – they may post you anywhere – in some insignificant appointment – under some guy who does not like ‘Cavalry’ Officers – and you may be ‘written off’ – and – that will be the end of your career. 

So – for your own good – it is best for you to go on ‘study leave’. 

Why don’t you select a course in Pune for your ‘study leave’ – so that you can enjoy a two years paid holiday in your hometown…’

So – I chose this easy course – where I would have to study the least…”

“Bare Minimum Inescapable Requirement…?” I joked.

“Yes, Sir…” he laughed.

10 More Years Later

Circa 2012 – The “Scholar Warrior”

A few years after I had retired – I was invited to attend a Seminar.

There – I was stunned to see my old friend – my ex-student – the “pure warrior” – who I had taught 20 years ago – and who I had later met 10 years ago when he was a “scholar” – when he was on ‘study leave’ in the University.

He seemed delighted to meet me.

“Hello, Sir – I am so happy to see you here. Sir – it is great honour for me to speak before my ‘Guru’…” he said.

“You are speaking at this seminar…?” I asked, surprised.

“Yes, Sir – I am the 3rd speaker, Sir…” he said – and he handed me a copy of the seminar programme he was carrying in his hand.

“That’s fantastic – it seems the ‘study leave’ has turned you into a ‘scholar’…” I said.

“Not at all, Sir – I joined back after my ‘study leave’ – but – sadly – I was ‘passed over’ for promotion – so I quit the army – and I was looking for a job in the civilian world – when my I met a Professor who had taught me during ‘study leave’ – he suggested that I do my Ph.D. – and join the ‘Academia’ – where I could enjoy a cool life – and could keep ‘working’ till 65 – or even 70…”

“Ph.D…? Don’t tell me you are doing your Ph.D. …?” I said, taken aback.

“Sir – in fact – I have just completed my Ph.D. a few days ago…” he said.

He handed me his visiting card.

I read his visiting card.

He had written his name as:

Col (Dr) ***** (Retd)

He had become a “Scholar Warrior”…

EPILOGUE

I laughed to myself at the quirk of fate.

My reluctant student had become a “Scholar Warrior”…

And me…?

Well – I have been reduced to being a “Keyboard Warrior”…

VIKRAM KARVE

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.

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. This Story and 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.

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.

© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

Link to my source post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-scholar-warrior.html

Copyright © Vikram Karve (all rights reserved)  

This is a re-post of my story THE SCHOLAR WARRIOR written by me more than three years ago in the year 2015 and posted by me online earlier in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 31 August 2015 at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/humor-in-uniform-scholar-warrior.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/03/humor-in-uniform-scholar-warrior.html andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/humor-in-uniform-scholar-warrior-aka.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-scholar-warrior.htmletc

An interview with Vikram Karve about his Life and Blogging journey

September 19, 2018

My Interview on Blogging (5 years ago – 2013)

👇

https://blog.blogadda.com/2013/11/07/interview-with-vikram-karve-about-blogging

👆

My Life as Blogger

Humor in Military Medicine – Part 6 – Medical Category

September 19, 2018

During my long lifetime service in the Navy – I “enhanced” a lot of things. 

I enhanced my academic qualifications.

I enhanced my knowledge.

I enhanced my expertise.

I enhanced my world-view.

I enhanced my personality

I enhanced my physical attributes – especially my weight.

But – the one thing I could not enhance – was my “MEDICAL CATEGORY” 

Let me tell you about it…

HUMOR IN MILITARY MEDICINE SERIES – PART 6

Continued from Part 1 “Doc Daneekas” in Uniform  url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-1-doc-daneekas-in-uniform/

and Part 2 “Dentists” in Uniform  url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-2-dentists-in-uniform/

and Part 3 “Second Opinion” or “Cut Practice”
url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-3-second-opinion-cut-practice/

and Part 4: THE “SIQ” SPECIALIST  url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-4-the-siq-specialist/

and Part 5: “PONGO” DOCTOR AT SEA url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/19/humor-in-military-medicine-part-5-pongo-doctor-at-sea/

Humor in Uniform 

MEDICAL CATEGORY 

A Spoof by Vikram Karve 

During my long service in the Navy – I “enhanced” a lot of things.

I enhanced my academic qualifications.

I enhanced my knowledge.

I enhanced my expertise.

I enhanced my world-view.

I enhanced my personality

I even enhanced my physical attributes – especially my weight.

But – the one thing I could not enhance was my “MEDICAL CATEGORY”.

When I joined the Navy as an Officer – my Medical Category was S1 A1

And – when I retired from the Navy – more than 34 years later – my Medical Category was still S1 A1

I could not achieve even a small “incremental enhancement” in my Medical Category – even temporarily.

Not even for one moment could I achieve a slightly “higher” Medical Category like “S2 A1” or “S2 A2” – of course I never dreamt of achieving greater heights like “S3 A3” “S4 A4” or “S5 A5”

Throughout my entire Naval career – my Medical Category remained consistently constant at S1 A1” – the “lowest” Medical Category.

By strange military logic – if you achieved a “higher” Medical Category like S2 A2 S3 A3 S4 A4” etc – the Doctors said that you were in Low Medical Category (LMC).

How can S1 A1” be High Medical Category – and – S3 A3” be Low Medical Category…?

Is the number 3 lower than the number 1…? 

But then – Mathematics has never been a strong point of Doctors – even at 10+2 level – Mathematics is not required if you intend studying Medicine.

The only time I was hospitalized – towards the end of my career – was for Malaria – and I thought they would “enhance” my Medical Category – to S2 A2 – maybe to S3 A2 – or even to S3 A3 – or even higher.

But nothing happened.

After a couple of days – when my Malaria began to abate – and just I was beginning to enjoy my stay in hospital – they suddenly discharged me – and threw me out of the hospital – straight back to work – as they were short of beds due the sudden arrival of a few “serious” cases.

And – while discharging me unceremoniously from hospital – the Navy Doctors did not even have the courtesy or decency to enhance my Medical Category.

So – I remained in my lifelong “lowly” and unimpressive Medical Category of S1 A1

Yes – I remained a lowly S1 A1 from “womb to tomb” (to put it metaphorically).

Well – if there is a Navy Doctor reading this – maybe he will be able to explain the significance of medical categories ranging from S1 A1 to S5 A5 – with all permutations and combinations like S2 A1 S2 A2 S3 A2 etc etc

ARMY MEDICAL CATEGORIES

The Army likes to do things differently from the Navy

So – the Army have named their medical categories from SHAPE 1 onwards to SHAPE 5 :–

SHAPE1, SHAPE 2, SHAPE 3, SHAPE 4 and SHAPE 5 etc

And – there are even more possibilities for permutations and combinations in Medical Category like S1 H2 A3 P4 E5 etc etc – to make it all the more confusing for Army Officers – who are most confused anyway.

Now – this Army Medical Category called SHAPE has nothing to do with the “shape” of your body.

This is evident from the fact that you will see many “Out of Shape” Army Pongos in Medical Category SHAPE1.

Will some “Fauji” Doctor be good enough to tell us all about the Army Medical Category “SHAPE” 

And also – please enlighten us on why some SHAPE 1 “Faujis” look so much “out of shape” 

AIR FORCE MEDICAL CATEGORIES

In the Air Force they call their medical categories A1 G1 A2 G2 …. A5 G5” etc.

Yes – the “fittest” Medical Category in the Air Force is A1 G1” 

Is A1 G1” the same as “S1 A1” or “SHAPE1…?

Are Aviators in the Army and Navy required to be A1 G1…?

Or – is it okay if they are “S1 A1” or “SHAPE1…?

It is all very confusing – isn’t it…?

“JOINTMANSHIP” IN MILITARY MEDICINE

It is all very confusing and puzzling to me.

“Fauji” Military Doctors keep changing the colour of their uniforms.

Like chameleons – they “flit and frolic” about – between the Army, Navy and Air Force.

Basically – all “Fauji” doctors are the same – and – all of them belong to the Army Medical Corps (AMC).

I have not understood one thing.

The 3 Defence Services – Army Navy and Air Force – all have the same AMC Doctors.

Then – why does each Service have its own style of Medical Categories…?

“SHAPE” – for the Army

“S1 A1 S2 A2… etc – for the Navy

“A1 G1 A2 G2… etc – for the Air Force…?

The three Defence Services have the same Doctors.

But – the three Defence Services have different Medical Categories.

Is this one more “feather in the cap” of “jointmanship”…?

ADVANTAGES OF “ENHANCING” YOUR MEDICAL CATEGORY

(The Story of the Officer with a Perpetual “Medical Category”)

“Enhancing” your medical category gives you a lot of advantages – like it did to my friend “D”.

“D” was a master at “malingering”

An ex-NDA officer – on the very first day of our training – “D” was missing from morning Physical Training (PT).

When questioned about his absence from PT by the Senior-Under-Training-Officer (SUTO) – “D” answered triumphantly:

“Sir – I am a “Medical Category”…”

(In colloquial Naval Parlance – this meant that “D” had an “enhanced” Medical Category)

During his entire training period – his “medical category” was his all powerful universal “trump card” – which he effectively used – to be excused from any painful activity that “D” wanted to avoid – like PT, Games, Divisions, Drill, Parades, Cross Country Runs, Route Marches, Outward Bound Camps etc.

Even Senior Officers were wary of “D” – because of his “enhanced” medical category.

Senior Officers avoided bullshitting “D” – lest he drop dead – or have a fit – or something serious happen him – and they be blamed for it.

The biggest mystery was none of us knew what was wrong with him.

No one knew for what “disease” “D” had got the medical category – from where he had got his medical category – and – what exactly was his medical category.

Maybe – “D” had managed to “enhance” his medical category at the previous training ship or unit – or maybe – in National Defence Academy (NDA) – or maybe – even before that at the Services Selection Board (SSB) – or maybe – “D” was born with a medical category.

“D” looked perfectly healthy – and – Bwhenever we asked him about his medical category – he told us not to be too inquisitive.

In fact – I once suspected whether he had an “enhanced” medical category at all – but then – the way he flaunted it around – I thought that there must be some truth in it.

Of course – his “enhanced” medical category did not prevent “D” from drinking copious amounts of booze and eating all types of food to his heart’s content every afternoon and evening – or generally enjoying himself to the hilt – and having a jolly good ball of a time.

His medical category did not prevent him from getting promoted – and “D” got nominated for all the good training courses.

And – of course – he got the best of ships – and avoided all the hardship appointments – thanks to his “enhanced” medical category.

Whenever “D” wanted to avoid anything inconvenient – “D” used his “Trump Card” – his “Medical Category”.

Inspired by “D” – I tried my best to “enhance” my medical category.

But – I could not succeed.

And – throughout my long Navy career – I remained at the “rock-bottom” medical category – S1 A1

Once – during my Annual Medical Examination (AME) – a Navy Doctor said that I was overweight – and –  I thought he was going to “enhance” my Medical Category for “obesity”

But – the Navy Doctor did not “enhance” my Medical Category.

Instead – the Navy Doctor sent me in a “spin” – and – he made me do all sorts of medical examinations and tests.

The Navy Doctor got me examined by all sorts of “specialists“.

And then – the wise Navy Doctor delivered his final verdict on me:

“The Officer is Asymptomatic.

He has been advised to reduce weight.

Officer is fit in Medical Category “S1 A1”…”

I was declared fully “Fit in Medical Category S1 A1” 

Forget about S3 A3” S4 A4” S5 A5 etc – I had failed to “enhance” my Medical Category even to a measly S2 A2

I was back to “Square One”

I have not understood the Mystery of the “Military Medical Category”

Have you…?

EPILOGUE 

I heard a story – maybe apocryphal – about a “smart” officer who took full advantage of the medical category system.

He was an expert at using the medical category system for malingering or shamming (in military parlance)

With the help of his doctor friends – he would keep manipulating his medical category to his advantage – to avoid hardship postings.

However – the “smart” officer ensured that his medical category was suitably upgraded just before promotion boards/criteria appointments/training courses – to ensure that he got all his promotions.

This ensured that he reached high rank without enduring too much hardship.

Thanks to his expertise in deftly manipulating his medical category – he managed to avoid tough appointments.

He spent most of his career enjoying the best of lucrative/comfortable appointments – he got nominated to all the prestigious courses – he ensured that he got promoted on time – so that he could reach high rank.

The “smart” officer delivered his “coup de grace” – when he got his medical category suitably manipulated just before retirement – in order to claim “disability pension”.

It may not be true – but like the “smart” officer above – I have heard apocryphal stories about senior officers who suddenly develop ailments “attributable to service” just before retirement – which helps them “enhance” their medical category just before retirement – in order to claim “disability pension”.

But for most officers – like it happened to me – it is a lacklustre run-of-the-mill “medical category journey”:

Joined in S1 A1 (SHAPE1)

Served in S1 A1 (SHAPE1) throughout his entire Military Career

Retired in S1 A1 (SHAPE1) 

A flat journey – without ups and downs – with absolutely no “enhancement” of Medical Category.

Hey – I have digressed from the Moot Question:

Dear Reader:

Can You Solve the Mystery of the “Military Medical Category”…?

(Disclaimer: I am totally clueless on the subject of “military medical categories” – so if you have any specific queries on the military medical category system – please contact your nearest “Fauji” Doctor)

VIKRAM KARVE

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.

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.

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: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/humor-in-uniform-mystery-of-military.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved. 

This Fictional Spoof was written by me Vikram Karve more than 4 years ago on 16 June 2014 and earlier Posted Online by me Vikram Karve in myAcademic and Creative Writing Journal blog at url link: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/06/humor-in-uniform-medical-category-enigma.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/07/humor-in-uniform-mystery-of-military.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/humor-in-uniform-medical-category.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/09/14/military-medicine-medical-category-a-mystery/ and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/humor-in-uniform-doctors-orders-medical.html

Humor in Military Medicine – Part 5 – “Pongo” Doctor at “Sea”

September 19, 2018

In the Defence Services – once you join a particular service – you remain in that service.

Once you are commissioned as an Officer – you cannot change the colour of your uniform.

The only exceptions are Military Doctors – Officers of the Army Medical Corps (AMC) – who often change the colour of their uniform – like chameleons.

Let me tell you a story about a landlubber “Pongo” Doctor in Olive Green (OG) who was suddenly transferred to the Navy and found himself all at sea.

HUMOR IN MILITARY MEDICINE SERIES – PART 5

Continued from Part 1 “Doc Daneekas” in Uniform  url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-1-doc-daneekas-in-uniform/

and Part 2 “Dentists” in Uniform  url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-2-dentists-in-uniform/

and Part 3 “Second Opinion” or “Cut Practice”
url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-3-second-opinion-cut-practice/

and Part 4: THE “SIQ” SPECIALIST  url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-4-the-siq-specialist/

“PONGO” DOCTOR AT SEA 
“Quack” in Uniform
Hilarious Encounter with a “Fauji” Doctor
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

“PONGO” DOCTOR REPORTS ON BOARD SHIP

In the Defence Services – once you join a particular service – you remain in that service.

If you join the Army – you remain in the Army.

If you join the Navy – you remain in the Navy.

And – if you join the Air Force – you remain in the Air Force.

Yes – I have seen some “grounded” Air Force Flight Cadets – who are unable to fly aircraft – they are sometimes sent to the Navy or Army – especially ex-NDA types.

But – once you are commissioned as an officer – you cannot change the colour of your uniform.

The only exceptions are Military Doctors – officers of the Army Medical Corps (AMC) – who often change the colour of their uniform – like chameleons.

I have seen doctors being transferred from the Army to the Navy – and vice versa – and maybe it happens with Air Force Doctors too.

Strictly speaking – there are no “Air Force Doctors” or “Navy Doctors” – since all doctors belong to the Army Medical Corps (AMC).

Let me tell you a story about a landlubber “pongo” doctor in Olive Green (OG) who was suddenly transferred to the navy and found himself all at sea.

This happened long back – more than 40 years ago – in the late 1970’s.

Our warship was not a capital ship – but a frigate.

However – she was a “top heavy” ship – since she was designated as “squadron ship”.

Sister ships of her class were commanded by a Commander – and had Lieutenant Commanders as Heads of Executive, Engineering, Electrical and Supply Departments – and young Lieutenants as specialist departmental officers.

However – our ship – being the “squadron ship” – had a senior Captain in command – a Commander (E) and Commander (L) [Squadron Engineer Officer (EO) and Squadron Electrical Officer (LO)] – and an extra Education Officer (Lieutenant Commander).

However – the second-in-command – the Executive Officer (XO) – was a Lieutenant Commander – and this caused some friction as EO and LO outranked him.

And – we had a young Medical Officer who was a Surgeon Lieutenant.

One day – the young Surgeon Lieutenant was transferred out to do a Post Graduate (PG) course – and for some time – there was no replacement.

A few days later – just as we were about to cast off to sea – a portly middle-aged gentleman arrived at the gangway.

The gentleman was in civilian clothes.

He proclaimed to the OOD that he was the new Medical Officer.

The OOD asked a sailor to take the gentleman to the Sick Bay.

Meanwhile – the OOD informed the XO – and – he also told the stewards to get the Medical Officer’s Cabin ship shape.

Later – when the ship was underway – the XO approached the Captain on the bridge and reported to the Captain:

“Sir – the new Medical Officer has reported on board ship.”

“What…? The new Doc has come…? I did not see any appointment letter in the mail…” the Captain said.

“Sir – the new Doc has brought his appointment letter by hand – he has come from the Army…”

“Army…?”

“Sir – he has been transferred to the Navy on promotion to Surgeon Commander rank.”

“Surgeon Commander…? The new Doc is a Surgeon Commander…?”

“Sir – have a look at his date of commission – he must have been quite a senior Major  in the Army – I wonder why they moved him from the Army to the Navy…” the XO said.

The Captain looked at the papers – and he said:

“Bloody hell – we have one more headache now – Commander (E) – Commander (L) – and now a bloody Doc who is a Commander. The ship is getting so “top-heavy” – we may just topple “topsy-turvy”…”

“Yes Sir – as a Squadron Ship – we have too many “passengers” on board our ship – all these Commanders – and a bloody “Schoolie” too…” the XO said.

“Where the hell is this new Doc…?” the Captain asked.

“Sir – he is violently “sea-sick” – he is throwing up in the Sick Bay…” the XO said.

“Sea-Sick…? In this weather…? The sea is hardly rough…” the Captain remarked.

“Sir – he is a “Pongo” – maybe he is not used to it – I think it is his first time on a ship. Sir, shall I get him to your cabin when you go down…?” the XO asked.

“No. Not now. Let the new Doc find his bearings. I will see him later…” the Captain said.

WHY AN ARMYMAN IS CALLED A “PONGO”

Dear Reader – since I have used the term  “Pongo”  to describe the Army Doctor – let me tell you why Armymen are called “Pongos”

Yes – “Pongo” is Navy slang for an Army Soldier.

Why is an Armyman called a “Pongo”…?

Well  there are many apocryphal stories on the origins of the term “Pongo”.

Here is one such yarn that I heard long back from an old Sea Dog.

He told me that the term “Pongo” originated in the Royal Navy to denote an infantryman.

As per a myth  the “Pongo” was a unique Ape (monkey without tail).

When this unique Ape called “Pongo” sensed danger or felt scared – the “Pongo” did not climb trees – like most Apes or Monkeys normally do.

In contrast – the “Pongo” would dig holes in the earth and hide himself in the ground – in the same way as infantrymen dug in and entrenched themselves in the ground – when they were under attack in battle.

Another similar yarn says that the term “Pongo” is derived from the archaic name for the Orangutan  yes – some say that a “Pongo” is a type of Orangutan – and – the “Pongo” had the habit of digging holes in the ground for no apparent reason – and then – filling the holes back.

The Sailors probably observed Army Soldiers digging away  hence  the nickname “Pongo” for Army Soldiers.

Sorry for the digression, Dear Reader – let me continue the story of a “Pongo” Doctor.

HOW THE “PONGO” DOCTOR WAS POSTED ON A SHIP

Dear Reader – if you are wondering how this “Pongo” Doctor got posted to our ship – this is what had happened…

Let is call this “Pongo” Doctor as “M”

This Army Medical Officer – our “Pongo” Doctor “M” – in his previous appointment – was posted as in an administrative appointment in a Military Hospital.

“M” was more of an administrator than a doctor (you will find many such examples in the military and civilian government of doctors who practice more administration and less medicine)

In the Military Hospital where he was posted – “M” was considered a “pain in the arse” – and his boss and his colleagues wanted him moved out of the hospital.

They repeatedly complained to the “powers-that-be” about “M” and requested that “M”be posted out of the hospital.

But – M’s reputation was so bad – that no other Hospital in the Army wanted him.

So – when the opportunity came – the “powers-that-be” transferred “M” to the Navy – yes – they dumped him in the Navy to get rid of him from the Army.

When “M” protested – they told him that there was no vacancy of “Lt Col” in the Army – and – if he wanted to get promoted – he had to go to the Navy.

So – “M”reluctantly came to the Navy.

Unfortunately – his reputation had preceded him in Navy medical circles too.

So – the Navy Medical Top Brass shunted “M” off to a ship – rather than suffer him in a Navy Hospital.

So – our ship’s new medical officer “M” was extremely unhappy on board the ship.

First – he had the harrowing experience of seasickness.

Secondly – he was very piqued at the way he was being treated on board ship despite his service seniority and rank.

“M” was peeved because the other two Commanders – Cdr “E” and Cdr “L” – had spacious upper-deck cabins.

Even the two Lieutenant Commanders – the XO and the Supply Officer – and – the Navigating Officer (NO) – who was a mere Lieutenant – had better cabins than him.

On the other hand – despite being a Commander – “M” was consigned to a suffocating cabin in the Lieutenants’ Cabin Flat – which reeked of the nauseating smell of FFO (Furnace Fuel Oil).

His request for a change of cabin to one of the good cabins on the upper-decks was denied.

The PMC stated that the upper-deck cabins were “marked cabins” reserved for respective appointments.

“M” complained to the Captain.

The Captain candidly told “M” that normally a young Surgeon Lieutenant was posted on board this ship as Medical Officer (MO) – and so – a small cabin had been earmarked for the MO – and he could not change it – since the cabins for Department Heads were specified in the Ship’s Standing Orders

To add insult to the injury – the XO bluntly remarked that they would have been happier with a younger Medical Officer – but now – since “M” was posted on board – “M” would have to make do with the same facilities as the earlier Medical Officer.

M’s family had not joined him – since he had retained accommodation in previous station – so – “M” had to live on board ship 24/7 – even when the ship was in harbour.

His request for a cabin in the luxurious Navy Command Officers Mess was turned down – since ship’s officers were required to live on board their respective ships.

“M” was also upset that no one gave him any importance on the ship – unlike in the Army – where a Medical Officer is treated with reverence in the unit.

“M” would vent his frustrations by smoking furiously throughout the day – and – drinking whisky sorrowfully in the evenings.

“M” particularly hated the XO – who – despite being a rank lower – tried to boss over “M” – because – technically – the Medical Officer was subordinate to the XO in the ship’s hierarchy.

“M” was seething to take revenge for the injustice done to him.

REVENGE OF THE “PONGO” DOCTOR

Finally – after a long wait – “M” had his revenge.

It was December – time for the Annual Medical Examination (AME).

Earlier – this AME was quite an informal affair.

But “M” – who was a better administrator than doctor – decided to go by the book.

So “M” promulgated the AME roster giving dates for Annual Medical Examination (AME) department-wise.

On the promulgated day – the XO reported to “M” in the sickbay for his Annual Medical Examination.

“M” asked the XO to strip and lie down – and then “M” thoroughly examined the XO with a stethoscope.

“M” then filled up a few forms.

As the XO was buttoning up his uniform – “M” gave him the forms.

Then – “M” said matter-of-factly to the XO:

“You have got “HEART MURMUR”…”

Heart Murmur…?” the XO asked, bewildered.

“Yes. You will have to get admitted to hospital – you will have to get some tests done – and you will be required to undergo a detailed examination performed by the specialist…” said “M” to the perplexed XO.

“You want me to get admitted to hospital…? But – nothing is wrong with me – I am absolutely fit – I just won the Navy squash championship…” the XO protested anxiously.

“Why are you getting excited…? It looks like you have hypertension too…! I think I will have to refer you for a hypertension check-up too…” the doctor “M” said to the bewildered XO.

“Can you please check me again…? I am sure that nothing is wrong with me and I am absolutely fit. I do not want to get admitted to hospital. I am in “promotion zone” – my promotion board is scheduled in a few months. And – I am scared – if I get admitted to hospital – you never know what may happen once I get into the labyrinth of medical tests and referrals – those “specialist” doctors may lower my medical category – and – Low Medical Category may jeopardize my promotion…” the XO pleaded to “M”.

“M” was happy to see that XO was getting panicky.

So – to drive home his point – “M” said triumphantly to the XO:

“Of course – the specialists will lower your medical category – heart murmur is a serious matter – you can even get a heart attack – your health is more important than your career – yes – for a heart condition – they will permanently lower your medical category – you will be in Low Medical Category – or – LMC – as we call it in the Army Medical Corps…”

The XO got so rattled and panic-stricken on hearing these words – and it seemed that the XO would have an actual heart attack – there and then.

On seeing the XO’s jittery condition – “M” asked the XO to lie down.

Then – “M” told the Medical Assistant to ask the OOD to summon an ambulance.

And – to prove that he was not being vindictive to the XO – his bête noir – and to display his sense of fairness – “M” examined the other two officers who had reported for Annual Medical Examination – and – “M” declared that the other two officers also had Heart Murmur.

And so – along with the XO – “M” referred these two officers also for hospitalization and further tests and examinations by the specialists.

Then – “M” called up the OOD told him to get a big ambulance – since a total of 3 Officers had to be rushed to the hospital for Heart Murmur.

When the OOD informed the Captain that the XO and two officers were being sent to hospital – he was livid.

“We are under sailing orders. I cannot have my XO and two of my key officers in hospital…” the Captain told “M”.

But – “M” threw the book at the Captain.

“M” asserted that the Captain could not interfere in “medical matters”.

The Captain called up some higher-ups to protest – but – the Captain was firmly told that – in “medical matters” – the decision of the Medical Officer would prevail.

The Captain was advised to do as his Medical Officer recommended.

They told the Captain that – of course – if the Captain wanted – he could always speak directly to the specialist doctors in the hospital.

So – the XO and the two Lieutenants were on their way in an ambulance to the Naval Hospital to get checked up for Heart Murmur.

The XO had broken out into a sweat – panic-stricken and scared at his uncertain future.

He was terrified that his medical category might be lowered – and Low Medical Category (LMC) would put an end to his dreams of becoming an Admiral – which was his whole and sole aim in life – ever since he joined the National Defence Academy as a Naval Cadet.

The two Lieutenants seemed unconcerned.

The two carefree Lieutenants tried to cheer up the XO:

“Sir – you don’t worry. This “pongo” bugger is a bloody quack. Nothing is wrong with us. What is the harm in getting all the tests done free of cost…? We will have a nice time in hospital – we need some relaxation after all this hectic sailing. So – we will enjoy our Rest and Recuperation (R&R) in the hospital. In the evenings – we will enjoy drinking and eating in the club. And – after a few days we will come back to the ship all refreshed and rejuvenated…”

In fact – the two Lieutenants were looking forward to some R&R in hospital.

But – their hopes were dashed.

While the ambulance was moving towards the hospital – at the same time – phones were ringing – and their Captain was desperately talking to the Medical Specialist – the Heart Specialist – and – the other Medical “powers-that-be”.

When the XO and two Lieutenants reached the hospital for admission – instead  of admitting them to the ward – they were told to go first to the Medical Specialist.

The Medical Specialist was a classmate of “M” during MBBS.

He knew that although “M” had somehow managed to pass his medical exams.

The Medical Specialist knew that “M” had absolutely zero acumen to be a good doctor.

The Medical Specialist had also heard about “M” on the “AMC grapevine”.

The specialist smiled to himself.

“M” was truly a “Doctor at Sea” – literally and figuratively.

Yes – the Medical Specialist said to himself – “M” was a “Quack” Doctor at Sea.

Well aware of the medical incompetence of “M”  the Medical Specialist was inclined to declare all the 3 officers medically fit even without examining them.

The Medical Specialist noticed that whereas the XO seemed anxious – the two Lieutenants looked unconcerned and carefree.

The specialist examined all three officers with his stethoscope.

“Nothing is wrong with you guys…” the medical specialist said, “take the day off – all of you can go home and relax – then – come and see me first thing tomorrow morning at 8 o’clock…”

Next morning – the Medical Specialist took an ECG – and then – he declared all three officers medically fit for duties.

So – the XO and the two Lieutenants returned to the ship in time for sailing.

Soon – everyone came to know that “M” has been allotted a “B” type house and he would be going on leave to collect his family from his previous station.

So – the officers on the ship waited till “M” went on leave – and then – they got their Annual Medical Examination (AME) done on other ships.

When “M” returned from leave – the ship’s officers made life hell for “M” 

So – “M” spent most of his time sulking in his cabin – while his Medical Assistant ran the show from the Sickbay.

Mercifully – “M” was transferred out to the Station Health Organization (SHO) – where he could happily demonstrate his “medico-administrative skills” supervising “hygiene inspections” and “sanitation management” in the cantonment.

The “Pongo” Doctor “M” was replaced on board ship by a young “Surgeon Lieutenant” – who was an excellent doctor.

As they say:

“All’s well that ends well…

VIKRAM KARVE

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.

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.

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: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/03/does-your-heart-murmur.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This fictional spoof was written by me Vikram Karve more than 4 years ago in January 2014 and Earlier Posted Online by me Vikram Karve at 4/25/2014 04:07:00 PM in my blog at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/04/humor-in-uniform-doctor-at-sea.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/02/doc-daneeka-in-uniform-part-2-pongo.html  and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/humor-in-uniform-my-hilarious_17.html and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/04/health-care-military-style-doctor-at-sea.html andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/06/humor-in-uniform-pongo-and-pani-puri.html andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/quack-in-uniform-hilarious-story-of.html and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/10/03/pongo-doctor-at-sea-humor-in-uniform/ and https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/08/25/humor-in-uniform-the-pongo-doctor-who-gave-us-heart-murmur/  etc

Humor in Military Medicine – Part 4 – The “SIQ” Specialist

September 18, 2018

You may have heard of many “specialisations” in medicine. 

But – have you heard of an “SIQ” Specialist Doctor…? 

In Military Parlance: 

SIQ is the acronym for Sick in Quarters 

Here is the hilarious story of the “SIQ” Specialist Medical Officer. 

This happened long ago – more almost 34 years ago – in the mid 1980’s – in IAT Pune (now renamed MILIT/DIAT Deemed University).

Read on – have a laugh – and think about it… 

HUMOR IN MILITARY MEDICINE SERIES – PART 4

Continued from Part 1 “Doc Daneekas” in Uniform 

url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-1-doc-daneekas-in-uniform/

and Part 2 “Dentists” in Uniform 

url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-2-dentists-in-uniform/

and Part 3 “Second Opinion” or “Cut Practice”
url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-3-second-opinion-cut-practice/

THE SIQ MEDICAL OFFICER
A Spoof
By
VIKRAM KARVE 

A newly posted Navy Officer took his 3 year old daughter to the IAT Pune “MI Room”.

MI Room” stands for “Medical Inspection Room” – that’s what they call a Military Medical Healthcare Clinic in the Army and the Air Force. 

In the Navy – “MI Room” is called “Sick Bay”.

Those days there was a Lady Doctor – a Major of the Army Medical Corps (AMC) – posted to IAT Pune as the Medical Officer.

A Navy Officer had taken his 3 year old daughter to the IAT Pune “MI Room” – because the Naval Officer’s small daughter had severe “Loose Motions” (Diarrhoea).

Since it was a Wednesday – he was in “civvies” (civilian clothes).

The moment he entered the Lady Doctor’s office-cum-clinic – the Army Lady Doctor – the Lady Medical Officer – she looked up at my friend’s face.

Then – the Lady Medical Officer shouted at the Naval Officer:

“Why are you coming here and disturbing me…?

How many days SIQ (Sick in Quarters) do you want…?

Just go to the office and tell the medical attendant how many days SIQ you want.

He will fill it up in the “SIQ slip” – and – you can take the “SIQ slip” from there.

I have already signed and kept blank “SIQ slips” over there in the office…”

The stunned Naval Officer told the Lady Army Medical Officer:

“Nothing is wrong with me.

I am perfectly fit for duties.

I don’t want SIQ…” 

The Army Lady Doctor yelled at the Naval Officer:

“You don’t want SIQ…? 

Then why have you come here to the “MI Room”…?”

The Naval Officer pointed to his 3 year old daughter – and – he said to the Army Lady Doctor:

“My daughter has got “Loose Motions”…”

The Lady Army Medical Officer looked down from the Naval Officer’s face to his tiny daughter.

The small girl was holding her father’s hand and was standing below him.

Suddenly – the Lady Medical Officer got excited – and – she said:

“Oh My God – “Loose Motions” can be very serious – especially in children.

You must take your daughter to the Military Hospital (MH) immediately.

I will call the Ambulance and fill up her Hospital Admission Form.

You rush and take your daughter to the Military Hospital Khadakwasla – or – better still – you take her to Command Hospital (CH) Pune. 

I am sure there will be some Child Specialists over there.”

Accordingly – the Naval Officer took his daughter to the Pediatrician in Command Hospital Pune.

The Pediatrician examined the small girl.

Then – the Pediatrician said to the Naval Officer:

“Why did you bring your small daughter all the way to Command Hospital for a simple case of “Diarrhoea”…?

Your Unit Medical Officer could have treated this easily.”

A few days later – at a party – the Army Lady Doctor tried to rationalize her actions.

She said to the Naval Officer:

“You look so young that I thought that you were a “Student Officer”– I did not realise that you are a “Staff Officer” on the Navy Directing Staff. 

I am sorry – but – since you were in “civvies”– I mistook you for an Army Course Officer.

You see – most of the Army Officers have come to IAT Pune for a Training Course after a hectic field posting.

They consider IAT as an Rest and Recreation (R&R) posting – a good opportunity for Rest and Recreation at this salubrious laid back place.

The Officers want to relax over here with their Families and enjoy this peace tenure.

So – they mostly come to the “MI Room” for “SIQ slips” – because – once I declare them SIQ (Sick in Quarters) – they can relax at home and spend “Quality Time” with their families…”

We nicknamed the Army Lady Doctor in Uniform as:

“SIQ Quack  – or – more charitably – the “SIQ” Medical Officer.

EPILOGUE

Well – I cannot comment on her medical skills.

But – we noticed that “SIQ” Medical Officer was running the IAT Healthcare System like clockwork – in a most efficient way – that would have done “Doc Daneeka” proud.

Any Officer reporting to the “MI Room” was promptly given 3 days “SIQ” – and told to take rest at home.

And – if an Officer protested that he was genuinely ill – he would be rushed to the Military Hospital in an Ambulance.

VIKRAM KARVE

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.

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.

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 source post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/06/humor-in-military-medicine-siq-medical.html

Extract from My Story Earlier Posted by me Vikram Karve in my Academic and Creative Writing Journal Blog on 05 February 2014.

Posted by Vikram Karve at 2/05/2014 03:37:00 PM at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/02/doc-daneeka-in-uniform-hilarious.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/02/humor-in-uniform-siq-fauji-lady-doctor.html  and  http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/humor-in-uniform-my-hilarious_82.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/quack-in-uniform-siq.html

Humor in Military Medicine – Part 3 – “Second Opinion” – “Cut Practice”

September 18, 2018

Here is the third story in my series on Humor in Military Medicine – “Second Opinion” or “Cut Practice” 

Continued from Part 1 “Doc Daneekas” in Uniform 

url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-1-doc-daneekas-in-uniform/

and Part 2 “Dentists” in Uniform 

url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-2-dentists-in-uniform/

HUMOR IN UNIFORM 

[NB: The generic Hindustani word “Fauj” refers to all arms of the Military (Army, Navy, Air Force) – so – the term “Fauji” or “Soldier” refers to all Military Personnel in Uniform of the Army, Navy and Air Force (Soldiers, Sailors and Airmen) – and the term “Faujan” refers to all Military Wives)]

My Hilarious Encounters with “Fauji” Doctors

“SECOND OPINION” or “CUT PRACTICE”

A Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE 

THE “FAUJI MEDICAL OFFICER 

This happened more than 33 years ago – in the mid 1980’s – at IAT Girinagar Pune.

I had newly arrived in station.

Those days – IAT was an inter-service training establishment comprising Army, Navy and Air Force Personnel – but – it was run in typical “Army Style”.

During my evening walk – I saw a crowd of young student officers and families sitting on the lawns of the house of our Unit Medical Officer (MO).

Seeing the crowd – I thought that our Unit Medical Officer (Doctor) was having a party.

“So – Doc is having a party – is it…?” I shouted to them.

“No Sir. We have not come here for a party. We are waiting to see the doctor for medical treatment…” they said.

I was impressed.

I had thought that our Unit Medical Officer (Unit MO) was a typical “fauji” doctor.

Most Army Medical Officers followed strict timings and rules.

You had to visit the Medical Inspection Room (MI Room)/Clinic/Sickbay when you were sick (even if you were seriously ill)

This was because “fauji” doctors did not make house calls – nor did they entertain patients at their home.

That is why I was impressed to see so many patients at the “Fauji” Doctor’s home.

It was evident that he was such a good doctor – that patients were going to his house in the evening for consultation and treatment.

And – our Unit Medical Officer (Unit MO) – he seemed so compassionate, sincere and devoted to medicine – that he had started an “Evening OPD” at home for their convenience.

Thoroughly impressed by the dedication of the “Unit MO” – I said to the officers:

“That’s great. I did not know that our “Unit MO” sees patients at home…”

A student officer said to me:

“Sir – we have not come to see the “Unit MO”. 

He is a “Quack” – a useless “good-for-nothing doctor”. 

We have come to see his wife. 

She is an excellent doctor who works in “XXX Hospital” – the best hospital in Pune. 

In the evening – she does her “private practice” here at her home – and everyone comes to consult her. 

Of course – she charges quite a lot of money as “consultation fee” – but then – she is a really good doctor…”

I was stunned to hear this.

But – after a few days – I realised that the student officer was right.

A young Naval Officer told me a story a few days later which proved that the “fauji” doctor’s wife was a good doctor – yes – she was a really good doctor.

Let me tell you the story.

MEDICAL CATEGORY SCARE

Once – the young Naval Officer got a strange cough.

During his morning run – in the expansive picturesque campus – he would suddenly get a spasm of cough – so severe – that it was almost like a convulsion.

He would sit down – terminate his run – walk home – and drink water – and take rest.

For the rest of the day – he would be okay.

These fits of cough happened only in the mornings during his runs – and – while jogging in the open.

The Naval Officer reported to the Unit Medical Officer (MO) (the “fauji” doctor) in the MI Room.

On hearing the symptoms – without even physically examining the officer – the Army Unit MO immediately concluded that it was “Asthma”.

And – the Unit MO referred the Officer to the “Specialist” at the Military Command Hospital (CH) Pune.

The Naval Officer was due for his “sea time” – immediately after the course.

His fellow Naval Officers scared the shit out of the officer – by putting all sorts of fears in his mind.

They told him that – if he went to the Specialist for Asthma – he would be subjected to all sorts of tests and examinations – and – the Specialists at Military Hospital would surely downgrade his “Medical Category”.

Now – if his Medical Category was downgraded – that would be the end of his “sea time” – and – as a consequence – his Navy Career would be badly affected.

All Fellow Officers and their Wives wife advised the “Asthma Afflicted Officer” to see the “fauji” doctor’s wife (the civilian lady doctor who practiced at home).

They all told the “Asthma Afflicted Officer” – that – before he “surrendered” himself to the “Fauji” Specialist Doctors at the Military Hospital – it would be better if he took a “second opinion” from the civilian doctor wife our unit “fauji” doctor – since she was a good doctor.

Of course – though she charged a hefty “consultation fee” – it would be worth it in the long run – rather than let the Military “Specialist” Doctors ruin his career by “awarding” him a “Medical Category”.

(In the Military – some Doctors are more adept at “awarding” Medical Categories rather than medically treating “fauji” patients…)

THE “FAUJI” DOCTOR’S WIFE

In the evening – the worried “Asthma Afflicted Officer” went to see the “fauji” doctor’s wife.

The doctor’s wife – the civilian lady doctor – she heard him out – she examined him thoroughly – and – she said to the officer:

“Don’t worry – it is not asthma – it is just a seasonal allergy due to pollen from the “congress grass” which is abundant on the campus. This allergy happens to some people in spring. Just stop your morning runs for a month or two. Don’t go out in the open in the mornings. You will be okay. Once it is summer – you can start your morning outdoor exercise and running again.”

“Any medicines – any treatment…?” the officer asked.

“Nothing. There is no need for any medicines…” said the “fauji” doctor’s wife (the civilian lady doctor) – and then – she advised the officer, “if you want – you can just add some Gavati Chaha  गवती  चाहा (lemon grass) to boiling water when you make tea in the morning – it will act as a “placebo” – there are plenty of Gavati Chaha bushes growing wild in the campus.”

Within a few days – the officer’s cough disappeared.

And soon – the moment the season changed to summer – the officer was absolutely fit and fine – and – he started his morning runs again.

Of course – the Naval Officer scrupulously avoided going to the unit MO in the MI Room – during the remaining part of his course.

And – at the end of the course – fit and fine – he went for his “sea time”.

AFTERTHOUGHT 

In the civilian world – I  have heard stories of doctors referring their patients to fellow doctors – for a “cut” or “commission” – known as “cut practice

So – in hindsight – I wonder:

Was the “fauji” doctor much smarter than we thought…?

Was he “faking it” when he created a perception that he was clueless about medicine…?

By giving a “medical category scare” to all his “fauji” patients – was his “ulterior motive” to boost the private practice of his civilian doctor wife…?

Was the Unit MO “fauji” doctor indulging in “cut practice”…?

Ha Ha – I sometimes wonder – if – in the medical world:

Is “Second Opinion” an euphemism for “Cut Practice”…?

Dear Reader – what do you feel…?

VIKRAM KARVE

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.

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. 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.

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 source post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: http://karvediat.blogspot.com/2017/10/doctor-in-uniform-second-opinion-or-cut.html

© vikram karve., all rights reserved.

This Story was written by me Vikram Karve in April 2014 and First Posted Online by me Vikram Karve at4/11/2014 12:43:00 PM in  my blog at url: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2014/04/humor-in-uniform-fauji-doctor-and-his.html  and later I posted this story online a number of times including at urls:   http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2015/08/humor-in-uniform-my-hilarious_18.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/05/humor-in-uniform-second-opinion.html andhttp://karvediat.blogspot.in/2016/08/humor-in-uniform-fauji-doctors-wife.html and http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/03/humor-in-uniform-fauji-doctors-wife.html etc

Humor in Military Medicine – Part 2 – “Dentists” in Uniform

September 18, 2018

In my previous blog post I told you about “Doctors” in Uniform 

Now – here is a spoof on “Dentists” in Uniform 

Continued from Part 1 “Doc Daneekas” in Uniform url: https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-1-doc-daneekas-in-uniform/

“DENTISTS” in UNIFORM 

Dental Memories of a Navy Veteran

A Fictional Spoof By VIKRAM KARVE  

Disclaimer:  This is a humorous spoof – satire – so read this story only if you have a “sense of humor”

“Dentists” in Uniform – Memories of My Navy Days

A few years ago – after I had retired from the Navy – a fellow Navy Veteran learnt that I was visiting a Civilian Dentist for dental treatment – so – he asked me: “Why are you going to a Civilian Dentist…?”

“It’s convenient…” I said.

“But – if you go to a Civilian Dentist – you have to pay from your own pocket. If you go to ECHS (Ex-Servicemen’s Contributory Health Scheme) – they will send you to a Military Dentist – and – you can get your dental treatment done “free of cost”…” the Navy Veteran said.

“The Civilian Dentist is located near my home – whereas the ECHS Clinic is quite far away – and – the Military Dental Centre is even further – but – convenience is not the only factor – that main reason is that – I like this particular Dentist – I am comfortable with him. In the Military – I cannot choose my Dentist – I will have to go to whomsoever Military Dentist they send me to – whether he is good or not – and – there is no continuity – next time – they may send me to someone else – especially if the earlier Dentist is posted out…”

“But if you go to a Military Dentist – it is free. If you go to a Civilian Dentist – you have to pay…”

“At my age – as a Retired Senior Citizen – for me – my comfort is more important than money…” I said to my fellow Navy Veteran, “and – let me tell you one more reason – the Civilian Dentist is trying his best to restore some of my teeth which were ruined by Military Dentists…”

Dear Reader – before I tell you about the Military Dentists who ruined some of my teeth (or removed them) – let me begin on a positive note – and – let me tell you about the best Military Dentist I came across during my long Navy Career.

Actually – she was wearing Navy Uniform at that time – but then – like all Military Doctors belong to the Army Medical Corps (AMC) – all Military Dentists belong to the Army Dental Corps (ADC) – and – just like Military Doctors are called Medical Officers – Military Dentists are called Dental Officers.

This happened around 15 years ago – when I was appointed in the premier Naval Dockyard at Mumbai.

One afternoon – while having lunch – one tooth chipped off and broke.

This hapless tooth had been “worked-on” by a Military Dentist long ago during an Annual Medical Examination (AME)

Dear Reader – let me digress a bit – and – tell you that – during the AME – we were sent to the Unit Dental Officer to get our teeth examined.

Most Dental Officers delegated this task to their Dental Assistants – called DORA (Dental Operating Room Assistants) in the Navy.

However – some “Eager–Beaver” Dentists who were keen to “hone their skills” by extensive “Hands-On” experience – would personally examine and “treat” every Officer who came for the Annual Medical Examination (AME).

I remember one such “enthusiastic” Military Dentist who probably wanted to become the best “Root Canal Therapist” in the world.

Since uniformed personnel have no choice to select their doctor/dentist – they have to visit their Unit Dentist for Dental Examination/Treatment.

Luckily (for him) – this passionate “Root Canal Therapist” was posted to a prestigious Military Training Academy – and – he was the one and only Dental Officer posted in this huge establishment with a large number of military cadets and staff under his “dental jurisdiction”

This opportunity provided this aspiring “Root Canal Therapist” plenty of “Guinea-Pigs” on whom he could experiment and hone his dental skills before he quit the Army and started a lucrative dental practice in “Civvy Street”

So – he ruthlessly “root-canalled” everyone who entered his dental clinic – and – sadly – I was one of his early “victims” when he “root-canalled” two of my teeth in quick succession when I reported for my Annual Medical Examination.

Both my teeth were ruined.

Later – one of these “experimentally root-canalled” teeth was extracted by another Military Dentist who was aspiring to be an “Extraction Specialist”.

Fortunately – the other tooth was restored by a Civilian Dentist who painstakingly performed a “re-root-canal” – and – it was only then that I realized that Root Canal Therapy was an intricate procedure involving multiple sittings – not the “shoot and scoot” type done on me earlier.

(Military Dentists are lucky – they have plenty of opportunity to “experiment” on hapless gullible “Faujis” – unlike Civilian Dentists – who run the risk of being put out of business – in case their “dental experiments” start going wrong – yes – just a few “mishaps” can affect a dentist’s reputation/practice in the highly competitive field of dental practice in the civilian world)

Coming back to Military Dentists – like “Root-Canalists” and “Extractors” – I came across a few “Drillers and Fillers” and “Cappers and Crowners” too.

Ha Ha – Yes – like the Corps of Engineers has “Sappers and Miners” – in the Army Dental Corps – we have “Cappers and Crowners” and “Drillers and Fillers”…

Maybe – it was a few of these “super-specialists” who seemed to have “worked on” the tooth which had now chipped and broken.

Anyway – I rushed to the Naval Dockyard Dental Centre with the broken tooth-piece in my hand.

There – I had expected to see the Surgeon Commander (D) who was the Officer-in-Charge (OIC) of the Dental Centre – who I feared would probably extract the damaged tooth (since he was famous as an “Extractor”…)

But instead of him – there was a pretty young girl in Naval Uniform wearing Two Stripes with Crimson in-between (a Surgeon Lieutenant)

(In the Navy – for Medical Officers – the term “Surgeon” is prefixed before the Rank – and – for Dental Officers – in addition to the prefix “Surgeon” – there is a suffix (D) in brackets)

Seeing the surprise on my face – the young Lady Surgeon Lieutenant (D) said to me: Sir – the OIC had to suddenly go on leave…”

“Oh…”

“Sir – I am officiating as the OIC Dental Centre now…”

“Have you come on Temporary Duty…?”

“No, Sir – I just reported yesterday – they have appointed me as Deputy OIC. So – Sir – today is my first day at work as a dentist…”

I had no choice but to submit myself the young dentist.

I explained my predicament and showed her my piece of tooth which had chipped off and broken.

She asked me to get onto the dental chair and she examined my damaged tooth.

“Are you going to extract the tooth…?” I asked her, fearfully.

“No, No, Sir – we will save the tooth…” she said – and – she began working on my damaged tooth.

While she was treating my tooth – she kept on talking to me – giving a “running commentary” explaining what she was doing.

Normally – I feel terrified when I sit in a dental chair – but – her “running commentary” had a soothing effect on me.

Though she was young – she was extremely dexterous and skillful – and – she repaired and restored my damaged tooth very well.

Then – she checked all my teeth – and she said to me:

“Sir – I think two more of your teeth need a bit of restoration – the fillings seem to be coming off…”

Impressed by her proficiency – I asked her:

“When can you give me an appointment…?”

Yhe young Lady Surgeon Lieutenant (D) said to me:

“Sir – you can come anytime – preferably in the afternoons…”

I got those two teeth fixed “ship-shape” by her that week itself.

I was so impressed by the young Lady Surgeon Lieutenant (D) – by her gentle dexterity and her professional skill – that I profusely praised her everywhere – even during our weekly meeting chaired by our boss.

“If the new Lady Dental Officer is really as good as you say – I must get my teeth fixed by her too…” he said.

“Yes, Sir…” I said, “She is a really good dentist – not like our “Extractor”…”

“That’s why I avoid going to the Dental Centre – all the bugger does is to extract teeth at the slightest opportunity. I have to go “out-of-station” this week – and – I will get my teeth fixed by the new Lady Dental Officer next week…” the boss said.

Sadly – he was too late.

When the boss reported to the Dental Centre – the Surgeon Commander (D) had reported back from leave and assumed duties as OIC

And – the young Lady Surgeon Lieutenant (D) was relegated back to her position as Deputy OIC.

Now – in the military – seniority is sacrosanct.

Yes – in the military – everything depends on seniority – even competence.

So – ipso facto – it is assumed that the Senior is more professionally competent that the Junior (though facts may be otherwise).

Therefore – the senior Surgeon Commander (D) – the “Extractor” – attended to Officers – whereas – the junior Lady Surgeon Lieutenant (D) – the “Restorer” – had to take care of Sailors.

So – when the boss – who was a Senior Officer – reported to the Dental Centre for treatment – he was ushered into the office of the Surgeon Commander (D) (the “Extractor)

The boss pleaded that he would like to be treated by the young “Restorer” Surgeon Lieutenant (D) – but the “Extractor” Surgeon Commander (D) refused to listen – and he said to the boss:

“Sir – you are a very Senior Officer – how can I hand you over to that young inexperienced Dentist…? She is only a Lieutenant – meant for junior ranks.  Sir – I will personally treat you myself…”

In the Military – the moment you enter a Clinic/Hospital – the Doctor’s word is final.

So – the boss had no option but to submit himself to the “Extractor”.

One hour later – the boss emerged from the Dental Centre with one tooth less – and – of course – the mandatory One Day “SIQ” (Sick-in-Quarter) Chit in his hand.

Yes – in the Defence Services – visiting a Military Dental Centre is like playing “Roulette”

If you are lucky – you may get a “Restorer”

But – if you are not that lucky – you may land up with someone else – a “Driller and Filler” – a “Capper and Crowner” – a “Root-Canaller” – an “Extractor”– or maybe – an even more deadly “super-specialist”…

Also – when you are in military uniform – you have no choice – and – you have to report to the assigned Military Dental Centre if you have a dental problem (and for your Annual Dental Examination) and surrender yourself to whichever dentist they send you to.

At least – after retirement – you can choose your own dentist – if you are willing to pay for it.

Dear Reader: Hope you enjoyed this story. Have you read Part 1 of this series on Military Medicine DOCTORS IN UNIFORM…? 

Here is the url link -> https://karve.wordpress.com/2018/09/18/humor-in-military-medicine-part-1-doc-daneekas-in-uniform/

To Be Continued – Next Story coming up soon in Humor in Military Medicine – Part 3…

VIKRAM KARVE

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.

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.

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 source post in my Blog Academic and Creative Writing Journal Vikram Karve: https://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/05/dentists-in-uniform-memories-of-my-navy.html

This is a repost of my article “DENTISTS” in UNIFORM posted online by me earlier at urls: http://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/01/dentists-in-uniform-humor-in-military.html  and https://karve.wordpress.com/2017/01/21/dentists-in-uniform-humor-in-military-medicine/  and https://www.quora.com/profile/Vikram-Karve/Writing-by-VIKRAM-KARVE/Military-Humor-%E2%80%93-%E2%80%9CDoctors%E2%80%9D-in-Uniform?srid=5Hkq  andhttps://karvediat.blogspot.in/2017/03/happy-national-dentists-day-to-all.html etc

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