As a vet in olive green uniform, my husband had some unique experiences during his Army service. This is one of the experiences during his field postings which I found a little sad but at the same time hilarious.
This particular incident took place thirty years back in a snow clad terrain during the winter season. It was an interaction between my husband, a senior veterinary Army officer at the corps headquarters, and a young Lieutenant of an infantry battalion. These two officers were separated by a distance of 200 kilometres and the altitudes varied from the foot hills to the Himalayan heights of 16000 feet above sea level. The critical input in this situation was the state of landline communication systems existing at that time. One has to imagine the level of audibility, the time taken, places, distances, weather conditions and altitude. The conversation was as follows.
The senior officer’s phone rings and he picks it up.
Senior officer: – Hello!
The caller: – Sirji, I am Lt. Baljeet Singh of an infantry battalion.
S.officer: – Ok young man, fire! What can I do for you?
Lt Baljeet:- Sirji our patrol party has recovered a ‘Python’. It is in a bad condition and is not eating.
S.officer:- Well Baljeet it is a noble gesture to look after a captive animal. Animals in captivity tend to lose their appetite. By the way what are you feeding the ‘Bison’? Take good care of it!
Lt Baljeet: -अंडा(egg) Sirji.
S.officer:- What? Cut it young man! A Bison will not eat egg. Give it plenty of green grass.
Lt Baljeet:- अच्छा Sirji. Do pythons eat grass? It is news to me.
S.officer:- No jokes officer. Feed the animal plenty of grass and report!
Lt Baljeet:- Yes sir! I will do that.
Two days later the telephone rings again at the senior officer’s office.
Lt Baljeet:- सत् श्री अकाल Sirji!
S. officer: – Oh the young officer! How is the creature being nursed by you?
Lt Baljeet: – Bad sir, very bad.
S. officer: – This time try succulent hilly green grass. Chop it into small pieces, cook it and feed the creature in small quantities.
Lt Baljeet: – yes sir, I will do that and report to you tomorrow same time.
On the third day the senior officer’s phone ring and he picks up and says hello.
Lt Baljeet: – Morning sir!
S. officer: – Hello young man! What is the report? The ‘bison’ must be running!
Lt Baljeet:-No Sirji. The python is burning. It is dead.
S. officer: – What? Did you say ‘python’? Oh god all this time I heard it as bison and advised the treatment!
Lt Baljeet: – Yes sir. All this time I heard it as python and continued the treatment!
Moral of the story: नीम हकीम खतराए जान|