Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I Don’t Know, Son! - 45

The Clean Slate Spoiled!
Son: The Deccan Chargers team had maintained a clean slate in the IPL–5 tournament so far, dad.
Father: How come? Go on son.
Son: They had consistently maintained their status at the bottom of the points table by scoring zero points in each game, dad!
Father: True. Go on, son.
Son: But the rains at the Kolkata match have spoiled their consistent record, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The team has been awarded one point as the match was cancelled, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
Hiding Behind Excuses!
Son: Sunil Gavaskar has written that the Hyderabad coach is hiding behind excuses, dad.
Father: True. Go on, son.
Son: The coach had blamed fielding and the catching, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Gavaskar has added that hiding behind excuses is no way to go, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Gavaskar generally avoids such strong words, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Incidentally the coach is an Australian – Darren Lehmann - and Gavaskar has no love last for the Australians, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
Mamata’s 90% Achievement!
Son: A news item in Business Line says that Mamata Banerjee has conducted a review of her government’s performance in the last 11 months, dad
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Mamata says that her team has achieved 90% of the stated agenda, dad!
Father: Interesting. Go on, son.
Son: What is more interesting is that she has said that the 90% achievement is out of her party’s five-year agenda, dad!
Father: Wonderful! Go on, son.
Son: The Bengalese are said to be a worried lot, dad.
Father: How come? Go on, son.
Son: They say that the unfinished 10% agenda may include arrest of some of her known critics, dad! But they are more worried on another count, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: They say that having achieved the five-year agenda in less than a year, Didi may come out with some fresh agenda, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
Beyond Imagination!
Son: Turner Broadcasting System has announced the closure of Imagine TV overnight - effective from 13 April 2012, dad.
Father: True. Go on, son.
Son:  The company had bought the channel from NDTV in 2010, dad.
Father: Go on, Son.
Son: The sudden decision of the company has placed the channel’s employees and stakeholders including the television producers off guard, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The channel had also planned Veena (the Pakistani TV artist) Ka Swayamvar on the lines of Rakhi Ka Swayamvar, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: All the stakeholders were so shocked that they simply said that it was beyond their imagination, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
A V Krishnamurthy
25th April 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Looking Back - Episode – 7

The fact that BGR and his three other colleagues could complete the CAIIB examination even though they were matriculates was not a simple achievement. In fact the passing the exam was a tricky affair. There were several qualified officers in the bank who could never complete this exam in spite of their best efforts. Indeed the exam was a great leveler of sorts. One could even call it highly secular or democratic or whatever! The exam had a reputation of delivering shocking results to those who were very proud of their abilities. One could even find officers with CA qualification failing in the Accountancy subject and Post-graduates in English failing in English!
Some of the directly recruited officers were afraid of taking the exam as they could not envisage failing in some subjects - thereby denting their self-assumed reputation! Some of them were even giving some strange reasons for their inability to take the exam. However, the most bizarre explanation was offered by a popular manager to me when I was inspecting his branch as a junior officer in the early eighties. The following was the conversation I had with him:
Me: Sir! You are a very popular and reputed manager and your branch has performed excellently. You are a post-graduate. How is that you have not completed your CAIIB?
Manager: I have specific reasons for the same. Are you interested to know?
Me: Sure. Please.
Manager: It is actually a matter of principle for me. I am against two principles laid down in two major subjects in the exam.
Me: Interesting. Will you kindly elaborate?
Manager: Sure. You know the basic principle in accountancy – ‘debit what comes in and credit what goes out’. I find it ‘morally incorrect’!
Me: How come?
Manager: In my opinion we should give credit to what comes in and debit to what goes out. How can you give credit to something that is not interested in you and wants to leave you for good! On the other hand the thing that comes in deserves the full credit! Is there a thing called morality or not?
Me: Amusing! What about the other principle?
Manager: This one is from the foreign exchange subject. Here the basic principle is supposed to be – ‘buy high and sell low’. I find it logically in correct!
Me: How come?
Manager: The very basic thing in any business is to buy the commodity at a lower rate and sell it at a higher rate. Is it not?
Me: Sir! But…..
Manager: What surprises me more is that even the so called Bible for the subject – Foreign Exchange by Keshkamat - also highlights the same principle! Can you believe Kamath Maam telling somebody to lose money in a business?
Me: Sir! But will you kindly allow me to explain?
Manager: No way! I know you have completed the CAAIIB exam! You will naturally support the theory! But let me stick to my principle!
(The conversation ended there. I leave it to the imagination of the readers whether the manager really meant it! He told me he was quite serious and it was not a joke)
------o----- --o--- -----o------o-------0-----0------0------0-------0------0-------0-----
Six months after joining the bank, BGR was appointed as the probationary clerk by the bank and his emoluments were fixed as follows:                                   

Basic Pay

In the year 1959 when BGR joined the bank it had aggregate deposits of Rs22 crore and a network of 63 branches. The bank was classified as a grade B bank as the deposits were less than Rs25 crore. However, the deposits rose to Rs25 crore as on 31 December 1959. The bank was reclassified as A grade bank with effect from 01.01.1960. As a result, all the employees were rewarded with two increments. BGR got the benefit almost immediately after his joining. Again the Bangalore City was upgraded as A grade city from B grade with effect from 01.01.1962. It resulted in payment of CCA and additional HRA to the employees.
The year 1963 saw the Administrative Office of Canara Bank being shifted to the new building in JC Road. It was inaugurated by the then Governor of Mysore (the ex-Maharaja of Mysore) Shri Jayachamarajendra Wodeyar. The building stands as a landmark for over 50 years now.
BGR worked in the Administrative Office for three years and thought it was right time for him to move on. He needed basic training for the purpose. It needed lot of pestering and ultimately he was posted for an 8-week training programme at the Staff Training College (STC). He was clearly told by R K Ghotgolkar that he should get back after completing the training. But BGR had other ideas!
There were 24 persons in the training batch including graduates and post-graduates. The training covered deposits, advances and general matters. B V Bhandary, the DGM, attended a function at the end of the programme. The principal K K Shenoy told him that BGR’s performance during the training was exceptionally good. Bhandary assured him that he would post him to a good branch so that his knowledge is put to good use. He kept his assurance. BGR was posted to V V Puram branch much to the chagrin of Ghotgolkar! So BGR had his first opportunity to deal with the customers in the bank.
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
22nd April 2012

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Indian Cricket in 2025 – Episode -2

Scenario 2: Occasion: The Test Match Series in Australia: The Fourth & the Final Test in Adelaide
(The Indian team has already lost the test series by losing all the three test matches in Melbourne, Sydney and Perth. Sachin has failed to score his 200th century. The other senior players Laxman and Sehwag have hardly crossed the two-digit scores in the three matches. What is more worrying is that Virat Kohli who had claimed the role of Rahul Dravid in the team has also failed miserably. He was out clean bowled in most of his innings. There are strong rumours that there are differences between the Skipper Goni (not Dhoni) and Sehwag. There are also rumours that Laxman may be dropped for the final match and Kohli may announce his retirement after the final test. However, discussion on Sachin continues to be a taboo! The commentary team is the same as for the first test match)
Gavaskar: So here we are. I understand India will play the same team by retaining all the seniors. The team management could not even decide on dropping Laxman - forget about dropping Sehwag, Kohli or Sachin!
Sastri: The Indian team has won the toss and decided to bat. The opening pair is already here. The game begins.
Rahul Sharma: The way things are going, I think I took the best decision to opt for joining the commentary team. See what is happening to Virat after achieving glory all these days. He is getting out clean bowled almost in every innings!
Clarke: The Indians used to say he has succeeded Rahul Dravid, the Wall! It seems he is following him literally!
Sastri: Perhaps you are right. I remember Rahul telling that he need not bother about getting bowled anymore at the time of announcing his retirement in 2012.
Gavaskar: Oh! India has already lost the first wicket! That brings Sachin into the game. Will he score the 200th ton? Or won’t he? The question comes up again!
Sastri: Quire interestingly the situation is similar to what happened in the 2011-12 test series!
Brett Lee: It seems you people are more tensed up than Sachin! I feel we should stick to our routine comments!
Sastri: Sure. Sachin faces the first ball now. He knows the importance of the game!
Rahul: Sir! This is one routine comment you have been making since ages! I am the junior most among the commentators here. If you don’t mind, I want to ask you something!
Sastri: Please go ahead.
Rahul: For that matter every player in the team is expected to know the importance of the game he is playing. And as far as Sachin is concerned he has been playing the game since ages! Is it not, sir?
Gavaskar: I agree. It is a cliché to say that one knows the importance of the game! I am sure I am not using any such clichés!
Clarke: In my opinion there is actually no importance to this game as India has already lost the series! As far as Sachin is concerned there can be only one importance and we all know that!
Bret Lee: Coming back to clichés, I should tell you that the Ian Chapel’s School of Cricket Commentary conducts a special session on how to avoid using clichés during the commentary!
Sastri: I am hearing it for the first time. Tell me more about it. I am interested.
Clarke: I can understand. For your information all the three of us (Bret Lee, Watson and I) were trained in the Ian’s School.
Watson: Guess who has contributed maximum clichés to the repository in the Ian’s school!
Bret Lee: And no prizes for guessing it right! It is none other than Ravi Sastri!  Hats off to you sir!
Gavaskar: There are no two opinions on the quality of commentary of the legendary Ian. It is good that he has started a school for the upcoming commentators. He is perhaps second only to the legendary Richie Benaud the greatest commentator of all times.
Bret Lee: It is pleasant to hear some nice words from Gavaskar at least about two Australians! I am sure you will not dispute the fact that you are a known Australian baiter, sir!
Clarke: In fact Ian holds one special session on how to handle instigation by known baiters of Australians during the commentary!
Watson: And guess who is the topmost baiter of Australians as per Ian?
Bret Lee: Again no prices for guessing it right! It is Gavaskar and nobody else!
Gavaskar: I can understand. Ian appears to be right! But I am sure at least I have not contributed anything to the list of clichés held by Ian!
Clarke: We shall come back to it at the appropriate time. You may wait, sir!
Sastri: Oh! Sehwag has given a simple catch again. That brings Laxman into the game.
Gavaskar: The way the things have gone so far in the series I am sure Little Master will have butterflies in his stomach as his partners depart one by one!
Bret Lee: Sir! Please do not mistake. I have been hearing this butterfly stuff from you many times. Is it not a cliché again?
Watson: Sir! You are calling Sachin Little Master even now. Is it not the right time to call him the Grandmaster?
Clarke: I understand he has already become a Grandfather with the arrival of Abhimanyu!
Gavaskar: Oh! The entire Australian bunch is after me! (I have a hunch that the bunch is trying to push me towards retirement! Forget about Sachin’s retirement!)
Sastri: Oh my God! Virat is clean bowled again! Now the skipper Goni is joining Sachin and he is under pressure again!
Rohit: Oh my God! Sachin has given a simple catch! The hunt for the 200th ton continues!
(Sachin departs. The game continues. India loses the match again. Australia wins the series 4:0. Sachin’s search for the 200th ton continues)
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
19th April 2012

Monday, April 16, 2012

Looking Back - Episode – 6

Often I used to wonder how BGR could develop such leadership qualities. I have found him a well organised man who is capable of getting things done - at the right time invariably. He also has a special skill to identify the right people for different types of work. He invariably gets the things done and knows the art of extracting work from persons who are capable. To be precise, he is a taskmaster! I have even seen some officers trying to escape his attention! They knew quite well that he will not only assign work, but also gets it done!
As I proceed with writing his initial working days in the bank I may perhaps be revealing some of the secrets of his leadership qualities! Certain situations did help him to develop such quality. The first such occasion was bidding farewell to his first mentor Somnath Narayan - hardly within a fortnight of his joining duties.
Somnath saw to it that BGR learnt the typing work in a systematic way. He had a smiling face, never would get angry and was a master in making people working with him feel at home. He had developed an art of making newcomers comfortable without getting upset under any circumstances. He left a lasting impression on BGR in his initial days in the bank.
Hardly after a week of BGR’s joining the bank, M V Bhat, the Accountant, called BGR and Somnath and told Somnath that the bank had decided to consider his request for a transfer to Madras. He was asked to train and guide BGR fully including typing of Board Notes. BGR was also told to pick up work fast and get all the necessary guidance from Somnath. So that was it! Somnath was relieved after a week. BGR bid him farewell with tears in his eyes.
Within a short time the other two typists were also transferred and some new recruits were posted in their place. The process was on an on-going basis and only persons who had proficiency were retained and others were sent away. It was now the turn of BGR to train the new recruits!
BGR utilized the opportunity to his full advantage. He used to type letters drafted by clerks to top executives. He remembers about a superintendent called R K Ghotgolkar who used to handle industrial relations and was an authority on Desai & Sastri Awards. This gentleman would sit with BGR and dictate letters for hours together. One day he dictated an enquiry proceedings from 10 am to 1 pm continuously. BGR went on typing simultaneously and completed the 16 pages report error-free! He used to keep the Oxford English dictionary with him and used it extensively to know the correct spelling. He could improve his written and spoken English tremendously even as a matriculate. That stood him well in his career as he could draft and type out letters independently. It was quite in contrast to the other new recruits who were sent to the branches.
Bombay Calling!
BGR’s working capacity was fully tested on a special occasion. The Lions Club District Conference was held in Town Hall in the year 1961. The DGM BV Bhandary called him and introduced him to two Lions Club officials and asked him to type their letters exclusively for about three days. The two were businessmen from Bombay. They would visit the bank three-four times a day and BGR attended their work promptly. The two gentlemen were so impressed with his work that they offered him an appointment in Bombay with accommodation! BGR declined their offer politely. They left their visiting cards with him telling him that their doors were always open for him! If only BGR had accepted the offer, the contents of this biography and the author would have been different!
The CAIIB Challenge!
There was no promotion policy in the bank in those days. The CAIIB examination was being held only once in a year. One or two clerks at the all India level would pass the exam in a year and the bank used to promote them on an ad-hoc basis. It was the year 1961.  BGR had fully settled down in his job. He, along with some of his colleagues – B R Udupa, Vasanth Rai and I S Bhat – decided to take the examination. BGR was the first person to fill up the application form and he went to the superintendent K Anantha Kamath for his counter signature. Kamath simply laughed at BGR. He told him in a loud voice that even the directly recruited officers (graduates with ranks) were finding it difficult to pass the examination in three attempts as required. According to him when that was the case - where was the question of a matriculate like BGR passing the examination? He felt BGR was getting too ambitious!
But Kamath’s efforts to dissuade BGR from taking the examination failed. BGR told him that he knew it was a challenge and he was fine with that. Kamath grudgingly signed the form. BGR told the other three persons about Kamath’s attitude and asked them to get their application signed. All of them got the same treatment from Kamath. But he had in fact done them a favour! All the four took it as a challenge. They completed the part I in two attempts and proved that Kamath had underestimated their capabilities! All the four also completed the Part II by 1965.
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
16th April 2012

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Indian Cricket in 2025 - Episode -1

Sachin Tendulkar has flatly denied that he has any plans of retirement from first class cricket in the near future. He has also almost made it clear that the selection committee has absolutely no role to play in his retirement plans. The present BCCI selection committee chairman K Srikkanth has agreed that Sachin alone can decide about his retirement.  It appears that the selection of Sachin will be mandatory till he decides to retire! The way the things have turned out at so far indicate how the state of affairs of Indian cricket could be in the year 2025. The following could be the scenario:
Scenario 1: Occasion: The Test Match Series in Australia: The First Test in Melbourne
(The Indian team has arrived in Australia after losing the test series in England. The team includes seniors like Sachin, Laxman and Sehwag. Sachin has already completed 199 centuries in test matches and one-day matches put together. There are huge expectations that he may score his 200th century in Melbourne. Arjun Tendulkar (son of Sachin) and Aryaveer (son of Sehwag) are also in the Indian team. However, both of them are not in the playing eleven and have been asked to sit out. The commentary team includes Sunil Gavaskar, Ravi Sastri, Rohit Sharma, Michael Clark, Shane Watson and Bret Lee).
Sunil Gavaskar: It is really interesting to find history repeating in Australia. Well Sastri!  Do you remember it was exactly 14 years ago that we were expecting Sachin to complete his 100th century here in the year 2011?
Sastri: You are right Sunil! Now we are expecting Sachin to complete his 200th century!
Gavaskar: We should appreciate the spirit and determination of Sachin even at this age! Of course the only regret is that he has blocked the entry of his own son Arjun into the playing eleven!
Sastri: Let us hope that he completes his 200th century here and allows his beloved son to enter the big league.
Gavaskar: BCCI is right. They have allowed Sachin to play so that he can achieve the coveted 200th century. I feel the matter of retirement should be left to the individual in any field!
Clark: Pardon me Sir! I hope I am not misunderstood!  Are you talking about the retirement of commentators also?
Gavaskar: This is what I call the Australian mentality! I am sure you are talking about me and Sastri! Am I right?
Sastri: Let me tell you Clark, we had a radio commentator called Vizzy (the late Maharajkumar of Vizianagaram) in the late fifties and sixties. He was so old that the audience could not even make out whether he was making cricket commentary or commentary on a horse race!
Gavaskar: He had forced himself upon the hapless listeners because he was a royal personality. You may not believe this! He was even the captain of Indian team in the 1936 test series even though he could hardly play!
Clark: I am sorry I raked up some unnecessary issue. (Hope Gavaskar does not walk away from the commentary team like he did in one of test matches here in Australia once upon a time!)
Sastri: Let us come back to the present game. Oh! India has already lost the first wicket for no score!
Gavaskar: That brings Sachin into the game. Hope he is not under pressure from the media to score his 200th century! He should be allowed to play his natural game!
Sastri: Oh! Sehwag has given an easy catch! That brings Laxman into the game. Hope he helps Sachin to achieve the coveted milestone!
Clark: Don’t you people think that it is such comments that bring pressure on Sachin? I feel we should concentrate on the game only.
Gavaskar: I agree. It appears that the team management is taking a decision to rest one of the seniors in the next match to help Arjun Tendulkar to play his first test match.
Rohit Sharma: I also heard that. Do you people remember that exactly 14 years ago there was this rotation policy to accommodate me in the team?
Sastri: True. But that you failed to utilize the opportunity is another story of course!
Rohit: I agree. In fact my test match career came to an end in view of the decision to retain the seniors indefinitely to help them create all sorts of records! Fortunately I ended up as a commentator! (That I have again landed among senior citizens is another story of course!)
Gavaskar: Oh! Laxman has given a simple catch again! And to think that Laxman was a hero against the Australian teams once upon a time!
Watson: That brings Virat Kohli into the game.
Rohit: He is the only cricketer from our generation in the present Indian team. The rest are all either the seniors or the younger lot!
Sastri: Oh! Virat has started well. Sachin is now nearing the score of 80. Hope he does not think of the milestone now!
Bret Lee: I am here in the pavilion now to interview Arjun Tendulkar! Arjun what do you think? Do you expect your father to achieve the milestone in this match?
Arjun: Of course! My mother has hinted me I can hope to get into the test eleven the moment my father completes this milestone!
Bret Lee: What happens if he continues to fail?
Arjun: In that case even my son Abhimanyu does not stand a chance! My father has made it clear that nobody else can take a decision on his behalf! (There is a huge furor in the stadium at this stage)
Bret Lee: Oh! It seems Sachin got out for 99! Let me hand it back to Gavaskar.
Gavaskar: Oh! We have to wait for the second innings now. Sachin is walking back!
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
11th April 2012

Monday, April 9, 2012

Looking Back - Episode - 5

It was on 6th February 1959 that BGR commenced his first day in the job at Canara Bank. He reported at the Administrative Office to Shri M V Bhat, Accountant, exactly at 9.45 am with all the enthusiasm and high spirits of an 18-year young man. At 10 am Bhat took him to the typing section and introduced him to the 3-member typist team headed by Somnath Narayan. Somnath straightaway assigned him a Halda typewriter to work on. He also introduced him to the other two typists – K P Puttaram and K R Vasu.
Somnath came to know that BGR had no previous experience and was totally new to the office work. He told BGR not to worry and to concentrate on picking up the work fast. He assured him full support from his side. His friendly attitude helped BGR to develop confidence in learning the work. Somnath gave him a brief on the nature of letters he was expected to type out. He also told him that the establishment department was directly under the DGM Bhandary assisted by the DM U K Kini and five superintendents. The matters dealt with included staff, premises, provident fund and public relations.
To begin with BGR was given six letters to type out. He was given printed forms and it was a matter of filling up blank columns by typing out the matter. He began typing at 10.20 am. He had some problems in reading the handwritings and Somnath helped him out. Once he completed the typing, Somnath went through them and pointed out certain mistakes. He was also asked retype some letters. This exercise developed confidence in BGR. He exhibited the same in the next lot of letters given to him by typing them without mistakes.
At 1.00 pm Somnath asked BGR to go for lunch. Now that he had started the office work satisfactorily, BGR wanted to get introduced to some of his colleagues. He did it with two of the colleagues – I S Bhat and P Vasu. Both of them were from Udupi. They appeared quite friendly and BGR took the opportunity to ask them to help him in getting accommodation. The two were staying in Modern Hotel near the bank and were paying Rs30 per month for a room and two meals. They assured him that they would take him to the hotel in the evening.
In the afternoon BGR was quite comfortable with his Halda typewriter and completed the typing of some more letters given by Somnath. There was big tray wherein the peons would drop the draft letters for typing. Somnath would distribute the letters according to the priority of the matter. BGR also observed that a big bunch of letters were dropped in the tray at about 4.15 pm. He thought he may have to sit late to finish all those letters. But Somnath told him not to worry. He told him that he could leave at 5 pm and the remaining letters could be typed on the next day. Exactly at 5 pm Somnath stopped the work, closed his typewriter with a cover and told BGR to follow suit and leave. As BGR was coming out of the office, a thought came to his mind that he had earned a salary of Rs2.50 for the day’s work. He felt quite happy.
BGR found the pair of IS Bhat and P Vasu waiting outside to take him to the hotel. They took him to the hotel which was about 200 yards from the bank. He was shown a vacant room with a cot. The toilet and bathroom facilities were common.  BGR also saw the rooms the two were occupying already. The two asked him whether he was interested. BGR had been advised by his mother and Pema that he should look for an accommodation immediately after appointment. It was necessary for him to leave the Mama’s house at the earliest. He gave his consent to the hotel accommodation and paid an advance of Rs10 he had carried in his purse. He was happy that he was getting the company of two of his colleagues at the hotel.
BGR’s Mama and Mami were quite pleased to hear his first day experience in the bank. He also told them about the hotel accommodation and that he would shift his belongings in the next day morning. He went out for a long walk around Basavanagudi. He was feeling on top of the world having landed in a bank job and completing the first day at work successfully. He finished his dinner and went to bed fully relieved of the pressure he had faced all these days. He felt he could learn the job well under the able guidance of Somnath Narayan. Was he really lucky to get a mentor like Somnath in the beginning of his career? Indeed he was! But the guidance was not to last long as BGR came to learn shortly!
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
8th April 2012

Thursday, April 5, 2012

I Don’t Know, Son! – 44

Tendulkar Retires!
Son: Readers of Times of India in Bangalore were surprised to find a headline “Sachin Tendulkar Retires Hurt”, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The headline was on the top corner and some of the readers concluded that Sachin had retired from cricket hurt by the comments made by the media, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: But they were disappointed to find the detailed report in the sports page, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: It said that Sachin was hurt while playing in the first IPL match of the season and retired from the game, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
Bankruptcy at the right time!
Son: A London court has declared Lalit Modi, the IPL founder, bankrupt, dad.
Father: Go on, Son.
Son: Modi had failed to pay the 65,000-pound sterling bill raised by the Page Group for the security services provided to him, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Modi has also since lost a libel case to former New Zealand cricketer Chris Cairns, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The London High Court has ordered Modi to pay 90,000 pounds in damages to Cairns, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Since Modi has already been declared bankrupt by the London court, Cairns may not be able to enforce the damages on Modi, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: It is not for nothing that Modi is called a financial wizard, dad! He almost single handedly created a cash cow called IPL for the BCCI, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: That he was shunted out unceremoniously by the BCCI is a different matter altogether, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
Singh is Singh!
Son: The smiling face of Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Raman Singh on ambulances that provide emergency services has piqued the opposition congress leaders in the state, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: They have pointed out that the ambulance service was part of a scheme funded by the central government and the photo should have been that of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: But Raman Singh has told them it doesn’t matter as the person in a critical condition is unlikely to notice whether it is Raman Singh or Manmohan Singh, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: According to him “Singh is Singh” and whether it is Manmohan or Raman did not make any difference to the patient in the ambulance, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
Not the Time to Smile!
Son: Incidentally it is also true that it may be difficult to take a picture of smiling Manmohan Singh in the current situation, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: With the discovery of new scams every other day, the Prime Minister is finding the going tough, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: It appears that the smiling days are a thing of the past for the UPA Government led by Manmohan Singh, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
President crosses the Target!
Son: President Pratibha Patil’s foreign trips have cost the exchequer Rs205 crore so far, dad!  
Father: True. Go on, son.
Son: She had assumed the office as the first woman president of the country in July 2007, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: It appears that the President had a set a minimum target to spend Rs200 crore and she has already crossed it successfully, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: As she has another four months in her 5-year tenure, she is expected to cross the target with a substantial margin, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Sonia Gandhi is said to be fully satisfied with her performance and is expected to offer her a grand send off ceremony, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
A V Krishnamurthy
5th April 2012

Monday, April 2, 2012

I Don’t Know, Son! - 43

I Don’t Know, Son! - 43
The Missing Thing!
Son: The owner of the beleaguered Kingfisher Airline, Vijay Mallya, is said to be doing everything to normalize the services, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: But the bankers, who have lost heavily in converting a portion of their debt to equity in the company, say that Mallya is just not doing one thing that is required to revive the company, dad.
Father: Like what? Go on, son.
Son: He is not prepared to raise a single rupee from his own sources and is simply asking the banks to put in more money into the sinking ship, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
The Road Map (to go home)!
Son: Mallya had promised the airports authority of India that he would present a Road Map for setting the things right, dad
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The hapless employees of the company who have not been paid their salary for months expected Mallya to offer some relief in his Road Map, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: But the Road Map turned out to be a damp squib, dad. Mallya has now asked the employees to stay at home, dad!
Father: How come? Go on, son.
Son: He thinks that they will not pressurize him to pay their salary arrears if they remain at home, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
Watch the IPL Tamasha!
Son: As far as Mallya’s other pet venture Royal Challengers of Bangalore is concerned, the things appear to be quite normal, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Now that the employees of the Kingfisher Airlines have been asked to stay back at home, Mallya expects them to watch the IPL matches leisurely and support his team whole heartedly, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: But the employees say that with such a big hole in their purses, their whole heart lies somewhere else, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
Tax Deduction at source - a cash outflow or inflow?
Son: The Kingfisher Airlines appears to have re-written the principles of financial accounting, dad.
Father: How come? Go on, son.
Son:  In the normal course the tax deducted at source from payments and the service tax collected from the passengers is a cash outflow, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The money is to be remitted to the exchequer within prescribed time limits, dad.
Father: True. Go on, Son.
Son: The airline is holding back the money with it for months by defaulting in payments to the government, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: In effect, the airline has treated the tax money as a cash inflow by using it for its revenue expenditure, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
A V Krishnamurthy
2nd April 2012

Looking Back - Episode - 4

The next morning BGR left Mama’s house at 9 am fully prepared for the interview. Mama gave him a briefing on current affairs based on the morning edition of the Indian Express. He reached the Shoukath building by 9.40 am. He was directed to go to 3rd floor. There he met a 50-year old person called Koraga Shetty who asked him to sit on a bench and wait for the test. On coming to know that BGR was from South Kanara, Shetty started speaking to him in Tulu.
Soon a senior officer (M V Bhat) collected all the documents from BGR and asked him to get prepared for a typewriting test. After some time, he was taken to a place where he found one Remington Rand and three Halda typewriters and three typists on the job. One of them by name Somnath Narayan asked BGR to practice for some time on a Halda typewriter. As BGR had already worked on a Halda typewriter he found it easy to work on. After some time Somnath came back and gave him one full page of matter. He was asked to type carefully avoiding mistakes. He was also asked to get back in case of any difficulty.
The cool and gentlemanly approach of Somnath Narayan made BGR feel quite comfortable even though he was totally new to the office set up. He could complete the typing within about 25 minutes. Somnath went through his work and expressed his satisfaction by telling him “well done”. He was asked to go back to the bench and wait for the interview call. Indeed it turned out to be a long wait!
While sitting on the bench BGR could closely observe how a large office worked in those days. Not far away from his seat he found a small low partition. Seated there were two senior officials well dressed and wearing ties. He came to know later that they were the two deputy general managers (DGMs) – B V Bhandary and A G Pai. Between the two DGMs there was only one telephone kept for the common use! There was no special cabin even for the DGMs in those days! Occasionally other officers would come to them for discussion. All the employees were speaking politely in a low audible voice. Most of the conversation was either in Konkani or English.
About 50% of the employees were wearing mundus and shirts, while the others were wearing pants and shirts. Only a few of them were wearing ties. There was not even a single lady staff. Both Bhandary and A G Pai used to receive frequent phone calls. While A G Pai was speaking in a mellowed tone, Bhandary was found speaking very loudly particularly for trunk calls. Later BGR came to know that he had a hearing problem.
There was another small partition behind the bench where BGR was sitting. At about 12.30 pm, the door opened suddenly and a well dressed short man, aged over 50 years, came out and walked away briskly. Koraga Shetty told BGR that he was Sarvothama Nayak, the General Manager (GM). Shetty also told BGR proudly that he was GM’s personal peon. At 1 pm it was lunch time and BGR was asked to go out and have lunch and get back to the bench!
BGR had a plate meal at a nearby hotel costing 6 anas. He came back and started his endless waiting for the interview. Koraga Shetty told him that he will be first interviewed by U K Kini, the divisional manager and then by the DGM Bhandary. But both of them were quite busy. BGR waited anxiously for his interview till evening. But the call never came. Finally M V Bhat told him to come back on the next day morning at 10 am. BGR’s eagerness to complete his first interview and come out of the anxiety remained unfulfilled. He had to wait till the next day.
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The next morning BGR did not have to wait for long. M V Bhat told him at 10 am that U K Kini, the DM would interview him soon. At about 11.30 am he was taken to the seat of U K Kini and was asked to sit in front of him. Kini was a fair, grey haired 5’ 6’’-gentleman who meant business. He started shooting questions at BGR straightaway. The questions covered from personal details to typing, mathematics, general knowledge and the ability to express in the English language. His speciality was – he would look at the face of BGR while putting the questions and would go on signing the papers while BGR was giving his answers. That away he was hiding his reactions and virtually gave nothing away! BGR got a feeling that he had answered around 80 percent of the questions satisfactorily. He was then asked to wait for the final interview from Bhandary, the DGM.
It was a long wait again and BGR got impatient. He almost thought that the things may be postponed to next day once again. But at 4.15 pm he was ushered to the table of the DGM. Bhandary had an imposing personality. He was tall, fair and well built. BGR was a little bit nervous to sit in front of him. Bhandary put him some personal questions and asked him whether he would work hard and sincerely for the bank. BGR simply replied him in the affirmative. The DGM then told him that he had been selected for the job and asked him to go back to his seat.
So that was it! Just before 5 pm, BGR got his appointment orders as apprentice in Canara Bank at a monthly stipend of Rs75. The order was handed over to him by M V Bhat who told him to report for duty on the next day. The 18-year old young man from Udupi had landed his first job at the prestigious Canara Bank – that too at the Administrative Office of the bank in Bangalore itself. Was he proud of himself?
That evening in Udupi Pema and his friend M R Pai were having their usual round of discussions when a messenger from the Telegraph Department delivered a telegram to Pema. It read, “Secured appointment as apprentice in Canara Bank Administrative Office” - BGR. The duo had successfully launched the career of a young man in the bank that was to last till the very end of the twentieth century!
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
2nd April 2012