If I were to be asked who was the most colourful personality at Shimoga main branch I would vote for the name of NRG Prasad (NRG). But I have already written a special article on him. Hence I am ignoring him in this write up. Those of my readers who have not read my article may read the same in the attachment sent here with.
Mohan P Katti
Katti joined our branch on transfer from Bellary branch. His father was a top official in the Education Department of Karnataka. Katti was a very handsome young man. He would wear smart tea shirts that suited his personality. He was not very serious about his work and would take things lightly. But he was a jovial, witty and a fun loving guy. Within a short time of his arrival at the branch he developed friendship with all his colleagues. It was a pleasure to talk to him. He formed a mini group with like minded colleagues. The group included A R Madhavan and H G Suresh Rao. This group would become very vocal during the several picnics arranged by the staff club under the guidance of BGR. The group would rewrite several popular Kannada film songs by including the names of their colleagues. They would make fun of all the colleagues by highlighting their special qualities/weaknesses! The picnics used to be highly enjoyable with their ingenious special songs! They would not hesitate to make fun of seniors including BGR. In fact they would address BGR as ‘Udupi Gulla’ (the famous brinjal from Udupi) during the picnic!
Katti had a personality comparable to the talented Kannada film actor Shankar Nag. He would often say that he could have beaten Shankar Nag - but for his height. But he had no luck. Katti had a speciality. He would tell certain things to you offhand. But you are not sure whether he was quite serious or was telling it for fun. I had one such experience with him.
I was operating a SB account with the Seshadripuram branch of Syndicate Bank Bangalore when I was studying at the Tata Institute (IISC). I got the same transferred to Shimoga branch after I joined Canara Bank in Shimoga. Later I decided to close the account as I had no reason to operate the same. I went to the branch one day during office hours (with permission) to close the account. I was surprised to find Katti also walking into the branch. He told me that he had come there to get his passbook entries updated.
While coming back to our branch I asked Katti what was the point in maintaining an account with another bank when we were the employees of Canara Bank. He suddenly lowered his voice and told me in a hush-hush tone that he had opened the account with a specific purpose. I was curious and asked him to disclose the same to me. He told me that he had heard that the employees in Syndicate Bank of late had been making some wrong entries in the accounts as many of them were newly recruited. He was also expecting some wrong credits in his account! He wanted to just try his luck! He would periodically get his passbook updated. The idea was to draw the money the moment any wrong credit was found in his account! Katti told me this very seriously. I was left speechless! Till date I do not know whether Katti was joking with me or he really meant it!
A R Madhavan (ARM) and his Long-Term Investment!
ARM was an equally interesting personality. He was one year senior to me at the National High School Shimoga. He joined our bank one week after my joining. He had a very strong physique – but was very soft in his approach. He was also a jovial fun-loving guy. He would make his comments in a very cool manner. But he could convey a lot. He also had the capacity to make witty remarks offhand.
As earlier mentioned by me, the young men brigade at the Shimoga main branch had its general weakness for the fair sex. These men would jump at any opportunity to offer their ‘excellent customer service’ to the fair sex! I must mention here that the excellent service did not mean a quick disposal of the customer! In fact the idea was to delay the service so that the customer’s stay at the branch was extended to the maximum! Naturally the young men did not want the fair sex customers to walk out early. At the same time they wanted to interact with them as much as possible and to ensure that they were impressed by the service.
This sort of attitude of the young brigade was taken as quite normal. Of course all other customers were extended the normal services by this brigade. But this brigade was surprised to find ARM giving some “excellent service” to an ordinary looking senior gentleman customer! On being asked, ARM told them that he was making a long-term investment! He also told them that he was not interested in short-term investments (affairs) unlike them! The brigade could not make head and tail of what ARM was telling.
ARM later explained to us his motive. He had been told that the senior gentleman had a beautiful daughter at home. While extending his excellent service to the gentleman, ARM was also trying to impress upon him the necessity to send his beautiful daughter to the bank! His advice to him was - to stay at home comfortably at this old age and train his young daughter to handle his bank accounts!
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
21st June 2012