Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Looking Back - Episode – 16

HGS was another jolly, simple and friendly person who was in the Ginger group of Katti and ARM. He used to dress fashionably and was known for his large bell-bottom pants. He hailed from the Sagar town. By a strange coincidence, he was also my colleague in my last branch at Jayalakshmipuram, Mysore.
HGS was once entrusted with the work of writing registered notices to the loan defaulters. There was no system of checking the accuracy of such notices. The notices were routinely signed by the Accountant and dispatched to the borrowers. In those days there were only a small number of advocates in Shimoga. Hence it was sufficient to write their names and the profession in the letters addressed to them.
A week after the dispatch of notices, our branch received a registered lawyer’s notice from an advocate called Rudrappa. The notice stated that Mr. Rudrappa had no occasion to even come near our branch so far – but a notice had been served on him to repay the overdue loan! Mr. Rudrappa wanted the bank to apologise to him. He had also threatened to file a defamation case against the bank for spoiling his reputation by calling him a loan defaulter!
A verification of the tappal register revealed that a notice had indeed been sent to Rudrappa.  A scrutiny of loan register revealed that there was no such borrower. The mystery was solved when we found a defaulting borrower with the name Purdappa who was also an advocate. Obviously HGS had written the name as Rudrappa instead of Purdappa. When asked, HGS told the Accountant that he thought Purdappa could not be the name of a person! Hence he had corrected the name as Rudrappa! It was a tough job to convince the mistake to Rudrappa. With great difficulty, the matter was put to rest amicably.
S Jagdish Nayak (SJN)
SJN had joined the bank in 1969 and was senior to most of us in service. He was a tall, fair and handsome young man. He was very good at work and was basically a very principled man. He was already married when he came to our branch. SJN had developed a habit of living beyond his means. This would land him in problems many a time. He was a chain smoker and would also enjoy drinks when he was in a company. He used to be deputed to outstation branches to fill up the leave vacancies. He would then discount his cheques at those branches, which would then come to our branch for collection. Many a time the balance in the account used to be insufficient to meet the payment of the cheques. SJN had a close friend in our branch called Pattabhi (T Pattabhiram Pai). He was expected to see that the cheque was not dishonoured. Pattabhi never let down his friend even though he had his own commitments and limitations.
There was additional trouble for SJN once. On a particular occasion he had gone to his home town Koppa with his family. The house was kept under lock and key. By the time SJN came back, some burglar had emptied the house. He filed a police complaint. In those days there was a famous burglar called Koli (hen) Rama in Shimoga. He was an expert in stealing hens! But that was only his subsidiary activity!
The police took some extra interest in SJN’s case as he was a bank employee. They arrested Koli Rama and summoned SJN to the police station during his enquiry. The following was the conversation at the station:
Sub-Inspector: Sir, this man is called Koli Rama. He is an expert habitual burglar. We are sure he is the person who has burgled your house.
SJN: Mr. Rama, why did you choose my house? It would have been better if somebody else was your target. You may not be aware. But I am already under financial stress. You have added to my trouble.
Rama: (Appears to be disturbed). Sir, I admit I had burgled some house. But I am not sure whether it was your house! By the bye, your house is located in which street, sir?
SJN: My house is at Old Thirthahalli road.
Rama: I feel relieved now! I can tell you now with confidence that I have not burgled your house.
SJN: How come?
Rama: It does not fall in my command area, sir!
SJN: What do you mean?
Rama: Sir, we have divided Shimoga city equally between four of us! Only Durgigudi and Jayanagar fall under my command area! Even the Sub-Inspector is aware of this arrangement. I don’t know why he wasted your time unnecessarily, sir!
(The above conversation was told to me by SJN himself. He never got back the stolen items)
SJN got his promotion as officer after I left the branch in 1977. He was posted to Connaught Circus branch, Delhi and gained lot of recognition for his excellent work and enthusiasm for taking up challenging assignments. He came back to Karnataka and was posted to N R Pura branch. His living beyond means habit came to the fore here. He developed the habit of discounting cheques of other banks and destroying the instruments before dispatch.
The bank conducted an enquiry and punished him with dismissal from service. He got into many jobs in Bangalore. But nothing worked. He was virtually on streets. Meanwhile the hereditary diabetes disease caught up with him and he died at an early age. SJN’s was a typical case of living beyond means and ending up the life in a tragedy. May his soul rest in peace!
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
26th June 2012

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