Monday, July 30, 2012

Looking Back - Episode – 22

T Pattabhiram Pai (Pattabhi) and K S Prabhakar Hegde (KSP)
Both Pattabhi and KSP could be the role models for those who want to come up in their life through sheer hard work, dedication and sincerity. Both of them had joined Pangal Nayak Bank (PNB) in the sub-staff cadre. They completed their SSLC and picked up the nuances of working in the bank even as sub-staff. The amalgamation of PNB with Canara Bank opened opportunities for them. The PNB branch in Shimoga became the S M Circle branch of Canara Bank. Both of them passed in the promotion test at the first available opportunity and were posted as clerks to our branch.
Actually the two were the only two non-graduate clerks in our branch. But this did not deter them from putting in their best performance. While KSP was a cool personality and would focus only on working systematically, Pattabhi was highly talkative and was excellent in handling outdoor assignments.  One could assign any outdoor activity to him and he would come back after fully accomplishing his task. He was a master in handling cash matters. He could sort out the soiled, issuable and fresh notes perfectly at a great speed. Besides, he had an excellent rapport with the staff State Bank of Mysore (SBM).
In those days we were at the mercy of SBM for new currency notes and for remitting soiled notes. The currency chest was in the exclusive possession of State bank and its subsidiaries. With his excellent rapport Pattabhi was able to clear our stock of soiled notes and secure new (serial) notes. Pattabhi was also a skilled person in handling tough customers.
KSP moved to Bangalore and married an employee working in BEL. He completed a highly satisfactory career in our bank. I am told that one of his sons is working in England at present. Pattabhi built his house in Shimoga. He was promoted as an officer and worked in different branches near Shimoga. Both of his sons are software engineers. He is presently staying with one of his sons in Bangalore.
M Sundar
The story of M Sundar is another live example of how a person could come up in life through sheer hard work, sincerity and dedication.  The name Sundar in Kannada means handsome. Indeed our M Sundar was a handsome personality. He hailed from South Kanara and Tulu was his mother tongue. He joined our bank as a non-matriculate sub-staff. He worked in rural branches like Ripponpet and managed to get a transfer to our branch in order to secure a promotion.
In those days most of the sub-staff in the banks were not inclined to put in hard work. They used to be more interested in evading work and looking for the salary day and the first week of the month for overtime payments. Indeed an officer’s ability to extract work them was one of the traits for performance appraisal! Many of them failed miserably to secure marks under this trait. If only all the sub-staff were like our M Sundar, perhaps one could have secured full marks! I would like to highlight only one particular aspect of his attitude. I was working in term deposits section at that time.
In those days there used to be a number of ledgers and registers for term deposits. Depending on the particular depositor and the rate of interest, one had to take out the relevant ledgers and registers. That was the work of the sub-staff. While all other sub-staff would wait till they were asked to do the work, Sundar himself would keep a watch on the depositors and their requirements. The moment the depositor revealed the period for which he would like to keep the deposit, Sundar would take out the relevant ledger and register and keep them on our table!  It was his way of discharging his duties. Even the depositors used to appreciate his promptness in the matter.
Sundar completed his matriculation and secured his promotion as clerk by passing in the relevant test. When last heard, he was working as an officer in one of our branches in Udupi. I am also told that his sons are well employed and settled down in their careers.
Surendra Bhat (SB)
As new recruits in the banking industry, we were perhaps too serious in our official duties. We used to focus on learning work and we were not even aware that there was a method of working in a relaxed manner. Indeed the arrival of Surendra Bhat (SB) in our branch made us change our attitude.  He made us realise that it is possible to work in the bank without taking the things too seriously! If only all the officers were to follow the footsteps of SB, perhaps, none of the bank officers would have had to gulp the BP tablets later in their career!
SB came to our branch on promotion as an officer. We used to make an assessment of new officers regarding their knowledge and capability to handle difficult situations. As a newly promoted officer, posted to a new branch, we expected SB to face some difficulties in his initial days. But Oh! No! To our surprise we found SB least bothered about the nuances of his official work. He followed a simple methodology. He would merely put his signature and initials wherever required as per bank’s procedures! He had absolute faith in whatever work done by his juniors! In fact he could not understand why any of the persons working under him would commit mistakes!
SB never bothered about the procedures and systems in our bank. For him learning new things or keeping updated on the latest developments in the bank was a strict No! No! But he was quite updated about one aspect of his bank job. That was about the submission of perfect TA bills!
After a few days of his arrival, SB was identified for deputation to different branches in Shimoga district in the leave vacancy of managers. We all thought it may be difficult for SB to act as a manager in the deputed branches. But SB was fully confident. He told us that he followed the same methodology of signing and initialing as he was doing in our branch. Believe it or not! SB never had any difficulty in any of the branches even though he was quite unfamiliar with the working in rural branches.
Immediately after returning from the deputed branch, SB would prepare his TA bill and submit it to the Divisional Office (DO). He would prepare the bill so perfectly that the DO would have no occasion to disallow any of his claims! In fact when I was posted to the inspection department in Mumbai, I sought his guidance to prepare my TA bills for shifting to Mumbai. He guided me extensively in the matter.  He also explained to me the nuances of preparing the monthly TA bills as an inspecting officer. Hats off to him and his tips! During my seven-year career in the inspection department, there was not even a single occasion when any of my claims in my TA bills were disallowed by the Head Office!
The Story of Karela Bonda!
Another area in which SB excelled was in the ‘food’ department! While most of us used to think about the work on hand in the opening hours of the bank, SB would focus on the items he would order with the hotel boy during the tea time! He would spend a few minutes with the boy to know about the special items available on that day! Only thereafter he would get back to the routine work in the bank. His philosophy was – eat well, enjoy and take it easy on the work front!
Even though SB used to order special items from the hotel daily, it was not that his better-half was denying good food to him at home. In fact SB would carry a huge Tiffin carrier to the office. His beloved wife would pack several tasty items in his lunch box. During the lunch time he would unpack them in front of us carefully. He would share the special item of the day with us ungrudgingly. In fact I developed a craze for one particular item prepared by his beloved. It was the bonda made out of bitter gourd (called karela in Hindi and hagala kaayi in Kannada)! Oh! How tasty the item used to be? So much so, immediately after setting up my family in Mumbai, I told my beloved wife about my craze for the karela bonda! Fortunately for me, within a short time she picked up the art of preparing this delicacy. In fact she received laurels for her skills in preparing the item. Hats off to SB and the karela bonda! I remain indebted to him wherever he is now!
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
30th July 2012

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Looking Back - Episode –21

Actually the would-be-father-in-law of KSP was one of the authorized signatories for the current accounts operated by KEB in our branch. However, he had never visited our branch. In order to ascertain the correct position of KSP, he personally visited the branch and met our manager CNN. Fortunately KSP was sitting on a rotating chair (earmarked for officers only in our bank) and discharging an officer’s duties on the day of his visit. Besides, KSP had worked with CNN earlier at the Tumkur branch. CNN confirmed to the would-be-father-in-law that KSP was indeed working as a supervisor. The gentleman left the branch fully convinced of the position of his would-be-son-in-law in the bank.
All of us attended KSP’s marriage held in Tumkur. KSP started his married life and the Lambretta scooter was put to full use! While he was enjoying the initial happy days with his life companion, we started missing his regular company. While KNV accepted the reality, I started feeling a sense of deprivation on account of my close attachment to KSP. I was unable to accept his absence in our daily evening routine. KSP appreciated my feelings. But he was helpless. When I look back on those days, I feel I should have been more understanding.
Hardly within a few months of marriage, KSP’s wife also secured a job in KEB. KSP also lost his beloved mother suddenly. The situation required some readjustments. But KSP managed to do some balancing act by sparing some time for me exclusively. Our friendship continued at a different level. The three of us maintained our close relationship unhindered.
Both KNV and I passed our CAIIB and secured our promotions effective from 1st January 1977. We also managed to achieve our other target of completing the marriage of our younger sisters. I left Shimoga in February 1977 to join inspection department in Mumbai. I kept my close friendship with KSP intact. KSP and his wife even helped me out for purchase of jewellery and clothing for my marriage in September 1977.
KSP was posted to our Tiptur branch on promotion as Special Assistant. The couple visited Mumbai along with their daughter and stayed with us in 1978. We maintained our relationship only through correspondence thereafter. I was posted to Bangalore in 1987 as Manager after serving out of state for ten years. KSP was at Tumkur at that time. He had built his own house in the city. We visited his house and stayed with him. Our relationship continued.
I was posted to a semi-urban branch in Raichur district on my promotion as senior manager in 1990. Somewhere in the year 1991 I came to know from BGR that KSP was admitted to a hospital in Bangalore in a serious condition. He was in coma for some time and died due to brain haemorrhage. I had lost my closest friend at an early age (44 years).
It is now more than 20 years from the day the death snatched my friend away from me. I would like to dedicate this episode to the memory of my beloved friend KSP. I reproduce below the poem written by me in 2008 as a tribute to him. May his soul rest in peace!

To the departed friend
The sun was setting
The evening approaching
The darkness lurking
The thought of you came rushing!

You were my closest friend
Should I say the only friend?
I loved you with all my heart
I will never find one such sort!

You were the most handsome
Should I say the youth in full bloom?
Your absence made my day gloom
Without your company the day was so tame!

I cherished your friendship
You were my valued possession
I was greedy for sure
The friendship I never liked to share!

We had the best of time
We moved together always
Come whatever may
We never liked to part!

You got your life partner
You had to give her time
I was still greedy
And grudged your sweet Lady!

You did understand me
Wanted to compensate me!
We made an arrangement
I agreed to share your time fifty per cent!

You cut my fifty percent!
But I found it still decent!
You made that great sacrifice
For your spouse it was sacrilege!

The days indeed ran fast
And our separation was in sight
Before we could even ponder
The ‘D’ day arrived and was so bitter!

Indeed it was very painful
We bid each other farewell
Our careers were shaping well
But we had to separate once for all!

We did keep in touch
 Our families often met
But the fire was indeed burnt out
The best part of life already spent!!

You were still my true friend
I never got another of your kind!
I often remembered you
And prayed the Almighty for you!

But he was very unkind
I heard the news so sad
I was so shocked indeed
To hear your departure to His abode!

You were too young for this
Your presence I always miss
I always loved you so much
Your loss is unbearable; the pain is too much!

Sitting alone this evening
My heart yearns for you my friend
You were my only soul mate
I miss you and can only curse my fate!
A V Krishnamurthy
14th July 2008

------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
28th July 2012

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Looking Back - Episode – 20

K S Pranesh Rao (KSP), KNV Murthy (KNV) & AVK Murthy (AVK)
The Shimoga story will not be complete without my writing about my friendship with KSP and KNV. Actually I am unable to recollect exactly the circumstances under which the three of us formed a friendship group. KSP came to our branch on transfer from Tumkur about six months after I joined the bank. He was nearly one year senior to me in service. KNV joined our branch as a new recruit six months after my joining. It seems the two had already formed a friendship before I joined them. But once I joined them we became a close-knit group and we never looked back.
KNV Murthy (KNV)
KNV had already lost his father and was living with two elder brothers, a younger sister and mother in Shimoga. His eldest brother Kanthesh Murthy was a lecturer in English at the D V S College, while the other elder brother Ramamurthy was with the United India General Insurance. The youngest sister was studying. KNV and I had a common goal - to complete the marriage of our younger sister. Our entire focus was on this only target at that time. We were building a corpus of savings with this sole motive. With the arrival of BGR in our branch, we aimed at another target – to complete CAIIB and secure a promotion in the bank.
K S Pranesh Rao (KSP)
KSP was a handsome young man whose father was a Sub-Inspector in the Police Department. Unlike me and KNV, the only (elder) sister of KSP was already married and his line was clear! KSP had one more advantage. His father had made plenty of money in the police department. The concept of Lokayukta was not even thought of in those days! The employees working in the departments like police, sales tax, RTO, revenue (Sub-Registrar’s office) were free to make money. But the scale of corruption was nowhere near the present day standards!
KSP’s father had not only made money, he had also invested the same wisely. Besides substantial fixed deposits in our branch, he had three-four sites in Bangalore. In fact one of the responsibilities of KSP was to get the deposits renewed from time to time by keeping a track. Besides, he was also entrusted with the overseeing the construction of houses on the sites in Bangalore.
I should stress here that the friendship of three of us was so close that we could have been models for the Fevicol brand! We made it a point to meet every evening after our bank duty. While I was staying in a bachelor accommodation, KSP and KNV stayed with their families. All the three of us would freshen up and meet at a shop called Jayanti Traders, near the Mary Immacculate Convent on B H Road. We would then visit the room of K G Bhaskar near the Mylareshwara temple. The next destination would be the Meenakshi Bhavan Hotel. Thereafter we would go and wait at the National High School Circle for some other colleagues to arrive. The chit chat session would extend till 8.30 pm.
The three of us were meticulous on one week-end programme. The moment our working hours ended on Saturdays, we would leave the branch. After the routine Tiffin at Manohara Café, we could be found watching some Hindi film in any one of the theatres in Shimoga. Actually our film watching spree just coincided with the arrival of the Super Star Rajesh Khanna on the silver screen. We never looked back unlike Khanna!
Between the three of us, KNV was more of a professional. He would deal things in a matter of fact way. But I was more of a sentimental person. Over a period of time my attachment with KSP grew more personal. So much so, I always wanted to be in his company. While KNV had some family commitments, the two of us would watch morning shows on several Sundays. Our attachment grew fast. The real problem started when KSP’s marriage was fixed.
KSP’s fiancée was the daughter of a senior accounts controller in the Karnataka Electricity Board (KEB). Once the marriage was fixed, KSP started himself getting readied for the D-day. He bought a Lambretta scooter (the alternative for the coveted Bajaj Vespa). At that time KSP was the senior most clerk in our branch and was getting temporary supervisory duties on a regular basis. He was entitled to the additional allowance of Rs550+DA. It was a princely sum in those day standards. To impress his would-be-father-in-law, KSP told him that he was a supervisor in our bank.
The bride was the eldest daughter of her father and he wanted to confirm that his son-in-law was placed in a good position in the bank. He sent one of his (KEB) employees to our branch to see personally the type of duty he was performing in the bank. KSP was known for his speedy disposal of work. He would always ensure that the customers’ service was given priority. On the day when the employee visited the branch, the sub-staff on duty at the counter had gone out. In his absence, there was nobody to handover the cash cheques to the cashier after the supervisor had passed the instrument for payment. Hence as supervisor KSP himself was dropping the cash cheques in the cashier’s cabin through the slot provided.
The KEB employee went back and told KSP’s would-be-father-in-law that he saw KSP dropping the cash cheques in the cashier’s slot. On enquiry with some other bank employees, the would-be-father-in-law gathered the information that the duty performed by KSP was that of a peon in the bank!
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
23rd July 2012

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Looking Back - Episode –19

P Krishna Rao (PK)
P Krishna Rao (PK) was among the senior staff in our branch at the time of my joining the bank. He was a jolly handsome man who was more popularly known as ‘Peekay’ on account of his drinking habit.  He was a close friend of K G Bhaskar (KGB) who remained a bachelor till the very end. But as a person PK was an antithesis of KGB. While KGB was a teetotaler and totally avoided the fair sex, PK relished drinking and landed in an affair with the first woman employee of our branch.
The employee was the daughter of an insurance agent who was a customer of our branch. I had just completed about three months of service in the bank in the Savings Bank counter at that time. The other person in my department was a person called K S Vailaya (KSV), who was three months senior to me in service. KSV was a confused personality who somehow had developed a vision that all good things in life were being denied to him! One particular day the insurance agent, an elderly person, told us that his daughter had received the appointment order to join our branch. The moment he heard it, KSV started grumbling and looking at me enviously! But I was clueless about the sudden change in the attitude of KSV.
KSV’s strange behavior with me continued on the next day also. I was curious and asked him what was wrong with him. He then told me that I was a very lucky guy while he was unlucky as usual! I wanted him to reveal the sudden lucky development in my case. The cat was then out of the bag! According to him, it was the practice in the branch to put the new employee in the SB counter. Since he had already completed six months in SB counter, he expected that he would be shifted to another department. Then I would be the lucky guy to partner the lady at the SB counter!
Actually KSV was right in expecting such a placement after the lady joined the bank. I confirmed the same with the accountant. But at that stage of my service, I was focused on my work and knew that it was advisable for me to move to a new department as I had enough of SB counter in three months. At my request the accountant allotted me the bills collection department. Thus I surrendered my lucky chance to KSV who grabbed the opportunity with both hands!
But KSV’s elations were short-lived. Soon he understood that the lady was slow in her work and the major burden of work at the counter fell on him. But the worst thing was - she was dumb to the overtures of KSV! So much so that he wanted to get out of the department! While he did get the opportunity to get out, it was again another hard luck situation for him. He was posted to the new branch in Honnali – a place that lacked basic facilities in those days!
But the lady proved that she was not so dumb after all. While she was aloof with KSV, she opened up to the overtures of PK who was definitely very handsome and smart! In fact he was a look alike of the famous Kannada writer U R Ananthamurthy (URA) in his younger days. Besides, PK was promoted as officer and was retained in our branch. There was a major change in his lifestyle. He became a regular at the newly opened Blue Star Bar near our branch. He purchased a brand new Rajdhooth motorbike and was all charms unlimited! He was the most eligible bachelor in the Shimoga city! Naturally he got his pillion rider within no time! Mind you, it was not his close friend KGB!
The affair grew stronger by the day. So much so whenever the lady’s father (the insurance agent) visited the branch, some of PK’s colleagues would tell him that his ‘father-in-law’ had arrived! To avoid embarrassment, her father got her transferred to another local branch. We were all curious to know whether the affair would end up in marriage as it happened in the case of URA. PK’s case was simpler as it was a question of inter-community marriage unlike the complicated inter-religion marriage of URA.
But the story ended exactly like a typical Bollywood Hindi movie. In fact the climax was even more dramatic and suspenseful. PK did end up marrying one of the employees of our bank. But the employee was not the daughter of the insurance agent with whom he had a long-term affair! The ‘twist in the tale’ remains a mystery till today.
PK got his promotions in time and worked in Hyderabad, Chandigarh and Bangalore. At the fag end of his service, he took voluntary retirement as senior manager. But his drinking and smoking habits caught up with him. He was hospitalized and died early. May his soul rest in peace!
C N Nagaraj (CNN)
C N Nagaraj (CNN) was our second manager in Shimoga branch. He succeeded N Gundu Rao, a nice and cool personality, who was transferred to our Hassan branch. As mentioned earlier, BGR had already worked under CNN at Gandhinagar branch in Bangalore. CNN was a 6 & ½’ fair complexioned gigantic and commanding personality. So much so that even 5’10’’ people like me would develop a Gulliver and Lilliput syndrome while standing in front of him!
CNN’s arrival at our branch coincided with the allotment of a brand new Mahindra & Mahindra Jeep to our branch. A driver called Sakharam Shetty was also appointed. CNN put the vehicle to full use. He was actually more interested in social activities and within a short time became a highly popular personality in Shimoga. He had full confidence in BGR and left the internal affairs of the branch under his full control. CNN focused more on the outdoor activities.
While CNN left the internal affairs to BGR, he also went on a loan granting spree at the branch. For CNN, the sanction of loans was a one-way traffic. He never bothered about the repayment capacity of the borrower! In fact he hated the very idea of the recovery of loans. It was virtually a FF scheme (finance and forget) for him! His borrowing clients were widely spread – from small-scale industries to Jutka (Tonga) owners and petty shop keepers! The customers took full advantage of his generosity!
As a person, CNN was very kind hearted and jovial. He conducted a special programme in Shimoga under the auspices of the Canara Bank Social Welfare Cell, which was a grand success. He used to participate in Kannada dramas. We thought his acting skills were fully recognised when he was asked to play a role in a Kannada film. But it all ended up in an anticlimax!
It happened like this. A Kannada film production team visited Shimoga with the intention of shooting major portion of the story in the Shimoga city and its surroundings. The popular Kannada film star B V Radha was playing the major role in the film.       The team had some members known to CNN. Upon its arrival in Shimoga, the team sought the help of CNN - knowing his interest in Kannada dramas.  CNN was quite pleased to associate with the team. He spent major portion of his time with the team and even the bank jeep was at its disposal.    
The team suddenly realised that the person who was to play the role of B V Radha’s father was missing. They were on the lookout for a replacement. Someone came up with the suggestion - ‘why not CNN?’  CNN grabbed the opportunity with both hands. The shooting went on and on. CNN was found more with the team than at the bank. He was back at the branch after the team said good bye to Shimoga. The news of CNN’s role in the Kannada film became the talk of the town.
All of us were waiting for the release of the film eagerly. In fact we wanted to see the first show of the film on the first day. But the film did not see the light of the day till a very long time. Almost a year later we came to know that the film had been released in Bangalore. The people who saw the film told us that they could not identify any role played by CNN in the film. But a more serious and focused person told us that he could identify the role of CNN. It seems the editing team had eliminated the role of the father of B V Radha in the film for reasons only known to it. But they had recognised the presence of CNN in the film. They had displayed a photograph of the late father of B V Radha prominently at her home duly garlanded. The photograph was that of our beloved CNN!
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
17th July 2012


Saturday, July 14, 2012

I Don’t Know, Son! - 52

Answer Scripts Ready even Before the Exams!
Son: The colleges under the Bangalore University are turning too smart and futuristic now-a-days, dad.
Father: How come? Go on, son.
Son: A report in The Hindu says that a Task Force from the university found over 45 answer scripts at a B.Ed. college affiliated to the university during their surprise visit, dad!
 Father: Go on, son.
Son: The answer sheets pertained to exams that have not been held, dad! The sheets had written answers for the exam that is to be held in December, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
Fined for not Wearing Helmet in Car!
Son: A Times of India report says that a court in Hisar (Haryana) has directed the authorities to book three policemen for issuing a challan to a lawyer, dad.
Father: How come? Go on, son.
Son: The policemen had issued the challan to a lawyer for not wearing a helmet while driving his car, dad!
Father: Crazy! Go on, son.
Son: There could have been only two reasons for the policemen to commit this blunder, dad.
Father: Like what? Go on, son.
Son: The advocate might have refused to pay the bribe demanded by them, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The other possibility is that they were under the influence of alcohol and the car might have looked like a two-wheeler to them, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
From Two Brothers to Two Sisters!
Son: That the two Ambani brothers – Mukesh and Anil – sons of the legendary Dhirubhai Ambani, parted ways long back as they did not see eye-to-eye is now history, dad.
Father: True. Go on, son.
Son: Interestingly, Mukesh has now tied up with a company that may give him at least some sentimental relief, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: Reliance Retail led by Mukesh has tied up with a UK-based meat company called 2 Sisters Food Group, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
Age Old Puzzle Solved!
Son: It is a fact that Reliance Industries (RIL) has miserably failed in finding out the reasons for the declining gas output in its prestigious KG-Basin fields off Andhra Pradesh coast, dad.
Father: True. Go on, son.
Son: RIL has not been able to solve the technology puzzle so far, dad.
Father: True. Go on, son.
Son: But the Mukesh Ambani led company now appears to have solved an age old puzzle – (chicken or egg first?), dad.
Father: How come? Go on, son.
Son: The Company has partnered with the UK firm 2 Sisters Food Group (2SFG), dad.
Father: Go on, Son.
Son: 2SFG will open a chain of restaurants in India under its brand ‘Chicken Came First’, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
A V Krishnamurthy
14th July 2012

Friday, July 13, 2012

Looking Back - Episode –18

The Shimoga main branch was the first branch for most of us and hence the names of the clients just come back whenever we look back on those days. Our major clients included United Automobiles, Shashi Automobiles, Shah Cycle Stores, Karnataka Engineering Company, Karnataka Automobiles, Belagur Venkanna & Sons, S K Abdul Razak Ahmadi & Company, Gowri Shankar Automobiles, Siddheshwara Automobiles, Rattan Electricals, M N Khan & Co, W W Soans, Lakshmi Bhavan, Royal Coffee Mfg Co, Mysore Coffee Works, R N Nagaraj & Co, Hanuman Arecanut Company, K S Bhagwath & Sons, Saraff Manjappa & Sons, Udaya Motors, Udaya Service Station, MAMCOS, Bhoopalam Nanjundaiah & Co, P Neelamegam & Co, K T Shamaiah Gowda & Sons, H M Mallikarjunappa & Sons, N H Veerabhadrappa & M Shivalingappa, Devangi Ratnakar & Co, D Halappa & Sons, Alankar Dry Cleaners and Dress Land, B N Kamath & Bros, Hodigere Bros, Krishna & Co, Tunga Rice Mills, Hemanth Trading Company, Kumar Auto Electric Works, Radio Cine Service and Mukesh Textile Mills (unit: Tunga Bhadra Sugar Works).
The Secret of Haryana Handloom Camp!
The above was a handloom selling shop built in a tarpaulin shed in a vacant site on Nehru road. It was selling various handloom items and the owners used to speak in Hindi. The camp used to do a roaring business with people flocking in the evening to purchase the items from the distant state of Haryana. The name camp gave an impression that the business was on a temporary basis. We always thought that it may move to a different place after some time. But the camp in fact became so permanent that it remained there even after several years!
While working in the DD department, I could observe that an employee from the Haryana camp would regularly purchase bank drafts on Tirupur and other places in Tamil Nadu! I was curious and spoke to H C Raja Rao (HCR), our senior colleague. HCR smilingly told me that it was high time I knew about the secret of the so called ‘Haryana’ camp. According to HCR, all the items sold in the Haryana camp were in fact made in Tamil Nadu! As per him, both the words ‘Haryana’ and ‘Camp’ were misnomers! The ‘camp’ was more permanent than any other shop and the goods had nothing to do with Haryana!
The Cash Credit Account Puzzle!
Our branch had sanctioned an open cash credit account to an ex-service man for financing his stock of Kerosene. The gentleman had been appointed as a kerosene dealer by the Indian Oil Corporation (IOC). He had to produce a bank draft before taking delivery of allotted kerosene quota from the depot. As per the bank rules he was supposed to submit a monthly stock statement as on the last day of the month. The bank would allow him drawing power arrived on the basis of total stock after deducting a margin of 25%.
While the gentleman was purchasing the bank draft regularly and remitting the sale proceeds to the bank by way of cash, he was not at all submitting the stock statements. I once caught up with him and took him to BGR. He told BGR that he did not know how to prepare the statement. BGR asked me to educate him in the matter.
I took up the work in all sincerity. I asked him to tell me the opening stock of kerosene on the first day of the previous month. He told me it was zero (nil)! I asked then about the total volume of kerosene purchased and sold in the month. He gave me the relevant figures. But when I asked him the closing stock on the last day of the month he gave me the figure of zero again! I was puzzled and on BGR’s suggestion, I decided to fill up the maximum value of the stock on any particular day. But the gentleman told me that the closing stock on any particular day was zero!
As it turned out, the gentleman was taking delivery of kerosene by tendering the DD to IOC by 11 pm. By the time the stock arrived in his shop, there would be long queue in front of the shop. The entire stock would be liquidated in a matter of some hours! He would be left with zero stock at the end of the day! There was no way he could fit into the cash credit system of our bank!
J K Bhat BA, B Com. (JK)
J K Bhat was a double graduate from the Karnataka University who joined the bank in 1970. It was a time when getting a single degree was an achievement! But JK had taken the trouble of securing two degrees for reasons only known to him. He was a man who would not accept any non-sense from anybody. He could also be very blunt at times and had no hesitation to express his opinion on one’s face.
While JK looked a very serious man in his outward appearance, he was a soft-hearted man inside! Once you developed a good wavelength with him, you could take the liberty of even cutting jokes on him! So much so that he had no objections to his friends comparing him to the famous typical Hindi film villain Manmohan (remember super hit Hindi film Aradhana)! During our various picnics JK would entertain us with a special dance. He would sing and dance to a famous Hindi film song tune – Mera Naam Aavo! Mere Paas Aavo! JK has settled down in Shimoga after retirement.
K K Upadhya (KK)
KK was originally from Pangal Nayak Bank that had been merged with our bank. A jolly and friendly person, KK was popularly known as Panche Upadhya!  He used to wear only dhothi (panche in Kannada) even while coming to the office. All our efforts to persuade him to wear pants had failed miserably.
KK’s wife was the daughter of famous P V Achar (Pa Vem Acharya), the editor of the highly popular Kannada magazine Kasturi. P V Achar used to write popular articles in the Kasturi magazine under several names like Laangoolacharya, Paavem, etc. He would even contribute articles in the names of his children.
KK did me a favour. He voluntarily undertook the job of teaching me accountancy for my CAIIB examination. Being a science graduate, the subject of accountancy was Greek and Latin to me. KK was staying in a small house in Old Thirthahalli Road. He would take me there every evening after office hours. I would give him full marks for whatever I learnt from him on the subject. It stood me well in my long banking career. But the classes became more enjoyable to me for another reason. KK’s wife would serve the evening Tiffin to me along with her beloved husband! I remember having tasted some delicious Udupi preparations that made the subject of accountancy more interesting!
I met KK several years later in Bangalore. He was a manager by then. I found him the same jolly KK as he used to be in Shimoga. But there was a major change in his personality. He was wearing a pant!
------- (To be continued)
A V Krishnamurthy
13th July 2012

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I Don’t Know, Son! - 51

The Most Valid Reason!
Son: A report in Bangalore Mirror says that a woman accused in a hit and run case gave the police officers the most bizarre excuse ever for her offence, dad.
Father: Like what? Go on, son.
Son: The 58-yaer old was driving home in the city of Arkansas when she crashed into the back of a Nissan pickup truck and then fled, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The police caught her when the victim (driver) tailed her and dialed 911, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: But the woman gave the police a valid reason for running away, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: She told them that she fled the scene because she was worried that the tub of ice cream she had in her car would melt, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
From Reality TV to Reality Cinema!
Son: The Pakistani model Veena Malik launched her Indian TV career through the reality TV programme BIG Boss on Colours channel, dad.
Father: True. Go on, son.
Son: Now she seems to have launched her career in Indian cinema through a real life scene in the Kannada film Dirty Picture, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: A report in Bangalore Mirror says that the production team was shooting a scene of cops lathi-charging people at Majestic area in the Bangalore city, dad.
Father: Go on, son.
Son: In the scene Veena was supposed to be mobbed by fans prompting the police to use batons to disperse them, dad.
Father: Go on, Son.
Son: As the scene began, several onlookers took it for a real lathi-charge and started running helter-skelter, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: In the confusion, some men tried to get close to the actress. This forced the real policemen to resort to a lathi-charge, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The film director and the cameraman shooted the reality scene in full, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: The say they could not have asked for more, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
The Tale of Disappointment!
Son: Sachin Tendulkar has once again disappointed his detractors (well wishers?), dad.
Father: How come?  Go on, son.
Son: Sachin had excused himself from the one-day series in Sri Lanka thereby kindling hopes among them that he would at least retire from one-day matches, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: But Sachin has said that it is not about what XYZ (detractors) think and it was he that will take the decision, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
For Family’s Sake!
Son: Sachin has also said that he took a break by skipping the Sri Lanka tour to spend some time with his family, dad.
Father: True. Go on, son.
Son: But the detractors are saying that is exactly what they expect him to do at this age, dad!
Father: Go on, son.
Son: They say that by retiring at least from one-day series, Sachin could definitely spend a lot more time with his family, dad!
Father: I don’t know, son!
A V Krishnamurthy
8th July 2012