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


Narain said...

The serial is really absorbing with sharp and minute characterization. Truth is more interesting than fiction.

ashwini said...

Like all your other stories,these episodes are so interesting.It is fascinating to know about people and their life as banker during that period ...

A V Krishnamurthy said...

Thanks NN & Ashu