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