The BGR couple with the writer and his wife
The Life after Retirement
For the first four months after retirement, BGR utilised his time to get his house renovated/painted. In the month of June 2001, some of the residents in the locality wanted to start “LIC/CANARA BANK COLONY/HANUMANTHAPPA LAYOUT RESIDENTS’ WELFARE ASSOCIATION” covering three colonies having about 500 houses and wanted BGR to be a promoter. BGR thought it a good idea and gave his consent. The Association was registered in June 2001 and the initial work started with right earnestness. Through the Association, the residents could take up many of their grievances with the respective departments and solve them. The Association also took up a number of issues for improvement of civic amenities like park, library, roads and footpaths, play ground, replacing drinking water pipes, sewage pipes and others. The Association, apart from celebrating Independence and Republic days, also conducts sports competition for all age groups, drawing and Rangoli competitions. Various Cultural Programmes are also arranged for which a very good stage has been built in the park. At the persuasion of the Association a new bus stand "Byrasandra" has been built which is close to LIC/Canara Bank colonies. All the requirements of the Association were executed with the best co-operation from the Corporator Shri N Nagaraju and the MLA Shri B N Vijaya Kumar.
The Managing Committee members and the Office-bearers worked as a team and the functioning of the Association was excellent. Since inception in 2001, the Managing Committee met regularly on Mondays of every month without fail at 6 PM and discussed and decided collectively. All the eleven Annual General Body Meetings were held promptly and the Association worked like a model. BGR was throughout associated with the functioning as the Managing Committee member. He also worked as President and Vice-President. This year, considering his age and also the need to handover the responsibilities of the Association to younger members, he did not give nomination and retired after actively working for 12 years. BGR says that working voluntarily for a common cause has its own charm and satisfaction and he fully enjoyed the social work.
The Computer Education – It is never too late!
BGR was a computer illiterate at the time of his retirement. He joined NIIT to know the basics of computer operation in 2001. His sons provided him an exclusive computer and printer. He could pick up quickly. The R V Institute of Management at 4th T Block in Jayanagar conducted a 6-week course “Computer Fundamentals and Internet” exclusively for Senior Citizens during 2003. BGR attended the course along with other three friends. Professor Reddy who taught them took lot of pains and made all the participants to gain perfect knowledge which helped BGR to further improve his knowledge of computer. Since then, he has been using the computer for writing letters, sending greetings, etc. apart from writing his thoughts and storing. He could also prepare a book “Family Tree” of his Bailakare family easily and got it printed. He could also browse the Internet and understand and explore many new areas of knowledge. But for his computer knowledge, perhaps, this biography would never have materialized.
The BGR Family
BGR has two sons and he got them married during his retired life. His elder son Adarsh Rao passed his CA in 1997 and is a practicing Chartered Accountant. His wife S R Jaya is an Architect and an Approved Valuer. They own office at Brigade Business Suites near Ashoka Pillar, Jayanagar and both of them are practicing professionals. They have a five-year old son Abhinav. His other son Anil Rao is an Electronics Engineer and is working for a Private IT Company for the last 13 years and is presently working as Director Applications and Global Sourcing at Chandigarh. His wife Savita did her M C A from NIT Suratkal. She was also a Gold Medalist in her B.Sc. They have a three-year old son Aarav.
BGR has been a member of the “Jayanagar Study Centre” which conducts lectures followed by discussions twice in a week. Eminent speakers on different subjects are being invited. He also attends books release functions, if held in Jayanagar/Basavanagudi areas. He is very passionate about gardening. BGR has been always concerned about the persons in difficulties and continues to help the needy. He likes to hear good speakers. Apart from newspapers and magazines, BGR also purchases some good books now-a-days for reading. His four recent readings were: a) ADADATHA AYUSHYA” in Kannada - an autobiography written by Girish Karnad. It covered his life only up to 40 years. But within 40 years, what he learnt, what positions he occupied and his contribution to Drama and Cinema were unparalleled. The writing was brilliant. b) An Autobiography by Vinod Mehta, again a literary masterpiece c) “If God were to be a Banker” by Ravi Subramaniam which depicts the notorious role of so called “Successful Bankers” studied at IIMs and d) Chasing the Monsoon by Alexander Frater.
The Friendly Neighbourhood
BGR has good neighbours, many of whom are retired Canbankmen. He has a group of good friends with whom he would have dialogues periodically. Many old colleagues have also retired and now and then they meet during social/family functions. Jayanagar-Shopping Complex is just one KM away from BGR’s residence, which serves as a meeting place of old colleagues as also a good shopping place. A well maintained park is nearby so also a Library. The area is well maintained and the life is comfortable.
BGR says that he was fortunate to associate with people who were having knowledge and experience more than him. He has a group of friends who are well experienced and upright. Whatever knowledge he acquired, he used to share with others particularly with his juniors. He always thought it was his duty to make his subordinates more knowledgeable as knowledge is a powerful asset and when that is acquired by more and more staff that reflects on the collective strength of the Bank. He also believed that voluntary social work gives inner and rare satisfaction.
Managing the Health Issues
BGR is a diabetic and BP patient since two decades but both are under control – thanks to Dr. Ganapathy – his family doctor. He underwent prostate operation during 2005, cataract operation of both the eyes during 2006-07, Ulcer operation during 2009 and retina operations of both eyes during 2011. He has lost 50% of his teeth. Still BGR thinks he has got a long way to go. According to him what he knows now is very little! His hunger for acquiring new areas of knowledge is unlimited. At this stage of his life, he thinks the Almighty has provided him everything and ‘WHY HE SHOULD NOT BE HAPPY?”
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It was in the month of March 2012 that I approached BGR expressing my intention to write a small biography of him. To be frank I had very little idea as to how I should proceed in narrating his story. Initially I had thought that I would finish the story in about 5-6 episodes basing on the material I already possessed during my association with him at Shimoga branch and by conducting a short interview of him. But BGR then told me that he had already started writing about the events from the period he attained majority. That was exactly when he left Udupi for securing an appointment at Canara Bank in Bangalore. He also told me that he would write only about his career and make me available his writings to enable me to convert it into a story. That was how I decided that I would also restrict my writing to BGR’s career.
At that stage neither BGR nor I had any clue as to the length of the story or the number of episodes that it would run. But then BGR could remember and write down in detail about his entire 42 years of service in Canara Bank. My work became simpler as I had to only convert his writings into a story format by improving its readability and making it as much interesting as possible. While I have written the Shimoga-part of the story mostly on my own, the rest of the story is purely based on BGR’s writings. The readers may note that it was more like a joint venture between BGR and me. I made it a point to get a review done by BGR for each episode before I uploaded it to my blog. But I should admit here that I had never thought that the project would take as long as nine months. Actually the story would have run for nearly 60 episodes had I included the write-ups on three important personalities – K G Bhaskar, H C Raja Rao (HCR) and NRG Prasad. I have excluded them as I have written their stories separately already.
There are events in everybody’s career worth writing about. But very few persons are capable of writing them down. The writings could also, however, turnout to be a boring stuff. But to make them interesting to the readers is the real challenge. From my writing experience so far I have realised that releasing the story in a serial form is one way of retaining the curiosity and interest in the story. That I have a committed set of readers to all my writings has been my greatest strength and fortune. The feedback received from them has always helped me in keeping the tempo.
Looking Back has received continuous and encouraging feedback from several readers - many of them being Canbankmen. I should specifically mention the name of my close friend and ex-colleague (at Canara Bank, HCL and Informatics) N Narayanan. He is presently in US. The readers of my blog might have observed that he has commented on most of the episodes. My ex-colleague (in HCL) Ashwini is another regular reader from US who has commented often. The other people who gave regular feedback directly to me include Dinesh Nayak, NRG Prasad, Rajgopal Tholpadi, Jaganathan, Meenakshi Sundaram, Daniel, KNV Murthy, Jayashree Naresh, Vasanthi Sridhar and Veena. In fact Meenakshi has suggested that we may come out with a printed version of the story particularly for the reading of Canbankmen. I am highly indebted to all of them.
It is also a matter of great satisfaction that the story attracted very high readership from US. It is interesting to mention here that the readership in US has in fact exceeded the readership from India. I have been able to gather this information through Google statistics in my blog.
I had mentioned in my Prelude to the story that I had made it a mission to write the biography of BGR as my acknowledgement of his mentorship. I feel fully accomplished in my mission. Long live BGR! My best wishes are with you.
A V Krishnamurthy
12h December 2012