Monday, 4 February 2013

An Officer of the Bank

Our boss was very methodical – in dressing, in writing notes, in passing orders. He had a way of life where discipline, method, manners ruled & where irregularities & diversions were hated & frowned upon.

Always neatly dressed, with boots shining, wearing classy neckties he kept red & blue pens in pocket. Fellow had joined the bank as Management Trainee & had come up with a bit of luck & hard work to head Shares & Stock Deptt. This is supposed to be profit making centre of the bank & always under the eyes of GM, ED & MD.

For last two years he had been heading this Deptt & had come closer to the powers that be. He made profits in practically all share & stock deals. Losses in his deals were rare. He had very good liaison with top brass. Needless to say his next promotion was assured. During last two years Deptt had been making profits to the satisfaction of top brass & face of our boss gleamed when he talked about how his work was being appreciated by GM, ED & MD.

He often narrated his success stories to his family & they were a happy lot. However, he was always told that he was workaholic, overworked etc but he would laugh it off. During the last two years he had grown a bit thinner. His lenses had become a bit thicker due to constant peering into monitors giving share market rates & news.

On 11 May 98, as a matter of daily ritual, he was provided with Funds Position of the bank for that day. Share market was up & right for making profits. He made up his mind for purchase of shares of some companies for Long Term, some for Short Term & kept part of funds for noon session. He had a talk with bosses on the deals & was okayed.

At about noon share market nose dived. Boss looked perplexed, hurriedly looked into spread of monitors. Now this one, now that one. Breaking news – ‘India Tests bomb in Pokharan’! ‘US puts sanctions’! Panic stricken market crashes. Boss closed his eyes slumped into the chair & started mumbling ‘all deals lost! Loss, loss, loss’! ‘Every deal lost’!

As the news spread, office atmosphere became charged with exhilaration & fervour for the country. Proud Indian faces, delighted, started congratulating each other. Somebody started distributing ladoos & muted slogans of Bharat Mata ki jai were also heard.

Boss took out the deal sheets fumbling & trembling. Looking to the figures of the day he started nervously calculating loss on each deal. He stood up with papers in his shaking hands then slithered back into his chair murmuring ‘loss, loss, loss’.

Nobody paid any attention to him.

He slowly got up from the chair, sent the deal sheets to GM. He felt weak & dizzy. Called for driver & left office with a message that he was not well. He reached home feeling low & dejected. Requested for a cup of tea & just fell into the chair murmuring ‘losses’. As the tea was about to be served, he closed his eyes & died.



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