Saturday, 25 May 2013

Conference under Pipal Tree!

Sh Prakash Lal Tandon had taken over as Chairman of PNB. While he settled down in the new job, he unsettled the working of the bank! And for good! He gave a corporate look to the bank by creating logo of PNB. Branches were renovated on a single pattern. Large number of executives were transferred out. HO departments were re-organised into various functional divisions.

On his visits to branches he saw managers with white or no hair so he declared the need of managers with ‘black hair’! He therefore proposed new faster promotions policy which shook the unions & split their membership.

A small theater on top floor of Parliament Street HO was dismantled & thrown out.

He chaired the Tandon Committee which set the norms of lending to large corporate borrowers.

He was tall with very fair & reddish complexion, hair swept back & curling at the back of neck. He would carry his own briefcase & walk up the stairs to his cabin on second floor instead of taking lift kept ready exclusively for him.

He had a dark blue Fiat car with extended ceiling on the back which resembled current hatchbacks. As his driver parked the car Sh Tandon came out immaculately dressed in whites & shiny black shoes. Com Gautam Dev Gupta, Spl Asstt, President of Delhi employees union, said good morning to him. Both shook hands & started talking to each other.

In contrast to Sh Tandon, Com Gupta was of darker complexion, with a flowing black & white beard, with a jhola on his shoulder & leather chappals on his feet. They talked & talked standing there under the Pipal tree, near cycle stand for good 20 mins or so. Curious officials & clerical staff watched them from windows but nobody disturbed them. And nobody had a clue to topics of discussion between the two. Such meetings between them took place later also twice or thrice.

Haven’t seen any such conference of a CMD & a Special Assistant thereafter.

Lockers & shockers

Banks inter-alia provide services of safe deposit vaults or lockers also to the customers. Somehow even after 38 years of service I am not comfortable with this idea. On numerous occasions compensation has been paid for theft. Lot many people keep cash in lockers which is fraught with risk of money laundering. Instead banks can have something like ABC Bank Lockers P Ltd as a subsidiary company & have lockers-only branches all over India on 24*7*365 basis. Lack of funds stops me from setting up such a venture! Some examples:

This is about a Saturday when every banker wants to push off by 2’o clock. At about 1.30 a couple came in a hurry & requested for opening of locker. Locker manager was not in a mood to oblige as he was ready with his packed bag to take off for weekend. But after impassioned appeals by the lady he relented & allowed her. Her husband somewhat relieved, told her that he would go & park his car properly.

Meantime head cashier called locker manager upstairs as he wanted to close the cash & the manager had to check his books.  Both spent a few minutes together & completed the process. Cash trunk was brought to locker room & placed in a secluded & partitioned safe & locked off. Both came out, switched off the light & closed the heavy double walled steel door.

The lady inside was busy with her gold articles & thought for a moment that electric supply has snapped but when she heard door being closed she shouted but both head cashier & manager did not hear her. She got trapped as steel door was closed. It was pitch dark inside & her shouting was of no use.
Meantime her husband came back & seeing the locker room closed enquired from the manager about her. Manager sensed trouble & immediately rushed to head cashier on ground floor, brought him back & both opened the locker room once again in less than 10 mins.      

She came out deathly pale & slumped into nearest chair. After a glass of water she became somewhat normal.
Well banking job has its own hazards!


A locker in the name of Smt Chhadammi Devi was not operated for over 7 years & no rent was received. Reminders were received back undelivered. On personal visits no body by that name was found & no whereabouts could be gathered.  Address was of Mahadev Road about 500 meters from the branch. These were official bungalows allotted to either high ranking babus or MPs. And they kept changing frequently therefore no body had any idea about locker holder. Thereafter notice of breaking the locker was published in two local newspapers to which there was no response. Entire process took another year. Eventually it was decided to break open the locker.

In presence of two witnesses, locker incharge & a goldsmith it was broken & only four items were found:

-A packet of Rs.10 denomination of very old variety in bluish colour & of large size which might have been issued in 1950-55 whereas the locker was broken in 1977-78. The packet was off colour, notes were stuck together & the packet had stale smell.

-Two necklaces having length of approx 18 inches each, breadth about two inches with heavy pendants studded with red rubies. On one of them was tied a hand written slip reading ‘Chhoti bahu ke liye’ & on the other ‘Badi bahu ke liye’.

-4th item was a golden Tagri –a golden belt really approx 32 inches in length & two inches broad containing several chains riveted together.
All the items were of exquisite designs & very well crafted. Even the goldsmith was surprised with design & quality of ornaments. He could not weigh even one item as he ran short of standard measuring weights. Next day he brought weights of quarter & half Kg denomination also besides smaller ones. Three items were weighed 820 grams.

Well mystery of Smt Chhadammi Devi remained unsolved. We can die without gold but can’t live without it!


In case of locker number 343, locker holder informed of having lost the key. Company technician was called for breaking open the locker. On appointed day & time in presence of locker in-charge & locker holder the technician broke open the locker. Contents were taken out but the locker holder exclaimed: These are not mine!

They were stunned – instead of 343 they had broken open 348 just above 343!

Contents of 348 were packed & sealed then & there & kept separately in safe custody. Locker holder 348 was traced & requested to visit the branch. After a week he came from Kolkota, unsealed the packet, looked at the contents & talked to wife over phone giving each & every detail of ornaments. Thereafter he declared that such & such jewellery worth 5 lacs was missing!

Locker in charge had sleepless nights & harrowing time till a compromise was reached after four months.


In City branch Sh Singla a VIP customer was chatting with Chief & meantime his wife & daughter in law operated their locker. They joined Sh Singla for a while after operating the locker. All thanked the Chief, said bye & left. After about an hour or so, Goel couple came in the cabin. They had operated their locker & while coming out found a small steel jar which he was holding in his hand. He said that he had not opened it & wanted it to be opened by Chief. On enquiry locker Chief was informed that after Mrs Singla left the locker room no other person had gone in. Presumably the steel jar might belong to Smt Singla.

A phone call to Sh Singla was made. He replied that lockers deptt was handled by his wife & that he was never sure of the contents. Phone call to his wife was made & she explained about contents to Sh Goel  holding the steel jar. Sh Goel opened the jar & spilled the contents on the table & continued to describe items to Smt Singla. There were 19 expensive rings of various sizes & models, four gold & four silver coins in the steel jar. Estimated value was assessed at approx three lacs. Smt Singla was requested to come over & take possession.

Meantime, Sh Goel sent a SMS to his journalist friend who rushed with his camera to the branch. Cameraman from local cable tv also joined before Smt Singla could arrive.

As soon as Sh Goel handed over of steel jar to Smt Singla breaking news flashed across the city courtesy cable tv.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Visitors in Branches!

During the course of service in branches one comes across various visitors sometimes amusing, sometimes surprising & sometimes annoying. These things are fun & keep the atmosphere active & vibrant. Comparatively speaking job in HO / ZO / RO is rather dull just keep pushing the files. Some examples:

Two police vehicles blowing sirens & flashing red lights came to a halt  outside the branch. Eight armed policemen & may be an equal number in civvies brought in a man in handcuffs encircled midst them. The handcuffed man wanted to operate a locker. They crossed the hall & went down to the basement. Entire branch hushed up & working came to a standstill. Pin drop silence descended in the branch. Everyone present there in the hall stopped even breathing till the police left!

Subsequently it was learnt that handcuffed man was brought by Delhi Police from Tihar jail to Roorkee & he was an alleged killer of bandit queen & the then MP Phoolan Devi.

Prior to release of ‘Ram Teri Ganga Maili’ actors Raj Kapoor & Shashi Kapoor visited Sansad Marg HO to meet the CMD of PNB. Entire staff in the building wanted to shake hands or at least have a glimpse of them & working stopped for quite some time. No, not the entire staff exactly as hrd people remained glued to their seats! Hypocrites?

A new branch was declared open by a junior minister without portfolio amid much fanfare & distribution of sweets. As he departed, eunuchs entered. After a song or two they wanted bakshish from Chief. He was in two minds – to pay or not to pay. And how to account for it.  Their singing, dancing & clapping increased. A few members of staff & customers started encouraging & prompting them. Overpowered, Chief relented & agreed for payment of a grand sum of Rs 500. He added ‘Take signature on payment voucher’. This led to uproar & very vigorous clapping & more shouting ‘No daskat, no angutha’. Eventually Cashier handed over notes & they left without signing any paper. Guess how it was accounted?


In New Delhi branches a jhola doctor was regular visitor. In his hand bag he used to carry printed cash receipts, medical illness certificate, fitness certificates & his rubber stamp. For your leave past or future, casual or others, he delivered you certificates @ Rs.1.50 per day. He would visit the branches, check the attendance registers, note down the names of persons on leave & contact them later for necessary action! Personalised service!

Sansad Marg branch of PNB is close to AIR & Door Darshan studios. News readers, singers & actors of ‘Hum Log’ & other serials of the time frequently came for payments. Of these Asa Singh Mastana was very jovial & lovable guy. He used to be eveready to entertain with a song. He utilised table of canteen as tabla for the rhythm. Following of his songs were very popular in those days:

-Khetan wal, Aha ! Khetan wal phera maar kurre Oho Oho!

-Shava kaka jum pya, Sanu loka ditiyan wadhaiyan, kaka jum pya!


Russian(Soviet at that time) embassy had certain accounts at the branch & mostly their ladies staff visited the branch for the bank related work. Once two of them were sitting in Chief’s cabin having tea. Day before an employee had been suspended for which there was resentment in union & a demonstration was to take place in lunch time. Chief wanted the demonstration to be postponed & instead matter settled by discussion. In came the union secretary almost shouting at Chief. He was asked to sit down & wait but he continued his verbal attack. In between his speech he thumped the table to emphasize his point. Both the ladies were watching him keenly. He was wearing a ‘Kadaa’ on his wrist & thumped the table again. This time his ‘Kadaa’ hit the glass top & with a crunchy loud noise glass broke into pieces. Glass shreds fell here & there & the Russian ladies fled shouting ‘Revolution’!

So much for KYC norms!

In good old days opening of savings account was easy as it did not require photograph or even proof of address or PAN. Banking operations were totally manual. Clearing cheques received for debiting the accounts were posted manually in the ledger & passed after tallying signature etc. Special Assistant had the power to pass the cheques up to Rs.20,000/- received in clearing.

So when Smt Nanda received a cheque of Rs 20,000/- favouring British Motor Car Co in clearing, firstly she checked the balance available in the ledger which was substantial.

Secondly she turned to specimen signature binder & tried to tally signature on cheque with those available on record. The two signatures did not tally. Cheque was signed ‘Om Prakash’ & specimen signature on record was ‘O P Gupta’. There was no mention of address or phone number or introduction on the back of specimen signature slip nor was any photo available & therefore she decided to return the cheque. She ticked the box on printed returning memo reading ‘Signature differs’ & the cheque was sent back.

So much for KYC norms!

Next day there was commotion in the branch & Smt Nanda was suddenly in lime light. One peon came running to her ‘Chief saab yaad kar rahe hain’. Another peon came running to her ‘GM saab yaad kar rahe hain’. Still another peon from CMD secretariat came running to her ‘CMD saab yaad kar rahe hain’. Yet another peon came running to her ‘Com Union Secretary yaad kar rahe hain’.

It then transpired that returned cheque was issued by Sh Om Prakash Gupta, the then CMD for purchase of a car.

By noon things got settled amicably.

Monday, 13 May 2013


Chief saab of Jhumri Talliyya branch was a bit happy as business targets were nearly achieved & a bit worried as interest application on saving accounts was still pending. It was to be applied manually in good old times. For this negotiation had to be done with union representative Com Loudspeaker Singh. He was missing for last couple of days. Management had authorised ten hours of pay per employee as overtime.

Very thought of negotiation with Com Loudspeaker Singh gave him headache. He was wondering why top brass did this every half year & why the hell they could not stop this process of negotiation. Why don’t they come to branches, experience this first hand & make a permanent policy? Stupid management & their stupid policies.

Look at this Com Loudspeaker Singh nothing but blah blah & bak-bak. He would now be demanding a few transfers, or changes in duty sheet or permission for a lady or two to leave early as a bargain. ‘I would start with 2 hours’ he thought. Stupid union.

Com Loudspeaker Singh inserted another paan in his mouth & wished that train move faster to reach Jhumri quickly. He had been on leave & was going back to branch. He was thinking how to negotiate more & more hours of pay from khadoos Chief. This Chief was clever & created headache during negotiations. I will ask for 25 hours of pay this time. One has to do this twice in a year. Stupid management can’t make a stupid policy for this.

And look at the stupid members of this union. Some one will ask for a transfer, some others want change of duty sheet & ladies – uff would like to have a half-day every day! Stupid ladies.

Over tea, biscuits, cashew nuts & samosa began negotiations as if Indo- China border was to be settled.

-Only two hours.                                                              

-No sir 25. And 5 transfers. 4 changes in duty sheet.

Outside the cabin running commentary in whispers was on.
(‘Samose udao samose!’)

-4 hours. 1 transfer. 2 changes in duty sheet.

-20 sir.
(‘Wah eating cashew nuts!’ ‘Baahar bhi bhej do’ ‘Yehi kaam reh gaya hai in logo ka’)
-6 hours.

-16 sir. Please.
(‘Hot exchange is going on’, ‘no no hot & cold exchange’ ‘Muskara rahe hain’, ‘mile hue hain’)

-8 hours.

-12 & small changes here & there.
(‘kuch kuch ho raha hai lagta hai’ ‘wait’ ‘tel dekho aur tel ki dhar dekho’ ‘on your seats please’)
-10 hours. 1 transfer & 2 changes.

-Okay sir ok. Half-day leave for ladies on karwa chouth jaroori hai sir please please.
Meeting of union was hurriedly organised where Com Loudspeaker Singh announced:

-After prolonged, heated, complex, tough & mind blowing negotiations with management we have been able to get 10 hours!
(Cheers & clapping, ‘kitne samose khae?’).

‘This victory is not mine but that of members & their unity.
(Workers unity Zindabad)

If we stand united we win. Keep your powder dry for next fight which is only 6 
months away. Don’t believe on rumours. Don’t pay attention to rumour mongers.
(Chamcho ka naash ho).

‘We always keep ladies comrades in our mind in this struggle.
(Maje le raha hai)

Another khushkhabri is that the ladies shall enjoy half-day on karwa chouth.
(smiles & clapping by ladies).

‘Those who applied for transfer or change in duty sheet shall come to me after office hours. We shall have one to one discussions. Now go & finish interest posting by tomorrow.

Bullet Baba Temple

Drive on any Indian highway & watch the vehicles zipping past. On the rear of the cars, on the back of trucks, on the side of tractor trolleys & two wheelers photos of Gods, religious signs, religious symbols, slogans & even mantras are written or pasted or painted. Some of them make you smile.
- Bhole ki fauj karegi mauj.
- Babe dee full kirpa.
Besides every 20 - 30 km you may find a temple, a dargah, samadhi or a Pipal tree with lot of red threads tied on the trunk.

Bullet of Om Banaji
Near village Chotila , district Pali about 50 km from Jodhpur is a unique temple of Bullet Baba dedicated to Om Banaji (Shri Om Singh Rathore). In 1991(some say 1988) riding a Royal Enfield 350 cc Bullet - shown above, he crashed into a tree. The impact killed him on the spot. The smashed motorcycle fell into ditch and was lifted to nearby police station. It was found the next morning at the accident spot. They then removed the bike again, secured it with chain, but it  moved the next morning again.They tried all that they could to stop the bike - they even emptied the fuel tank - but to no avail. No matter what they did Om Bana's bike returned to the accident site in the dead of the night.
The news spread and people from villages in the surrounding area built a memorial - a temple to worship 'Bullet Baba'.
It is believed that Om Bana helps travellers & distressed passers by.

Disciple Of Bullet Baba
Disciple of Bullet Baba

Friday, 10 May 2013

Breakfast is ready

-What would you like for breakfast?
-What anything?
-Your choice.
-I am asking YOUR choice.
-Okay dear. Whatever is ready, I will take.
-What is this? What do you mean? And throw this newspaper away. At least once in a while you should be serious about breakfast. But no. Whatever is dumped in plate you gobble down?
-No no no. No complaints yaar.

-What complaint? I have complaint not you. Have you ever appreciated? Do you realize how much time & energy is required? Not a word of appreciation from your lips!
-No no no yaar absolutely not.
-Yes I have complaint - not you.
-No no no. I do appreciate your cooking I do.
- When did you appreciate, tell me? Tell me about last time you appreciated – how many years back?
-No no no! I do appreciate.
-When? Newspaper is more important to you than breakfast. Better eat that.
- No no no. See if omelette is tasty I take another. See that is the appreciation of your skills & it is more important than words.
-Quiet! Today is Sunday. I will read newspaper & you bring me breakfast.
-Get up & start.
-Hmm. What shall I cook for you?
-You decide.
-Tell me tell me. Butter toast & tea?
-Omelette slice & tea?
-Okay then let me try.
-Try what?
-Chhole Bhature!
-Oh no!
-Oh yes!
-OMG, you will spoil my kitchen & stomach also. Get lost. I will have to do it myself. OMG!

I resumed my newspaper.

Origin of Banking Words!

As per newspaper reports, researchers from University of Reading, Britain have found that our Ice Age ancestors living nearly 15000 years ago used some common words which are still in use by billions of people. For example ‘you’, ‘mother’, ‘not’ & ‘fire’ point to the existence of a linguistic super-family of Euroasia.

This report ignited the brainwave of our boss. So during lunch time meeting this issue cropped up. Though there was mention of Ice Age but no mention was made of Shikaar or non veg in menu which remained only veg.

Now our boss is richly experienced, wise old banker. For ages he had been immersed in banking, so much so that he lost his hair to it. Other than wise bald head, he is short, pot bellied and jovial. He has an affectionate nickname The Baldy outside of his cabin. He murmured:

-I am surprised. Howoo these researchers have forgotten origin of banking words? After all banking is such a prestigious & age old profession. Both you & you, try to contact them & in fact write a DO letter under my signature & ask them to do research on this & send me the report within seven days (else disciplinary action shall be initiated!).

Report was received well in time & highlights placed before The Baldy. Excerpts are as under:

-The bankers were present throughout all the ages - Ice Age, Stone Age, Iron Age, Copper Age, Bronze Age & are still visible in great numbers.

-Hard mental work & disturbed sleep have affected their language skills & increased chances of quicker baldness.

-They used ‘Howoo-Howoo?’ very often since Ice Age onwards but which has subsequently modified to ‘How’ in the present age.

-Another frequently used word was ‘Wy-Wy’ from Ice Age to Bronze Age & thereafter got modified to ‘Why’. Bankers usually want to know from a new borrower –Why loan?

-The word ‘Loan’ has been very popular in all Ages & in fact has been in consistent use till now with bankers & aam admi. In modern age another synonym ‘Advances’ has been added to it. This is used when advances are made to women folk.

-‘Handle Tactfully’ has been in use in all ages by higher management cadre of banks on lower cadre. In fact usage of this phrase has increased progressively in modern age but has caused heart burns of a section of bankers.

-‘Charge Sheet’ has been used by senior bankers on junior bankers since Iron Age & is in continuous usage in modern age. In itself it carries weight of iron hammer & has dangerous implications.

-‘Branch people don’t work’ is the phrase which has come in vogue rather recently due to expansion of branches. In previous Ages its use was found to be lesser.

-‘Careful in future’ is the phrase being handed over to all junior bankers since Ice Age to present age on one pretext or another. So dear banker in the present age of hidden cameras, cobras & scorpions recite this mantra daily:

"I Shall Be Careful In Future!"

Tuesday, 7 May 2013

Making Noise!

About 130 employees were working in the Jhumri Talieyya branch of which 40 were ladies & 20 officers of various grades to run the show. The branch was headed by a Chief saab & to test his patience & skills of management there was a unit secretary Com Singh representing workmen, workwomen & non union members.

Com Singh ran a parallel branch govt with the help of handpicked office bearers. Whereas the Chief saab had practically nil choice in selecting his officers, Com Singh had chosen his lieutenants carefully.

He himself was smart, well dressed, well equipped with rules & regulations, HO circulars, extensive network of contacts, inside information of transfers, charge sheets & suspensions etc. One thing he lacked was sober language for he extensively used ‘iski bhen ki’ etc due to which the women folk detested him. But this language came in handy whenever he had to settle score with an officer or for intimidating opponents.

-May I introduce other office bearers to you? Yes? Okokok!

Com Dhoti-Kurta Misra hailed from Jhumri itself & throughout the year remained clad in dhoti & kurta. He loved to have perfumed gilloree of paan & was normally averse to talking but preferred to nod or used sign language. His teeth were brick red. Due to this habit he kept a bucket full of waste paper as spittoon & entire dak section smelled of peculiar perfume. He kept updating Com Singh about important letters coming in & those going out.

Com Loudspeaker Ramesh had a bulging figure & booming voice. He preferred jeans & broad belts which stopped his stomach coming out & spilling on the floor! He worked in loans & had good liaison with CC parties & could organise discounts on their products. His job was to keep Com Singh abreast of new loan proposals units etc. Also he could shout slogans very well in the rallies & demonstrations. His intention was to keep on right side of Com Singh & on left side of Chief saab so that he remained glued to loans section.

Com Casanova Suresh was handsome fellow fond of singing & music. He had been taken in the cabinet to gain access to ladies staff as Com Singh was unable to do so himself. He easily got into ladies groups to sort out their problems. His job was to advise them of union activities & try to improve upon image of Com Singh. In union assemblies he was the star entertainer.

Com Driver Gopichand had been inducted in the cabinet as there had to be a sub-staff as well. He was helpful in letting Com Singh know about the movements of Chief saab.

Com Silent-lady Sunita was titular head of ladies staff & obeyed whatever was told by Com Singh. She believed – ‘they who remain silent also serve God’.

Com Shaniture was best of them in modelling. On Saturdays he wore all black outfit - black scarf, black kurta & black pyjama. Rudraksh beads garlands, unshaven chin, oily hair pulled back & Jhola on his shoulder. Ladies were especially averse to him & tried to keep kms away.  Working as cashier, he had become hardcore fan of Com Singh. He enjoyed making noise & shouting at the instance of Com Singh. He used to accompany & carry briefcase of Com Singh. In one enquiry Com Singh was defending an employee & during enquiry in pre planned manner, Com Singh called Com Shaniture as witness. As soon as Com Shaniture entered the enquiry cabin, he ran away with briefcase of Enquiry Officer! A noisy scene ensued! Needless to add that enquiry was concluded to the satisfaction of Com Singh.

In his Jhola, Com Shaniture kept a printed yellow receipt book for donation to jagran. Throughout the year he collected donations though everybody suspected him of using donation for addiction of some sorts. Nobody had attended any of his jagrans. He approached ladies with yellow receipt book & who would generally throw a fiver or tenner scornfully & fearfully to get rid of him. This suited him well as they never asked about where & when of jagran. He was known to fleece customers as well discreetly.

He used to play another trick for creating fear in new comers. He kept a long stick with a handle. He will go to the new comer, show him the stick, twist the handle & from the stick pull out a thin double edged two feet long sword ‘gupti’. He would then whisper ‘Guptaji, keep this gupti & don’t tell anybody, I would collect back in the evening. This place is infested with criminals & one must keep it handy. Don’t you worry mai hoo na.’ And in the evening he would come back with yellow receipt book!

What do you say Chief saab also donated?  

Sunday, 5 May 2013

CTC or C2C

Lunch was ready & the dining table was laid out. There were four of us Chiefs & the boss was presiding as usual on the corner seat & two each on his left & on his right. Usually I take the left side seat but this should not be taken to mean that I am a leftist!

Today’s special in menu was fish finger as our boss is a great fan of fresh water fish & sea food. He actually hails from some place 100 kms away from Haldia on sea coast. The way he attacks & devours fish & sea food, I have a feeling that he might have been born in Bay of Bengal! Or perhaps may have been a shark in yester years! Like fish has no hair, our boss has no hair on his top. This is the reason of him being affectionately nicknamed The Baldy.

Sh Gupta commented that there is a rumour of C2C. Sh Gupta had referred to the talks for wage negotiations currently going on. The Baldy had mouthful of fish & nodded as if he knew it & wanted to say something. Everybody waited & then The Baldy uttered:

-You see I have been all over Assam & I know how it is prepared. Actually full form of CTC is Cut, Twist, Curl.
-Sir sir sir I referred to Cost To Company sir, said Sh Gupta.                      
-Wot? Okokok. I was referring to manufacturing of tea. You should have spoken clearly Gupta. Carry on carry on what is this C2C?
-Sir all facilities provided to you shall be monetised into an annual package. Like car @10,000pm, driver @5000pm, medical @3000pm & so on all annualised sir.
Sir this lunch shall also be monetised.
-And cumulative amount shall be taxable sir.
-But sir you will have the power to revise the package every year to individual officer.
-For Chiefs like us you can give 7% annual raise sir & likes of Batra 3% sir.
We all nodded in yessir mode.
-Wot? Hmmm. This is good. This is better. In fact this is wonderful to have power. Implement it -  TATKAL!


Saturday, 4 May 2013

Power Lunch!

On promotion I joined Zonal Office & was promptly admitted to the exclusive lunch club of six executives posted there, me included. This good news was broadcast by Sh Singh, in charge of the club saying that there was no need to bring lunch box anymore. This was a great relief as I was staying alone away from my lady-love-cum-chapatti-maker.

At 2 o’clock we assembled at the dining table. Salad, fruits, rice, raita, chapatti & a chicken dish were on the table. I introduced myself to Zonal Manager, & other Chiefs. Sh Singh had the first question.

-Are you veg or non-veg?                                                                                
-Non-veg if prepared by wife & veg otherwise.
- Haha! So here you will not take non-veg with us! Said ZM & smiled,  others also smiled.
-Good sense of humour! Said Sh Singh & smiled but nobody else smiled.

Subsequently I understood the cross connections. Sh Singh had somewhat independent opinions, Sh Gupta had none save & except dittoing those of ZM, other two were floaters, now this side & now that.

Our boss the ZM was upwards of 55, short of height, having a beer belly & practically no hair on his bald top. No wonder he was nick named The Baldy by the staff outside of his cabin. His vocabulary towards juniors was very limited to Wot(What), Wy-Wy( Why) & Howoo-Hawoo(How).

Now here after joining the club, I understood that there is a lunch, there is a working lunch & there is a power lunch. Lunch is lunch. Working lunch is you keep working & eating together due to lack of time & spoil your stomach & your files as well. This is done usually when Auditors come. Power lunch is that powerful people sit together, eat powerful chicken & mutton & decide on powerful issues like transfers, suspensions & charge sheets. You are mistaken in your notion that decisions are taken on merits of the file. Dining table has an important role mister.

Looking towards me The Baldy said:
-Inspection of Jhumri Tallieya branch is due & you can start with that.
-Sir I have visited Tapukara branch yesterday. Working is good & figures are increasing. That Branch Manager is very smart sir, said Sh Gupta.
-Sir he was wearing an expensive Raymond suit.
- And a gold chain sir.
-Wot? Hmmm. Send me his file after lunch.

They say storm in a tea cup, I say there is charge sheet in the tea cup. Next day as I was preparing to go for inspection of Jhumri branch, Sh Gupta dropped in & whispered:

-ZM Saab likes fish. Whenever I went for inspection of Jhumri, I always brought big one. Take care.

After visit to Jhumri branch, I was preparing inspection report of that branch when Sh Gupta dropped in & whispered:

-Brought fish?
-No. I waited more than an hour along with a fisherman near the Tallieyya but he could not catch any.
-ufff Bhole Bhandari, you could have purchased one from the market & presented it as a prized catch! 

Friday, 3 May 2013


As you enter the branch, on left side is loans deptt & there you will find S. Topo sitting amidst files, stock statements, audit reports & surrounded by customers. He is a young & efficient officer who joined the branch recently on transfer from Ranchi.
He looked more of a Bengali gentleman, well dressed, well educated & could speak Hindi well with a Bangla accent & he was fond of smoking. He was convent educated & had joined bank as MT. Despite pressure of work he could crack a joke or two any time. To the illiterate customers he always posed a question ‘baccho ko to school bhej diye?’.

Soon after joining the branch he was invited for dinner at my place. At first he declined the invitation but after repeated requests, reluctantly agreed. I could not gauge the reason of his hesitation at that time.

He & his wife came for dinner & we were in a bit of surprise that his wife was hardly literate & had only primary schooling. Compared to Topo, his wife was short, a bit darker having tribal look. She could not speak Hindi well. Their marriage was settled while he was still studying in college & ‘gauna’ was performed before he got the job. But then you agree that these relations are made in heaven. Don’t you?

On Monday I intended to visit unit of Jhumri Talieya Impex P Ltd along with director of that company. Instead of Mr Kailash, his wife Nikki came to the branch who was also director in the company. I asked Topo to bring Stock Statement. Meantime ZO called & summoned me. Over a cup of tea, Topo was introduced to Ms Nikki. Instantly Topo was awestruck & speech less for a few moments. He stared at fair complexioned, beautiful face of Ms Nikki. She was always fashionably dressed, with full make-up on & wearing classy perfume. Topo was floored when I asked him to go with her for stock verification.

In subsequent months I noticed that as & when anything relating to Jhumri Talieya P Ltd came up, Topo took extra care & interest. He rushed to attend to any of their requirements. Whispers started floating about friendship of Topo & Nikki. In one to one meeting with Topo, he admitted this as a fact & called Nikki as most desirable thing in this world. And what about his wife? He said she is OD & Nikki is CC!

Counselling, cajoling & threatening had little impact on the friendship. Our apprehension was rather on higher side. News percolated to his wife, from his wife to her parents, from her parents to his parents & to entire village. And Panchayat did it. Lathis, ballums, bows & arrows gave clear message to Topo – behave or else!

Meantime Mr Kailash, director of the company & Zonal Manager managed his transfer. Transfer is a remedy some times. You agree?