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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’!
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