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Activities in the bank

Prize distribution days were also organized in the Bank after every tournament and the entire staff from the Manager downwards used to enjoy the different programs every minute. In course of time this turned into the Club Day where besides prize distribution, cultural programmes were also arranged. We used to have musical nights and dramas used to be performed. In one of those dramas I had an important part to play. There was a new awakening among the staff and good camaraderie prevailed and the entire Bank became one big family. Always looking for new ideas, I started a canteen for serving coffee to the staff during office hours where previously they had to trundle a good half mile to reach the nearest restaurant. In the vast open land available in the campus I opened a Badminton Court for those interested in outdoor activities and simultaneously arranged a Table Tennis playing facility also in the available space in the Club Room. I drew maximum support from the Manager for all these activities morally as well as financially whenever I requisitioned for funds but for which all my dreams would have turned futile. On behalf of the Club I organized social activities such as arranging farewell/welcome parties for those going away on transfers (mostly officers) or for those reporting at the Branch on transfer or recruitment. There were also big get-togethers whenever top officials from Central Office or Head Office visited the branch. And this helped the top brass getting to know the lower level employees and vice versa. Some of these functions used to be combined affairs of Bangalore Branch and other Branches in Bangalore. The Management financed sumptuous tea or dinner on many such occasions. At every such function group photographs were taken to commemorate the moments. I used to organize picnics/excursion trips to places of interest out of the City. At this point I must hasten to add that it might appear that I am blowing my own trumpet by recounting all these events but the truth is that no individual among the Bank staff had ever attempted to organize so many activities within such a short period earlier. I was driven by a desire to do so by what you may call an inner urge. Years later after I was transferred out of the branch such activities were given a decent burial. The old timers still recall the great times we had during that period.

Along with these activities I also took active part in the Staff Union affairs and eventually was elected as Secretary as well. I became the spokesperson of the staff and all problems of the staff used to be settled amicably. By virtue of my being the Secretary I was a delegate to the annual conferences of our Union held in different cities in Tamil Nadu where I did not miss an opportunity to go on stage to speak on various matters. By this time I was virtually a platform speaker and stage fright was a thing I didn’t have to worry about at all. It so happened when our Union went on a massive strike all over India in 1961 I was one of the prime speakers to address the striking employees of our branch every day to keep their morale up. I continued to take part actively in such activities for many years.

I did not neglect my work despite the numerous ‘distractions’ and was considered as one of the better workers in the branch. My Manager used to chide me for not taking the promotional tests seriously and never bothering about going up the ladder when many of my colleagues were getting promoted to the Officer cadre. I have no regrets for not hankering after promotion in those days as a promotion would surely have upset all my plans. I found a lot of satisfaction in whatever I was doing. I would also have to sacrifice a settled family life on being shunted from place to place on transfer every two to three years. Family life was uppermost in my mind rather than any pecuniary advantages when I delayed accepting promotions. I have a young wife and two adoring children and an old father to take care of. It would be next to impossible to get back to the family once you accept promotion and posted outside Bangalore. As the transfers take place once in two or three years one cannot have a settled life. Children’s education would be affected. I decided that this was not the ideal time to think of promotion which could be taken at some future date.

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