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A short innings in regional office

After three years in the Sadashivanagar branch I was transferred to the Regional Office in August 1980. This was my second posting in the I had previously worked there for a brief period of six months in 1972 while setting up the Bangalore Staff Training Centre. For two years I worked in the Chief Regional Manager’s Secretariat. Syed Kirmani, the Test Cricketer, who has by now been promoted as an Officer was working in the same department during this period. It was not much of an eventful stay there as I could not do anything on my own initiative lacking completely in official freedom. I had only one occasion to remember. I was asked by the C.R.M. to investigate an alleged misdemeanour by one junior official of the Bangalore Branch in a place near Mysore and submit a report to him. I had to travel to that place which was far and away from the city in a rural setting. I spent a whole day meeting a few people in that place to collect information. I prepared an elaborate report to the C.R.M. which was well appreciated by him. During this period I was completely free of worries and tensions associated with being a Branch Manager and had a smooth orderly family life. I had plenty of time to spend with my children especially with the new addition, Raji (Jr.), named after Raji my first wife, born to Jaya in the year 1979. She was a cute little thing and all of us adored her being the youngest in the family. She was the darling of my daughters, Sharada and Nimmi who had by then completed college and my son Sriram who was in the high school. During this period we made several trips to many places of interest especially to Jaya’s home village, Thennilapuram and the temple towns of Guruvayur and Palani. At Guruvayur we performed the annaprasna and naming ceremony for Raji. At Palani we had a tonsure ceremony performed for the child. There was a small incident while at Palani. After having darshan of Lord Muruga at the hill shrine we were planning for our return journey after lunch at the Lodge where we were staying. Raji who was all of two years old had been playing with the room key when suddenly in a fit of anger she threw the key into the flush out. When we were checking out we handed over the duplicate key at the counter hoping that they would not note as there was no earthly chance of our recovering the original. The counter clerk settled our account and we moved out towards the bus stand for our return journey. As we were waiting for the bus a boy from the lodge came running towards us. He asked for the original key as it has not been surrendered. I pleaded my inability to produce the key as it was lost and was asked to shell out Rs.25 towards its cost. I quietly paid off. We also visited Kanyakumari in southern Kerala where three oceans meet. It was a period of complete tranquility. In keeping with the elevation of my status as the Branch Manager it was only appropriate that we decided to shift house this time to a more spacious house in a posh locality viz.Indiranagar. In January 1981 the family shifted to Indiranagar leaving Ulsoor for good after nearly a quarter of a century of living there.

During the period of our stay in Ulsoor from 1958 to 1981 which began with my marriage to Raji my life had blossomed and I became a real family man. It also saw the birth of my first three children, my promotion and transfer and the complete loss of family life for over five years resulting thereby and eventual death of Raji. It also heralded a new life for me after marrying Jaya and saw the birth of my first child by her. By now it was nearing five years of my stay in Bangalore which meant that there was a transfer around the corner. I was planning the wedding of Sharada and was particular to perform it before I left Bangalore on transfer, perhaps for another five years. Preliminary arrangements were being made for the marriage and the date was also fixed. The transfer order to Hampankatta (Mangalore) as Branch Manager eventually came. I made a request to the Regional Office for a month’s time to report at the new branch as I was already in the midst of preparations for the wedding of my first daughter in May 1982. The marriage as well as the upanayanam of my son was performed on the same day. The marriage was unique in the sense that instead of booking a Kalyana Mandapam which was not anyway easily available at such short notice I performed the function in my own home like in olden times. The locality where we were living was clean and with little or no traffic on the road. I obtained permission from the Corporation authorities for blocking entry of vehicles to the road from either side, a good kilometer in length. The residents on the road were quite decent to put up with a little inconvenience for a day. A grand pandal was erected on the road in front of our house long enough to have an area for serving food/breakfast and the main area for performing the religious rituals. A temporary shed was put up in one of the vacant plots for the kitchen. A relative of mine who was in the business of making arrangements for marriages from A to Z was put in charge of all arrangements. There was no reception as such and every one was invited for the muhurtham. There was a good attendance from friends and relatives.

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