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End of my working life and a look back

Looking back I felt satisfied that I have done myself well in the sense that I have had a blemish less career in the thirty five years of my service in the Bank and except for the harrowing time I had due to the transfers the Bank had been kind to me. Starting from a low salary of about Rs.90 in the Fifties as a clerk I climbed up to be a senior officer with a handsome pay check at the time of retirement. The Bank gave me an opportunity to work in different parts of the State and I was able to get to know a wide spectrum of people of different languages and culture. In the early years I involved myself in a variety of activities in the Bank especially in promoting a club and sports culture among the staff in almost all the branches I worked. My greatest achievement was in founding an outstanding cricket team. It might look simple as cricket clubs are formed dime a dozen in every city and institutions. There are many private clubs run by wealthy individuals who pour money without limit for the youngsters to play and make a mark. Most of their ambitions stop at playing at club and State level after which they have to find a means of living which effectively puts an end to their playing careers. Or if they are born rich they can sustain themselves and continue their careers for a little longer. But what I did was something unique. I assembled a few young men of outstanding ability but who were not able to find a decent job and earn their living. After getting a clearance from the Bank Management I used my knowledge of the capability of the youngsters having watched them on the cricket fields of Bangalore for many years I picked a few of them for my team and got them appointed in the Bank. Now appointing anyone in the Bank was not easy as a whole lot of procedure was involved including written tests and interviews. But I used my clout with the Management and my own sustained efforts which included preparing a report on each player about his educational qualifications and cricketing ability supported by details of his having represented his University and playing in the State Junior and Senior level in the National Championships with appropriate newspaper cuttings . The usual rigmarole of tests and interviews was done away with in the case of the cricketers’ appointments as these came under the sports category. This was a regular practice in the cities where the Banks’ head offices were located but the fact that Bangalore was the first city where such facility was extended was a feather on my cap. Thus I was able to recruit six players initially to fill up the different slots and asked a number of youngsters already in the Bank who had some experience of playing cricket in their colleges and a team was formed. It would not be an exaggeration to say that I worked day in and day out to form a good side that could challenge any team in the city. How the team that I formed swept everything in its way and became champions is even today talked about in the Banking and cricketing circles. I managed the team so well that the players responded to me with their full heart and rewarded me with victories after victories.

Unlike many colleagues of mine I did not think of getting promoted in the Bank’s cadre as it was low on my priority. With the basic educational qualification that I had the Bank would certainly not consider me for any higher executive level promotions. I was also not too keen to get through the Bank’s own CAIIB exams which the Bank considered as the prime qualification required at the relevant time. After I was promoted to the second level (MMG 1) I was called a few times for the interview for the next stage of promotions but I was not prepared for any more promotions especially with only a few more years of service left. Thus I was quite happy with whatever opportunities I got to do whatever I could to the Bank which gave me an identity. Over a period of thirty and odd years my priorities in life had changed. When I started I had big ambitions to make it good in politics or journalism. As years rolled by I found neither had made any deep impression in my mental make up to go far. While I confined my interest in politics to merely following the course of events taking place at the national and international levels and commenting about them in my newspaper articles, I did not feel inclined to pursue an active career in journalism apart from writing occasional articles in the Press. Neither was I too much attracted to a career in politics at any stage of my professional life. At times I felt that my life looked as if it had been wasted for want of chances. My sister Lakshmi, a great fan of me as a writer as also her husband Rama Athan (he was a son of my Athai, my father’s own sister) were never tire of saying, I was destined for greater things in life but lacked opportunities to reach greater heights,like say a M.P. or a Cabinet Minister, no less. I am glad I did not suffer any such hallucinations or delusions of grandeur and do feel that my life has not entirely been devoid of achievements though not on a grand scale as one would have it. Adieu.

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