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Once again to bangalore

I reported at the Regional Office (for the third time, in fact) in May 1985 soon after Nimmi’s wedding. I was attached to the CRM’s secretariat handling Inspection Reports. Earlier I had been earmarked to the Staff Section when my transfer order was issued. The latter job would have been more interesting because it involved staff matters including transfers, promotions etc. But that was not to be. Nevertheless I was enjoying my new work as there was very little tension involved. I had complete freedom of work and more importantly there were no deadlines. I found a lot of time to indulge in many other activities also. I spent a lot of time at the Club playing table tennis or caroms. I had also time to write articles for the newspapers. One Saturday afternoon (30th Dec., 1985) the Chief Regional Manager invited his staff to participate in an on the spot essay writing competition. I too entered my name along with a dozen others.Three topics were given and you have to select one and write on the subject. The time given was about an hour. I selected the recent crash of Kanishka, an Air India air liner with nearly 400 passengers and crew abroad. The plane was on a flight from Canada to India and almost all the passengers were Indian coming home on a holiday. Sikh terrorists had planted a bomb in the plane timed to explode in mid air. The plane exploded off the Irish coast minutes before it was to land on June 23rd 1985 killing all abroad over the Atlantic Ocean. My essay won the first prize and praise from the Chief Regional Manager. A book was presented to me with the CRM’s bestwishes.

I was having a wonderful family life with my three girls having been admitted to school. Supriya and Ambika were enrolled in kinder garten classes while Raji was in the second class. The schools were in the vicinity of our residence and as my office was a long distance away Jaya used to take them to school and fetch them back. Nimmi and Sharada were living close by with their families. Sharada had become mother of two sons and Nimmi had two daughters. Sriram was continuing his engineering course in Mysore and visited us at least once a week. I made a couple of visits to Mysore as well. He was staying with his friend’s family as a paying guest. He was very frugal in his habits and was also studying well scoring well in each semester. He was not at all a burden on me and whatever his financial requirements were I was able to meet them without straining myself. In 1987 I availed leave fare concession to take the family to Delhi where my second sister was living. We flew to Delhi and spent a few days with my sister and brother in law. I went to Delhi to witness the World T.T.Championships. My niece Vasanthi had managed complimentary ticket for me and I utilized the opportunity fully. I saw all the leading stars from all over the world. It was a fulfilling experience. We took the opportunity of our stay in the Capital to make a trip to Agra to see the world famous wonder in marble, the Taj Mahal. We also saw some other historical sites close by. In New Delhi itself we went round on an arranged trip and visited all historical monuments like Kutab Minar, Humayun’s Tomb, Birla Mandir, the place where Indira Gandhi was felled by an assassin’s bullet and last but not the least Gandhiji’s Samadhi. We missed seeing the famous Red Fort by a quirk of fate.

After visiting Raj Ghat (Gandhiji’s Samadhi) we came out and I was tying up my shoes when Supriya just three years old wanted to do the tying. By the time she finished the job, our tour carrier bus left without us. We trudged back home by ourselves. On our return we took the new luxurious Rajdhani Express from Delhi to Bombay. After a couple of days in Bombay with my brother we left for Bangalore by air. It was a wonderful holiday and all of us including the children enjoyed it very much.

There was shuffling of work in the office. From the Inspection desk in the Regional Office I was moved to the Circle Audit section. My job involved unannounced visits to branches to make surprise check of all the books according to a prepared check list and inspect, verify and certify the accuracy of the book keeping. The visits had to be confidential and no advance intimation should be given to the branches concerned. The work used to take up a day or two in small branches but could go on for more days depending upon the size of the branch. In my nearly three years stay in the department I visited over 120 branches through the length and breadth of our circle. In branches like Mangalore, Udupi, Hassan, Hospet, Bellary and Mysore in addition to the routine inspection there was an income audit also to be done which would take three weeks to one month. I stayed in some of the best hotels in town which I enjoyed very much although in some backward places there were no decent hotels and I had to do with a lot of inconvenience. This period of my service in the Bank could be rightly called the golden period. I was able to literally go on a Bharat Darshan although confined to the State boundaries only. All expenses were met by the Bank besides I could claim extra allowances called ‘halting allowances’ which was practically pocket money. I prepared exhaustive reports on the health of branches I inspected which were appreciated. The branch managers generally agreed on the short comings brought out by me and did not counter my observations. I also did an exhaustive inspection on the Office Manager’s department in the Regional Office and the Medical Facilities programme.

In the office I encouraged the boys to conduct tournaments for the staff which was fully patronized. We also celebrated the Annual Day regularly every year. I was not thinking about any further promotions as I was quite contented with what I was doing although I attended a couple of tests and interviews for the next level of promotion which did not materialize of course as I am nearing the fag end of my service. In three to four years I would be retiring from the Bank and it was definitely not worth worrying about it. I was also happy that there would be no further transfers and I can comfortably retire in Bangalore. It is a fact which I am to regret later in that I have not even thought of acquiring a house for myself in my retirement days. As long as I was in service, I wouldn’t have any problem as the Bank would take care of rent and some other minor expenditure. But after my retirement I would have to fend for myself. In 1988 Sriram graduated and was recruited by a leading engineering company for their Bombay office. In early 1989 he left for Bombay for good.

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