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I was posted to the Sadashivanagar Branch in Bangalore as the Accountant where I reported in the first week of July. It appeared that the Branch Manager thereat was just waiting for me to report and no sooner than I reported he moved the Regional Office and got himself transferred to Chennai after the Regional Office asked me over the phone to take over. Normally ‘taking over’ as Branch Manager involves a lot of procedures and takes at the least three days to one week unless it is an emergency. All these had been given a go by in my case both at Ranebennur and now at Sadashivanagar. Fortunately an Officer was posted as the Accountant without burdening me with the twin responsibilities. I settled down slowly. I was now in complete charge of Sadashivanagar branch having fully taken over. It may be noted that this was the first time I was in independent charge of a branch although earlier I had only officiated. This branch is considered a prestigious one in that it is located in one of the posh areas in Bangalore. The residents in this area are rich bureaucrats, political big wigs and successful businessmen. Among the branch’s clientele one can count a former Vice President of India, former Chief Justice of India, a former Governor and Vice Chancellor, a former Governor of Reserve Bank, a former Managing Director of our Bank, Chief Ministers and Ministers of Karnataka and business tycoons. The branch itself was located in a big beautiful building with a big room for the Manager which I occupied. I received a regular stream of VVIPs many of whom became very friendly with me over a period of time. The branch was fairly new and I happened to be only the third branch manager. Colleagues in other branches and Regional Office counted me fortunate in getting such a good posting. However the branch was very far from my home in Ulsoor. It was a split hour branch. I had to reach office by 8 in the morning for the first session between 8.30 A.M. to 12.30 P.M. The second session started at 2.30 P.M. to close at 7.30 P.M. Most of the days I go home for lunch in the afternoon. I attempted many innovative ways of attracting deposits one of which is worth mentioning here. As mentioned earlier our Bank had a number of star cricket players including a few who had represented the country in India and abroad. I decided I would capitalize on their presence in the Bank by roping all of them in my deposit mobilization drive. I sent out messages to my customers that any depositor of a sum of Rs.10,000 or above during a particular fortnight would have the privilege of receiving the Deposit Receipt from the hands of the famous Cricketers in person. There was an overwhelming response. I arranged for a gala function at the Bank premises and invited all those who had deposited sums as required during the specified period to attend the function and receive the Receipts in person. A large number of my clientele responded and were thrilled to meet the famous cricketers in person and be photographed with them. After tea everyone left happy and contented. I had also invited the Regional Manager and other officials from the Regional Office to participate in the function which turned out to be a huge success and was well appreciated.

In January, 1980 I was invited by the Manager and Captain of our Madras Office Cricket Team to join them along with a few stars of our Bangalore team for a tour of Sri Lanka to play a few friendly matches with local teams there. It was a welcome invitation. And it would be my first chance to go abroad. I started making preparations. I applied and got my passport made and arranged for necessary funds to cover the cost of my trip with the sponsorship of a few of my clientele. I and the cricketers from the Bangalore team left for Madras to join the team to Sri Lanka. After the usual formalities were gone through we were on the plane to Colombo as a happy lot. I was to be the Assistant Manager of the team. We arrived at the Colombo airport to a rousing reception by our hosts and other cricket enthusiasts. Our pictures were splashed in the capital city’s leading newspapers.

A tight schedule had been chalked out for us and we played a good number of friendly matches on some of Colombo’s famous cricket grounds and rubbed shoulders with the island nation’s great cricketers. We attended receptions galore and had fun time all the way. I was very thrilled and happy to have made my first overseas tour and spend time in the midst of so many Indian and Sri Lankan cricketers. I wondered if I would ever get such an opportunity again. I had thus a lot of happy and sad memories of my tenure in the Sadashivanagar Branch.

It was such a tragedy that although I formed, nurtured and built such an outstanding cricket team in the Bank I never went out with the team as Manager during their many tours to different centres in India.

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