Life as a grown up can be very boring.

I am a Banker looking into advances, deposit mobilization, technological products and High Value Customer service in a Campus branch of India’s Oldest and biggest nationalized Bank. Yeah, one need not be a Tata Crucible Champ to know which bank I work for. And please be sympathetic enough not to abuse it here on this forum, as the laptop and internet connection is provided by the above referred organisation. 😉

It is the bank for the mass with some class. Every first week rush is seen to be believed, with people literally stampeding each other to get in grab a voucher and stand in line for withdrawing cash at the earliest. I wish I could video-graph one such morning and post it online. One new colleague once witness to such a un glorified morning, asked me surprised- “Why his rush? Money taken out 5 minutes later won’t harm anyone!” Poor fellow did not know that they are usually loaners who have availed loan and want to withdraw money before bank deducts the required EMI from the savings/ Salary Account.

And trying to force them to take an ATM card is even more frustrating-“ I heard, some one a Bank Manager lost his money  when someone else withdrew his cash..” and most opted for response is “ How much do you charge for this card? No Charge?  But why should I pay annual fees of Rs.100/-? Better I come to branch, meet old friends and pensioners and have some AC cooled environ.. Why give you money for using card which helps you reduce your workload? Ok.. but I do not know how to operate a card? Lastly, I am illiterate!”

Today-2nd April, was one such day. After the initial stampede where a middle aged woman fell down and was trodden over and a pensioner lost his walking stick and two fellows misplaced their slippers in the melee, things calmed down to a certain extent.  It is when I realized the serpentine line for 5 cash counters where extending outside the branch doors, thus blocking the entrance. Staff Movement was choked up and funnily, my Branch Manager was stranded outside. Now, how do I serve my VIP Customers in this scenario? Where from do they enter? God Bless Us all!

Towards the afternoon, it rained and the branch bore an empty look. I had no pending work, as all branch report for the auditors, were being taken care of by new Trainee Officers and I was basically free. Such days are rare. No new Loans to process on the first day of New Financial Year and no customer or HNI’s to look after.

Thunder crackled. The Frog inside me suddenly started croaking out loud. There was like a magnetic force pulling me outside. Stepping out of the door, looking out towards the dark clouds, I had this sudden urge to rush out on my bike and enjoy a rain ride, with drops lashing out on my face and body and wind rushing past my hair (or whatever is left of it). Suddenly, memories of me as a school kid packing my umbrella deep inside my bag in order to save books and get wet myself and trying to be the first one stomping on the largest puddle to splash water on friends, along with memories of the school football match between Rana Pratap and Ashoka House on the wet muddy school field bought back a sigh.After the match, we had mud inside our shorts from the mud sliding 😉 Long gone are those days.

Today, I am a grown up and supposedly a respectable person. I need to behave like a banker. Be a gentleman. I cannot get wet and be a child once again, during the banking hours. Life as a grown up is boring. Incidentally, and may be ironically, Just at that time, a happy go lucky mongrel came by and after rolling on the puddle of water, it stood up shook off the excess water and walked away to the shelter below an abandoned hawker trolley. I looked up skywards, to ensure if God was smiling, and may be the mild lightning that flashed in far distance, was the sparkle of His Teeth, when He smiled at poor me.

I went back in and tried to find someone on our internal Messenger Chat service. No Luck. Thought of calling someone, but then it wont be raining everywhere, hence no one would be free enough to chat with me during the working hours. Tried to browse Facebook on my Mobile, but nothing interesting there either. At last I pinged a few friends on Whatsapp- “I hereby Challenge You to name an animal for each alphabet of English Language without Googling and mind You it should be an animal only!”

I myself started typing the answer my self on a notepad, when I realized how mundane our life has become thanks to mono focused work type, where we hardly realize that gradually we are forgetting many words from our past. I turned around, to ask my colleague, how many Nursery Rhymes he can recite fully? He was taken aback when he realized that he could remember just ‘Jack and Jill’ completely and just a couple of lines from ‘Humpty Dumpty’ and something where “the mouse Ran up the Clock”.

{I suddenly had a sweet fleeting memory of V Jalan reciting with action some gem of Rhymes at India Habitat Centre with S. Das for company in 2006 to a similar challenge.}

The purpose of writing such a boring piece, is about seeking your views on a few things- Are we glad to give up simple and minor matters of life for the sweet taste of success of Rat Race of survival? Of course, for a fellow trying to meet his target and make his ends meet in metros like Mumbai and Delhi, who cares if one knows the names of animals and Nursery Rhymes, as long he remembers his bosses and his client names and knows how to sell. Agreed. But do you at times miss theses small things or am I just being stubbornly melodramatic?

P.S.- I got answers like A for Ant, J for Jellyfish and N for Narsimha. LoL!

P.P.S.- How many animals can you name? and how many nursery rhymes do you recall? 😉 I Challenge You.

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Comments
  1. alia says:

    Hey!

    Luved it! Events of 2nd april got me crackng up… And loved the comparision of gods white teeth (smiling), to lightening!

    Maybe he should smile more often!

    Keep goin! Lukng forward to the next .

  2. A- Anteater even better A for antelope! B- for Bear, C- Cougar, D- donkey, E- Elephant, F- Fox G- Giraffe, H- hayena, I- J- Jaguar, K- Koala, L- Lemur, M- Mongoose, N- O-Okapi, P- Pig Q- R-Rein deer, red Panda S- T-Tiger U- V- Vampire Bat Vixen W- Walrus X- Y-Yak Z- Zebra.
    Does and -Urchin qualify as an animal too. …U did not ring a bell did not wanna google either

    Rest this piece reminds me of the various borad games like Battleship, Scotland Yard, Life and the host of other board games I used to play in the summers. As well as the idle time spent in the garden gazing at the blue sky and watch each cloud engulf the other, while sipping some homemade mango pana and discussing, reading and talking about various stuff with friends. This one certainly made the line on my face curve :)!!

    Rhymes post you gimme ur set of animals. Hey BTW I timed myself in answering these animals came to about a minute and 5 secs including typos. So get going and gimme ur answers.

    • Saint Devil says:

      A- Armadilo, Ass 😉
      B-Bear;
      C-Cat, Cougar,coyote, Cow ;
      D-Dog, Dodo(LoL- its a bird-doesnt count bt cudnt resist);
      E-Elephant;
      F-Fox;
      G-Goat, Giraffe;
      H-Hyena, Hippopotamus;)
      I-Iguana;
      J-Jackle;
      K-Kangaroo,Koala;
      L-Llamma, Lion,Leopard;
      M-Monkey,Man;)
      N-Nilgai;
      O-okapi,Otter,Orangutan, Ox;)
      P-Pig;
      Q-Quail :X ;
      R-Rat
      S-Seal,Snake;
      T-Tiger;
      U- unicorn (LoL- doesnt count);
      V-? ( vixen- she fox- doesnt count, Vampire Bat- bird, Veal nt done.)
      W-walrus, wolf;
      X-? ( gt an ans- Xenope- dnt knw wat it is)
      Y-Yak.
      Z-Zebra.

      Not fair dat I answer nw, as I hv gt lotsa answers earlier bt dint google n dis ws my original one. Forgot 2 tym it. 😉
      Rhymes- anyone??
      J&J, Johnny Jhonny, Ringa Ringa Roses,Humpty Dumpty,Hicory Dicory dock, 1-2 Buckle ma shoe, old mother Hubbard, Peter Peter Pumpkin Eater, chubby Cheeks dimpled chin..
      I dnt remember d opening lines of- sum cat, .. Cat- whr hv u been, I hv been 2 london 2 c d queen,..,.., wat did u do thr? frightend d lil mouse undr hr chair.
      Also remember dis pic wit a fella wit apple pie n cherry on his thumb!
      Anyone remember? Mothrs of growing children n Nursery School School Teachers hv fun n dnt answer nw..

  3. The initial part of the post also reminds of some of the most inhuman treatment meted by your so called classy bank. It happened so that on a sultry friday afternoon of 2004 @ Badarpur branch Delhi to get an account type changed. It was about 1 pm in the tepid month of May. The bank was totally inudated with people, who had qd at alomost all the visible counters like cattle waiting for there turn for fodder. I was waiting with the locals to get my work done. When I saw one of the most disturbing sights ever … A aging surd in his late 50’s trying to ask someting to the fellow queue members, all of a sudden was pushed aside by the man behind the counter (SBI employee). He literally flew in a fit of rage and threw the old man out of the bank. I enquired about the matter with the officials and the manager, but got no clear answers. The poor guy was heartbroken and left the bank sad and dejected.
    This incident made me realise the sort of practices which are being tolerated and encouraged in leading nationalised banks. The even more apalling thing is the people standing in the queue, who were unhinged and saw this shoker and put up with it. I enquired about the complaint register, but the last entry in it was about three years ago about the non-avaiablity of forms. The manager too was trying to convince me that this is a Jat area and handling people needs such steps. This is actually one of the few incidents that actually makes you think of Banking as a painful experience for most folks in this populous nation of ours, where the customer can be subjected to humilitaion and assaults!!

    • Saint Devil says:

      Agreed Bro, §hit happens. 1 bad fish spoils d whole pond. The days of 2004 may b still visible @ rural branches. We r all humans at last.
      Firstly, ours is a bank of the masses and hardly has any class customers. We open up branches in highly inhabitable hostile areas 2 serve the real rural India which r loss making propositions. Why r othr banks nt into these services? I feel we r worse than army personnels serving @ God forsaken areas n getting abused n kidnapped too for sake of humanity. LoL!
      Things hv changed aftr the intake of fresh young blood post 2006, it hd been stopped for last 15 yrs. The ratio of customers per employee is unimaginably high, rather inhuman.
      Only the wearer knows hw mch n whr d shoe pinches. At times, even I feel like throwing sum1 out of my branch. If it were you, i cud guarantee fisticuffs n murder! 😉
      We hv Personal Banking Branches- whr min Bal is 5k n u get world class treatment. Try those.
      What had happened dat day, despite disbelief- hw cn Jats kip quite 2 sumthing wrong?, was unfortunate, bt as I said, we r all humans n we do make mistake. 😉

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