Posts Tagged ‘Challenge’

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.