Humour in the Central Bank

One had tried broadcasting, in the previous post, that one would next write about two journeys that marked the beginning of one's journey with the Reserve Bank of India. One, remorsefully, due to reasons that will get explained to you if you somehow end up reading this blog regularly, doesn't find oneself reflecting on the first of the two journeys presently.

Over the last week, one had been getting quite a few phone calls from lads and ladies from various parts of the nation asking questions on the application process etc. for the post of Executive Interns that the Bank had advertised. One recalls, with utmost sadness, that quite a few (lads and) ladies with lovely voices phoned one up (though one is not exactly involved with the recruitment process) asking some very businesslike questions:

"Can I send my application by courier?"

"I have forgotten to write my name and other details behind the DD"

"I would be completing my Degree course in ____, can I not apply?" 

One's heart certainly was gladdened by the kind of enthusiastic response that the scheme had evoked and more certainly by hearing some lovely voices. But, what saddened it (the heart that is) was the apparent fact that the callers, perhaps, expected a very dour ,crusty, grave, 80-year old person to answer the phone in the Reserve Bank of India and were taken aback at one's normal sounding voice. During each of the aforementioned duologue, one could comprehend that alas!, like elsewhere, in our country too, people, especially young ladies, felt that Central Bankers were a dour and unfriendly kind.

Contrary to what might be the popular belief, one has, in one's two decades of  career in the RBI, seen very few people in the Bank who move round with the "dour" and "unfriendly" labels plastered on their forehead and voice.

People at higher levels appear to have better sense of humor. The RBI's current Governor Dr. Subbarao is reputed to have a great sense of humor and repartee. The previous Governor - Dr. YV Reddy had an enormous repertoire of jokes and, like many others in the Bank, one looks forward to his promised book on jokes.

Humour and witticism is in the Bank's history. Commenting on the, then under development developed, design of the Bank's emblem / seal, in 1938, Sir James Taylor, Deputy Governor, had remarked:

...... s tree is all right but his tiger looks too like some species of dog, and I am afraid that a design of a dog and a tree would arouse derision among the irreverent. .....'s tiger is distinctly good but the tree has spoiled it. The stem is too long and the branches too spidery, but I should have thought that by putting a firm line under the feet of his tiger and making his tree stronger and lower we could get quite a good result from his design.

Working with the RBI -2 - Some more of self-indulgence

While preparing to unleash one on planet earth, the almighty had perhaps shuddered, the shudder resulted in one, by instinct, becoming extremely restless – both in the body and the brain. The brain therefore (tries) to think of a hundred things at the same time. Hammering out all the hundred things on the unsuspecting reader, who may accidentally stumble upon this blog, would be too great a crime even for one to commit. One therefore would try to freeze the thoughts and attempt to heave the thoughts one by one.
One has, in the previous post, alluded to the apparition of one being almost tall, dark and handsome, a singer, a software whiz kid a great administrator, a psychologist etc. etc. (One hope one is not missing on appropriate nouns / adjectives etc.). From the day one, the Bank gave one enough of opportunities to prove oneself.
To begin with – it was a girl living in the premises of the Bank’s residential complex (not office complex) who agreed with one being almost TDH - tall, dark and handsome that is. The girl happens to be one’s second spouse today. The second spouse bit is not a figment of one’s imagination but a statement of fact that often gets ejaculated out of one’s better (or bitter ) half who has a firm belief that one first got wedded to the Bank. Further, it’s a different matter, altogether, that the same girl, wiser with 15 years of cohabitation, is more clearer now and feels that one masquerades being a human being  while, actually, one is a specimen from the lowest category of the insecta  phylum. One is not sure about what one’s exact feelings were on this count (not the spouse, the TDH part) – two decades ago, one is sure about these today i.e. one now knows that one is certainly better of – looks wise, today. However, one is still grateful to the Bank for facilitating one’s acquisition of a spouse – not an employee of the Bank – an employee’s ward.
Having alluded to the thoughts of one being almost TDH and that of the spouse’s feelings on that count, it would, perhaps, be in order for one to explain the rationale behind one’s feelings (the spouse feels that her feelings are a kind of writing on the wall) at this stage of proceedings. One is about a half(dozen) inch shorter on the tall side but makes up by equal number of shades on the dark side and scores poorly only on the handsome part. One is quite realistic about the rest – in life you cannot be getting “Mills and Boon” kind of TDH guys in real life. One can, thus, reasonably lay a claim at being TDH.
Next I would write on the beginning of my journey with the Reserve Bank of India. It truly began with a journey – rather, two of them

How does it feel - working for the Central Bank of a country like India - 1

The RBI Office at New Delhi

On 24th September 2010, one would be completing 20 years of life's journey in the Reserve Bank of India - India's Central Bank.

Thinking back, 20 years ago, one had never thought that one was getting wedded to the Bank (with a capital 'B' as we insiders affectionately call it). The first images one recollects about the Bank are those of some kind of a mammoth building and piles of currency notes. It felt good to be inside the building but nothing great about the piles of currency notes - they were not yours and you looked at them (or were at least expected to) as though they were piles of paper.

At a personal level, long, looooong ago, in the early days of these twenty years , one almost thought of oneself as the Almighty's ultimate gift to the mankind - (almost) tall dark and handsome, a singer, software expert, a great administrator, a psychologist, writer etc. etc. Though one was not sure about the order in which the adjectives, nouns etc. in the previous sentence should be used to aptly describe one, one reasonably felt that the Bank is not a place for one to be in and that, perhaps, one would fit more smugly into the role of an actor, creator of a new operating system or (during humbler feelings) that of a rookie administrator / HR guy in a Fortune 500 company. Sometimes during more humbler of humble feelings one tinkered with the thoughts of being in the IAS.

However (it's a favorite word amongst us in the Bank), 20 years down the line, while one would still insist on the gift-mankind part , one, slightly more wiser, mainly due to the passage of two decades, now realizes that destiny had decided that the Bank would be testing the truth behind most of the adjectives, nouns and sentences used to describe one in the previous paragraph. While one shall describe, in further posts, the 'ways and means', the Bank used to carryout the aforesaid testing, one can never be sure, if the Bank would have found the use of all the adjectives, nouns or verbs too superfluous.

Keep waiting for more account of one's life with and within the Reserve Bank of India.