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.

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