All work at the bank is conducted by my better half. And no complaints. I am not intrigued or fascinated by the intricate workings of the system, and am content to benefit from the fallout of the procedures.
But last week, I had to take a trip to the bank at the request of my husband. “Since you are going that way, why don’t you deposit this cheque?” he said. “Of course,” I said cheerfully.
Whereupon he gave me several instructions on what to do, what to say and how to present the cheque, by which time my enthusiasm had died down, and I had started bristling. I may not actually enjoy going to the bank, but I do know a little - my days in the office had also entailed some banking work, which he seemed to have forgotten.
So I took the cheque and went to the bank. Upon presenting it I was told that I needed to give two Xerox copies of the cheque as well. When I asked why, I was told it was a ‘foreign cheque’(her words), and so they needed Xeroxes. Now, why had not my mentor and guide mentioned that, I wondered. But I persisted anyway and told her they had never wanted Xeroxes before this. She told me that now they were into core banking, and hence they did nothing at this branch. Core banking? I must have looked lost, when she told me that I could have the copies made at the basement shop, and waved me off. I nodded and left.
I decided to do it later after finishing my other work. And when I returned I found I had no money in my handbag. Hmm, in all the flurry of getting instructions on depositing a cheque, I had forgotten to pop in my change purse. I did not feel like returning home to get the money, but I did want to finish off the job.
And there was my coffee powder shop, Sarasu Coffee, next door to the Xerox shop. Bhaskar, the owner, was there and I decided to ask him for a loan of Rs. 2/ -. He was only too happy to oblige and insisted on escorting me to the Xerox shop and telling them my requirements. After finishing my work there I went back to Sarasu and thanking Bhaskar, took leave of him. But he would not let me go, and insisted on buying me a cool drink. “You haven’t come here in so long,” he said. I told him it was his own fault - such good service and prompt delivery. Bhaskar is a one-man industry. He takes orders on the phone, roasts and powders the beans, and delivers the powder. I only have to call him on the phone and say, “Sankar’s place, Bhaskar”, and the coffee powder is delivered - he knows my requirements. After all I have been his customer for the last 25 years.
His hospitality left me with a warm feeling, and I don’t mean the Madras heat. I returned to the bank, finished presenting the ‘foreign cheque’ and walked home, pondering on core banking and mom-and-dad shops.