November 17, 2011

The Dour Banker And The Swaggering Businessman

Banking in India, still remains a somewhat boring profession. For a generation and more, nationalized banks have offered job security, something poor Indians value a lot.

So, there used to be (and continues to be) a lot of preparation and competition for Bank P.O. exams and Bank Clerical exams. Some got selected and joined their lifelong, drab vocation as a teller or something or the other.

Some, in the executive cadre, become managers and chief general managers, etc. in these PSU banks. They're the Deciders who decide on loans running into thousands of crores.

Sometimes, these gentlemen (almost exclusively men) have been found to be involved in various illegal activities such as lending to persons with rather dubious reputations such as Harshad Mehta or other third-rate businessmen or stock traders or gangsters or mine owners or whatever.

Perhaps only the not-so-smart ones get caught in some CBI net or the other ... and may be that only happens when you are not sufficiently politically savvy ... and we get to hear about them.

The rest, I suppose, lead a life of drabness and perhaps earn a few crores through underhand means and send their kids for education abroad and ultimately retire to some big house in a large Indian city.

It's quite unlikely, in the normal course of things, that one would be able to use PSU bankers and models in one sentence.

Once in a while, however, things might conspire to make such unlikely possibilities likely.
Suppose you have a one-of-a-kind flamboyant businessman who's successful and glamorous who needs money for a new business. Or, extra loan to help expand an existing business.

For whatever reason or circumstance, this businessman is able to attract many beautiful (or sexy) young females ... for apparently professional purposes.

Now imagine the loan negotiation taking place between a bunch of dour old men (the PSU bankers) who can barely speak English and the sleek globe-trotting businessman and his equally sleek lieutenants.

In India ... and I'm sure in the United States and elsewhere too ... there are many unwritten codes and true stories about the lives of the rich ... and these bankers would know a bit or more about the legendary partying of this businessman.

Perhaps as part of standard procedure (for the businessman), the bankers may even already have enjoyed an all-expenses paid (by the businessman) trip to fabulous Goa and seen a glimpse of this glamorous lifestyle.

If the businessman is smart, what he'll do is let the old sex-starved Indian men get to ogle at a few scantily clothed young females roaming about in the party ... perhaps serving drinks or whatever.

And somehow, the bankers should get the hint that there's MORE ...

So, when it comes to the crunch (or a difficult loan negotiation), when the bankers might be worried about the balance sheet and the growing red ink of the businessman's enterprise, the businessman can casually start discussing new year eve plans and partying in Goa and whether the bankers had enjoyed their last trip or not.

The businessman can emphasize that the last party was just a trailer and not the real thing. I'm sure the bankers would get crazy with excitement with their male imaginations going wild.

The loan amount (say 4000 crores) will be duly if with hesitation approved with suitable collateral.

Now cut to the promised new year party in Goa. Off the bankers fly to a swanky resort and enjoy a relaxing massage.

Then the evening comes and the party starts. The bankers join the businessman on board his yacht and the businessman greets them personally and there are many well known female starlets around. The old bankers are feeling equally excited and shy.

As the party progresses, young females ask the bankers if they may join and the bankers are more than happy to say 'yes.'

So the old men's heartbeats now start going crazy !!!

The drink is good with good food too. And so the bankers get a little bit drunk but are surprised to see that the young females are even more drunk than them and the bankers are happy to hold the females to prevent them from falling.

Eventually it gets late and the young ladies direct the bankers to their assigned rooms. The ladies fall down on the bed ... too drunk to move apparently.

The old men (at least those of them who're not too drunk to pass out/vomit) get the hint by and by and enjoy some physical intimacy with a female after about one-and-a-half decades.
And then morning arrives. A huge hangover. No females to be seen. Oops ...

Were they dreaming?

Anyway, the bankers gather their senses back eventually and take the return flights back home. The more adventurous ones continue to talk about their Goa adventure and joke about it during lunch-time conversations among themselves.

Those who passed out can't stop cursing themselves. The conservative types keep absolutely mum about it.

The old wives ... perhaps notice some sudden change in their generation-old husbands. The wives however put it down to temporary insanity (as usual) and decide to wait it out. They know that this too shall pass ... in a week or two. And sure as hell, it does. The pressures and the boring nature of the job they do soon pulls the bankers back into the whirlpool and by and by they start wondering if the Goa thing was just a dream or a reality.
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