There is a saying that an individual considers his mind as much superior and his wealth much lesser compared to others. Such a phenomenon holds good almost in all cases. Many a people knowing me invariably prefer to recognize me as the one highly well do and sumptuously rich financially simply for the reason that I happened to be a Director in a topmost banking organisation like State Bank of India, and that I was much biggie a personality in Trade Union movement of the country. Their very recognition as such only demoralises me to the extreme. What do they think of me? Do they mean that I was a corrupt person making money in varied kind of deals, or I was the one accepting bribes and other illegal gratifications from the people in need, or I was the kind of a mafia running my parallel business eliciting billions of rupees in terms of money through shady deals, or yet I was too lusty a person running after money in every act I did maintaining benaami accounts in different banking organisations within the country and abroad. What a foolishness by convenience? I owe no explanation as I know the ‘real me’ is known well to my people, and there lies my satisfaction. In fact, this narrative is somewhat in a lighter vein in the context that onlookers from a distance in general in our society are quite prone to a thinking that any body who occupies an important position any where in the system is quite supposedly taken for granted to make money by whatever means. Such a feeling is more rampant in rural areas of the country where the people refuse to differentiate between a person of unquestioned integrity and the one who is highly corrupt.
George Bernard Shaw once made a pen caricature of elites and the commoners saying ‘I had been to city of London seeing rich persons and beautiful faces enjoying their life. Now that I am back home to find my family facing financial hardships’. I think of me more or less the same way. I am a retiree pensioner with a petty monthly amount to sustain my family and meet the liabilities. I have hardly any savings and have to actively work for 12+ hours a day to secure some extra income to meet the routine contingencies. Once during National Emergency in mid 1970s, there was a volley of allegations against me including that I was an ‘Anandmargee’, a prohibited social organisation, at the instance of the then Prime Minister of India, Indira Gandhi, who wanted to see me out of service as she took me as a serious menace to her party’s organisation INDIAN NATIONAL TRADE UNION CONGRESS in State Bank of India. There was a rumour that CBI was to launch a raid on my house to which I had then reacted saying that they are welcome any time as they may have to lay their hands only on thousands of mementos by way of Samman Patras and nothing else. I got back home like this only.