Yesterday, an often regular old lady entered the bank and the first thing she uttered was “Hey you are wearing a beautiful top that makes you look pretty”. I smiled and only smiled. I could hardly respond to her. Instead of feeling nice and happy about it, I slightly panicked inside. What I was taken aback with that she has grown old , we had some good moments and one day she will leave us all . I know this sounds weird to our ears when everyone knows its a fact, and still doesn’t like to be reminded . What this very little incident reminded me of that “There was this really really really nice lady customer who use to come to my bank branch quite often , who had a loooong name . I called her Maria ma’am ( which was neither her first or last name, I liked it that way ) .She was around 85 to 86 years old and had super glow with calmness on her face . Her personality somewhat personified my character( I think) . She seemed to be a satisfied person with children and grandchildren settled in country and abroad. She walked nice and tall for her age and took care of every banking need mostly on her own. She was too polite in nature. But why am I talking about her all this while ? Read on ……
The thing with her was that i really liked whenever she came . No matter what the situation i am in she made me feel calm with just her presence . And the most significant thing was that she liked me the exact way back . Her job was mostly done by the branch manager but without fail , she came to me every time to talk to me for a few moments , while we looked at each other with Awe.
She was a real fan of the constant smile on my face and my cheerful attitude . Every time we talked , she cued me how delightful it is to feel the positivism and calmness when in the same room as me . Irrespective of the crowd handling and the other work pressures, I spread laughter that help her relax and vice versa. And I used to reply her with ” Your presence is the reason behind my smile and it usually broadens when you are around ” . She was really a nice lady with a warm cozy heart , I could feel that through the glass shield between us.
A few days went by , I didn’t see her . One day one of her grandson came to deposit some cheque , I have seen him with her earlier, so I asked him about why isn’t she coming on her own , if she was okay due to her old age ? What he replied was really hard for me to digest and I knew , maybe I would never see her again . She had throat cancer, last stage and due to the old age she couldn’t tolerate the chemotherapies as well . I showed my helpless concern and he left. A few weeks later he came again and this time before leaving the premises he came to my counter to forward the good wishes that directly came from Maria ma’am . He said that she was happy to hear from me .That was the very last time I heard anything from her. She couldn’t survive to see the new year calender of 2019 . She left us . What she left with me was her optimism towards life and the temperament that we shared .. I will always remember her.
And then comes the most sad part of being the banker , no matter how much you are emotionally attached to the person or how awful you feel , you have to do the banker’s job.We settled her death claim towards her children . I have always been this emotional kid , but only did I realize after joining a PSU , Where we directly connect to public and their almost personal lives. I had this type of connection with people in Kolkata before , but I had hardly imagined this would happen in a state where the language is also unfamiliar to me . I guess that sums up to just being me all the time .Its just me !!!!!