MY RESEARCH FELLOWSHIP- a turning point


I was in the seventh heaven, when I was declared selected for Cooverji Hormusji (CH) Bhabha Research Scholarship and Award by the Indian Banks’Association (IBA). Every year only four bankers were selected those days as scholars under the fellowship for undertaking research on the given topics related to banking.

My subject was Human Resources Management in Public Sector Banks, and my guide was Dr A K Khandelwal, a renowned banker, who was then the Executive Director of a big bank, and later he also became the Chairman and Managing Director of the bank.

But happiness brought some miseries too. I was posted at that time in Lucknow as Branch Manager. My guide insisted that I should shift my base from Lucknow to Mumbai for uninterrupted interaction and guidance for research work, which was to be completed within a span of four to six months.

It was, however, not possible for me to shift the family, as my children had to attend school. Finally, I decided to go alone. I stayed in Railway Hotel (name since changed to Landmark) near VT (now CSMT) station, from where the office of my guide was easily accessible.

The pivot of my research was my guide, a down to earth person, despite reaching the highest echelon in the hierarchy. He had a name in the industry and a full command on the topic of HRM, on which he has authored two books. He was always ready with a helping hand. I used to meet him every alternate days in the office, and on some Sundays at his residence too.

One day, when I was about to leave his residence at Peddar Road, it started raining heavily. Though I was carrying an umbrella, he offered to drop me at the nearest bus stop by driving his own car, as his driver was not there. He also apprised me of the numbers of buses that would take me to my hotel. I couldn’t forget his kind gesture.

With the help of my guide and IBA, I had access to all banks’ offices at my will. The whole day I used to meet senior and top executives, employees, officers and prominent trade union leaders of various banks and record their versions on the subject for further analysis.

To unwind after the hustle and bustle of the day, I used to roam around Gateway of India, beaches and gardens in the evening. Sometimes I simply used to sit idly on the promenade along Marine Drive or Worli Seaface to observe human behaviour and psychology, especially of vendors, joggers, beggars, lovebirds and policemen.

I also used to observe waves, their rising and falling back making me at times philosophical and melancholic too. It was not only relaxation for me, but also a good pastime to broaden my vision.

The research undertaken by me proved to be a turning point in my personal as well as professional life. It helped me become a better person to understand the realities of life to some extent.

It also gave me an opportunity to greet and meet a number of people right from the top to the bottom. I can’t forget the experience, when I presented my findings before the august group of six Chairmen of different banks and also my answers to their questions.

During research, I met a fellow banker, who inculcated an interest in theatres. Especially on Sundays, I used to watch plays at Prithvi or other theatres. Watching live plays gives an entirely different experience.

The research work also helped me develop a flair for writing. When I handed over the condensed version of my dissertation to a local newspaper, Free Press, they brought out a full page article in their banking section.

They started inviting articles on banking, economy, finance and management from me thereafter and also started paying remuneration. I contributed regularly for their weekly supplement on every Tuesday, that continued for a year or so, till my transfer to Mumbai.

About six months of my fellowship had been difficult for me and my family, but my family also learnt a lesson or two on self-reliance. I received recognition along with higher and more challenging responsibilities, including rewriting of the Book of Instructions, which is a different story altogether. I’ll come back with another post.

The places frequented by me during my stay in Mumbai, apart from various bank offices are given hereunder.

CSMT station
Asiatic State Library
Hanging Garden
Marine Drive
Air India Building
The Taj Hotel
Flora Fountain
Bank Bhavan
Prithvi Theatre
Kala Ghoda
Iskcon Temple
St Mary’s Church
Haji Ali Tomb
Gateway of India

–Kaushal Kishore

29 Comments

  1. You are the embodiment of the wisdom – that education can dramatically change one’s life.
    A very interesting chapter in your life, and the diversity of your interests.
    I love the pictures! Thank you.

    Joanna

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I doubt if I will ever visit your wonderful country but it makes me smile when I find you doing what my daughter did when she visited India a couple of years ago: a photo with the Gateway to India behind. Marvellous, education and an enquiring mind! πŸ™

        Liked by 2 people

      2. It brought smiles to my face as well. What to do, Gateway is such a lovely place. Was she on business or educational tour? You should have accompanied her. But thanks for your beautiful reflections 😊

        Liked by 1 person

  2. You have had wonderful opportunities to learn and develop. How amazing and how fortunate. I am happy for you. Your family must be proud of you. And your photos are wonderful, thank you for sharing. 🌈

    Liked by 1 person

  3. KK you have deep thoughts. I wish if you were my teacher. I would like to visit various places with you to understand their existence and normal people’s daily life behaviour.

    I don’t want to move forward, every day is becoming more challenging and against me. But I’ll keep going on because I have to achieve my dreams. I have to stand against my sadness and anxiety.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to have golden dreams and intentions, but what I have learnt from my entire career is that you have to go out, out of your comfort zone, to realise your dreams. My best wishes.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Love your passion πŸ’“ both for your work and towards writing .
    Especially Banking life can be depressingly hectic in India , you are a gem ❀️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks a lot your words of appreciation. I had covered Mumbai then, as if I won’t come again, but I was subsequently posted thereat. Thank you again for your kind words πŸ™

      Like

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