I work for one of the public sector banks in Bangalore. One morning just as the business started, an immensely tensed guy came to me and told me that he had transferred an amount of Rs. 20K to a wrong person's account number last evening. The amount, he told, was meant for his relative's surgery which was required urgently.
He said that he hailed from North East part of lndia and was working in Bangalore as a delivery boy for one of the food chains and had borrowed Rs.15K from his friends. He could not personally go and attend to his relative as his employer had put his salary on hold for the month because of a small road mishap on the company bike while making a delivery.
Though I could understand how critical the situation was for him, as a banker, in my right I could not reverse the erroneous credit to wrong account (technical and legal issues which require a person's confirmation before debit of his/her bank account). To make things worse the other person located in Madhya Pradesh, had already withdrawn the full amount of Rs. 20K from his account. I immediately called the other person and informed him that he had withdrawn an amount which was erroneously transferred to his account and requested him to return the amount. He replied that he was unaware of any erroneous credit and was out of town and would check his account statement after two days when he gets back.
The delivery boy, upon hearing this lost hope of getting his money back and I could see the despair in his eyes. He was angry and disappointed with himself for his carelessness while making the transfer and banged his fists gently on the desk. He stood in front of me with sweat rolling down his face, trembling and helpless, far away from his home. With other customers getting restless and impatiently waiting for me to attend to them and through all the clutter and noise in the banking hall, I could feel the agony he was going through at that moment.
The very next moment I made a decision and asked him the correct account number and immediately transferred Rs.20K from my personal account to his relative. In a couple of minutes he called his relatives and got a confirmation of the credit.(Till this point I had no idea if the delivery guy's story was even true. But I decided to do it anyway, in good faith). Pleasantly surprised at the turn of events, he assured me that he would repay me back in installments out of his monthly salary. With tears rolling down his cheeks he thanked me and said he would never forget my act of kindness.
Two days later I called up the other person in Madhya Pradesh. Fortunately, without any fuss he accepted that he had checked his account and the money did not belong to him. Immediately he transferred the amount back to the delivery guy's account. I thanked the person for his honesty and timely response. Then I called the delivery guy and asked him to visit the bank. He withdrew Rs. 20K and handed it over to me. As I counted the amount, I offered Rs. 5K to him asking him to use the money to go back to his native place and attend to his sick relative. He hesitated saying that I had already done enough for him, but I insisted and he eventually accepted the money. With tears in his eyes again, he said he could not believe his good luck in such difficult moments. I patted him on the shoulder and told him to take home something from Bangalore for his siblings. He said he would remember me forever and left with a smile and disbelief on his face.
A week later he sent me images of his brother-in-law in hospital and a voice message saying that he was recovering well and thanked me for my very timely help.
So it turned out that his story was true, and I was glad that I could extend timely help to him. Watching him happily walk out of the banking hall gave me a great sense of fulfillment. Truly a soul satisfying experience.
Abhinav Yadav, a banker, in the process of creating a bigger, more beautiful destiny.
Labels: Short Story