Banks have always been a scary place to me, with so many counters(cages, actually), so many coloured slips and perennially irritated people, both inside and outside the counters! Added to it, are all those technical terms which most of the times won't make sense to me. One of the many embarrassing incidents was when my ears failed me to rightly hear the often said 'panam draw pannanam' and I once told a friend that my parents have gone to the bank to 'drop money' and she laughed till her belly ached!
When I turned a 'major', my father announced that I had begun to reap the benefits of the seeds(or units!) sowed in Unit trust of India. I had got a cheque for some 150 Rs. in my name. He said it was my money and I could do anything with it. "Hooray!", I cried and thanked my Dad hoping he was going to hand me the cash. Instead he said that I could cash it (only) in a bank(oh, not again!). Since I did not have a regular bank account, he said that this was a great opportunity to open one. On enquiry we found that most banks needed a minimum balance of Rs. 500!! Anyway, after finding a bank which considered poor people like me, I went along with 'kodi veetu' mama (who had influence there!) one early morning. After a few hours(b'cos of influence, mind you!) of uncomfortable wait with many 'sidu sidu' looks and producing numerous documents, I atlast got to open an account.
After quite a while, I went to withdraw the money. First of all, bad timing, cos' it was the beginning of the month and there was a huge crowd. With difficulty, I found the withdrawal slip and shaking and shivering, filled it up, stood in the queue to deposit the slip and waited for the "token no. xxx" call. Having done so much successfully, I was quite proud and patting myself when suddenly I heard someone screaming 'Aparna, Aparna'. For a minute I thought it must be somebody else but Nooooooooo!!! I ran to that person who was yelling 'yarunga adhu withdrawal slip pinnale sign panname, Che!' The whole crowd was looking at me! Boo-hooo!!!
Then there was this time when I went to the bank to send a Demand draft to my friend. This was my first time dealing with a DD and I, once again, shaking and shivering, entered the bank, found the form, filled, stood in line and handed over the form. After this, I was not sure if my task was over or not. I was debating if I should sit down for a while or just walk away. I was walking towards the exit wondering how my DD was going to reach my friend when asusual I heard the bank employee yelling from behind "your DD, your DD"!