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Snake in the Bank

by Vaman Acharya
(Bengaluru)

It was an unforgettable day for Vasu, who was an officer in charge of Bank’s extension counter.


The office was situated at the other end of the big cement factory surrounded by the open agricultural fields. There were about 25 ledgers, mainly savings bank. The day end transactions of each customer were recorded in the small register called ‘Day Book’ supported by the vouchers. These day books were checked by the officer on the same day itself and authenticate its correctness.

The previous day, there was a heavy transaction due to salary disbursement of factory workers. Vasu could not check the day books on that day. He told the peon to arrange them serially outside (below the counter) and keep the ledgers in the safe provided. His intention was to come early on the following day and check the day books first and then take up checking with the ledgers later on.

Next day, Vasu was in the office at 8 a.m. The sweeper had also come to the bank at the same time for sweeping and washing the floor. Vasu told the sweeper to keep the day books along with the ledgers on his table after the cleaning. While removing the day books, the sweeper spotted a snake of about five feet there and was frightened. The snake was hiding behind the ledgers.

In most of the cases people die out of fear. The sweeper was virtually shivering and unable to carry on his work. Observing the critical position of the sweeper, Vasu asked him, “What happened to you? Why are you shivering?”

“There is a big snake hiding behind the day books.” He whispered with fear.

On hearing this Vasu also got frightened and was unable to speak for some time. He was wondering how to catch the snake either live or dead.

Vasu asked the sweeper to be there observing the movement of the snake and rushed to the adjacent canteen to seek help. He requested the canteen owner to help. There were a few customers in the canteen. The owner was a nice gentleman and obliged. He came to the bank immediately along with a young man. He asked the young man to catch the snake, lying behind the books.

The young man had to struggle hard to trace the snake. The snake’s movements were witnessed by everybody present there. Ultimately, the young man was successful in catching the snake. He caught the snake with the help of a stick specially meant for the purpose and released it to an isolated place. Vasu expressed thanks to the owner of the canteen and the young man. Out of curiosity, Vasu asked the young man the art of catching the snake.

“Sir, I have learnt this art from my guru. I take precautions, before jumping in to the adventure. I will make sure that the snake is not venomous. I always keep the stick specially prepared for catching the snake. Distract the snake with the help of the stick. Then firmly grasp its tail and lift the snake upwards, leaving the front part of its body on the ground. Place the end of the stick under the front of the snake. Release the snake to the isolated place.”

“I appreciate your adventure. You have come at the right time at the right place. I have no words to express thanks.”

“Sir, it is my duty to help those who are in trouble.”

“Sir, every year in the beginning of monsoon the snakes come out and find a safe place in the building. I have also faced similar situations in the past. This young man is a friend of mine and help me whenever, I confront with such problem. The open fields are very close to this building. It is your good luck that the he happened to come today,” said the canteen owner.

Vasu gave a closed cover containing cash to the young man as a reward for his excellent work. Needless to say that everyone in the bank underwent a lot of pressure and worry due to the unexpected incident.

Vasu was thinking to himself after going home. "What would have happened, if the sweeper had not come on that day, when I had to take out the day books one by one for checking. During the process, I had every possibility to touch the snake by mistake and disaster may happen. It would have been my last day in life if the snake had bitten me. God is great and saved my life."

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