Termites terminate man’s retirement

When you put valuables in a bank’s safe deposit boxes, the last thing you expect to hear is that termitesPrasad
attacked them. This is the 21st century after all. We get our cash from machines, we pay our bills online and we see ourselves on TV every time we enter a bank. But not all banks are so advanced. At least one bank in India uses wooden safe deposit boxes, along with a tiny sign that says, "Welcome Termites!"

A trader in the Indian state of Bihar has lost his
life savings after termites infesting his bank’s safe deposit boxes ate
them up.

Dwarika Prasad had deposited currency notes and investment
papers worth hundreds of thousands of rupees in a bank safe in the
state capital Patna.

The bank says it put up a notice warning customers of the termites.

Mr Prasad says he did not see it in time as he did not go to the bank for months after the notice went up.

Bank officials admit they did not inform the customers individually about the termite problem.

"I’m shattered. I do not know what to do as I had kept the money for my old age," Mr Prasad said.

The trader says he had deposited 450,000 rupees ($11,000) in
currency notes, investment papers worth 232,000 rupees ($5,660) and
some gold and silver jewellery in a safe deposit box of the
government-owned Central Bank of India.

Mr Prasad says that relations with his wife and children were
strained and he wanted to put the money in the safe box to keep it safe
from them. [Link]

He’s an idiot for putting cash in a safe deposit box. Doesn’t he know that the safest place to keep your money is under your mattress? That way, you can sleep well at night, knowing that the lump is still there.

But I also blame the bank. They were negligent in three ways: (1) They used wooden safe deposit boxes; (2) they didn’t warn customers adequately; and (3) they failed to install mini security cameras to watch for termites.

No matter whom you blame, you’ve got to feel sorry for Prasad.

Reporter: "Mr. Prasad, what are your plans now? Are you going to be able to retire?"

Prasad: "No, I can’t afford to retire. I’m going to start a second career."

Reporter: "A second career? What are you going to do?"

Prasad: "I’m going to be an exterminator."

Reporter: "You’re going to kill termites?"

Prasad: "No, bankers."

If you enjoyed this piece, you'll love Melvin's novel Bala Takes the Plunge, available in North America through Amazon.com and McNallyRobinson.com You can also find it at major bookstores in India and Sri Lanka or online at FlipKart, IndiaPlaza, FriendsofBooks or other sites. A number of readers have written reviews of the novel. An excerpt of the novel can be read here.

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