Warrier's Collage on Monday October 3, 2022 : Adieu P R R Nayar
Warrier's COLLAGE On Monday October 3, 2022 What follows is a tribute to my friend, philosopher and guide with whom I have been in daily contact for a couple of decades now. Nayar Sir was ailing for the last couple of weeks. We thought he was recovering. His daughter was taking good care of him. Yesterday evening he left us. I talked to his daughter with whom I was in touch recently. Babusenan has given a note about the person with whom he was closely associated for more than 6 decades. M G Warrier My Mentor : P R R Nayar By V Babusenan Thiruvananthapuram I am taking my esteemed readers to a day three score and a couple of years ago, to be exact, to the Ist March1960. The time was around 11a.m. I was waiting at a round table meant for visitors expecting to be called inside at any moment to be anointed as a member of a great Institution, to wit, The Reserve Bank of India. RBI made its presence in Kerala in mid-fifties with a single department, the Department of Banking Operations, functioning in a modest old-fashioned two-storeyed building in the then Trivandrum. It took many years more for a full-fledged office to start functioning in the capital city. I was mentally planning about my accommodation and other related problems connected with the clerical job I was going to get, when the wooden staircase announced descending footsteps. I looked up. What I saw then remained etched in my mind. A tall, slim, fair complexioned young man, elegantly clad in spotlessly white bushshirt and trousers, was standing erect on the landing. His mustachioed face radiated a masculine grace that none could ignore. While coming down, he offered me a smile and then went inside. Age had been specially kind to him and even at ninety, he retained much of his grace intact. I am referring to Shri P.R.R.Nayar, the model Reserve Bank Officer, who passed away on this Gandhi Jayanthi Day. Shri Nayar was a much sought-after officer for head office inspections. His knowledge of the Banking Regulation Act was deep, his observations were incisive and his drafting ability was exquisite. As the head offices of three major private sector banks are in the Thrissur town, he would be often there for long periods which, in another way, suited him fairly well. Guruvayoor was only a short bus journey from Thrissur. From the point of view of transfer, Shri Nayar was a lucky person. He saw only two other centres, Chennai and Bangalore, during the course of his long career. He retired from the former as General Manager. To all outsiders he was a no-nonsense man, but to his friends he was a much fun- loving person. He was always willing to lend a helping hand and give timely advice, where necessary. I was fortunate to be in his inner circle and I gratefully remember occasions which helped me greatly to avert many a predicament. Despite his gentle nature, he was quick to react to situations involving unfairness. In this context, I vividly remember an incident that happened several years ago. In those days, though the Trivandrum office was small, the employees association there was quite strong under the leadership of a very devoted person. While celebrating its tenth anniversary, as part of its cultural programme, Shri Nayar presented a satirical one-scene play scripted and directed by him. 'The Court of Yama' was its name. He himself acted the role of Yamadharma which reminded one of Sivaji Ganesan of his heyday. The supposed perpetrators of malpractices were tried in the Yama's court. It was an instant success. This attitude of intolerance towards unfairness did not mellow, in his case, with passage of time. That is why we saw him take cudgels against the wrong policies and inactions of the Bank's top management and the Department of Finance in the matter of Pension updation. Let us not forget the fact that, though a widower himself, his greater concern was family pension which, even in the eyes of the top management, is 'abysmally low'. Most of the time he wrote directly to the Governor. If one would ask the latter's PS, he might show one a file containing Shri Nayar's letters only. His persistent efforts were seemingly of no avail as he was trying to wake up those who pretended to be asleep. Until the last breath, Shri Nayar was a staunch devotee of Guruvayoorappan. If there is an area in Heaven reserved for such devotees, he will definitely be occupying a prominent place for enjoying eternal bliss. Dear Shri Warrier, The cremation was over at 9.30. a m today (October 3, 2022). I was not able to be present there, nor could I go to the flat. My mind is full of him. I have attempted a small obituary-like thing. If worthwhile, publish it in Collage.