Sunday, February 24, 2019





                                                      ( BANK LOAN GUARANTOR)

“Sir, that situation shall never come. In Kashmir, Dhar family is known for its commitment or word. So are Dhar children. After all, Safa Kadal Dhar family Sir. Pandit Birbal Dhar 's clan Sir. You must have heard about Birbal Dhar who saved Kashmir from the ruthless Pathans by inviting Maharaja Ranjit Singh's forces to the valley. Did you get it, Sir? Then, Bal Kak Dhar, D. P. Dhar and many such names Sir.
Atul Ji shall complete his MBA 2007 and the loan shall be cleared by December 2009 or at the most by June 2010 from his earnings. He will get a good salary after completing MBA. Hundred per cent campus selection sir, hundred per cent” said Roop Krishen.

Roop Krishen had come to the bank along with his brother in law seeking an education loan of 4.30 Lakh for MBA degree of his nephew Atul Dhar. He had been made to accompany father and son duo by his sister. He had casually gone to his sister’s house where he came to know about the selection of Atul in a Mumbai college. His sister had said:- 
 “ Roop Ji, tomorrow accompany your brother in law and Atul to the bank, please. Some loan issue is to be discussed. Atul may be needing an education loan. You have to do all the speaking with bankers. Your brother in law is good for nothing person. He has just wasted his life. He can not even speak for himself or watch his own family’s interests. I am sure he will say something that will spoil Atul’s case. You can only convince bankers for this education loan.  ”
As suggested by his sister, Roop Krishen did all the talking in the bank. Listening to this conversation, Atul’s father, Bushan Lal Dhar kept silent yet nodded approvingly to the commitment demonstrated by Roop Krishen about total repayment of the loan by Atul from his future earnings. After listening to what Roop Krishen had said, I handed over the list of formalities required to be completed for sanction of the loan. Roop Krishen received the list and started reading the formalities.

 “ This is done. This is also done. All this is done. This is nothing, Just one hour job. Sir, who can be the guarantor? Father can also give the guarantee of his son. No problem from our side . ” said Roop Krishen.

“ Let me make things clear. Father can not be a guarantor. Father has to be a co-borrower or co- obligant in this type of loan. Guarantor has to be a different person. “ I clarified.

“ No problem sir. Why do you worry? I have signed many papers as a witness in banks. As many as 50 Savings Bank accounts have been opened under my signatures in your Bank. If I can sign for strangers why not for our child. We come tomorrow with complete
formalities. We should be made free in two hours .” he continued.

“ It is not a witness that you are supposed to sign. It is an’ Agreement of Guarantee’. By signing this deed, the guarantor undertakes to bind himself for repayment of the loan and interest thereupon should there be any default from principal borrower. Legally the liability of a guarantor is coextensive with the principal borrower. Things should be clear to you. The act of witnessing is nothing but seeing some document being executed. There is no pecuniary liability of a witness. The guarantor remains financially liable and tied to a loan until it is fully repaid by the principal borrower. ” I clarified.

Roop Krishen nodded in agreement, moved his right-hand fingers through his hair and rubbed his hands. I felt as if he wanted to smoke at that moment. But then he never smoked in presence of his elder sister’s husband. Bushan Lal Dhar and Atul looked expectantly towards Roop Krishen.

“No worry sir. We are there for Atul Ji. What is this 4.30 lakh ? For this boy, I can sign blank papers and give guarantee for any amount ” Roop Krishen added .He gave the list of formalities to Bushan Lal Dhar, got up from his chair, shook hands with me and came out of the room along with his nephew and brother in law.

Next day at about 10 a.m., I found Roop Krishen inside the bank premises. The moment I entered my cabin, he came straight to see me. This time he was alone.
“ So fast in completing the formalities. What is the last date of the admission in the college? ” I asked
“ What formalities sir? Can I make some personal request? ”he said
“ Sure ” I replied.
“ Sir, you are a great man. Sitting on this seat, you have helped many people. But then you also know all about our community. You also know Chuni Lal Pandita’s son Aditya Pandita and his education loan story. They availed an education loan from this branch. The boy married a girl from Maharashtra and forgot the education loan. Chuni Lal is now coming to your bank every month depositing the loan instalments. Do you know that he is repaying from his pension and his tuition Income? The poor old man is doing tuitions at this age. This Bushan Lal Ji, my brother in law can not even do tuitions. He is still not understanding that managing a grocery shop in Kashmir was one story and living on government relief cheques and some bank interest in Jammu is another story. What has he for the rainy day? Just rupees 4 lakh that he received as sale proceeds of his Natipora colony plot. See he has to marry his daughter Sonia yet. Sonia Ji I mean my niece. The family has no house. What is Mumbai MBA? I do not understand. MBA from Jammu or Punjab University is also an MBA. See every Kashmiri Pandit boy now wants to go to Pune, Mumbai or Banglore for studies. Go if you can afford. What is so great about going by putting your family and relations in trouble? I should not have said it but then I care for my sister. And time has also changed. ” said Roop Krishen in a non-stop voice.

“ There is a world of difference in terms of Employment potential for degrees procured in Jammu and Mumbai. We are dealing with these issues through various education loans disbursed by the bank. We know all this difference ” I clarified.

“Sir, sixteen boys from Government College of Engineering, Jammu have been approved 
by TCS and WIPRO in Campus selection this year. It is all luck whether you study in Jammu, Pune or Overseas. Don’t misunderstand me. Atul is my son but then this guarantee you are asking from me has turned to be the real trouble for me. Can this not be changed? Ask for the guarantee of Atul’s uncle Ashok Kumar Dhar. He is a college teacher. Whenever there is some feast or function in the Dhar family, Ashok Kumar is the chief guest and when there is any problem, they catch hold of me. Please do not misunderstand. I have the highest respect and regard for my brother in law and his family. Sir, I am not that rich to become the guarantor for 4.30 lakh. And if he does not repay for say 3 years, the loan amount can go up to 7 lakhs with interest application. I know all Interest calculation methods of the bank. Even if I sell all my property, I can not clear the debt. Why you want my children to get ruined with this guarantee? I just beg you to save me from impending misfortune. And sir, please, neither Atul nor his father should know what for I came here in their absence. ” Roop Krishen continued:

“ If you are so sure about the intentions and sincerity of the boy, there is hardly any worry about being a surety for the education loan. “ I clarified.

“ Manager Sahib, I am also a father. I have two school-going children. And then if my wife comes to know about all this guarantee issue, there shall be a Mahabharat in my family. I have to keep myself free for the execution of any future guarantee that my children may need. Sir, I request you to tell my brother in law that I have already given guarantee to some other person who has become a defaulter and I can not give another guarantee. If you don’t say it then I am finished. I am gone. Nobody can save me. Your words can only save this poor man. ” Roop Krishen added.

I said nothing. Roop Krishen sank into the chair opposite to my table. I wanted him to leave the room as I had many other things to do. I observed that he kept looking towards the floor and the ceiling of the room and also kept biting his fingernails. I pressed the bell and sought two glasses of water. Offering one to Roop Krishen, I said : 

“ Shall You have tea? ”

“ My tea is only your help for this guarantee issue. Sir, make me free from this tension. 
” he replied.

He was in no mood to leave my room. He sought my permission to use Bank’s landline telephone for making a local call. I had no objection to that. I heard him saying:

“ Don’t wait for me. I don’t feel like having food today. You do what you want to do. Leave me alone. You are only worried about food. ”
At that time, Mr Anoop Singh loan officer of the branch entered my cabin and noticing Roop Krishen, He said:

“Pandit Ji, what happened? Was my solution not acceptable to you? ”

Roop Krishen looked in such a way to give me an impression as if Anoop Singh was not addressing him. I asked Anoop Singh how he knew Roop Krishen.

“ Sir he came to my residence yesterday and explained everything to me. I gave him a solution. Let them raise a loan of 4 Lakh only and in that event, the father shall be a co-borrower and the Bank does not need a guarantor as per guidelines for collateral security in such loans .” Anoop Singh clarified and left the room taking my signatures on some papers.

“Manager Sahib you can only save this poor man. As I already said, please tell them that I have already given a guarantee in one loan case which is now in the defaulter category. Tell them that I have no creditworthiness. Tell them anything but save me.” added Roop Krishen.
“ But yesterday you volunteered to be a guarantor. And then the boy is your close relation if you also run away who else shall come to their rescue at this critical juncture. You should not panic so much. And then it is your own decision. Tell your brother in law plainly that you do not want to be a guarantor and he shall immediately find someone else suitable to the bank or decide what he has to do. ”I clarified.

Roop Krishen kept silent and started reading the HINDU newspaper lying on my table.
Then to my surprise, I found Bushan Lal Dhar, his brother in law entering the cabin in a hurry with another person possibly a Kashmiri.

“ Manager Sahib I have a cheque for 2.47 Lakhs in my name but the cheque is drawn on Punjab National Bank, Lal Chowk, Srinagar. It relates to your bank only but a different branch. This cheque has been issued by an Insurance company. This is the fire claim of my gutted house in Kashmir. My sister’s husband is serving in Kashmir valley on deputation. He was following up this claim case in Kashmir. He took pains and brought the cheque today only. He came straight to my residence in Tata Sumo from Srinagar. The cheque was delivered to him only yesterday. He also knew about Atul’s selection and our financial problems. In case I get just 40 thousand within three or four days to enable me to pay the admission fee of Atul, I need a loan of 2 Lakhs only. I may need a loan next year. Sir, 
you complete our loan file and keep the loan amount sanctioned. Sir, bank managers are now transferred after a short stay and maybe you are at some other branch when we need the money next year. We shall be grateful if you keep the sanction note in the file so that there is no problem for us to avail the amount at the time of need. Sir, God comes to rescue but man has to go through the torture also. ”

“Let me see the cheque,” I said. And Bushan Lal delivered the cheque to me. I looked for the drawer’s account in the CBS System. The cheque book serial number was in order and it was signed by authorized signatories. The account had sufficient balance. “ No issue. You can take the entire amount of 2.47 Lakh right now. You have to open a Savings Bank account. Now that you need Loan of 2 Lakhs only, no guarantor is needed.” I clarified.

Roop Krishen was listening carefully to this sudden development and I could feel that my words had brought a refreshing smile on his face. Throwing the newspaper aside 
and looking towards his brother in law he said :

“Namaskar, I was just discussing the Loan case Only. Have you bought the non-judicial stamp papers for my guarantee? ” And Turning to me Roop Krishen said:-

“ Now manager Sahib please release our loan in a hassle-free manner. I may have to go to Jaipur for the marriage of my wife’s sister. If you desire I can sign in advance on any paper I have to sign. Atul must get the loan. I have already given my consent to sign any paper anywhere in any capacity .”

He got up and went to the bank’s canteen room and paid the waiter thirty rupees ordering four cups of tea and biscuits for all guests in the room. Then coming close to my table he said :

“ Ba goes nokrah manager Saeb ”
“Manager sahib, treat me as a humble servant ”

From his breath, I could feel that he had smoked a cigarette in the canteen room. He then went to “ May I Help You” counter and brought a new account opening form. He now asked his brother in law to immediately go back to his residence and bring three photographs, photocopy of his ration card and copy of the scooter driving license. He ensured that his brother in law leaves immediately for completion of formalities for opening a new bank account. Thereafter he turned towards me and said:

“ Sir do you believe in God? ” 

Now he picked up the landline telephone lying on my table and dialled some number. I heard him saying :-

“I am coming for lunch. Has Pinkoo Ji come back from his school? We have to go to Bagh e Bahu garden in the evening. I shall be bringing one Kg of mutton for Rogan Josh and ask Pinkoo Ji to collect ten special Bread ( Ghee Roti ) from Roshan Lal's Kashmiri bakery shop. ”

I looked at Roop Krishen and kept noticing the sudden change in his behaviour.                                              

(Avtar Mota ) 

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