Tuesday, January 7, 2014

New Year Compliments

Come New Year and people start thinking of making resolutions to be broken later. Till a few years back, New Year also used to bring another kind of expectations in the public. Expectations of, collecting New Year Calendars, Diaries and small gifts like key chain, pen, leather purse, fancy bags etc. from shops and Banks.

A fortnight before the New Year,  Bank account holders  used to  visit the bank branches just to enquire whether New Year calendars have come or not. Senior citizens used to be very particular to get them first. It was a matter of right to get such compliments. Distribution of such compliments used to be a herculean task for bankers as the supply used to be limited and demand for them hundred folds. Staff members themselves used to lay hands on the chunk of the supply leaving very little for others. It used to be a balancing act for the Branch Manager to please as many customers as possible keeping in view their connections & deposit in their branch. Still, there always used to be more grumbling lot then the happier ones. Senior citizens who are left out used to fight threatening the branch people to withdraw their deposits with the bank! It was difficult to convince them as to how a branch with 1000 accounts can manage with supply of just 100 calendars & 25 diaries! Staff in turn used to look up to their corporate clients for beautiful 12 sheet calendars, sweet box and other compliments.

Such expectations were not confined to banks alone. People from all walk of life while going for shopping invariably used to ask for calendars or compliments at the billing counter. Those days, shopkeepers used to keep many such gifts handy beneath their counters for distribution to discreet customers. Getting a calendar or gift used to like was like winning a lottery!

With the tight economic conditions and rising cost, most of the banks and shops have done away with this practice of distributing calendars or compliments. In fact, one has to pay even for a carry bag while shopping. Also, the practice of hanging calendars in drawing room is gradually fading away. Thanks to features like calendar/to do list/notes etc. in mobile phones, the calendars too are becoming extinct. Now these are used only to see some auspicious day for religious function or marking attendance of housemaid, supply of milk & newspapers. The charm and enthusiasm of collecting more and more number of calendars and diaries on New Year is no more visible.