( Courtesy: Mohand.D)
Circa 1944. India was still not liberated from the clutches of British. It is a small village near Udupi called Moodabettu in Katapadi where the protagonist of this article was born. He is Ananda Sherigar about whom the Devadiga community would indeed be proud of.
Ananda’s biography before retiring as a senior executive from Syndicate bank may not be a roller coaster fairy tale. But it is a saga of the fruits that hard work and determination combined with principles and dedication in life could yield. It is a story our younger generation need to be aware of as nothing substitutes hard work in life.
Ananda Sherigar was born as a third son out of five children to Thammaya Sherigar and Narsi couple. Thammaya master, as his father was popularly known being a school teacher was himself a versatile personality. He was a regular speaker during anniversary meetings of Devadiga sangha Mangalore and was also a guiding force in solving petty disputes in and around village.
While many of our community children were busy toiling in the agricultural land or nearby temples at the cost of education, Ananda Sherigar had a burning desire in him to study and come up in life. His quest for study never stopped till such time he acquired academic credentials with distinction starting from BCom to LLB, CAIIB and PGDBM.
Ananda had the parent’s shelter till he completed SSLC from nearby Katapadi SVS high school. He was thrown into the grind of external world once he had to come to Udupi to pursue his graduation from MGM college in 1961. He stayed in a house near college as a paying guest. He himself used to wash his clothes, the habit which he has not discontinued till today. “My father would come to Udupi every month to settle my hostel expenses and never used to give money in my hands for the fear his teenage son using it for other purpose” … recalls Ananda. Bada mestru knew the value of his money! After all, his son was the first one to go to college in his family. The studious and bright son did not disappoint his father and got a national teachers scholarship which helped ease financial pressure. Elder brother Mohan Sherigar was behind Ananda as his mentor and also played a major role in shaping his life.
Ananda’s next destination was Mumbai where he headed to do a CA in 1965. But as destiny would have had it, he ended up joining Syndicate bank. His growth was only vertical ever since he began his professional career as a clerk till he retired as a senior executive. He satiated his academic hunger during his days as a banker in Mumbai by attending evening classes. Bank granted him academic leave with pay to complete 18 months course PGDBM which is conducted by National institute of bank management, an autonomous body of Reserve bank of India.
Pinnacle of his career came when he was selected as a general manager to National Exchange company in Doha Qatar in 1994.Ananda was one among three selected after going through a rigorous selection process for the overseas posting out of thousands of applications of which 20 were shortlisted. Final interview was done by none other than Chairman of the bank, Deputy governor of Reserve bank and finance secretary of central government.
Ananda’s professional career was not without ups and downs. Managing the expectations of politicians who were going gaga over Loan mela was tough during his tenure as a branch manager in Bangalore between 1984–86. Maintaining a fine balance between the local sponsor and the Indian management during his days in Doha was also demanding.
Ananda spent 4 years in Agra as a divisional manager before he retired from the service. He maintained a high degree of work ethics and held his positions with aplomb throughout his career. He is soft but firm in his approach. He always wore his expressions on his shoulder and never failed or afraid to call the spade a spade which also hindered his professional growth to an extent.
He wants to spend his retired life doing social work for which he is exploring a suitable opportunity. Ananda Sherigar rendered his service as a vice president of Devadiga sangha Mumbai in ‘70s. He was also an active member of Bangalore Sangha when he was in Bangalore.
Ananda has made Mumbai his base now where is staying with his wife Nirmala who has performed her duties of a house wife faithfully and the proverbial woman behind his success. Their both children are well settled in life. Daughter Anupama is in Malaysia with her entrepreneur husband Krishna. Their son Arvind after completing MS in US, is working as a senior design engineer in silicon valley, US.
Ananda Sherigar’s second innings in life has begun. Community could look forward to get benefit from Ananda’s zeal for social work in days to come. Let us wish this gentle soul all the best.