No. 45 & 47, 1st Main Rd, Adyar, Chennai-20 on 8th October, 2019, from 6PM to 7PM
Chief Guest: Srinivasan Sundar
Former President, CEO and Country Manager (U.S.A), SBI, Newyork, & Retired Chief General Manager, SBI
Guest of Honour: K. R. A. Narasiah
Historian & Writer, Chief Engineer (retd), Former World Bank Consultant
Presiding Speaker: Rangachary Ramaswamy
Retd. Assistant General Manager at SBI & former Chief Credit Officer at National Bank of Oman
Photographs courtesy Shankar Ramakrishnan
THIS AUTOBIOGRAPHY of a middle-class Tamil Brahmin boy who aspired to excel despite adversity, narrates actual incidents and the crisis situations read like a thriller. He self-finances his education completely, and his career arcs from a successful engineer to a distinguished banker. Indeed ‘he touches nothing which he does not adorn’.
His quest for God is the underlying theme of the story. When he loses his beloved father, he forsakes God and employs Nietzsche's dictum of 'Will to Power' to exploit his full potential. At every stage of life he stands up for the right and fights the wrong, often taking upon himself the might of Authority and brute force. His strong self-belief, and belief in the certitude of success of righteousness, makes him win all such unequal battles.
His realisation that he had met God innumerable times throughout his journey culminates in this book. It also unobtrusively proves the interdependence in human existence. Young adults will find it a handy guide for man-management and resolving insurmountable crises through sheer self-belief and team work.
A glimpse of the launch of My Many Trysts with God - Autobiography of P. V. Raghunathan
A Compelling Read
8 November 2019
It is an excellent book, highly readable by the young and old alike.
It would interest those in People Management areas in hierarchical organizations and those tasked with streamlining systems and procedures as well as aspiring Management graduates. Practising bankers will also find a lot of pragmatic guidelines especially in the area of foreign exchange and dealer rooms.
It is a well-knit story of a dutiful son, sibling, husband and father rolled into one. It is one of total commitment to family values as well as to the organizations for which Raghunathan worked, powered by an unassailable character and rock-solid self-belief.
All through his life, whether it be as an indigent student or as an officer in the Telephones Dept or as a Bank officer, Raghunathan has invariably focussed on and successfully pursued excellence in all his endeavours always with a keen eye for the minutest detail whatever the situation.
Mishaps and tragedies, some without warning, in personal life did not ever waver him or dilute his sense of purpose. The whole family always stood as one through thick and thin and weathered many a storm on the personal front, including the tragic loss of dear ones, all because of the strong core values inculcated right from childhood.
His equanimity with a never-say-die attitude shines through the entire narrative.
Having had the privilege of working with Raghunathan in the same department in SBI, Ahmedabad, for over three years, I had always observed that he was admired and valued by seniors, and respected by peers and juniors alike.
It is his self-belief that helped him stand out and come out largely unscathed despite the machinations of the powers that be in the banks that he worked over decades.
The quintessence of Raghunathan's vibrant personality as reflected in the book is one of firmness laced with basic humaneness and fair treatment of every other person who came in contact with him sans bitterness and vengefulness even towards his adversaries.
Above all, it is compelling account of Raghunathan's journey through life events, from being an innocent believer to a doubter and hater of God to a disbeliever and his transformation in later years to an authentic believer.
The last chapter says it all in a nutshell.
Raghunathan's inherent humility comes across in the last sentence when he says "I realized that I was not the hero that I believed myself to be. I was just a zero, enhanced in value by so many angels prefixed to me".
I am deeply touched by his authenticity, frankness and honesty. I am sure every reader of the book will be deeply impacted.
I strongly recommend this book to every book-lover.
P. V. RAGHUNATHAN, fondly addressed as ‘Raghu’ by others, earned a BSc degree from the Madras University through Vivekananda College, added an Engineering Diploma, followed by a Banking Diploma to his qualifications. He worked briefly as a bright Telecom. Engineer before a successful career as a Banker. After serving State Bank of India (SBI) for 24 years he left SBI as an Assistant General Manager and served as a Senior Executive with National Bank of Oman in Muscat for another nine years.
Raghu is an avid reader; his reading encompasses a wide range of subjects: Science, Engineering, Finance, Philosophy, Political Science, History, Biographies and so on. Besides being proficient in English and Tamil, he speaks Hindi, Gujarati, Telugu, and Malayalam.
He is an intrepid traveller. He has travelled across Europe, the US, Egypt and Kenya, Nepal, Bhutan, and many South East Asian countries. He has also travelled across the length and breadth of India. He likes trekking and mountain climbing and has done even the arduous Kailash-Manasarovar Pilgrimage.
‘My Many Trysts with God’ is his debut as an author dealing with a serious theme based on his life’s experiences. In the past, he has contributed short articles to some journals and periodicals on subjects of social relevance. He is settled in Gurgaon in the National Capital Region, Delhi. Contact him via email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
THAT THERE IS A COSMIC connection between Raghu and me is evident because I have the privilege and pleasure of writing a review for his maiden book which is autobiographical, given the way both our professional and personal lives were intertwined for well over three decades.
I vouch for the honesty, integrity, transparency and sincerity of each and every word so clearly scripted from the depth of his heart in presentation of his thoughts, beliefs, principles and of course the milestones in his personal and professional life. Just like the man! His book is a true reflection of his high calibre as a banker with excellent knowledge in almost every facet of commercial and investment banking and treasury management, vast managerial and trouble-shooting experience in tough working conditions and the exemplary values he practiced as a leader and a family man who handled the triumphs and disasters—the worst being his dear wife Banu’s demise—with equanimity. His many trysts with God have made him a wonderful human being rather than a blind follower of any faith!
The book doesn’t cover any of his hundreds of travels around the world which I am sure he would bring out as a travelogue!
Retired Asst General Manager at SBI
& former Chief Credit Officer at National Bank of Oman