Saturday, August 29, 2009


The dedicated devotees of the God of Enterprise sure know their business.

Usually, our housing complex has four Ganpati mandals, organised by separate Co-operative Housing Societies. This year, there was a new altar, and a new deity.

The debutante deity was organised by some residents working with Canara Bank, and the mandal was topped with a bright blue banner proudly welcoming all visitors to

  • Ganesh worship

  • Their new branch shortly to be opened at a conveniently close location.

When we entered to see the rotund and smiling deity, we were also introduced to the slim and smiling Manager of the upcoming branch.

When we were given the peanut-and-nakuldana (small sugar balls) prasad, we were also handed brochures detailing the bank's services.

When we put in coins in the donation box, we were politely requested to also put down our names and phone numbers, presumably for the marketing personnel to pursue us in future.

A rather neat way of dovetailing work and worship, don't you think so?

Only, instead of the usual commercialising of religion, maybe this is a case of religionising of commerce.

The only spanner in the works? A rival bank stole the idea, and put up a banner at a Ganpati mandal ten meters away, also proudly welcoming all devotees to the dual business of worship and banking.

The Divine Belly must be rumbling with glee at witnessing this industrious fight between enterprising devotees. But if we cannot bank on Divine Benevolence, then what can we bank on?


Roshni Mitra Chintalapati said...

haha! Nice pun with words! I vote to stay away from the sweets...seem to be a double-edged sword in any case!

Pinku said...

awesome play on words!!

Stay away, stay away!!

Those calls will drive you crazy...

Nu said...

I loved the presentation of thoughts.. Crisp and Clear :)

I'm sure you haven't left your phone number and name with the coins ;)

About this rival bank.. Cheating...Cheating.. Hahaha.. I mean ya novel ideas get stolen very's moving so fast in terms of marketing and killing competition.. It ought to happen.. But we should appreciate the creativity of new ideas coming in from every sector to market the products.. there is so much to try in marketing and a long way to go for us customers to get trapped every now and then ;)

Vivek Patwardhan said...

Enjoyed reading this post, as with all other posts on your blog.

Going by commercialisation of festivals, they will be burning effigy of Ravana, the International Competition, on Vijaya Dashami day.

Let us watch,


manju said...

Great post, Sucharita!

I think it's a good thing a rival bank has also entered the market- both will give more and more 'Prasad' in order to lure customers!

sujata said...

enjoyed the play on words!! not very fond of staying away is easy

Ugich Konitari said...

I think these banks are shameless. I suppose the next will be insurance companies, smiling in their suits , and expounding on the post-event-Vignaharta qualities of their products.

Someone once wrote about Ganpati Bappa drinking milk. Time is now ripe for Him to shake his trunk in disgust.

Suchismita said...

nice play on words! I guess now -a-days everything is fair game for marketing gurus.. from swine flu to the gods!

Tomz said...

I frequently see your posts with theme chosen from 'commercialising the religion'..why it is so?

Anonymous said...

Ha..ha..ha..Gannu ke naam se canvassing. Loved the play of words.

Vasant Prabhu said...

Marketing has become all pervasive, its found its way in people's blogs so why not Ganeshji's pandal? As a banker I can tell you that all banks indulge in this practice. Some are active (like the one you mentioned) while others are passive (for instance getting Tirupathi Laddoos or Siddhi Vinayakji's prasad through banking internet facilities.

Anonymous said...


Nona said...

Sad! But you still could have had fun. Remember your old avatar, "Narad". You could have played Narad between the two banks. :)

nsiyer said...

I loved it .Banking on Ganesha - A Vignahartha bank

Sumandebray said...

That was a nice post. Nice way of putting forward your observation.
The bankers seems to be very clear about their purpose so much so that they are quite blatant.
I would not like to comment if it was right or wrong but they have made their intention clear..

Swaram said...

U do hv a way with words don't u ;) Well. I say that on almost every post :P

'religionising of commerce' - Ha ha ha Gud one :P

Pradip Biswas said...

We are mostly religious driven. Our festivals, our beliefa are all centered on it. So this has been utilised by the commercial people as In Kolkata Durga Puja Pandals.
I am back now. The 9 th episode od A trek to unknown shall be on my blog today or tomorrow.

Meira said...

sheesh! That's atrocious!
But your post is awesome.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

Thanks, I will.

I confess I was foolish enough to leave my number.

Yes, let us watch and wonder.

When one is in the market, one should expect competition, no?

That was vivid picture of the Ganpati's disgust, but maybe he is just amused at our follies.

Sucharita Sarkar said...

everything is fodder for the market.

that is just because this is the festive season and i live in the business capital of India. But this is just a passing phase.

Ganu is the sort who will forgive and smile.

@Vasant Prabhu,
I understand and appreciate your stance as a practising banker.

Sorry, could not read that script.

Do not remind me of my past misdemeanours. i have turned a new leaf long back.

@NSIyer,Suman, Swaram, Meira,

Eagerly anticpating your turn.

Lilly said...

This is so well written. You write beautifully. Banks. Dislike them intensely.