Family retention in Hyderabad was agreed to by management when I was transferred to Chennai in 1995. I had requested for the facility because my daughter got admission in an Engineering college in Hyderabad. So my wife and daughter shifted to Servo Towers, Indian Oil’s own residential building for officers, situated in Ameerpet, a locality of Hyderabad. On two sides of the building clearance between the structure and compound wall was about ten feet and on the other two sides it was still less. The flat given to my family was on first floor that is just above the car parking.
Boys and girls of the building started playing shuttle right below my flat. Cock would land in one of our balconies and the door bell would ring and one of the players would ask for the cock landed in one of our balconies. Initially my wife obliged. Some times she would leave her work, watching something interesting on TV, leaving stitching half way through or leaving half done ‘phulka’ to attend to the players’ demand. They almost turned her into their at-your-service person. She could take it no longer. She told them to keep a dozen shuttle cocks ( that was almost the number of times she was at their service each day) and collect them at the end of the day or the next morning. They did not like it nor did their parents.
They all complained to DGM. During one of my visits on leave, Somashekhar ( his two daughters, one an employee of Jet Airways and the other a college student were two of the many players) told me that DGM had decided to close my balconies with wire mesh.
I told him that it should be done for all the flats, and incase my flat was singled out for netting, DGM would face trouble. I told him to convey it to DGM.
Thus the trouble for my wife was over.
There were two other families staying on ‘retention’. Not the wives and children of the officers but their sisters. One flat was occupied by two sisters (they were operating a telephone booth and were self employed) of an officer, who was posted at Vijayawada and was there with his wife. An officer’s sister and brother-in-law occupied another flat, while the officer was in Vijayawada with his wife. His sister was a physician and brother in law a businessman. DGM bade dilwala tha ji!