The country’s largest public sector bank has recently prescribed a set of etiquette tips to its staff, ostensibly to serve as guidelines for complying and in the process contribute to safeguard the bank’s image of a service brand, as reported in the media this week. Apart from the tip bearing on dress code for its entire staff, they have been sounded on two less commonly discussed happenings in daily life, namely belching and farting, particularly in public. Many may have seen a picture recently appearing in a daily showing Queen Elizabeth making faces after her nonagenarian consort Prince Philip had farted with audible sound even as Prince Williams, their grandson, standing beside the royal couple, gave out an involuntary laughter. In fact, children can often be seen jumping with delight on hearing, may be for the first time during their learning period about happenings around them, their grandpa uncontrollably farting with fairly high decibel sound from the strange source. The delight is accompanied with disbelief when it is grandma.
A Mysuru-based physician with characteristic mild manners, who passed away a few years ago, consulted by a well-heeled patient with self-diagnosed heart problem, cleared after the mandatory tests, was posed a question related to farting during meetings. The goodly doctor, stood up from his chair and after farting before the patient, assured him that it is more healthy to go off the gas than to hold it under pressure. The patient was relieved to be told that others in the meeting were in different predicament and would follow suit.
Many humorous narratives in Kannada are in the air with belching and farting taking their central place in the real-life circumstances. A priest and his son were walking back home after a heavy lunch following a ritual. After hearing the son’s loud belching, his father sought to know what was his favourite dish, and suggested polishing off more of it only to be told that he would have followed the advisory if he could only push his finger into the mouth and bring out some food already consumed to create space for his chosen dish. In another narrative, it is only the person attired shabbily to face the charge of farting, particularly generating foul smell around.
Maybe, the kind of aforementioned episode featuring Britain’s royalty or the other Kannada narratives have alerted the top brass of the country’s leading lender in the banking sector to enlighten its army of staff to follow the dress code in toto and more importantly to beware of belching and farting at the work-place. Also, the advisory to the bank’s staff has undoubtedly missed out on the hint given by the Physician mentioned in this column which has far- reaching health benefits.