When India opened up its markets in 1991 through economic reforms and reduced government controls on foreign trade and investments, privatization of publicly owned companies were gobbled up by both local and foreign investors... including the termites. The rapid growth of the economy in terms of trading in securities and financial markets seem to have neglected certain aspects such as safety deposit boxes in a bank being plagued with termite infestation.
This is the deplorable experience of Dwarika Prasad, a trader in the Indian state of Bihar, who had deposited currency notes and investment papers worth hundreds of thousands of rupees in a bank safe owned by India's Central Bank in the capital, Patna. Disconsolate and shattered, Mr. Prasad said he was saving these for his old age; and he laments that he has been eaten out of his retirement pension. Bank authorities said they put up signs of termite infestation outside the lockers in May 2007, unfortunately for Mr. Prasad, he opened his box in January 29, 2008; and it was too late. The silver and gold jewelry he kept in addition to notes and investment papers were not spared. It seems the termites not only wanted to profit from the investment but also lavish themselves on their new found wealth.
The investment savvy termites left only dust and mangled jewelry. They have fattened themselves and fled. Mr. Prasad's request for redress may not be granted since the safe deposit boxes are privately managed. Only when the locks have been broken would they be held accountable. The termites seem to have planned their heist very well and have not jeopardized the government in the process.
The woes of Mr. Prasad elicits sympathy and even a call for support, until one gets to the reason why he placed the currencies, papers and jewelry in a safety deposit box in the first place. He said relations with his wife and children were strained and he wanted to put all his treasures in the safe box to keep it from them. Thus, in his desire to deny his wife and children their share of a bright future, he stored his little loot in a place for his own enjoyment; only to be feasted on by social insects.This looks like a karmic experience he will have to live with for the rest of his selfish life.
There is one other thing he can do, hunt down the termites and demand to have them cough up the money and investment papers that rightly belongs to him. Or, he can live on eating tremites during his old age.