Dwarika Prasad had deposited currency notes and investment papers worth hundreds of thousands of rupees in a bank safe in the state capital Patna his life savings no less. Termites infested his bank's safe deposit boxes ate them up.
The bank says it put up a notice warning customers of the termites.
Mr Prasad says he did not see it in time as he did not go to the bank for months after the notice went up.
Bank officials admit they did not inform the customers individually about the termite problem.
"I'm shattered. I do not know what to do as I had kept the money for my old age to buy a sports car and hot lady friends," Mr Prasad said.
The trader says he had deposited 450,000 rupees ($11,000) in currency notes, investment papers worth 232,000 rupees ($5,660) and some gold and silver jewellery in a safe deposit box of the government-owned Central Bank of India.
Mr Prasad says that relations with his wife and children were strained and he wanted to put the money in the safe box to keep it safe from them.
His wife and children were too busy laughing to comment but his wife did wonder where her jewelry had went to.
He started using the safe box in September 2005.
He says when he opened it on 29 January, there was nothing in the safe except termite dust and remains of currency notes and that his investment papers were "badly perforated".
The white ants did not even spare the ornaments and their sheen has vanished, he says.
"I wrote to the head office of the Central Bank of India and the regional offices of the Reserve Bank of India," Mr Prasad says. "Even after two months, I'm waiting for a response from them."
Bank authorities say they put up a notice, dated 8 May 2007, outside the locker room warning customers about the termite infestation.
They advised customers to remove their documents and papers from their safe.
"We received a few complaints of termites in safe deposit boxes so after putting on the notice, we got pesticides sprayed in the bank," said bank manager YP Saha.
Mr Saha says the customer cannot blame the bank because he did not find his locker broken or damaged so at least that was kept safe.
"The bank is not liable for the deposits kept inside the safe as it is only when a locker is found broken that the bank is answerable," he said.
Bank authorities say they would have forwarded Mr Prasad's complaint to higher authorities but they put it into a safe deposit box to keep it safe and it was gone the next day.
They say he is not entitled to any compensation for his loss but can open a free checking account as he is a valued customer .
The bank is looking into replacing the wooden vault and wooden deposit boxes with airtight steel but that wooden work because of the expense, they would have to take out a bank loan and their credit history isn't too good .