The times are such that, neither are notes so random nor do they have any association or destination other than the bank. The whole nation is in queue for a few ‘tukda’ notes. It is Saturday night and as we finalise our plan to visit Chinchi Falls and Mekedatu as part of our weekend getaway, we are reminded, we have forgotten to factor in legal tender notes to our itinerary. So we rush to the nearby ATM. Though there is still a queue, we manage to get some of those extremely rare pieces of paper and come back home by 11:30 P.M.
It is ‘7’ o clock in the morning when we start our trip. However, people have already left home long back for their ‘Cash’ mission and we notice long queues in front of every ATM or Bank that we pass.
Four days earlier, on my way to office, for every traffic jam at an unexpected place I would hear someone commenting, “There must be a bank ahead”. It also reminded me that I too have to get some legal tender notes. Nahi to yaar biwi bachon ko kya muh dikhayoge. Somehow bunked it for three days. But on the fourth day ran out of excuses.
While on the queue, I came across so many conspiracy theories. As usual some were pro M, and others were anti M. A young man in front was describing about the fake currency printing presses in China and Pakistan with such graphic details that I felt he had just landed on the queue, fresh from a first hand experiences of those macabre places.
Now coming to the weekend gate away, details of which I will share in a separate blog post, the road as well as the tourist spots were unexpectedly thinly crowded. Then of course someone made a nasty comment:
bhaiya bhid to bankon ke samne lagi hai. Yahan aaj kaun milega.
While coming back, by the evening, again observed the long queues.
Sunday ka suraj nikla nayi ummeed ke saath, subah 6 bajese lambi kataron ke saath. Din khatam hogaya, lekin umeed nahin, kataron mein koi kamee nahin.
One event, so many memories
Reminded of my days in military training. If one person did a mischief, the whole platoon would be punished. The funny thing was that quite often the mischief monger would escape by reporting sick.
Those were the days prior to the installation of ATMs in India. If it was a pay day, it was only the bank employee who did his official job. For others, it was a day to be spent in queue either for you salary or for your movie ticket.
Then of course, one is reminded of those never ending queues and drama in front of the ticket windows of cinema halls during those golden decades before the advent of Television.
One may be reminded of a few Bollywoood dialogues as well for easing one’s frustration while queuing up to get back one’s own money parked in the banks.
"Ek tukda note ki kimat tum kya jano Modi Babu"
"Tumhare kale dhan bale noton mein itna chhed karenge, confuse hojeyge, kitna bank mein le jayen, kitna mein aag lagaye."
"Aaj mere paas gadi hai bangla hai. Kya hai tere pass?" "Mere pass ek hazar ke chhute hai"
The people who used to do ‘dus ka bees’ in and around the cinema theaters are also back in business bringing the silver lining to those who do not mind paying a little extra for the sake of avoiding the serpentine queues.
Or, to avoid being asked back at home: “Khali haath laut aye. Kya socha tha… khsuh ho jayega“
Swagat nahin karoge hamara
When the movie ‘Pink’ was released there was so much fanfare and pre-publicity. Even the great Big B wrote a a letter to his grand daughters with his own hands using a Parker pen (for which he is a brand ambassador) and made sure it made into the headlines of national media. (Was he not in talking terms with his grand children? Then why did he need the entire national media to take his message to his own grand daughters?)
But no such pre-publicity for this pink note – the harbinger of a new economic order. Like Lord Krisha, it just took birth, unsung, unnoticed.
The movie ‘Pink’ tried to create awareness about women’s issues. Hope this pink note makes us aware of the dangers of black money and parallel economy.