Sunday, November 27, 2016

Demonetization Story


Like many others, I was informed of the the demonetization move by Narendra Modi to tackle the black money problem through one of the Whatsapp Groups. Immediately, I checked my wallet and I was relieved that I didn't have a single five hundred or a thousand rupee note. I wouldn't have to go to the bank and stand in the long queue.

Next morning I was driving to my office. Oh wait, let me tell you about my interesting drive to office. While driving from my home to the office, there is one big traffic signal which comes on the way and everyday or rather most of the days, I meet this young girl who would come begging for money. Most of the times, I gave her some money (usually in the range of one rupee to ten rupees, maximum I gave was hundred rupee on the day of the festival Holi). I am not this usual beggar giving guy but this girl has so much positive energy in her that I could never resist giving her money. On the festival of Holi, she came with this color bowl in her hand and I gave her hundred rupees to which she asked me to step out of the her car, applied color on my face and made me meet her family (her sister, her brother and her mother). Everytime she took the money, she would come and talk to me and in the end uttered her rehearsed line"bhaiyya aapko bhagwaan khush rakhe" (Brother, May God keep you happy). I was not sure how much did God listen to her but somehow she did pass on some of that much needed positive energy to me.

Now, lets get back to the my drive to office on the next day to the demonetization announcement. I stopped at the same traffic signal I told you about. As I stopped my car, I noticed the begging girl excitedly running to me. I asked her to why was she so happy and ecstatic. She took out a five hunder rupee note from her pocket in the torn dress she was wearing. She told me "ek bahut acche sahab ne aaj pehli baar diya" (One very good gentleman gave me this for the first time). I was sure that she was not aware of the announcement that the five hundred rupee notes had been banned and that it was a mere piece of paper. She was so ecstatic at receiving the large currency that she even blessed the man infront of me "bhagwaan unko bahut khush rakhe" (May God keep him very happy).

I realised that I had little time to explain her about demonetization and then it would depress her. Instead I told her that if somebody saw that large currency with her, he will assume that she had stolen it from someone. And thus I took five of the hundred rupee notes from my wallet and asked her to change it for that one five hundred note she had. She was surprised as to why I did that but then I had built an image of a nice guy, so she agreed.

She then asked me as to where was my share of alms to her. I thought to tell her that I had given my share of alms to her by exchanging the notes but I took out my wallet and took out a 5 rupee coin and gave it to her. She looked at me and ran away saying "bhagwaan aapko bhi khush rakhe" (May God also keep you happy).

I  drove to office with my mind smiling at the idea that yes, that man who had given her the larger currency actually needed more blessings than me.

And befittingly the radio in my car played:

Maanaa apni jeb se fakeer hain, phir bhi yaaron dil ke hum ameer hain,
Mitte jo pyaar ke liye woh zindagi, chale bahaar ke liye woh zindagi
Kisi ko ho naa ho hamein to aitbaar hai, jeena isi ka naam hai
Kisi ki muskurahaton pe ho nisaar, kisi ka dard mil sake to le udhaar
Kisi ke waaste ho tere dil mein pyaar, jeena isi kaa naam hai...
I felt

2 comments :

nP said...

Sometimes I hate you Vikas. At other times, I envy you. But mostly I love you, as do the innumerable citizenry who have been fortunate enough to qualify as your acquaintance :)

Very gentle read. I likey!

Viplove said...

Is baar padhe ke liye nahi bheje.. thanks Sarkaar for sharing this.. very positive read .. put a smile on my face..one of those which finds its way to the fore in spite of inherent gloominess in the core of the story.. nothing is worthwhile an experience without some sort of dichotomy to it !