Simhasta in Shajapur ? What the hell is this crowd doing in front of my office. I crossed the well packed crowd shamelessly with a few “Side Hona Bhaiya” and “Thoda Khisakna Aunty” and ouch. I struck my nose on the channel gate.Why the hell is gate closed at 9 o’clock. For a moment, I was furious, the next, I was pleading the guard appointed by local police to let me enter my workplace.
Both as a banker and as a common man , I could see the moist air of mess , confusion, commotion and ruckus prevailing in the bank premise. With abundant supply of staff, stationery and answers, my colleagues were trying hard to soothe winds of turbulence among the customers and non-customers who came to exchange cash.
Sitting at my desk, I saw the three kinds of people constituting India : The calm-headed welcoming the change, The over-reacting confused as ever and The Tensed with guilt of theft brimming in their eyes. And there exists a fourth category , who were nowhere to be seen in banks and queues but were heard over phones to Branch Managers and Chartered Accountants shamelessly asking methods of changing the colour of their money from black to white.
I woke up from the deep philosophical notion of Changing India when Manager Sir asked me to sit at the payment counter. Rest of the day I struggled with crunching numbers of payments and the ultra-sharp ₹2000 banknote that repeatedly cut my index finger.
I returned home to an angry brother asking me for lower denomination currency to buy his stuff. I thought I could easily arrange it. The day ended apologising , ” Please, Mommy, I swear I will buy his stuff tomorrow and bring enough ₹100 notes for next one year. “
Banks were closed late, clock striking near 12. And while one of my colleagues asked to “make a straight line” , the other mumbled “bhaiya ghar ke chhape notes to lana hi mat mere paas” in their sleepless dreams, I was struggling with just a single thought ‘ How is my retired Dad going to pay the labourers working on our Dream Home.But then ! Country has been through worse – terrorism , natural disasters, dictatorship, emergency , corruption, discrimination etc. A ray of hope in the form of change lulled me to sleep.
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