By the time, my readers read this post, the brouhaha on the withdrawal of our Indian currency in the denomination of 500 and 1000 would have tapered off, but for the political class who do a double take with their dropped jaws will remain locked with the bombshell.
Not to be left behind in this real exercise of cleaning up the India acts, husband and myself did our bit, like all ordinary mortals, to contribute to being responsible and upright citizens. Our nation rebuilding process started with a visit to the bank and a long serpentine queue, normally seen in temples like Tirupati, welcomed us. We noticed that there were multiple queues within the main one and scores of people crisscrossed with the semblance of a railway junction. As we stood, blowing hot and cold, clutching the once sacrosanct, now defunct legal tender, a bank official distinct with his neck tie and identity card made himself visible to guide us like the ship’s beacon in stormy waters or maybe an orchestra conductor minus the baton. The baton was however compensated by a posse of policemen deputed to hold back the surging crowd, eager to lay their hands on the new Gandhi embedded in the purple avatar!
But unlike in Thirumala, there were no special entry or quick entry tickets to have an accelerated glimpse nor could anyone bribe their way for a fast new buck. The hordes of Whatsapp messages in the previous two days and nights too had prepared us with an extra dose of patience for the long camp at the bank. The down time was roughly two hours, during which we filled up forms, easy except for the mile long savings account number, had the pay in slip, identity card and the copy ready, ogled at a wide cross section of people, some suave, sober, few panicky, perturbed, scanty jocund and jolly beings, others crafty, cunning, ready to jump the queue. Despite all the advisories, few who were within striking distance, were turned back for lack of support documents. They had simply gone blind to the bold instructions stuck in every nook and cranny of the office.
All the same things were seemingly under control till this burly man entered and had everyone’s attention with his loud irritating baritone frothing expletives at the bank people, the Government, the system, the country, and all and sundry. The ATM had refused to vend money to him and his disgruntlement was ired on everybody. He was gently frisked away from the scene and sanity prevailed again. Did I say that too soon, for there was young and old posing with the new note, taking selfie and posting it on the social media!
The clock in front of us was ticking away to the lunch hour and we normally have the misfortune of running out of luck, to see the cashier disappearing to satisfy the pangs of hunger leaving us in the lurch just as we reach the counter! But that did not happen as the staff worked on rotation basis and there was no lunch break and our turn did come.
I clasped the currency in all tenderness and examined the reincarnated Mahatma with an all new profile picture, and perceived a mischievous and mysterious smile similar to Monalisa, a soul who stood for cleanliness in every sense of the term. I was on the threshold of an era where the greedy few would not be amassing and hoarding wealth, shady dealings and hawala transactions would be a thing of the past, bootlegging, black marketing, gray and underground markets would vanish, corruption and bribery would take a back seat and the economy flourishes with trade and commerce. It was a new dawn for a spotless unsullied and unsoiled, matching the crisp bill I had, India, that would hopefully be flawless and blemish less and the currency would be really legal tender and the economy would start off on a clean state.
Nothing ventured is nothing gained…so the adage goes and the Government has broken new ground and pray that these winds of change is a trail blazer for tomorrow.