Thursday, November 24, 2016

How Demonetisation Gave Direction To My Life


Till a fortnight back my life was as directionless and meaningless as Rahul Gandhi’s speeches. I was appalled by the lack of purpose in my life and couldn’t stop berating myself for not doing enough to stop the Polar caps from melting, bombing ISIS camps and stopping Trump from getting elected. Not anymore. My life feels like a Jan Dhan account suddenly flush from someone else’s desperation. And I have Modi jee to thank for this sudden turn of events.

I am ashamed to admit, when he dropped the D-bomb on us, it took me an inordinately long time to acknowledge his genius in smoking out black-money. Alas, my heart was busy feeling wretched for the unfair treatment being meted out to black money that chose to stay in the country instead of flying off to Honduras, Cayman or Panama and become an NRBM (nor resident black money). I cried buckets when I read reports about wads of patriotic notes that had said no whitening being abandoned near dustbins and drowned in river. This is how we treat our girl child and not ghar ki Lakshmi, dammit!

With 500 and 1000 Re notes declared invalid, I was feeling like a penniless pauper for no fault of my own. With demonetisation, Modi Jee first rendered us cashless and then helpless with not enough new notes to replace the old lot. It felt like we were being dragged back to our bachhe dins when we had to last an entire month on a meagre sum because this was our parent’s fabulous idea of teaching us the value of money!

Just last week when I told the beggars at red-light ‘paise nahin hai, baba’, they nodded in sympathy. A few kind souls even offered to lend me a few notes from their booty!

I cried, yet again.


Before I could turn into Nirupe ‘Roye’ with my endless rona-dhona, one fine morning at the fitness centre I heard a dear friend (whose name I have yet to ask) whine about the terrible losses her family had to bear because of demonetization. I am telling you, my tears dried up immediately and my heart started doing bhangra!

Nothing eases your pain faster than knowing scores of others are going through a plight worse than yours.

As part of the honest 1% that pays its taxes diligently and yet manages to feel foolish because so many choose to evade taxes and get away with it, it felt good to see them get hammered and feel the same pain. And it’s all thanks to Modi jee flexing his muscles to make India’s money white again and punish the rich.

We wanted change and he gave it to us, in denominations of 50’s and 100’s.

These days when I stand in a queue for hours to withdraw cash that may or may not exist, my chest expands to 56 inches. When was the last time everyone irrespective of their riches, background, ideology, caste and Baap connections got screwed in a queue?

By God, if this is not achhe din, then what is!



ATMs with serpentine queues make me shiver with ecstasy. I have lost count of the number of times I have screamed STOP, RIGHT NOW and jumped off the car just to experience the joy of standing in a queue as long as the wall of China. It has become an addiction now. This weekend I woke up early just so that I could stand in a queue outside my bank. It was like a real life enactment of ‘kindly wait, your call is important to us.’ By the time my turn came to feel important, Mrs Sharma had returned from an inter-galactic voyage, 3 year Chintu had turned into an irritating teen and the bank had run out of cash.

But did it bother me? Naah! Nothing gives me more satisfaction than running around town looking for currency, clutching an ATM card and a cheque book. I know when I stand for hours in a line, I am doing it for a better India where the elected listen to you and not question your integrity and love for the country when you dare question them.


My life has finally found its purpose!


Now I am so stoked about standing in queues, I am even willing to do it on behalf of others. After I finish writing this post, I will immediately enrol myself at www.bookmychotu.com I am looking forward to stewing in queues on behalf of unpatriotic Indians unwilling to make the supreme sacrifice for their motherland. This is how I’m getting to remove corruption, terrorism and helping make black money the new untouchables. Modi Jee is even better than Surf Excel, cleaning India’s tainted money in just one wash. The least I can do is become his trusted stain remover.

A few small establishments breathing their last, vegetables rotting at mandis, farmers not having money to buy seeds and daily wagers starving because of cash crunch is but a small price to pay. Shame on those who had the temerity to die of heatstroke, heart-stroke or some flimsy excuse while standing in long queues outside banks contradicting claims made on social media that everything’s been smooth sailing. With great transformational change, comes greater pain. On the contrary, demonetisation has been saving lives. With no money to buy cartridges for revolvers, drunk Mamas and Chachas are unable to accidentally shoot guests at weddings. Delhiites have stopped buying cigarettes and prefer breathing deeply to fill their lungs with toxins. Women are suddenly feeling safe since men who can’t keep it in their pants are either busy queuing up, counting their notes or sharing demonetization jokes. So much so that India now ranks among the lowest 4 nations in rape cases
. Unbelievable isn’t it?

If the current crisis continues long enough, Delhi will no longer be the most polluted city in the world. With no crops to burn what will the farmers and Punjab burn, haan? With no bribes to take, the police might end up sending criminals and not innocents to jail. With protection money drying up, politicians might favour the deserving and not the corrupt. Harassment will not be part of a tax-official’s job profile. Files at sarkari offices may brush the dust off their shoulders and start moving. Chai paani may actually mean chai paani. And maybe just maybe, the honest, law abiding citizen has 
the satisfaction of knowing that his tax-money is not used to line some greedy middleman’s pockets and finance his foreign jaunts.

I am telling you, this D-bomb is like that powerful pesticide that exterminates all the pests in just one go! So what, if it kills a few crops that it was meant to protect! Isn’t this is what patriotic crops do, die for a good cause?





53 comments:

  1. Good one...but looks written many other aspects and views evolved over the time..and people thinking it's only for common man and no effect for bureaucrats without which political parties cannot survive in this country..

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    1. Only time will tell if the benefits will outweigh the losses incurred.

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  2. Ah, I don't know die laughing or wither in pain. Only last night I got a message on Fb that the ATM nearby is spitting cash, so I rushed only to find it already emptied. Then I rushed to the next one and stood in middle of night for 2 hours to be richer by 2 K..and the ATM machine did not even dispensed my patriotism certificate. Like a lot of things in India great "Idea" poor execution...

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    1. These days the only words that make me happy are - The ATM has cash.

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  3. Hello Madam, Of late I am reading your blog a lot. Seeing yours I have started mine. I admire the way you create something seemingly out of nothing. This post on Demonetization, like your others, a fun to read.

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  4. Lacerating sarcasm and great wit. Was quite amused by the Book My Chotu app.True, the D bomb has been a great leveler in many ways.

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    1. Trust us to figure out ways to beat the system.

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  5. Absolutely brilliant! The ones standing in atm queues should read this - they might not die of stroke but of laughter!

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  6. Biting sarcasm, Purba. Like you said, let's wait and watch. Meanwhile, things are quite chaotic.

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    1. The only constant is the reassurances that things will normalize in the next few days.

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  7. Trust you to find something witty about this chaotic situation. Good one Purba

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    1. You got your son married amidst this chaos. You deserve a bravery award.

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  8. Some day, I shall reach that ATM and it shall still have some money left in it.....those are my short term goals now :)

    Brilliant piece as usual, Purba. At least, you're making us laugh about the situation.

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    1. Didn't someone wise once say humour is refined anger?
      Oh wait, that was me.

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  9. What a gross implementation failure this whole thing is. A razor - sharp witty post Purba !

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  10. In a country like our with sooooo many loop holes, an idea like this is not easy to implement.... But to me some action is better than inaction... Give it some time is what i feel... Atleast the direction is good.... Lovely post as always Purba....

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    1. In a country like India a blanket rule never works.

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  11. Lovely,lovely post Purba!
    I second Jaish on this.At least a beginning has been made.It is easy to enumerate the dfefects when one has the benefit of hindsight.Let us see how it pans out.

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    1. I hope the pain is worth it.

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    2. ...The death of a few people, shut down of small businesses, putting daily wage earners out of work, burdening farmers, drop in GDP growth, possible recession ...to get to ~ 6% of the total black wealth...TOTALLY WORTH IT!!! Who cares about the poor, common man anyway??

      Ofcourse, I am not affected, my salary is credited into my account on time every month. I don't have a problem standing in a few measly queues for my country (I didn't stand in one yet, because I used my debit card for all transactions post nov9). I mean, "I stand in queues at places of religious worship"& "soldiers die at the borders protecting me". Being a "patriotic Indian citizen", I will always support "our brave Modiji". How dare the opposition criticize Modiji; since there were so many scams during their time, it implies they have lost their right to question the govt. Infact, please ship off everyone questioning our Modiji to Pakistan!

      Jai Hind!

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    3. Penalizing the honest to punish the dishonest hasn't worked out so well for the party. And not everyone who hoards money is a black-moneyed traitor. The govt. should've known that.

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  12. The last line sums it up beautifully, Purba. This is certainly one pesticide that gets rid of multiple pests like hoarding, bribes, capitation fees and so many more besides being a great equalizer for those who shamelessly flaunted the ill gotten wealth.

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    1. And the lack of empathy from the our dear leaders for all the deaths, instances of violence and losses incurred is appalling.

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  13. Interesting one , liked the way you have written :-)

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  14. A great satire is the one that seamlessly transitions between humor and pain. This piece, and the events that have inspired this piece, are satirical masterpieces ! I am on the verge of unfollowing people on social media due to the divide this demonetization has caused. पैसा किसी के पास नहीं है पर opinion सब को बाँटे फिर रहे है !!😀
    Always a pleasure reading your work, Purba :)

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    1. पैसा किसी के पास नहीं है पर opinion सब को बाँटे फिर रहे है !!😀

      This sums it up perfectly!

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  15. Such a terrible, so dreadfully chaotic that it's funny turn of events. As someone said on Twitter, reading a post like this is the only way one can laugh all the way to the bank. For the 10th time!

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    1. India is shedding weight and we are feeling the pains and burns :p

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  16. A tale of Stay Hungry, Stay Foolish that Achhe Din wanna people to believe. This post is making people forgetting their worry for some time and bask in optimism hoping the troubles will wane away. Unfortunately, things got messy despite well intention to curb on the black lady...lol referring to Filmfare Awards. Not many will say, I feel proud to hold the Black lady in my hand:)

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    1. This is part of concerted efforts to make black feel useless. First the cow gets all the attention and the bhains wags its tail helplessly and now this!

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  17. My problem is that I can't bribe people now since 2000 is too much a price to pay for a sarkari babu.

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  18. Amazing how you have taken potshots at the queues, pulled up the demonetisation for the crumbling financial world of the farmers and the vegetable-vendors and yet have toasted the note ban. I may be wrong but I have this feeling you are having gala time!

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    1. Gala time while standing in queues :p

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  19. So beautifully written, Purba ! As always. Yes like you said, only time will tell whether there will be a silver lining to this cloud.

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    1. I was missing your comments on my blog :p

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  20. this exercise is just to benefit/save banks which are running in loss after lending fraud corporates. most of indians make living by cheating and fraud and you can't kill one's character by demonetization. there are lots of businesses in every gully/mohalla like pawn brokers,photocopy shops,currency EXchange brokers who are giving new currency for old currency and modi gave new lease of life to brokers to make money.i have seen a guy in photocopy shop who took 1.25 crore deal on phone for new currency. there are banners like "exchange for soiled and old notes" in lanes where you can exchange your old 500 and 1000 notes for 50 rupees commission for every 200 rupees.when i went to my bank,the cashier was secretly keeping bundles of 100 rupee notes in his hand bag and he told me that he doesn't have any change for my 2000 rupee notes. MOST OF INDIANS MAKE LIVING BY CHEATING AND FRAUD,THIS IS NOT GOING TO CHANGE UNTIL GOVERNMENT HAS STRONG LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENCY AND POLITICAL PARTIES ARE TRANSPARENT ENOUGH.you can't change character of indians the way they live with just currency demonetization,its stupidity.

    after 6 months,india will be more corrupt than ever with people hiding black money in 2000 note bundles.it will only benefit banks and online payment systems which modi wants to save.everyone has spent more money for their transportation in search of atms and for change than the black money that will be invalid with new currency denomination ,is n't that stupidity to the core.

    if you look at lifestyle of venkiah naidu ,amit shah and their spendings, how did they get so much cash or money to spend lavishly. when modi announced demonetization,i too felt happy but when i went to my bank the very next day morning,i have seen lots of teenagers and poor who can't have more than a single 500 rupee note in pocket standing in queue.they were going every bank with 4000 rupees worth old notes to exchange for a commission,if this thing is happening on very first day,why a govt body like rbi didn't had any clue how to deal with fraudulent practices in banks.they should have introduced indelible ink on day 1 itself.

    is modi wise enough? he behaved like real illiterate or uneducated without understanding indian society or system.the whole system around bjp and political parties is rotten enough.DEMONETIZATION IS LIKE PLANTING A HOLY BASIL SAPLING IN THE GARDEN OF GANJA/CANNABIS/MARIJUANA.

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    1. Too early to draw conclusions. Modi led government would never have taken this political gamble had they not foreseen gains in future.

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  21. Demonetization will inevitably lead to digitalisation of economy. This means more revenue will start flowing into government treasury. So, in the long run it is bound to be a resounding success.

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  22. Ever since the ban of 8th nov, the only thing I was waiting for is not cash but your post on this D-wave. Trust me every time I signed into blogger the first thing I did was to check updates from your blog. My admiration for you grew a Rs 2000 times after this post. Satirically best ! Take a bow again.

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  23. Love your humour!

    Great post, as always!

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  24. Awesome wit ! Finally we get a chance to prove our patriotism, albeit in ATM queues. No money, no one to pay for organised crimes. Only time will tell how it all ends up.

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    1. We are all hoping our pain will not go in vain

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  25. Staying far away and not being affected by demonetization so much, I am eagerly waiting to see what's going to happen next. :) when I inquired a friend he said, he survived with 277 rupees in a week with the rest using cards. How wisely we spend, no?

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    1. It is a revelation. We take so many things for granted. Well, not anymore.

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  26. I understand what you bring it very meaningful and useful, thanks.

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