Small is good . Has its worth. Much worth, in fact. It was good to realise that. It is reminiscent of times not that long ago when a rupee meant a lot to both the buyer and the seller. In fact, you could wait to receive some lose change which would again buy you a little something.
A few days back when all the big bucks seemed to have lost value, having gone defunct, I almost yelled eureka! One man’s loss becomes another man’s gain! The commonplace began to feel worthy. The rich lost their thousands, the ordinary smiled with the hundreds. The 500 & 100 rupee notes plummeted into a void, at the utterance of a statement by our PM. A level playing field for all, whether you earned a million a month or just a couple of thousands. Weren’t all the big ones totally worthless? Could be flushed down the toilet or even rolled into cigars or perhaps showered as gifts from high rises that dot our city and surprisingly would have no takers, not even the homeless who would turn a disdainful eye towards the sender from above. An ice cream parlour, welcomed a miserable looking Rs. 100 and laughed at the Rs. 500 one. The decrepit had won.
It was high time this equalisation happened, high time the honest, hard- working humdrum existence realised that all his toil has not been in vain. He could hold his head high as he was not struggling to stay afloat in the rising muck all around but was surfing, happily, lightly, without a care. While many dug up their hidden crores and wailed at its worthlessness, this everyday man, the average Joe made it big, for the first time ever in his insignificant existence.
A language teacher by profession, I do not really understand the financial implications or future ramifications of this demonetisation drive. I do understand, however, that we have been inconvenienced by long queues and lack of money, the hard cash kinds. Contrarily, I have also realised that each one of us can survive undoubtedly without the multitudes that we keep hankering after making our present miserable so that our future is happy & secure. Irony! The gift, the present seems to be melting into the future which in turn becomes the present and we are still standing at the same platform motionlessly waiting for the train of joy, happiness and peace to arrive.
To return to the dramatic transformation our economic system is undergoing, there may be grievance but in the long run it does seem our country would look cleaner, whiter than we could ever imagine to see it in our lifetime. An interesting experience I had- I could buy myself a few vegetables, some grocery and such without having to worry about large notes or the fact that I had no hundreds to give me company either. In fact, my plastic money failed me too. Then how? Well based on the good ole quality of trust from my local baniya, who said I could pay later when each of us had the resources to tackle this concern. Not for a minute did I feel helpless or how I would travel to work or even how my family of three would manage in a city like Mumbai with our lightened wallets. In fact, strangely, I felt a burden had lifted from my shoulder, I had no fear of being robbed or cheated, for money had lost its value and none would even bother to try and take what I had as it had become worthless.
This then makes me wonder what made us drive ourselves to this plight, where we earn, as we burn, but seem to have no time to enjoy what we struggle to attain day in and out. This ‘Modi’fication drive, modified my thoughts and its day three since I am without much, yet feel safe, cosy. I did travel to my workplace the last two days, with ease, we did have our meals. I have the erudite company of a few smaller currency notes to keep me going. Believe it or not, I turned into a proud lender yesterday when I loaned two hundred rupee notes to a friend without really worrying about where my travel expense would come from. But come it did the same evening in the form of two notes of the same denomination from a wallet that had crept into a quiet corner of my cupboard perhaps pre-empting this day, only to re-surface at an opportune time. Life has its own ways, doesn’t it?
The smaller value, the nondescript had gained position of prominence. It occupies the prime and I, with pride, have reclaimed my place amongst folks who considered themselves way above me. From that pedestal they stared down at me, my humble status, from a position economically more viable. Tables turned. Now I stand big in small shoes and honestly state small is big, JUSTLY BIG!