The Life & Times of a Bank Line

Lo and Behold, here we stand in a queue,

And quite a long one too!

And how dare this Government decide I will like to do so. I am forced to meet the well forgotten banker who did not fit into my daily schedule even after constant reminders for visiting the nearest branch for KYC. Now I have to look into his eye and plead for currency.

If you think this rant is going to give you an economic insight into currency demonetisation then this is not a place where you should be. I do understand the basics because every management graduate is forced to swallow the bitter cup of economics, but I am not an expert to foresee the future of the grand event of change. I am just an observer and still learning even the art of observation.

The banker as I was saying, whom we conveniently forgot (unless the internet gave us a tough time) seems like the king of the day. Unaware of the falling axe, he dreamt of a long and happy weekend only to realise that dreams don’t often come true. He is now working under tremendous pressure and meeting a couple of thousand people everyday many of whom don’t even acknowledge his existence.

Is he over worked? Yes of course he is. Is he frustrated? Yes but less by the inconvenience of change and more by my attitude.

Who am I?

I, the crowd of this country standing at his bank door irritated that I was dragged out of my comfort zone to stand in a queue.

Since when has queue been a part of my culture? Irritated and scandalised at the sudden inconvenience, I stand in the queue only to reach an overly tired banker handing a single 2000 rupees note to me. Excuse me, I stood in the ATM queue yesterday for new note only to get bundles of 100, and today when I want the bundles of hundred, the stupid bank offers me a single note. The world is surely coming to an end.

It is a long weekend, enjoyment is an essential part so while I binge upon some series on Netflix, why not order food from the new Chinese Restaurant. The delicacies are carefully chosen. Online Payment nope, let me try paying through hard cash. I still have a few denominations of the unfortunate 500 and 1000 left, I am sure they still work. The piping hot food arrives. Of all things Chinese on earth, food definitely is well appreciated. But what is this, look at the audacity of this delivery boy, he says no to the yellow currency note. What does this fellow know? The site never mentioned they will not accept these notes, how can they back out now?

The stupid customer service tells me that the Prime Minister mentioned it on National TV. So what now, the PM is their spokesman? They should have written on the site. How bad of them to fool innocent customers!

I have again run out of cash due to my little adventure with the Chinese Restaurant so hello Mr. Banker, I will see you once again.

Did the PM not once think about me and the long queue I will hate to stand in?

I am here in this long queue sandwiched between a maid and a worker.

Ugh! What are they doing here? I thought they were poor and had no money. I wait around for an hour or so. Alas! Mr. Banker my foray into the long queue ends up unsuccessful. I am unable to meet you. I want that 2000 Rupees note once again. I am annoyed because while your colleagues made an attempt to serve us water, I wonder if you Mr. Banker have the sense that I am not interested in drinking water or tea whatever you have to offer. I am standing outside for the 2000 Rs note that your PM has so evidently advertised about. I want the cash because even though I am a techno geek and use all the online services my want for the less available is more than my rational to use it.

Not much to say about the long queue I witness and participate is the sheer reason that my house maid is on leave for. I am sure cutting her salary for this. I cannot entertain this leave taking habit. I will make it a point to tell her so. But wait let me update my FB post.

‘Poor people suffering due to demonetisation. Maid had to take leave for queuing up in Bank Line. Hope she gets the cash’

You Mr. Banker are a witness today to my age old skill of creating chaos. Yes I know I have to stand in line but I am the one who doesn’t want to. I am always Made To Fall In Line, because my want is greater than my need.

My want !

Of course I want an end to black money, corruption, terrorism, poverty. Are you joking? Haven’t you seen my FB and Twitter accounts? I regularly forward all anti corruption posts on WhatsApp. I am quite well seated nationalist. I do all my social media updates from the comfort of my office seat or even the toilet seat. I want all this to happen but not at the cost of losing my seat. I hope you sympathise with me on this matter.

My take on development and eradication of Black Money is very strong. After all I don’t have any. If I did have some you know I wouldn’t be standing here. You know what I would have done –

  • Plastic Surgery for the looks I dreamt off
  • Lung transplant with a fresh pair of pollution
  • Liver transplant to start drinking again
  • Also get my appendix replaced with extra pancreas to tackle impending diabetes
  • Get my stomach stapled to lose those extra inches
  • And I read somewhere in a WhatsApp rumour about a rare procedure where feet can be rounded and rods placed near the hip joint to increase height by three to four inches.
  • Hair transplant also would also be a part of the plan
  • Laser removed my body hair and got my muscle tone improved
  • Lastly certain body enhancements which I cautiously choose not to speak about in public.

In short I would have had my designer self created much to the envy of many others complaining in the queue.

But since I am not privileged with Black Money to do any of the above, I definitely want it taken from others.

Hell No, when did I say I will cooperate?

I want, I demand, I need but I cooperate …??? I never signed up for the last one.

There is a section of me who needs. Yes, their need is real. But you see Mr. Banker, I who am standing in your line, my want is bigger than their need.

Yes I do help them. Again I have to point out – You definitely do not follow me on Social Media.

So while I draw out cash from a dozen ATM cards including that of my distant fourth cousin, it is their poor fate that the cash trays are empty and obviously it is the Government’s fault.

Don’t worry. I will make sure to update everyone about the poor leaving your doorstep empty handed.

Hmmm I do remember the day few months back, when the maid had come complaining about receiving two fake 500 rupee notes as salary. What are you hinting at?

I clearly told my maid, I was no expert in identifying fake notes like she was no expert in knowing which of her employers gave her the currency. If you think I should have replaced the note, I disagree. Why should I pay for someone else’s blunder?

Isn’t it the Government’s responsibility to curb circulation of fake notes?

This Government is surely useless. I am glad I did not vote for them. Pssst … I did not vote at all. I utilized the long weekend in a better way. I went on a trip to Manali. You Mr. Banker will understand this, I hate to stand in line be it outside a Bank or a polling booth.

But all is not that bad Mr. Banker, about standing in your queue. I have some nice collection of selfies clicked including the one I clicked with you as the hero of the day. Shhshhh … no I did not add that I argued with you after that for not releasing my desired amount.

I do have some hard cash to boast about now, but you will see me again in line tomorrow. I heard they are giving out free pizzas!

Thanks Mrinal Mathur for your take on Using Black Money.

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