Saturday, December 10, 2016

The De-Monetisation Drama

PM Narendra Modi kicked off the highly secretive de-demonetization drama - I mean saga. In a  manner which was marketed as an "surgical strike" on Black Money. I was one among the millions of fellow Indians who lapped up the narrative and went ga-ga over how good this was going to be for India's economy. In my heart-of-hearts I wished & expected this move to the greatest "leveler" I'll witness in my lifetime. Scenarios of the elitist, the ultra-rich with their rooms stacked with ill-gotten money were about to run around like headless chicken got my pulse & heart beating fast on a background score of "Namo Namo Namo"...finally! But unfortunately this was my own story of Mungerilal Ke Haseen Sapne! Read on...

At the crack of dawn, my senses with a dreamy sleep-deprived, incoherent but racing ahead raising pertinent questions which I couldn't answer/comprehend.
Sample this:
1) Was this "surgical strike" the silver-bullet to take on Black money?
2) Implications of this move on others(being a service/salaried individual I self-exempted myself)?
3) Should I empathize/celebrate the rich-who-recently-were-to-see-their-stocked money-turn-worthless?
4) Is this the great-leveler that I've been seeking in my Utopian dreams?
5) Is this the dawn of a new era?
n) Are you out-of-your-mind to lose sleep and now try to seek answers to these Qs?
The last Q had an secret setting "recur-every-10 minute=ON" and was constantly trying to keep me in the present...but I my euphoria was hitting the snooze button on it..."Buzz Off!"

Few days passed, and then the dust settled down so-to-speak, on the "core issue" - Implementation! TBH it got muddier in the true sense.
As hours rolled-by, with RBI conveniently missing from the star-cast, it was all about PM Modi and his side-kick, Indian FM Arun Jaitely stealing the show. There was declaration followed by another declaration, followed by rules-to-follow which was then followed by some more rules-to-follow and not to forget the some more new rules-to-follow directive. Initially these directives which were disguised as having an occurrence set to one-per-day later morphed to a torrent, akin to a spammer on overdrive. This joke sums it up "Any new RBI rule in the last 5 mints guys ? I was in the washroom 😜😜😜😜"
I was trying to be up-to-date with the deluge of  RBI "directives" and my professional deliverable was taking a hit.

A wise-crack once said "When reality strikes, its like sh*t hitting the fan!".
A week on, me being a slow-learner was clearly showing up, as reality smacked & mocked my heady euphoric outcry of jubilation.
I was staring at the fact of being unable to pay my house-help staff. I explored the latest buzzword "Cashless Economy"...ahhh why didn't I think of this before? Slow-coach! I reasoned with them to join the "Digital Revolution" that was going to usher India to the "next level".
My house-help staff are the very people who would give me a missed call to talk, who clearly did not lead a 'normal life' of 4G data or unlimited high-speed broadband plans, who owned feature phones with monochrome screens. Seems these were those "anti-socials", who wanted to disregard India's growing global economical power and not ride the Digital wave.
Lesson learnt: I need a crash-course/book on "How to influence/convince people".

With ATMs were out-of-cash almost all the time. Something in me reminded me of how I live in a prominent area of the Silicon-valley of India, without govt water supply, while paying property tax equal (if not more than) some of the posh areas of this city. Sucker-punch...ouch!
Not wanting to be tagged an "anti-national" I quietly queue up at my bank's branch very early morning to beat the crowd. For my show of nationalism, my bank obliged & awarded (read decorated) me with a set of Monopoly inspired pinkish 2K notes.
To boost my ego, my FB post went online claiming what a smart-a** I was and the likes poured in from similar smarties...hmmm! Seemed to me more like a show of solidarity than a measure of my smartness.
A visit to my Dr  and I end up saying with a puppy face hope you've change for 2K flashing the newly minted design. But my short-changed Homeopath seemed more tech-savvy than me, "Better PayTM me". Aila now ball was in my court! I'll now have to install this app and 'do the needful'. The best part of this visit was me installing all app cashless payment apps on my smartphone! The latest I hear is how valuation of these payment processing firms sky-rocketed and they are having the last laugh...and no discount for me...that's not fair! :( Score: Payment apps:1 Me:0.
Finally I managed to settle all my outstanding for Nov. Self High 5!

But I couldn't make sense of my unique cash-crunch problem, while there were reports of many Babus & Netas being 'caught' with freshly minted pink stash...seems pink is the new black. I struggling to reconcile if this demonetization drive was supposed to be a deterrent/enabler for money-laundering-black-money-hoarding devils? Welcome to the Jungle!

Zoom to current day scenario, out-of-cash not denting my idealistic outlook, I'm enthu making new plans on how-to deal with this month-end dragon as it mocks me for another duel.
Whilst doing so, I take a break and watch AIB's video target="_blank"(Read full story here...)..."Mitron, waqt tho mann ka veham hai!"
I'm distracted by call from HR consultant.
She asked me, are you looking for change?

I said "Yes...for Rs. 2000 and want change."
I don't know why she disconnected call."

I rest my case and take a 'break' from breaking my head trying to decipher this drive!