Daddy Dearest has never approved of my reckless instinct of burning his hard-earned money on nonessential internet shopping. But for once, he was proud (almost to the extent of patting me on the shoulder) when this very addiction helped me dispose off my last 500 rupee note.
The amusing incident unravelled as follows: A day after the 500 and 1000 rupee notes were declared redundant, I received an unexpected phone call from a number which Truecaller refused to identify. On answering the call the second time around, I learnt that it was from the delivery man carrying my most recent online order for a dress worth rupees 550. In the course of the conversation, when I asked him about the payment, the man quite blatantly declared that he wouldn’t be accepting cash in the form of multiples of 500 and 1000 rupee notes. To such unrelenting firmness, I almost gagged. Clearly, it was too soon for me to be in possession of the new currency denominations and my first impulse was to worry about the cancellation of my order.
Like an idiot, I revealed my anxiety to him. This was a huge mistake on my part, which the clever delivery man decided to instantly exploit. He very calmly tried to placate my fears, and then went on to spring the worst kind of surprise on me. He agreed to accept my 500 rupee note, provided I paid him a premium of rupee 50 (and therefore, a lump sum of rupees 600) for his kind gesture.
Yes, at the time, I was grossly desperate. Because I not just wanted to receive my order, but also get rid of the seemingly cursed note. Yet, my temporary flight from rationality ceased when good sense returned and I flatly refused his beguiling offer. The man, however, was rather perseverant; to the point where he hung up on me when I held my ground.
For about an hour, I moped around the house, blaming my ill-luck and horoscope. But just when I had reconciled with the situation, I received a phone call from the same number. I took my time in answering, but was delighted to hear the delivery man say (although rather grudgingly) that he would deliver my order in under forty five minutes, and accept the 500 rupee bill too!
I’m not quite sure what changed the man’s iron resolve. Perhaps, he would have been penalised (rebuked, or worse, fired) for late/non-delivery by his superiors. After all, only a serious threat would make a man of his doggedness give in. But I was extremely happy. I got my dress (which was worth the wait, verbal tussle and mental harassment) and also spent the 500 rupee note. Like The Bard would say, “All’s well that ends well”,eh?
But all humour aside, here’s a sincere request to all those who are still in possession of the obsolete currency: Don’t get bullied by vendors and the like into paying premiums in exchange for accepting your old money. Because this in itself is an unlawful practice, the perpetuation of which defeats the purpose of demonetisation. Go to a bank. Or, spend wisely!
Image Credits: Yahoo India Finance