As I was hurrying towards VT that night, I spotted a queue in front of a building in the Crawford market. This was a week or so after Nov 8th last year, when we were allowed to withdraw twenty 100 rupee notes at one go. If not for the queue I wouldn’t have known there was a bank there. The gentleman in front of me, (let’s call him A) was in urgent need of money, (who wasn’t!) but he was repeatedly answering calls on his phone, assuring somebody on the other end of the line about a promised amount of cash. The queue moved at a slow pace. These were the days I learnt how to be patient…… By the time I reached the door of the ATM it was already an hour and a half..
When A went it, a B came out. I was next in line, money, I thought, finally however, I went in to realize, there was a second queue inside. 3 people, plus the person at the machine + the security guard cramped ourselves around that atm.
A inserted his card, punched in for ₹2000 but no money came out. We asked him to re-insert, it could be a glitch. A did, and after a third time asked me to try my luck. I thought my luck ran out when no money came out when I punched for ₹2000. But ten 100 rupee notes came when I punched in for ₹1000 a second time. It was a moment of a mixed sense of relief and grief. If A had punched in 1000 the second time, I would be the one walking out of that ATM without cash..
Everybody who has lived through last year in India would have a favourite #demon story to narrate. May be I can begin a demon series … 😉
A year later today, I can recollect every little detail that transpired through November 8 of last year, the places I’d been to, the people I’d interacted with, the long queues in front of the ATM, queues in front of the post offices, the banks.. thinking up ways to dispose off the 500 rupee notes….