Yes , there were times when 25 paisa fetched us an ice cream , the two
rupee notes given by grandparents on special occasions was like a treasure
to be cherished .
During Lohri celebrations , when as kids , we all cousins gathered and sang
Lohri songs, the elders showered us with tinkling coins, which we happily
collected and deposited in our piggy banks.
But, this was almost two decades back, and the coins and small rupee notes
have been long replaced by the bigger ones.
We did not even realise when ones became tens , and tens became hundreds
and hundreds , crores for many. The never-ending saga of money
multiplication and society division kept on increasing.
But one thing which has remained the same, is the saving by the homemakers
and little kids .
The secret chambers in the almirahs and piggy banks still exist . Though the
expectations have taken a larger turn and we do not save small currency
notes , but go in for larger denominations .
Well the poor coins only find place in the dark corners of the cupboards ,
never to be discovered again.
Recent arrival of new notes and discarding of old ones has come as a major
jolt for the people involved with black money savings , but it has also
shook the foundations of Grandma theories and practices of savings.
Like many old age practices by our dadi- nani in the past , even today the
new age mothers and women ,apart from bank deposits ,have kept some savings
hidden under the pile of clothes or boxes, away from the prying eyes of
their dear husbands, which they may use to give them surprise gifts on
special occasions or for themselves , to buy jewellery etc.
My grandmother passed away with passing on the legacy to us with bundles of
hundreds and five rupee notes under her clothes in the old tin boxes .
But if she would have been alive now, she definitely would have got shock of
her life , that the notes she less valued have shot to fame over night and
the ones she treasured the most , just dwindled like the pack of cards.
Today I myself realised the true worth of small , when the whole Nation weny
topsy-turvy on declaration that 500 and 1000 rupee notes will get a totally
new makeover ,may be!!, or may be declared null and void , and soon become
a thing of past , like the extinct species .
Rumour mongers, made most of it , to an extent that many people suffered the
shock of their lives , as their savings of higher denomination notes went
bankrupt themselves, the news spread like wildfire to an extent that many
black marketeers burnt the stash of bundles piled up in their godowns. After
all what could they declare or claim.
A friend in need is a friend indeed, this saying came true , when small
coins and notes came to my immediate rescue, till now the coins or chillar
as we say, were getting step motherly or step fatherly treatment, lying
orphan in the drawers or old purses.
We changed our loyalties overnight , till now the ones ruling the roost ,
their empires were overtaken by the lesser ones in a matter of few minutes.
It almost became a ‘rags to riches ‘story for Mr.Hundred.
Coins became popular and in demand in matter of few hours, well never
underestimate the power of a common coin, I said. And went on a searching
spree , for the ones hiding in every nook and corner of my house. It was in
that moment I realized , that without one rupee note or coin, how meaning
less becomes the existence of higher rupee notes which are kept intact in
special ornate envelopes to be distributed as shagun .
Well a single one rupee has always acted as a cherry on the cake of higher
rupees , but it is also considered as symbol of good luck and tradition ,
apart from the ‘head and tail story’.
The revival of smaller amounts ,have refreshed the childhood memories , my
fascination with the coins, collecting them in piggy banks. Finally, they
again, get to see the light of the day, the warmth of the pockets, since
the day they were minted and ignored for long.
They have constantly helped me, whether it was as an offering to the deities
in the temples , for fulfilment of wishes by throwing them in water or by
giving them to beggars .
The coins and small rupee notes have long become claustrophobic , developed
the fear of closed spaces , but it is now time ,to show them the light of
the day. To remove the vagaries of dust from them. Time to give them their
dues, as they have been long snubbed , in search of greener pastures by us,
I mean in search of higher currencies .
They have truly survived over the years, with no conception of time,
followed religiously the cycle ,from one pocket to another with trust, they
are truly our rough weather friends , unlike the fair weather notes.
The sudden surgical strike of new notes, has brought to limelight the
significance of a small piggy bank of my daughter , it has resurfaced the
value of little, the true worth of Goddess Laxmi and yes of course ‘small
things do come in small packages ‘.