#chatsaboutmoney #chatswithstrangers #overheardinmumbai #chatswithpeople #39
#demonetisation #sickofitall #longread
At First ATM
Guard who leers at me everyday, now looks defeated.
Me: bhaiya, cash hai kya?
Guard: nahiji, sab khatam.
Guard’s friend: madam, try XYZ bank. I heard they have cash.
At Second ATM
Queue of people.
Me: excuse me, do you know if the ATM is disbursing hundreds?
Man: yes, it is disbursing thousands.
Man: I heard ABC bank is disbursing hundreds.
Me: I see. But you’re here…?
Man: I want two thousand rupees. Lot of people to pay.
Me: really? And they have cash in change?
Man:……………………let us go to ABC bank.
At Third ATM
I join the long queue.
Chatty woman and her friend Catty in front of me.
Chatty:…and then she went and cried and the bank manager felt sorry and gave her an extra hundred.
Catty: huh. If that woman’s face was anywhere near mine, I’d give her hundred to go away too.
Chatty: ha ha. But now anyway even the banks have dried up. I heard they are hoarding cash for when there is none.
Me (thinking): isn’t that now?
Catty: they’re all thieves.
Chatty: but anyway now you can go and get Rs 4000 on exchange and if you have a self-bearer cheque you can withdraw Rs 10,000 and if you have a wedding in the family and you take the bride and groom fully dressed up with the horse they’ll give you a lakh and if you have a death in the family and bring the body to the bank they’ll give you two lakhs.
Catty: I don’t know why people are getting married or dying at this time. Don’t they know it’s not good for the country?
Chatty: I know. The army isn’t getting married now, why should we?
Catty: but you know, I heard that all the guys who have black money were warned in advance.
Chatty: I heard that this is all done to get cash into banks so we can write off loans.
Catty: but who’s thinking about the poor ya? so cruel.
Chatty: I know right? I told my maid I’d help her open a paytm account. Did you see their ad?
Catty: ya ya…..oof. God this queue is so long ya.
Chatty: did you hear that story about the man who died in the queue?
Catty (not to be outdone): oof it’s the press ya. No one talks about the woman who gave birth in the queue? The child is learning numbers by counting illegal five hundred notes.
Chatty: wow. What an education. We should give our PM a ‘UNESCO Best PM’ award.
Catty: hashtag acchedin
Suddenly, yelling from the front of the line.
Outraged man: OMG YOU KAMEENA HOW DARE YOU!
He turns to people at back: THIS MAN IS WITHDRAWING FROM TWO CARDS! SAALA! AREN’T WE ALL STANDING IN LINE HERE? $#$%##$!!! MAARO SAALE KO!
Shouts later, a man is thrust out of the cubicle, slightly banged up. It’s alarming how quickly the mob has sprung into action.
Chatty: god ya. These people. Indians are the worst. Never think of others.
Catty: I know ya. Anyway, I guess we both should withdraw only from one card now. No point risking anything.
Chatty: god ya. How do I tip people now? Haven’t gone out in a week.
Me to man behind me: sir, will you exchange places with me?