Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Rs 2,000 note: Birth pangs a month after demonetisation

I am the pink note and this is what I experienced in the past one month

By Narayan Krishnamurthy

It was as much news to me as it was to you, when on November 8, Economic Affairs Secretary Shaktikanta Das announced my birth on television. I was aware of my development, but I had no clue the day I will be born. So, on a not so cold winter evening I was on display for the world to see, even as some of my siblings were being put to rest. It was an experience which was too early for me to understand. Remember! I was just born with no clue of the world around me.

The joy of entering the world was shattered soon enough as I realised, I was the unwanted child like Harry Potter in his Uncle Vernon's house. I was looked upon suspiciously by everyone who got a hold of me. They refused to accept me as if I was a Dollar note that wasn't accepted in this country. Many tried ruffling me up to test my strength. Some ventured into giving me a bath without realising how clean I was and how good I smelt. However, what I loved was the importance that I derived in the world of wallets. Men and women alike treated me with utmost respect, placing me in isolation and not mixing me with the other notes they had.

As the first few days passed, I realised that my stature of feeling superior was short lived; I was actually the outcast, the new kid who was born bigger than my siblings. It was as though I was unwanted by everyone. Nobody wanted me with open arms; I was thrust upon people who just did not know what to do with me. The reverence and special treatment in keeping me in the special slots in wallets was actually their way of keeping me at an arm's length. I was the unwanted child.

In my first week of existence, I realised that very few accepted me in exchange of goods and services. I can empathise with them - they just did not know what to do with such a big denomination note. I was reminded of the fate of my sibling, the Rs 1,000 note in the year 2000 when she was reintroduced into the system. I drew confidence from her early stage tales and consoled myself that I too shall find wide acceptance and circulate to ease the economy and the financial lives of those who own me.

In the subsequent two weeks, my acceptance rose. I was not shunned any more, but neither was I popular. I found reluctant takers and very few who would exchange me liberally. I was not sought after at all like any new child would be, instead I was more of a curse wherever I landed. My colour and size did not help either, as I was very different compared to my siblings. It's been a month now and I am accepted by the people but I am yet to reach the levels where I would be the first choice currency denomination. I wish people stop looking at me with disbelief and regret and move on from the 'Oh! No' every time they land on me at the ATM or the bank. It will do me a lot of good to freely circulate among you all than feel being an alien among the people of my country. Love me or hate me, I am here and I am here to stay.


As imagined by Narayan Krishnamurthy