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Friday, 17 September 2010

Sweating over 500-rupee-note

source: banknotes

I was in two minds today, either go to ‘Arena Animation Class’ for Flash practice or go to school for some updates.

I am all ready at 12 noon, I wanted to go to ‘Arena’ but I know that the instructor may not even bother to teach me any new tricks on animation because he does that only every alternate days and today is not that day, so by the time I have walked out of my gate, hailed an auto, I say ‘Bandra Bus station’

I am lucky that the auto overtakes my bus in time for me to board it.

I settle in the front seat just behind the driver all set for the 90 minutes trip, the cool AC breeze just above my head has no regulator. *Oh dear*! I have my BlackBerry to keep me away from other distractions.

The conductor comes to my seat and I give him 500-rupee-note and tell him “Belapur, CBD.”

“Give me the change, I won’t take your 500-rupee-note” he says

*What the hell* the bus ticket is Rs60 and he wants a smaller note? How can he not have a change?

“I have no change. My journey is long, you may give me the change at the end of the journey, and there is lots of time.” I say, as I fumble with my reading glasses.

“We don’t accept 500-rupee-notes” he says

Now this is news for me. A public bus does not accept big notes and they have no change? Are they afraid of fake notes that are doing the rounds in the city nowadays?

They want no risk.

*Thinking if those Babus will also stop accepting Rs500 in bribes*

“So what you want me to do? I don’t have smaller notes.”

“In that case you cannot travel in this bus.”

Huh? He is asking me to de-board the bus because I have bigger notes? *I have heard about people being asked to de-board if they have been pickpocketed and are not having any cash on them" but this? This is ridiculous.

I ask the girl sitting next to me to move over so that I can get off the bus. She is sorry for me and asks me to request the people in the bus for a change of 500-rupee-note.

*How silly it will look if I flash my 500-note, seat by seat, asking each commuter for a change?*

I am in no mood to draw the attention to myself, the bus is moving quite slowly, actually crawling, and there is too much traffic jam. I ask the driver to wait while a get the change from the shop outside.

None of the shops oblige. Nobody has 500-rupee change!! I never knew this was such a big note!

The driver is getting restless and refuses to wait.

*Go to hell* I wave out to him and he drives away.

Now I am desperate. I enter a fast food kiosk and he is willing to give me the change but, only if I give him some business.

I am not hungry, nor I am thirsty but order a bottle of orange juice.

With this unnecessary extra baggage of this juice bottle dangling by my fingers, I am too lazy for a long trip, I decide to go to ‘Arena Animation class’ instead.

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