On November 8, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced that from midnight, Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would no longer be legal tender. In one quick move, about 86% of the currency in circulation became mere pieces of paper.

However, does currency intrinsically have any value? Aren’t all such notes essentially just pieces of paper?

Money, says mythology expert Devdutt Pattanaik, is a myth in which both the giver and the receiver have to agree upon and believe in the value of what is being transacted. So, a Rs 2,000 notes holds as much value as the economy agrees to confer on it. Which is not to say that its value is fictitious – it’s a lived reality and in that capacity, holds immense importance.

In this episode of the Myth and Culture podcast, Devdutt Pattanaik and Jerry Johnson speak about how money, brands and several other concepts are a product of the value that we ascribe to them.