This is what November 9, 2016, feels like for those of us who were so awestruck by Narendra Modi’s “surgical strike” on black money that we didn’t make it to the ATM on time to withdraw 100-rupee notes.
As is often the case, the movies have the power of predestination.
Amitabh Bachchan does not take money that is flung at him, but we are willing to swallow our pride, at least until we can regain liquidity.
Was the Reserve Bank of India inspired by this scene from the 2016 Tamil movie Pichaikkaran? A beggar advises a radio jockey and her economist guest that poverty will be eradicated if Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes are abolished. The economist is mighty impressed: this man must be made prime minister of India, he exults.
Here is some sound advice on what we can do with our 1,000 rupee notes until we get replacements.
This is why the Modi government has done away with notes in the denomination of Rs 500 and 1,000 overnight.
And this is what black money does to you: “Dressed in all gold, every day cash grows, hamesha super high rehna call me UFO, never go to the bank, but I deposit it again, sara kala waal maal bistar niche hi rakho.’
The proliferation of black money has led to a parallel economy in which anything, including a railway ticket, can be bought by crooked means.
“Kya baat kya cheez hai paisa,” a wise lyricist once asked. Can money buy love? Of course it can (but only if you have 100-rupee notes).
In one stroke, the decision has made the premise behind the Marathi movie Ek Hazarachi Note redundant. Shrihari Sathe’s 2014 film is about a poor rural woman who regrets the day she is given a Rs 1,000 note by a politician.
Clearly, the good old days when money rained on us from the skies are far behind us – at least for some time.