After taking on the Government for clamping down on freedom of expression, TV journalist Ravish Kumar chose a different medium for his observations on demonetisation.

Namely, fiction. Featuring “Love in the time of Notebandi”.

“Park benches are empty, coffee mugs, morose, and I cannot see any more tears in the eyes of teddy bears. Lovers are not emanating the smell of perfume but the stink of old notes.”

This was how Kumar began at the Times Lit Fest in New Delhi, where he was talking about his latest book, Laprek: Laghu Prem Katha, a compilation of short love stories that he first wrote as Facebook posts.

“I promise to tell the shrota a love story for the next one hour.” That is the lover’s version of prominently displayed message from the Reserve Bank of India on every currency note.

In the new cash-less future, lovers will not promise each others the moon and stars in the sky. Instead, saving a space in the ATM queue might be proof enough.

“So what if the Rs 500 note is of no use? Use notes of Rs 5, Rs 10 and Rs 50 for your affairs, if not coffee then you can at least enjoy a cup of tea, if not a Bloody Mary, then some coconut water, and if not a pastry, then some golgappe.”

Here’s the full talk: