Saturday, 12 March 2016

Count Your Cash Or Have a Cadbury Eclairs

Early morning, my friend got ready to go to work. He followed the usual routine. He left home, and then went to the nearby Pan Shop. He purchased 2 sticks of his regular brand of cigarette. The price was Rs. 18. He gave a Rs. 50 note. Early morning woes hit the shopkeeper. He didn’t have change for Rs. 2!! So the man made his regular plea and gave him back Rs. 30 and 2 pieces of Cadbury Éclairs.

This is something that happens everywhere in Delhi. Wherever we go, we are given candies instead of change. There are times the price goes up to Rs. 5 that is 5 candies! For some of us, we have a pocket full of candies and we don’t have anyone to share it with because they have their own share of sweet baggage. I guess there are times when the shopkeepers intentionally do not give us the change and up-sell in lieu of the lack of monetary change. Then there are times when the retailer feels grateful when we give coins because they can circulate the currency among customers who say no to candies.

So, my friend accepted the 2 pieces of éclairs and walked down to the metro station. The previous day, he submitted his broken Metro Card that would be replaced a week later. He stood in the queue to collect a token. After a long wait for his turn, he asked for a token that would cost him Rs. 16. He gave two Rs. 10 notes amounting to Rs. 20. The man at the metro counter declared a lack of one Rupees coins and asked him to pay him the exact amount. As he had none, but Rs.5 coins, he took back a Ten and gave away the Rs. 5 coin and one piece of Cadbury Éclairs! While the official at the counter looked stunned, laughter erupted everywhere around. The commuters behind him and next to him in the queue chuckled and giggled. Catching on to the humour the Metro Official unwrapped the candy foil and put it in his mouth. He gave an expression of how much he needed this sweetness in the morning to pass an uneventful and boring day at the counter. Not to let my friend have the last laugh, he said, “This is the new India! A coin for a toffee; a toffee for a coin!”

It was an innovative way in which my friend sorted out his morning frustration and gave everyone else some amusement. The question, however, is why the prices of things are not aligned to the easily available currency dominations? And if they have to be so, why do not the retailers have sufficient amount of appropriate denominations?

While the government sort out a suitable resolution, we can feel confidence because Cadbury Éclairs can still save the day!!

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