Wednesday, 29 March 2017

Is it Santa Claus or I-T officer? Demonetisation has changed my life

(Article written exclusively for India Today -Click Here)

It was an ordinary Tuesday night for me last week. My mind was confused as to what lay ahead. No, my confusion wasn’t between Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton, but more existential choices like butter chicken or kadhai chicken.

As a nation we were engrossed with the US presidential elections and boy! wasn’t it fun watching one of the most powerful nations on our planet racing towards its own ruin.

All of a sudden media channels shifted focus to PM Narendra Modi’s live speech about currency demonetisation.

Modi shocked the nation by announcing that Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes would no longer be legal tender post-midnight. This was indeed a very bold move to curb corruption and black money.

The message by the government was loud and clear, that if in all these years you have not yet spent a bomb to build an ugly Antilla equivalent for your posterity, then it's too late now. Your kids will need to find alternative ways to embarrass themselves.

I believe that as a token of appreciation for hoarding so much money over the years, it's high time that the government gifted each black money hoarder a cash counting machine at least. It is literally the most adorable way to feel poor.

Amid the long bank queues to get notes exchanged, we have people like Rahul Gandhi, too, who nowadays bears an uncanny resemblance to Varun Dhawan in the Badlapur flick. It's always a comforting feeling having your friendly neighbourhood assassin in the same queue as you.

If the selfies with the new Rs 2,000 notes were not enough, people have gone the extra mile to test its water resistance, crush resistance and perhaps even its sword-shielding abilities.

Now I am not surprised by this considering that the internet has even tested an iPhone by boiling it in Coca Cola. The internet never disappoints, as clearly an iPhone's natural habitat has to be in a pan filled with boiling carbonated sugar water.

It's great how the government impoverished so many money hoarders  overnight. It's just a matter of time till we see courses popping up across India, training former elite people on adjusting to their newly acquired middle class life.
The government will even keep a track of the money exchanged and compare it to every individual's tax return filed to spot any discrepancies. This will indeed increase transparency but will also cause widespread mistrust.
To the extent, I can't even trust Santa this Christmas. For all you know, he may be a tax officer in disguise waiting to penalise me for any unaccounted candies consumed during the year.
I love how as a nation we came about with some rather creative ways to sabotage the move, right from paying salaries in advance to even buying costly air tickets with a view to cancel them subsequently.
People are willing to do any large purchase from any shop accepting old notes as payments. So one is faced with rather deep questions like:

Do I need a second full size wooden dining table in my drawing room? Maybe no.

But do I want to have the option to dine on different tables every alternate day? Oh, yes I do.

This is pretty much the mood of the nation, where countless people are stuck with their old notes and at the same time have limited access to new ones.
Here's hoping some good comes out of this demonetisation drive and eventually Paytm even gives cash back on bribes paid.
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