Wednesday, 30 March 2011

Money matters...

Don't touch me! I am fragile.
Sitting across the counter, i break down in a cold sweat. Oh no! As i wait pensively for the change, the pan chewing passenger lifts his half- mast lungi, digs inside the red "patta- patti's" pocket and voila! He has fished out the ten rupee note. He places the note across the counter, crumpled, soiled and bathed in sweat. Gingerly i pull it with my left hand and place it in the cash chest. Cursing my fate, i issue the ticket and the next in queue turns up. This time, it is a happy housewife who is oblivious to anything around her, except the money in her 'safety locker'. She asks for two platform tickets and produces a ten rupee note from the purse tacked in her blouse. I resent this safety locker of women, don't they have other decent places to keep purses? My bad luck, i need a rupee change and again i get a glimpse of the purse and a coin. I place the balance and tickets and she takes them away happily.

How beautiful and clean!
Next comes the tobacco specialist. I try to get up from my seat, but he stands right in front of my counter saying- " minute, this one ticket alone". Feeling absolutely doomed, i collect the note from him, a folded ten rupee sprayed generously with tobacco. The moment i take the note inside the counter, i start sneezing and the gentleman outside hides his wicked chuckle. I feel my eyes zooming in and water running from my nose. Chocked by the smell of tobacco, i push the draw closed as soon as possible and issue him his ticket. Getting up from my seat, i walk towards the wash umpteenth number of time and start washing my hands with liquid soap. My liquid soap and dettol expenditure is nearly half my salary! Washing and drying, i come and sit back again in front of the guillotine. People simply amaze me as to where they keep currency stacked- starting from inner wears to towels tied on their heads, used cigarette packets, "surukku" bags...The list is endless. It is indeed filthy to even mention some places where they keep it here! And look at the pride with which they produce it across the counter- the thought of it makes me shudder.

Look at the artists' work!
And we the staff within the counters are no better either. We keep counting and bundling them, numbering them right bang on the water mark columns. 58,76,29 we keep writing number of notes on the top most one and hand over. We may be better than "artists" who draw heart with arrow lodged in watermark column, love anecdotes like- " I love Shanthi", " Ram & Ramya- 23.5.2001". Defacing the currency notes is the best pastime of our unemployed Romeos and Juliets, who relentlessly autograph on rupee notes.

Then there is the other lot, who lick and count..Oh no...i simply cannot describe this! May be they find the notes tastier than their wife's sambar! Nowhere in the world is the nation's currency so defaced and mutilated than here. Recent study by Current Science states that 96% of Indian coins and 100% of currency notes is infected with bacteria, three of the species highly infectious! Worse, these bacteria are anti-biotic resistant. Handling currency? Please wash your hands before and after contact with money. As for those safe keeping money in 'safety lockers', please do think how many earlier 'safety lockers' the money might have crossed!

All images courtesy- Wikipedia, The Hindu


  1. ha Ha Ha... funny ..
    Ok what all u tlked were siting across the counter inside the A/C counter ... sitting relaxed ...and a chat wit fellow counter ...

    when we come to CNTRL station to catch a train (UNRESERVED Im talking of).. say bfor 20 mins.. u get to witness a serpent queue.. only 2 of 4 counters opned.. and one lady sits inside and read news paper. the person next to me persuade me to allow him in front .. so as he cn catch brindavan exp by 7.15 am..

    if u are lucky to get the TKT bfre train departs... tke a 100M sprint to catch the train .some times if u are running for wrng Platform no. ...rly cant help u.

    In money matters Rose is a Rose is a Rose..
    So it s currncy .so ppl do tat.(inspite of calling it as Laxmi.. how come they do this to a goddess?? by their own belief). I totally agree with u on sweat and bacteria on our currncy transactions.. i gen find ppl
    1. dont use wet sponge for counting, and
    2. Never use pencil to mark as 50or 75 in notes ...
    3.they never use tea plates to serve tea ( u can find marks of tea cups placed on table in offices).
    may be we indians lack some etiquttes in wrk places. it wnt up to comment by ex-Australian PM that Only asians esp indians have the habit of spitting all over the street.
    do PPl of western countries practice cleanliness for themselves and to maintain their surroundings ... better than us? ??( i dont knw..what s ur idea)

  2. was this sheer reality that you pointed out in this post ....
    Sometimes its so difficult to remain so concious especially while handling the notes..
    this post of yours woke a simple thought in my mind..
    no matter how rich you are...the money in your pocket once found place in the beggars plate..
    the notes circulate through everyone...irrespective of the differences

  3. hmm...its funny...same thing happened here...

    Mostly they do mathematics calculations on notes....

    Its nice post

  4. The dirtiest currency in the world ought to be in India. Talk of sanitation and Indians get all worked up and defensive, pointing at all unrelated faults in other nations.

  5. :) havent gone thru the entire blog post, nevertheless found myself smiling mid way. glimpsed thru the rest of the blog and ...interesting. will be back for more. btw am in gelf and from tiruchirapalli!! ;)

  6. Dear Anonymous, thanks for your visit and comment. You really amaze me with the wealth of topics you provide me to write;) Thanks for office etiquettes- shall come up with a new post on that;)

  7. Dear Madrasi! Thanks a ton for your comment. Nice observation about beggar's plate! Yes, that is the reality we never think of. I do wish we learn to respect the notes!

  8. Dear Thinking- thanks a lot for your comment on my blog. Mathematics calculations on notes is better than " Ilayathalapathi" or " Ultimate star" slogans on notes;) I have seen many with such slogans!

  9. Dear Brown Vagabond, i agree with you 100%, we have the worlds' dirtiest currency notes and boast India shines- what a shame! Thanks for your visit and comment.

  10. Dear Gelffff Vaidegi:P So happy to meet a like person. Thanks for your positive comments. Please provide feedback on posts you read. Shall sure pay your blog a visit:)


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