Friday, 24 March 2017

Stories From the filed; Astha Bahuguna

It was 9th November 2016 and recently demonetization happened. I was standing in the long queue at Vaishali Metro Station waiting for my turn to buy a ticket.
While I was impatiently waiting for my turn, an old woman in the next counter, gave a Rs.500 note to the guy at the ticket window. He said ‘Mataji ye note nahi chalega, change lekar ke aaiye’ and that lady stunned and shocked, didn’t know ‘ki ye note kyu nahi chalega?’ and she instantly said, ‘beta, raat hogai hai, mujhe Gurgaon jana hai, ticket dedo’ but he refused again. She cried in front of him, explained the situation, hoping maybe the guy would help her but nothing turned out to be fruitful for her.
After all the efforts she made, she was not in a position to understand what is it that the currency is not working and all the people including me were not in a position to help her because most of us were not having smaller denominations of money. Even if we had, nobody wanted to just give the money randomly because some of us had a fair idea of what was coming our way. On the other hand, some of us were, of course, paying through cards.
I bought my ticket and left, not knowing about what the lady did, how she managed, where she went but I had some obvious questions which were left unanswered…
How demonetization unfolds to those who do not know what it is?
How do people who do not have a card or even if they have, but do not know how to use it managed?
What did a poor old woman do in a situation as helpless as this?
And I still think where she went after that and whether she reached her home safely…

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