Coming back to the demonetization issue (I have already blogged a couple of times on this issue), I, too, have no doubt about the good intentions with which our PM, Modiji, had resorted to it. When it was first announced around 8 that night, my wife and I were in Wayanad, Kerala, on a holiday. When I heard about it, I went into a sudden panic mode… We had carried some cash and card would not be accepted, everywhere. When I told this to my wife, she gave me a good sermon, “You always panic,” she declared, “Don’t make a mountain out of a molehill.”  When she learnt about the argument in favour of banning of old notes – to weed out black money – she was very happy. “It is a right move… a bold one… There will be inconvenience for all of us in the short run… But, in the long run, all of us will be benefited.”

I kept quiet during my wife’s sermon. I only prayed in silence, “God, may my wife not have to stand on a long, long queue.”

But, then, God did not hear my prayer. The day before we had left for Wayanad, my wife had withdrawn some amount of cash (in 500-rupee notes) from her dad's account and handed it to him (who is unwell to move out of the house). So, that bundle of old notes had to be deposited back into the bank once we were back from our holiday. After many days of dilly-dallying and hoping to see shorter queues, finally, this morning, my wife decided to go to the bank. She reached the bank around 7:45 in the morning and the queue was still long! I was in my class and received her call, “The bank will open at 9.30,” she was already restless, “What to do?”

“What to do… Wait patiently… In the long run, all this will only help us,” I felt like giving back in my own sermon. But, then, I knew that she hadn’t taken her breakfast and, being a diabetic, she would not be in a position to withstand the pressure. I immediately swung into action. I picked my 12th-standard student, Darshan, who had come to attend his class. I explained to him the situation. “Don’t’ worry sir,” Darshan said with his big heart, “I will stand in the line and let ma’am come at 9.30.”

“So sweet of you, Darshan,” I patted him and promised to teach him separately tomorrow whatever he missed today.

At 10, I wanted to check; so, I sent a message to my wife, “Bank work over?”

“No, it is horrible,” wife replied, “I am still outside the bank.”

I was surprised. So, I called my wife. She explained to me that she had to fill a different (pink colour) form and complete some other formalities and had to go back and come again, and so on… I empathized with her and asked her to call me once the work was over.

At 10.45, the call came, “I just finished!”

“Thank you God, “I sent a sigh of relief!

In the short run, we do have problems, sir. And, yes, in the long run, everything will be normal. In fact, that is a profound truth not only in economics, but also in every sphere of life… “Storms never last, do they, baby?” that’s one of my favorite songs (Jessi Colter and Waylon Jennings)… “I can think… I can fast… I can wait,” this, too, is one of my favourite lines (from Hermann Hesse’s famous book, ‘Siddhartha’…

In the long run, all things settle… I know, I know. The question is: Am I prepared to go through the present pain?

Some days ago, when Dr. Manmohan Singh quoted in the Parliament the famous Economist John Keynes, “In the long run we are all dead,” I knew how true it was… The pro-demonetization folks began to attack MMS… while others hailed former PM, an economist and a former RBI governor, as a prophet!

The same evening, my friend Vikram, who has that uncanny ability to laugh when chips are down, shared in one of our WhatsApp groups this message…

The Nobel Economics Professor Dr. Wassa Qatar explains how to think current economy:

1.     If, in January 2010, you had invested 1,000 Euros in shares of Royal Bank of Scotland, one of the largest banks in the UK, you would now have 29 Euros!
2.     If, in January, 2010, you had invested 1,000 Euros in shares of Lehman Brothers, you would now have 0 Euros!
But, if, in January 2010, you had spent 1,000 Euros on good red-wine (not shares) and had already drunk all of it, you would have 46 Euros in empty bottles!

In the current economic scenario, it is preferable to sit and enjoy drinking a very fine wine. Do not forget that maybe drinking makes lives:
- less sad (sic)
- less stressful
- More happier(sic).

Think about it… Invest in the joy of living!

Yes, think about it! In two days, new month will be up… Our maids, doodhwala, paperwala, istriwala and the likes have already told us that they would not accept cheques, debit cards or credit cards or payment through Paytm… So, What to do?

I mean, in the ‘short run’!!!!


Pic.: Avinash Mantri


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