The dance of the cashless

The front of the line at the bank

The front of the line at the bank

Having been a city dweller all my life I, possibly like a lot of other city dwellers, share a love and hate relationship with it. But, I guess, it would be safe to say that I am really glad to be living in Delhi at this point in (troubled) time in the history of our country.

Even though internet connectivity in our cities may not be the best, it still works out for me to be able to use our debit/credit cards or internet banking to buy most things I need without having to stand in front of the banks or ATM machines to withdraw cash. I am also, fortunately or not, really bad at keeping a tab at my regular expenses so I don’t compare my expenditure, now that I am buying things online versus buying things from the local neighbourhood shops or the roadside vendors.

Personally for me, I have almost forgotten how our currency notes look like, now that I have had nearly no cash for the past month. I really believed for some time that the phrase ‘out of sight, out of mind’ didn’t apply to me any more.

But I’m happiest for not having to wriggle through my pockets and to worry about how I would manage to give the auto guy the change or wondering if the delivery guy would have any change because I forgot to tell while ordering, that I only have a 1000 rupees note with me. So this is great! For the longest time I wished I could just swipe my card and pay for things instead of having to go to an ATM or to figure out how to find change for bigger currency notes. But I still love all the street food and It seems quite unlikely that they will keep a debit/credit swipe machine or use PayTM kind of services to transact even in the distant future.

What should I do now that I have to pay my house help and the cook their monthly salary? One doesn’t have a bank account and the other wants cash. Even if I could give them their salaries electronically they would need cash to then go and buy their vegetables and things with cash from stores that sell things that are cheaper than the ones available at supermarkets that could take payments online. Both these ladies don’t have smartphones and surely they will find it difficult understanding the sometimes complicated payment and returns processes because they are not literate.

The dance!

The dance!

So thus, began ‘the dance of the cashless‘!
  • Two and half hour wait in a line outside my bank without any success
  • Almost 19 km covered on the cycle trying to find a working ATM
  • Approximately 44 ATMs visited
I’m still a novice at this dance form. There are people who are masters in this art of lining up and standing for an entire day, everyday. But this is one art form I’m more than willing to be a total crap in and so wish that this dance gets over really soon.
1 comment
  1. Good post! While on this please read my piece – “Savour the Achhe Din” – on another side effect of Demonetisation.
    Feedback most welcome!. Thanks

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