By Deepa Ranganathan
Last night came the announcement that Rs 500 and Rs 1000 currency notes stand abolished from midnight.
Let me tell you what happened to three women this morning.
My mother. She is 55 and lives in Jamshedpur. She heard about the currency dump yesterday, while watching the news with my father. On the phone this morning, she tells me that she has only Rs 500 notes at home. So there’s no way she can buy bread or any other breakfast item with them. She says she is going to make something out of leftover poha. She says she is worried about how small towns like ours are going to deal with this sudden change, given that card payment is not an option in local kirana stores.
My cook comes in at 8 am. She is nearing her early 40s. She has only a vague idea about PM Modi’s announcement. I tell her the details and explain what she can do with any high value currency she may have at home. She reacts with a cautious look on her face. She asks me if the bank is open today and if she can get her work done as soon as possible. I tell her she will have to wait till tomorrow since banks are closed. I am not sure how long she has been earning or working in the unorganized sector but she tells me that she has managed to save quite a bit over the last few years. And she has successfully hidden it in secret pickle jars at home. She says she will have to find a way to go to the bank secretly so her “evil” son never knows about it.
I am 27 and live in Delhi. I had ordered some dals and pulses on Bigbasket yesterday. I had chosen the cash on delivery option as I usually do. But that was before Mr. Modi dropped the bomb. I went back online and was able to pay via netbanking. This morning I exchanged an extra condolence smile with the delivery man, who said he had Rs 1000 in his pocket and still felt poor.
Good morning India! How goes your day?
Deepa is a young feminist who has lived and explored her feminism in different cities in India. She currently works with FRIDA | The Young Feminist Fund and is passionate about amplifying the voices and struggles of feminist activists everywhere.