Good Reads

What does your piggy bank have? 500 or 1000 notes. Loose change. Or memories.

The recent demonetization drive by our honourable PM Mr. Narendra Modi has taught us one thing – however big the notes are, they can turn price-less (pun intended!) in a matter of minutes. And, however bigger the notes are introduced, they can be useless too, especially when no one wants to break it into smaller denomination. So, you are at the mercy of the notes of smaller denominations and coins that you carelessly pushed into the deeper ends of your wallet.


When I first received the news on 8th November, 2016 that the notes of Rs. 500 and Rs. 1000 were being discontinued, my first instinct was to check my purse and my secret drawer for my secret stash. Luckily I didn’t have much to write home about.

As I stood in the bank queue a few days later with my daughter to cash a few notes exchanged, she asked me, “What is everyone doing?”

“Getting their big notes exchanged for even bigger ones” I replied.

“I have some big notes too, you know.” She told me matter of factly.

Before I could understand or react, she said again. “In my piggy bank!”

Oh my! How could I have missed it!

As soon as I reached home, I opened her piggy bank. Inside, I found luckily notes of Rs. 10 and Rs. 20. You wouldn’t believe how happy I was to see some smaller notes and coins.

Looking at my 2 new, crisp and pink 2000-notes that no one wanted, I found the loose change in her piggy bank valuable and told her so.

The same night, when her father came home from work, my daughter brought her piggy bank and announced full of self-importance, “Papa, you know my piggy bank has more important money than mama’s purse!”

My husband patted her head and disappeared into the bedroom. A few minutes later, he came out with a cat figurine in his hand. It was nothing but his ‘kitty’ bank from when he was 5 years old. The plastic piggy bank in the shape of a cat was now 33 years old, a little worn out at the edges, but contained a priceless treasure. He opened it up with great pride and enthusiasm. And, did I see the twinkle in his eye too!


Out came a stream of coins of 2 p, 3 p, 5 p, 10 p, 20 p, 25 p and 50 p. All these coins are long out of circulation, but they hold so many memories.

I remember buying a pan pasand for 25 p and a melody for 50 p. The latter could also buy me air in the tyres of my bicycle. For Re 1, I could eat 5 pani puris and 1 ice lolly. Oh, those were the days!

Do you remember what you could buy for the above mentioned discontinued coins? Do write, it would be wonderful to touch an important aspect of our childhood.




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