November 15, 2016

And on 9 November, 2016...

In another part of the world, another Pandora's box was opened. 


Donald Trump became the President of USA

My money is not money any more!


We will remember 9 November 2016 as the day when the Rs 500 and Rs 1000 notes in our wallets ceased to be money. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a television address to the nation at about 8 pm on 8 November, announced demonetisation of these two denominations of currency. We were in Chennai when this happened, and Harsha was driving us to the airport so we could catch our 10 pm flight back to Hyderabad.

The news first hit us via the ubiquitous Whatsapp...my friend Rekha messaged on our college group. We were sure it was a hoax. Soon, people on other groups to started posting this news, and we began sitting up, quite alarmed by this sudden announcement. The change would become effective 4 hours from the time we heard it!

It was about 11.30 pm by the time we reached Hyderabad and took a cab. We were not sure that our money would work. Luckily, we managed to get a cab who would accept the 'old' currency, and so, we got home.

Modi had opened a Pandora's box, no less.  He had managed to take the entire country's mind off what was happening 10,000 miles away - the election in the United States of America between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump!

#demonetisation 

10 years and 299 posts!

Wow, I've done 10 years, and I can't believe it myself! Although one can ask, why should the number 10 be more important than any other number? It should not be, but since we have words like 'dasha', 'decade' and so on, it is a mark that is recognised and respected. For me, it is a very important number because I was born on 10 January!

Since 2006 when I started blogging, all of us are 10 years older. My children were 13 and 8, Vijay and I were in our 40s/50s, my parents and other older people in the family in their 70s. We have all moved on the conveyor belt of time. While this is a good thing, there is sadness too. The children have left home, my parents have had their share of hospital visits, and we sometimes feel like we are back at the drawing board, wondering what life is all about. Existential angst...but then, you realise that growing up is good, and old and older is a good thing.  

The other thing that makes me very sad is that my teacher, Jaganmohan Reddy Sir, has been missing since 2 years now, and some close people like Mohan mama and Aditya are no longer around. 

Moving on to happier  thoughts, the one thing that makes me very happy is at how empowered we all have become over the last 10 years. Our smart phones are so loaded with incredible apps that life has indeed become much easier. I went to Ahmedabad 2 years back to visit Ragini who was interning there. I did not know the city. Got off at the airport and called an Ola cab. Then I set the GPS to the remote locality she was staying in, and I was the one who guided the driver to find her place. Made me feel really good because the only feeling I remember going to a new place and taking a cab or auto is fear and anxiety. 

The other thing that makes me happy is the social activism that internet has facilitated. From Facebook and Twitter to www.change.org to www.ipaidabribe.com to www.ichangemycity.com, there are so many ways in which we can try to make our voices heard.

Lots of nonsense happening in the world and it certainly makes me angry. A country like USA not having a proper choice for President is a statement that is loud and clear about the state of politics in the world. I am also angry at the many injustices we see and read about every day, about which we can do little, and at how intolerant we human beings are becoming day after day. I feel frustrated by the faceless, impersonal model that many businesses are adopting - banks, insurance companies, phone service providers and so on. I have written about this in earlier posts. I really would like to see this change. 

Apart from that, the small joys of life - the rain, the rainbow, trees and birds to meet, my childrens' and my own learning, discovery and travel. Then there's reading, writing, laughing, friends, movies, sports, food, chocolates, and sometimes Whatsapp! Life, when viewed from this angle, is always good. :)

And so I blog on into my 11th year, whether to celebrate discovery or express anguish. Some people tell me they still come here - my love and thanks to all of them, as also to my parents who are a regular readers. As for the wonderful friends I met through my blog, my life is that much richer because of them.

Happy birthday, Lens and Sensibility!

#blogbirthday

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