This article is for a change. Yes, a change from the travel articles, social issues, poems, book reviews, art & craft, et al. Phew, what a change!!! What is that change?? Is this about something totally out of our universe? No prizes for guessing. It is something about us only. Our change-expecting habit. Habits do become second nature when they are with us for long.
I do not know about people in other countries, but we Indians have this 'incorrigible' habit. Forget about shopping with credit or debit cards. There are many shops and establishments in our country that don't accept these plastic cards. We carry a bunch of 500-1000 Rs notes. We go to buy groceries in those kirana or pop & mom stores. One may either buy a bulk of things or just 1-2 things. Then he/she pockets out a 500 or 1000 Re note to the shopkeeper. If they are generous or if you are lucky you will get some change in 100s, 50s, 10s. If the amount stands out in units (like 164, 567 etc), the rest of it is compensated with chocos like Eclairs. From where did we develop this undying habit? Yes, we need change to pay those autowallahs, bus conductors, ironwallahs, or at places where there is no possibility of getting back any change. But expecting to get back the change each time, every time and fatten our purses with those 10s, 50s, 100s all the time? Can't we spare a second thought to those shopkeepers or anybody who get fed up seeing customers giving them full notes all the time? How would you feel if u are in their shoes? I will feel irritated. Searching for the change and keeping the next customer waiting. Recently, I went in a cab from one place to another and when I got out and handed him a full note, the driver said he had no change at all. The destination was a hotel, and an employee took the note from me and hunted for that 'change'. After some time, he managed to get some notes, but still I had to forgo 10 Rs.
"Bhaiya, aap ke paas change hai kya?"
"Bilkul nahin, sir/madam."
These are the two dialogues we Indians are always familiar with. When they declare that they do not have change, we will pay the exact amount which we already have. Yes, though we have the amount in our purse that can be paid in exact way, we still do not want to part with that valuable change. We expect more of the smaller notes. Why do we have this mentality? We have a convenience store in our complex. The other day, when the employee from that shop door delivered things worth Rs 75 and no, I did not give him 100 Rs expecting a change of Rs 25. For a 'change', I paid him the exact amount. I am sure he would be happy seeing these exact amounts making his job easier. If everyone of us are paying only full notes, how will he have change? Come on, he needs a change from giving us back those changes!
PS. Read my previous article 'A Trip to Munnar' which was posted recently. I could not wait to publish this one!!!