Letter From A Concerned Reader Columns

Take all my money

Respected Sir/Madam,

Digital, electronic, paytm, bitcoin, UPI, RBI, SBI, CBI, FBI, mannangkatti what is happening in this country? I don’t understand anything. I am totally fed up. Indian rupees has any value in 2017 or no? My BP is only going high and high.

So yesterday morning I got up with above average excitement and expectation. This is because courier fellow has delivered my latest purchase from internet website: a copy of Alistair MacLean’s excellent novel The Satan Bug. As you may know I have already read this novel many years ago.

But unfortunately I lost my copy some years back. Mrs. Mathrubootham forced me to go with her to watch film Alaipayuthey. I told her, “Please I don’t like all these romantic films.” She said, “Old man what will people think if they see me sitting in theatre alone and watching love story?” I said, “Aama as if you are timeless beauty like Raisa Gorbachev. What you are talking Kamalam, when Shalini is dancing in reverse slow motion next to waterfall and bougainvillea, public is going to say all that is ok why is old woman sitting alone?”

But she promised that after film we can go to Galloping Gooseberry restaurant on Greams Road to have onion rings. So I agreed immediately. I secretly put The Satan Bug in my pant pocket in case film was boring. But when I came back home it was gone.

Kamalam strikes

So yesterday, after breakfast I sat in living room sofa, and carefully opened the cover of my new copy. At that exact same moment Mrs. Mathrubootham came and said, “Urgently go for shopping old man, take this list.” I said, “Please can I go in the evening? One secret government virus is going to kill everybody.” “No chance,” she said, “my relatives are coming from Nagercoil at 4 p.m. and they are thinking of staying for few days with us, nothing is there in the fridge except beans.”

I looked at the list carefully and said, “Kamalam, but one important thing is missing. What is it? Half kilo potassium cyanide.” Ha ha ha I laughed loudly after leaving the flat and standing in the lift while going down.

I went to nearby KCN Supermarket, put all the items in the basket and approached the counter as usual. I took out my purse and handed Indian rupees to the cashier as I have been doing nonstop since the age of 25 when my mother first allowed me to purchase below ₹150 value items by myself.

Sir/ Madam, seems like that era is finished. Yesterday, this man looked at my money as if I am paying him with septic tank.

He said, “What nonsense you are doing sir, why you are wasting money like this, if you pay with digital wallet you will get 15% cashback. It is very easy let me show you, please give me your phone.” After 15 minutes, Thomas Alva Edison said, “Sir, other customers are getting angry, why don’t you go home and install, I will keep your basket here.”

So I went home and told my son, “Please put digital wallet on my phone, 15% discount is there on all items.” He took my phone and threw it away. “Please don’t insult me with these stone age technologies,” my son said. “Future of money is bitcoin.”

Due to some immoral behaviour in some past life such as smuggling during Chola period, I made the mistake of asking him what is bitcoin. Two hours later, I went back to supermarket and said, “Sorry no digital wallet, also one packet Crocin.” The man said, “Absolutely no problem, if you use debit card sir you will get 10% cashback.” Then after 15 minutes C.V. Raman said, “Sir, machine is not getting connection, other customers are getting angry, would it be possible to use cash?”

Sir/ Madam, if you will give me your personal address, I can send you all my money and my phone and my debit cards by speed post. I am fed up of all money, you use it if you want.

Yours in financial exasperation,

J. Mathrubootham

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Printable version | Aug 3, 2021 5:06:51 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/opinion/columns/take-all-my-money/article21242556.ece

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