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Amidst tormenting news of families skipping one time meal, people collapsing standing in queues, mothers not giving milk to their kids and many others, I have my share of demonetization story too.
Not as alarming and threatening as the above but it did break my heart for a moment and tore my world apart.
It was a regular day, maids coming and going, courier men doing the rounds, the guy from the newly installed internet connection rang the bell. I instantly recognized him and alerted saasoo maa that it’s the internet guy for monthly payment. A little background check before proceeding, our new vendor Excitel offers 10 mbps of internet connectivity which means a movie can be downloaded from illegal torrents within flat half an hour and that too in 800 bucks. Yes 30 minutes it takes to download a Bollywood film which spans for 3 hours and 20 mbps on YouTube.
It also means we 4 members in the house enjoy uninterrupted internet connection day in and night and mummyji can easily savor her daily dose of WhatsApp jokes and forwards and also keep herself abreast with the latest news. No wonder, she got to know about demonetization through WhatsApp only.
Coming back to the point, I was instantly directed to pay the otherwise measly sum of INR 800 but nowadays 8 hundred Rs notes which are extra valuable. Long live the savior who keeps us connected to the virtual world, must be paid his dues immediately whether demonetization or not.
I allowed myself to believe his merit and handed over those 8s to him. “Oh, mumma, I just recalled I have to pay G’s drawing teacher too in cash as she refuses to be paid in any other way”, I exclaimed. To which her reply was “why don’t you one thing?” I was relieved as I thought she is offering me a solution. “Why don’t you skip this month and make him rejoin next month onwards when things will be fine and under control”. I was obviously furious.
The one whose name you are not even familiar with, gets greeted like a lordship and your only grandson is suggested to take a break from his learning schedule?
What sort of suggestion is this? Are you trying to tell me don’t send him to art classes because we don’t have a few hundreds to spare for him at these trying times whereas something as superficial as connectivity is more important for us to spend those hundreds. God has given us enough to lead a comfortable life and much standing to get through bank queues, so where does the question of compromising one requisite for an indulgence arise?
I totally believe the basic needs pyramid of a man has altered itself into Food, Water, Shelter and Wi-Fi. There is hardly a day when we are not glued to our devices and we can’t even imagine a day without it. It would be a crisis of a different sort. But look at that petite-dimpled-puppy-eyed being who has just started exploring and scribbing meaningful creatures with his tiny hands. The other day he surprised me with a perfect drawing of an ant and a caterpillar all by himself with a pen and on my work notebook. I wasn’t mad at all but amazed to the core. A rare isght for a three year old, at least for me it was.
Nobody told him to draw, it wasn’t his homework too but the millions of neurons in his mind telling him to give shape to a doodle when a pen was in sight. It instantly came to my mind to get a wall painted for him with chalkboard paint, where he needn't worry about finding a paper, can draw as much as he wants and which can be easily rubbed off too. Why waste paper? Having attended a parenting workshop earlier, I learnt- “children learn best out of their free-will”. Better experienced than heard, I became a firm believer of this approach.
It was more than 2 weeks he went to the class. If it isn’t I to tug along, the class doesn’t happen for him. These 14 days were busy to the brim, I had to take care of my cataract operated mother, gulp down numerous cups of kaadah to soothe my terribly aching throat and had to choose a perfect 4 piece suit for him to steal many hearts at the family wedding. Phew!! Glad it’s all over now and we can merrily go back to the classes. It’s a win-win for both of us, my 3 year old gets to draw while I take a long stroll at the nearby park. And just when I thought, there is nothing holding us back, demonetization had found a foothold into my house too.
Obviously I didn’t succumb to her reluctance and took out the sacred sum from the family golak, strapped on my walking shoes, tugged along my little one and drove away.
I kept thinking on the way, how adverse situations bring a change in the calmest of individuals who are otherwise unperturbed by daily happenings. One such person is my mother-in-law who believes firmly in God, does more than her share of path everyday and simply adores her only grandson (read my “patka” blog to know how much I respect her). Anyways, after that one hour of self-rejuvenation walk where I breathed my best, all was well at home.
The chalkboard paint is on its way to be delivered at my home and I look forward to many insects and animals adorning my wall! :)