Penny-less on the streets of Dharamshala!!


You know it’s a beautiful experience, exploring the intricacies of landscape & nature. You are smitten at the first sight; such an experience was a trip to the Northern lands of India; HIMACHAL PRADESH

Being one of the college trips, it was fun as it should be – friends, freedom & a flamboyant farrago of events….!!! Phew! The usual routine of such trips involves – firstly, us visiting the assigned place of supposed architectural importance, while going to the place, we obviously do stray & give the Prof.s nightmares to cherish! So anyways, this trip to the beautiful land made us witness, why people loved this place so much!

“Frosty scenery,

Cloudy skies,

& a melodious cacophony of colours & traditions!!”

Coming back to what it was meant to be – so here is the back story to how exactly we became cashless; & no, it isn’t anything to do with ‘Go cashless, use cards!’…. NO…we were literal paupers in grand clothes & cool shades!

So here back in INDIA, our Honourable & beloved P.M, Shri. Narendra Modi Ji, had just started screwing us……God knows who told him we were on a trip!! [Just kidding!].

It was about the first night that we had reached our first destination, Agra if I’m not wrong & the dinner was full of rockets & atom bombs exploding on our ‘’Let’s shop while we are on the trip” dreams…..


Hmmm…….coming on college trips, with friends, obviously we all plan on spend-thrifting on all the items our parents banned back home……now we are free to waste money….& a lot of it….we all had 10Ks & 20ks, all in 500 & 1000 notes……JUST WOW!!

Phones started beeping without pause for the next 2-3 hours……all parents ranting on phones & here all of us giggling it away [ Of course no one realised the intensity of the nation-wide black money wiping scheme!

We did have some store money of 100₹ notes that we all soon exhausted…..soon the trip had become visiting more banks for money exchange than visiting places!

So finally DHARAMSHALA! The city looked so beautiful decked in its accessories & silver ware, it still irks my heart to thing about the time I couldn’t buy anything….

Literally all through that city, I walked in freedom! No one could steal anything from me, I didn’t even have money to buy water! No wasting it on frivolous things & getting scolded by mom! Haha!!

But just imagine, hasn’t the mobile phones in our pockets stopped us from getting wet in the rains without a pre-thought? Hasn’t the possession of cash & cards stopped us from taking a free stroll anywhere? Hasn’t the expensive watch & gadgets been a bund in the way of us just spontaneously jumping into a pool or pond?

In this age of ‘technological disability’, that time we spent, far away from our houses, where we had to fetch for ourselves; it did teach me a lot…..A LOT!!

We practically walked into every street stall & were trying earrings & necklaces……with only 10 20 ₹ in our pockets; the minute he spilt out the rates like 300 & 450 ₹; we just strode straight & out!

We literally ran after pestering the shop keeper for 2 hours & bargaining one additional hour….& when he won’t budge, we ran! It was fun though, the 300 we casually just throw on a cup of coffee at Starbucks, seemed so much then!!

Almost every item in every nook of the street seemed to make a crying call to be purchased; & we felt so helpless….

Soon I accepted the fate & my ‘CURRENT STATUS – PENNYLESS’ & started looking for sceneries beyond just ‘items for purchase’ & things more than just cafes & restaurants! The street Maggi at that altitude & cutting chai became our soul-food ; well… least for a while!


“I strode down the streets with my eyes open,

Hands in my penniless pocket,

Vision to find & explore something new,

A developed taste for the vernacular crew,

Mind set sailing in the cloudy clean sky,

& thoughts all on this piece I would write!”


Well, jokes apart, this move of DEMONETIZATION was a very serious affair which hit our ‘DEVELOPING’ nation’s below the poverty line public pretty seriously; every day since that day, every person spent at least an hour outside the ATM to encash, to survive! The biggest support have been the low income group & the economically low population, who despite being in serious crisis still gave a thumbs up to our PM!!

As things have returned back to normal, here I sign off, preparing for the next ‘MIS-ADVENTURE’!! 😉


2 Comments Add yours

  1. arv! says:

    I remember how foreign tourists were standing for hours here in Jaipur to get their currency changed soon after demonetization. I was just wondering if they were cursing their decision to visit India!


    1. G G Iyer says:

      It was indeed tough! XD


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