When money becomes scarce, a visit from a mobile ATM is godsend
Rahul Dass | November 24, 2016 | New Delhi
Someone breathlessly said: “Mobile ATM has come. Mobile ATM has come.” The message had an electrifying effect on the employees. Amid whoops of joy, they promptly went scurrying out of their office to find out more.
And what a sight it was. There stood IDBI’s mobile ATM van within the seven-storeyed office complex. At a time of cash crunch that has left everyone counting their pennies, the mobile ATM was like an oasis. The ATM on wheels was like a whiff of fresh, fragrant air in putrefied Noida, abutting Delhi.
People queued up quickly, with the line extending up the glazed stone steps and entering the chandeliered atrium. Then, there was a better idea. Why not queue up outside. It would be easier. So, eager people queued up on the cobbled stones that marked the impressive drive-way.
It was lunch time and for once, no one was grumbling.
The minutes quickly began to tick away, yet the mobile ATM had not yet begun to dispense cash. It was suggested that the mobile ATM be better parked. The uncomplaining people agreed, so long as they could withdraw money.
Finally, the first person clambered up the stairs leading up to the ATM. A couple of minutes later, he stepped out, holding aloft Rs 100 notes. This was stuff of what dreams were made of. That one act, significantly strengthened the resolve of all those who stood in the queue.
A few young women chatted animatedly – and they did talk a lot. Three of them decided to stand in the little shade that the van provided. The young women spoke on a host of issues. Not sure whether black money per se came up for discussion. The chatter was constant.
The atmosphere was more picnic-like. What was missing though was a big picnic basket. People smiled. People scowled. People joked. They did small talk. The seconds ticked and the minutes passed by.
Half-an-hour later, distress. A guy heaved himself up the mobile ATM and came out, saying there was a hitch. The message quickly went down the line. Faces fell. This could not be happening. “What did he say,” asked a worried woman.
As people wondered what to do next, there was good news. The ATM was working again. A collective sigh of relief.
Enterprising journalists decided to take short interviews of those in the queue. An intrepid photographer walked up an under construction building to get a better shot.
A guard locked up the main gate so that outsiders could not get in. Without any doubt, this was an exclusive operation.
As the minutes passed, patience began to wear thin. A man tried to jump the queue, but he was sternly told that he would not be allowed.
An hour into the works, there was a sudden commotion. An employee had entered the mobile ATM for the fifth time to withdraw money. There were howls of protests. He was called out and suitably reprimanded.
There was hardly any discussion on black money among the well-heeled. People were only worried about taking out ephemeral cash.
When one stepped into the mobile ATM, one realized that it was quite warm inside. An armed guard looked on while another rested.
Most of us had a smile as we stepped out. We felt triumphant. Now, we could manage a few more days as the authorities went after black money hoarders. Not sure how many bad sheep will be caught, but quite sure that demonetization has brought back the great Indian tradition of standing in queues.
We were always told that money has a certain value. That was wrong. Money is priceless. Ask those who stood in the queue.
With highly appropriate lyrics at the start of every chapter, combined with deep insights from rigorous analysis of data – Citizen Raj is an absolute delight to read. In Citizen Raj, Surjit Bhalla, well known economist and commentator, looks at Indian elections from
Stepping up the momentum for construction of the Jagdishpur-Haldia and Bokaro-Dhamra natural gas pipeline (JHBDPL) and Barauni – Guwahati Pipeline (BGPL) pipeline, GAIL (India) has winded up finalising awards for Rs 10,500 crore contracts for pipe supply and laying of the integrated 3,400 km-lo
People stare at the barren fields. They remember how green this stretch was, what a dense jungle there was, even if it is difficult for a visitor to imagine so. This land once supported its people, providing them enough opportunity to earn from their labour. Today, the stretch lies unused, a constant rem
To ensure safety of passengers and better comfort, Konkan Railway has decided to replace the old coaches of Madgaon Junction-Mumbai CSMT Mandovi express and Madgaon Junction-Mumbai CSMT Konkankanya express with German LHB design coaches. The LHB coaches have been designed for i
State run BSNL has installed 54,000 telecom towers in the recently concluded 2018-2019 fiscal, which is higher than the combined figures of the previous three financial years. BSNL claimed that over 50 lakh subscribers have ported their number to BSNL from other operators in 20
BSNL has recently rolled out its premium ‘Bharat Fibre’ service in Pulwama town in the Kashmir Valley. Bharat Fibre service delivers high speed internet and high quality voice services to its customers. The customer can chose from various unlimited data with unlimit