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Value of a rupee

I work with a private concern whose proprietor belongs to the business community. He is a well-educated entrepreneur in his late forties with a thorough knowledge about his field and commands respect among companies with whom he deals. Though he controls the overall business, it is his wife, a graduate, who manages the day-to-day functions of the business. VV Narayanan writes

chandigarh Updated: Jan 18, 2013 10:33 IST
VV Narayanan

I work with a private concern whose proprietor belongs to the business community. He is a well-educated entrepreneur in his late forties with a thorough knowledge about his field and commands respect among companies with whom he deals. Though he controls the overall business, it is his wife, a graduate, who manages the day-to-day functions of the business.


Recently, a new peon was appointed in our office. He was quick to fill us in on certain personal details. He told us that he was a Brahmin by caste and had been forced to take up a peon's job due to his financial condition. He was the breadwinner of his family of four.

Our company provides tea twice a day to all employees. It is treated as a perk. But if the peon is not available or on leave, which happens to be quite often, we are deprived of this perk. As per the management, being provided tea twice a day is not a matter of right but a privilege. None of us has any complaint about this.

Usually, the proprietor's wife pays the peon to bring the ingredients for preparing tea for the office staff on a daily basis. One day as usual, she gave the peon money to fetch milk from a nearby vendor. On his return, she asked him for the amount spent and figured that a balance of one rupee was due. The peon said since the vendor did not have a rupee in change, he would give it to her the next day.

The next day, the proprietor's wife reminded the peon about the balance of one rupee. He failed to bring back the change so she reminded him again the next day. The peon mistook her persistence for nagging. On the fourth day when she asked him for the rupee, the peon pulled out his wallet with a flourish and took out a hundred-rupee note. He handed it over to her with a smirk. The peon was, in fact, thinking that she would decline the hundred-rupee note for the sake of a rupee. He was expecting a ready reply: "Don't bother, forget the change." But to his utter dismay, the lady promptly returned ninety-nine rupees, tendering the exact amount to the last coin.

She knows the value of the rupee.

Who says the Indian rupee is undervalued or is in free fall all the time?

The writer can be reached at narayanrajani@yahoo.com