'Dada bada na bhaiyya, sabse bada Ruppayya' was the old maxim that has undergone a sea change, compelling us to now sing, 'Dada bada na bhaiyya, sabse chotta Ruppayya'.
The other day, the temple priest scolded a regular worshipper, "You are insulting Bhagwanji by offering a fallen rupee. Giri hui cheez ko mandir me chadhana mana hai." It reminded me of a film song featuring yesteryear comedian Mehmood, "Kameez nahin to collar chalega, rupya nahin to dollar chalega." And look, today only the dollar reigns supreme.
In a village of Punjab, a bridegroom recently refused to accept a garland of 101 currency notes in the denomination of R1,000 on the occasion of the 'milni' while alighting from the helicopter. The father of groom threatened to take back the 'baarat' if the bride's family did not welcome them with garlands of dollar bills instead, in view of the current position of the falling rupee. Another relative had a point in supporting the marriage party, "After all munda Texas vich taxi chalaunda hai ji."
Last week, brothers discarded the rupee-tagged 'rakhi' and preferred the one with a dollar instead.
The waiter in the hotel tossed back the tip of a R100 note at me, saying that it had already tripped. A similar scene was witnessed at the entrance of a temple where I had been donating a copper coin since childhood. Earlier, the beggar would accept the coin with a smile and shower blessings, "Ja baccha tu pass ho jaayega." His blessings seldom worked though. There was a considerable gap between the wishes and what emerged but it did not dampen my enthusiasm or faith. Over the years, the little copper-based naya paise coins also got me blessings followed by the 'chavanni' (the 25 paise coin), which vanished a decade ago. Now even the beggar pulls a long face if I try to bribe him to shower blessings with a R100 note what to talk of the temple punditji.
Since the day the Indian rupee caught the designer's fancy and got a new symbol, not much has gone in its favour. Rather, it has become like our aging politicians who have lost their face value and often become the cause of embarrassment.
As per a medico, the blood pressure of the rupee is varying between 60 and 70. Today, the dollar is on the escalator, rupee on the ventilator and the finance ministry in the ICU.
Our currency like the elderly is humble and down to earth. Its fluctuation is comparable with the peace policy of Pakistan that changes by the day.
A physics teacher told me that now he will not have to take a costly apple to the classroom to exhibit Newton's law of gravity because the mere example of the rupee is enough to prove the point.