They are talking about me in hushed tones, afraid maybe, of what I would hear. But God knows I have heard it all, and seen it all.
What have I not done for my masters? I have stolen for them, lied for them, cheated for them, even killed for them. Yes, killed too. I have served underworld dons, corrupt politicians, God men and terrorists; and today they talk about me in hushed tones, as if anything could be blasphemous to me.
Grubby hand after grubby hand has clutched at me greedily all through my life. I have been exchanged under the table in the official buildings, exchanged over a bed in brothels, passed along rolexed hands in posh casinos and tucked into the skimpy tank tops of escort girls.
They are calling me black now. But I have seen a lot of colours in my time. Green of greed during elections, or the biley yellow of the drunkard beggar as he bought his desi daru, bright pink of a call girls lips as she pressed me to her lips. Black, I have seen that too; hidden in boxes , under mattresses and sometimes buried in backyards.
Yes, I have seen a lot of dark. But I have seen a lot of good too. I have seen the green of the spinacj, the red of the tomatoes, as I lay beside a vegetable vendor, I have seen black from the soot and soil, as the labourer clutched me after a hard days work, a happy day indeed as he bought chicken for his family in exchange for me. I have attended weddings, packed in handmade envelopes gifted to the bride and groom, I have passed hands as shagun between families, hovered over a new born baby, as an aunt blessed the baby with me.
Yes, I have lived a full life, so I am not scared of what the future holds for me.
and then they opened the box, and I could hear them clearly.
"I was telling you to purchase gold."
"We can still exchange it for currency with your brother in Dubai, he said someone will be coming next week with a plan."
"My friend is a trustee at the temple complex, they were suggesting exchanging some of the money , but at a premium, and ..."
"the driver was asking for a loan, so maybe if we give him..."
the conversations made no sense to me, and then I saw lying in front of them were decks of pristine, untouched decks of 1000 ruppee notes. the look freshly minted, with not a single turn on them, not a single smudge, or even a fold.
Piles of crisp clean currency notes, unlike me a used 500 ruppee note who had seen more than any one note should, been in places no man had dared to be, and done things unimaginable by the sinpleton mind.
But it wasn't just me they were calling black, they were calling these clean and beautiful untouched , unused notes black.
::these are the words of an inanimate. in the times of devaluation of the 500 and 1000 ruppee notes by the Indian Government.
As I stood in line to exchange my clutchful of currency notes, the line was long at the bank, and my mind wandered into this story, I typed it on my phone, i felt people behind me in the queue peeping to see what I was writing, and some words were strong enough for them to gasp. anyhow I did not know the ending of my story until the lady infront of me handed the man two very large stacks of 1000 ruppee notes; untouched and unused, These stacks begged to be written into the story.