No Money, No Cry

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Lead Illustration: UdayShankar

A poem on demonetization (with apologies to the late Bob Marley)

dilip-bobb By Dilip Bobb

I remember a time when spending habits reached new heights,
Splurging on holidays and retail therapy as if money grew on trees,
Then came another of Narendra Modi’s surgical strikes,
And virtually overnight we were brought down to our knees.

Scrambling to change currency we thought would forever last
We are instructed to be patriotic and sing No Money, No cry.
In this great shining future you can forget your past,
So dry your tears and resist the urge to change money on the sly.

The Great One has assured us the pain will only last 50 days,
And that everything’s going to be all right, it just takes a little time,
Sacrifices will be needed, miss a meal, give up your indulgent ways,
And mind your peas and queues; the entire nation is standing in line.

Even if it means missing work and failing to pay your kirana store,
It may be stressful, even illegal, to not have access to your own cash,
But in the name of national interest, we are all going to war,
Black will turn into white even as your 500 rupee notes turn into ash.

Swachh Bharat will become reality, terrorists will run away screaming,
Along with counterfeit notes and the black money in our financial system,
Your lifeline is now ATM and Paytm and Bob Dylan on live streaming
Telling us that times they are a’ changing, courtesy our music-loving PM.

Some say the surgical strike was like mass sterilization without anesthesia,
While others talk of sacrifice and martyrdom and making India great again,
But if you nota bene the note ban you will be cured of your amnesia,
Since the FM keeps telling us that temporary pain is for permanent gain.

He should stand in the queue like the newly minted cashless citizens,
And try talking to the affected classes to ease them of their fright,
As they clutch their Rs 100 notes like they were priceless gems,
While chanting the official mantra: “Everything’s gonna be all right.”

Lead Illustration: UdayShankar