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December 3rd, 2016

More on that elusive Indian thing called cash


My blog post the other day offering advice to rupee-less people coming to India garnered some truly helpful advice, which I am going to share with you here, in an expanded, add-on post, as it were.

But before I do, the situation here in India is still tough for anyone who needs cash.

Well, to be fair, I can only really speak for Delhi, so if anyone has other inputs from around the country, I’d love to hear from you.

But here in cold and oh-so-foggy Delhi, the long lines in front of the banks are still there, the ATMs […]

Click to continue reading More on that elusive Indian thing called cash

December 3rd, 2016

This is bull***t. Total bull***t!

Forget demonetisation. Forget enforced patriotism. There are now rules governing how much your cow can defecate.

I know you don’t believe me, so here you go, oh ye of little faith.

You could not make this up. Really, you couldn’t.

“a special flying squad will be constituted to measure the size & weight of the cattle dung”…and you thought you were having a bad day in the office 😛

Go on, admit it, this piece of

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December 2nd, 2016

Decoding India. Lesson 1. The imposition of patriotism


There are times when I feel that attempts at decoding India are perforce doomed to failure.

How on earth can one person try explaining the vastness and the cacophony that is India?

Even attempting such a feat almost smacks of arrogance.

And these days there is so much happening in India, that just keeping pace is an achievement, but the latest directive from the Supreme Court has left me so baffled, that I feel that talking it through with you all might help clarify my thoughts.

On Wednesday, while the country stood in interminable queues trying to get access to […]

Click to continue reading Decoding India. Lesson 1. The imposition of patriotism

November 30th, 2016

Ad of the day (and it’s a cracker!)

What a hoot!

“Stay On”, which is coyly described in the press as a “sexual wellness product”, has piggy-back-ed on the demonetisation issue, to produce a hilarious ad that has gone viral here in India.

This is possibly the only thing to do with demonetisation that will make you smile 🙂

November 30th, 2016

Any advice for people arriving in India? About money, obviously.


Who needs cultural advice or where-to-go tips, when the only topic on anyone’s minds is where to get money.

Welcome to demonetised India, 3 weeks on.

Yesterday, I wrote a blog post about demonetisation from a resident’s point of view.

As I sit here at my computer doing a whole slew of month-end online payments, I do of course realise that I’m privileged, in that I can access my money remotely, if not physically.

I can, for example, pay the wages which are due today.

Our staff have all got bank accounts – remember I told you yesterday about Suraj […]

Click to continue reading Any advice for people arriving in India? About money, obviously.

November 29th, 2016

India’s continuing money woes. Three weeks on.


It is a breathtakingly gorgeous day here in Delhi. Deep, deep blue sky. Warm sunshine. Hard to believe it’s so polluted, so I have chosen to ignore the statistics today and celebrate instead the fabulous weather.

Apparently it just as well I’m celebrating it, since the weather forecast predicts the return of smoggy horrid weather soon. But for today, at least, it is simply beeyootiful here.

(I get all kind of soppily enthusiastic about the weather in my running blog today, if you fancy reading a rhapsody to Delhi’s blue skies 😛 – but it is SUCH a perfect day)


Click to continue reading India’s continuing money woes. Three weeks on.

November 25th, 2016

When the front page is just too much to bear

I love news and current affairs and politics.

Always have done, since my far-off undergraduate days at Oxford, when I would religiously read “The Times” every morning.

Now, many, many, oh-so-many years on, it’s a different Times I read over my morning coffee. “The Times of India.”

But despite my inherent love of current affairs, and the need for such “gyan” to feed this very blog, there are times when I wonder if I shouldn’t simply turn my back on all the wickedness and evil that gets reported.

Like this picture on the front page.

It turned my stomach.

And […]

Click to continue reading When the front page is just too much to bear

November 17th, 2016

And NOW we get an earthquake? Enough already!

Despite the title of this blog, I have to admit that I’m not always the biggest fan of Delhi.

True, there are pockets of perfection, and moments of breath-taking beauty, but the gracious leisurely city I first encountered in 1983, has long since disappeared, submerged by noise, traffic, pollution – you name it, Delhi seems to have it.

There are times you really have to work hard at loving Delhi.

But then, there are also times when you wonder if one city deserves so much all going wrong at the same time.

And that day was today.

– Delhi, like […]

Click to continue reading And NOW we get an earthquake? Enough already!

November 15th, 2016

In which I meet a truly unpleasant old man

3 1/2 hours of my life that I will never get back.

3 1/2 hours spent trying to get access to my own money in my own branch.

It was a revelation and I’m glad I experienced it. Really, I mean that. I truly do.

Of course, compared to the miseries and worries for so many people, my visit to ICICI this morning was a breeze, but all the same…

Let’s see how this morning panned out.


We the people

We were already quite a crowd at 9.20 when I rocked up to the bank, and we were

view […]

Click to continue reading In which I meet a truly unpleasant old man

November 14th, 2016

And another cash-less week in India begins…

The so called “surgical strike” against black money in India continues, and as we enter a second week of most of us being cashless, the whole thing is taking a distinct turn for the weird.

Some background first.

Last Tuesday night, without any warning, the PM demonetarised the Rs500 and the Rs1000 bank notes.

In a country which largely uses cash, this was truly a major blow. To the holders of black or illegal money, no doubt, but more desperately, it was a major blow to the millions of people who now have no cash.

Even though the old notes […]

Click to continue reading And another cash-less week in India begins…

November 11th, 2016

Money! Cash! Moolah!


We are liquid again.

After traipsing from bank to bank to bank in vain, & buying bread with my credit card because I had nothing, as in nothing, in my purse, I hit pay dirt 🙂

These were just 2 of the many queues outside the banks at my local market:

Now, much as I

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Click to continue reading Money! Cash! Moolah!

November 10th, 2016

No cash to be had…



We had made a plan with our friendly local banker, to go in (with advance notice) and cash cheques, and to deposit our useless Rs500 notes…and then just as I was getting ready to brave the crowds outside the bank, we got an sms telling us the branch had no cash left 😛

So, it’s back to living on tick.

These scenes, below, are from around Delhi today:


Click to continue reading No cash to be had…