The 25 Paise Issue.
There was some vague news about the 25 paise coins going off circulation. Everybody, including me, tried to dump their 25 paise coins as soon as they could. Until, the BEST hiked its ticket fares. Suddenly the humble 50 paise coin became the most popular of all coins! And since there weren’t enough of them around, the bus conductors started handing back 50 paise in the 25 paise denomination.
Much to my irritation, they would hand over 25 paise coins, but wouldn’t accept them back because ’25 paise nahi chalega'(25 paise is obsolete). Ofcourse 50 paise is not big money, but when you add up the daily costs it becomes substantial! And then there was the problem of storing a whole lot of 25 paise coins in my wallet.
Recently I was witness to a bitter exchange of words between a passenger and the conductor. The passenger was of the opinion that the conductor should take back the 2-gleaming-25-paise coins he had just given him, and give him a 50 paise coin instead. The conductor insisted that the passenger shut up and keep it with him.
Cutting out the histronics:
The conductors points were:
1. 25 paise works in the BEST.
2. By rejecting 25 paise coins, the passenger was helping the big business barons profit, because they would charge 25 paise extra for commodites. Say you’re buying something worth Rs 40.25, you’d end up paying Rs 40.50.
The passengers points were:
1. The next conductor may not even accept the 25 paise coins.
2. He may never travel by BEST for a long time, where is he supposed to keep 2 coins safe?
3. He’d pay Rs 40 for the commodity.
The conductor looked around for support, and a lot of Marathi manus supported him, labelling the passenger and ‘kanjus’ (stingy) and various expletives. The poor passenger tried replying for sometime, and then started looking out of the window with a frown on his face, and the two innocuous looking coins in his palm.
While looking for an image of 25 paise coins, I came across World Coin Gallery’s collection of coins of India Republic.
It needs a little updating, they don’t have the ‘dollar’ or the Rs 5 coin in their collection. Ha! We got dollars too :-)