Demonetization – A realization ;-)


10.05 hrs – Here we are, at the Lonavla junction! Kaka dropped us here after giving his mobile number, if we need any help and giving us some info about the places to visit as well as how to get a vehicle to go around and things like that. We bid a bye to kaka and the first thing that came to our notice are the Chikki shops around the place. As far as my eye sight goes, the only shops which I can see are the chikki shops.

Chikki is a candy made up of jaggery and peanuts usually. But people do prepare these candies with other stuff like sesame, chana dal (chick-peas) etc. And Lonavla is famous for it’s chikki. Don’t forget to buy some when you visit this place next time πŸ™‚ . Kaka asked us to inquire with the auto-rickshaw people to go around the places and he told that usually they charge Rs. 500 to 600 for a trip. When we approached an auto driver and inquired, he asked us to pay him Rs. 1200, exactly double the amount which Kaka told us!

10.40 hrs – After a good bargain, he reduced the fare to Rs. 800 and it was only at this point of time did we realize that we are left only with Rs. 600. The next question to the driver is “Brother, are there any ATMs near by?” and the reply is “Lot of ATMs, but no cash in them” 😦 . Only then did we realize the gravity of the situation, that we were left only with Rs.600 and we still have a long way to go. So, it was decided that we would be sacrificing the plan of going around these beautiful hill-stations Khandala and Lonavla, for the sake of pumping few more bucks into our wallets 😦

11.00 hrs – We asked the auto driver about AXIS Bank, coz this is the only bank which don’t require a pass-book to withdrew money and he told us that it’s a 10 min walk from there. We walked towards the bank only to hear the answer that there was no cash available with the bank. We wanted to give a last try. If we could get some money from the ATM of State Bank of India, we would go around here or otherwise we would be heading directly to Pune. We reached the bank and there were 3 queues with some 100 people in each of them waiting for their turn either to deposit the old bank notes, or to withdraw money from the bank or from the ATM.

11.30 hrs – We too stood in the ATM queue and waited for our turn. The twist in the story was that the ATM was closed, none knows when it is going to be opened or is it going to be opened at all? It’s just a hope that it would open sometime πŸ˜€ . When inquired about the same with the security guard, he always used to show me his index finger and the middle finger! I could never understand, what it meant, I mean is it that the ATM opens at 02.00 PM or in another 2 hours! Waited for another hour in the queue till the time we got exhausted. We gave up our quest for money 😦 . Headed to a small eatery shop and ordered for some vada-pav and decided to leave to Pune!

12.45 hrs – Something clicked in Mythri’s mind. She called up her cousin to find about the Rs. 500 she has lent to him and found that he kept the same in the book in Mythri’s bag. She made a thorough search and at last found Rs. 400! Yippee!! Another Rs. 400 added to our reserve. Now the dilemma crept in. Should we bargain hard and fix the trip at a cost of Rs. 600 and save the rest for our onward journey or should we save all of it?

13.20 hrs – After having a vada-pav, my brain started to work sharp I guess πŸ˜‰ :-p . I told Mythri about the plan that was running in my mind. It was to ask the auto-driver to accept our debit-card and swipe it at any one of those chikki shops or the hotels or any petrol-pumps and get the money! We were elated with our idea and headed towards the auto-junction and we found the same driver with whom we had a bargain in the morning. But to our utter disappointment he wasn’t of any help 😦 . We lost our hope again!

14.00 hrs – Mythri and I, the deadly combo will never give up so easily πŸ˜‰ We found another auto-wala and when we told him that we don’t have ready cash and he can execute the idea which we had in our mind and he readily accepted. He took us to a near by hotel whose manager he knew well, but that manager turned him down 😦 . But our driver was like the King Vikram who wanted to go after the ghost Bethal πŸ™‚ . He approached his group of drivers and somehow persuaded the leader to speak with a petrol-pump owner and finally the owner agreed to swipe our card and pay the driver πŸ™‚

14.15 hrs – We made a payment of Rs. 700 to the driver to show us all the important places which we should visit both in Khandala and Lonavla and asked him to drop us at the railway station before 17.00 hrs as we have to catch our train to Pune! Finally, we made it πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Bandra – Worli Sea Link – An architectural Marvel



18.00 hrs – Gateway of India πŸ™‚ . Got a chance to see this beauty with it’s lighting and all πŸ™‚ . My day didn’t come to an end yet. I didn’t miss to catch the words that were told by the cab driver while we were going to the Siddhi Vinayak temple that had we told him, he would have brought us there passing through the Bandra – Worli Sea Link. So, we decided that our return journey would be only by passing this πŸ™‚ . One more thing which I didn’t forget is that we are short of money and I should find an ATM with cash, thanks to Demonetization!


While walking towards the Chatraparthi Shivaji Terminus, we came across a lot of ATMs but only without any cash 😦 . After few inquiries, we came to know that the feasible thing to do is to travel to Bandra by a local and catch an Ola cab from there to Andheri routed through the Sealink. 19.30 hrs – Reached the bandra station and took the cab and asked him to execute our plan πŸ˜‰ . Thanks to the Demonetization again, as there was no toll fee those days and we save few bucks πŸ™‚ .


No pedestrians, buses and trucks are allowed on this. Only private vehicles are allowed and no one can stop on this to click photographs and if one did so, it’s sure that you will land up infront of the Mumbai Police. The 5.6 km long cable-styled bridge that crosses the Arabian Sea and links Mumbai’s suburbs with the southern part of the city is considered to be an engineering marvel. All eight lanes of the Rajiv Gandhi Sea Link (as it’s officially called) were opened to the public in March, 2010. The infrastructure is remarkable, with gigantic pillars constructed inside the sea.Β It is said that the steel wire used in the bridge equals the circumference of the earth.


The Sea Link is mainly to reduce theΒ load on the Mahim Causeway, the only road connecting the western suburbs to Mumbai and save the travel time (from 40 mins to 8 mins) and improvement in environment, especially in terms of reduction in air and noise pollution in Mahim, Dadar, Prabhadevi and Worli areas of Mumbai. Now, there is a proposal for the Bandra-Versova Sea Link, a northward extension to the Worli-Bandra Sea Link, that represents the last leg of the one which starts from Nariman Point. This 9.9 km long link is to be built 900 metres into the sea.


21.30 hrs – Reached home along with fully slept Ryan and half-slept Mythri πŸ™‚ . But the scene reversed as we entered the home. After refreshing ourselves, Mythri is the first one to sleep and Ryan and I started to grab some food. This is the time, when I realizedΒ that the much bigger Rs. 2000 note is not of much use during crisis! Think off, we ordered some pizzas from Dominos, and the bill was Rs. 800 and they are not ready to accept a new Rs. 2000 note 😦 and ultimately, we couldn’t do much other than cancelling our order 😦 . I could understand that if I need to continue on my travel I have to convert this Rs. 2000 into 100s as soon as possible.

22.00 hrs – Ryan and I started our quest for 100 rupee notes and almost went around all the shops and hotels that were there on the Sahara Airport Road, which was of no use. When we entered the last hotel which is left, luckily we could see few persons who were in possession of some 100 rupee notes and when we approached them, the only words he spoke to us were that I have to give him 20% of 2000 (i.e. 400) Β if I need change. After a lot of bargain, he reduced the commission percentage to 10% and I got Rupees 1800 for my 2000. We don’t have any other go, do we?

22.45 hrs – We were back in our home and I called up my cousin only to say to check for any ATMs and if we can withdraw some money. 23.00 hrs – We were off to sleep! 02.30 hrs – My cousin is back home from his night shift and woke me up to say that he didn’t find even a single ATM with cash 😦

Tough times ahead :-p