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The Marwari perspective on the Rupee’s depreciation

Corporate comedian Vikram Poddar pens an open letter to the Rupee in his latest laugh column

Vikram Poddar | Published 11.07.22, 06:08 PM

Dear Rupee,

As a Marwari I have often been told that money is important, but what is more important is how you make it. As you can imagine, crypto trading is not something that the typical Marwari would approve of. You might as well be working at Amway. But the way the USD is beating you, it feels like you are also working at Amway. And only a multi-level marketing scheme seems to be keeping you afloat. 

Most Marwari businesses operate on cash accounting. Because when you do accrual accounting, you end up accruing a Vijay Mallya. Who is now putting up Instagram reels saying “Can we skip to the good times?” 

But dear Rupee, you have been non-performing for a while now. Do you know how many rupees I saved getting cashback on Coupon Dunia? Only Rs 18, but hey, that gets me 100g of dhaniya patta. And Rs 16 more for paying my rent via CRED – all credit to their advertising strategy. Heck, my roommate and I even share the soap one-by-two. And now you are telling me the rewards for halving my standards of personal hygiene is to see half my purchasing power gone?

Why are you letting this upstart dollar push you around? Tell the Federal Reserve, ‘Sir, your country was not even born when we were inventing the zero. And we have been re-inventing it ever since.’ Especially in our current account deficit. Which has caused a deficit in my savings account. And now I am forced to write for a living. Which feels a lot like forcing a Bengali to become a chartered accountant.  

But when I look around me, I see the Pakistani currency is behaving like the Pakistani cricket team of the 1990s. Except that instead of beating India in the Sahara Cup, they are now looking for sahara. I see voters have taken over the presidential palace in Sri Lanka, which feels like a corporate off-site where the drinks got really out of hand. And so did the Sri Lankan currency.  

So I understand you are acting out of peer pressure. But my dear friend, you are a unique currency. You are the only currency that preaches non-violence on the face of it. While people indulge in all sorts of violence in the hopes of having their face on you. You survive in the floating exchange rate system but perhaps the Floating Market in Patuli might be a better place for you.

'Dear rupee... Why are you letting this upstart dollar push you around?'

'Dear rupee... Why are you letting this upstart dollar push you around?'

Shutterstock

You are after all merely a promise. That unlike HR, you will get back to me should I need to exchange you for some goods and services. The economists call you fiat money. But you have fallen so much, I am even struggling to buy a second-hand Fiat. But I do know a Marwari friend who manages to sell his second-hand purchases at a higher price than when he bought them. Only a Marwari could pull this off. The Bengali would write angry poems on depreciation.  

See, at present, you are behaving like a corporate employee. And allowing your value to be determined by a bunch of random actors. But that is not the Marwari way of doing things. What you should do is monetise yourself. Sell advertising space on your front face and keep the back space free for editorials. 

Imagine wearing this on yourself: ‘This Rs 10 note is brought to you by Asian Paints’. With a shade card at the back where customers can choose and go “Merawala Green!” as a sad Pakistani currency fan cries in the corner, “Maro mujhe maro!

See, most people are scared to take a bet on themselves and hence never end up making a rupee. But you can certainly take a bet on yourself and go like that Instagram reel “Drop some money”. Now I need to sign off. Because I need to sell my Bengali friends in CR Park, 100% organic, vegan, intersectional feminist Dal Baati Churma. 

 

The author, Vikram Poddar, is a Marwari investment banker turned corporate comedian. The views expressed in this article are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of the website. 

Last updated on 11.07.22, 07:21 PM
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