Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Salavai Nottu!

Today my husband handed me a new crisp 10 dollar bill that he got from the ATM b'cos I love nice new crisp currency bills(and he knows I would never spend it!)! It used to be an obsession to collect 'salavi nottu' back in India. As far as I can remember, as soon as money reaches my hand, I used to separate new and old currency bills and hoard the new ones(kind-of savings!). I will try to 'thaLLi-fy' the old nottus as much as possible and use the crisp ones only during emergencies(heart wrenching, singing, 'poghudhey pogudhey....'). Anyway, today's crisp 10 dollar bill is nothing compared to my prized possession and collection of really crisp Re. 1 and Rs. 2 notes(will send pictures of it to those of you who find it hard to believe!) that I've carried with me as 'seer' from Mother India!


Anonymous said...

but India maari thovachu-poattu-kaayappoatta note ellaam inga velangaadhey, vending machines udane thuppidum!!(india-la roova note-na sriramajayam-lerndhu love letter varaikum ellaame irukkum)

my obsession is to use credit cards for every expense to rack up those points.

I said...

I'd love to pay off my creditcard debts within the next decade. with old or new bills, whatever.

NaiKutti said...

neenga new notes fan a?... cool... i used to collect 5 rupee coins for a while, stopped now :-)... now, whenever i see a "old" note or coin (like 10 paise) that is not in common usage, it takes me back to good ol'days and ofcourse, reminding me of inflation :-)... i do have a sample of some of the antique notes/coins not "crisp" ones though :-(...

mitr_bayarea said...

impressive.....it seems like a forgotten habit from good old days in India, where we would collect good notes and keep them aside.

Cool that you are still continuing the tradition!

kuttichuvaru said...

hmm, interesting!! I collect quarters frm different states.... donno wen I will collect them all!!

Me too said...

ttm, numoorule kizhinja notte thallardhukulla padara paadu!! Credit card points is my husband's obsession!

I, good luck with that!

Karthik, I used to be a big 'collector' too! Even beggar reject coins used to be in my collection!! I am hoping that the obsolete French and German coins would one day fetch me a big fortune!!

Mitr, once a collector always a collector(even if I want to give it up, loved ones come up and say "indha, onakku pidikkume"!)

KC, I used to collect that too!! These days every play area/gum-ball machine is swallowing my collection!!

Prasanna said...

Guess the only place where u get new and crispy notes in India are from ATMs and bank counters. Matha edathi lelaam, unbeleivably old and crumbled notes.

Anonymous said...

I havent collected coins or notes but sure had my eyebrows up seeing two ruppe notes and one rupee notes...with coins all I can remember is the time when my friend took me to the railway tracks and showed me how a one rupee coin becomes a "drachma" in no seconds when a train runs over it. The new coins were more interesting when it used to become thin sheets of stainless steel :-)

Anonymous said...

I agree entirely with Neo :-) Me and 2 other friends used to visit this pal on the outskirts - visit an abandoned station and keep coins on the tracks. The aluminium 10ps would remain stuck to the wheels while the 25ps coin made an excellent plectrum for my friend's guitar.
in india, easy to dispose the dirty notes, just tender Rs.10 or 20 and when cursed back, hand over that currency note snatched from a donkey's mouth.

Me too said...

Prasanna, yes, we will win hands down in a competition for crumbly notes, I guess!!

Neo & ttm, ungalale dhaan India-le ivalavu chillarai thattupaada!!! Every time you guys enjoyed 'the beauty' of coins flattened by train, a person like me would have been shouted at by the conductor, 'Chillarai illena yeranguma!':(

Anonymous said...

me too,
haha...I know! my dad used to constantly replenish 2 glass tumblers full of coins! I used to beg my friends for ride home on running out of change.

Coins/rupees bring out more memories:
1. In 1985 the sleek Re.1 was introduced sometimes with letters H, M and an arivu jeevi started the rumor that you get a HMT watch if u collect 3 Re.1 coins with those letters(Possible inspiration from Coconut Bomb rumor in Udaya Geetham released that year - Koundamani vaayila sakkara podanum :-) )
2. Passengers used to fight with the conductor claiming they gave the lookalike Rs.2 coin which was mistaken for the one rupee coin
3. 50ps and new 5-rupee coin had same diameter
4. Rs.500 and Rs.100 notes had same dimensions leading to confusions.
5. Conductors started using +/- 5ps as a tolerance amount for bus fares(Rs 1.95 is acceptable for Rs.2)
6. In those currency bundles, one might find a note with one half missing(inserted in the middle of the pack)

-Indiala sandappoda 1008 vishyam irukku like the ones above.

5. No one knows why the 20ps was introduced for 1st time in 1984, along with the new 10ps(aluminium excess?)
6. The early 25ps coins had some nice designs on the 'tails' side. In 1988 they introduced the shiny 50ps(rhino at the back) & 25ps
7. Aesthetics came only from 1991 with the intro of the creamy-brown Rs.10 and the perfectly round shiny Re.1 coin and the kutty 10ps!
8. The Rs.2 note has the letters P, C, M inscribed somewhere at the back.
9. We used to have count the sigantures of the RBI governors in our parents paypackets in the 80s - Manmohan Singh, Patil, RMalhotra, Bimal Jalan, Rangarajan...
10. I loved the way conductors held those notes folded in vertical halves between their fingers. The sight of a conductor writing the issued numbers on that squared sheet pressed over the ticketbooks, at every junction, whistle in mouth and standing 70degs to the ground is unforgettable :-) [Bus ticket superstitions and rumors is another story!]

raju said...

my younger sister is still collecting 'salavai nottu'......a typical girlie hobby. i used to spend whatever i get.boyz r boyz..:-)

Me too said...

ttm, whoa!!
Yes, I remember the 'HMT' rumour and not surprisingly, I collected too! :)
My mother often used to get confused with the similar looking Rs. 500 & Rs. 100 notes and even given the 500 Rupee note instead of 100 rupees a couple of times!
Too many coin statistics! 'Enakku yerkeneve inga nickel and dime thadumaatram! Ippo ella coin-um suthudhu'!
Totally agree about the style of conductors holding the rupee notes. I remember playing Bus 'velayattu' and wanting to be conductor all the time!!

Raju, yes, boyz r boyz. We 'kashtapattu' collect and you guyz go to railway tracks to see them flattened!!! ;)

Anonymous said...

The best and friendliest govt employees of all were the TNSTC long distance bus conductors! They were very polite and never insisted on change. At times I've occupied their seat when they go to collect and usually address them 'vaangana, indhaangana, correctungna' like a movie sidekick talking to the hero :-) Enjoyed early morn TNSTC journeys. Most unforgettable is a summer morn 3 yrs back travelling Dharmapuri to Salem at 530am - they put a malaysian DVD of MGR hits like Neela Niram, Oruvar Meedhu, Maanicka Theril while I enjoyed the green fields, fresh breeze, people waking up, chinna pasanga/ponnus readying for school, topping it off with pongal/dosais/vadai/coffee at a restaurant near chinnasalem,calling family members to say hi..it was a Friday morn and I enjoyed bunking office for a long weekend roam and visiting several relations in TN.

In college days, we had a witty chatterbox conductor(Charlie lookalike) who'd periodically announce 'Yaarum Mei Marandhu amarndhavanname iraamal irangum nilayam nerunginaal theriya paduthungal!'. We had fun asking him 'Nadathunar ayya, dhayavuseidhu oru payanacheetai thaarungal ayya'. His nickname became Superconductor!
PTC bus conductors the laziest!

A bus accident claimed a driver near my area. The elders made up a story that the driver roams the area in the form of a ghost called Kaaima. Gripped by fear, we gave up Bus Velayaatu and Doctor Velayaathu became the offical sport(recollect some hilarious 'symptoms' given by the 'patients'

tt_giant said...

he he! I still have a bunch of 2*100 notes which I got for my upanayanam in 1987.

BTW, are you sure it is not 20 dollars? which ATM gives you 10 dollars?

Has to be me said...

Wow! Im sure ur hubby wud be happy with this collection cos he knows u wudnt spend them! :)

Me too said...

ttm, early morn journeys are always enjoyable!
PTC conductors were sometimes as evil as the TNEB-wallas especially not revealing which bus would leave if 2-3 same service buses are at the terminus!
One PTC bus conductor became a friend after I 'vizhundhu vaarified' at Saidapet while running to catch the bus!!

Deepak, since 1987-a? good!! Laminate panni vechudunga!

has to be me, yes, that's why he contributes to it!!

Anonymous said...

used to have debates with my friends on who has spectacular memory power - the waiter serving half a dozen tables or the conductor batch-processing tickets and change!!

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