|Vehngi of the vendor looked like the |
one in this historic painting.
Traversing the past through the memory lane, here is a sneak view of the spending power of a paisa then.
It was about that time that I joined primary school and my mom used to give me a taka (a two paisa coin) as pocket money in the morning (some days) before I went to school. It was like possessing a fortune. I soon graduated to one anna after throwing tantrums. Some children just got one paisa, but that didn't dent their joy. This was enough to buy a handful of groundnuts and gachak (jaggery mixed with nuts).There was sufficient choice though. The vendor used to have triangular shaped paper bags to give the stuff in. In the last period before recess, we experienced over active taste buds, in anticipation of the mouthwatering goodies to be consumed. As soon as the bell chimed, the jubilant youngsters’d run to the vendor, encircling his wares and creating a din, wanting to be the first to be served. The poor man joyfully attended to everyone and even gave the jhunga (small amount free) to every child, who’d scamper away victoriously The nuts tasted swell and sometimes few shells were munched along with the nuts to prolong the finishing point. The simple fare was a favourite of all and each day the desire to enjoy the stuff in no way lessened. The law of diminishing utility was irrelevant then. The kind vendor had a special place in the hearts of children, as his wares provided untold joy.
The denomination of Indian currency before decimalization in 1961:*
One rupee = 16 annas / 64 paise / 192 pies
Atthannee = 8 annas / 32 paise
Chawanee = 4 annas / 16 paise
Dawannee = 2 annas / 8 paise
Anna = 4 paise
Taka = 2 paise
Paisa = 1/64 rupee
Dhela = ½ paisa
Pie/ Dhamri = 1/3 paisa
*Our Arithmetic sums in school had a lot of inter-conversion of various denominations.
Image courtesy: Wikipedia.com
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