Once upon a time…

A long time ago, when Chennai was still known as Madras, I had just begun my second year of stay in the city. It was not a metropolitan city that it is now. It was a growing town trying to be known for more than just its beautiful temples. My arrival to this city was far from smooth yet by the end of a year, I had acclimatized to the new surroundings, new language, and the new school I had joined.

It was during my first summer vacation that I was gifted a few fresh, crisp one and two rupee notes by my father. He was living in Mumbai back then. He often visited Chennai to be with us and during each of his visits he used to bring me a gift.

These one and two rupee notes were being taken out of circulation and what my father gave me were some of the last few ones. He asked me to never spend them. I took his advice to heart and had kept them hidden in a little box at the bottom of my cupboard, checking it everyday to see if they were still there. Few months later, my mother bought me a piggy bank to keep all my savings. And the treasured ‘rare’ notes were duly transfered to the piggy bank.

The notes were with me all the while staying as fresh and crisp as they had always been, and over the years it was only one among us that grew older.

Years later when I began working, I met a colleague who had an interest in collecting coins. He had a fairly large collection, and upon looking at it I thought about my precious notes. Thus began a new hobby.

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