Sign Of The Times


A little girl was asking her Mom how many nickels make up 50 cents. Innocuous question, except that this is India. And we dont have nickels and cents here. Right? Almost … Well, this got me thinking about the way things have changed.

As a child, when 25 Paisa were still around (as were 2, 5, and 10 Paisa coins … inflation obviously hadnt hit us so bad back then), nobody used to call them 25 Paisa. For the time-honoured system of Annas was still alive and well … that 16 Annas made the Rupee, and that 25 Paisa was “Chaar Anna”, or “Chowannee”, depending on where you came from. And 50 Paisa was “Aath Anne”, or “Athyannee”, again depending on where you came from.

That was also the time i used to hear my Grandma wonder aloud about “the things today’s kids are learning!” … we were learning such novel concepts as Kilograms, etc. … remember, Grandma had grown up learning to convert Ratti, Maashshe, and Tole … words which are fast fading … except for jewellers who refuse to give these up! And, courtesy jewellers, women actually know more about these units than men do!

Cut to today, and you have Dad (me) wondering about “the things today’s kids are learning!” … and it makes me wonder … maybe Grandma had a point? OK OK … so i am getting old!

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