How to get my money?

We live in a booming (like the economy) locality. It means that we can get milk, curd and other dairy products, bread and butter, groceries, fruit and vegetables, and food at any time of the day, within reasonable limits.

The conscientious shopkeepers even offer home delivery. On the flip side, there are more eateries, more showrooms, gyms, coffee bars, pubs and rooftop restaurants which operate without a licence, more traffic, more noise, more overhanging wires that threaten to strangle the unwary, more cables jutting out of the ground, shaky or broken slabs on the footpaths, more open drains, and of course, more garbage! This, despite the wide publicity given to 'swachch Bharat.'  

So when another ATM kiosk was installed keeping senior citizens in mind, others could use it too, there was a reason to rejoice. 'Achche din' had arrived finally! It was located centrally, at right angles to the main road.

More importantly, the road leading to it was less congested. You have to live in Begaluru to know what a boon that is! We couldn't have asked for anything more convenient.

I decided to take advantage of the new facility. It was a long holiday (just four days in a row) for banks. Knowing how unexpected expenses have a tendency to crop up at such times, I marched off the ATM kiosk to draw cash. A wonder of wonders! No serpentine queue at the ATM. Pleased, I went in only to be greeted by the sign 'Not working.'

So I trudged to another ATM kiosk further away, near a busy shopping area. There was a line but it was not overly long. So I was confident of drawing money. The person before me came out with a long face and gestured that there was no money in the machine. Disappointed, I went to an unprepossessing, unfrequented ATM, tucked away between a dry cleaner's shop and a chemist's shop. Even that displayed the sign 'No cash'. The notice matched the ATM in shabbiness. An exasperated sigh escaped me. Cursing the holidaying banks, I reached a fourth ATM, footsore and weary.

It was one of the new ones, all spit and polish. I joined the line and waited. The people in front of me were coming out in record time. When I went in to draw money, a boldly displayed card announced, 'Only two thousand rupees per head.' I sighed. Beggars not being choosers because their money was in the banks, that were enjoying four free days, I drew the paltry sum and departed.

I wondered if I should keep some reserve funds hidden in the house, like Silas Marner. But the days being what they are, his fate may befall me anytime.

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