When I wrote Sunset Boulevard for the first time about my Bajaj Scooter, I thought that in my life I wont be writing something like this ever again. I assumed that all the familiar things of my life, all the cherished asinine objects of my childhood will be with me till I breathe my last. But Alas ! I am writing the 6th version of my Sunset Boulevard. One more object of my childhood fancy is destined to walk this path, which is metaphorically known as Sunset Boulevard. It means walking the path of no return. After sunset there will be a new dawn , a new morning but that will be a totally new dawn, that will be a totally new morning. Things and objects which leave us and which finish their journey wont ever return in our present life.
Indian coins have seen many changes and they have gone from one shape to other. In my early childhood there were copper coins. When I grew older, those copper coins, those objects of my childhood fancy were changed to aluminium coins. My evening pocket-money was 10 paise. It used to be princely sum in those days of asinine pleasures. It would seem impossible but I used to buy many things to eat with this princely some of 10 paise.
Slowly some new coins were introduced and a new shaped CHAVANNI came into being. My joy knew no bounds when after due requests, I started getting CHAVANNI for my every day evening pocket-money. I remember and that too very vividly that when I got my first CHAVANNI for the first time, I bought many things : MOONGPHALI, CHINIYA BADAM, PATTI AND CHURAN. God ! so many things and just one coin ! Days seemed to be happier and rosy. Every evening I used to stand near the gate of our Deoria mansion and used to wait for my father to return from the Civil Court , Deoria. His arrival was source of immense happiness. I used to be extra obedient and took every precaution of not disturbing my father so that I could get my due CHAVANNI . My younger siblings were very envious of me because they were still getting 10 paise and they desperately wanted a CHAVANNI.
Slowly my two younger brothers ; Devesh and Atul and one sister ; Kiran also graduated and started getting CHAVANNI. We used to have our own preferences but some times we used to pull our CHAVANNIS and thus with the princely some of 1 rupee, we used to buy BUDHIA KE BAL and used to feast on it. [ I don’t know why , but we used to call it Budhia ka Tanta ] I am giving very old photo of me and my two brothers and one sister. My younger sister Neelima was yet to be born and thus is not privy to many of our childhood fancies.
Alas ! government of India decides that the iconic CHAVANNI of my childhood will be discontinued from June 30, 2011. In fact all the coins below the denomination of ATHANNI [ 50 paise ] will be phased out. Government of India says that Ferritic Stainless Steel, which is used to make these coins costs more than the value of the coin itself. But matters of heart do not know or understand logic. I was sad when I heard and read the news.
One more familiar thing of my life, one more iconic object of my childhood fancy is being phased out. For me it is not just phasing out of CHAVANNI, but it id death of an object of my childhood joy and happiness. Today CHAVANNI can’t buy anything. But once upon a time it used to buy so many things for me every evening.
MUMBAI – MAHARASHTRA – INDIA
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