I woke up today to the Radio playing a not so famous song from the very famous Sanju baba movie “Lage Raho Munna Bhai” which goes by the lyrics ‘Aane char aane bache hai char aane sun le waste na karna yaar’. I felt the radio channel was paying a tribute to either Sanju baba or Arshad Warsi by playing this song. As the radio moved on to some more famous numbers, I lost the plot.
Come afternoon and I log on to The Times of India website, sifting through a lot of clutter I managed to check the business section and the song ‘Aane char aane….’ came to my mind. After all it was a unknowing tribute paid to the Indian monetary term for a 25 paise coin. The heading read ‘25p coins can’t be used after June 30‘. On Wednesday the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) made a statement that the government had decide to withdraw 25 paise coins from circulation. It means that ‘Char Aane’ will cease to be a legal tender from 30th June 2011. RBI has advised all the public and private sector banks as well as some select foreign, grameen and cooperative banks to facilitate the exchange of these coins till June 29. Individuals and businesses have been asked to exchange coins of 25 paise and lesser denominations with their nearest bank branches.
Now this comes as a welcome gesture from the government wherein inflation has lowered the utility of lower denomination coins. Though one can argue that a 50 paise coin can get you a confectionary; not much can be bought otherwise. The 50 paise coin will be the lowest denomination coin available as legal tender from July 2011, accompanied by coins for 1, 2, 5 and 10 rupees.
It would be forever etched in my mind that the concept of ‘Paisa’ would be gone once 50 paise coins also join the smaller denominations in the RBI website as ‘Collectors Items’. Let alone ‘Paisa’, another concept which even the current generation may not know is the funda of ‘Aanas’ and ‘Pavli’.
25 paise is ‘Char Aane’ or ‘Chawanni’ or ‘Pavli’, 50 paise is ‘Aath Aane’ or ‘Atthanni’, 75 paise (3 coins of 25paise or one each of 25paise and 50 paise) is ‘Bara Aane’ and One Rupee is ‘Sola Aane’. All these terminologies had been in circulation since India’s Independence and people have used them in various tones in the daily conversations.
As with Indian sayings related to money are, I have fond memories of coins of different denominations. For One Rupee coin, every truth that you utter will be ‘Sola Aane Sach’ in Hindi and for a 25 paise coin (my favourite) to convey that a person is stupid there is a saying in Marathi ‘Tyachi Pavali Padli’. Another catchy phrases are when you get peanuts after trying your level best ‘Khaya Piya kuch nahi, gilas toda bara ana’ or ‘char aane ki murgi, baara aane ka masala’.
I also fondly remember the song ‘Patti Rap’ from the movie ‘Humse Hain Muqabala’ which raps
‘Ek aanaa, do aanaa, gullak ko tod ke; chaar aanaa, aath aanaa, karzaa-varzaa jod ke;
haandaa-vaandaa giravi mein Daal ke; paanch das bheekh le ke, paise nahin purey padate’
Even sweeter memories come to mind when I think about the humorous situation in ‘Chalti ka Naam Gaadi’ when Kishore Kumar sings to Madhubala,
‘Roop ka tum ho khazaana; tum ho meri jaan ye maana;
lekin pehle de do mera; paanch rupaiya baara aana;
paanch rupaiya baara aana; maarega bhaiya na na na na’
A famous song hummed by the versatile actor Mehmood acts as a perfect backdrop for the growing inflation, ‘Na Biwi Na Bachha Na Baap Bada Na Maiyan, The Whole Thing Is That Ke Bhaiya Sabse Bada Rupaiya’
Adding on to the humour of Mehmood, I am left in a quandary how Tata DoCoMo would accept my payment if I made only one call of 25 seconds based on per second billing plan and I insist on a physical payment!
(Suggestions by a blog reader – Prachee)
For people who might want to have a look at lower denomination coins (click on the coin to know more)