THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF A RUPEE
I am now an old coin and have been in circulation for many years. I am worn out now and the lion’s head on my face is very faint. But I still remember my early youth when I was in the government treasury, with my bright companions. I shone brightly then and the lion’s head glittered brightly.
My active life began when I was paid from the counter of a bank, along with other new rupees, to a gentleman who encashed a cheque, I went off jingling in his pocket; but I was not there for long, as he gave me to a shopkeeper The shopkeeper looked pleased when he had me in his hand, and said, “I have not seen a new rupee for some time”, and he banged me against his counter to see if I was genuine. I gave out such a clear ringing note that he picked me up and threw me into a drawer along with a lot of other coins.
I soon found we were in a mixed company. I took no notice of the greasy copper coins, as I knew they were of very low caste: and I was condescending to the small change, knowing that I was twice as valuable as the best of them, the fifty paisa coins, and a hundred times better than the cheeky little paisa. But I found a number of rupees of my own rank, but none as new and bright as I was. Some of them were jealous of my smart appearance, and made nasty remarks; but one very old rupee was kind to me and gave me good advice. He told me I must respect old rupees and always keep the small change in their place. “A rupee is always a rupee, however old and worn, he advised.
Our conversation was interrupted by the opening of the drawer; and I was given out to a young lady, from whose hands I slipped and fell into a gutter. Eventually a very dirty and ragged boy picked me up; and for some time thereafter that I was in very low company, passing between poor people and small shopkeepers in dirty little streets. But at last I got into good society, and most of my time I have been in the pocket and purses of the rich.
I have lived an active life and never rested for long anywhere.