note demonetisation

Video: These Bollywood spoofs on demonetisation will tide you over the cashless blues

If you don't have cash, you can at least have a laugh.

The Narendra Modi government’s surprise move to invalidate high-denomination notes on November 8 has resulted in lots of chaos, confusion and inconvenience. More than a month after it was implemented, it’s still a minor victory if you manage to withdraw cash from an ATM or reach the end of the queue of a bank.

Thankfully, when the system fails, humour comes to the rescue. Demonetisation, apart from being riddled with problems in implementation, has also spawned a horde of hilarious responses on the internet.

From comedy group All India Bakchod’s take on the exercise to a YouTube video of how Adolf Hitler would react to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s demonetisation announcement, the reactions have been diverse and varied. There’s also YouTube star Sawan Dutta’s ode to her “last Rs 500 note” and even actor plus self-anointed pop-culture critic Kamaal R Khan, who regularly uploads movie reviews on his YouTube channel, posted his take on the ban on Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes (His verdict was that the Bharatiya Janata Party will be as big a flop as the recently released Rock On 2).

The video below, uploaded by Facebook user Rajiv Tyagi, adapts Gloria Gaynor’s 1978 classic and ever-so-catchy I Will Survive to talk about the struggles of coping with demonetisation.

The internet also gave us what Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal has called the demonetisation anthem, an adaptation of Bollywood classic Jeena Isi Ka Naam Hai from Raj Kapoor’s Anari. While an earlier video featured images of queues from around the country with the song playing in the background, the one below is an version of the original song video that has been edited to show the plight of the poor who are left without cash or access to digital payments.

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Amid reports of widespread disruption in the immediate aftermath of demonetisation, Modi, on his return from Russia on November 13 made a speech in Goa that soon went viral. In it, he said, ”I know the forces up against me, they may not let me live, they may ruin me because their loot of 70 years is in trouble, I am prepared.”

This video, uploaded on Twitter, responds to Modi’s claims made during the speech with iconic dialogues from Bollywood films (including Sunny Deol’s “tareekh pe tareekh” from Damini).

Saudagar, the 1991 film starring Dilip Kumar and Raaj Kumar, is loosely based on William Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. But this video shows that with the right adjustments, a crucial plot point in the film could easily have been demonetisation.

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Every year brings with it a fair share of irritating and seemingly nonsensical songs that somehow go viral and become ubiquitous. For instance, this year, we had Pen-Pineapple-Apple-Pen. Here’s what the song would song line, had it been about being saddled with Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes, instead of fruits and writing instruments. Watch at your own risk.

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Meanwhile, another video on YouTube offers a theory on why BJP leaders and followers do not concede the problems with demonetisation and continue to dismiss the hardship as a “minor inconvenience”.

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“My body instantly craves chai and samosa”

German expats talk about adapting to India, and the surprising similarities between the two cultures.

The cultural similarities between Germany and India are well known, especially with regards to the language. Linguists believe that Sanskrit and German share the same Indo-Germanic heritage of languages. A quick comparison indeed holds up theory - ratha in Sanskrit (chariot) is rad in German, aksha (axle) in Sanskrit is achse in German and so on. Germans have long held a fascination for Indology and Sanskrit. While Max Müller is still admired for his translation of ancient Indian scriptures, other German intellectuals such as Goethe, Herder and Schlegel were deeply influenced by Kalidasa. His poetry is said to have informed Goethe’s plays, and inspired Schlegel to eventually introduce formal Indology in Germany. Beyond the arts and academia, Indian influences even found their way into German fast food! Indians would recognise the famous German curry powder as a modification of the Indian masala mix. It’s most popular application is the currywurst - fried sausage covered in curried ketchup.

It is no wonder then that German travellers in India find a quite a lot in common between the two cultures, even today. Some, especially those who’ve settled here, even confess to Indian culture growing on them with time. Isabelle, like most travellers, first came to India to explore the country’s rich heritage. She returned the following year as an exchange student, and a couple of years later found herself working for an Indian consultancy firm. When asked what prompted her to stay on, Isabelle said, “I love the market dynamics here, working here is so much fun. Anywhere else would seem boring compared to India.” Having cofounded a company, she eventually realised her entrepreneurial dream here and now resides in Goa with her husband.

Isabelle says there are several aspects of life in India that remind her of home. “How we interact with our everyday life is similar in both Germany and India. Separate house slippers to wear at home, the celebration of food and festivals, the importance of friendship…” She feels Germany and India share the same spirit especially in terms of festivities. “We love food and we love celebrating food. There is an entire countdown to Christmas. Every day there is some dinner or get-together,” much like how Indians excitedly countdown to Navratri or Diwali. Franziska, who was born in India to German parents, adds that both the countries exhibit the same kind of passion for their favourite sport. “In India, they support cricket like anything while in Germany it would be football.”

Having lived in India for almost a decade, Isabelle has also noticed some broad similarities in the way children are brought up in the two countries. “We have a saying in South Germany ‘Schaffe Schaffe Hausle baue’ that loosely translates to ‘work, work, work and build a house’. I found that parents here have a similar outlook…to teach their children to work hard. They feel that they’ve fulfilled their duty only once the children have moved out or gotten married. Also, my mother never let me leave the house without a big breakfast. It’s the same here.” The importance given to the care of the family is one similarity that came up again and again in conversations with all German expats.

While most people wouldn’t draw parallels between German and Indian discipline (or lack thereof), Germans married to Indians have found a way to bridge the gap. Take for example, Ilka, who thinks that the famed differences of discipline between the two cultures actually works to her marital advantage. She sees the difference as Germans being highly planning-oriented; while Indians are more flexible in their approach. Ilka and her husband balance each other out in several ways. She says, like most Germans, she too tends to get stressed when her plans don’t work out, but her husband calms her down.

Consequently, Ilka feels India is “so full of life. The social life here is more happening; people smile at you, bond over food and are much more relaxed.” Isabelle, too, can attest to Indians’ friendliness. When asked about an Indian characteristic that makes her feel most at home, she quickly answers “humour.” “Whether it’s a taxi driver or someone I’m meeting professionally, I’ve learnt that it’s easy to lighten the mood here by just cracking a few jokes. Indians love to laugh,” she adds.

Indeed, these Germans-who-never-left as just diehard Indophiles are more Indian than you’d guess at first, having even developed some classic Indian skills with time. Ilka assures us that her husband can’t bargain as well as she does, and that she can even drape a saree on her own.

Isabelle, meanwhile, feels some amount of Indianness has seeped into her because “whenever its raining, my body instantly craves chai and samosa”.

Like the long-settled German expats in India, the German airline, Lufthansa, too has incorporated some quintessential aspects of Indian culture in its service. Recognising the centuries-old cultural affinity between the two countries, Lufthansa now provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its flights to and from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they are More Indian Than You Think. To experience Lufthansa’s hospitality on your next trip abroad, click here.

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This article was produced by the Scroll marketing team on behalf of Lufthansa as part of their More Indian Than You Think initiative and not by the Scroll editorial team.