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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From Indian pizzas in San Francisco to bhangra competitions in Boston

A guide to the Indian heart of these American cities.

The United States of America has for long been more than a tourist destination for Indians. With Indians making up the second largest immigrant group in the USA, North American cities have a lot to offer to the travel weary Indian tourist. There are umpteen reasons for an Indian to visit vibrant education and cultural hubs like Boston and San Francisco. But if you don’t have a well-adjusted cousin to guide you through the well-kept Indian secrets, this guide to the Indian heart of Boston and San Francisco should suffice for when you crave your fix.

Boston

If you aren’t easily spooked, Boston is the best place to be at in October due to its proximity to Salem. You can visit the Salem Witch Village to learn about present-day wiccans and authentic witchcraft, or attend séances and Halloween parades with ghosts, ghouls and other frightening creatures giving you a true glimpse of America during Halloween. But the macabre spirit soon gives way to a dazzling array of Christmas lighting for the next two months. The famed big Christmas trees are accompanied by festive celebrations and traditions. Don’t miss The Nutcracker, the sugar-laced Christmas adventure.

While it upholds its traditions, Boston is a highly inclusive and experimental university town. It welcomes scores of Indian students every year. Its inclusiveness can be gauged from the fact that Berklee College of Music released a well-received cover of AR Rahman’s Jiya Jale. The group, called the Berklee Indian Ensemble, creates compositions inspired by Indian musical styles like the Carnatic thillana and qawwali.

Boston’s Bollywood craze is quite widespread beyond the campuses too. Apple Cinemas in Cambridge and Regal Fenway Cinemas in Fenway can be your weekly fix as they screen all the major upcoming Bollywood movies. Boston tends to be the fighting ground for South Asian Showdowns in which teams from all over the North-Eastern coast gather for Bollywood-themed dance offs. The Bhangra competitions, especially, are held with the same energy and vigour as back home and are open to locals and tourists alike. If nothing else, there are always Bollywood flash mob projects you can take part in to feel proudly desi in a foreign land.

While travellers love to experiment with food, most Indian travellers will agree that they need their spice fix in the middle of any foreign trip. In that respect, Boston has enough to satisfy cravings for Indian food. North Indian cuisine is popular and widely available, but delicious South Indian fare can also be found at Udupi Bhavan. At Punjab Palace, you can dig into a typical North Indian meal while catching a Bollywood flick on one of their TVs. Head to Barbecue International for cross-continental fusion experiments, like fire-roasted Punjabi-style wings with mint and chilli sauce.

Boston is prominent on the radar of Indian parents scouting for universities abroad and the admission season especially sees a lot of prospective students and parents looking for campus tours and visits. To plan your visit, click here.

San Francisco

San Francisco is an art lover’s delight. The admission-free Trolley Dances, performed in October, focus on engaging with the communities via site-specific choreographies that reflect the city’s cultural diversity. Literature lovers can experience a Dickensian Christmas and a Victorian holiday party at The Great Dickens Christmas Fair, a month-long gala affair starting in November.

As an Indian, you’ll be spoilt for choice in San Francisco, especially with regards to food. San Francisco’s sizeable Indian population, for example, has several aces hidden up its sleeve. Take this video by Eater, which claims that the ‘Indian’ pizza at Zante’s Restaurant is the city’s best kept secret that needs outing. Desi citizens of San Francisco are big on culinary innovation, as is evident from the popularity of the food truck Curry Up Now. With a vibrant menu featuring Itsy Bitsy Naan Bits and Bunty Burrito and more, it’s not hard to see why it is a favourite among locals. Sunnyvale, with its large concentration of Indians also has quirky food on offer. If you wish to sample Veer Zaara Pizza, Dabangg Pizza or Agneepath Pizza, head to Tasty Subs & Pizza.

There are several Indian temples in Sunnyvale, Fremont and San Jose that also act as effective community spaces for gatherings. Apart from cultural events, they even hold free-for-all feasts that you can attend. A little-known haven of peace is the Sankat Mochan Hanuman Temple. Their Anjaneya World Cafe serves delicious mango lassi; the beverage is a big hit among the local population.

If you’re looking for an Indian movie fix during your travels, the San Francisco International South Asian Film Festival’s theme this year is Bollywood and Beyond. Indian film enthusiasts are in for a treat with indie projects, art-house classics, documentaries and other notable films from the subcontinent being screened.

San Francisco’s autumn has been described as ‘Indian summer’ by the locals and is another good season to consider while planning a trip. The weather lends more vigour to an already vibrant cultural scene. To plan your trip, click here.

An Indian traveller is indeed spoilt for choice in Boston and San Francisco as an Indian fix is usually available just around the corner. Offering connectivity to both these cities, Lufthansa too provides a rich experience of Indian hospitality to all flyers on board its India-bound flights and flights departing from India. You can expect a greeting of Namaste by an all-Indian crew, Indian food, and popular Indian in-flight entertainment options, making the airline More Indian than You Think. And as the video shows, India’s culture and hospitality have been internalized by Lufthansa to the extent that they now offer a definitive Indian flying experience.

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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.