CAPTAIN COOL : signing off (part 1)

“Dhoni finishes off in style! A magnificent strike into the crowd. India lift the world Cup after 28 years. The party has started in the dressing room and it’s an Indian captain who has played an amazing innings on the night of the final,” this commentary by Ravi Shastri is bound to never leave us, even on our deathbeds; MSD winning us the WC with a six. One of the best moments that captured the finesse of our former Indian Captain.

It’s Saddening to say former, There was more to Mahi, than just being an Indian captain. He was the human embodiment of the hopes, aspirations and dreams of many. An emotion to the masses across the world.

Whistle podu,’ to the superstar. Thaliva, indeed!

The news of Dhoni’s retirement from the International level was a shocker. Throwing many a fans and even cricket enthusiasts in different parts of the world into an emotional dilemma.

The only words that one could gather was ‘did he have to hang his boots this early?’ A testament of the perception, that people had of Dhoni wearing the jersey in blue at least for the next few years.

Like always, he left us all awestruck and taken aback. Accustomed to putting us by the end of our seats, Mysterious like always, Dhoni bowed out from the major leagues. For old times sake right?

What could be adding to the trauma would be the fact that it marks the end of an era. The end of the dream team of India. Dhoni was the last one to leave, after legends like Viru, Zak, Yuvi, Bhaji and many more.

He was the man, the myth, the legend. Finding someone with true hate towards him would be something unattainable. He was committed to the game and nothing else, true gentleman who excelled in all his cricketing spectrums.

His on-field focus was impeccable.

He was the best finisher, wk and captain India has ever produced. The man’s focus to his is impeccable. He always looked deep in thought, always a couple of steps ahead the rest.

Captain cool was mostly a man of few words, if you think about it now, we never got much glimpses of him talking away on the telly.

Just like his words, he kept his emotions to himself too. Never letting them clouding over his judgements. Those piercing glances from within the helmet and charging down the 22 yards will never be forgotten.

Dhoni’s methods were unorthodox, but super efficient. From his batting style to just wearing one glove in tense situations to game changing bowler spell choices. A playmaker who steered the game of 22.

The story of a small time boy making upto the big leagues was beautifully portrayed in his biopic by the late star Sushant (RIP). I believe the movie just thickened our relationship with the man.

To be continued…

2000 Rupees Notes Not Printed By RBI In 2019-20, Currency is Still Valid

Rs. 2000 notes were introduced by the Government of India after the announcement of the demonetization of 500 and 1000 rupees notes in November, 2016. Currently, it is the highest denomination currency note of the country. According to the annual report of the RBI, the Rs 2000 denomination note was not printed at all during 2019-2020.

These notes were introduced after the government announced demonetisation of old Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes 4 years back. At that time, those two denominations had accounted for 86% of the then total currency in circulation.

The number of Rs 2,000 denomination notes had peaked at 3.36 billion units in 2017-18. This number had dropped to 3.29 billion in the years 2018-19. It has again fallen to 2.73 billion in 2019-20. The currency note presses of the Reserve Bank of India (RBI) did not print even one Rs 2,000 note in the last year. This happened because the presses did not receive any order for printing those. This seems to indicate a conscious decision for starting the trend of decreasing the number of notes which are circulated. The 2000 notes under circulation was 50% in 2016-17 and it has come down to almost 22% in 2019-20. These figures are based on RBI’s Annual Report for 2019-20, which was released on August 25 2020.

It is also known that RBI has also disposed a disproportionate share of Rs 2,000 notes in the soiled category. This has raised many questions on the government’s plan about the 2000 denomination note. In January, 2019 the was an indication that the Rs. 2000 notes were not being printed any further because there was adequate supply.

A total of 176.8 million pieces, which is quite a high number, of Rs 2,000 notes under the category of soiled notes were disposed of in 2019-20 by the RBI. While in 2018-19, just 1 million Rs 2,000 notes were disposed of and in 2016-17 or 2017-18, no Rs 2,000 notes were disposed of. Both the 2000 and 500 denomination notes were introduced after demonetisation. In 2019-20, the share of Rs 2000 notes which were disposed of was 6.5% while that of Rs.500 notes was 0.6%. Out of the 22 billion currency notes printed in 2019-20, more than 50% of those were of the Rs 500 denomination. Due to these changes in currency composition, the Rs 500 notes has reached a very high share in the total currency under circulation.

The Minister of State for Finance Anurag Singh Thakur had told the Lok Sabha on March 16, 2020 that, “Printing of bank notes of particular denomination is decided by the government in consultation with RBI to maintain the desired denomination mix for facilitating transactional demand of public. No indent was placed with the presses for printing of Rs 2,000 denomination notes for 2019-20. However, there is no decision to discontinue the printing of Rs 2,000 bank notes.”

A government official said that, “The Rs 2,000 notes were introduced in 2016 to quickly fill the gap created by demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes. It was the need of the hour. Gradually, with increased supply of smaller notes, including new notes of Rs 100 and Rs 200, and with growing popularity of digital transactions, the urgency to issue new Rs 2,000 notes is no longer there. But this does not mean that there is any move to discontinue Rs 2,000 notes. Increasingly, commercial banks are also using more and more smaller notes because their customers often find difficulties in getting change for Rs 2,000 notes.”

WFH… A curse or boon?

For many of us, the coronavirus has been the most significant, and perhaps the most traumatic, experience of our lives. It will have a huge impact on us as individuals, as a society, and as a workforce. It might be hard to imagine right now, but the coronavirus crisis will end, and things will get back to normal. Well, some things will go back to the way as they were. For others, there will be a new normal. History has shown that whenever a major event happens that poses an existential threat, many of the norms of life change, some in the short term and some for the long term. In the future, entire treatises may be written on how the COVID-19 pandemic transformed the nature of work. Millions of people have already relocated to the living rooms and kitchen tables, pundits are already touting the death of the office, a new era of flexible timetables and mass exoduses from industrial cities. Whether these sweeping predictions prove true remains to be seen. Take those staples of modern office routine: meetings, emails, and time spent at work. According to a recent study by researchers at Harvard Business School, employees have been attending more meetings by video conference, rather than in-person sending more emails and putting in more hours since the widespread shift to work from home in March. Compared with pre-lockdown levels, the number of meetings an average worker attends has risen by 13%. The number of people in the average meeting has risen too, by 13.5%, perhaps because video conferences, unlike office-bound ones, are not constrained by space. One ray of hope is that meetings are shorter, by about 20%, or 12 minutes, on average. Surely, the lack of a commute at least should mean workers have more time to themselves? Alas, no, the researchers find. In a modern variant of Parkinson’s Law, working hours have expanded to soak up the extra minutes, and more. On average, people have clocked up an extra 48.5 minutes a day, more than the average commuting time. This is mainly because of a rise of 8% in the number of emails sent after normal business hours. Internal emailing during normal hours has risen too, along with the average number of recipients, presumably as a substitute for talking face to face. 
Although WFH could boost employee satisfaction, but only if a balance between work lives and personal lives could be found. With kids at home, people often find it difficult to manage both lives. Therefore employees need to be trained for work for home, Also man people like to work within the office campus. Since working from home needs a lot of discipline which is hard to find at home. Some employees operate better in a structured environment. Despite studies which show that work from home employees perform better, are more productive. but it doesn’t necessarily mean that all employees perform better. Also, office environment is structured to boost a sense of comradery with co-workers can be extremely difficult for full-time work from home employees.remote workers can make it difficult for management to monitor overtime. With the flexibility, many problems also arise due to WFH. We’ve have to make sure that we can get out most out of what is available. With such unprecedented and uncertain times, things ought to change and we should accept the change with positive attitude.