Unlike most Mumbaikars who were waiting in long serpentine lines leading to an ATM, Rekha Vijayakar (75) and her younger sister Shobhana Ranjit (72) were one of the few lucky ones to escape the agony of withdrawing money. While the average halt outside any ATM in the city varied from 30 to 90 minutes, the sisters took less than 15 minutes.
Watch What Else is Making News
“Actually we hardly had to wait because they were loading the money into the ATM and we were the first in line. It was nothing like we had anticipated,” said Vijayakar who withdrew money from a Syndicate Bank ATM in Matunga.
Her sister said they had watched long queues spill over on to the streets since Tuesday night when the announcement pertaining to demonetisation of Rs 500 and Rs 1,000 notes was first made, but they were not affected by the fear of any hold-up.
A resident of Parel, Vijayakar has a large HDFC outlet just next door but she chose to travel to Matunga anticipating a chaos at the big branch. The sisters started out early and were in Matunga by 9.30 am.
“At the ATM in Matunga, the guard and a bank employee reminded us that the limit per withdrawal was Rs 2,000. The line behind us was not that long unlike the rest of the city but I was most impressed by the composed nature of those waiting behind. Also, there was no chatter regarding the decision,” she added.
Vijayakar withdrew Rs 2,000 from two separate cards at the ATM. With a cash crunch situation, the family was forced to separate the items of necessity from those of luxury.
“We had to save money for vegetables and other groceries, need fuel to use the car and save money on transportation. These were the areas we needed to spend, everything else could wait until matters are sorted,” she said.
Vijayakar said she purchased vegetables for her domestic help who was facing hardship with the new monetary regulations.