When she sang "Sona nahi, Chaandi nahi... Yaar to Milaa, Arrey Pyaar Kar ley" I thought my girlfriend meant love trumped everything material.
Little did I realize that the gift, this birthday gone by, would not be Sona (Gold) or Chandi (Silver). It was not a BMW nor a Mercedes or any flashy electronic gadget.
Diamonds, forever woman, too were not a part of her expensive bday splurge. But, she had me stumped with what lay inside the velvet textured red box that I was about to unbox.
The red box opened into a brown carton which further opened into a white box until it revealed a USB like Dongle. Was it a Pen drive? Was it a UFO? My heart pounded.
"Happy Birthday Baby! The most crazily valued thing is all yours, but nothing compared to our Love honey..." she softly whispered with a hug.
The box read - Electronic wallet... BTC... "Oh God, it was the holy Bitcoin! That was my gift! Yippee."
No words can aptly describe my emotion while unboxing that wallet. "What on earth costs as much as Rs 45 lakhs yet remains invisible and within a 500 rupee pen drive?" I think silently while having a bite of that yummy Chocolate Truffle cake.
The 800 rupee cake looked more enticing than the million-rupee exclusive nothingness. "But am I complaining? Prof Bluffington, Remember! beggars are not choosers!"
Having seen me discuss Bitcoin and forward cryptic memes, my lady believed that I was as stung to crypto as much as Elon Musk was. And, that was enough to let her take that giant plunge of investing her hard-earned money -- a gift worth Rs 45 lakhs.
It is Covid time… No money in bank account... Rising Petrol cost.... About to lose job... Economy sinking... The Income Tax website not working... Friends only call for Udhaar (to borrow)… And my love-life spends her life-fortune on my bday. "She could have given me the money no!"
No, I am not cribbing! Having the fanciest thing on the street does give you bragging rights. But you cannot brag about owning Bitcoins. My Periyamma and Atthai thought I was fooling them with a box of air.
To my utter horror, I cannot take out this Rs 45 lakh thingy for a spin. I cannot flaunt it like my neighbor does with the second copy Rolex.
I tell my friends about the gift and they advise that the price my gf spent on that one coin could have easily fetched us our first house in some obscure part of Mumbai.
In our maximum city, builders have minimum hearts. Shylock, who appears more kinder than dalals (brokers) would not squirm about selling matchboxes at such premium.
Your friends are jealous paa. 100%," I tell myself. But 45 lakhs should easily fetch a decent 1 BHK na? Sadly nobody wants to exchange a house for this Maha-Somberi Bitcoin yet!
BFFs of my girlfriend insist she should have gone on a "Solo" tour to Europe. She had so earnestly desired to spend the Covid vacations and work from home from the Alps. But we ended up seeing the world and different places on Netflix and Amazon Prime. Perhaps, we will continue with our imaginations and binge until the world is cured of Covid. It is very sad that not a single tour operator accepts Bitcoin as of date.
We cannot use our Bitcoin for a Shirdi or Shani-Shingnapur tour. Irony!
It is bath-time and I imagine the USB-looking drive. What do I do of you Bitcoin?
"My Kiraana-waala refuses to know you! My Bank calls you useless! The RBI loathes you! My office colleagues are not willing to trade a second hand Xbox with you. You cannot be used to get me a Cola? Or a Burger!"
Only if the fanciest investment of the Nerds could speak back. But, it sure seems to have a mind of its own. It gets offended by some Musk who seems busy strategizing an odd-even policy on when to accept Bitcoin and when not to.
But a sudden mood-swing of BTC a few months ago gave us a mild attack -- we lost Rs 20 lakhs when the Bitcoin value sank. But then our "jealous" friends assured it will get back to its old ways soon.
"Why worry paa! More idiots will join you guys in BTC. See, Stock markets are very bullish now. It will crash in some months and then the Jupiter will move over Bitcoin and gravity will pull down Bonds..." they advise. Aiyo, what a positive feeling.
Only real friends who know the heights of our cranial power can assure us so confidently. And, surprisingly we end up believing in whatever they say.
Some of my other friends do make sense, just 3 million Bitcoins are left and once it reaches that stage, there will be a catastrophic rise. "Super", I chuckle.
"Our 45 lakhs could become 450 crores... We will buy that swankiest house in Bandra... Have land adjacent to that of Bollywood actor Salman Bhaai in Panvel... As we sip the morning chaai, Bhaai waves at us from his morning stroll..." I think aloud.
"Why just Mumbai yaar? Aim for Chennai. Settle near Poes Garden... Get the liberty to call Rajni sir as your neighbor... Money can buy everything and anything no? 450 crores you can buy a house in each city of India and keep touring everyday..." my heart mutters.
Bitcoin ownership has made us world citizens. It was just last week... We were thinking of settling of heading for the idylic Salvadoran life. But even the poor South American country is asking 3 bitcoins in exchange for a citizenship. That is like a crore of investment. If my gf had that kind of money we could have easily settled in Mahabaleshwar, Ooty, Munnar, or Kodaikannal?
I so wish that Trudeau Sir hears us out. Sir, if you are reading this - We are a happy trouble-free couple who speak good English, can pass the IELTS scores and even learn French (give us 6 months sir, nothing can be more challenging than getting perfect Kannada!).
Also Sir, My Catholic girlfriend cooks awesome Vindaloo Pork, Xacuti, Mutton Rechear. And, yours faithfully is an upright Tambrahm who can cook interesting breakfast dishes, Dal Khichdi, and also spin Chapatis much better than the map of Canada. Sir, Canada is so rich in energy, you should certainly look at offering citizenship in exchange of Bitcoins. But Sir dont be greedy like El Salvador. A quarter of a Bitcoin should be enough sir.
As I slip in such positive thoughts, the alarm rings. The bank-waala is at the doorstep to collect the payment due for the credit card EMI. I have no cash and the recovery agent is no mood to relent.
He wants to take the TV set to the bank until we pay up the EMI. I offer the Bitcoin instead as security. "Yeh Raddi doosre kisi ko de... (Give this junk to someone else)" he thunders.
The bank recovery agent fails to realize what he just refused. Maybe he disapproved my insistence to get our Bitcoin informal entry into the banking system. Coindesk Exchange has launched its IPO so successfully and here we are yet to accept Bitcoins even for filling petrol.
Months of owing this code has given us sleepless nights and forced us into contemplating if our money has been utilized well. We could have invested in stocks of at least MRF Industries no. Now that the money is invested, we can only pray that Mr Musk showers his PDA upon BTC and comments something good about it.
If the coin goes up, we will sell and call it all quits. If not, it will stay in the cupboard as that Gift which I will never forget for the rest of my life. Do let me know if you find any takers for this Bitcoin. We need Rs 45 lakhs asap to go skiing in the Alps.
Cartoonist: Satish Acharya
Text: As narrated by Prof Bluffington Iyer. He is the in-house dreamer and occasionally writes parody for Sify Finance.