The 20 Rupees Change

What difference can 20 rupees (~0.2 US dollar) make?

The Front Side of 20 Rupees Note in Pakistan

Wednesday, 16th May, 2018. It was very hot day here in Karachi with temperature ranging between 27 to 43 degrees. I just got out of shower and was getting ready to go to work. It was around 10:30 AM in morning. Suddenly, my wife asked me to bring bread before going to work. So I rushed to nearest mart, and asked for a bread. He said 27 rupees. I had 4,330 rupees (roughly $43.30 US dollars) in my wallet.

This was the moment which turned my whole day into a nightmare. Of course I didn’t know about that yet. So, I gave the shopkeeper the left-over 30 rupees and asked him to keep change. Honestly, this was the biggest mistake of mine.

“I should have given him 100 rupees note so that I could have gotten some spare change in my pocket.”

I went back home and gave bread to wife and headed for work now. My office was around 20 minutes walk distance from home. I usually walked but the day was too hot and I thought that why not get an auto which is already headed that way. So I got one. Since he was going empty there anyway, so he thought that it would be easy buck. We finalized 20 rupees price.

After 5 minutes drive, we reached outside my office building. I gave him 100 rupees note and first thing he said; “Don’t you have change, sir?”. “I’m afraid I don’t.”, I said in a little worry. He started his auto and said; “No one can do anything then. Keep the money.” And he left. I felt very bad that he gave me ride and didn’t get paid. There was barely any person, let alone the opened shops.

I thought I should have given the mart owner 100 rupees so I could have gotten some spare change.

I started working in office. I had to do it quick because my wife had a doctor’s appointment at 2 PM. So it was my half day. Around 1:30 PM, I asked my wife to get ready. I booked an Uber and picked wife and headed to hospital. After around 25 minutes ride, we reached at hospital. The driver finished his ride and fair came was 118 rupees. I gave him 200 rupees and he said: “Brother, give me change. I don’t have any.”. “So do I.” I replied. He started looking around and asked few passers if they have any change. Unfortunately no one did.

The Uber Ride Receipt

It was hospital and every was tensed due to some sickness and trouble, for that they were wandering in the hospital. My wife was waiting outside beneath a nearby tree’s shadow. The Driver kept 100 rupees and kept staring me in very grumpy way and started his car. I felt very bad again.

I should have given the mart owner the 100 rupees note so I could have gotten some spare change.

While checkup, doctor asked me to buy an injection from nearby pharmacy. So I rushed to there and brought the medicine and injection. At the cash counter, I was happy that now I will get some change for God’s sake. The bill was 703 rupees. I was disappointed now. I gave the cashier 1000 rupees note and he returned 3 notes of 100 rupees. I asked him to give one in change but he declined.

After checkup, I booked another Uber. And we headed home. This time the fair came of 142 rupees. Might have been some time charges due to traffic. So I gave him 200 rupees and he returned 50 rupees and was looking for any 10 rupees note. But couldn’t find any so he asked me if he can keep the change or not. I thought that I have kept two drivers’ change, so I said okay.

Again, I should have given the mart owner 100 rupees note so I could have gotten some spare change for me.

I still had some pending work at office, so after dropping wife at home, I headed back to office. This time I couldn’t find any auto so I walked in that extreme heat at 3:30 PM afternoon. I got free from office at around 7:40 pm and was about to leave for home. Suddenly I got a call from my sister. She asked me if I can send mobile credit on her number. I said yes. I will do it while coming back home.

When I reached at nearby mobile phone store, I asked for a Super Card. It’s a bundled package and cost exactly 520 rupees.

The Ufone Super Card

Now I already started having this feeling that this is going to happen again. And I gave shop owner 600 rupees. He said sir give me the change please. I said; “Why would I keep it if I had any?”. He looked in his drawer but couldn’t find enough. So he said; “I know who you are. So give me the change tomorrow when you pass by from here.” And he kept only 500 rupees.

This was the nightmare for me. This little 20 rupees note have embarrassed me all day before different people. I have looted 3 people’s right and hard earned money.

I just should have given the goddamn mart owner the 100 rupees note so I could have gotten some goddamn spare change for me.

What could I have learned from this bad day? Maybe I should keep change all the time with me. Maybe there are some things which are beyond our control. Maybe the drivers have forgiven me for the money I shouldn’t have kept. Maybe they are angry and having a bad day as well. Too much maybe’s and too much assumptions. At the end, the only things happen, are those which are meant to happen.



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Wajahat Karim

Wajahat Karim

🔥 Google Dev Expert (GDE) in Android . 📱 Android Dev . 💻FOSS Contributor . 📝Writer . 🎤 Speaker . 👶 Developer Dad — 🌐Subscribe at