10 a.m.: Shyamdev Mandal is sitting at the counter of his shop with his friend Krishna Hembrom. Shyamdev Mandal is wearing a checked shirt and a pair of trousers while Krishna Hembrom sports a faded blue sweater and a pair of blue jeans. The chillam, a regular fixture during their conversations, is conspicuous in its absence!
They are talking about demonetisation. Shyamdev Mandal is vociferous in his defence of the measure: “Of course, there will be some difficulties. It is a major decision and we must be able to bear some pain. We must do it for the country.”
I ask him how his sales are doing. He replies: “Sales have dipped. Where I earned INR 1000 earlier, I now earn INR 500 (there is slight pause)… in fact INR 200.”
Krishna Hembrom takes our leave.