Rahul da Cunha: The times they aren't a-changin'

By  Rahul Da Cunha | Posted  27-Nov-2016

Illustration/Uday Mohite
Illustration/Uday Mohite

So Coldplay came to town last week, yes? And our Prime Minister quoted extensively from Bob Dylan’s, The Times They Are A-Changing.

Everyone was gobsmacked by this choice, I had to concede, that a rock concert was a superb arena to justify the badly executed demonetisation plan.

Dear reader, I know you’re asking two questions.

1. Why we have an absurd R2000 note?

2. Who chose the Bob Dylan song for him to quote from?

I was on a taskforce comprising the RBI Chairman, the Chief Economic Advisor, AR Rehman and me.

Our brief was clear – pick a western pop song that the big man can easily quote from.

AR Rehman was first off the block — “Why not a song from the Coldplay playlist itself, like ‘Fix You’ ?”

Our RBI Chairman was aghast, “Are you crazy? Those two words ‘Fix You’ will remind every Indian what hardships we are putting them through!”

Our Chief Economic Advisor was bobbing up and down with an idea – “What about the ABBA number, ‘Money money money/Must be funny in the rich man’s world?”

He was instantly sacked.

Just then, the PM’s office called.

“Accha, Boss has chosen his song, Bob Dylan’s ‘The Times They Are A-Changin’”… gaana suna hai na? Good. We don’t need your help now”

And so I rewrote Bob Dylan’s anthem (I have not shared it with the PM’s office. Only you, dear reader. Please this is strictly confidential).

The song is called — The Times They Are A-Changin’ (But you can’t get change):

Come gather 'round people
Wherever you stand
In queues, outside banks
Or ATM machines
While you try changing notes
The nation’s flat broke
And the times they are a-changin’
(But you can’t get change)

This crazy wild demonetisation plan
It’s bypassed the rich
And it’s affecting the poor
No cash in the city
No dosh in the safes
And the times they are a-changin’
(But you can’t get change)

Come builders and traders
Who just deal in black
Selling flats, selling condos
There’s no going back
Bye bye to cash money
That paperless trail
And the times they are a-changin’
(But you can’t get change)

Come senators, congressmen, officials all
Please heed the call
That the people are scared,
No exchange of old notes
Will start affecting your votes
And the times they are a-changin’
(But you can’t get change)

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
You have every right to criticise
What you can't understand
Because eight days ago
You were one with the plan
But you see your money slowly vanishing
Plunder and loot
Some game is afoot
And the times they are a-changin’
(But you can’t get change)

The PM’s office called.
“Accha Madonna is coming soon. The PM would like to quote from another western song. Any ideas?”
“Yes, I have a suggestion.”
“What?”
“You may not like it.”
“Bolo toh sahi.”
“Elton John’s ‘Sorry seems to be the hardest word’.”

Rahul da Cunha is an adman, theatre director/playwright, photographer and traveller. Reach him at rahuldacunha62@gmail.com