Saturday, February 11, 2012


Not marooned in an island with just Wilson for company; but in own small way; many times.

So once again, as many other times; I was stranded in office yesterday with no money to go home. You know; one thing is that my bank balance is almost zero and another thing that even with few hundreds; I cant withdraw money from my own account.

I have this unique problem of my debit card not working in ATMs in India only (Yeah it works outside country :-S) I have had my card replaced many times; it works well for first couple of months and then whichever ATM I try; the ATM blares a very embarrassing message of my card not being recognized. If thats not enough; I get suspicious looks from shops when my card is swiped and get a "Card not valid" or "Not enough balance" message.

I get chided for being clumsy while swiping and hence damaging the magnetic strip (something like ladies not knowing to drive). Anyway, after many futile attempts of getting a fresh card and being locked from using my online account while the new card reaches me; I have given up. Here is my arrangement. I have a banker at work (my colleague) and a banker at home(my husband). The arrangement is this. I transfer money to their account and they withdraw it for me.

So yesterday all I had was Rs. 20 in my purse which I spent on Ginger tea. I reminded my colleague to withdraw money for me. We forgot and then he left for the day unnoticed. So I was there at work post 6 while most of my office crowd are already high at the beer bash hosted by my organization every Friday.

I am a shy lady for one; couldnt get myself to look around for someone to part with a couple of hundreds for me to commute back home. I called up my colleague and reprimanded him for forgetting(as if it was his problem!) and forced him to get back to office and give me some money. He did so!

This was office; a familiar territory. But being in such a situation is not new to me. I have been left with no money when I am out; not knowing what to do. At such times; I have walked back home; sometimes 10+ kms. Yeah, I am not a disciplined woman to hide 500-1000 Rs in my purse for a rainy day as this.

I am nagged by my friends to get my card replaced. It is inconvenient; not only does my bank charge for the new card which will stop working after a couple of months. But during the window period of getting a new card; I cant transact online as my internet account is also locked as I need to key in combination of numbers as present in grids on my debit card.

Catch-22 situation huh? But its fun to put myself in such situations :P

PS : I got a custom domain. My blog link is Please bookmark it. 


  1. I have this have this habit of checking for my wallet whenever I step out. it helps me always. and this card not working happens with me when I have less money and bill is more! and the bill amount is small - it becomes too embarrassing then!

  2. Although credit/debit cards are useful but to rely on them heavily is what I avoid! Always like to have the old world charm of keeping some money as well as best use of new options:)

  3. umm debit and credit cards that work unfailingly outside India. who knows that may be an unique way of the Bankers to extract maximum from you by way of exchange rate difference and sale of foreign currency.
    these fellows are thieves, robbers and marauders who can put Genghis Khan to shame.

  4. Well, what I can suggest is - Open an account with PNB! ;-)

  5. Oh my God you seem to be in an interesting pickle right now ! I am almost sure you hold an account with some foreign bank...try nationalised banks ..their cards always work, and are very dependable :)

  6. Listen to Balan , open an account with PNB.

  7. At-least you have a reason that the credit card is not working..I forget my purse and give a call to my friends 0r mum to pick me up. I recorded a similar such incident in blog 4 years back.
    Or simply take an auto-reach home and pay!
    Rs.20 for a ginger chai..which world am I in!
    Yay..congrats on your own domain!!

  8. Neha,

    I dont :P I have this blind guts!


    I agree!! Nothing like hard cash


    Its safe to use it outside Anil; as you get proper exchange rate.
    In fact, converting hard cash is where you lose!


    Hahahaha I saw this coming ;-)


    Yeah I hold with an private Indian bank. Its the only option my employer provide.




    Yeah Rs 20 for 2 ginger chais :D

    I will have to be careful; which I dont know when

  9. Nice thing about your own domain. I've sometimes been in situations without money. If I am coming back home, I can always borrow from a neighbor, once from the kirana store too :). My ATM card always work, don't understand how come yours doesn't. What else can I say, don't be shy ask for help.

  10. B, for sure the conversion rate ( selling ) rate on ATM outside India is definitely killing. It is murder what these new generation banks do. Watch out you will know,.

  11. Stranded... I hope you are not waiting to be that in Life.

    I liked spice n ice. May be that lead to some change... significantly good

  12. Rachna,

    Yeah! when there is no choice, I cant remain shy :P


    Yes Anil, will look out


    What makes you think I will be stranded in life?


I'd love to know what you thought :-) Please shoot!