A good family friend of mine rang me up yesterday morning and frantically
entreated me as follows:
"Bhargav, I want US scents. It is very urgent, please."
I soothed him. Come on, these scents are available in India, anywhere.
Go and get it from nearby shop.
"No, no, no. Scents, Quarter..."
I was bemused.
Hey, come on, what are you going to do with scents and quarter cutting?
"No, no. Cents. Money. Money."
"Oh my God! You need cents? They are worthless. Why are you in urgent
need of these?"
My General Manager's wife is leaving for US tomorrow and she wants to
carry these coins with her to make phone calls and so on.
There is no point reasoning with elderly people going to US for the first
time. They are a worried lot. Particularly ladies travelling alone.
I said: I will see. I should have some coins. I will ring back in five minutes.
After a little while, I phoned him back saying that I have kept aside for
him ten coins each in cents, 5 cents, dimes (10 cents) and quarters (25 cents).
He felt as though he had won the Virginia State Lottery!
Somehow he had contacted the right person. As a numismatist I had brought
back a small bunch of coins from US. Only one in a hundred returning from the US would care to bring back pennies and dimes!!
You know the saying: 'They are dime a dozen!"