August 03, 2009 , 45 Comments

Economics always freaked me. Freakonomics tweaks me even more. That is well not the end to my freaking, shrieking, shrilling list. There is more and one of it could be termed as “changeonomics”. Ekta Khetan

The above statement will soon find its place in list of famous quotes from an upcoming freakonomist of all times - Yours truly. From years, world has truly conspired me towards the subject economics and acknowledging the GDC [Globally designed Conspiracy]; I shall explain the proposed theory of “Change-o-nomics”.

Before I begin, let us assume that- we all have studied economics sometime and we are patient readers who appreciate humor over grammar. So taking ceteris paribus as the baseline, let us take a random sample of 10 people and ask- Bhai Sahib Kya aapke paas Rs 100 ka ‘change’ hai?
99% of the responses so generated would be-

# 9.555 out of ten responses says “no” [Closed economy]
# 2 out of 10 will too claim to have Rs 100 only [Perfect Competition]
# 1 of 10 retorts to have only Rs 60 or any lesser amount [inelastic demand]
# Another 10% confesses that they have just given it away or deposited in bank. [Institutionalized Monopoly or economy of scales or restrictive practices ]
# 25% of respondents guides you to another shop, store or even Taxi Walla [Globalization]
# Eight out of those 10 redirected sellers will apply-
“IF (You make an impulsive purchase, Yes_change available, No_change not available)”. [Also known as Opportunity cost over and above economic cost]

Well that establishes correlation of change-o-no-mics with market efficiency. How? Consider this-
1. No one can be made better off without making someone else worse off: Almost true
2. More output cannot be obtained without increasing the amount of input [refer point no 6 above]
3. Production proceeds at lowest possible unit cost [Try to get the change for Rs 500, Rs 100 and Rs 50 and you will understand]

So what is "Changeonomics"? In economic terms, it is a social choice theory, which works on the “compensation principal” of matching the dynamics of “what is in my pocket” and “what is in my mind. Therefore, whether it is recession, or inflation, the flow of ‘change currency’ as in medium of exchange is a mutually exclusive event. This type of heterodox economics aims to explain how economies of asking “change money” work and how its agent interacts.
In simple words, it is the tough commerce of getting "small change" from public. Like two Rs 50 for a hundred ruppee currency.
The phrase “Mister, Do you have change for X rupee” has become a dreaded economic condition for money market and theorem’s of liquidity. By asking this question, one stimulates a market condition driven by equal demand and supply but low intend to purchase called- “Change-no-mics” [read it as change?-no-oh me?-eeks! It is self-explanatory]
Change-o-no-micsEconomics is freaky at times. And “change-o-no-mics” is even freakier. I am a daily victim, everyday I play the recipient role with new scripts. I travel to office by taxi and consider myself lucky when these taxis walla’s accepts the possibilities of providing me “change” for the amount, however rare occasions they are. I am luckier if I find a “messiah” having either the changes or the equivalent amount to bail me out of that situation.

Conceding the immense contribution of changenomics in my life, I shall dedicate last week as the “changeonomics week”. Having proved that “changenomics” has little to do with Economics and more with human dynamics, we shall be moving our right side of brain keeping the left side still engaged, marveling the theory above.

So last week, one funny incidence incurred over other. I had an appointment at VLCC for hair fall treatment and the moment I stepped outside my building, it started raining. Irony is that I cannot let my hair wet, as it would affect the kera procedure to the extent of getting electric shock. I initially planned to take a bus as the clinic was nearby and hiring a taxi would be waste. Accordingly, I had Rs 500 and Rs 20 plus some coins in my pocket. The rain got dense and for next 15 minutes, I stood hopelessly with my matching blue umbrella at main gate. The bus became a no-no option, so I settled on taxi and that was the second mistake I did. I took the cab a colleague came in, continuing the same meter, letting her to pay her share later. The moment I realized that cabbie does not have change for Rs 500 and I Rs 50 as change, I asked the cabbie to get a change from nearest petrol pump. He first refused, blabbered and after some resistance, parked in middle of road and walked to the pump. “Madam change nahi mila”.

We stopped at the venue in middle of market place, IDBI bank and eateries. I spent solid 10 minutes while experiencing all those six responses above. We finally received mercies at 4th floor of the institute where a faculty decided to help me with Rs 56 to pay the fare and release the cab. Phew! If you think the matter settled then read further. I did not remember the vehicle no and accompanied the office boy back to ground floor. Paid and settled? No. Being the other smartest fellow on earth [first one is me off course], the peon boy went around, packed all the food orders and then came back to state that he could not generate a change for Rs 500. Gosh! He did all this while I waited for another ten minutes on pavement. Moreover, this all for a net amount of Rs 12, which I anyways was carrying in my pocket. That also explains 500-56-12.

Incident no2- One morning, I landed at office gate holding the Omnipresent Rs 100. Once again, the cabbie ditched me. The local chai-pan wala ditched too and office motley is as good for nothing as often. This time my messiah was the main gate security guard. In incidence no 3, my rescuer was a female colleague who, apparently got very amused with my “accounts management, bad debt recovery and cash flow theories”.

Incidences like this keeps on happening. Everyday either I do not have the exact fare amount or the taxi/ auto rickshaw person does not have. It goes from 50 paisa to 50 rupee and I end up being the sacrificing party. Well every experience teaches you something. I for that matter learnt to- always carry over n above the adequate change assuming the cabbies will be cabbies. Secondly, be very stringent to impart with your “changes”.

Now did I forget to say that the theory of “change-o-no-mics” works both ways- Buyer’s end and seller’s too? Eeeeks stop freaking, stop freaking! A "small change" is always welcome!

The autor is half Human, half machine. Go Figure or just revel in what I write


  1. lolz...very well written...but believe me if u'll to anyone in this change-o-no-mics language, u r bound to give a people nightmares!!! U've used eco terms on daily life...it was lovely..this proves u know your eco well...lol!!

  2. Very well written .... humor,math et al...I have no clue why people get all possesive about change ...never ever do they want to part themselves away ... reminds of an Akshay Kumar movie in which he makes the heroine spend a bunch of money just to generate the change .... good stuff !!

  3. @ Nazish
    thanks1 I have suddenly developed a liking for economics!!! :)

  4. @ Le Em b

    Thanks, I guess it works both ways. Ppl knowing the difficulty is gaining small change, do not like to part away with theirs. Which movie by the way? Phir hera pheri?

  5. Amusing blog.. you really don't stop amazing me.. Where do u bring this creativity from? Anyways u should try in the marketing or advertising industry... Trust me you will make it big there...

  6. @ Manku
    Thanks...aakhir meri pitayi ka asar hua kisi pe....thanks for the comments, but maine to script mein kuch aur diya tha ;)

  7. Excellent Read. Keep it up. Really liked your writing

  8. Sachin Abrol03 August

    Ekta, i have been following your blog since last 2-3 months.. and i must say your writing has improved a great deal. Especially change-o-nomics rocks!! I am sure it will make into the regular jargons. Eeeks

  9. ditto with me as well. every morn to be exact.. i ask before hand if they have sau ka chutta. If they dont i make em take change usually the auto drivers stop by a pan shop for obvious reasons. One auto wallah actually stopped at a market and bought tide for his household.

    first half of da post really freaked me with all that economics.. but got the connection in the end.. nice one ek tc :)

  10. @ Sach...

    Sachi? thanks:)
    I dont know whether I should be flattered or ahem wonder that all these`days i have written crap? hahaha

  11. @ hemish
    Thanks! Even i do but guess what, there isn't many shops on my way to office plus all these cabbies claims to be bare pockets in the mornings...Boni ka funda...

  12. Anonymous04 August

    Asking a change has so many economics in it..wow!:O
    Railway ticket counters always ask for change especially 1 or 2 rupee coins and many-a-times I have walked out of the queue (after getting the ticket) without collecting my change of three or four rupees.bcos they will not give you the change unless you produce that one rupee coin.X-(

  13. Wow Economics, freakanomics and changenomics..he he i was wondering if was a new study :) now i know...but consider yurself lucky, the other day my friend gave the money(50rs) to the auto wala for change and that fellow disappeared for more than an hour, he actually had to leav the place :( !! ..cheers and good write up and thanks for taggin me :)!

    H a R y

  14. @ Srivatasan
    Thanks and yeah i too have faced many instances like this esp with taxi.

    @ Hary
    Thanks buddy...I do not take that kind of risk with auto/taxi ppl. even if i do, i ensure that i am inside the vehicle while they go out seek change...

    Sorry could not reply u earlier...saw new post..it was fantastic!

  15. hello, loong post, let me come back for this. I have a ton load of backlog from office to complete. Will read in a day or so. TC:))

  16. If i will send this link to my economics mam... she will be very happy ... that at last i understood all eco concepts in one go...
    Never possible!

  17. After reading this post, I think you were behind the global financial crisis!

  18. Very nicely done.
    I am impressed with your knowledge of economics .
    Change-o-nomics is a manifestation of "preference for Liquidity" in everyday life. Economicst do recognize that 2 fifty rupee notes are better than a hundred rupee note. That's why you see that share prices of a stock rise whenever there's a news of it splitting into 1:5 or 1:2.
    But yes, when dealing with auto-wallahs, Liquidity-Prefernece would be a heavy term; Changeonomics sounds much more apt :).
    And I sympathize for the trouble you have to go through due to the phenomenon :).

  19. Excellent blog. I love it. You are not alone. I have this experience several times when I visit India. The worst place is Chennai. So, now I carry plenty of small denomination in rupees.

    This is what happened to me once in Chennai. We went to a restaurant and paid the bill and tips. All of a sudden I realized I have only 500s in my wallet. I asked the waiter to get me change from the cashier. He went and came back and said "no change". I immediately ordered a cup of coffee. The bill came to Rs.12. I gave the same 500 rupee note and he brought the change back. In the meantime, I did not drink the coffee. After I put the change in my wallet, I purposely pushed the coffee from the table. It fell on the floor with a loud noice. I said: oops. I am sorry. And left the restaurant.

  20. Nice humor you have posted here. Keep up the good work!

  21. Never studies economics n thts a regret:(
    this was a pretty vivid lesson though coupled with practical examples n et all:P

  22. This comment has been removed by the author.

  23. @ itsakash
    He he dont do that, you will be in soup for wrong reasons! :D

    @ eye-in-sty-in
    Oh my god, I am busted!!! :D

  24. @ Brown Phantom

    wow you completed me...I was looking for the exact expression and it came from you. See I do not call you an amazing writer for nothing:)

    @ SG
    Thanks...You must be happy that the restaurent owner at least had decorum to serve that cup of coffee, gen a lot of Indian establishments do not have basic courtesy of service, they shoo away the customer if their mood id off.

  25. @ Gopinath

    Thanks and keep visiting :)

    @ CN
    It's never too late...learn now and thanks for the compliment:)

    @ Varsha Shrote
    Cool...smart girl. Thanks for writing in..keep visiting and keep sharing.

  26. ha ha ha..
    it happens..
    aajkal khulle ki badi killat hai ..

    frm next time try to check ur purse tht u have d change.. :)

  27. very well written!! Humour and economics combined in such a deadly combo great work!! The regular irritating incidences prove to be a boon later na? as we can make humorous posts on them..

    I just saw that you have tagged me, and that too long back. I am really sorry, I didnt know about it till today. Will take it up shortly, thanks

  28. @ Sahityika

    Thanks for droppin in. Yeah chillar ki killat. but tell me this change should be a two way approach. I mean if i cant obtain change, how can i pass them on? Thought provoking?

  29. @ Sujata
    Thanks! Yeah but it is less of boon and more of recurring nightmare...

    Yeah, I have tagged you in my first ever attempt of tagging business...Would love to see ur response!

  30. Howlarious!! Can't wait for more...

  31. @ Hatikvah aka Hope!

    Thanks for writing in and welcome to my blogs. Keep visiting!

  32. very true .. mixed with humour.. very interesting .. keep writing



    pls read my new poem "झील" on my poem blog " http://poemsofvijay.blogspot.com

  33. @ Vijay kumar Sappatti ji

    Thanks for writing in...I have read your poem...very nice... I am inspired to post my poem now though not as interesting as yours:)

    I have even seen your comic's blog...I remember all those characters gabdu, daaku paan singh, chutki etc...

    Keep visiting and writing!

  34. Thanks for explaining economics to dummies like us, but if I try to read more difficult concepts, i will definitely have go to VLCC for hair loss treatment!

    Just joking! Enjoyed your theories immensely.

  35. After Years of (Bhatkkofying in) Street Experience I have become Street
    Smart I guess..

    I will usually be able to make a good decision as to where to ask for the
    Change and HOW

    Some times I will ask Bhaiya char Eclares denaa... I need em anyways... to
    Quit Smoking...

    earlier I used to take 3 Ciggies... ON ewill not do the Trick I need to come
    close to and less than 10 (max number less than 10 etc/...)

    I will also possibly keep them Handy with me by making some calculations of
    how much I will next for the Day or for the Next Day before giving them away
    when I have it with me...

    And a lot of Other Dynamic Rules and Formulas....


    HI Ekta,

    Came here through you being listed in the Kolkata Bloggers' meet...

    you got some serious Following it seems...

    Blogging awards and all...

    you seem to be a Pro and pretty good at it...

    Look forward to meet you at the meet this Saturday

    @rungss on Twitter
    Blogger at http://bijayrungta.com

  36. @ Sucharita

    Hey thanks and welcome to my blog. Now I know why am I loosing so much of hairs? Lolz...

    @ bijayrungta
    Thanks...you finally did it! Take care and keep visiting!

  37. here is the exact answer to the question i asked in the meet


  38. Arre i know this angle theory...But i guess you asked why they are "called as" and not why they are "written as".

    I know the answer...frankly:)

  39. Well I guess you have been lucky that the taxi drivers in these cases have agreed to at least pay you back the change....Let me tell you incidences of Hyderabad. Suppose your meter comes to Rs.27 and you pay him Rs.30....and then wait for him to return you Rs.3......he will look at your face as if you are the most needful beggar that he has ever seen and then he will say " Kya Saar Teen Rupaye Magta Hai"..........

    Madam...kaha se sochti ho itna.......

  40. @ Rahul
    Hyderabad or Kolkata…taxi wallahs are taxi wallah and they are all more or less same…Kaha se sochti hoon? Hmmmm hmmm Soch ke batati hoonJ

  41. HI
    very well written..fantastic..I liked it...just wanna share a link on short story on markets - http://bhavikkshah.blogspot.in/2010/04/little-story-on-markets-on-demand.html

    1. Thanks Bhavik. I do check your blogs...good ones!

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