<!– /11440465/Dna_Article_Middle_300x250_BTF –>Imtiyaz Alam, a 38-year-old PR professional, woke up to a Saturday morning with television crews lined up along his Shaheen Bagh house in southeast Delhi’s Jamia Nagar. All of this happened after he posted his pictures with a ‘sea of coins’, at his dining table, on Facebook.The morning later, he turned out to be the man who got Rs 20,000 from the bank in 20 packets having a hundred Rs 10 coins each.Alam returned home in a cycle rickshaw with the 15 kg sack of coins on his shoulders, even as neighbours in the area’s cramped streets looked at him with surprise.But the biggest surprise came at a restaurant on Friday evening, when Alam used the coins to make the payment. This left the hotel staff and other guests staring at him in disbelief.By next morning, Alam had the attention of not only the neighbourhood, but the entire Capital, with TV screens flashing pictures of him live with his new-earned wealth. This comes at a time when the rest of the city is cash-strapped.Speaking to DNA, Alam said that the value of this money struck him only when a stranger came to his house and asked him if he could exchange his new Rs 2,000 note for Alam’s coins.”I did not even know the man. He had just heard of the coins perhaps from television and since he lived nearby, he came over. I gave him the coins in return for the note,” said Alam, who lives with his wife and two daughters.At a time when most people are emptying their piggy banks, his daughters are the happiest. “They have filled their piggy banks up to the cap with the coins and are happy to count them over and over again,” he said.It started when Alam who went to his neighbourhood bank branch to exchange currency. He felt that he could not do with only Rs 2,000, and pleaded with the bank for more cash. The bank did help him but in a rather amusing way: they asked him if would be comfortable to have Rs 20,000 in coins. After some thinking, Alam ended up saying yes.He stood in the Jamia Cooperative Bank Ltd queue for over two and a half hours on Friday morning. The exchange limit was already reduced to Rs 2,000. He needed more than that to buy his children’s winter school uniforms, and for expenses for a work-related event in Goa next week.”I was there at the branch at 8 am and could only enter it by 11:30 am. I told the bank to help me, have an undertaking or something signed by me for the extra cash. After 10 minutes of persuading them, they asked me how much money I needed. I told them around Rs 15-20,000.”The staff returned to ask me if I could take Rs 20,000, but all in coins. At first, I thought that they were joking with me, but moments later I was ready to take the coin sack home,” said Alam, as he carefully opened another packet containing Rs 10 coins to pay his newspaper vendor.
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