Pie-eyed

Who says we aren’t a nation of poets? From the Reserve Bank’s archives, an official exchange of memos in 1952 on the subject of the “pie”, the one-paisa copper coin, between the then-Finance Secretary, K G Ambegaokar, and the then-Finance Minister, C D Deshmukh:

“Much as I admire the valiant efforts made to rescue the ‘picayune coin’, I must, I am afraid, albeit with a heavy heart, write

The Epitaph of the Pie

Low and high
We all will sigh
When the poor little pie
Bids her last goodbye.

But her cost’s is so high;
And what can she buy?
What trade can she ply?
She needs must eat the humble pie;

So let us not vie
To keep alive the pie
And without a plaintive cry
Peacefully let her die.

If you want the reason why
There need not be hue and cry
Remember she’ll in honour lie
With the silver rupee high!

Will the “Minister” say the last word?

Deshmukh replied in kind:

Let not the ‘press’ of men
Disturb a museum piece
When life’s extinct, oh then
The pie shall lie in peace.

4 comments

  1. i have heard that Harindranath Chattopadhaya used to transact only in verse in the parliament…an archival search should prove its veracity, but have you also heard of this (apocryphal?) story?Though I should say that the sight of Harindranath standing up and spouting some bombastic verse is quite an imaginable sight…just picture the magician Barfi in Ray’s Goopy Gyne Bagha Byne…:-)

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