It was perhaps my first ever official visit to the shrine. A little walking effort had brought me to the institution.

The clamor of money was in the air. The visitors had come with their choice made: Deposit or Withdrawal. This two-fold phenomenon was evident on each face. The paper bits in their hands spoke of the basic economic term: want.

The popular rosary had beads from all walks of life. Everyone had priorities. Some came to meet the wants of their dear ones back in their home country. Others came to meet man-made liabilities.

Smile was essentially absent in the entire building. I don’t know if they ever smiled. The popular rosary, the queue of pilgrims to the financial shrine, cursed the other ahead of him. Everyone was impatient to get the paper bits equivalent to a numeric value. Pythagoras would’ve been much happy to see that NUMBER was given such sincere devotion. The paper bits is, as claimed, the most liquid but whose worth goes down as time progresses. I found eyes glittering at the sight of the number.

As I waited in the popular rosary, an old man was seen approaching the counter. He was supported with the warm hands of his grandson. I suppose that it would’ve been a different scene a couple of years back. Anyway, the honorable man was not given a hero’s welcome in the moneywise rosary.

The notices, memo were written in only ONE language which I nor the majority of the pilgrims could interpret.

The interest-free phenomenon was not evident either from the memos or the architectural design. The 4 essential P’s (of marketing) were missing in all their forms. There was no highlight of the basic ‘differentiated’ product that the firm was offering.

I expected to see leaflets explaining in simple words, and in bilingual, the benefits of Interest Free Banking. Why had Lord forbidden usury? Why had the Unlettered Prophet of Arabia eliminated interest from all economic activities including the Dr and Cr columns of accounting ledgers… Questions remained unanswered!

After I spent about thirty full fledged minutes from the treasury of TIME, the man at the counter told that my debtor’s account was nil. I returned home empty handed from the shrine with no moneywise blessings. But I had with me a mail-bag full of questions which were finally delivered to my intellect for further analysis.

I began to get Interested in Interest-Free Banking…

March 06 2000