"हलवाई खुश कि दाम ज़्यादा किए वसूल
मैं खुश कि रेवड़ियों में चवन्नी भी आ गयी "
-so went a famous couplet quoted by a noted author in his novel. Chavanni must have had good value in terms of purchasing power in those times that is why there is a sense of satisfaction derived from getting even with the overcharging Halwai. That the same chavanni has lost its value so much that it had to be put out of circulation , does not require any explanation. In our childhood, getting a chavanni as pocket money would mean a bonanza. But for quite some years now , terms like chavanni chhap and jhola chhap are almost uttered in the same breath for something below standard or leaving much to desire. Chavanni also came handy as it added “sawaya” to any amount to make an offering to God in some temple, like “ sawa rupaya” and “sawa paanch rupay ka prasad . ”
It seems almost an end of an era to us who have seen pre- metric system of rupaya, anna and paisa in circulation !