At 8pm on November 8th, 2016, Narendra Modi, the Prime Minister of India, announced on live television that all ₹500 and ₹1000 rupee banknotes would be declared invalid as of midnight that evening. New ₹500 and ₹2000 banknotes would be issued in exchange for the old ones, and the government claimed this "demonetization" ("vimudrikaran" in Hindi) would stop the counterfeiting of the current bills used to fund terrorism, drug use and smuggling. Terms like "black money" and corruption were used to describe the reasoning for this action. In the days following this announcement, banks and ATM queues were overrun with people trying to exchange huge sums of cash, and most ATM's faced cash shortages or were not reprogrammed to be equipped with the new currency. The government's initial claim of 50 days to reach currency normalisation was stretched to a predicted four months. As of November 18th, 33 deaths had been linked to the demonetization as people committed suicide and suffocated in ATM lines, waiting to take out the daily allotment of ₹2000 rupee (roughly $29 dollars) per person. That was the same day I arrived in the country, largely unaware of how this crisis was devastating the nation as a whole. The following is a series of observations from my travels throughout India over 24 days, trying to grasp how a swiftly modernizing country with such a huge population could be so ill prepared for such a traumatic endeavor.