On the way to Mandi on Wednesday to get the car serviced, we stopped at two petrol stations to get diesel. Neither had operational card machines, or the guys manning the station that early in the morning didn't know how to use them.
Finally, I had to use cash that I was saving to buy trout. I offered a 2000 rupee note. The guy asked me to buy diesel for 1000 rupees (instead of 500 that I wanted) for he did not want to give me 1500 rupees as change. Sab change khatam ho jayega, he said. There went my cash for 2kg of trout.
At the car service station, the folks didn't accept my card (no reason offered, just that we don't accept cards). Luckily, I was carrying my check book and wrote them a check.
Long and short of it, I needed cash. Having 4 credit and debit cards doesn't help. This is the reality in smaller towns and cities.