Saturday, November 21, 2009

Latest Topics Of Discussion

From our cook A, I have found out that the hottest topic of discussion these days is the price of food. No matter where you go, she says, at bus stops, in the train, in the chawl where she lives, they're talking about the impossibly steep rise in the price of everything from bhindi to potatoes and wondering how they're going to survive. As for the price of dal, says A, it's a joke. It's more than doubled in such a short while. We both talked about how scary it is when such a huge chunk of the population of a city or state is faced with a serious food shortage. Gear up for more violence, I tell her and she nods with a stoic look in her eye. Only, people are so dumb, she adds. Instead of confronting those whom they should, the people in power who are responsible for this state of affairs, they will go and burn some more buses and destroy public property and that will be the end.

The Mahalaxmi temple next door has its own way of dealing with these difficult times we are going through. In the morning we are blasted out by conch shells played over the loudspeaker and our evening meditations on the balcony, over a tot of Feni or rum, are accompanied by a loud, almost aggressive rendition of "Om Jai Jagdish". Well, the rum or feni or whiskey as the case may be does make it easier for us to cope with the ear-splitting pleas for mercy. It reminds me of that bunch of priests in Bombay who, a few months back, immersed themselves in drums of water for ten hours a day over several days, chanting Sanskrit slokas to bring on rain. The rain manager apparently was deaf and didn't hear it, so we still have a water shortage in Bombay and the crops have failed miserably which is also a likely reason for the steep food prices.



Maya said...

... and not to forget the floods in most of the food producing areas ...


Uma said...

Yes true. Isn't it all to do with both, our abusing the environment and also negligence regarding disaster management?

Suresh said...

The common man in India who is hard-hit by the steep rise in prices of essential commodities, does his best to cling on to hope in the only way he knows best- by Praying!

That is one luxury he can indulge in, and perhaps it is good that way! Anything that can help one to keep one's head, in times of crisis!!