Friday, October 17, 2008

Are we doomed?

I recently had the opportunity to grab a copy of the much renowned and admired Wall Street Journal at an airport in Paris and as a member of the communication management fraternity, I was obviously thrilled to see it! But my excitement was met with depressing headlines all over the newspaper screaming out about layoffs, sinking companies, a stricken and handicapped government and so on and so forth.
Suddenly India’s very own brilliant yet conservative RBI seemed like the country’s savior, thanks to which India’s economy is not rolling downhill at the same speed – atleast not just yet! But a quick look around provides a stark reality check of how the low income group is already feeling the pinch of the gradually ascending inflation, which is yet to bite the more fortunate folks around. If you are wondering what I’m talking about, make a trip to your neighborhood sabji mandi and you’ll know exactly what I mean.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m from the more fortunate and protected lot who is also not feeling the pain just as much at this point. And like many others, I’m completely ignorant of the prices of vegetables in the market and prefer to shop at a fixed price supermarket where I believe I won’t get fleeced!! But it took me only a 5-minute walk down the local vegetable market to realize just how bleak it looks for the not so lucky.
The dismayed look on the faces of the less fortunate, helplessly looking around for a vegetable that is reasonably priced made me wonder if I’m plain selfish for thanking my lucky stars for being in a better off situation; or instead I should be feeling sorry for those who can’t claim the same.
If the prices of basic food keep rising at the rate at which they are climbing right now without the incomes of these people going northward at a proportionate pace, can you even image their situation in the weeks and months to come? By then, even you and me would become the unknowing victims of this animal we call inflation.
One can only hope and pray that like alternate fuels, we can offer these despondent people and many more, cheaper food supplements as well, and soon!!! How else are they expected to survive when they can’t even buy a kilo of tomatoes, or onions or potatoes without adding an additional crease on their already trouble-stricken, wrinkled faces…
I know one thing for sure, this was definitely my last visit to the local market. Call me an escapist but I’m better off not knowing since there ain’t no sign of a silver lining anywhere around the corner…
Makes me wonder just why Mr. Obama and Mr. McCain are so very keen to take on the reins of a fast sinking economy – hats off to you gentlemen and wish you all the very best!!

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