Price Hike

The poor on the street bargained

Onions, potatoes at Rs 30 a kg,

A small cauliflower at Rs 32

Beans and other veggies at 90

The list was endless

Tomatoes, carrots, peas

Were out of the budget

Heavily he trudged along to a store

Hoping to buy and cook dal

With ‘that’ at least

He could swallow a morsel

To his horror… he recoiled

‘ Toovar’ was above 160 a kg

‘Moong’ ‘urad’ and ‘chana’  no less

His shoulders slumped…

Dejected he walked out

Sweating in the cold breeze

Dots of perspiration lined his forehead

He might… he might… he thought

Buy him-self a banana… perhaps….

That could replenish…

 But he staggered that too …

 One at Rs 3

Tired and exhausted, he sat down

Beneath a warm old banyan tree

Sadly, he unrolled his paper

Took out a half-burnt ‘roti’*

And tried to swallow it bit by bit…

Searching hopelessly

Here and there for water

To brush it down

The lone municipal tap

Down the road just dripped,

Dripped… and dripped… a drop at a time

That too… was out of reach

For the common man who stands ignored,

  The lucky few eat a low cost meal

Although they can afford to pay

The taxpayer’s money is drained to feed them

Yet they remain dissatisfied and grumble at the quality…

 They know not what it is to go hungry

Their coffers are full…

The common man dies of thirst

While bottled water is served at no extra cost

What does price hike mean to them?

                                                    ~Shobha Diwakar

                                                      Jabalpur, India


  1. I could not refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!

  2. thank you Jack for your encouraging comment

  3. The Price Hike and The Bad Deal have long been proponents of ending tipping, a practice that s bad for waiters, bad for cooks and bad for consumers.