Guest post by PARAYI
The Indian government’s planning commission has just told the Supreme court that about 31 rupees a day [slightly more than half a dollar] is enough for a family to live on. The news papers had the details of a diet which can be had on that money. Few grams of rice+ fewer grams of vegetable + no fruit + no fuel etc etc….
Two succulent chicken pieces were floating in a rich gravy in my plate while I flipped through the news paper. Suddenly, there was a bout of indigestion. Well, occasionally the meat on my plate has the bad habit of turning into a living being with an accusing stare. Generally, I remind the being about the soul of plants and coax it back into its original form.
This time the gravy and the pieces which were floating around in it had cost me about three times more than what a non-poor Indian family can live on in a day. And, the eatery was a street side one with no frills to boast of.
The gravy was intact. But, drenched in oil and curry powder, four pair of eyes were giving out accusing stares. Two adults, two children – the perfect family. I told them that they had a better chance if they sat on the Planning Commission’s dinner plates. Here I am, after a hard day of reasonable mental labour trying to have a decent meal. Some one needs to sell an insurance policy for mental peace in this country.
(Parayi is an apolitical reptile who crawls through the nooks and corners of space.)
(Kafila Readers might also consider reading Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal (For Preventing the Children of Poor People in Ireland from being a Burden to their Parents or Country, and For Making Them Beneficial to the Public), written in 1729.
Parayi is a worthy successor to the great satirist, Jonathan Swift.)