Sunday, February 10, 2013

#56. When You Grow Old

Snippets from a Senior Citizen’s Life

I have a suit length which was gifted to me in a marriage. For a couple of years I have been thinking of getting it stitched. At the onset of winter this year, I asked my wife for the piece so that I could go to the tailor. She hemmed and hawed, and the net result was that I was deprived of a new suit this winter also.

Then the other day, one of my friends from another town turned up, and over a drink he told me  a funny story. His father-in-law died sometime back. A few months before his death he had got a few clothes stitched. Maybe some shirts, trousers, pyjamas. After his death when my friend’s wife saw those almost new clothes her mother exclaimed, ‘I had told him what was the point of getting more clothes now when he could pop off any day!’ I got suspicious, and asked my wife who was nearby whether that was why she did not give me the piece. Her prompt reply was that I already had too many from before , so much so that there is hardly any place left in the cupboard to keep another suit. Then Gwalior has such short winter. I hope she was being truthful.

I remember one of my colleagues whose dress sense I had always appreciated. The other day I met him in the Gymkhana. He was wearing an expensive kosa silk bushshirt. It had seen better days, and true to the nature of old clothes, the fabric had ad gone smooth and shiny, losing the typical rough kosa texture.

Should we really stop going for new clothes when you grow old?

Saturday, February 2, 2013

#55. WAMAN and poor Bali

Waman and poor Bali

Everyday when I open the newspaper with trpidation that there would be news about
 increase of price of some or other commodity. And most of the days my fear
is justified. I thought I would record such news from 9 January onwards.
In the week preceding that, PM hinted at further increase in the prices of
petroleum products, and support price of foodgrains was increased.
 In the last week of December 2012, when I sent my gun licence for renewal,
I found that the State Govt. have levied processing fees of Rs. 500 for 12 bore,
Rs. 2000 for rifles and Rs. 5000 for pistol/revolver. Somebody pointed out that a person
will have  to shell out as licence fee for a pistol or revolver during his lifetime more than
the purchase price. The basic licence fee is between Rs. 50 to Rs. 150. 
this steep hike was challenged in the High Court of Madhya Pradesh, and whereas one
bench set aside the order of the government, the other upheld it. So the matter
stands as it is.

Thursday 10.1.2013

Petroleum Ministry is going to submit proposal to the cabinet that the diesel
prices be increased by one rupee per month till the loss is covered..(This was
later confirmed by the cabinet, and the price would be increased by 40 to 50
paise per month).

Friday, 11.1.2013
Jeewaji Unjversity Gwalior has increased the college and course affiliation
fees by 2 to 4 times. Ths will obviously reflect in the fees charged by the affiliated
colleges from the students.

Wednesday, 16.1.2013

  1. Petrol prices increase by 40 to 50  paise per litre in some parts of the country.
  2. Maruti Suzuki increase the price of their cars by about Rs. 20,000 across the board.

Thursday 17.1.2013

  1. Metro prices expected to go up in Delhi.
  2. Non-subsidised LPG cylinder price to go up by Rs. 47 to Rs. 1096.

Friday, 25.1.2013

Oil Ministry has proposed to the government that domestic gas prices be nearly doubled. This would push the price of gas-fired power by about Rs. 1.50 to 2 per of unit. Public transport
would also become more expensive due to cascading effect    on CNG/PNG prices.

Sunday, 27.1.2013

  1. Onion prices all over the country increase by Rs. 5 to 10 per kg.
  2. Rajdhani, Doranto and Shatabdi train fares to increase by about Rs. 15 to 20
because of increase in catering charges.

A couple of points:
1. Most of the price increases have been in the petroleum products which unfortunately have a cascading effect.
2. One has serious doubts about the costing principles which require so frequent changes in the prices. Do the companies add some costs (e.g. fixed costs# which they normally should not, or at least their weightage should be much less?
3. The tendency of the said companies to effect such price increases have emboldened several other agencies to increase prices which otherwise they would have hesitated, or at least postponed, or phased/spread over a period.