I found I found I found…the place where you get a meal at Rs.12 in Mumbai. It is exactly at the same food corner you get hot sizzling Birbal ki Khichdi and the yum Khayali Pulao. Now I know of these places because I’m a frequent customer here and these are my favorite dishes. And how come Politicians wouldn’t know these places; they are the owners and the original cook who invented them. Along with this very authentic khichdi and Pulao, the place is also very well known for serving traditional Maharashtrian delicacies like ‘Bolachich Kadhi, Bolachach Bhaat and Manatle Mande’. Those who haven’t heard of these dishes, these are awesome recipes that don’t need either ingredients or cooking time just like the above Pulao and Khichdi.
The latest Rs. 12 and Rs. 5 food is the umpteenth Marie Antoinette our politicians have committed. Sometimes these comments make you wonder if Marie Antoinette is a yardstick that is falling short for measuring insensitivity in the newest century. Even if you think of a sleaziest, cheapest food joint that is born to earn some profit, you cannot cook a rice and daal khichdi at this price at home. It has to be without tomato (Rs40-60 kg) and Onions(Rs. 30 kg). And without any other veggies, the cheapest one costing Rs. 15 for 250 gms. Even sunflower oil now costs more than Rs. 100 per litre if groundnut oil at Rs. 200 is what you should give up totally. In anyway it is never projected as a cholesterol free oil. There is subsidized cooking gas, the subsidy of which is getting trimmer and trimmer. Tell about rubbing salt on our wounds but salt is not cheap too, awaiting and wanting another salt satyagrah. Thank God, in our country most people don’t have bad addiction like that of fruits, dry fruits and milk. Milk, we need for tea but that’s it!!!
To be fair, people are not dying hungry, not in metro like Mumbai. You get free khichdi sponsored by various groups in slum areas. Lot of NGO’s provide daily breakfast to the street children, idli-chatni, Samosa-pav, Vadapav. The cost of which have doubled in the last 6 years alone but these dishes are now promoted to food from a snack. Occasionally, people distribute wholesome meals that includes a sweet dish commemorating days like in remembrance of their loved ones, celebration of newborns or a religious ritual that needs blessings of deprived ones and this doesn’t even cost Rs. 12. The question is, does that make for an appropriate living for a human being? Would you let kids at your home have Vada-Pav and Samosa-pav every day?
I get pessimistic at the thought of future of our current conditions. They say that the poverty line is withdrawing. To the contrary, I feel in my childhood I heard stories of how a really poor child studied hard and became a Prime Minister of our country, that one being Mr. Lal Bahadur Shastri. The old times not only had rooms but earnest teachers in their schools for accommodating those who sincerely wanted to learn. To sincerely wanting to learn, they had role models of magnanimous personalities in the first place. Now there is no space for downtrodden in prestigious colleges, the cut-off percentage being 90-100 percent or a huge sum of donation. Many rags to riches story happen even today but the means is no longer education or a slow consistent and hardworking path. Education is nothing about thirst for knowledge and blah blah. The kids going to municipality schools cannot read, write or calculate even when they reach senior secondary. The only option they think of making it big is the glittery world of show business, reality shows on small screen or small quick money businesses mostly illegal ones. Kids who witness power of money winning in every field of life – why do we suppose they would wish anything else?
And yesterday I woke up to this wonderful news of Mr. Mayappan getting clean chit from BCCI. It was pretty obvious from the start people, Damadji’s of our country never do anything wrong, you see. At the time of matrimonial alliance itself we check about them that they don’t have any bad habits like betting, fixing etc. At least on that news we can cheer and continue experiencing the nail biting moments of T -Twenty. After all it is not like watching an already written and directed soap serials of today, is it?