As a ‘housewife’ (!! – I am so short of pressing panic button – I am NOT a housewife please. Everytime at the immigeration counter I have filled in my occupation as ‘housewife’ and partly died. Anyways). Yeah. So as a housewife, I have begun to keep a tab /make decision on what we need to replenish for the week etc – atta khatam hua hai. But dont buy Pillsbury – buy the other one stacked next to it. Or… Kande sampale. Ek kilo lagtil, batate matra ardha kiloch haa (ikadchi swari diet var aahe). So, ever since I have begun to make these decisions (And buy things) – I have realised that this country really needs to set its priorities right – for a third world country. The following examples will explain why:
- I made ambyachi daal yesterday. (May I gloat now ;p). Since its past gudhi padwa and I happened to remember that, I realised that if I were in India, probably as a new bride, we’d have organised a chaitra gauri haladi kunku at my in-laws’ place. So ambyachi daal and panhe made out of kairi would have been the fare for the occassion and if I cant have haladi kunku, I might as well atleast make ambyachi daal on my own. I promptly went to Indian store and bought chanyachi daal (gram dal) half kg for INR 100, hing for INR 75. (I paid them IDR – but for readers, I’ve put things in INR today, just to get my point across). Then I walked down to the farmers’ market to buy raw mangoes (kairi). I thought of saving money and decided that instead of 1 kg/ aadha kg etc, I’d just buy 2 kairis. 1 for daal and the other for panhe. I thought though it wont save lot of money, atleast it’d save some of my husband’s money. Since I dont earn, I thought, I needed to save etc. So I just picked 2 kairis from the lot. These were smaller kairis. I looked at price on the counter. It was in IDRs and on ‘per kg’ basis. I thought I read somewhere 3.4 lac per kg, but then I thought that since I was buying only 2, it wouldnt make sense comparing prices at this point. I went to the packing counter where they weighed it and pasted a price tag. I looked at the price. In INR terms, 2 kairis were costing me somewhere close to Rs. 200. Atrocious. In India, they’d have costed me less than Rs. 20. I looked around. There were very few shoppers. I stealthily walked back towards the kairi counter and left those kairis there. Then I came across another kairi variety, the larger ones. I picked 1 huge raw kairi. Saw the price. It was lesser than previous one. I thought, I’d manage with 1 kairi since it was huge. Again I got it weighed. This time, in INR terms, it was Rs. 125!! Finally, I realised that I had been hoping to make ambyachi daal since gudhi padwa and I bought it concluding that probably its gonna be long long time before I think of buying kairis again!!! Anyways, the daal turned out to be fine. Not too great – I couldnt grind it into granules. It was smoother. Ambyachi daal without its usual granular form can only be ok, not great. This is because the mixer has only 1 blade and its not what we use to grind into granular manner. Anyways. Since Swapnil is on diet, he just ate little. (Or thats what he told me for not really eating a lot) – I liked the daal though. It was fine. 😉
- The evening previous to that, we had gone shopping with Swapnil’s colleague’s wife who is going to India next week. She bought a blazer for IDR 50,000. In Indian Rupee terms – its Rs. 250!!! Another friend bought herself a purse, a huge fake leather bag – which cost ~ Rs. 200. That same evening I bought half kilo mung daal for Rs. 200. All the while that I was with those 2 women, I kept on thinking that I was living in some wonderland where things were quite cheap and it would be so awesome to live in a place like that. But then I bought mung daal and came back to the grounds. Also, when Swapnil bought a litre of milk for some 13,500 IDR (which is close to INR 60+) again I realised that this was not a wonderland, but a topsy turvy world.
So the conclusion – food is actually costlier than clothes and accessories?? please buy lots of clothes and accessories and maintain your image, no matter that you may starve!! This country really needs to get its priorities right.