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Theme: Habit

Bargaining for Onions

by Sharbaaniranjan Kundu
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While coming to office
I found a hawker
selling onions
at fifteen rupees a 'kg',
heaped on a flat rickshaw,
used for selling wares.

Two ladies of the same building
pop out on their verandahs
of the second and third floor,
a Bengali and a Punjabi,
rich households both.

'We both will take some,
tell us the right price',
said the more aggressive of the two.
Oh, my God,
this scribe thought!
When onion prices rose,
one political party went out of power in Delhi!
Second price rise,
there was such huge
hue and cry,
the Agriculture minister had to try hard
so that past history was not repeated.

Now potato and onions are cheap in Delhi
in a rather high-priced market.
But these rich fat ladies want them still cheaper!

The same ladies may cough up
ten thousand rupees for their evening family dinner
in some up market food joint.

But no consideration for the poor fellow
who got up at four in the morning
and purchased sackfulls of onions
and at ten in the morning
and a bit scorching spring sun
is trudging and hawking
the mundane thing.

And these two rich fat ladies,
probably both their parents lost hearth
in partition days,
but now reasonably rich
and have plush lives,
bargain for a few rupees,
not withstanding their habits
of frivolous spendings on food joints
and SUVs for pleasure rides!


01-Mar-2012

More By  :  Sharbaaniranjan Kundu

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