Jan 29, 2011

Edie uncle and I were talking about recent developments in India, over a glass of lemon juice instead of our usual beer. Eddie uncle looked a bit tensed during this conversation and looking at him, in this condition, which is very unusual, I asked him.

“Uncle, what happened? Why are you so tensed?”

“Arre Anil. You know Onion prices are soaring up to the sky. This lemon juice you are drinking right now costs us Rs 15. One lemon is sold at Rs 3. Petrol and onion prices are almost same. Mutton has become a novelty now”.

“Haan uncle I read about it. Sad. Inflation is raising its ugly head again. We could have had beer instead of this lemon juice isn’t it?”

“I am serious son. With onions at Rs 60 a kilo, which is almost half the price of one kilo pork, how can anyone expect us to lead a good catholic life huh”.

“Yeah very true. What do you think is the problem with such drastic increase in prices, so much that one kilo of onions is worth more than one ’Mangalore Beedies’ share?”

“What else, but politics”

“What Eddie uncle. Even a glass of lemon juice gives you a kick huh. The minister said irregular rainfall destroyed all crops and even the saplings and hence less supply and more demand. Common demand- supply theory”

“Oye. Keep your demand-supply theory for your exams and concentrate on real world. I was watching an interview of some big onion shot of Maharashtra and he said only 15% of the onion growing area was affected by bad rainfall and he said it was predicted much ahead that crops would fail.”

“Uncle, Maharashtra produces 30% of the entire production of India and it’s a huge figure. Even 15% loss of crops can affect the country’s consumption”

“I agree, but it’s not directly proportional to the RS 60 per kilo. C’mon. Don’t you agree?”

“Hmmm. Yeah Agreed, but still I heard Maharashtra onions are tasty and are of high export quality.”

“Don’t you see a game here? Maharashtra produces 30% onions in India and constitute of 70% of Indian exports. Minister is from Maharashtra, top onion businessmen from India are from Maharashtra. I see a clear motive behind the price rise. All this NAFED etc are run by these big guns. People must have been accumulating onions since a year, hmmm what term you use in your textbook- - HOARDING.  I think this is planned inflation of onions to benefit a few rich people to export their high quality onion. Government will stop exports for a while and import onions. Imports will not go on forever. When the next yield comes in, onion prices will drop considerably and our big shots get their stock out to export. These idiots might have got richer by millions just by knowing they have enough stock of onions and the farmers who do the hard work of cultivating onions may have been paid peanuts.huh”

“So you say onions are stored for 2 or 3 months without them being rotten huh”

“Anil, Onions have a large shelf life and exports are of different types, onion powder, onion paste and what not”

“Uncle you are just speculating. Do you know the production of India is not sufficient for both domestic use and exports?”

“Look Anil. Now when India has stopped exporting onions don’t you think domestic consumption should have been met with the existing production and prices should have been stabilized by now?

“Hmmm. A good point, but still we have so many people and everyone wants onions. Every damn dish in India is incomplete without onions. The smell of fried onions is something out of this world. It seems it’s good for guys huh”.

“Yeah yeah. No wonder India is placed second in population. In a way onion price rise may be government s way of tackling population explosion huh. By the way, was there a necessity for us to import onions when we have stopped exporting?”

“Uncle. We are importing from Pakistan, so it’s a good sign for bilateral relationships. What Say?”

“Maybe. Maybe their businessmen and our businessmen have bilateral relationships. Huh”

“Uncle how can you see deceit in everything, I don’t understand. Government is trying everything to lower inflation.”

“Not deceit Anil. It maybe a fact. Who knows? Everything is a circle and interconnected. People who rule us are big greedy morons. Two governments of India have been brought down by onions if you remember. Our stupid politicians play the blame game very well and our more stupid public – including me and you believe their game and enjoy it. What if I say September 11 attacks were an inside job and just a pedal for America to get into Iraq and Afghanistan?”

“Uncle, what has September 11 got to do with onions? You connect whatever you feel like and talk rubbish huh”

“Dude, one never knows. Watch a documentary from zeitgeist, its really good. Moreover there are thousands of theories going around WTC attacks. Read, watch. What the hell do you guys do on the internet, Watch Sheila ki jawani? Don’t you?”

“How do you know about Sheila huh? Even you watch Uncle Hmmmm, but you cant base all this crap of yours on a stupid documentary and some books”

“C’mon now, Entire country is watching her. I am no exception. Yeah , I know its not reliable and trustworthy, but it has made me think differently.”

“Whatever .Back to onions. Onion prices are going to increase in the next three months. Maybe 100 a kilo. Any foresight on this”

“Yes of course. See when they say there is shortage of onions and predict a price for the next three months, how do I believe that there is lack of supply. Onions are in abundance and stored in big silos, and are let out in fewer quantities for us commoners to pay Rs 100. On a positive note why don’t I buy a quintal of onions and store it and sell it when it becomes Rs 100. It would be a profit of good Rs 40000 going by the current price.”

“Huh. Cecilia aunty would make chutney out of you and sell it for free then”

“Well, when we public can be fooled so easily, I can handle your aunt Anil. No problem.”

“Anyways remember she had asked you to bring 2 kilos of onions. Don’t forget”

“Arre Anil, I have a feeling that she will ask me to open a locker to store them and moreover I don’t enough money to buy them right now. We could have saved money for onions instead of sipping the watery lemon juice huh”     

Anil D'Souza - Archives:





by Anil D'Souza, Halealve
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Comment on this article

  • Pearl , Mangalore

    Wed, Feb 02 2011

    Hey Anil
    Good Article.....
    It is certain that all have tears in their eyes before they cut the ONION!!!!!

  • Lloyd, Mangalore/Chennai

    Mon, Jan 31 2011

    Great article Anil! As always you are the best. Liked it very well... Good that the prices have come down, now we can lead a happy catholic life...lol

  • Vivian Fernandes, Mangalore

    Sat, Jan 29 2011

    For the first time in the history need, comfort and luxury are sold at the same price in India! Onions Rs.65, Petrol Rs.65, and Beer Rs.65...............

  • Antony Herbert Crasta, Mangalore,Sydney/Australia

    Sat, Jan 29 2011

    There is a joke in circulation presently that a kilo of onions, a litre of petrol and a bottle of beer cost the same @ Rs.65 each! So, why bother about the onions any more, and instead, go for the beer and enjoy better. Refraining from consumption of onions is good anyway in the context of population control, as the writer puts it! Liked the comments by Joseph F.Gonsalves of Puttur/Mangalore. By the way Anil,I enjoyed the subject article - vast improvment from your initial ones.

  • James Fernandes, Barkur/USA

    Sat, Jan 29 2011

    Do you know why some bamuns do not eat onions? Because the fecal baskets, transported on ones own head by the then so called barefoot untouchables, were used as the best fertilizer to grow onions, and ofcourse to feed [dukra maas and tasty lingisavn producing) pigs. Ask any genuine bamun, if you know.
    Laugh baba laugh!

  • Joseph F. Gonsalves, Bannur, Puttur / Mangalore

    Sat, Jan 29 2011

    When pealing the onion I was crying, now when I am buying the onion I am crying. Untimely raining made both the buyer and the farmers to cry.

  • Thomas D'Mello, Kundapura

    Sat, Jan 29 2011

    Well done Anil,

    Today, (29th Jan) the onion prices in Kundapura Santhe is Rs. 25 and are available in plenty.

    Mr. Pawar has lost one portfolio. Hence you may expect some improvement.

  • Chetan, Hyderabad

    Sat, Jan 29 2011

    Well Written Anil. Very interesting way of speculating the prices of onions! When the financial markets were de-regulated by P V Narsimha Rao back in the 1990's and it was after that the Indian market was opened for trade. He had quoted that Onions was a poor mans vegetable. The poor of northern India use to have one onion, raw chilly and salt with the bread. And now its no more a poor mans thing. It has become a novelty which even the rich have to think twice before buying. The other day I went to a dhaba on the out skirts of the city and I saw a board outside "NO FREE ONION SALAD. PAY Rs. 10 TO HAVE IT ON YOUR TABLE. " Would say this is a real shame to our present government. Hope things get back to normal back to normal real soon.

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