Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Park that thought

I don’t know about you, but the other day as I heard about the government’s plans to provide health and education for all in the not-too-far future, it occurred to me that there’s a basic right that’s been ignored by everyone for far too long. It’s in order to address this issue and ensure that India takes its place among the leading nations of the world that I write this.

It’s parking. That’s what should be on the agenda. Parking for all. Think about the number of working hours it would save, consider by what percent fuel costs would shrink, examine the number of employees it would free up if drivers were let go of. All because of parking space.

Then, we’d have something to really boast about at the United Nations. “You have 4% unemployment and a 98% literacy rate? Pooh. We have a parking rate of 99%”. One can only imagine the blushes and lowered eyelids that would greet that statement.

So, fellow-citizens, let’s clear the roads, let’s plan new ones, let’s investigate underground facilities, let’s construct soaring garages. Let’s be proud to get behind the wheels of our cars and build a new, resilient nation.

After that, we can look into health and education.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Low interest levels

I don't know about you, but this economic slowdown affecting the world and India (three cheers for globalisation!) means that interest rates will have to be cut for the time being. My own interest rates, that is.

My fellow countrymen, you know that these are unstable times, and after deep and careful consideration, I've found that there's no other way out. I'm going to have to take much less interest in all the little things that a consumer society charms its citizens with.

Movies, for instance. Never happier than when curled up with a pack of popcorn in the neighbourhood multiplex, I now find that ticket prices (not to mention the ruinous food costs) means that I'll have to take much less interest in the latest releases. Sorry, Bond.

Take restaurants. I'm going to have to cut my interest in them, too. No more nibbling at what passes for Italian delicacies; no more sampling the fruit of California's vineyards; no more crossing the waiter's palm with silver after a hearty repast. This is this is the time to sample all the good things I've heard about Jumbo brand vada-pavs.

Lower interest levels are going to impact my visits to bookstores as well, what with the rupee falling and prices rising. Those sterling promoters of literature who lurk at traffic signals to sell mangy paperbacks are instead going to win my custom. (How much for The Secret, buddy?)

It's hard, but I will pull through. My apologies to the purveyors of the entertainments above, but you'll just have to wait till the economy recovers for my interest rates to rise again.