Home  -  Back Issues  -  The Team  -  Contact Us
     Volume 4 Issue 62 | September 9, 2005 |

   Cover Story
   News Notes
   Straight Talk
   Food For Thought
   In Focus
   Slice of Life
   Time Out
   Dhaka Diary
   Book Revew
   New Flicks

   SWM Home


Happy times are here again


Suddenly I feel rather rich. Not that this has happened for the first time. To be statistically correct, over the past few years I shared this 'feel good' feeling with all the others who had their vehicle's petrol tank filled each of the four times a price hike was announced. It was one of those things not at all planned, and therefore the feeling is that much 'gooder'. Wrong English, you say? Who cares about English when you have money in your bank, sorry tank?

The petrol pump owners are the happiest because their tank is bigger. But this is the era of SMEs and therefore as a small (please do not take that literally) enterprise, meaning me all by myself, I have five litres of solid reasons to be over the moon. It might take a lot more than that to make that sort of a journey but, 'Mission Control'vooooo…we have a lift off.

The psychological effect is tremendous. In fact, you could increase the price of items you already have at home to add to this mental saturnalia.

You could up the value of your 25-year old home furniture by 30 percent, your kitchen sink by 40 and your carpet by 50. That way you would be instantly richer without having sold anything at all. It is this 'feel good' feeling that is going around for quite some time now. Oh my God! I am having goose pimples all over again. No, they are not for sale.

The CNG (Convert Now to Gas) business has nothing to do with petrol, but some of the people involved are notorious for driving around in petrol cars. They defend by saying it is good for business. They pretend to be stranded in a petrol car, one was even begging the other day for money to buy some petrol to go home. When a sympathiser stops by they begin to lament about petrol and its volatile price, then at an opportune moment they drop the word of having decided to switch to gas, and how they know a reputable place, and here is a card, and would the sympathiser be interested… They shall also become better off. Conversion price is likely to be increased even on equipment bought before the latest rise in petrol price.

We must accept the fact that this latest rise was inevitable. What with price of rod and cement, rice and vegetables, fish and meat, gura milk and edible oil escalating as if there was no tomorrow, it was only a natural culmination that petrol had to keep up with the panting pace.

The only unfortunate offshoot of driving becoming more expensive is the increase in the number of pedestrians; unfortunate because they have no place to perform their act to justify their two-legged status. The footpaths have long been taken over by shop owners, the roadside by shop owners and the road for parking. So what will you do with petrol?

In view of the positive situation, more shops mean more business means more economic boom, concerned authorities are contemplating on a new and innovative move. Since no one can move on the road, it is being designed so that everyone can sit tight in one place and the road itself will move.

Shop owners are likely to welcome the move as it will enable them to have a branch of their shop at every crossing so that they can meet a road whenever it passes by. A car on the road will move automatically. So what will you possibly do with petrol?

A memorandum of understanding to understand the idea is to be signed shortly with a foreign country. Although there are local expertises available, some are even <>bekaar<>, it gives a signed project the necessary oomph if some aliens are involved.

It is also destiny that with petrol becoming dear we shall all in some way or other become pedestrians. So who is a pedestrian? There are several definitions available.

In East Africa a pedestrian is one who pedestrates.
On a Dhaka street, a pedestrian is the man who moves faster than a car which is moving.
Generally speaking, a pedestrian is a man who has a car but cannot afford the fuel, a scene which shall soon become common.

In a serves-him-right situation, a pedestrian is a man who has a wife, six children, two in-laws and only one car.

Copyright (R) thedailystar.net 2005