I opened the morning paper and frowned as I read headlines about inflation in India, “This is ridiculous!” I muttered to myself.
“What is dad?”
“This inflation business, there’s no inflation, but because there’s no news, papers make a big hullabaloo about prices going up, scaring everybody, especially voters before election year!”
“There is inflation dad!”
“Listen,” I said, “you know I hate..”
“..being corrected huh dad?” laughed my daughter as she tried walking out of the room.
“But this time bitiya,” “I told her as I followed her, “I’m going to prove my point, let’s go shopping and I’ll show you there’s no inflation in our country!”
I dragged my rather unwilling little one to the bazaar down the road and stopped in front of a general store, “Come,” I said, “You need to see how your dad’s always right! Now here’s a hundred- rupee note right? I’m going it to give to this here shopkeeper and you’re going to be amazed what it gets us! Here shopkeeper..”
“Ssshhhh,” I said, “Just watch. What shall we buy first?”
“Dad..” said my little one again, but I beckoned her to be quiet. “Okay dad five kilos onions!”
“Five kg onions!” I told the shopkeeper with a mock serious face.
“Ten kilos of tomatoes and a bottle of strawberry jam, the big bottle!”
“Give her what she wants!” I shouted heartily, “and add a bottle of peanut butter for me and some cashew nuts!”
“Cashew nuts?” asked my daughter, “They’re expensive!”
“Not when there’s no inflation!” I laughed and pointed to a tin of cheese. “That also!”
“I think we’ve got enough dad, and there’s something I need to tell you..”
“Sssshhh!” I said, “We’ve got a job to do and all other thoughts should be kept out, now what else does my little girl want?”
“Nothing!” said my daughter.
“The girl wants nothing, so give her a chocolate,” I told the smiling shopkeeper. “Now just tell me how much it’s all come to and give me back the change will you?”
I laughed out loud as the shopkeeper handed me a hundred- rupee note, “Aha!” I chuckled, “Who’s talking about inflation, now things have even become free, thank you bhai sahib, that was a nice gesture, but I gave you a hundred rupees!”
“Dad..” said my little one, “that’s what I’ve been trying to tell you, you gave him a two thousand rupee note!”
We went home, she walking ahead in victory and me crestfallen.
“Have the prices gone up?” asked the wife.
“Not just prices,” I mumbled, “my eyesight too..!”
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