I get into arguments at billing counters so frequently these days that I wonder if it has subconsciously become one of my favourite pastimes. I have a fairly wide range of causes for these disputes. However the most common cause is that of the cashier gobbling my hard earned paise. The amusing and strange part of the story is that I seem to be losing these arguments with alarming regularity.
The events normally go something like this – I buy goods worth Rs. 99.25 and the cashier announces Rs. 100 as the payable amount. I ask him why he could not even show the courtesy to tell me that he was charging 75 paise extra. The reply is “Ok, Pay 99”. I tell him that it is not about the 75 paise but about business ethics. I next complain to the store manager who barely listens to me before ordering his staff “Take one rupee less from Sir!”
Every few days, newspaper frontpages announce the Sensex’s march past another milestone, 10000, 15000, 20000 and so on. You have photos of brokers jumping for joy and quotes from experts. Business channel hosts are all smiles and it feels like it’s already Diwali. Media portrays the event as a big win for India.
Why the markets surge when nothing seems to have changed or why they crash suddenly is beyond the understanding of every expert, let alone a layman like me. There’s always some exotic reason put forward, like change in interest rates in Timbuktoo. However the fact is that no one knows. If the experts knew, wouldn’t they be making millions and then relaxing on a private island rather than giving tips on TV all day?
Post the T20 world cup, Dhoni is said to be making crores more and every other cricketer is making lakhs more. Good for them and best wishes to them. However something that isn’t good for us, is how our tax money was blown by every government in the country during the post world cup money distribution ceremonies. I have nothing against good old Ajit Agarkar or the promising Rohit Sharma, but I think it was not right of the State government to dole out 20 lakhs of tax payer’s money.