No such thing as a free lunch

You can't escape the financial crisis these days. Switch on the TV... its there. Open the newspaper...bingo. The same holds true for radio jockeys, your friends and what have you.

In India the hysterics of equity markets have a limited impact with just about 5% of upper end Indians investing in the markets. Where people get jolted is when it comes to rising prices and talks of lay offs, salary slashes and so on. Out of these...price hikes affect people the most as India still doesn't have a hire and fire culture and people can't relate strongly to the concept of downsizing.

Food prices are at the vortex of price hikes. I was reading a report about how the price of chicken has shot up and how restaurant owners are selling tandoori chicken at a loss. The other day my vegetable seller kept repeating that cabbages cost Rs 25 (5USD) for 250 g. I couldn't react as I don't know the price of cabbage.

But I have seen instances of restaurant folks passing on price hikes to consumers. The other night we ordered from Khaane Khaas. I decided to try bheja fry (deep fried fritters made from the brain of lambs). The menu card listed as Rs 100 (2 USD). Well the bill listed it as Rs 150 (3 USD) - 50% more and they sent a new menu card with increased prices. Similarly a sada dosa from Shiv Sagar costs Rs 31 (60 cents) now. It used to cost Rs 18 when I first had them, 5 years back. So about a 30% hike. Then there are 'cost cutting' measures too. We went to Oh Calcutta last night. They did not serve the complimentary alu kabli before the meal. My father in law was particularly fond of that. Thankfully the kosha mangsho (mutton masala) diverted his attention.
I will keep a look out for any other evident price hikes. I am sure there are many.
Thankfully there is always Mc Donalds and their 20 Rs ( 0.4 USD) + taxes fare. Curiously enough, the price of fresh water fish has remained fairly constant at Mumbai (rohu at Rs 80 a kilo I think). I guess the threat of agitating Bengalis must have kept the prices in check.
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