With this onslaught of ridicule on the poor Finance Minister’s reasons for the automobile industry slowdown, I decided to come to her rescue and do my own detailed study on why less cars are being bought.
The first person I met was a car thief, “This automobile slowdown has hit me badly,” he murmured angrily, “This is the first time I could not take my family to Greece or South America for a holiday, and had to settle for Goa! Do you know what a loss of prestige it is when a car thief settles for a holiday in his own country?”
“No!” I said and hurried away as he stared with interest at my old cycle. I cycled in a frenzy and reached a crowd who were taking shelter from the rain under a bridge, “Why don’t you purchase cars?” I asked them. They looked at me strangely, then pointed to the roads which with just one shower had become a river of water, then lustily cheered as a motorized boat came down the road, “We have all invested in boats!” said a small man who seemed to be their spokesman, “And have joined this Boat Driving School!”
The boat drew abreast and the owner leaned out and asked, “Do you also want to learn boat driving sir? I have converted my Car Driving School to this and will make an expert of you!”
“No!” I said, “I have my cycle!”
“Useless!” said one of the learners, “All the roads have gone, and see how the car industry has fallen. Now is the day of boats and floats!”
“Boats and Floats!” sang all the new boat learners as they sailed past me.
At a housing society down the road, I saw all the members waiting as their chairman got up to speak, “Friends!” he said, “Our colony has decided to buy an old Patton tank from the military! With this we will all be able to go to work comfortably over the potholes and other craters that now strew our roads!” I watched as the people clapped and cheered.
“Also,” said the chairman, “The tank will give protection against gangs who now roam our streets, asking us to shout religious slogans! And I assure you, you can carry your lunchboxes to work, without lynch mobs opening them to find out what you eat!” The cheer that greeted his words was deafening as he ended his speech saying, “A bank is giving us loans so we can soon have one tank per family!”
I carefully wrote down all I’d seen and heard and felt happy I could now say convincingly, that the automobile slowdown had nothing to do with any economic slowdown at all!
And then somebody stole my cycle.
“We have money to eat!” the cycle thief shouted joyfully as his thin wife and starving children ran with him, and I walked home..!
(Published on 23rd September 2019, Volume XXXI, Issue 39)