People's Democracy

(Weekly Organ of the Communist Party of India (Marxist)


No. 45

November 06, 2011

Formula Maniacs

Hungry Hearts


G Mamatha


Him: “Hey, dude, gonna watch the F-1 live! Are you game too. No yaar. It is not a pass. Bought it for 35,000 bucks. Seems only few left, yeah, there are more of 2K on the box, but who cares boss. When watching, watch it kingsize...with all the stars, gals and fun”.


Me: “It is November and the weather is slowly turning cold. I have just dusted my sweater and no more patches can be added. I should buy a new one, but can I afford it? Even the second-hand market near my house is selling a sweater for Rs 150. Yes, 150! With my monthly earning of Rs 2000 can I afford it? I have to buy sabzi, dal, aata; keep a little aside for my daughter (she is going to school and though there is no school fee, there are little needs like, pencil, books, etc); buy medicines for that occasional fever/cough/cold and pay rent to my one-room jhuggi. After these expenses, if something is left, I can buy a sweater. Will something be left? Or should I continue with my old sweater by stitching one more patch to it. My friends are telling that the cold this year will be severe. I can take the blanket that we use in our house while sleeping in the night (stitched from gunny bags I took home from the market), but it does not allow for free movement of my hands, what should I do”?


Him: “Mate, do you know the high an F-1 gives. Ah, with all those speeding cars, glitzy stars, it’s certainly high on octane. Oh, goodness me. Do you know the car swishes past at an average speed of 212 kmph and can reach 350 on this track it seems. Vow, isn't it great? I am dying to be behind the wheels of that beautiful beast. Yeah, I know we cannot afford it. Common yaar, we can at least see it now in India, think of it. Worked on some stats about the F-1 on the net, you know, each car takes just 75 litres of fuel for 100 kilometres. A top team takes around 3600 litres of fuel, 200 litres of engine oil, 180 litres of gearbox oil, 80 litres of hydraulic fluid, 20 litres of coolant and several kilos of grease to a race. You know, Vettel burns 200,000 litres of fuel for the season. Cool, that is king size, isn't it?


Me: “My, god! They are increasing the price of gas again. How can I live, already the cylinder is costing Rs 400 and if it is increased even more, how will I pay? My friends are telling that the government is also going to reduce the number of cylinders supplied to just four per year and if you want more than that, we have to pay more. Uh, anyway with the prices of all food items increased, there is no way we poor can buy them, so might not need cylinders after all”!


Him: “Common dude, the BIC was built in record time and is a must see wonder it seems. Spent around Rs 1200-1500 crores on the track, nice it should be. The UP government, whatever opinion otherwise we have about her, I say, did a one good thing. The F1 was given tax exemption. That's the spirit, isn't it”?


Me: “Some of my friends told me that the government is giving scholarships to my people. So I went along with my daughter to her school and asked the headmaster. They asked us to apply and we did. It is six months now, we have not got any scholarship till now. It is very difficult for us to continue, but I do not want my daughter to leave school. I am hoping for the scholarship. I went and asked the headmaster, he told me there is no money for everybody to get scholarship and it is bad luck that my daughter is one among them. No money with the government! is the same reply when we went to the hospital and asked for medicines because there is no money. Where is the money going? Is the government too poor like us”?


Him: “Boss, it is not easy to ride a Ferrari in a F1 race. It is mighty difficult it seems. One burns approximately 1,200 calories per a race and loses on average two-three kilograms in weight. Mighty work out isn't it”?


Me: “I went to a doctor. He asked me to eat well, otherwise everything is OK. He said that I should eat at least 2400 calories per day. Calories, I don't know what they are, but one thing I am sure, I cannot eat more than I am doing today, where is the money? Eat well! My father was telling that he used to be more strong than me at my age. Naturally, he ate better than me. I told the doctor about it and he reads papers and told me that it is true. It seems thirty years back they ate 2221 calories and now we are eating 2047 calories. Calories, I do not know what they are. But I know that I am not having the same strength like I had yesterday”.


Him: “The vrooming of the F1 car gives a high boss! You should hear it live. Did you not see the advertisement? The sound haunts. Oh, what a feeling it was! Pollution, dear me, how can you say that?”


Me: “As if my difficulties are not enough, the policeman caught me. He took Rs 200 from me. It seems that the auto is making lot of noise and does not have a certificate. Mine is run on gas, but it is giving lot of smoke it seems. Delhi is being polluted by my auto, he said. This is what is called adding salt to an injury. Already I am finding it difficult to eat, now he eats from whatever little I earn. Why doesn't he challan the big cars”?


“I heard that a race is going on in Delhi and that each of those cars gives 10 times more carbon dioxide than an ordinary car. He does not challan them, but guards those cars. That is what is money power, I think. Do not I have any power”.


“My land is occupied for those races, my sisters’ houses are being razed to build some big complex, everywhere they are occupying our lands. Where should we live? I heard that in America people are occupying some roads. I think we should also occupy Sansad Marg”.


Conclusion: Money power can only be defeated by organised power of the working people. Trade unions are protesting on November 8th. Let us join them