Reeling from the recent price hike
Today, I feel like Chicken Licken — the sky has indeed fallen on my head and I believe the world is coming to an end. I thought I am immune to the recent price hike; My god! Was my bubble busted or what? I bought two free range chicken for Tk 1360 from an Uttara local market (free range chicken are Tk 600 per kilogram here in Uttara and Tk 580 in Karwan Bazaar).
I have the bad habit of never bothering about the price. I hardly bargain. I feel vendors who are at my doorstep or in the local market are there to make some profit; that is their earning, why should I cut it in half? But today, when I realised that the two-kilo chicken are the same price as two kilograms of beef, I was shaken.
I started a little check on my monthly budget. I was feeling the pinch in managing the family budget for a while now, but chicken and beef being the same price was like highway robbery in broad daylight and it gave me the shove I needed so badly to make reality checks.
My monthly dry goods bill, which tallies between Tk 10,000 to 12,000 every month is Tk 14,500 this month. I get it done from Kawran Bazar. My mother on the other hand, gets it done from Uttara and her bill varies from Tk 9,000 to 10,000. It's Tk 12000 this month. And Tk 40,000 (and rising) for chicken, fish, and vegetables, eggs… So, yes, everything is priced high; the extra money that I had from the family budget to run fancy errands are now depleting faster that I can count it.
I never do any panic buy as I think it is a wastage of money. It is giving in to market manipulation and giving in to nasty brokers. And also, because perishable items like onions, potatoes, fish will rot even if they are stored carefully. Thus, whenever the market screams, 'price hike', I stay calm and tell myself that if I can buy seven litres of oil every month, a Tk 30 or so increase in oil price will not hurt me much.
What I failed to realise is that the hike is a constant thing, it is steadily increasing every month or rather every week it now seems, and never coming down actually. This is definitely burning a hole in my pocket and I take no cognizance of it.
I act as if I am immune to it. For people like me, working and too lenient to count pennies, this market inflation is indeed a wake-up call. Start counting your chickens and pennies from today.