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Five ways to beat inflation, according to ‘That Marwari boy from South 24 Parganas’

Corporate comedian and Kolkata boy Vikram Poddar’s letter to the Kolkata ‘bhadralok’ on how to combat rising costs

Vikram Poddar | Published 25.04.22, 03:02 PM
Vikram Poddar

Vikram Poddar

My dear Bhadralok,

Inflation is an oxymoron — a lot like the “no-refusal” cabs of Kolkata. As per the IMMF i.e. the International Mickey Mouse Fund, inflation is the rate of increase in prices over a given period of time. Basically, a Marwari arranged marriage.


So, what creates inflation?

Long-lasting episodes of high inflation are often the result of lax monetary policy. If the money supply grows too big relative to the size of an economy, the unit value of the currency diminishes. In other words, its purchasing power falls and prices rise.

If you are on the wrong side of inflation, it feels like having your membership rejected for Calcutta Football Club. In fact, dealing with inflation is a lot like dealing with the off-side rule in football — most people don’t understand what it is. And I am not referring to Dada.

Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly

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For the uninitiated, the off-side rule states that when in the opposition half, an attacking player must have at least two opposition players, including the goalkeeper, between him and the opposition goal when a pass is being played to him. This was also the rule cited by NATO for avoiding intervention in the Ukraine war.

Now, as central banks around the world keep passing the nuclear football of inflation, what can we do to survive as ordinary residents of Hindustan? (Not applicable to residents of Hindustan Park.)

Step 1: Scale down your lifestyle

Instead of going out and spending senselessly on sheesha bars, take a long hard look at the sheesha in your bathroom and ask yourself difficult questions. It’s important to ask difficult questions or you will settle for easy answers. We know how well that worked the last time we had a change of government. Stop spending money just to show off to people. You’re going to die anyway, and you can’t take those “organic” Instagram followers with you.

Step 2: Prepare to manage a heart attack from home

Think you might be getting a heart attack? Why waste money on hospital bills? Your kid who dropped out of IIT to pursue a career as a TikTok star will give you many more heart attacks in the future. Better to prepare the heart... and your will.

Step 3: Time Travel

They say when life gives you lemons, make lemonade. With lemons costing more today than lemonade did yesterday, the only way out is to travel into the past. Luckily that is our national time-pass. The other one is sending ‘good morning’ messages on WhatsApp. The one place where inflation would do a world of good is in the cost of sending a WhatsApp message.

Step 4: Shame your neighbours

Use climate change or any other trending topic on social (justice) media to shame your neighbours into spending less. This way you reduce the demand for the product coming from shameless behaviour. Like uploading a Kacha Badam dance video unironically.

Step 5: Declare social bankruptcy

Tell the whole world you are dropping your standards of living to below South 24 Parganas. Tell them you will not be supporting the IPL because of the consumerism that it promotes. I mean, it would be hard-pressed even for Hawk Eye to detect any part of the batsmen free of advertising. At some point, you have to wonder if the bowler’s “Howzzat!” is for the umpire or the sponsor of that spot.

That’s it from me in this first edition of That Marwari boy from South 24 Parganas. If you liked this article, do like, share and comment on it. So that both the publication and I can hope to beat inflation.

The author, Vikram Poddar, is a Marwari investment banker turned corporate comedian

[The views expressed in this article are the author's own]

Last updated on 25.04.22, 03:25 PM

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