Global Meltdown and Me!


""Wherever you go, around the world, there are cries of cost cutting, staff layout, recession etc going on.  Is this recession worse than the Great Depression which happened way back in the 1930?s?  Of course, USA and USSR were the major victims of the depression then, but this meltdown has hit every country hard.  All corporates are taking measures to bring down their expenses so that they can withstand this storm and come out of it. But amidst all this lies the common man, who is the victim for none of his fault. Isn?t it? Is he really hit?

When I say common man, I am talking about me and you. Aren?t we all common? Yes we are. We have our own expenses, depending on our lifestyle and taste. We all have three meals a day. The only difference being, the rich man eats a buffet in a big expensive hotel and the poor man eats a simple meal in the dining hall of his home.  But hasn?t this recession made the rich man a little humble? I guess it has.

When I was thinking about this recession and its impact, I thought I would get a perfect picture if I ask the rich about their lifestyles before the recession and now.  The rich means not businessmen or jewelers, but salaried employees who draw a 6 digit number every month. Believe it not, these rich people are really suffering and struggling to come to terms with the meltdown. Weekend movies, picnics, foreign vacations have all come to a halt. People who have never stepped out of their duplex homes without their Honda City are now actually sharing autos with others.  Public Transport is finally seeing people with ties and blazers around hanging from the sideboard. A site to watch, I tell you. Its rare, especially in a country like India, where a little money and a nice job makes one think he s in a different league altogether. People soon forget where they come from. People wearing Gucci shoes and Levis jeans are actually seen shopping in Burma Bazaar. In a way I think this meltdown was necessary.

But according to me, the major sector hit by the recession is people like me. I Mean IT guys and girls. Most of us are suited to a particular weekend kinda lifestyle. Weekend lifestyle in the sense, these are the only two days where you can actually see these software engineers. Rest of the days start before everyone wakes up and ends after everyone sleeps. On Saturday s and Sundays the poor chap has to finish off his all his work, that is watch the latest movie, go out with his girl friend, and go shopping, party and what not. All this was before October, now there is such a drastic change that it is hard to believe whether it is the same person. Now most of these spendthrift guys and girls are found washing their own clothes, cooking their own meals and talking less over the phone. They have begun to think before they shell out even a penny.  It?s really hard for these credit card oriented people to survive.

Now coming to the least affected sector. I must say it is a villager or a small town person. Whenever I go home from Chennai, I feel ?My god, what?s wrong with Chennai. A watery juice costs Rs 40 and here a thick milkshake costs only Rs 20?.  Inflation has hit these hardworking people a little, but they have no idea what this recession is. Sometimes it makes me feel, whether we all live on the same planet or different ones. Nevertheless, these people are paying extra for fuel, vegetables and other groceries all because of the greed and ambitions of a handful of nations to win the global race. It?s high time now, they must slow down and take a look back and allow other countries to catch up. The world is made of almost 190 countries and not just 20 or 30 countries that are running the race.  Only when all the 190 odd countries are developed we can say we live in one civilized world.

Author: Anil DSouza- Halealve- Kundapur