PeTROLLed!

Rocket Raja By Rocket Raja, 18th Jun 2012 | Follow this author | RSS Feed | Short URL http://nut.bz/9jw0mwad/
Posted in Wikinut>Writing>Short Stories

In India, when a litre of petrol sells at almost eighty rupees, the demand is limitless. Read on to find more about the woes of a teenager who gets caught in the frenzy of buying petrol!

The best gift


When I drove to the petrol bunk for the first time after the price hike, I realized filling petrol would never be the same again. It was my best friend’s birthday and I still hadn’t got him a gift yet.

The petrol tanker hadn’t arrived yet and there was a queue extending from inside the bunk to a good 15 metres outside it. If the unruly queue of vehicles wasn’t bad enough, there was a swarm of people on the other side with empty bottles and cans to feed their inactive vehicles back home. The number of bottles easily outnumbered the number of vehicles. The scene was comparable to a ration shop where people waited in 50-metre queues for hours together to grab the ever elusive subsidized grocery. Realizing that it was no good swearing at the hapless filler boy, some started playing songs, some calling their girlfriends, while some even left to a nearby juice shop to rejuvenate themselves with a glass of juice. What was worse, I couldn’t get my vehicle out of the place till the crowd cleared.

I’m definitely going to miss the party, I thought. They should seriously consider having traffic signals inside these bunks. Such was the chaos of the day. Gone are those days when we relaxed for a couple of minutes in the shade while our vehicles got filled.
When the tanker did arrive, it was like waiting for Darshan in Tirupathi. (For the Non-Indians, Tirupathi, the most visited temple in India, is one of those temples where an incessant crowd waits all day long to catch a glimpse of the Lord for a few seconds. We call this Darshan)

It was when the chaos restarted.

A human Tsunami swept across the booth, swallowing it from all sides. The mob pounced on the filler like ravenous hounds, as he beckoned the people to come forward one by one. The pent up eagerness and patience in the queue were immense. They, who waited for over a hundred minutes, couldn’t bear to wait for a couple more. There were a few dreary ones who waited for an hour but got pushed aside by the crowd because they weren’t quick enough to open their fuel tanks. A small boy had to be dragged out of the line because he was pinned down by the mob whilst an inconsolable old man limped away slowly because some ‘godforsaken idiot’ (as he addressed a random guy in the queue) tripped him and he spilt all his petrol.

The minute I came out of the bunk, I knew I had found the best gift for my friend. I opened my bike’s petrol tank and took out a half-litre Pepsi bottle and filled it with petrol. More than its monetary value, it was its demand that made it such a hard sacrifice to make, thereby making it a good present. When I gave him the ‘present’, he was quite surprised when I said, “Keep it Ganesh. Wait for a year and sell this bottle for your next birthday. If you’re lucky you might recover twice its current price!” Such was the rate of price hike.

I knew it was only a matter of time before we start adapting to this atrocious change. Not long after, people started expressing themselves through witty slogans and funny pictures. I seriously considered stocking petrol and selling it a few months later, much like how I advised my friend. Who knows, the price could have doubled by then. You never know what happens in this country; a country where educational reforms and price hikes happen in a blink of the eye. Cycles and public transport will become the order of the day. But when I actually did travel to college by bus the next day, it was worse than I thought. But of course, that’s another story!

Tags

Atrocious, Costly, Crowd, Demand, Hike, Mob, More, Petrol, Price, Scarce, Steep, Traffic, Unruly, Waiting

Meet the author

author avatar Rocket Raja
A teenager with a wandering mind, restless fingers and loads of time. Hoping to do a good job.

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Comments

author avatar Harsha
18th Jun 2012 (#)

Considering the increasing costs and not to forget demand, we might actually see the Rocket Rajas turn into bicycle rajas!

And the clocks are surely going to turn backwards for the middle-class family, and once again, a ride in a fashionable 4-wheeler is going to be only in celebration!

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author avatar Vara
18th Jun 2012 (#)

i don't know man, but a good cycle is awesome too. while hangin out, i find a bus or local train ride much more fun

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author avatar Rocket Raja
20th Jun 2012 (#)

Haha Harsha! Bicyle Rajas :D And yeah, 4 wheelers are soon going to be for fashion alone!

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author avatar Rocket Raja
20th Jun 2012 (#)

Yes, nothing to beat good old cycles!

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author avatar Srikiran
21st Jun 2012 (#)

The bus. The train. The walk. And that rich friend with a car :) (all I have ever needed!)

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author avatar Rocket Raja
21st Jun 2012 (#)

Haha, few are as lucky as you Srikiran!

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author avatar Anahita
23rd Jun 2012 (#)

I love that the stuff you write about here is as interesting to read as it is well-written :) Keep writing!

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author avatar Rocket Raja
23rd Jun 2012 (#)

Ah, you're back! Nice to know. And thanks a lot! :)

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