2006
11.20

## India 5 – how much is a rupee

I was and I am still sick [flu] in the last week or so, and covered with work, but I tell you this only so that you would realize how busy and important person I am.

But really how much is a rupee? If you believe the western capitalist-colonialist Miltonish propaganda, then a rupee is just about 0.0223464 dollars (Nov 17, 06). Note the seven digits in this number, a common example of Indian preciseness not to be encountered in the decadent west.

But is it? Unclear. A 50 rupees would buy you easily a lunch or dinner if you know where to go. Which is probably equivalent to 4-5$in the US, so rupee is about 1/10 of a dollar. But stop, stop! A 90$ printer costs here about 9000 Rs, which means that a rupee is just 1/100 of a dollar. On the other hand, my cleaning lady that comes in every day for half an hour costs 600 Rs a month, which would cost about 300-600$in the US. So a rupee is half a dollar. On the gripping hand, 10 Aspirins capsules (named appropriately Desperin here as a shortcut to their slogan “desperate to aspirin”) costs about 3 Rs, which would probably be 1.55$ in the US (on Father day sale from 1.99$). Of course, you can go to Price-Club and buy their “super size neighborhood” Aspirin bottle which has 100,000 capsules for only 4.99$, which is a much better deal (especially if you can figure out how to get rid of the 99,995 capsules you dont need without getting arrested).

No, the Rupee, like the logic behind all of my papers, can not be easily figured out. In reality it has no fixed value. It is a philosophical concept similar in complexity to karma (in the official exchange rate here good karma is about 3.14159264 lakhs [a lakh is 100,000 Rs {roughly 2000$, take or give as many euros as you want}]). Anyway, I am still trying to figure out the rupee, and when I do, I will buy myself some good karma on the cheapâ€¦ * * * And on local news, the kid of a manager in Adobe India was kidnapped in UP (Ultra Pradesh one of the best run states of India [but only if by running you mean stumbling backward into the swamp of primordial existence]), the father paid the kidnappers about 100,000$ to get the kid free. In fact, the kidnappers put the child into an auto riksha that took him to his house. So far, so good. Here is the where the strange part begins. The police claims that they had freed the kid despite all evidence to the contrary. They arrest several people including the auto riksha driver (which got 1000 Rs from the happy parents [just think about it, your kid is kidnapped and you give a 20$tip to the driver that brings back your kid after paying 100,000$ in ransom]). Interesting times.