I did not give a Vesak dansala this time, a tradition I have had for the past three years, for financial reasons. With the spiraling cost of food it was completely out of the question to fund a dansala, as to do it half-heartedly is worse than not doing it at all. I regret not doing it, but one has to live within one’s means, and my means this year is pretty mean and lean!
The 37.5% increase overnight of the price of diesel, the fuel I use to travel, has forced me to rethink the frequency of my travel and I have no option but to drastically cut down on my visits to Polonnaruwa by half and to stay longer at each visit. I will have to use some hired transport to carry out the activities in Colombo in the days I am in Polonnaruwa and also will more likely to go by bus than drive all the time, and bring a fuller load when I come and plan my requirements more carefully.
While we take action in the light of changed circumstances, I am really sad to note that none of my staff have the slightest intention of making any change in their lives and look to me to allow them the same quality of life as before. It is almost as if they are totally immune from the events surrounding their lives as someone is bound to bail them out.
Added to this those who are my customers seem to think I am in a field, agriculture, which is booming, giving no thought to the fact that I have not been able to increase my production due to the reliance on unproductive work force and also have had to suffer a decrease in production due to weather related factors in addition to the insensitivity of the staff.
People don’t seem to be able to connect that the price rise is not one that necessarily helps the farmer if the rise is due to a shortage in supply, as is the case of chilies that have risen to 500/- a kg. If I was a chili farmer with an acre of productive chilies I would be earning more than all my products combined, but there are so few with even an acre of chilies.
Trust me I have been attempting to get an eighth of an acre of green chillies in the past year and have so far failed as I have been stifled by a litany of different problems, all unforeseen, which I will not go into here.
Therefore before people make judgments on others it is best to think a little and extrapolate reasons for external shocks such and price and take action accordingly without making smug assumptions that are incorrect.