An Apple a day keeps the doctor away. We all grew up with this age old adage. Its indeed True – most nutrition consultants will advice that an Apple is the ideal fruit (Compared to fleshy fruits like Bananas, Mangoes, Chiku, Lychee etc which have a lot of fat)

I am on a  6 month project to lose 14 Kgs and my  Nutritionist did advice me to eat at least one apple a day. We normally buy them in bulk from a superstore and rarely do we get to figure out the cost of 1 Apple. This Sunday we ran out of stock and as I was headed to the Gym for my RPM Class – I stopped by at a fruit vendor  en-route and picked up 1 juicy red apple. I paid him Rs 10 and was about to go when he stopped me and gave a dirty look . He quickly weighed it did the math and told me to pay Rs 32/-.

I was shocked – Rs 32 for One Apple and thought the guy was taking me for a ride. I checked with the next cart standing beside him and he confirmed that ” all was well” – Apples are Rs 120/- Kg – and you get 4 in a Kg – So Rs 32 for a nice big one is at par.

I always thought that exotic fruits like Kiwis and  Plum  cost a lot ( I checked –  a Kiwi costs less than Rs 30 and a plum slightly more, so its perception more than  reality) – but an Apple for Rs 32 – I am still not able to absorb that.

I started doing some quick math – 1 Kg of  Sona Masuri A Grade Rice that can feed over 10 people to their hearts content costs about Rs 40/- . And the whole  country  screams when the price of Rice &  Aata goes up by Rs 2/-  ( thanks to Mamta and her brigade)

Montek says that you are not poor if you earn more than Rs 30/- a day . But everybody who is not poor should be able to afford at least an Apple  a day – the magic fruit that keeps the doctor away. So maybe Montek needs to rework his math.

I keep hearing of the amazing work being done by the Akshay Patra team. They feed millions . I wonder why not just give the hungry kids  an Apple a day  Its so much more easer to transport Apples than hot Indian food. Now the answer is clear – An Apple is more expensive than a square meal of Rice / Roti / Dal / Subji that a poor man can buy off the road.

I recollect when in the US a pound of Royal Gala Apple (Tasty Crunch ones) was 59 Cents Given the 2 – 3 % inflation in the US I guess the price would not have gone up too much – even if it went to 99C for a Lb thats Rs 120 to a Kg – very similar to what we have in India.  At Dubai its 8.61 Dirhams to a Kg ( Cheaper than India)

I then looked up a website called Expatistan (http://www.expatistan.com/) and  compared the cost of living between Bangalore and many cities in Europe & US.  Cost of living in London is 336 % higher (But the cost of Apple is only 20% higher)  similiarly Rome is 200% more expensive than Bangalore (But cost of Apple is only 5% higher).

One can expect a Kiwi coming all the way from New Zealand to be expensive – but an Apple – most of which is probably grown in Kashmir or Himachal , how can that be so expensive.

Is there a scam here ? Is there an opportunity for Anna to make this a political issue ? Can he link the health of millions of  undernourished kids in this country and promise a campaign in his new party – “we assure that every kid in india will be entitled to 1 apple a day – we promise rosy cheeks and healthy minds. We will stop the Apple scam and replace NREGS with an Apple a day” .

This campaign may even appeal to Sonia – Italians love Apples and the cost of an Apple in Rome is just 5% more expensive than in Delhi – so there may be an option for an old friend from Italy “Apptrochi” to export Apples to India – in Million or Billions. People question arms deals – who will question the healthy Apple being imported for malnourished kids.  Her mother in law started the slogan Roti – Kapda – Makan , she could become famous with Apple – Bijli – Sadak – Pani. The Congress has failed in providing Bijli – Sadak – Pani for over 60 years – so maybe there is a chance for some reprieve and deliver on the 1st promise of ” An apple a day for every munna & munni in India” .

Folks – If an Apple costs Rs 32/-. Its wake up time. We accepted the $ 1M  Villa in Palm Meadows (Bigger Villas with Pools in dallas cost 300K) , we accepted the Camry at twice the price its sold in  US –  but then an Apple at Rs 32/- is just not acceptable.