WITH the state of the economy plummeting, and money needed to handle the running of the country, rumour has it that everything under the sun would be taxed, but I didn’t know how serious it was till I went for my daily jog this morning: There was a stranger standing inside the park and watching all the people as they walked or jogged by.
He watched me disinterestedly as I finished my first round, looked a little more keenly when I did my second and then put a tick on a piece of paper when I finished my third.
“Who is that?” I asked the watchman as I started my fourth round.
“He is the taxman sir!” “What’s he doing here?” “Collecting taxes!” said the watchman obviously wondering how I couldn’t figure out such simplicities. “Stop!” said the taxman stepping forward as I was about to start my fifth.
“Why?” I asked slowing down but not stopping. “You have to pay your advance tax!” “Advance tax?” I asked surprised.
“Yes before you advance onto your fifth round you will have to pay taxes for the next five rounds!” “How much?” I asked as a policeman who I had not noticed earlier came and stood next to the taxman.
“How many rounds do you normally do?” ”Twelve!” I said. “Sixty-five rupees!” “Why sixty-five, why not sixty?” I asked surprised.
“A new cess of five rupees we have levied towards a healthier country!” “Don’t you realise that what I am doing is healthy? Why do you want to tax me for health then?” “Another five rupees sir!” “For what?”
“You are using this government park for expressing your views, till now it’s been free speech, but we’ve decided to tax speech as well! We cannot allow any freebies anymore!” “This is madness!” I shouted.
“Policeman!” said the taxman quietly and I quickly pulled out the money, but not before the taxman brought out a thick wad of forms.
“Fill everything in triplicate sir, and try to finish it before I leave the park, otherwise there is a penalty for late payment!”
Like I said, with the economy taking a nose dive, everything is going to come under the taxman’s hammer, otherwise why would the taxman have suddenly turned to me and asked, “Sir does your father run?” “He’s too old to run!” I said.
“Sir, there’s a non-running tax which is double the running tax, it would be in your interest that your papa runs from tomorrow, and you can do some tax-saving..!”