As the price of petrol crossed an all-time high of Rs 100 per litre in Delhi and several other cities on Wednesday, netizens flooded microblogging site Twitter with varied reactions -- some coping with the unfortunate news with humour and others just expressing plain, simple shock. Hashtags like #petroldieselpricehike and #petrol100notout are being used in large numbers since the fuel prices were increased in line with firming international oil trends.
Humour seems to be the key to coping with the news as memes and jokes started doing the rounds soon after the price hike.
Sharing a picture of a bicycle that has been made to look like a motorcycle using cardboards, a Twitter user said this was the kind of bike that Indians would be able to ride following the fuel price hike.
"Desi bike...after petrol, diesel price hike," the user tweeted.
Taking a dig at Narendra Modi''s 2014 poll pitch of “acchhe din aayenge” (good days would come), a Twitter user shared a caricature depicting a man saying, “Kaash woh bure din he wapas atay” (I wish the bad days could return).
A photograph of a petrol bill from 1963 when petrol cost 72 paisa per litre has emerged as a favourite among the Twitterati.
Reposting the image of the cash memo, a social media user wrote, "Petrol cash bill on 02/02/1963.... 1 litre = 0.72. If I had #Timemachine i''ll go back and fill my vehicles."
According to a price notification of state-owned fuel retailers, petrol price was increased by 35 paise per litre and diesel by 23 paise a litre.
In Delhi, petrol now costs Rs 100.21 a litre and diesel is priced at Rs 89.53 per litre.
Delhi is the last of the metro cities to see petrol rising above the Rs 100-a-litre mark. Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad and Pune already have prices above that mark.
Kolkata also saw petrol prices climbing over Rs 100 per litre on Wednesday.
According to a social media user, the fuel prices were being jacked up so frequently that waking up to a price hike had become a way of life.
“No stoppage to hike in price for diesel and petrol. Every morning wake up with this news. Feels like it is no more a news now. Now only elections can relieve us middle class people(sic)," the user wrote.
For others, the unprecedented hike in fuel prices simply reinforced their disappointment and anger at the current dispensation.
"Masterstroke by Modi government. Petrol in Delhi crossed ₹100 and Modi is celebrating the occasion by expanding his cabinet...," a Twitter user posted.
"Situation of inflation in Delhi and other parts of India is really worrisome. These are times when the government should be with people of India , helping them...but instead they are asking people to pay Rs 100 a litre,” another user wrote.
Reactions on the social media are a reflection of the frustration that is boiling up beyond the internet.
The fuel price hike has added significantly to Delhi-based Sayan Kundu''s expenses.
"I purchased my only car in August 2017. Due to this reckless rise in fuel prices, according to my calculations, my last round trip to Lucknow from Delhi cost me nearly Rs 3,000 more than what it would have in 2017. A nearly 30 per cent increase!" the 32-year-old said.
Now, 28-year-old Ankit Gautam has to think twice before deciding to take out his car. Unless it is for an essential purpose, a car is a big no.
"I used to get the tank full as soon as my salary arrived every month. Now, I take my car out only when it is absolutely necessary. Need the same frequency of hikes in my salary too," he said.