Have you ever tried to peep into the shopkeeper’s mind to analyses what’s happening in there.
I tried to think a few times about what might be happening inside their heads while my crazy friends and I went shopping at some of their stores, and the results are hereby listed below!
Rajashree and Lahari
One fine day on my way back from somewhere I met a friend, and went on a shopping spree. Well, you wouldn’t really call it a shopping spree since we were school kids back then and our resources were limited. Shopping to us meant treating our eyes with the beautiful displays on the shop windows and spending some amount on pastries and chocolates. Some more friends wee to come to Rajashree’s place that evening and so we HAD to buy pastries. It must be a known fact to all that friends always meet with a blast! People nearby almost always glance at them like they have eloped from a mental asylum. We acted crazy, or as our parents would term it ‘we WERE crazy’ so never had to bother practicing the art of acting. On entering the pastry store we spent a lot of time laughing and analyzing the prices and deciding on which one to buy. The eager man behind the bar (or whatever thing you call it that displays the pastries and cakes) who stood up to welcome us, gradually lost his eagerness and sunk back to his chair by the time we had finished deciding.
Shopkeeper: Wow! New customers, schoolgirls! They must be buying a lot of pastries. I see them often hovering around nearby…
Why aren’t they buying anything? Why do they laugh so much? Wait a minute… am I looking funny? (Shopkeeper checks the mirror, tries to find out what’s wrong with his hair, looks back at us inquisitively. We were still busy searching for the best deal- best taste, the best size and the cheapest price! Notwithstanding the long suspense he started participating in the search)
Shopkeeper: Would you like that one? It is very tasty… oh okay, this one is good, yes yes I would also suggest the chocolate one…
Finally we bought a pack of pastries that suited our demands and burst out laughing and chatting once more. Rajashree was paying the man at the counter, well not exactly paying, she was making him dance for the money! She was facing me and talking while her hand was stretched out towards the counter handing over a hundred rupee note, but unconsciously it moved every now-and-then responding to her excitement. The exhausted man was trying hard to get hold of the money and get rid of us. But as soon as he tried to take the note, Rajashree’s hand moved to some other direction, when the shopkeeper reached there, her hand was right under his nose and so the cat and mouse game continued for a while until I noticed the man struggling. Putting him out of his misery we attempted to walk out, and Rajashree pulled the glass door with all her strength (as she thought the door to be too heavy) and the door got stuck in the end once we were out of the store. The man yelled from the counter, “Please shu…” we turned immediately and shut it behind us, we were scared that he might scream at us for harassment which we never intended to do, giggling madly all the while.
Shopkeeper: To hell with this generation! It is so quiet now, so peaceful, next time I see school girls, I’ll never entertain them… But it was nice to see young faces smiling again, even I used to be like them once…
Ankita and Lahari
Having nothing worthwhile to do, in the evening, Ankita and I decided to meet up and go window shopping. New Market has some of the cheapest and prettiest display of bags; walking down a road decorated with colourfull handbags on both sides do make women crave for shopping. We tried to give it a shot! Walking towards a store briskly with confidence, I started scanning the bags on display. Liking one of them I inquired the price.
Shopkeeper: “Sirf pandhraso didi.” (Only Rs 1500)
My eyes dropped down to the table on which some more bags were placed, assuming that the ones hanging above were costlier than the ones placed on the table. Ankita and I liked another one, a red one. It was one of the prettiest bags I had ever seen.
Shopkeeper: “sare aatso” (850)
We were leaving; we neither had the will nor the money to buy it. Buying a bag from the roadside shops at that cost is a disaster.
Shopkeeper: “arre aap kahan ja rahi hai? Kinta denge boliye? (don’t leave, please say how much you would pay)
Are are didi apni bolun koto deben… are eta Malayasian ache didi.. imported” (please tell me how much you are willing to pay, it is imported.)
He was blocking our way, so Ankita decided to name a price too cheap and he would let us go. She said, “Tell him you’ll pay Rs200”
“What??!! He’ll kick us out…” I replied.
Shopkeeper: What are they deciding so much about, just name a price. I have to hike up the prices of the bags to make them appear nice. Com’on name a price lady! I’ll reduce it for you. Oh please now don’t say hundred rupees… Just say you’ll buy it. I have to sell some more bags today, or I won’t get my commission.
Me: teenso (300)
“Accha to thik hai, aap aise boliyen na ki aapko itna dena hai.. par didi itna kam me to nehi hoga.. aap 400 dijiye..” (Alright, now that you have mentioned an amount.. but I can’t sell it to you for 300, you can buy it for 400.)
We started walking out to the road, and he started jumping around to restrain us, “are theek hai didi, aap 350 dijiye..”
We were walking fast now to avoid buying the bag, since we didn’t have enough money, and then the price came down to 300! from a distance we could hear him scream “300, didi.” From 850 to 300. May be I should have listened to Ankita and asked it for 200.
I regretted my decision.
Shopkeeper: Please didi please buy it, I have already reduced the price for you, others have heard it and they will crowd the place and ask me to give out all the expensive bags for 300! Okay they may not be very expensive, but I won’t be able to fool anyone with the Rs 850 tag. Why are you guys leaving??hey bhagvaan.. Please come back and buy it… the go away.