“Its glad that I could do shopping in every shop in Davanagere, all credits go to your aunt”, sarcasm was overflowing in my uncle’s eyes. I prolonged it by asking explanation, “why, you do that much shopping?”
“No, once she finishes with a shop, next time they won’t allow to get her inside the shop, so we have to move to next shop!” He guffawed.
I was enlightening about my aunts bargaining skills from my uncle. Thank God, I never experienced it. Then I had a thought no one can beat my aunt in bargaining. It was true till today before I went to shopping with Sisha, Cheezer and Con. Not only they have peculiar name but also they have peculiar bargaining styles.
“I hope I have checked everything the total comes to Rs. 5721 and you have shop’s green card so 10% discount. So it comes down to RS. 5149”, the counter guy informed us. Con paid it from committee budget. We had come to buy some prizes for the club function, planned to buy books, PD’s and head sets. We had heard head sets will be too affordable in City center.
“Please wrap the gifts with gift covers”, Sisha said. She said in a smooth tone as could as possible from her. It was obvious that she used her wide and short hand gestures. She is always a professional in everything, let it be a nail cutting pursuit or scaring someone in quarrel with her nails!
“OK, for each cover we charge RS.4. For these many gifts it may take 10 gift covers. So you need to pay RS.40 extra”, Counter guy explained it expecting a little more profit.
“We have taken this much and even crossed Rs. 5000 at least you have to give this RS.40 concession”, Sisha countered. Her smooth tone turned 20’ harsh.
“Sorry ma’am, we give 10 % concession only for card. Not apart that”, counter guy replied in an extra smooth tone sensing it may convert to an argument.
“At least assume it as 8 sheets and we are ready to pay for 8 sheets”. Sisha was not a girl to accept defeat. She ends up with bargaining at least a single rupee! Counter guy denied it completely.
“Call the manager”, Sisha said candidly, her tone harsher. She had made the higher move.
She was not ready to let go charge of 2 sheets. I was amused, we have purchased over Rs. 5000 worth gifts, why we need to quarrel for just 2 sheets of gift wrappers. I looked at counter guy he too was thinking the same, I think. Without any word to Sisha Counter guy sent some guy to call manager. I just looked around; all the people were looking at us. It was obvious, in malls none speaks; they just pay the precise money and walk away peacefully. I thought malls are much similar to grave yards. In grave yards we just hear mourning and in malls just the background music! By the way I could not leave to notice the song; it was Remix of Chammak challo. But today was a different day; Sisha had broken all the rituals and argued.
I looked at Sisha, she was too angry. There was no difference between her face and her red bindhi. Behind her, Cheezer was standing. She was busy in deciding which flavor lolly pop to take, which were kept on counter. She was not at all worried about Sisha’s argument, may be because she knew that there is no one who can defeat Sisha in the whole world! May be. Con was busy with the calculation. I stooped forward to see what he was doing with the calculator. He typed ‘2*4’ and pressed answer, it showed ‘8’! He showed me that with a sarcastic smile. He was cross checking still, its Rs. 8 or Rs. 800 which she is arguing for! Manager came.
“Ma’am, it’s not in Swapna shop rule (!) to give two free gift wrappers. Sorry for denying”, manager said in his trained voice.
“Sir, we are your regular customers, how can you tell this to us”, Sisha was getting sentimental, the ultimate Indian skill. Manager sensed this; he too did not want to lose his customer.
“Ma’am, it’s just two sheets”
“That’s what I am saying sir, why you can’t leave the charge of just two sheets?” Sisha is impregnable. By the way she had a good point. After all these show, we three needed to join Sisha, friends jo hain. Ahem, else it will be awkward silence when we go out of mall.
We all three chorused monotonously in favor of Sisha and it went on for next four minutes. Neither party was ready to compromise but after the boring and tiring argument, as belief of Cheezer, Sisha won at last. Manager was too angry but he did not express it. We too did not care even. After everything packed we left the mall to City center.
It was our utter disappointment when we came to learn that price of headsets in City center is for higher than in Swapna shop! Obviously, Sisha brought us back to Swapna shop!! For our disgust the Swapna shop security guard stopped us at entrance and was not allowing us to get inside: gave us a silly reason as its shop’s closing time. But we could see other people were getting in!! My uncle’s words rushed to my mind about aunts bargaining. I looked at the counter guy; he was beaming a sarcastic smile at me. I told to myself, now you are a member of Uncle’s-city-roaming-club. I tied my shoe lays firmly to roam the city!!
P.S: Thanks to the guys for making D-day memorable, I really enjoyed it.