After reaching somewhere in the city I reached a ubiquitous rickshawala. Trying to look like a localite by making a fake face of familiarity with the city I asked- “Sahara Mall ka kitna loge?”
“20 rupaye de dena sahab” – He said with figuring out that I was indeed a stranger
“20 rupaye !!” I exclaimed.
15 dunga….chalna ho to bolo - I knew that it shouldn’t be worth more than that
“Sahab baitho 18 de dena” – And I knew now that he can be squeezed more and I can save my 3 rupees
“dekho 15 hi banta hai….usse zyada kuch nahi dunga” – Again I knew that 15 hi banta hai
And he yielded. I felt a feeling of triumph that I saved my precious money.
It was some 4-5 kms before we reached Sahara.
I wanted to buy some chappals first so I entered into Metro. Saw some pieces there and selected one:
“Excuse me please. How much is it for this one?”
“Rs. 890 only sir”
Hmmm…little over my budget but this is Metro. I must be worth it- I thought
“Fine. Make the bill”
“It will be 930 sir” – The girl in a formal suit at the counter said
Uh-oh….okay those 40 rs must be some service tax etc. How can I actually question the integrity of the-girl-in-the-suit for 40 rupees. What a cheapskate she will think of me.
“Herez my card”.
Then i went to Mc Donalds for some snack. Just wanted to have some burger or something. At the counter, the-girl-in-the-uniform with a smile asked
“Would you like to have some coke as well to go with your burger?”
How caring she is. How can I say no to her – I thought
After finishing my burger I took the coke with me.
At the rickshaw stand I realized that I can’t finish the coke.
So tossed the half full glass of coke in a nearby trash bin. …and eyes of the nearby rickshawala followed it.
.....AND then it hit me.
“University chaloge bhaiya”- I asked in a low tone
“Haan saheb kyun nahi. 20 rupaye de dena”