Sunday, November 23, 2008

My encounter with myself

It was a nice bright winter afternoon on Saturday…and its not frequently you get to get holidays at a place like IIM L. So I decided to go for my much delayed “shopping chores”. 

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”

I nodded.