Thursday, 21 August 2008

Of Boors and Bores

I was out buying veggies last night. I had a long day. Had a vague headache coming on. Mom has been sick with cold, cough and sneezes for a week now. I am sure I am picking it up. Monster had it last week so hoping she does not. I had walked all over the lab, up and down the stairs, a billion times. I came home and ate the rotis (house special beetroot rotis of course). Then decided to go out for the veggies. Monster was still chewing on her apple (she takes EONS to eat apples, I don't know, it is quite a ridiculous thing) so I went away by myself.

Having waited for the apple thing to get swallowed for some half hour, it was getting dark by the time I left. Of course the end of the year is approaching, the days are shorter too. The old man of the vegetable gaadi was particularly distracted. His mobile kept ringing. The light was poor possibly in addition to the irritating mobile ring, his eyes must have been bothering him. At least both of these were true for me. He yelled something into his mobile and hung up abruptly. I had taken my fridge bags this time so he could just fill the individual veggies in separate bags. He usually gets annoyed with me for asking him to just fill up my big bag with everything. I have told him so many times that I go back home and separate the beans from the carrots and so on. He does not seem to believe me! So, the resident problem solver now came up with this idea and finally I remembered to carry the ind. bags last night. But it was not convenient. The mouth of the bags is small.

One woman in yellow showed up asking for bananas. Old man told her the price. She started cribbing that it was too high. Of course I don't do hindi numbers quickly so I was not sure if it was high. Old man said the price of bananas has gone up. She muttered something. Then finally asked for six. He took out one of his plastic bags to put the bananas into. Those thin colourless ones. Grr. Six bananas. Nothing else in her hand. Can she not just carry them? Anyway, Old Man has to conduct his business. And, I can only lead by example. He had to fill my capsicums in my green net bag. He had to give back her change. I was getting impatient. I had gotten there first. But then she was buying six bananas and I was loading up my veggie bag. I tried a few dialogues in my head 'I got here first' 'Why don't you wait for my business to finish' could not translate properly to hindi and anyway it seemed like too much effort so I started collecting tomatoes in the failing light. She got her change, muttered about how slow this sixty-year old man was, took her plastic bag from hell and went her merry way.

A sturdy fellow with a drill sergeant voice and white beard was next. In his walking clothes and shoes. Six bananas again. Handed over hundred bucks. Old Man was filling my tomatoes in the orange net bag with shaky hands by then. 'Give me my change' yelled Sergeant. Old Man was floundering again. 'Don't have change' he said. 'I will give you a fifty' 'Give me back the hundred first' 'Now give me forty rupees' boomed Sergeant. He was about a foot taller than me (which is not a big achievement, I know). So he chose to stand RIGHT behind me and conduct his transactions right over my head. If only I had (my own) permission to plant a quick elbow in his easily accessed mid-riff. Oh! Oh! Sergeant though marched away with his four ten rupee notes and his six bananas in a clear plastic bag, while I still plotted such things.

Thankfully, number three was a mousy guy wanting papayas. I managed to get them first since he was vacillating saying that one is too big this one is too small etc. I picked the medium sized one that I liked.

Old Man randomly yelled 'One hundred fifty rupees' in my direction, meanwhile. No idea how that number was arrived at. But, being in no mood to get into such matters, and, with the rationalisation that, if he wants to cheat me and make ten rupees off me every three days, it is not really a big deal, I paid up and trudged home. Meanwhile the monster had filled both cheeks with apple pieces and was complaining of being bored at home in general, and of tooth ache in particular.


dipali said...

After my own heart! I have yet to fathom how someone of my size can suddenly become invisible/insignificant.
Maybe we should shop for one damn veggie at a time?
And your rotis, what is the story behind these famous rotis?
(And the recipe for beetroot ones, please)

choxbox said...

i dont get into details of the total cost yelled out by the veggies vendor and then feel like an idiot when i think abt it. like if you ask me how much the papaya cost i have no clue. this is me, someone who was once an expert haggler :(

Airspy said...

The worst that happens to me is when i demand a quarter kilo or half kilo and the chap smartly passes off 400 gms or 700 gms and does some wierd math to arrive at the total cost. In the din and chaos given my rather weak arithmetic sense, it is impossible to know if he has overcharged or undercharged. Both are possible depending on the skill(in marketing) and age of the vendor.

btw, whats your routine: Buy-Shove it in fridge-Wash-Use or Buy-Wash-Do whatever you want. Both are tedious in certain ways, esp for certain flora types that tend to grow certain fauna types.

Sraikh said...

I thought it was chaotic when I went out with my mil to buy veggies. Sometimes, he would throw in things just because they are there and then charge my mil. She claims "bahut saal se letay ha to usko mallum hai"

PS:Do you peel the apple skin? All four of mine CANNOT eat the skin.
I need to make sure the peel is completely removed before giving it to them

kbpm said...

yeah i am invisible. insignificant is a given :(
Beetroot rotis are beet grated into Roti Atta and then the rotis made. FOr that extra punch of veggies! it is coloured pink/maroon so I suppose some people may not like it :-)

Give up. not worth knowing such things!

yeah, mental arithmetic. i hate to admit that i am bad at it. :)
I shove in fridge in those net bags, in the fridge veggie compartment. Wash before use. Buy every three days. Usually does not rot etc.

its a relationship we develop with the guy. part of the jollies of life. and no, i dont peel always, but that day i had peeled (hoping it would go in faster), and still that chipmunk like behaviour :(