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Reality check

November 12, 2015

Last morning, on my way back from my yoga class, I stopped to buy flowers to accompany the lamps to light up in the evening around the house. Deepavali time, so everything was over-priced. At first I enquired about the price of one ‘mozham’ (one arm-span?) of marigold flowers, and she quoted Rs 40. Then I decided against it and asked for a 100g of small roses, and loose chrysanthemums instead. And then I handed her a 500 rupee note. She said she did not have change. So I told her nevermind, I’ll come back with change later and buy the flowers.

“Next time kodi, madam” Give it to me next time.

Now I rarely buy flowers from her, this was probably only the second time ever. And yet, she saw that she had an opportunity to lose a customer, or acquire one, and chose the latter, though there was a small chance that I might take the flowers and never see her again.

I asked her if she was sure, and she nodded. And gently goaded me into buying the marigold string as well. (I’ll give it to you at Rs 30) And so I did, got suckered in and ended up spending Rs 130 instead of the original Rs 70 I would have.

I walked back, marvelling at her shrewd business sense, and to an extent, her belief that I would be back to pay her. And I found myself wondering about people still trusting people and some good being left in this world after all.

And then a car went whooshed past me through puddles, splashing me with rainwater, the driver not caring to slow down in the least.

It takes all kinds to make up this world.

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