Sunday, November 02, 2008

Little Shop of Wonders

The little stores in our neighborhood have always been treasure-troves of wonders and goodies, as I've always known. Today we re-discovered a forgotten gem. The Aishwarya Shopping Point. Oh, what a cave of marvels! I spent considerable minutes staring ecstatically at the rows and rows of goods that I could never find at those big 'super' markets, which I shall have the grace to leave unnamed. Finally, having decided upon a bag of almonds and a variety of Kashmiri daalmoth I'd never seen before, I became aware of some sidelong glances from the shopkeeper. His look seemed to say- "Is she allright? Will it be terribly rude to ask her if she's mentally deficient? Why does she have such a dewy look on her mug? Has she never seen different varieties of prawn pickle or indigenous yet exotic-sounding breakfast foods? Ah, but let it go. Apparently, my store of humble goods is bringing her much joy and fulfilment!"
Then there is the Fancy Store. I went in there to get a packet of bindis. Immediately, I was assaulted by the glitter and seduction of a thousand products jammed into that 2ftX4ft store. I asked the shop guy, the customary North Indian youth, if there were any 'simple' bindis, and then remembered just one other thing I needed. I should have known when he asked, a bit more proddingly than is usual, "aur kuch?" Right- the grand bill total of my two purchases came to EIGHT rupees. Quite a Fancy Store, this- where the Prices are the Only Thing that is NOT Fancy!

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