Monday, 18 February 2013


Eat More Vegetables-So My Doctor Said

Thanks to certain political elements who believe that creating unrest is the only way to be, vegetable vendors in my vicinity have vanished. Poof! The few that had dared to stick around were driven out by other local people who thought that they were invading their posh locality. There still are some vendors, as me and my mom found out last Saturday, who have a specific time when they come out of hiding, and meticulously engage in selling vegetables. It’s all a VERY hushed affair. As you approach their half-hidden-under-a-veil pushcart, someone suddenly appears out of nowhere and asks you, “Madam, what do you want?” to which you reply your choice of vegetable and hope to God that he has it. If he has it, he’ll again go under the veil and carefully pack the veggies in a polythene bag (BAN? WHAT BAN?) And hand it to you, without weighing it. That would be the case if he has what you want, if he doesn’t you move on to the next cart hoping that there is a seller hiding somewhere. Owing to my uncanny affinity to bad luck we didn’t find any underground vendors and had to go to the department store all the way to the other side of town to get some veggies. Oh Lord! Sitcoms can be made out of department store scenarios. There will be enough fodder to provide for creative story outlines for numerous episodes. Most people feel an obligation to bring their entire’ khaandaan’ along with them when they come to shop, also known as- The Great Indian Family Syndrome. So you have aunties who forgot their grocery list at home (how convenient), who glance inside you shopping cart to remind themselves of things that they have to buy. You have a few more aunties who are either accompanying the ones mentioned above or who feel that the store is a battlefield and you have to push and shove your way around and fight till you get the right quality of fresh green peas. Then you have kids whose parents are clueless about their whereabouts. So the kids feel free to do whatever they want, including sliding across the polished floors, charging through the aisles screaming and shouting, touching objects that CLEARLY do not come under the purview of kid’s stuff, running around in such destructive fashion forcing the carefully arranged pyramid of tissue rolls to disintegrate. Then there are the senior citizens. My experience with people from this age bracket has unfortunately not been pleasant in the past so it causes me to steer away from them for my own good. They are the ones who test the patience of the salesperson constantly by making unreasonable demands. They always want that particular brand of commodity or that specific variety of product that is not available. And worse, they feel that since they are senior citizens, they should be given a royal treatment every time they come. And when their demands are not met, they go ballistic. Then there are those belonging to the elite strata, the quintessential snobs that come all decked up in jewels and designer attire suffering from a superiority complex. They feel that they should be given preference over other masses. They’ll have their minions tagging along with them who do all their shopping for them. Then there are the mawkish couples who live for the PDA. They don’t care about a dozen odd eyes lingering on them as they flutter around, indulging. They’ll be the ones lounging around the dairy counter sampling yoghurts and deciding which flavor to settle on. But will still end up as undecided as ever. You might also chance upon a celebrity sighting if you’re lucky. Then there are the gym fanatics, slinging their gym bags, totally bufftastic, on the lookout for all things organic. Then there will be the over-excited teenagers collecting party supplies for the luau themed celebration later. Then there are the mango people, harrowed mothers, desperate singletons, etc. then comes the most tedious part-the race to the cash counter. That is an entirely different arena of sorts requiring perseverance skills and where you have to be very sharp if you want to get home just in time to catch your favorite movie. A little shoving may become mandatory. The concept of standing in a queue and waiting in line for one’s turn does not get inside some heads. That is a challenge in itself. Finally when you get it over with you can then come home and enjoy the fruits of your labor. And then as the weekly supply of veggies gets exhausted again, worry about the next extended errand. Thank you democracy...

2 comments:

Elzbieta Pettingill said...

Dear Sana, you clearly have a gift of writing. I'm surprised you haven't written and published a book yet.... Reading your posts, like this one for example, feels like reading a very interesting book! If I may, I'd like to suggest one thing; increase the font size on your posts, for people like myself who are aging slowly but graciously... and may have a hard time reading such small text. And, keep writing of course, you truly have a gift! :)

The Wanderer said...

Wow! Your comment has really made my day! Thank you so much! And I'll surely pay heed to your advice! Thank you once again! :)

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