Monday, 24 March 2014

The shopping Blunders!

I adamantly said, "If we don't go to Sarojni Nagar market, our visit to Delhi will be incomplete. Common yaar! We need to go to that market, tomorrow." 

My husband was hell bent on not going to that place. He just looked at me and I knew his mind was all no-no-no. I was gearing up for the next explanation before which he spoke, "Okay. But you are going there just for an hour. We don't have more than an hour."

I agreed cause I knew we had a good two hour in our hand. But it was not required to be argued upon. The next morning, we arrived 'The Sarojni Nagar Market'. It was not very crowded and few of the shops were still setting up their stalls. Warm sun, vibrant colors, innumerable shops/vendors. I looked around to take a feel of the market. One side there was small shops of cushions, colorful covers, sheets and on the other side there was a huge purse/bag display. Stunning colored bags. I loved the Lime Yellow one and the Red one and the Green, Royal Blue, Majestic Black. Ohh! Then came the row filled with shoe shops. Oh my God. My love for shoes pulled me into one of the shops finally. The moment I stepped in, instantly I fell in love with a sandal. I went ahead to get it: 

Me: "कितने  में  हैं  ये  वाला  सैंडल ?"
Vendor 1: "मैडम  जी  सिरफ  300 रुपये  में हैं 
My mind: "Rs 300, I need to bargain, bargain, bargain!"
Me: "अरे  भइया, देने वाला रेट बताओ ना "
Vendor 1: "मैडम  जी ,  वही  बताया  हैं 
Me: "कोई  डिस्कॉउंट  हैं ?" 
Vendor 1: "नहीं , नहीं  मैडम , सारे मार्केट  में  यही  रेट  हैं  और  सुबह  सुबह  डिस्काउंट नहीं  चलता 
My mind: "I should walk away after quoting my price. I am sure he will call me and give me those shoes at my desired price."
Me: "200/- में  दोगे  क्या ?" 
Vendor 1: "नहीं  होगा मैडम । "
Me: "ठिक  है, तो नहीं लेंगे। " 

I walked off expecting that the vendor will call me. The unexpected happened.
Vendor 1: "लेना  हैं  तो  लो, नहीं  तो  रहने  दो ! इतने  कम  में  और  कहीं  नहीं मिलेगा !"

My husband gave me a look. Controlling his anger, he spoke, "Why do you need to bargain? Just buy what you want and let's leave." 

Me: "LEAVE. What do you mean by that? We have an hour. And please bargaining is my first right. He didn't give, someone else will give." 

He was closely tracking the time while I moved ahead. I spotted the same shoes in the next stall. I tried to bargain and the vendors were just not ready to bend a bit. Finally I bent and at the 8th counter.

Me: "भईया , कितने  में  दोगे ?"
Vendor 8: "350 का है  मैडम । "
Me: "सारे  मार्केट  में तो 300 में है ।  आप  महँगा क्यों  दे रहे हो?"
Vendor 8: "मैडम  क्वालिटी  में फरक है। चलो  आपके लिए 300 लगा दूंगा! Pack  करू क्या ?"
Me: "भईया  250 लगा  लो  ना ।  "
Vendor 8: "अरे मैडम! इतना अच्छा क्वालिटी पूरे market में नहीं मिलेगा।  आपके लिए  50 रुपये कम किया , नहीं तो fixed rate है हमारा । चलो  और  5 रुपये कम देना!  Pack  करू क्या ?"
Me: "Sodexo coupons चलता है क्या ?"
Vendor 8: "नहीं  मैडम ये सब नहीं चलता यहाँ । "
Me: "कोई type का coupon चलता है  क्या?"
Vendor 8: "नहीं  मैडम  आप भी क्या सुबह सुबह, लेना है तो बोलो।।"
I looked by my side and found my husband staring at me with an intention to kill me. Really. He looked at the shopkeeper.
Hubby: "हाँ  pack करो। ये लो 300."

Vendor packed the shoe and gave a broad victorious smile to me. My husband spoke in a hush voice to me, "Hmm, good bargaining skills..lady!" He laughed out loud and patted on my shoulder. He continued, "मैडम, bargaining हो गई तो अब घर चले?" He laughed and laughed. I could barely manage a smile and then we headed towards home. We did buy a few things on the way back without bargaining. No doubt I was a bit embarrassed. I knew my dear husband would add a lot of spice and tell everyone in the family, near ones and far ones. Yeah, I don't need any enemy, right!

On my way back, I was sad cause I went to my dream market but I couldn't bargain, there were hardly any discounts, they were  just not ready to accept any discount coupons and definitely no cash-backs. Maybe I am just good for online shopping. I don't stress my heals in the sun and oh yes I get one of them - bargain, discount, coupons or cash-back. Yeah...I re-confirmed my mind several times:

Yeah! Only Online Shopping it is!

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Re-sparkling the Chemistry!

It had been maddening ten years into marriage. Arpita and Manav had been together or they were leading their separate life already, no one knew! Vibha, their only child, was the biggest loser in their fight. 

Years back when Arpita and Manav met for the first time, they knew their wait was over. But somewhere in the race of life and getting things done up to the mark, their lost that factor which bound them - love! Arpita looked after her house, kid, kid's school, food, clothes, maids, her office and relatives. Manav had his own increasing work pressure and the deadlines, his newspaper, news channels, politics and kid. Somewhere they lost the fact that they do need to give TIME to each other too. They never realized the reason for the growing distance between them. They fought over small issues, they gave each other the silence therapy, they took each other for granted. Manav was never grateful for the various things which Arpita did, Arpita never praised Manav's hard work for making the ends meet.  Or, maybe they did, but they were too stubborn to accept these little facts in front of each other. 

They decided to separate. It was final. Manav was to move out of the house. He was packing his things one by one. In corner of his  cupboard, under the pile of clothes, he found an album. A small trip to Shimla, before marriage was the most memorable time of their life where they promised each other to come here every year to celebrate their love. He tumbled down with that album in his hand. His eye got stuck on the photo where he was welcoming Arpita on the flight with a marigold garland. He had proposed to her then and there. In that ground, Arpita had little option. She accepted the proposal. He made her wear that garland and gave her the window seat. Everyone cheered. Arpita was blushing so much that she went red. They didn't speak much through the flight. Their eyes did. That promise was lost somewhere. What happened to them? To that love?

Manav's mind was blank for a moment and then his thoughts cleared, "What am I doing? No, this is the absolute opposite of what I wanted our lives to be!" In his mind, the plan was set. He got up. Left everything back and stormed out of the house. Arpita was sitting in the living room trying to console Vibha, whose tear refused to stop. Arpita wondered where he left in such hurry. But then it was her decision too, to separate. She knew it was better not to bother about his life.

After about few hours, Arpita went to answer the door bell. It was her mother. Arpita hugged her and welcomed her inside. But her mother was little worried. In a tensed voice, she said to Arpita, "You need to go to the airport right now. It is urgent."

Arpita got little skeptical and inquired, "Why Ma? What happened? Is everything OK? Is Manav fine?"

Her mother replied, "It's not about him, you hurry and go. Cab is waiting outside. Go."
Arpita couldn't think straight but she got scared. She jumped into the cab. Her heart was beating hard. She didn't know what happened. When she reached at the airport, an attendant was waiting for him and he guided her inside. Arpita was getting more confused with each step she took. Then she was asked to board the flight. She said, "No. I will not get on the plane. You better tell me what is happening?"

One of the executive spoke, "Ma'am we don't have any further information. Please understand our state. We thank you for your cooperation."

Arpita knew she won't speak another word but she wanted to uncover the suspense. It was killing her. She got into the plane with the crowd. When she entered, she knew what it was all about.

In that crowd, she saw her man. Manav was standing there, with a marigold garland. She came near him and he softly whispered in her ears, "It's not about me. It's not about you. It's about us, Arpi! Will you spend rest of your life  with me?" She exclaimed, "Oh my God!" Tears started rolling out of her eyes and she hugged Manav tight. Manav forced her out and made her wear that garland. The entire crowd started clapping and cheered them. Manav said, "Welcome aboard. We are off to Shimla." Manav gave Arputa the window seat and they got settled. Arpita analysed the entire plan in her mind. Manav's running out of house, her mother coming in, so that Vibha is taken care of and she being guided to the final destination to Manav. She looked up at Manav. He gave her a small gift. She opened it and it was that same album. She held her breadth for a while and then flipped through the album and went back in time. This time, they spoke. Throughout the trip. They spoke about every picture, every details they remembered, they laughed, they cried. It was a long time since they communicated to each other. It was a long time since they enjoyed each other's company. 

They reached their destination. They went to all the places where they went last time. It was just them. It was about just two of them. They rejuvenated their relationship. They re-sparkled their amazing chemistry. They restarted their journey.

The perfect trip!

The car was decorated with flowers. I was ready to leave. My new-formed family was waiting for me to get in the car. It was the time for "bidai". But it didn't seemed. Everyone was seeing me off with smiles and there were absolutely no tears. This is what bothered me big time.

Me: "Ma, you cried so much when di was going, at least shed some tears, yaar. It's not fare!"
Ma: "I really want to feel sad. But I know you are going to be here only."
Papa: "I think you should go. They are waiting."

But they didn't. They laughed at my kiddish(what they think was kiddish) demand and made me sit in the car. I was so angry that I am sure somewhere a volcano must have erupted. 

All my life I knew, when you go to your 'sasural', you are supposed to hug and cry like mad. Here I was with a funny bidai. It made me feel that I was just going to my college and not to my 'sasural'.

When I reached there, I was welcomed in a big family. A new life started. The whole lot of in-laws, husband and me, never gave me time to sink in the feeling that I got married. I was just living with a new set of people and I was sharing my room with a man, rest remained same. I went to the same office at the same time with a tiffinbox, now packed by one of the in-laws in charge of the kitchen. 

Within six months of my marriage, my sis-in-law was to get married. Shopping, preparation and all the ho-halla for the marriage started in the house with me in the loop. The d-day arrived and she was off to her new home. But in all the hustle-bustle, one thing just remained on the mind. My honeymoon. I never complained. I came from a big family and I knew various challenges. I had settled completely. 

Another close relative was getting married(didn't I mention, it was a big family ;)) and plans were made to visit them. On the day before we were to leave, my husband came back from office really tensed. 
Hubby: "My leaves are cancelled."
MIL: "What? Why? Tickets are already booked!"
FIL: "What happened, beta? Anything to worry?"
I stood there with a puppy face not knowing what to do. 
Hubby: "No. Just due to overload, my leave is cancelled. You all continue. I will join you on wedding day, if it is possible."
Everyone was quiet for a while. I was wondering what's going on. The silence was broken by my FIL.
FIL: "Then I think you two stay here. If possible, you can join us on wedding day. What do you say?"
I held my breadth. Just the two of us?
MIL: "Ya, that sounds good." Looking at me, she asked,"Beta, I hope you are fine with this plan?"
I just said, "Yes, Ma. No issues. We will join you all a little later."

Next morning my husband left for office and then rest of family left for the wedding. Since, I had applied for leave, I thought I would visit my Mom's place after some time. Just after my in-laws left, the bell rang.
I went to answer it.

Me: "Oh my God! What happened? Why are you back? Are we also going?"
The shock was certain. It was my husband who was standing at the door.
He:"Will you let me in lady? At least give me some water to drink. I will answer your questions."
Me:"Ohk. Come."
I felt a little weird. We had a regular arranged marriage. Although we shared the room, but we always knew that everyone was around. This time, it was different. No one was at home. I was alone with him in this big house. I felt like this was the first time we were together. Just the two of us. 

He had water and took out some paper and handed it to me. It was some...ticket. I was totally confused. He held my hand and he looked into my eyes and said, "My leave is approved. I have a whole week off. Two of us are going to Goa."

Me:"Wh...what? Really!"
I was shocked. I was just staring at him in complete disbelief. He looked at me lovingly and said, "I am sorry for I didn't plan it before."
Me: "But what will we say to everyone."
He: "Office work. I have to go to Goa for a client meet. It's urgent and unavoidable. I can't leave you home alone, right?"
He winked and we laughed and hugged. 
My hands were trembling with excitement. My vision was hazy due to all the active tear glands and my heart was beating so hard that my neighbors could actually hear it. I was excited to the core. We left the next day. Just the two of us. No office. No home works. No relatives. Just the two. Everything was beautiful about my marriage but this trip took my marriage to a next higher level. 

The trip was perfect. Well planned and grand. The presence of just two created some magic. I came closer to him.

He was phobic to crabs but he loved them on his plate.
He was a no-alcohol person. At least till the time we reached Goa.
He loved to sing the weirdest voice ever. There was soo much more to him than what I knew. We shopped through the day and walked the beach through the night. We sang, danced, ate, drank, smoked, partied together. We spoke about our fears, wishes, ambitions, thrills and smallest of joys in our lives. It was the time when I came closest to the most important person in my life. 

When I came back from the trip, I was in a whole new world. The life became as usual after a while, but not me. I got a new best friend in my husband. I found a new meaning to our relationship. It was more than what I read/heard/knew about. Maybe I fell in love. Yes, I did.

Saturday, 15 March 2014

The Truly Asia -Malaysia!

H: "Where do you want to go to this year?"
W: "I want to see truly Asia!"
H: "Sorry...come again?"
W: "Malaysia...Truly Aisa!"
H: "Ohhkay. I will take you there. But give me five good reasons!"
W: "Interesting! Okay..then listen. 

I want to see how the sky looks down at us,
I want to feel how it feels at that high!
I want to experience that tantalizing height,
I want to visit the twin tower, with all my might!

I want to see the wonderful life,
of the aquatic that walks by my side!
I want to experience the tunnel,
which unfolds my aquatic puzzles!

I want to wake up the shopaholic in me,
I want to set myself free!
I want to experience shopping,
from the best place, without any stopping!

I want to walk the streets at night,
where the vendors welcome you with delight!
Chinatown's clothes, toys, gems or scrumptious food,
It's all an experience that elevates your mood!

I want to go where the tourist flock,
To the market which gives me memory round the clock!
I want to get souvenirs for all,
I want to get Malaysian experience above all!

W: "Basically I want to go to Kuala Lumpur!"
H: "I must say, I am impressed, lady! I am just aw by the amount of knowledge you have gathered. We are so on this trip! Let's plan!"

Friday, 14 March 2014

The deadline syndrome!

It is out. It is certain. It is strange.

I have been officially declared to be undergoing a strange disease, called - 'Deadline kab hai?'
You might be a victim of this disease too. My diagnostic says, "It is normal. It is common and it is a fact!"

The newly found disease has different equations, which follows:

Work-to-be-done :: WTBD

WTBD / Time
WTBD has no seen relationship with time. You might have hell lot of free time, but you will not move a inch closer to the WTBD till the last date captures your heart, mind and soul.

WTBD / Resource
Resources have no found relationship with the WTBD. In spite of availability of all the materials/equipment/books/pencil/laptop or any thing required for completing the WTBD, it will not start till the sword called 'deadline' hangs right next to the neck and makes you feel so suffocated that you do start your work. 

WTBD / Place 
Place has no found relationship with the WTBD. The technology has made unbelievable possible. It has advanced so much that the location can never be a constraint in finishing WTBD. But the location, be it your work place or a vacation site will not affect WTBD, no matter what.

WTBD :: Deadline/last-day
WTBD has one and only one direct relationship with the last day/date. It is either done or not done, just on the last standing day for the work to be submitted.

Many says, this is like - PROCRASTINATION. But it is actually NOT. In this disease - 'deadline kab hai', there is a strange barrier. Even if you start doing WTBD with all your willpower and commitment, you will sit with a blank head. Ideas/information seize to come to your head. Simple sentences seems to be like complex co-ordinate geometry. In spite of everything, you will stand still. Without any advancement. 

There is one more strange symptom. The closer you are to the deadline, the more ideas come to your head, the better you want to it in that short span of time. Well, you can't. You can do as much you can in that small period. Not a inch more not a inch less.

I have not found a cure. My diagnostic is undergoing treatment for the same. He has pledged to find a solution soon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed. What about you?

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Travelling the Smart Way!





This post is a part of Skyscanner target "Skyscanner travel Wizard" at