Thursday, March 11, 2010

All this Woman’s Day and Women’s Reservation Bill business made me take note of a couple of incidents which I would ordinarily have forgotten in no time.

The first scene was near RK Puram, Sector 13 (which mind you, does exist!), when I was trying to hail an auto for work. After a bit of a wait, one auto finally stopped, and the haggling began. It ran somewhat like this:

“Bhaiya, Prithvi Raj road, Chauntis number”

“Madam, government area hai, koi sawaari hi nahi milegi wahaan”

“Kitna loge batao”


“Bhaiya, mushkil se tees hota hai idhar se toh”

“Madam, udhar se khaali aana hota hai”

“Arre mil jaayega koi, bahut log rehte hain”

At this point, I inadvertently flashed a bright smile, simple because I was pretty bluntly lying to the auto-wallah. There are barely any pedestrians on Prithvi Raj road, at any time of day.

With a visible change in expression, looking rather delighted and nervous, the auto-wallah said:

“Acha Madam, challis mein hi chalo”

And he was cheerful all the way.

The second incident was a few days later, when I got off work rather early and went to Janpath to shop. There were some two tops I liked. The bargaining was something like this:

“Madam, 650 se kuch bhi neeche nahi hoga. Usse neeche toh humaari khareedaari bhi nahin hoti hai”

“Do le rahi hun, 200 mein de do”

“Arre kuch reasonable toh bolo madam”

“Bilkul reasonable hai. Nahi toh chhod do”

I walked out of the shop.

“Arre andar toh aao Madam, baat toh karo”

“Koi faayda nahi hai Bhaiya.. do sau se zyaada hain bhi nahin mere paas”

“Paise toh bahut hain aapke paas.. abhi abhi toh ATM se withdraw karke aa rahe ho”

Once again, I inadvertently laughed, only because I was rather amused that all the shopkeepers on Janpath are so bright as to observe each customers movements so carefully, and remember who was asking for directions to an ATM, so as to identify someone who intends to actually make purchases.

What followed was an immediate change of attitude.

“Acha Madam, aapke liye do sau mein de raha hun. Bataana mat kisi ko lekin”

“Abhi toh bol rahe the nahin hoga.. kya ho gaya achanak”

“Nahin.. aap le lo. Lo packet mein daal deta hun”

What is hilarious about both these episodes is that in neither instance was I actually trying to flirt with or cajole either of the men into doing favours. A bit of a laugh, not even directed at anything particularly witty they have said, melted their hearts in an odd fashion. Reminded me a bit of the whole Dil toh Bacha Hai Jee sequence in Ishqiya. But all said and done, man, women have powerful tools at their disposal. Funny we should be getting reservation and a special day and what not :)


Wanderer said...

Asma's feed directed me here...

So, where is, Sector 13? Is it like Area 51?? :P

You're damn right us men do anything when flashed a smile :D

Bhavya said...

You're that geeky boy who's been studying physics all his life, aren't you? :P

Har har.. I'll show you Sector 13 next time I am in Delhi. Shame on you for having lived here so long and not knowing! are damn stupid, ya!

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