Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Beautiful Day

That feeling I get when I enter Valluvar Kottam High Road is something special. The smell of earth, that serenity even amidst a bustling road, green trees, shady roads and a nostalgic conscientiousness radiating like a magnetic field from my school in the next street take me back to old days when I used to wait at the Valluvar Kottam bus stop in my higher secondary. In fact I was introduced to Valluvar Kottam even before my schooling. My dad used to bring me here to feed me. Despite my attachment with my mother and detachment with father like most kids do, whenever I see the place, it makes me feel proud about he having been the primary parent in my childhood as per the consensus in our family.

As I entered the Kottam to report for an exhibition, I saw a number of handicrafts and jewelery stalls lined up ostensibly. While I gently lifted an unique ear ring, I came to know the expensive price. When the inborn quality of women is to shop, the second is to bargain. Chennai has been my home since birth but somewhere life here is based on a bargain. I followed the general ritual of bargainers by pretending to leave when the shopkeeper refused to budge with the desired rate and it worked just the traditional way. He accepted to sell his jewel for the price I asked. One such shopkeeper, when relenting, passed an innuendo on my face. He called me a miser. Ouch, that hurt! I hastily checked back my wallet and reassured that I had to save enough money for the travelling way back home and tried answering that remark with my South Indian Hindi.

Instead of defending, he tried to flatter me by helping me choose the best among those unique ear rings. I was confused if he found my Hindi cute or suddenly found me beautiful. Whatever might have been the case with him, I indignantly snapped the pair and hurriedly paid the cash I quoted. Without looking back, I hated for my second encounter with the unfair world of bargaining. I wanted to take an auto for a minimum distance! When it comes to plying by meter, auto men show high on reluctance meter. As usual I brought in my woman trait and convinced the third auto to accept cash for the minimum distance as stipulated by the rules. (Even that meant five rupees extra to the fixed minimum meter rate).

On my way to the railway station I carried my wet tissue everywhere searching for a dustbin, trying to be that good citizen who keeps her city clean. Accidentally, I mistook a green cupboard for a dustbin and was imminent to throw the waste there. Disappointed at the realization, I carried it back until I got down at my station and decided to add it to one of the junk pile lying on the roads. My scout for the next auto began but this time, I did not bother to bargain because the auto stand has fixed rate on their own terms and bargaining would only mean I need to walk all the way home without getting an auto to ride.

Tired over the evening’s encounter, I threw myself on the chair and sat glued to it until my alarm kept reminding me to water the plants. Filling up my hunger first, I quenched their thirst and hit the done button on my mobile alarm. As I unzipped my handbag, my heart leaped excitedly to look at the gorgeous jewels I had bought. It seemed like my days exhaustion had after all turned out rewarding and come to an abrupt halt. I put on that exquisite ear ring and flashed before the mirror. My unfair world suddenly evaporated into merriness and spawn an expectation to look forward to the day when I would be dazzling in those jewels. It made up my spirit and my day ended so beautiful.


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