Ever had one of those days when you flop back to your bed at night, and you strain your eyes, wear thick, powerful glasses and try to spot the silver lining amidst the dark clouds that threaten to cover your sky? You peer into them because you know that the thinnest possible line of silver does exist, yet your mind focuses on the darkness rather than the silver, and you need to dig deeper into the clouds to really spot it, and hold it.
I see you nod your head in understanding, even in sympathy.
Munnu and I set out for shopping today morning, there were things I needed to purchase prior to my week-long vacation to God’s own country, Kerala, in the first week of Sept. When the cab dropped us at the Commercial Street, unfortunately I had only hundreds with me, and he had no lesser notes either. The very nice cabbie asked me to wait in the car whilst he would go get my hundred changed to smaller amounts so that I can pay him. After a while I spotted him wandering through each shop and waving to auto-wallahs, asking for a change for hundred. Finally I beckoned to him to come back. If there is one thing I despise about Bangalorean shopkeepers and autowallahs (oh, regarding autowallahs there is a longer list but of course that is a different story), it is their refusal to provide change when someone requests it. And I have noted this behaviour consistently in the last five or six years, and have made it a habit to always carry smaller currency whenever I go out. However there are days when these things happen. It does not matter to them that the seeker is in dire need of the change, you should see their indifferent faces when we ask. (How do all of them wear the same blank expression?) They do not even bother to check if they have any. “I have no intention or interest to help you” is written in large, bold, underlined font on their face. Finally, guess what I had to do? I went into a shop, bought something which I did not need, got the balance and paid my cabbie. Where I should have spent Rs.18/-, I ended up spending Rs.70/-
Maybe I should have taken a cue from this and returned home without any further mishap, wasn’t this a clear enough signal that the day is doomed? My next entry was into a shop to pick up some T-shirts for Munnu. I found them quite expensive, but after a moment’s reflection I picked up a few of them, so that I can tick the item off my To-Do List. Wasn’t I too much in a hurry? After the tasks at the Commercial Street, when I went to Lifestyle Mall to pick up other items, what do I see? T-shirts for 3-4 year olds at a price less than half of the ones I bought earlier.
The day was far from easy, as I had to tow a very restless three-year-old with me, who would suddenly spot a Toy Shop at every other corner of Commercial Street, and start screaming that he wants “something.” Something is a magic word that can lie anywhere between “Nothing” and “Everything” via “Anything”. To make matters difficult, I had to pick up a few picture books from one of these shops and to calm a screamy child, I bought a toy for him.
I often go out shopping with Munnu. He likes coming with me, he likes wandering around the shops doing window-shopping as well as real shopping, and I enjoy going with him, buying him an occasional juice or a toy. Whenever I go with him, I do my purchases in fast-forwaded manner so that he doesn’t get bored, and at the end of the day I feel a sense of achievement at a shopping well done. Today was very, very different – I am afraid that if I check my purchases a second time, I will want to return them! And I really think I spent much more than I intended to!
And yet, there are a few small good things that happened here and there. I spoke to a couple of well-known book stores about putting up my book for sale. One of them asked me to send him a few copies.
My husband joined us for lunch at Hotel Empire, Church Street, and took charge of the by now whiney Munnu (while I relaxed and had my lunch).
We came back home exhausted, and I remembered with relief that it was only Saturday, the whole of Sunday is still before us, untainted! To quote Meg Ryan in a movie whose name I cannot recall, “Sunday is the day before the day I work, so it is poisoned!“
Hope you have a clean Sunday!