Monday, July 14, 2008

When The Gods Smiled Down

I must confess that there are times when Chennai and its denizens stretch my nerves to its snapping point. And there is no point cribbing to the my moggies because Ging almost always sleep through my rants while DSK takes offence at every single vituperative I utter against his beloved city and being a true blue cancerian, remembers it for posterity. Unfortunately for me, it is rare for him to be at the receiving end of the special Chennai attitude, so when those rare incidents occur, it is with much enthusiasm that I seize the moment to communicate a multitude of gleeful ' I told you so' s.
So when yesterday evening proved to be a goldmine of many such moments, I could only thank the the Gods for beaming down at on me and grin away as the events unfolded in front of me.
The first signs of DSK's woes for the evening appeared soon after we settled into 'The Boat' to go shopping at a well known city mall. The boat, by the way, is an Hyundai Elantra which now transports DSK to work and back & which I sometimes meanly refer to as The Titanic. DSK hasn't had the time to explore the Boat's workings and was faced with his first challenge when I, being a music aficionado, switched on the CD player in eager anticipation of listening to some vintage rock but ended up flooding the car with songs in an alien language. In response to my raised eyebrows, poor Dsk fiddled with the knobs, checked all radio and CD channels but all his efforts to find a non alien non Tamil channel proved in vain as did his efforts to change the CDs. The Alien Song CD's staunchly held the player captive, refusing to come out and in sheer desperation DSK called his driver for an explanation
" Ba, what language CDs have you put in the car? .....Ohhhhh, Korean aa???...ok ok ok......I see....Ok, ok now tell me how to change the CDs? hmmmm....... mmmmmmm....... Whatttt??? I can only change one CD inside the car??? What about the other 7??? Whatttt??? I have to change from the back??? What back?? You mean from the boot????...no no....boot means Dickie...not shoe"
The look on Dsk's face is priceless. And as hard as I try, I cannot suppress my giggles. DSK looks extremely perplexed about his driver's explanation of having to change CDs in the boot. And considering that we were hemmed in by traffic there was nothing he could do other than try make sense of his driver's gibberish.
" Where in the Dickie should I change the CDs? ...But I can change one Cd inside the car, no? I have tried all the buttons but it is not coming out...What should I do?.....hmmmm.....mmmmm......No, I didn't understand....hmmmm.....Ok, forget it, we will change it tomorrow morning"
Obviously, the effort has been too much for Dsk or perhaps, he didn't want to provide more grist for the laughing mill beside him. So we listened to Korean music of all genres - slow, fast, classical, romantic, rock, club......all the way to the mall. And this was just the start.
At the mall, while browsing through goodies on display, I spied a set of cookware I had wanted for quite a while and honed in for the buy. After much frowning and gesticulation, the sales boy finally deigned to take notice of my rather obvious interest.
" How much for those pans? On that range?"
" Big pan?"
" Big and small"
" Madam, that set....all together"
" No single pieces???"
" I go check madam..."
" Yes pleassseee.....And tell me the price if single pieces are available"
And he scampered away for what seemed like eternity during which time I paced the entire floor many times over. Just when I was going to report him at the Store's lost and found, he emerged sporting a rather bemused expression
" Madam, 850 Rs. Small no price"
" No price? Means what....its free?"
" Madam, no box for small pan....no price...come tomorrow"
Is he stark raving nuts??? To even imagine that I would drive all the way back across town the next day for a teeny weeny saucepan!!!...I march purposefully towards the cash counter holding a crock pot in one hand, using the other to drag the puny open mouthed salesman, who by the way is clutching on to the small pan and a large box.
" Your salesman tells me that he does not know the price of this pan because he cannot find the box???? Come on...Don't tell me that Shopper's Stop does not have prices on its system???" My voice has risen a few notches inviting curious glances from fellow shoppers and rather apprehensive looks from the salesperson. But this really is the pits!!!!....
" No box...no price" That's the gawky salesman at his plaintive best, looking for allies.
" How can it be???? I really would like to speak to the store manager because this is the first time in years that I have heard anything so ridiculous in Shopper's Stop...How are you all running this place? Like a Kirana shop??"
All at once, the counter is abuzz with activity as the sales boys jump to the task of finding the price of my small pan. Anything, just anything, to shut up the indignant virago !!! After a team huddle, a slightly more confident salesman approaches me with trepidation.
" Ma'am, the small pan is 850...we do not sell the the larger pan as a single piece...it is the part of a set which comes with that cooking range and a dish"
After all that melee, now this!!!....I am at my wits end and hell hath no fury like an alpha denied. As I turned on the wimp salesman, I could see a bemused DSK making his way towards us.
" but he told me that it was available as a single piece"
" I say set...." The wimp gets his two bit in!!!!
" what's happening???"
As I apprise gamma moggie about the situation on hand, the plaintive bleats of the wimp salesman are shushed into silence by the rest of the group who seemed to have realised that their only hope was to pacify me and get me out of their floor. But not before they have dealt with Gamma Moggie....
" What is this??? You guys cannot sell us a set of pans because you do not know which are available as single pieces...And can't find boxes to figure out the prices???..I can't believe this!!!...."
I think the disbelief in his voice permeated every one's thick skulls because the salesmen suddenly transformed into models of efficiency, writing out bills for the crock pot and the small pan. Clutching my prizes in the elevator, I contemplated performing my little ' This would happen only in Chennai' victory song and dance routine but the grim expression on Dsk's face stays my feet. I have to exercise extreme restraint to not gloat but then, I decide to take the higher road and not rub salt on raw wounds.
On our way out, I check out some dark glasses and decide to buy one. A nice salesman presents me with my warranty card, a sleek care case and asks in all seriousness
" Madam, you will wear this now or I shall package it"
And that cracked me up....Even DSK, the faithful son of Tamil Nadu soil, can barely conceal his mirth at that ...As we zipped back home in the boat listening to Korean music, it struck me that life in Rajani-land does have its lighter moments!!!

4 comments:

Roopa said...

shopping anywhere can leave you at lurch, it is not just chennai i guess. you do concoct an extremely funny verbal brew here :)

Rekz said...

Oh, but I love shopping in Bangalore and can spend a whole day pounding the pavement....but Chennai is a whole different ball game!!!..My only haunts are the Nallis and Pothys in Panagal Park or the roadside vendors in Beasant Nagar!!!...Shopping for anything else is a surefire way of sending the BP soaring...

AJIT NAMBIAR said...

By the way how do you change the cds? :p is the cd cdplayer placed in the boots? ;)

Rekz said...

he he he Ajju...I normally hit play....Our driver said and I think, he proved it was in the boot of the Elantra..I must check with DSK...:P :P...