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Many Worlds!

Discussion in 'Snippets of Life (Non-Fiction)' started by rgsrinivasan, Aug 23, 2015.

  1. rgsrinivasan

    rgsrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    We all live in this world, yes. Thats the fact. "How silly?", you may ask. But each of us would have quoted at least a few times about our own worlds. Is it not? And of course, we talk about the world of animals, children, adults and what not in a generalistic view? And we are tired of hearing that, our major issues may be nothing to someone else, in a similar context. Wise ones say that each of us have our own gifts and sorrows.

    I was sharply reminded about the existence of other worlds yesterday, when I went shopping after quite a long time. My otherwise recent shopping had always been go for something specific and buy that, don't really notice anything other than the balance and the item bought [at times, forgetting even that]. This time I went to the always crowded market place in Chennai and went to a multi-floored shop. Immediately made to remember that I shouldn't just stand at one place, by a bunch of people pushing me aside, I smiled. I inquired where I could get umbrellas. To my dismay, I had to go to floor four. I quietly joined the already swelling up queue that waited for the lift to arrive. With my shape and size [round and huge], I could have made it there, but would have been tired after that, had I climbed up the stairs. The lift finally came and I exhibited my rare other side - fastly entered as if nobody were there and going quickly to a corner, to have least pressure, applied upon me. The lift said 25 people only with the expectation that the average weight of a person not above 68 Kg. I pitied the lift for a second and focused on the floor number as it climbed up.

    Finally I got out of it to see heads everywhere and a long queue at the billing area. Not losing heart, I went and got directions to get to the umbrella area. There were many sales boys and girls, mostly young and sincere, some withdrawn, some smiling and sharing jokes in a lucky time where no customer was there. At last I spotted the umbrella section. "Do you have three fold, button press umbrella?", I shouted to be heard. One sales girl looked up, saw the other who thrust her lower lip outwards. "No Sir! We don't have that now. Why don't you look at these instead?", she pointed to other types. I took one and searched for the button. "Its pull type Sir!", she said, controlling her smile. "Oh!", I said with the absent mindedness of a scientist as she easily opened that. Losing interest in that, I asked her to open another and a couple more. Then I saw it - a black umbrella like others but with a faint red border. I was about to pick it when a man twice my size, picked it. "Do you have one more?", I asked her, being deflated. "No Sir!", she said politely. "Tell me! Which brand is good here?", I asked. Her face brightened a bit. "Try this brand Sir! It is a bit costly but good and fast moving!", she said while the heavier man kept the red bordered umbrella back and moved away. But I was not interested in that then and tried a couple of them she gave. I chose one, having a mixed feeling while she gave me a chit to be given at the counter and quickly turned to another customer. As I was about to move, I saw the placard above - "Buy one, get one free - offer valid from Rs.300-/-". I quickly checked the price written on the chit. It showed Rs. 300-/-.

    I interrupted her conversation with a customer and asked her about the offer. She looked at it and said, "Oh! Its the Aadi offer Sir [a tamil month where sales is dull overall, so the sellers gave offers to keep the sale up], its over now! But if you are interested, the offer is still valid for grandpa umbrellas!", pointing them. It was the old fashioned long one with a wooden handle. "But who will buy this?", I asked. "Why Sir? That too gives shade, na? Will suit you well too!", she said. I left the place in search for a wallet next. There were many there in that section and I quickly lost interest. Also, one of the sales girls in that section seemed to be totally oblivious of all, and I had to ask her twice about any offer. "Oh! Buy one and get one free for those in these racks!", she pointed and looked elsewhere. I left that section with a heavy heart to another and went to other areas. All these young men and women who work for almost 12 hours a day, take that odd week may be, off to their native. How would they feel then? It can never be on a festive time, right? For just an hour it felt like being squeezed for me.

    I went out, had a deep breath and got an auto to another place, that I less fancied. It was a cultural event where one of my friend's kid was about to perform. I am close to Carnatic music as Neptune is to earth and even far from bharathanatyam. Worse yet, I didn't know the kid's name too. With a shy face, I asked him the details. The proud father shared the details with me and took me to find a seat in the first row. I was nervous, as I am never a first row person and kept a stern face as though I belonged there. The dance program started. There were many events where different set of girls aged between 4 and 40+ dancing as the music played from behind. Their gorgeous costumes and lyth movements to the music was a treat to watch. But I was more glued to the rhythmic sounds from violin, veena and the drums. After what seemed to be an eternity, the event where my friend's kid came, started. It was a dance cum drama and I delightfully observed the veteran and young girls exhibiting less movements to depict many different things, right from the lord, a parrot, a cuckoo and many others besides showing various emotions, from pleasure to anger to sorrow like slides in a presentation. The kid came with an all green costume with a miniature peacock doll jutting from above her head. In all, her portion was just about two minutes and I spent that time watching her and her proud dad. The show went on, but her part was over. The kid danced well without shyness and the next minute after her part was over, she came and sat next to her dad with a world winning smile. I just came out of all that, excused myself and left, wondering how my time flew in that world, where I could spot every beat and every foot that was placed down with my eyes closed, and that odd bead that came out like a burning meteor and rolled on the dance stage, was etched, evoking another memory of a distant past.

    I spotted quite a few things there on the way and realized that my understanding of my own world improves when I do these. I walked a long way back home, feeling better, and even bought a chocolate for my kid. I paid for another too, and left. A young and gasping kid stopped me from behind, saying, "You forgot this Sir!".

    "As usual!", I thought.
     
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  2. jayasala42

    jayasala42 IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear RGS,
    You have taken us through the shopping complex of Saravana Stores near Panagal park.It was as if I was gliding along the crowd.While purchasing pattu sarees in Nalli,such experiences are quite common.We invariably have an eye on the saree X has selected.We will be asking whether the shop has another similar saree.Once the customer opts out, we also opt out.That is the human psychology.
    There is such a confusion and crowd near the lift.Nobody knows which floor the lift is taking us to.
    Perhaps that is why on line shopping has become very popular these days.
    But even here there are difficulties.When my grand daughter broused the internet and chose two pattu pavadai, we understood that those two choices were not available for purchase.
    Shopping has become a drudgery these days.We used to take our children for shopping only once on a working day( mostly on Tuesdays) during Navarathri holidays for Deepavali purchase.( It was in 80s.)We could leisurely select two dresses to each child,take them to a good hotel,entertain them with whatever they wanted and returned home at night.
    Now shopping is really a nightmare.Especially after the construction of overbridge in Usman road, walking is scarry.July to Dec you have just to crawl through the crowd.The pleasant shopping has become an irritable one.

    Jayasala 42
     
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  3. periamma

    periamma IL Hall of Fame

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    RGS very nice to share your shopping experience with us.people from near by Chennai throng all these shops,have their food at Hotels and enjoy the whole day .Media plays great role in shopping .
     
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  4. shyamala1234

    shyamala1234 Platinum IL'ite

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    Dear rgs,
    Good one and relevent to all of us at some point.
    We have our own little world or worlds where we feel comfortable and at ease.Best of ourselves comes in those worlds. Other worlds....it may be anyplace we feel lost, irritable also and want to get out as soon as possible. Each one's mindset is different.
    There was a Telugu famous short story writer who writes excellent. He was a school teacher in a remote village in Chittoor district, Andhra Pradesh.. All the characters in his stories are simple unassuming people from villages. Simple sentences, no elaborate or bombastic language. Touches a small pschylogical point and builds up a story and it is generally in the last paragraph we understand it (like you). He reminds me of R.K. Narayan. Once he meets a rich lady. She asks him to write a story with urban characters and their mindset. His books would be sold like hotcakes. She provides him a nice comfortable A/C room, delicious food from time and all the facilities. But the pity is that he cannot write even a single paragraph and tells her after a few days that his imagination and thoughts can work only in his own little world of his village and takes leave from her.
    I feel uncomfortable in Big Malls and want to get out as soon as possible. Who would stand in the que for and hour at the pay counter for s imple purchase!!!! I cannot.
    We fit only in our little world or worlds...other places we are like fish out of water.
    Syamala
     
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  5. VaniVyas

    VaniVyas Platinum IL'ite

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    Nice post Sir,

    Felt like I was one among the crowd while reading your snippet. Could imagine very clearly the racks where the wallets are kept and the sales girls who are not ready to answer. Very clear flow of words...
     
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  6. rohsiK

    rohsiK Gold IL'ite

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    Such a beautiful narration Rgs, you have taken us through your experiences at shopping mall, the crowd and then the dance performance, a great writer can escape easily into his own world and let readers experience the same without missing a single thing..Wonderful ....
     
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  7. satchitananda

    satchitananda IL Hall of Fame

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    Fascinating observations RGS. I can't help being drawn to the shopping for umbrellas. Next to stationery, umbrellas take my fancy. There was a time when I was drawn to the folding umbrellas which could be carried around in a handbag. Times have changed. These days I love those old fashioned big, colourful umbrellas which really provide decent cover from rain and sunshine. The one extra function of course is that it can be discreetly used like a walking stick and I fancy myself to be one of those Victorian aristocratic males like Wooster who used an umbrella everywhere they went. No one would suspect it helps me to keep my balance when walking. :-D And...and...and... of course, a very important weapon to keep four legged as well as two legged ones on the road at bay!
     
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  8. rgsrinivasan

    rgsrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    You are absolutely right about the shopping experience now during festival times, Jayasala madam. Occasionally I choose to go shopping in crowded places, just for the primary reason of seeing more people, the 'new' arrivals [especially during Navrathri - the gift item makers are so creative, that there is at least one item that is low priced, yet captures your attention]. I take more solace in seeing others and coming back to see my own reflection. It really helps. Our personal world may be too small or too big according to us, both of which may be wrong. Thanks for your first feedback and support. -rgs
     
  9. rgsrinivasan

    rgsrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Periamma for your feedback. As Jayasala madam says above, nowadays shopping is a nightmare and one needs to be really strong to push through everywhere. -rgs
     
  10. rgsrinivasan

    rgsrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Thanks Syamala, for your continuous support and feedback. Yes, we are comfortable in our own world. But at times, we are really frustrated too and yearn to explore when younger and leave it as fate as we grow up. The point is that we can always learn from others and a little observation always helps. Thanks for sharing a lovely story. There is a saying that each travel expands you more. I can understand that very well, in this context. I like going to big malls and at times felt guilty for not purchasing anything. :) When in a depressing mood, I used to buy a cone ice-cream and take it patiently, watching things around me. And just to add one more - "if you come out of your initial hesitation and preset perception, you may actually like many things!" - this is what I say to myself when in a different place. -rgs
     

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