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The tendency to stray!

Discussion in 'Cheeniya's Senile Ramblings' started by Cheeniya, Aug 13, 2007.

  1. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    I cannot recollect who exactly said this. Maybe Thomas Hardy. Or is it Thomas Paine? Being the cautious fellow that I am and having learnt my bitter lessons about the effects of overspending during my laboured march through life, I use only a small fraction of the trillions of brain cells at any time. Leaving my doubts aside, we shall settle on Thomas Paine. What did he say? That’s the crux of the matter.


    In the modern times, we are all so used to long digressions that we miss the main point but I am adept in coming back to my main theme no matter how far I stray from it. Digressions make a subject lively provided you don’t overdo it and you can effortlessly come back to the main theme. It is also essential that a link is established between the main theme and the digressions. I have seen people like Kripananda Warrier lacing their discourses with numerous anecdotes that would keep the audience rolling on the floor no matter what the subject matter of their discourse was. It could be Sarirathrayam or Awasthathrayam but their anecdotes would have strong link to their chosen subject. In my younger days, the highly paid upanyasaks were those who had a huge repertoire of anecdotes which drew crowds like the exotic flowers of the Valley of Flowers would draw the bees. The rest had to necessarily perform for a Thengamoodi as remuneration!

    The problem with some of us is that the digressions won’t have any relevance to the main topic and there will be so many digressive stories that the subject is totally lost sight of. There are speakers and writers who want to lace their stuff with a lot of humour and end up making it just a loose string of disjointed anecdotes. They can not get back to their subject without external help, which may range between a gentle nudge in the ribs to a firm rebuke. What I am trying to tell you is that digressing is an art which has to be meticulously performed.

    Now, where was I? Oh yes, the saying of Thomas Whoever. His saying goes something like this. “What we obtain too cheap, we esteem too lightly; it is dearness only that gives everything its value” This saying of Thomas Paine is very true particularly in the Indian context. How often we go to a Departmental Store for buying something and tell the salesgirl after seeing the array of things ‘Don’t you have something more expensive?’

    Our search for expensive things may not only arise out of our desire to impress the cute salesgirls but we always tend to think that more expensive things are always of better value. We even go to such extremes that we pay deliberately a higher price for things at upmarket shops as if the expensive shops impart higher value to things sold by them. It is our firm belief that inexpensive things have to be necessarily of poor quality.
    The irony is that a manufacturer of a quality product cannot sell it if he makes it available at a throwaway price. In my younger days, the Moore Market was a place where you could get vintage stuff but a very unfair comparison used to be made between it and the Spencer’s. We have a tendency to view with suspicion at any good thing offered to us at a minimum cost.

    This applies to even matrimonial market. If a versatile youngman, who could be a dream son-in-law to have, says he does not want to accept any form of dowry, we become highly suspicious of his credentials and work overtime to enquire about his antecedents!
     
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  2. malspie

    malspie Platinum IL'ite

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    Hi
    I agree with you totally.

    It has not only become a style but also status quo to shop in malls and gallerias and deliberately exchange few words with the security of the building frantically hoping one of the neighbour just comes down and observes that they have shopped THERE.

    As in a city like Mumbai we have hardly any time to exchange words with neighbours I have observed SUCH ATTEMPTS to grab attention.

    A few have made it a habit. A lady around 62 years old goes to a very famous mall out here almost everyday to shop.... I do not understand why EVERYDAY. Now a days it has become a style...

    Customers purchase goods worth Rs. 50 to 100 and wait in long queues to foot the bill... Frustrating...

    Good thought
     
  3. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Malspie
    You are absolutely right about small purchases. I really do not know why people throng to supermarkets to buy a bar of peanut candy or a packet of jelly beans and wait for half an hour to get it billed. Stranger still is that these markets insist on our shopping only with their oversized baskets even if you want to buy a single bar of peanut candy! I tend to agree with you that it could only be a force of habit!
    We forget that a much smaller shop would deliver the same candy with a royal treatment to us while all that we get in these megamalls is only a contemptuous glance if we shop for less than Rs.1000!
    Sri
     
  4. Tamildownunder

    Tamildownunder Bronze IL'ite

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    Dear Cheenia,

    I fully agree with you. I have already posted in one of your threads how my grandfather used to tell about the taste of coffee based on the price I had paid. Apart from quality things being expensive there is also the brand conciousness and shop preferences. In London, it is fancy to say that I bought it at Spencers although I might have bought it at a way side stall. Once, in Mumbai when I went to purchase an electrical item, the shop person showed me two pieces every thing identical. But, one was expensive because it had a popular brand name and the other did not have a brand name. Apparently, the same supplier had given to both companies.

    On the lighter side, since you mentioned about Kripananda Warriar, I remember this particular anecdote. It was cricket season and Sunil Gavaskar was the national hero. Kripananda Warriar in one of his upanyasam told about Gavaskar like this. Gavaskar- Ga(i) means cow, va in tamil means come, s stands for don't make sound, gar means house. So, Gavaskar means the cow that comes to the house without making sound. That type of cow is Kamadhenu. Kamadhenu will give plenty of milk. Gavaskar will give plenty of runs.:)

    Regards,

    TDU
     
  5. Cheeniya

    Cheeniya Super Moderator Staff Member IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear TDU
    A wow to you for that Kripananda Warrier's anecdote. It is so typical of him. The best thing about him was that he was so very uptodate and always wove his anecdotes around the current topics!
    You have as strong a repertoire of anecdotes as any of those eminent speakers and writers. Hats off to you, TDU!
    Sri
     
  6. Anandchitra

    Anandchitra IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Cheeniya Sir
    Again interesting topic and makes it very good reading material.
    Over the years my shopping habits have changed and I tend to spend time to look out for bargains and sale or clearance item whenever I need.But sometimes you need to pay more for good quality. I agree with your line digressing is an art which has to be meticulously performed. I am reminded of lectures by Dayananda Saraswati where ,i always felt, he was good at digressing from the main point and had to wait with bated breath for him to catch hold of the main thread which he did with ease.And ofcourse the tendency to stray in talk is common more with the talkative i think.
    regards
    anandchitra:)
     
  7. Chitvish

    Chitvish Moderator IL Hall of Fame

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    Dear Sri,
    Your last two threads coming under “the best sellers” category, I was very sure, you would like to score a hat-trick with yet another humour-oriented thread. But, you did stray fom humour & rightly so, to prove your versatality !

    I have not attended Variar’s lectures much because, at that time, I was busy “bringing up family”. But recently I attended Swami Sukabhodananda’s LIFE workshop & regularly read his books. He strays with examples of Zen stories every now & then, but promptly returns to the main theme. These Zen stories break the monotony of a rather heavy & spiritual, call it moralizing workshop that his digressions are highly enjoyable.

    Oh, you kindled my memories & made me nostalgic about Moore Market Shopping. Coming from Madurai, I was fascinated by Moore Market in my younger days & it looked to me, in those days, like a “one-stop shop” ! When I realize that even Chennai City Centre no more fascinates me, I realize, how much I have become a metro-person from a small-town girl !

    You talk of cute sales girls – it is nice to make out that however long a list for shopping you have, you sneak time to watch how cute they are. That is a digression to break the monotony of shopping.

    I loved best your last lines. We are equally bothered about the contents inside, however good the packaging is.

    Hello my name-sake,
    You quoted the example of precisely the same person I have in mind. He strays from the main topic, far and wide, that very often, little time is left for him to discuss the chosen topic for lecture.

    Love,
    Chithra.
     
  8. Malathijagan

    Malathijagan Silver IL'ite

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    Yet another interesting topic after 'Aamblainga samacharam', Cheeniya sir! Basically, I am a person who hates shopping! (Can't believe it because it comes from a woman?) But then when I am forced to do that, I do a little bit of market research before emptying my.....err..... my hubby's pockets! First I identify the product that suits my needs(if it is a kitchen or household utility). Then I enquire about the products from people who are already using them and then visit the stores that have a few brands that I have short-listed, do some more research before I zero in on one! Quite time consuming but worth the wait.

    Once we had to buy a washing machine and I had personally saved for it. At the time I always preferred to consult my hubby before I made a purchase. I decided on a particular brand after my usual research but my hubby wanted to go in for another that had just entered the market and taken the other brands by a storm.At the time front loading machines were few and I had found out that the existing brand had all its spare parts manufactured in India and hence would cost less for replacement of spares. The new brand had no mfg. unit in India and all spares had to come from abroad and I was a little apprehensive about replacement of spares which would certainly be more costly. I tried to convince my hubby to buy the older brand. But instead, he convinced me saying that this new one had more advanced features and latest technology! I got baited for it since latest technology meant my work would be even more reduced. One year everything went off well and the day the warranty expired, trouble started and call it fate they had starting trouble in the company due to which our distress calls were ignored by the service people. At last after using the magic words that we would approach the consumer forum, a man was sent who quoted an exorbitant price for the spare since it had to come from abroad and advised us to go in for an AMC which was 1/4th the cost of the machine and he said he would manipulate the date of repair after we got into an AMC contract which made my hubby lose his temper! The tail piece is that my hubby got me another machine, the brand I had asked for within a short period and at what a price! Yes my hubby loves to go in for the latest (may be that is the reason why I do not have to worry about the shopping for white goods) but then he gets carried away by his friends' recommendations and takes the easy way out and lands himself in trouble! now when it comes to utilities, I take over!

    And when it comes to shopping for wardrobe collection, my hubby is brand conscious and my children too have taken after him! That does burn the pockets! My question is whether we go for the best brand or a reputed but not the best, how long is the life of a shirt or trousers? Whether we buy for 2000/- a piece or 500/- a piece its life may be a maximum of 2 or 3 years? Even if it does not tear it does lose its sheen and becomes oldish? Then why not buy 4 sets for 500/- rather than one for 2000/- ? Am I wrong, my dear handsome men! Could you all please illuminate me on this point please!:idontgetit:
     
    Last edited: Aug 14, 2007
  9. PushpavalliSrinivasan

    PushpavalliSrinivasan IL Hall of Fame

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    Both my hubby and myself are not brand conscious. It seems my daughter had taken us as roll models. Once or twice my hubby tried for branded UW and baniyans. But he felt that he had simply wasted money. He prefers to wash his daily wears on his own. His unique way of washing , beating and wringing would make them shapeless. Hence he decided not to go for the costly branded ones. He could buy more pieces of cheaper ones and throw them out after a few months. But for the top wears, it is a pity he could not find the correct fitting pants and slacks. Hence he prefes to get them stiched instead of buying the branded ones and altering them.
    When we came to Chennai after retirement I exchanged my 27 year old gas stove for a steel one. It was not a branded one, but had the ISI certificate. My son told me that he had bought the Butterfly gas stove and mine would not last long. I still use the one that I purchased in 1994 and I do not know how many times he had changed the stove. So branded or not branded, how we maintain a thing is more important. But now it has become a fashion to buy only the costliest branded goods to show off as well.
    Pushpavalli
     
  10. honeybee

    honeybee Gold IL'ite

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    Cheeniya sir
    A very interesting post as usual.:2thumbsup:
    I just wanted to share the lesson I learnt from shopping at supermarkets..

    In my opinion you need to be sure about what you want to buy and preferably go with a shopping list to avoid extravagance..:mad: There have been umpteen occasions wherein I have strayed from what originally had to be purchased and I clearly overlooked those and bought misc items instead succumbing to temptation.The shopping spree is compounded if hubby dear accompanies you and is the kind who gives a green signal and encourages you to buy whatever you want.( he says it saves him precious time if the purchase is made at one go at the same place! :wink: )

    It took me quite some time( being the bird brain I still am!) to realise that the same stuff (even the branded ones have a small profit margin compared to MRPs.) is cheaper at your local provision store and you get a free door delivery too! and now I have limited my visit to the supermarket and when I do, I go armed with a list and religiously stick on to it .

    Regards
    Sowmya
     

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