Your Ultimate Guide to Bargaining!

Street-shopping is about two things-

1). Bargaining and

2). Are you deaf? Didn’t I just say BARGAINING?

Why do we street shop?
To buy that jumpsuit for some hundred bucks, is it?

Nah! It is the sheer joy of going through loads of shitty clothes to find that one piece and then fighting tooth and nail for it, defeating the vendor with your constant haggling and then walking away with your precious find like a boss.

Actually, let me break down this cheap thrill for you…

 First things first, never step down rich from your cab.

The minute you enter your shopping arena…
A girl must look broke.

You are a girl on a budget; non-spendthrift and forget acting frugal; instead, pretend that your dad is a Sindhi and your mum is a Marwari. Put on that show and walk through the market keeping that childlike excitement away from your face. Look distressed if you have to but never ecstatic.

But what-so-ever, ALWAYS look like a potential- buyer giving way for the vendor to fall in the bargaining pit.

Once he starts taking interest in his to-be-customer, the battle begins.

Spot the thing of your interest, check it thoroughly with least interest. Check the ones you don’t like with visible interest. Keep your targeted dress unattended and ask its price among the other three things that you don’t intend to buy.

ACT

Whatever his quotation is, the first one has to be laughed off. Then in that flow, let your stern voice ask him for final price. He will resist. So now kill it with these three weapons

Greed- Remind him how you’ve been buying from him ever since you’ve moved to the city.

Also once in a while genuinely persuade your friend to have something for her as well from the same vendor! More the quantity, merrier the bargain!

 Sympathy- Go P-l-e-a-sssssss-e with a grin and in tune! Doesn’t work? Try this-

Look disappointed in HIM. Make him feel guilty for a “regular customer” who has come a long way just so that his items would sell. Look on innocently while your silence screws his conscience!

Warning- This is the LAST resort.  Tell him that it is a common thing over the market and you can get it from somebody who is reasonable. No effect?

This is where you use your ultimate weapon.

Squint at the dress for the last time. Bid it goodbye.
Now turn your heels nonchalantly, and…
WALK AWAY!

Keep walking… and wait for those magical words.9 out of ten times, the vendor in neon tee will call out for you!
The one time it doesn’t work is when he anticipates your game.

Common Sense-

  • The bargain hours are crucial. They don’t want to lose a customer just after they have opened for the day; while when they are closing down they want to clear the stock! So shop in desperate hours. Also, never try to bargain when it’s crowded. They won’t keep other buyers waiting to haggle with you.
  • Befriend the shopkeeper; smile and interact- attack his morals- he can’t overcharge somebody who has been so polite and friendly to him!
  • Apart from that, you can always try finding faults with the colour, fabric, fit- anything! Make him feel responsible for your trouble! Manipulate him into selling it to you.
  • SHOW him the MONEY. Hand it over to him. The feel of the crispy notes in his hand is bait he can’t avoid!

If You are a Tourist

Now apart from proper tourists’ place where it is obvious, avoid that tag.

Act like you KNOW the market. If you can pick up the local accent and their localised Hindi- KUDOS! Although beware against blatant pretension, that can turn the tables!

Otherwise don’t act touristy.  Never “Bhaiya, hum yahin ke hai. Tourist samjha hai kya?!” That will make it obvious. Keep it natural. Don’t get easily fascinated. Act as if this is a regular thing for you.

P.S. – Bargain so that you don’t get overcharged and because it’s therapeutic (Guilty, as charged). Don’t make it your mission to screw the vendors with foul bargaining just for the heck of it.

The Art of Doing Nothing!

It takes a bunch of leave letters, dozens of permissions, and  a couple of projects more than the routine pile to snatch that right to vacation and head straight home. And all this stress to attend a family function or visit that similar spot where all your folks meet every year or to take a trip, spend a fortune, come back tired and dull? Sad! All these vacation plans of yours might be fun at times but trust me it is not a ‘break’. You don’t take a break from your normal routine so that you can go labour at some other stuff which is quite not worth the toil that you intake round-the-year. You take a break that serves as nothing but a BREAK. Or, call it doing nothing which by the way is hell lot contradictory to its meaning.

Have you ever come across a man walking by the beach eating his farm-fresh carrot or just lying on the grass under the sky? He does nothing and that nothingness is ditching the clock and doing what he feels like doing and not escaping or postponing what needs to be done.

This ‘doing nothing’ break is sure not difficult but absolutely more interesting than it sounds. It is not one of those days when you get an unexpected off and you rot in front of TV like a couch potato. It is one such break where you ignore all the chores that need your attention deliberately with not a dot of guilt to stain your hiatus. It is about ruining your routine with pleasure. It is like treating your place as a farm-house. Waking up at odd hours, taking long showers, living all the while in your PJs, moving in that worn out yet comfy slip-on, having cookies for lunch and cornflakes for supper, forgetting the day and the date or even the month if you can, answering the door-bell only if you feel like getting up, experimenting a recipe from Google if you want to play a chef, painting the pots even if you suck at it, going out for a midnight walk without deciding on route and duration, falling asleep with a popcorn tub on your lap and book on your face, watching sitcoms all day long and trying to balance the number of seasons with the ice-cream tubs; like not caring enough about what next. It has to be a break from your regular activities. It is a clubbed set of many little things that you do back-to-back subtly that when asked “what are you doing” you would smile and say “nothing”!

 

-Moulika Y Danak

AN OPEN SECRET

 

You are a secret
So difficult to hide;
You appear unapologetically
In my unconscious smile,
Without any subtlety
You just betide!
And when they stare at me
In disbelief,
I catch you dancing there
On my lips!
So I send you back
To my core;
But incorrigible that you are
You sneak in my eyes now
And light it up with a sparkling shine;

 
And this time when they
Question me,
You dab my cheeks
In red and pink!

 

MOULIKA DANAK

Him!

I found him looking at me,
With wide eyes glowing more than his yellow baggy tee,
He looked away but not for long!

Our eyes met again,
He gazed,
I looked away
To let him have his way!

We caught our eyes again and this time,
This time he walked towards me,
The rhythm of his feet tuning to my heartbeat,
With a half hidden smile I breathe a little deeper!
He had sealed my time
The dewdrops were pearls,
Flowers eternal,
All sound was music,
All in-between the essential nothings!

“This!”my soul cried!
Oh yes, It was a beautiful tide!
And so, eyes denied looking away,
‘Coz soul knew I had found my bae!

7 Reasons Why You Should Devour “Wuthering Heights”!

Reading fictions is sort of virtual travelling. It takes you places- in different country, weird city, scary house, unknown planet; where you come across  all kinds of people- laconic, garrulous, cunning, gullible, optimist, pessimist, vindictive, kind, biased, disinterested…all those people that you’ve met and all those that you haven’t. There is a myriad of fictions written in this world but only few make sure that their work becomes the reader’s journey. Rest just type and sell.
So here, let me give you some reasons as to why you should grab and glue to one of the most intriguing fictions- “Wuthering Heights “(by Emily Bronte)

1) Brevity.

It is like a perfect cuppa.  A little sugar, distinctively dark and brewed in time. Just as you like it. Nothing more. Nothing less. The choice of words, imagery, style of narration- each of the part feels just correct. We may find deep interpretation in a simply uttered sentence. Bronte sure knew how to say more with few words.

2) Classic.

It is a 167 years old book, yet it has a fresh essence. The subject is so realistic that no generation would feel it unusual. The root and nature of human emotions and sentiments never lose its substance. Even the contemporary readers can identify and relate to the feelings of the characters. All those who have read the book are amazed at the layers and the intensity that it carries.

3) Multi-faceted.

Wuthering Heights is difficult to categorise. On surface, it is just a love story. But figuratively it is so much more. It has symbolic interpretations. It talks about the importance of class and status and to what extent people took it seriously- making it a social novel too. Also, one can notice how each character displays attributes of psychological impressions. Plus, it also falls in the ‘gothic genre’. Multiple issues are raised in one story. Themes like class, social mores, cruelty, child abuse, yearning, domestic violence, deception, reconciliation, eternal love etc. are so articulately described that you feel you are living through them in that dark ghostly setting.

4) Narrative Technique

With a distinct narration it builds a story within a story. Basically it is an omniscient third person narrative but the interaction between Mr. Lockwood and Nelly Dean begins the main story. And this makes it ‘The Interviewer’ technique. It doesn’t simply show us the characters; instead, it exposes us to them by telling minutely the traits and details which leads us to the study of the weakness of human nature. The questions that Lockwood asks Nelly, unveils us to a clandestine world enchanting the readers and making them incurably curious.

   5) The Anti-Hero Lead

Bronte has created human flesh and not just characters. Among them all, Heathcliff is one who leaves a strong impact on the reader’s mind for long. He evokes all sort of emotions in the reader. He has a typical enchanting aura. His emotional complexity is captivating. You can hate him one moment and sympathise with him, the next. He has some heroic traits like his undying love for Catherine, his desire to prove his worth and to rise in society and to be a living answer to Hindley’s abusive and neglected treatment to him. He is also courageous to an extent but all his good qualities are overshadowed by the darkness that he carries with himself. He is full of vengeance. He is willing to destroy anyone for his own good. He knows neither mercy nor compunction. He is blood thirsty for revenge. All this apart, looking at his child-hood and the betrayal that he recieved in love, we understand what led him to becoming so evil.  He is hopelessly in love with Catherine yet nothing stops him from putting her in miseries. He is powerful but emptiness has eaten him up. He yearns for Catherine. He is every bit of an unruly beast. He is swarthy, brooding and obsessive but all of it is a product of terrible sadness that he feels beneath. 
     
        6)  Quotes.

Wuthering heights has some real touchy, fascinating and impactful quotes. Here, I have listed some of them for you-

•”My love for Linton is like the foliage in the woods: time will change it, I’m well aware, as winter changes the trees. My love for Heathcliff resembles the eternal rocks beneath: a source of little visible delight, but necessary. Nelly, I am Heathcliff! He’s always, always in my mind: not as a pleasure, anymore than I am always a pleasure to myself, but as my own being.”

•”Treachery and violence are spears pointed at both the ends; they wound those who resort to them worse than their enemies.”

•”The entire world is a collection of memoranda that she did exist, and that I have lost her.”

•”He might as well plant an oak in a flowerpot and expect it to thrive, as imagine he can restore her to vigour in the soil of his shallow cares!”

•”He is more myself than I am.”

7) In a nutshell you should read it because it is not an ordinary predictable romantic saga. It is a story taking you to moors to witness and experience a pathological love affair having gothic essence, rich dialogues (and monologues) and a consuming plot. Also, after reading it, you’ll have reasons to go back to this book once in a while. And before you begin, make sure you keep a tissue-box by your side.

Go dive in the wild!

Mango Mousseline

If you are someone who cannot get enough of mangoes, here i write y’all this recipe to enjoy this seasonal delight in one more form. This comes basically from my granny’s kitchen and I hope you like it as much as I do.

MANGO MOUSSELINE

image

Basic Ingredients:
2 chopped mangoes.
4-5 tbsp Fresh Cream
4 drops of vanilla essence
1tbsp honey or brown sugar

•For Garnishing:
2 tbsp finely chopped jelly pieces
Finely chopped almonds, walnuts and raisins (optional and as required)
1 tbs chocolat chips

(Serves 2)

•Preparation:

1. Blend a few drops of water, mango pieces and fresh cream in a bowl.

2. Add honey or brown sugar and vanilla essence. Blend it all until it becomes smooth and consitent.

3. Pour this smooth mixture in a clean glass. Refrigerate it for 40 minutes.

4. Garnish the drink with nuts, chocolate chips and jelly.

5. Enjoy your Mango Mousseline!