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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Me. Housewife.... And Sale.


Oh, I love Sale! Imagine getting things at much reduced rates? So typical of a housewife! I am sure will be the reaction of many. But then, it's okay. One needs to be a housewife to understand the feelings I suppose.

Now this particular 'sale' was accidentally discovered by my daughter when she was here with us for a few months. "It's in the hostel that I learnt to survive in meagre budget" she announced, as she took me along to show the place. And, there stood the shop with a medium size banner hanging out, least bothered about being near a police chowki . I discovered that the shop had only recently been started. "Chappan Hazaar Vastuan" i.e. "56 thousand things", it read aloud. The place was well stocked, even if I were to say that the claim was a little exaggerated. Further, I realized that it was actually the shop's permanent U.S.P. Whatever! The shop did have things of my interest. And that was important. Needless to say, I did buy a few odd things that day.

But that's not all. In the last one and half months, while returning from the university, I have headed several times there. One reason being, that the vegetable market is close by. And so, in one trip I accomplish several jobs. This besides, the place has everything from buckets, laundry bags, coated pans, fridge bags, saree covers, mirrors to mats, pillow covers, scrubber, etc, etc.- "All under one roof" in the standard advertising language! This way, I end up buying at least 2 or 3 items every time. Thankfully, this has not upset my budget. Which is why, my husband of 28 years, has said nothing so far. So far so good.

At the sale,I always find a lot many customers like me- Women (middle aged and young), college going girls, etc., etc.- in the afternoons. In the evenings, a few men or boys do stray in even if with the sole aim of escorting. My college going son accompanied there me one day. I was delighted when he purchased a wall mirror without ridiculing me for my strange fancies.

It must have boosted my so far latent confidence. For, I recently ended up doing something which I would not have otherwise dared. At the Maharashtra Mandal Meeting, where we had to decide about gifts to be given along with " Sankranti Til Gul", I offered to take the secretary Mrs. Meenal Phadnis to the place. And so, Mrs. Phadnis (an elderly woman and wife of late Judge Mr. Phadnis ) together with her 'co sister-in -law' came with me to the sale. I know both the ladies for quite sometime now. They always buy branded stuff. And here I had brought them to a typically middle class place- in 'Maya Sarabhai's' language that is! The reality hit me hard when we stepped inside. It was by then quite late. And so with trembling legs, but outwardly a confident look, I led the way. I couldn't believe my ears, when I heard Mrs. Meenal Phadnis praising the door-mats! And in the next 5 minutes, I saw her picking a plastic square sieve (for washing vegetables or keeping plants) and heading straight to the counter. And before it all could sink into me, I found madam making payment for 80 such sieves. I really could not believe it. It was too good to be true. .

Back home I narrated it all to my hubby dear. To drive the point home, I took him last Sunday to my new found rendezvous. It didn't hurt when he turned up his nose to say the stuff is all "Rejected Maal''. My biggest victory was that he had accompanied me and had held one or two items in his hands even if for just a second or two.

Maybe that's what it was all about. For, in the last 3-4 days I have come home straight from the university. It was just a matter of being appreciated for my housekeeping skills, I guess! Further, it was nice when the ladies happily accepted the 'gift' and praised the committee for the choice. Somewhere, deep down, I felt strangely satisfied.