Saturday, October 10, 2009

Daal mein kuch kaala hain

I will NOT blog about Obama getting Nobel. This statement should in itself should make things clear about my view on the subject. Besides, there are worthier things to blog about.

For instance, take grocery shopping. It is simple right?

Breaking it into simple steps, firstly you have to locate your friendly neighbourhood grocer, enter the threshold of his humble store, ignore the overwhelming urge to buy some chocolates - located strategically at the entrance (this urge basically stems from all those years of being denied those goodies inspite of your best pestering - well, I never pestered my parents, ask them if you want - but I still have the urge to grab chocolates), find precisely the item(s) you want to acquire, proceed to the storekeeper, where depending on the time of the day, season and a lot of other factors, you may have to wait in a queue (but perhaps not), get the items billed (those you do not intend to shoplift of course), pay with cash/card or any other means of monetary transaction (barter included) that is valid in your part of the world, and proceed outwards, homebound seemingly delighted with your accomplishment.

Well I got this mission briefing from my mother, to procure precisely one kilogram of culinary ingredient they call Tur Dal, also recently in news for being very pricey .Entering the store, I proceeded directly to the location my brain indicated through various visual and olfactory cues that the assortment of pulses lay. Having previously being briefed on the exact technical specifications of the above mentioned item (yellow coloured, round, a little flat), I selected the first packaged 1 kilogram block that fit that description, paid for the item and returned home, pleased with my successful transaction.

My mother had one look at the package and asked how much I paid for it. I declared that it was 32 rupees. "Hmmm.. only 32 rupees for a k.g of tur dal", remarked my mother "Nice deal" Uh oh!! That was when I felt that something was amiss. Or "Daal mein kuch kaala hain", so to speak. I remembered reading about the prices of tur dal sky-rocketting so this could in no way be tur dal, unless whatever I read about was a bad media joke.

"Why didn't you ask for tur dal at the store?" Would perhaps be your first question, right? Well the answer is: Nay, any self-respecting male will not ask for directions even when lost - and I extend my self respect to such levels as not asking for the store-assistant's assistance in locating items (If you are a male, you'll understand this, else don't bother)

I returned to the store again, returned the item that mimicked tur dal(it was 'avare' something - I'm told), back to the place where the other pulses of its kind lay and I find that miracle-of-miracles, Holy Father in heaven and all that, the items are actually labeled by their proper nomenclatures!! Below each item, on the rack was attached a handwritten label indicating it's name. Ah.. There's "tuvar dal" Hooray!!!!

That fuzzy feeling of blissful giddiness, caused by your success at locating a certain item without anyones help overcame me. I literally bounced across the store, landed in front of the puzzled looking storekeeper (Boy! Aren't some people just happy to purchase something as small as tur dal? Why then am I, the owner of the store, keeper of such exotic substances as tur dal, not happy to be doing what I am doing - his look seemed to say) It cost 90 rupees (actually I parted with only 58 bucks - as I had done a substantial share of parting with money during my first transaction) I returned home, handed the packet to my mother, who was satisfied with the quality and contents of it.

I walked away with my head held high. The Indian national anthem played in my ears.
Mission accomplished.. Bravo Alpha-One, the country is proud of you!


  1. The first half kept me interested and the second half kept me glued just like the prices of 'Tuvar Dal' do. Well compiled, hilarious and good usage of vocabulary.

  2. Thank you, Roshan :)
    Wow! And I never knew you wrote a blog too...