Saturday, November 18, 2006

Bargaining-inevitable process here!

Disclaimer: No offense intended to the city of Chennai.

This post is a continuation of the previous one.

During my student days in Bangalore, I used to love the whole process of bargaining. For shopping, I had to manage with the monthly allowance, which was the pocket money given by my brother. Those days, the bargain shops in Commercial Street were a huge blessing to me. Just take that few hundred rupees, stuff it safely inside my handbag, the bag being the result of a bargain again and set off to the epitome of bargain shops in Bangalore. Back then, it was sheer enjoyment to go through the whole process. I enter a fashion wear shop, look around and in a minute I know my eyes are hooked onto few tops. Being very particular about trying out stuff, especially when it comes to clothes, I happily go through the ordeal of trying out both the sizes M and S for all those tops. Once the selection is done, I approach the salesman and there the process begins.

Me: Huh bolo Bhaiya, kitna hai? (Huh how much is it, brother?) :) I know a little bit of respect always works!

Salesman: Donom milke paanch sau rupiye dedijiye. (Give Rs 500 for both together).

Me: Woh bahut zyaada hai, bhaiya. Thoda tho kam karlo.(That is a lot too much. Reduce it a little bit).

Salesman: Teek hai, aap hi boliye, kitna desakthe hain? (Ok tell me how much are you willing to pay?) I guess he knows that I am good in bargaining…:D

Me: Hmmmm dosauchaalis rupiye hi kaafi hai uskeliye. ( Err..Rs 240 is more than enough for it).

Salesman: Huh!! lekin jitna mene kaha tha, uska aadha bhi nahin kaha aapne. Nahin, charsau rupiye se kam nahi hoga. (That is less than half of what I quoted. I can give it maximum for Rs 400).

Me: Nahin Bhaiya, Aap ko dena hai tho dohasauchaalis rupiye mai dhedijiye. Ek baat samach lijiye. Agar aap muche yeh kam daam par dengke, tho meri saari dost bhi is dukan mein hi shopping karenge. (If you want to sell it to me, give it for Rs 240. Understand one thing, if you give it in lower price, then all my friends will also come here for shopping).

Salesman: Lekin dohsauchaalis rupiye bahut kam hain. (But Rs 240 is too less).

Me: I reply back very innocently, Teek hai bhaiya, dohsaupachaas rupiye lelo. Ab tho aap khush honge, na? (Ok then here take Rs 250. Are you happy now?

Salesman: Huh!! He was totally bewildered. Poor chap.: D

Few seconds later, the salesman smiles, and writes the bill for Rs 250 and takes it to the counter. I pay the same amount and happily walk out of the shop. Don’t you think the whole process is worth the trouble? Adding onto that is the joy of seeing the salesman shocked and speechless. :D

Now when I have to go through the whole process of bargaining, I absolutely hate it. Or rather it is so much a part of my daily life that it is becomes inevitable. The last post ended with me relating the trouble finding an auto and completing the bargaining process as soon as I can, if I have to reach office in time. If I am not able to find an auto in the stand and will have to rely on an ajnabi auto, the whole conversation goes like this.

Me: Teynapet ponamge. Ange Karumuttu Centre irikille? (I need to go to Teynapet, near Karumuttu Centre). No point of adding words of respect. Believe me it will not work with auto drivers in Chennai.

Hmmm…This guy is for sure not going to work, I think to myself.

Autowala: Apollo Hospital Pakkama?(Near Apollo hospital?)

Me: Haan Atheithan. (yeah that’s the place). Oh speed up guy, you are losing my patience.

Autowala: Ange enge Ma? (Near Apollo where?) Now I feel really angry.

Me: Ninga hospital pakkam stop paninga. Evilom? (You stop near the hospital, please). How much? Here begins the tough part.

Autowala: 65 rupees aakuma. (It will be Rs 65). Believe me this guy is doing daylight robbery. My office is just 2.5 kms away. No surprise at his words anyways, since I am used to auto drivers over here.

Me: Rs 30 than koduthittu irriken. (I give only Rs 30 daily). Saying this, I start walking by.

No! He doesn’t bother calling me back. I knew it was going to be total time waste. Any where else, the walking away strategy works in bargaining, but over here it doesn’t work with most of the auto drivers. Hmph, I sigh to myself. Soon enough, I find another auto. The same conversation above follows: Whatever it is, finally end up getting an autowala who will take only Rs 30 but the whole bargain lasts more than 5-10 minutes.

All this trouble is saved, if I find an auto in the stand because all the drivers there know me and I can avoid the tedious bargaining process with them. Also, if I have time to spare, I can just wait near the stand because one or the other auto will be back there in few minutes as that is how their normal practice goes.

Phew! A timely sleep does save a lot of trouble!


Sudipta Chatterjee said...

Yeah well auto rickshaw drivers are pretty much the same everywhere!

Sudipta Chatterjee said...

This link should be of interest to you :)

P.S. - You are supposed to put in commas between the post labels: otherwise they all appear as one :)

syrals said...

Hey thanks for letting me know about the label part. I am yet to learn about the features in the site.

That link was quite surprising more than interesting. After all, there are some good auto drivers still out there. :)


alpine path said...

U seem to be having a tough time in Chennai. But, rest assured, it'll surely sharpen your bargaining skills :)

syrals said...

You are so right! It does make me an expert in bargaining. :)

I guess Chennai isn't that bad, maybe I am just taking it too hard. Sometimes, Life is not easy living all by yourself. I just need to be with my near and dear ones. Let's see, I am trying for a relocation. :)