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Bargain Bungle

bargain , newspaper

No thinking woman can resist a bargain.
So, when a big marketing chain promised a bargain bonanza, I rejoiced.
They were buying old newspaper for 25 rupees a kilo.
“There must be some mistake,” my husband said. “Our raddi-wallah(vendor who buys old newspaper) gives us only six rupees for a kilo.”
“You are suspicious of everybody,” I shot back. “If you stop me now, you will regret it for the rest of your life. I have to get this great bargain.”

There were several dozen people in line, trying to punch their way to the front. I suffered the wait. At last my turn came. The man at the counter said: “ We will give you no money for your old newspapers. Only coupons. You can buy our products with them.
"What kind of bargain is that?" I asked.
"Take it or leave it.” he said.
For the mountains of newspaper I got Rs 1000/- in coupons. I clutched the coupons and went to the food section.
The girl at the counter said: “You cannot buy grains, groceries and vegetables with
these coupons.”
I was surprised.
“Shampoos, soaps and detergents,” I asked hopefully.
“No maam”
“ Well,” she replied. Then consulting with another salesgirl: “They are over.”
“Just what do I get for these coupons!” I cried.
She directed me to another area.
I went to the counter in question and looked.
There were some outsize shoes that did not fit me.
“Isn’t there anything else?” I asked.
There was. There was a stack of blankets.
“Blankets in Mumbai?” I asked.“Who will buy blankets in Mumbai, when it is like a furnace all round the year?”
“Madam” said the man at this counter. “That is why we are selling these on the coupon offer- because no one will buy!”
“OK, give me a blanket,” I said.
I had decided I would send it to my daughter in Bangalore. At least it would be used there.
“How much does it cost?” I asked
“One thousand rupees,” he said.
I handed over the coupons. I thought, a car- load of old newspapers for a blanket, still made good business sense.It was a great bargain.
But I was in for a shock.
The man tore out just one coupon worth 100 rupees from my bunch and gave the rest back to me.
“What’s this?” I asked.
“Ten percent of the cost of item, is to be paid for in coupons, the rest in cash or by credit card. You can pay at the cash counter madam. And collect your blanket.”
For days now, apart from living down the ignominy of my experience in front of my husband, I have been trying to off -load my unused coupons on friends and acquaintances. No one wants them. My daughter does not want the blanket either. She says she has plenty of blankets and Bangalore is not so cold any more due to over-population and the building boom.

The following month, I phoned the raddi newspaper walla on his mobile phone.
He came at once. I put last month’s newspaper collection in front of him.
He said: “The rate is no longer six rupees a kilo. It is five rupees.”
“That’s all right,” I said.
My husband grinned.
I scowled at my husband and asked the raddi wallah: “By the way, how much will you give me for a blanket?”
The raddi walla looked at the blanket, touched it, turned it over and said: “One hundred rupees.”
“It is a new one,” I protested…unused.”
“Madam , you can get these on the pavement for 200 rupees from Tibetan sellers,” he said. “Take it or leave it.”
I said curtly, “Do you think I am that stupid? Go away!”
After the raddi wallah had gone, lugging his bundles of old newspaper away, my husband said to me: “Don’t worry dear. I will buy the latest and most sophisticated new air-conditioner for the bedroom, just so you can use the blanket right round the year in Mumbai!”
Now that’s called love.

Sent by:
Mrs Mayah Balse,
B-40 Tarapore Garden,
New Link Road,
Mumbai 400 053
Tel: 91 22 26315136 (landline)
91 9322298754 (mob)
Published: 2009-08-15
Author: mayah balse

About the author or the publisher
A successful free lance journalist and author with 12 published books, including fiction, non-fiction and children's books. I have written over 2000 articles and stories for leading magazines and newspapers like the Times of India, Femina, Woman's Era , Readers' Digest and India Today on a wide variety of subjects -plus scripts for TV serials and films,I have
visualised comics and comic strips,
won awards for TV serials as well as a trophy for excellence in literature


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