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Shopping Tactics

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(The scene is at the heart of a wholesale market. Suchi and Shikha are out for shopping. Suchi wants to purchase cloth material for an upcoming event whereas Shikha is accompanying Suchi.)

Suchi: This market is a nice place to purchase items; affordable, isn’t it?

Shikha: Yes this is a nice hub. Do you know that we can even purchase things at a bargain rate?

Suchi: No, I didn’t knew that. I am visiting a wholesale market for the first time. (Suddenly glancing towards her left) look the shop I was searching for, let’s go.

Shikha: (With an absurd expression) Here?

Suchi: (A bit confused) Why not?

Shikha: See the shopkeeper, not at all presentable.

Suchi: No matter dear. The shopkeeper won’t affect much. I am sure he is good when the matters of bills are concerned. And then if we don’t like the shop then we’ll not purchase anything, simple.

Shikha: Okay, but only because you insist.

Suchi: Okay sweetheart let’s go.

(The shop was well-furnished and air conditioned. There was a reasonable crowd at the show-room proving that the shop has earned a lot of goodwill. Meanwhile a man came to attend them and offered them seat.)

Attendant: Welcome to our shop ma’am. How can we help you?

Suchi: Please show us a beautiful wedding season sari.

Attendant: Any specific color you demand?

Shikha: (Interrupting in between) Why not specific? Red color signifies an Indian wedding; obviously red.

Suchi: (To the attendant)No, nothing specific. Please show me all the colors you hold.

Attendant: Okay.

Suchi: (To Shikha) Dear stop being transfixed, why only red? Think colorful.

Shikha: Huh, your wish, your party.
(Suchi smiles. Meanwhile the attendant re-enters the cabin.)

Attendant: Ma’am, as you see these are a few of the best pieces of work by our karigars.

Shikha: Why few? Where are the rest?

Attendant: Ma’am, if you demand I may get more samples too.

Suchi: (Interrupting) No okay, first show me these many only, later on we’ll see the rest. (To Shikha) Just think where he will keep all the samples and where he will show?

Shikha: Et tu Brutus. Even you are swayed by their presentation?

Suchi: Oh dear let it be. Let’s choose a beautiful sari to gift my niece.

Shikha: Your wish.

Attendant: Okay so this blue one is a Benarasi silk sari; the most popular choice for family gatherings. Please touch and feel the silk.

Suchi: (After touching) Yes the cloth material is good. What do you say Shikha?

Shikha: This color might get faded after two-three washes. Let’s see other saris too.

Suchi: Yes you are right.

Attendant: This is a combination of green and yellow; Daccai muslin. See how much it glows!

(The two lady nodded. The attendant showed many beautiful saris. After a lot of negotiation among Suchi and Shikha; they zeroed at a beautiful dusky pure silk sari.)

Suchi: So we are done now. Let’s get it packed.

Shikha: (To the attendant) how much it cost for?

Attendant: Reasonable price of Rs. 5500.

Shikha: (Hastily) What? Why so expensive? How much discount?

Attendant: Sorry ma’am; fixed price.

Shikha: Why fixed price? Why not…….

Suchi: ( Interrupting in middle again) so what dear? It’s still lower than the prices of my favorite shop. You only liked the sari now you only are not settling with the prices? See the quality; so rich not at all easily available in my city. The MRP is absolutely alright for me.

Shikha: Why don’t you understand Suchi? They earn a lot of profits through the margins.

Suchi: Ah! So that is what cooking in your mind. Their profit is their income pal; the way you get your salary. These attendants get their salaries through it.

Shikha: But?....

Suchi: No, I won’t listen. The sari is not too expensive. If the commodities here would have been expensive then perhaps the place wouldn’t have been so crowded. Look for yourself nobody is returning vacant.

Shikha: (Rolling her eyes round the shop) I hope so you are right. Now if you get duped then don’t blame me, okay?

Suchi: Okay, I’ll take the risk.

(The shop-keeper prepares the bill and in fact he allowed a cash discount of 5 percent for prompt payment. Suchi grinned whereas Shikha ignores her broad smile. They come out.)

Suchi: So Shikha dear I win. See never bargain; it’s a sickness. Get rid of it as soon as possible.

Shikha: Okay, you win. Now please don’t deliver a lecture.

(They return back.)



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