Friday, December 11, 2009

Over Priced

Last weekend i was having a cup of coffee in Barista with one of my old friends,
We were enjoying a very good discussion on the good old college days .
After a discussion of 2 hours or so i asked for the bill and placed my ICICI card for payment.
The girl took my signature, returned my card , said "Thanks Sir" and gave me a
the coldest of smiles.

I returned the smile with a equally fake one.

I didn't even notice the amount deducted from the card.We continued the banter and after sometime left for home.

I had to take a rickshaw to get back home, so i approached a rickshaw man
.He was a man in his late sixties ,visibly weak and tired.

I asked "Asalatpur ka kitna loge"
He said "15 rupay bhaiya"
I said "Loot rahe ho kya ,10 hi bante hain."
He said "Thand ho rahi hai, isliye jyada maang liye"
I said "10 main chalna hai to chalo"

He knew i was going to get another rickshaw so he agreed to my terms and yes 10 Rs it was.

Sitting on the back seat i was lost somewhere and was fiddling away with that Barista bill.
I opened it ...the bill read
2 hot cappuccino = Rs 250 + Rs 26 service tax.

Reading that bill froze me for a moment.

I sort of knew what was overpriced.
I sort of knew that i was haggling at the wrong place.

I felt as if i should apologize to the old man driving me home in that chilly night.
I wanted to make up by giving him 50 Rs .
He might not deserve 50 but still he needed it genuinely.

I reached my home got off the rickshaw but couldn't gather the courage to give him 50 rs.
As again my educated self told me that it was too much.
I gave him 25 Rs.He counted and gave me a puzzled look.

I held his hand warmly and gave him a approving smile to keep it.

In return i got a very pure ,very true and a very very warm smile which was not at all obligatory ....not at all superficial and despite the chillness of the night ...
not at all COLD.........


mrugesh wasnik said...

unbridgeable disparity

sugandha said...

heart warming..

Rookie said...

2 capu for 260. It ain't that expensive here too.
Maal dalwaya tha kya usmein.

But yes, i think u ended at right note.

Marshall Goldsmith said...

I loved this post. Thank you!
Marshall Goldsmith

Gaurav Vashist said...

@ Marshall OMG ...
if i am not mistaken you are the author of What got you here won't get you there???


Prashant said...

the most suitable example of an imperfect world.
prashant pandey

graiin said...

Too good.....keep the spirits up!!

Shamail said...

You made me cry, a kind of same had happened with me twice.. Its an imbalanced world, better correct me, India especially.
Atleast you did right to the rikshaw puller. We now have a habit of absorbing everything, probably someone else would have given him Rs 10 with a very bad look, as the rikshaw puller has looted this guy.

Ovais said...

very nice yar.
I had also experienced a very similar incident.
It was like I was reading out my own feelings of that day.
A little tear rolled out of my eyes.

Why we argue with those only who we think are of "low profile or standards"? Even when services/product we are getting from them are at-least equally important.

Thanks bhaai. keep writing..

Sandeep said...

Nice One man :) A Happy ENding

Shveta Vashist said...

YOU make me proud brother...can't help being the preaching elder sis so "Never close your eyes to life,no matter how far you've gone, coffee at barista wouldn't have been the same without that warm conversation and the richshawawala wouldn't have appeared a nyph if you were struggling for those 15 bucks yourself." The cycle of life,so keep up the good job of life that you're doing and a very Happy Birthday. Lotsa luv.

Shveta Vashist said...

PS: *ricksahaw wala

Rajkarn said...

It's a really nice post showing two different faces of life. It forces me to ponder that more developed or so called people/places are materialistic and fake only, while the underdeveloped who are considered lower are still genuine.
@Prashant sir, truly said: The world is not perfect.

divya said...

thought provoking...

tuxdna said...

A moment well captured in words, well animated, with a balanced opinion of both the ends of life: "rich" and "content". Welcome the the journey of life!

Gaurav Vashist said...

@ all Thanks Guys....really nice that you liked it ..hope it serves the larger purpose that is much bigger then this blog.

Abhishek Tondon said...

They say power corrupts. I feel if you want to change something, you have to accumulate the power to change it. Not easy. It's a tendency to be exploited in the name of fake standards, and to exploit the weaker sections.
As of today, my personal preferred eating place around is that Gulati Dhaba, and I'm not embarrassed to write this on a public forum. And I avoid sitting on a rickshaw (unless with someone who actually needs it), because, this guilt of exploiting comes gaping then.

shubhaangi said...

Almost a similar incident happened with me a couple of months back.A washerwoman came in my hostel room.I paid her a certain amount of money for washing my clothes.While i was handing over the money,she saw a massive pile of newspapers lying on the top of my almirah.She asked me to give her those so that she might sell them as raddi and earn some money.So now while she was picking up the colossal bundle,a five rupee coin which i had given her a while ago slipped from her already occupied hands.She panicked.i found the coin and gave it to her.She was relieved.It was then when i realized that how relative our lives are.I probably have such five rupee coins lying here,there,everywhere and i couldn't care less.But for her the same amount of money seemed so important.All of us at some point of time do need to review our lives,most importantly our value systems.

Gaurav Vashist said...

@ Abhishek ---beautifully put yar...amazing reinterpretation...Gulati dhaba rocks and so does ur understanding of the human value system..

@Shubhangi - Thats very true...i really feel ecstatic when people empathize with the have nots.Being compassionate can solve a lot of problems.