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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Two conversations..

1995 : (first trip back in India after two years in US)

auto driver : Sir, give me 25 rupees
dad : we agreed on 20 rupees. that is what you are getting.
driver (looks at me) : sir, tell your dad to be nice and not make a big deal out of 5 rupees.
me : why argue over this. just give him 25 ! (thinking along the lines of the anon commenter in the previous post!)
dad : (totally pissed and disappointed with his son) no. deal is a deal. 5 rupees is a lot of money! I told you to come by bus.. you insisted on auto. just get inside the house..
neighbour : Sir, rendu varushaththulaye unga payyanukku evvalo pana thimiru ! (in two years your son has become so arrogant with new found money).. this when I was a student still trying to make ends meet with my stipend !
Then dad and neighbour uncle go on to give me a lecture on why If I give the guy 25 rupees then everyone will expect 25 rupees as the new norm from my house and everyone in the 6 apartments we have in common !!

that was the end of my conversation with autowallahs for that trip..

later in life, I grew up and as a routine I bargain for things (including at the local toyota maintanence facility - which I did write about last year).. It doesnt matter where.. unless there is a meter or a system (like Yellow cabs in the US or the Mumbai autos and taxis), I will bargain !!

When a guy asks you 80 rupees for a trip that normally costs 70, you can give in (especially if the route has more traffic, he has to make too many U turns or if he will have difficulty in getting his next customer at your drop off point).. but 120 rupees for a 70 rupee trip ? you are getting ripped off and that shouldnt be encouraged in any country!!

Any guy who tries to rip you off should not be rewarded with an extra 50 INR so he can enjoy a nice meal !!! He should be taught the importance of making an honest living !

Second Conversation :

Jr. : Why are those people dancing ?
me : someone died and they are taking the dead person away
Jr. : why ?
me : why are they taking dead person away ?
Jr. : no. Why are they dancing ?
me : I dont know. I will find out and tell you..

She had this weird experession on her face for some time..

I thought about it and realized why ?

Dorothy (our pet fish) dies.. we are sad (because dorothy was a nice fish who didnt harm anyone)
Mosquito (in Mumbai) was killed by Jr. for first time and we rejoiced on the death (because Mosquito was a bad guy )

now , these people are rejoicing over this dead person ! could it be that he was a bad guy ?

Clearly, I need to get some clear understanding on the dancing in front of body subject.. before I can explain things to Jr..

That will be my homework for tomorrow..

Still enjoying Chennai. Today was pondy bazaar day!! Whew !! You pray to all the gods you know, close your eyes and stand in front of RMKV and before you know it the crowd drops you in front of what you want to buy.. more on that magic later..

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I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 1:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous wrote...

To dance is to celebrate. To celebrate the life of the departed soul they dance in front of the body. It's a way of telling the world that the person lived life fully, completely and enjoyed it to the fullest extent.

Another explanation is dance is always attributable to Shiva who is the God of destruction and lives in cemetry. Therefore the dancer signifies Lord Shiva, creating an effect of Lord Shiva welcoming the dead person in to the other world.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 6:36 PM, Blogger Sri wrote...


I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 7:50 PM, Blogger Kavi wrote...

I guess you are seeing it with a new pair of eyes and asking 'why', the very things that were a way of life.
Well, it indeed is thought provoking.

Well, the RMKV stuff..Ask me how !

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 1:20 PM, Anonymous Madras Lungi wrote...

Anonymous - I guess you'd do the same ! when someone dies!

But nice explanation indeed!

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 10:40 PM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

thanks for the info anon.. i am trying to get another validation for your theory ..

kavi, i was wrong. it is not pondy bazaar day.. it is more like pondy bazaar week..the worse thing is when you stand in front of a counter, spend 30 minutes and not buy anything at the end !

i wanted to write a post now. but i am currently getting 2kbps.. so later.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 12:17 AM, Blogger ada-paavi!!!! wrote...

sir, the issue i had was u chose to blame the auto guy. i don absolve him of all blame, but it would have been better if u had accepted it was a honest mistake on his part. he should have seen a kid in his auto. the comparison with Delhi was unnecessary.
i don think i have the locus standi to comment on whether u hold daghters hand or not, or whether u bargain over 1$ or 2$.

I am not responsible for comments posted by others... At 1:30 AM, Blogger Sundar Narayanan wrote...

ap, the blame for the auto incident rests with me and solely me..

it would have been easier without the bargaining.. but that doesnt excuse my letting go of Jr.



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