I had to buy some gift for the little one for Christmas. While I was busy thinking of some new and different idea, I remembered a colleague telling me about an interesting game. He had also mentioned the shop, Maharashtra Trading Corporation (Pune), where he bought the game. So, I decided to check it out. And I have to admit that I came out a very satisfied customer with a very interesting experience to recount.

The shopkeeper is a very typical Puneri, aajoba-like (grand-fatherly) person. When I entered, I was the only customer in the shop. I asked the shop-keeper for the particular toy my colleague had suggested. He immediately understood, showed me the toy and as soon as I replied in affirmative, an attendant was dispatched to fetch a packed piece. That gave me a pleasant surprise, because very often shop-keepers happily shove already opened items in your hand without even bothering to re-pack neatly. And you have to explicitly ask for a packed piece. As I stood there looking around he asked who was I buying the toy for and if I would be interested in looking at some other things; I agreed. He very enthusiastically got into the act- pulling out boxes, giving various details, very animatedly explaining and exhorting me to try each toy/game out. Another elderly lady entered the shop. She described a particular item she was looking for and asked him to hurry up. The elderly shop-keeper chided her for hurrying him.

This is how the conversation went-

Elderly lady: Aaho jara ghayi karta ka, malaa kuthe tari pohchayecha aaye. (Could you please hurry, I have to reach some place.)

Shopkeeper: Mazhya dukaanaat ghayi ghayi ni yaayech naahi. Me yanchya shi boltoye. Jara thamba. Yanchyashi boloon jhala ki tumhala je paahije te daakhavto. Mazhya kade nehami ved kaadhoon yayacha. Mala ghayi karnare lok aavdat naahi.

(Don’t come to my shop in a hurry. I’m talking to this young lady, so wait for a while. When I’m done talking to this lady, I’ll attend you and show you whatever it is that you want to see. When you come to my shop, ensure that you have enough time in hand. I don’t like people who come to my shop in a hurry.)

People who’ve never been to Pune will probably find it difficult to believe that this conversation actually took place between a customer and a shopkeeper 🙂

And aajoba, very nonchalantly, continued showing me various items. He not only explained and demonstrated various toys and games to me, but also gave tips on how to store the toys/games at home so that various parts and pieces of games don’t get lost making it useless. Make a toy-box out of a shoe-box, decorate it brightly for the child and store this toy in that toy-box, use a ‘potli’ for storing tiny pieces of this game.

I started feeling comfortable taking his time while there were other customers waiting for him. So, I quickly made my selection and came out smiling, four neatly packed boxes tucked under my arm and a promise to re-visit the shop 🙂

The shops has a nice variety of toys and games. If you are a young parent and are bored of the standard toy stores that only sell soft toys, Barbie dolls and Beyblades in the name of toys – do check-out this place once. Heck…you may be any age, if you are looking for some interesting, affordable, locally made toys and games of decent quality- head here.

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Every household has a ‘maid’ story- the good, the bad and the ugly. Any woman who has had anything to do with running a household is capable of talking for hours on the topic. No girlfriends’ meet ever gets over without a healthy exchange of ‘maid stories’ 🙂 The blog world has seen its share of stories. A formula that worked, a relationship that clicked, a perennial search for that perfect match (a post by themadmomma that I cannot link to anymore 😦 )

So, here comes a job site with a difference as described here!! Right now it caters only to the need of blessed Bangloreans, but they are looking forward to expanding in other metros. I agree its not a complete solution to the problem, but surely another very good avenue to help you with your search and some help for the ones looking for employment!

Ae zindagi…

December 11, 2007

Theres inherently something cute about a two and half year old singing a song on zindagi 🙂 Yesterday I caught the little one singing to her doll-

Ae zindagi…na naa naa, naa naa

(continuing in the same tune…)
row row row the boat, gently down the stream…

Over the weekend, my record was stuck on “Ae zindagi gale laga le” and I just couldn’t get the song out of my head. I think the little one picked it up from me. It was so damn cute hearing her utter the word zindagi 🙂