I cannot forget a scene from a short skit on TV, which I saw years before. An old lady is lying on deathbed and doctors have lost all the hopes. At that very time, her daughter-i-in-law whispers something into her ear. The lady instantly gets up, puts her shawl on her shoulder and moves out. When asked about the miraculous words, the daughter-in-law reveals that she had just informed her that there was a sale in the biggest store of the city. Such is the magical power of sale, that one can forget all the worries and run ahead on hearing about a sale.
I remember that in my childhood days, “sales” were not so ubiquitous, as they are now. May be, because those were the days, when the middle size cities had not caught “brand fever”. I remember that in my city there was a unique craze of “Garden Saris sale”, which was organized in a hall rented by the company. My aunts waited for this sale for months together. When the sale was on, it was talk of the town. Ladies finished their household work hurriedly and ran to the sale lest they miss the chance of buying the best saris. Even after it ended, this sale gave ladies a purpose to visit relatives and friends to exchange the views of saris bought from the sale.
On one such occasion, I also accompanied my aunt to watch this sale. There was a heap of synthetic saris on a stage like structure made by joining some tables and ladies were overpowering each other to reach the heap. Those who consider women weak or delicate should at least have watched this sale to see how much strength a woman can show to get a Sari at a discounted price.
I watched a lady pulling one end of a Sari, but feeling as helpless as Dushshasana might have felt pulling Draupadi’s Sari. Finally it turned out that there was another woman at other end of the Sari pulling it with equal force. Both women were not ready to give up until they were stopped by the salesman by offering other Saris.
This type of struggle is not uncommon in a sale even today. Once, in a Sale of branded garments, a friend of mine spotted a pair of jeans at 50% discount for her son. No sooner than she had touched it, another lady came and grabbed the jeans and proceeded to try room pulling her son. When the boy came out, it was evident that the dress was too tight for him, but when the lady saw my friend still hoping for her to leave it being totally misfit for his son, the woman took no chances and headed straightway to the billing counter with the dress her son might have put off with great difficulty. Such is the fear of losing a great deal that many a times people end up buying something totally useless for them. The lesson I have learnt from this is; if you find something worth buying in a sale, hold it tightly at the first sight. Don’t even loosen your grip as somebody might snatch it from you.
The saying “ Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam” seems so true, when you see that the craze of sale can be seen all over the world. Though not to the extent of pulling and snatching, but the buyers running around the store under a stress not to miss a great deal can be seen in every part of the world.
During my US visit, I found out that a leading brand of ladies purses was allowing limited entry at a time in its store (where sale was on, off course!). I was not intending to enter knowing that it was an expensive brand, but while I was watching the queue outside the store, a salesgirl came out and distributed coupons of 50% off, over and above the discounted price. Now how can a lady not enter a showroom however expensive it might be, with a 50% off coupon (that too on discounted price) in her hand? When I entered the store, I understood the reason behind the limited entry into the store. The buyers had gone into frenzy to find this fortuitous discount and running throughout the store under the fear of missing a great deal. Seeing them, I too felt a psychological pressure that by not buying a purse, I am going to miss a lifetime opportunity. Finally I found solace after buying a purse at one third of its original cost, but still at least three times the cost of a decent purse in India.
Such is the irony of sale that even after buying something out of your budget; you feel that you have actually gained something.
But purchasing in a sale is always a pleasure, be it in USA or in nearby Sabzi Mandi (Vegetable Market). Yes, you read it right! I am talking about a sale in Sabzi Mandi. There is a weekly Sabzi Mandi in one of my neighbouring localities. Though I never like buying vegetables, but visiting this mandi is fun as it has a “sale” factor. As it is a temporary Mandi, sellers do not prefer to carry the remaining stock back with them at the end of the day and therefore sell it at a throw away price. Once, when we had finish with our shopping of vegetables, a tomato vendor started calling,” Tamatar 10 rupaye kilo!” ( Tomato at 10 Rs. Per Kg). The announcement of the vendor, who had been selling the same tomato at Rs. 20 per kg before one minute, forced all the buyers to rush to his counter causing the stock to finish within 5 minutes. To a person watching from outside, it might have seemed that people were rushing having learnt about the arrival of some celebrity. Though I had already bought two kg tomatoes before, I could not resist buying one more kg in this sale. This type of mad rush for the sale of tomato, peas etc. is common at the closing hours of this weekly mandi. What a pleasure to hear an unexpected sale being announced in the middle of shopping! So, if you have limited budget, but want to have the joy of shopping in a sale, this Sabzi Mandi is a great option.
In today’s age of E-commerce, rather than going to a store to explore a sale, the sale comes to your
mobile phone/laptop. Every day, your mobile message inbox/e-mail account is
flooded with irresistible offers on each and every product under the Sun. It’s
good that you do not have to participate in tug -of- war with other buyers, though
each time before ordering something on the net, I face this tug-of –war like
situation with my kids, who are trying to snatch the tablet from my hand to add
some additional items in the purchase order. But at the same time, it feels great
to shop at home with peace of mind without envying a co-shopper getting a
better deal or worrying for your fuming husband waiting impatiently outside the
store. When finally I finish my order after reaching an agreement with the
kids, my husband is suddenly disturbed from his TV spree by an SMS alert and
shouts, “What have you ordered using my credit card?” But we are too overjoyed to bother about his
question. After all, the credit card bill has to be paid once in a month, why
to spoil the joy of 24X7 shopping with lots of Coupons and cashback being
offered over and above a bargain price for the fear of bill?
Sorry for the abrupt ending, but I have to discontinue writing, as the pop up window appearing on my lap top screen, offering a special discount on all the items valid for today only is forcing me to stop writing and click the window to start shopping!