We have a good relationship na! I must be one of your really few customers who doesnt bargain. You can put the blame squarely on my Appa for that. He used to take me to Kadak Bazar in Baroda every Sunday (me and him together 🙂 ) and then never used to argue with the folks there. He used to tell me ‘RM, what is the point of haggling for 2-3 Rs with these guys who live on a hand to mouth existence. Are we going to get any richer by taking that Rs.2-3 money, but they sure can perhaps get an extra roti if we give them what they ask, and anyways, their vegetables/fruits are going to get spoilt in two days, then why haggle with these folks’
Almost every time we went there, he would tell me and it got so engraved in my thought process, that now I hardly bargain with you. So much so, that I have influenced RD with my thoughts as well 🙂
But then, you do lead a difficult life na. Imagine getting up at 3 in the morning to catch the first train to Dadar and then getting all your goods fresh from there, coming back to the suburbs and setting shop. Its amazing how many of you do it day in and day out, for years together. Some of you, I have heard, even go all the way to Vashi…and God Forbid, if there is a truck strike or something, how do you guys manage? It must be scary to know that each strike or political turn can have an impact on your food for the day na…I wouldnt dare to live like that ever!
and then of course, since many of you are illegal, the usual haftas to the BMC folks, and police and when the BMC gaadi comes, you guys pick up whatever possible and start hiding.
I, sometimes, think its hilarious you know. I mean, they know you are here always, and you know they are going to come, then why do you even sit there? But I guess, you dont have any other place to go isnt it?
and some of you are so nice to your fellow vendors, that you start running towards the main market as soon as the BMC vehicles arrive and start warning..the market is a frenzy of activity for those 10 minutes…imagine piling all your vegetables in a corner and covering them with a cloth in hope that the tomatoes dont get squashed and the strawberries dont fall down from the box…It must be crazy thinking about the goods whose sales are going to give you the food for the day na?
I love the way you sell your fares. I think its amazing, the singsong voice you use to sell the vegetables ‘bhindi pachees ka kilo, pachees ka kilo’ or when you say to that masi in Gujarati ‘masi tameta lai jao ekdum phresh che’ (Aunty, take the tomatoes they are very fresh’ Most of you are definitely multilingual speaking Hindi, Marathi, Gujarati and in some cases even English with such ease…I admire you for that!It must be bad on the throat na..all the shouting for over 14 to 15 hours…I wonder how you do that…and then again, you have to match your prices with your fellow vendors!
and then the way you arrange your fares..everyone is so so tempted to buy it eh? and some of you keep just two or three veggies and fruits while some of you have everything and anything under the sun..some of you have just leafy veggies while some of you have the exotic varieties….
You are such excellent salespeople that I am sure marketing companies can take a cue or two from you..the way you build a relationship with the client, many of you have regular customers na…often I have heard aunties and uncles telling you ke last time this was good and this was not good…you are definitely open to feedback eh?
The best part I like about is the comradeship you share among yourselves…I dont have change for 100, so I will get it from the guy who is selling exactly the same stuff as me, but hey, he doest mind giving me the change..its amazing that so many of you co-exist in the same place, selling the same stuff, and yet not have any major squabbles..well at least, I havent witnessed any in six years 🙂
I love the fact that you have the patience to answer a four year old’s question on what is that long green vegetable known as (ridge groud) and then end up giving her an extra bit of grapes or elachi kela..when I try to pay for it, you tell me’kya memsaheb, baachi ko itna sa diya, usmein kya paise lene ka, bachi khush hai na?’
Well, even bachi’s mom is khush..
You dont have plenty, but you sure have a large heart!
I am amazed at the way, you know how much exactly that cauliflower or cabbage is going to weigh even without putting it on the weighing machine…I have heard rumors about how you cheat your customers with wrong weights, but hey, I am not sure, and I trust you guys okie?
And this is one profession I have seen where there is absolutely equality. The women and the men share the same platform, charge the same, do the same work and sit at the same levels..its amazing!
I am at awe at your zeal for life, at your attitude of sharing and at your super sweet way of selling..
Hoping to continue our good relation for years to come..
Always a customer
PS – So tell me something, what exactly do you do with your previous day’s vegetables..throw them? sell them at a lower rate? keep them in a fridge (can you afford one) and sell it the next day?