So I’m back in my home town of Muzaffarpur (Bihar), after some 6 months. I must say, it’s good to be home. The home food, the surroundings, the people, everything simply brings grand smile on my face. I’m so happy these days.
But when I wake up today, I felt the usual quench for technology, knowing that the new set of tech magazines should already be on the shelves of bookstore. Now being a tech-buff (at least I love to call myself this, even if it’s partially true), I couldn’t live without buying the copy of tech magazines. So, I decided to walk to a bookstore and buy at least one magazine.
Without having any particular bookstore in mind, I just walked to this bookstore (believe me, I still don’t know the bookstore’s or the owner’s name) located about a kilometer from my house. I realize that it’s been at least a year to this bookstore, and maybe the person don’t even know me now. So without trying to make myself familiar with him, I decided to act casual, ask for my magazine and walk away.
I was pleasantly surprised when the shopkeeper not only recognized me but immediately started talking to me in spite of having loads of customer. It really feels nice when someone recognize you after all these time, isn’t it? He asked where I’m now and how much I’m earning these days, and he’s really impressed to know I live in Hyderabad (being a tremendously big city compared to Muzaffarpur), and enjoying a handsome salary. After some chit chat, I asked for my magazines. He said for this month only one has came, and I was quite happy to take it. I gave him 200 bucks (the magazine costs Rs. 150) expecting 50 bucks in return.
Then comes another surprise! The guy asked me – “Ab to aapko discount to nahi chahiye hoga na?” (Hindi which translates to Now you don’t need discount anymore, isn’t it? in English). And there I was! Completely forgotten it’s what I generally ask before buying the magazine – a nice little discount. And this shopkeeper used to give me 10% off as well (This was the reason to buy form his store, I remember now!). I completely forgotten because back in Hyderabad, I only buy things on M.R.P. Whatever is written on price tag, that’ll be the final price. No haggling, no discounts, nothing! Impressed and surprised at the same time, I asked – “Arrey, kyun nahi Bhaiya?” (Oh, Why not Bro? – English). And I was thinking what if he says no now. He can give me any reason (not a regular user, now discount scheme is ended, etc.) and I’ve to accept. Sometime back, I’s okay to buy on M.R.P. but now, no way!, I wanted to get this discount somehow. Typical human nature you know. I was still thinking what to say to avoid this discount spill away from my hand, when he says – “Arrey majak mein bol the bhaiya, aap kamane jo lage ho.” (Was just kidding bro, you are now earning. – English) and offered me my (?) usual 10% discount. Happy, I left for home. Incredible, isn’t it?
I really feel these kind of encounters is only possible small and sensible city like Muzaffarpur. They still have heart, warmth and value of people. Not telling because I got discount, I mean, there’s still a couple of shops in Hyderabad from where I’m buying stuffs daily, but I’m quite sure that they don’t even recognize me well. And heck, I don’t even know my neighbors at all. Back in Muzaffarpur, I’ve to spend a day in order to meet everybody in my locality.
No matter how *good life* Hyderabad has, no matter how fast paced the city is and no matter how much I’m earning there, I still feel like coming back to cities like Muzaffarpur, if not anything else then for encounters like these, which really makes my day!