While I was browsing through the racks, I was noting how the other buyers were going the selection process and also enjoying the chit-chat around.
The most remarkable comments were from a father .The conversation between him and the Sales Executive was like this :
Father : Can you please suggest a good book on cooking? My daughter is going abroad and she knows no cooking.
SE : You can try xyz book. It has such good recipes of dishes like 'lau-chingri' and other typical bengali dishes.
Father : Oh no ! She will not be able to manage such complicated dishes.
SE : What kind of dishes you think your daughter will be interested in?
Father : Elementary dishes. Like, mutton curry, 'dal', may be one or two vegetarian dishes.
A lady buyer butts in : You may please try abc book....it is wonderful.Also , very useful.
Father : (after a few minutes of browsing ) It is heavy and complex. Any other suggestion please.
SE : Please try mno book. You will surely find it useful and handy too.
Father : (after another few minutes of browsing ) Ok, I shall take this one. Hope my daughter can manage this.
When I completed my selection and went through the ritual of gift-wrapping, payment etc.,
I asked the SE how many such queries he face and added that my sons have learnt cooking without cookbooks !. SE , smiled diplomatically.The proud father and most of the buyers who were around when this selection process of a cookbook was going on had left. But , a lady from one corner overheard me and commented that this situation is a negative development of woman's lib !
I was about to leave the shop without delay as my wife was waiting in another shop with some selection problem ( I received three calls in my mobile) but this lady was very interested in sharing her life-story with me. Earlier, I would have left the shop without prolonging the discussion , but, now-a-days, after retirement , I have learnt to be more patient in social situations.
Well , I was told that :
- she is a non-bengali.
- she can read bengali without problem.Her schoolmates ' jeer prompted her to pick up the language.
- her mother used to run a business in the neighbouring area.Jyoti Basu and other luminaries used to visit their place for 'adda'.
- she now stays in a building near Lake Market which is 75 years old.
- she is a science student and is a 'consultant' in Hazard Management .
- she works not for money as she is from a very rich background.