Saturday, November 27, 2010


I love to go shopping when I'm in the US - just love to do window-shopping or have a general 'dekho' and browse around with an eye for deals. I would always willingly tag on to my children to any shop any time! Kohl's and JC Penney are my favorites. I would make a beeline to the 'clearance counter' and scan it to pick up a couple of tempting red-tag items. My inexplicable thrill would be heightened by my savings for the day as mentioned in the bill.

Once my daughter-in-law and I went on a shopping spree at a sale. The aisles screamed '90% off', '80% off', '60% off' and vied for my attention! I too decided to splurge on myself and add on to my modest wardrobe of western apparels which I patronize mostly when I am out there. I picked up some half a dozen tops from different aisles, then one 40$ jeans at 90% discount. And another one from another aisle for 10$. Armed with the pile of clothes, I marched to the trial rooms. There I met an Indian lady. We exchanged pleasantries - you know the affinity for fellow countrymen becomes greater when we are on foreign shores. I understood that she hailed from Karnataka; she was working there. I gave her a smile of approval and a word of appreciation. Then I got into the trial room and she focused on her job of folding and sorting out the pile of clothes abandoned by customers.

I selected three tops. Surprisingly both the jeans fitted me to a T - that put me in a quandary about which one to choose. My daughter-in-law wanted me to take both - "It's not always that you get clothes your fit - especially if you are petite-size - that too at a good discount". True but I felt I was going overboard - I didn't need two jeans (I already had three pants) and the second one was not dirt cheap at 10$. So I decided to put that away and trundled towards the trial rooms - jeans in hand, mind still debating on whether 'to take or not to take' it. I left it at the table there, gave one more longing look, shrug my shoulders and returned to the billing counter. Cheap it was but then you don't pick up stuff you don't need just for that reason. A minute later I saw my latest acquaintance running towards me with the jeans - "Ma'm, don't you want this jeans? The price is just 3.20$!" My eyes popped out in disbelief - I didn't know there was a further discount on the price tag. Of course you should pick up stuff at throw-away price even if you don't need it - you can always find use for it! So I literally grabbed it from her, "Really? I'll take it. Thank you!"

How very nice of her! Hundreds of apparels are tried and discarded every day during sales. This nice lady had kept track of my reject and even rightly guessed my (desi) mental make-up and obliged me with an endearing gesture. I may never see her again, I may not recognize her even if I do but with this little gesture she has carved a niche for herself in my heart! Thank you, ma'm!
© Copyright 2011. Brinda Balasubramonian.

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