Remember the time when the only shopping that you ever did was during fairs and festivals. Gone are the days when shopping was restricted to the confines of markets and the occasional walk-by of the local “vegetable-man” pushing his cartload of vegetables across the street.
We’ve not only ushered in the era of the supermarkets /mega markets, we’ve also welcomed it with open arms. Every village dreams of a supermarket and every town has one. Cities have more mega markets than playgrounds and metropolitan cities have more than enough.
I still remember the times when I loved going to the market just to see my father bargain the price every single product the poor vendor had to sell. I miss the “tricks of the trade” and “the tactics” that both the buyer and the seller offer to complete a transaction.
Each believes themselves to be wiser and cunning than the other. It used to be almost like a battle, where one has to plan out strategies according to the circumstances and the surroundings.
The buyer bargains and brings down the price to half the original and feels like he’s the winner, while the seller sells the product at half the quoted price and still makes a profit.
What used to be a necessity or a compulsion has now evolved into a matter of honour and social status. In the “olden” days, the more you could bargain and “outwit” the vendor, the more people looked up to you. In these days, the era of the super market, if you ever stranded into a marketplace, and started bargaining, you, apparently, do not have any dignity or self-righteousness. You are given stares suitable only for thieves and robbers. You are made to feel awkward and squirmy and will probably end up giving the man his price.