Thursday, February 19, 2009

You know you are totally broke when...

...When you are down to fighting with the junk dealer [kabadiwala/कबदिवाला] for petty cash... No kidding.

These men can be found at all hours of the day, on their cycles, singing at the top of their voices... कबदिवाले
Be it rain or shine they're always out there... which made me think they must be really poor and needy to be working so hard. I felt quite sorry for them.

That was until I heard that they're not so poor, quite well off really, having color screen mobiles, cable T.V etc. Today when I tried to be big hearted and offered the man my junk for free he refused...! Then he proceeded to cheat me!
"you name your price.", he said.
"this is my first time. You tell me what you usually give.", I replied...honestly.
After due consideration he said," Three rupees per Kg of paper and 4 rupees for these empty plastic bottles." thereupon he started packing the goods into a huge sack.
I went out to the balcony and called out to another dealer and asked him what he would give for the same old junk..."Six rupees per Kg.",he yelled...and started coming upstairs.

I sauntered back into the kitchen, laden with new and potentially enriching information and said, " The other fellow is giving me Six."
" Is he?"
"Yes,now are you also going to do that or should I just call him upstairs?", I ventured abandoning all caution.
"The rates have decreased since last Sunday, ask him if you want.", he said stubbornly.

So I did...the other fellow had now dismounted the cycle and was looking for the stairs. "No, NO... You go...find someone else... I was just gathering information!", I said feeling incredibly guilty.

There was 15kgs worth of junk at home. He paid me and I let him out, following him downstairs... hailed a vegetable man and Bought my moneys worth of veggies. When the dealer told me the price of what would soon be dinner, I wondered if Vegetable vendors are actually richer than Kabadiwalas. Prices seemed to have skyrocketed... something I would know about had I read something apart from the tabloid. When he got to asking for 106Rs, I showed him the century note, pointed at the kabadi wala and said, " Friend I'm not going to be able to pay you more than what I'm holding here and frankly I didn't expect to be paying even this much."

We compromised at a century.

1 lost souls found themselves in my mirror....:

Ruchika said...

You my dear, were fleeced.
Paper sells at rs. 5-6 per kg, plastic at 8/kg, glass at 10-12/kg and tins of oil at 25 for a cut open one and 30-35 for a nice one.

We have huuge amounts of junk what with regular functions, I know all about kabaadiwalas XD

Should've asked me!