This has been a difficult week for me. Reason? I was finding it really difficult to procure a particular soap bar. Elementary, you may as well say like the legendary Sherlock Holmes. But there was a huge barrier.
Seeing the deteriorating state of my kadahis my maid recommended a particular brand to get them to sparkle. “None of this fancy stuff you bring is any good,” she said. She however did not know its name. Seeing my confusion she helpfully described the stuff to me.
So I set off to the local shop confident of making a purchase. What happened was totally surprising. The shopkeeper was completely foxed by what I was asking for. Any fancy description seemed to draw a blank.
Finally I began with the description I had of the soap. I wanted a bar with a picture of a lemon on it! It had to have a particular fragrance. It was specifically meant for aluminium vessels. This brought strange looks from everyone on both sides of the store counter. I seemed like an educated lady, had come out of a car and here I was describing a brand like an illiterate person! I went from shop to shop with this detail but no one could provide me the right stuff. I did not even know what right was anymore. Did we really have such a large range of cleaning products? Then why could I not find one for my kadahi?
Here I was a celebrated hostess, shopaholic, mall savvy and alert consumer who could not get one bar of soap. My ego thoroughly deflated I picked up the first one I was offered at the 10th shop and returned home. ‘This is not the one’ my maid pronounced.
I gave up and told her to get a wrapper from somewhere and then went off to buy the kadahi panacea. I realised I had been on the wrong track all along. The joy I felt that day was something I had not felt even when I had managed to pick up the rare kantha sari at the monsoon sale!
The struggle was worth it because my utensils are sparkling now! Lesson learnt: Keep an open mind and learn from everybody. There is no substitute for experience and recommendations from such a person will invariably make a positive change.
Age should not be a barrier but mental attitude can be. Overcome it and open your mind there is a wealth of learning waiting for us!
This was first put up at the following site on 16 Oct 2007