I am at my local grocery store just as it opens for business. In spite of the convenience of online shopping, I like my Juhu market excursions. I thrive on human interaction in general and in a lockdown I miss it sorely.
The owner is a typical Gujarati businessman- efficient, enterprising and resourceful. He gifts me homemade pickles from his own kitchen, presents a bottle of juice for my son, Neev, on each visit- but his emotions never get in the way of his business acumen. He offers a discount (only if I ask) and always as if it’s grand gesture!
The start of a new day. There’s anticipation in the air. The fragrance of the incense sticks a reminder that faith is as important as trade. As I walk through the aisles, his phone rings. A Gujarati folk song that lends a carpe-diem vibe to the morning. The phone is answered on the second ring. He brusquely assures the caller that his boy has delivered the order in the lobby. After hanging up he bellows “Arrey Hrithik Roshan ka order gaya ki nahin?” “Unki gaadi Lonavala ke liye nikal rahi hai”.
I smile under my mask. THESE micro-encounters is what you won’t find on Amazon.