I was strolling around Indira Market in Noida today when I realised I need some bread and butter. I spotted a general store and walked in and is a habit with kirana I asked the shopkeeper to get me my items. The man looked up from his cellphone to point at something behind my back. “Wahan hai, le lijiye.”
That’s when I noticed that he’d arrange his floor like a mini departmental store…you know one in which you could walk around and pick up your stuff? Except that he didn’t have trollies and his aisles weren’t wide enough for them anyway.
I spotted more items. The new Quaker Oats, Tea leaves…and I was still looking around…when an old lady came in. What followed next is interesting, and very topical for those doubting what the FDI in retail would mean for these cornershops…
Looking around the shop the old lady asked, “Arrey, dukan kab khuli?”
The shopkeeper who looked up from his cellphone and greeted her with a namaste replied, teen hafte ho gaye!”
OL- Three weeks! How come I didn’t notice!
SK- *with a smile the shopkeeper replied* You must be getting things from the Mall!
OL – Yes, yes, my daughter-in-law insisted. She said Wednesdays are cheaper!
SK – Really? *clearly faking ignorance*
OL – I don’t know! There was such a huge line that I got really tired!
SK – *hitting the nail on the head* What’s the use of having such a big store when people have to wait?
OL – Absolutely! I went with her twice and gave up after that!
SK – No problem Mataji…we are up and running again. You can call me and ask for the items. I’ll have Chotu run to you with your things. ‘Theek hai na Mataji’?
OL – *visibly relieved* ‘Ekdum’! Now even you have shelves, clean and organised. I must get my daughter-in-law here.
So who’s worried about the your friendly neighbourhood general store? Not the shopkeeper for sure!
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