I was under the impression that only heat drives Chennaites crazy but looks like there are many more such influencers. Trade fairs, for example.
From Toyota Camry to a TVS 50, all were lined up at the entrance. The security guard was under the spotlight; that is until he brushed shoulders with self-confessed VIPs driving huge cars and wanting to be provided immediate entry.
The guard was a pathetic sight. The incidents that unfolded, pointed out that he was like the President of India – loads of powers, but no authority to use them on his own. There is certainly no fun in being ‘The Command Center` when nobody is listening; instead try to run you over.
The fact that The Hindu sponsored the fair, ensured it great publicity. Hordes were coming in and the only thing they did not bring with them was trekking gear. And once inside, a GPS device (Global Positioning system) would have also helped. I remember Rekha and I walking in circles…so much so, the shop-keepers started staring at us. They probably thought we were PWD Inspectors, keeping a watch on the proceedings.
And then, there was this one-dollar shop. A nice business technique, which unfortunately cannot be implemented in Indian conditions as you cannot have a ‘1 Rupee` shop. When I last bought something for 1 Rupee, it was sugar cane juice – four years back.
The shop had everything. Including shampoos and conditioners made for Middle East, which on nearing their expiry date had been dumped in India. I wonder why all those buyers never thought how a Rs 250 product could be given away for Rs 100. Common sense escaped them all. None of the 18 pretty girls I was keeping an eye on, looked for the expiry date which more often than not was not later than November 2004.
I wonder how I alone kept my head above my shoulders and came out of the shop after buying only one Rivolta boxers, one set of knives and one cute little pepper-salt dispenser. Guess, it has something to do with Rekha safekeeping my money for me.
I am glad we did not fall prey to this Trade mania. Also, Rs 4200 is a small price to pay for all the good fun that we had at the fair…like the ice-cream cone, the weighing machine, the masala papad, the salted ground nuts, not to mention those 18 girls I eyed for well over four hours…