Nostalgia: Part 2- Spring.

While most people have summers or winters as their favourite seasons, spring is equally admirable to me. An underrated, yet a beautiful time of the year, it is associated with colours. In summers you’ve yellow, sunny days. Winters are all about white and grey. Spring starts with yellow leaves, eventually transitioning trees to green, while I watch the orange flame-like flowers bloom under the blue sky.

Spring brings me memories of childhood. It’s the time of year when I used to have a short vacation before getting upgraded to the next class. I’d walk on the yellow path that the neem tree at my house adorned with its leaves. I’d also regularly observe if the mango tree bore any mangoes, because collecting raw mangoes was definitely one of my and my cousins’ favourite pass times. We have always been enthusiastic about plants, due to which we sowed numerous of them during the time. Before the vacation ended, we’d start preparing ourselves for the summer break. We’d take out our ludo and carrom boards after a year, and start having demo games to be skilled enough by the summer vacation.

Upgrading to the subsequent class during spring makes perfect sense to me. Just as the nature starts fresh with spring, I’d begin a new chapter of my life simultaneously, every year.

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She.

Draped in white,
She,
Born in hospital
With all the glee
She bloomed like a flower
Away from thorns
A daughter, a sister
Cheeks, red and curls, brown
Embracing red as she marries
Discovers a life
That’s not about fairies
A brunt of home
She, a wife, a mother
Eyes glisten bright
Hiding all the trouble
She grows old
A stick, no teeth
Her soulmate has died
She’s all bleak
When end comes near
God, they see
Draped in white
She.

The Song

You wrote a song for me
Said it entails everything
From what we had since the beginning
You added tunes and jingles
Took all the efforts you could
And presented it to me
On a sunny day, in the woods
I didn’t like it
It broke your heart
Disheartened, you went away
Somewhere far.
Turns out the song
Got imprinted in my head,
I listened to it everyday
Till my death.

Kharab Chai

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We’ve seen sellers fighting to be the best in the competitive market, trying to serve the best of products and services at customers’ disposal. But how many of you have observed sellers trying to sell the worst?

Years back I was traveling by a train to the holy city of Varanasi. We had entered the borders of Uttar Pradesh and I started observing vendors selling different specialties of their cities. While some offered the famous ‘Agra petha’ others resorted to tea/coffee. Needless to say that Indians, who start their day with tea, wouldn’t deny for a sip or two. Myriad of sellers came to offer tea claiming to be the best. Some accepted the offer, some didn’t.

Then came a vendor shouting,”duniya ki sabse kharab chai”,”kharab chai le lo” (Try the worst tea of the world). Everyone started staring at him. After all, what sort of image was he creating for his product? He was actually using REVERSE PSYCHOLOGY to intrigue the passengers. Reverse psychology is a technique involving a behavior that is opposite to the one desired, with the expectation that this approach will encourage the subject to do what actually is desired: the opposite of what is suggested. Everyone ordered a cup of tea out of curiosity to know how bad the taste of tea could be. This would work for the seller in two ways- first; nobody could claim their money for bad taste because he had already apprised them of it. Second; if they liked the tea, they’d recommend it to others or easily identify him the next time they travel by that route. With loyalty of customers it also provided him an edge over his competitors. I had the chance to taste the ginger flavoured tea and I indeed recommended it to others. I even heard a passenger praising him and advising not to claim his tea the worst as it could be misleading. Now when I recall the conversation I realize little did the passenger and I know how these sellers used smart marketing in a common market to survive. The strategy might have been copied by a lot more train vendors but I never saw any other line of business taking such an intrepid step.

A while back I was traveling via Madhya Pradesh when I heard a tea seller shouting ‘Kharab chai’. I smiled; reminisced the incident that took place ten years back; ordered a cup of tea appreciating the existence of this gimmick; looked through the window as the fog covered the stalls; and enjoyed the ‘kharab chai’ voraciously.